Oscar winning actress Tilda invited to Duns for 'homecoming'

AN official letter has been sent to Hollywood star Tilda Swinton inviting her to attend Duns Summer Festival as part of the Borders celebrations of Homecoming Scotland 2009.

In the Borders the Homecoming celebrations are based on the region's common ridings festivals 'Return to the Ridings' and the leader of Scottish Borders Council, David Parker has issued the invitation to Tilda, whose father Major General Sir John Swinton is a former Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire.

"You may have attended the Duns Summer Festival while residing in the Swinton family home in Kimmerghame near Duns," said Councillor Parker in his letter to Ms Swinton.

"The Duns Summer Festival is one of 11 Scottish Borders Common Ridings and Festivals participating in the Return to the Ridings.

Each of the Scottish Borders Ridings has created an extra-special programme for the Year of Homecoming and Borderers are inviting their friends and relatives from the UK and abroad back for the celebrations.

"Homecoming Scotland 2009 is a year-long programme of events to highlight Scotland's great contributions to the world: Robert Burns (the 250th anniversary of his birth is in 2009), golf, whisky, great minds and innovations and Scotland's rich ancestry and culture.

"Duns Summer Festival was instituted back in 1949 commemorating the town's history from as far back as the 17th century.

The festival traditions include a week of parades, the crowning of the Wynsome Mayde, a traditional game of 'handba' and the Riding of the Parish Bounds, a spectacular sight of riders on horse-back We would be delighted if you were to accept this invitation to Return to the Ridings."