BRILLIANT sunshine heralded the start of the 2011 Duns Summer Festival on Sunday although rain did disrupt the programme a little on Tuesday night.
This year’s festival principals were officially ‘kirked’ at a service led by the Rev Donald Gaddes in Duns Parish Church on Sunday morning.
A large crowd turned out in the Market Square for the opening ceremony as the Town Standard was brought in procession from the church led by Duns Pipe Band. Many principals from other Borders festivals and common ridings were present along with a good number of ex-Reivers and Reivers Lassies.
Anne Affleck, president of the Duns Summer Festival Committee then handed over the standard to 2011 Reiver Billy Walker and entrusted him with its safekeeping during the week. He was charged to return the standard to her on Saturday “unsullied and untarnished” after his various duties.
Reiver’s Lass Morag Poole bussed the standard with this year’s colours of tulip and admiral.
Chairman of the Duns Ex-Reivers Association, Stuart Renton, presented Billy and Morag with riding crops as a momento of their year in office. He also presented small gifts to the principals of 25 and 50 years ago.
A reception followed in the Volunteer Hall.
The fine weather brought many cyclists out for the Family Cycle Run round Duns Castle Estate in the evening and Duns Players, along with members of the Duns Amateur Operatic Society, entertained in the Volunteer Hall with a one-act comedy radio play.
Monday was Claire Wilson’s big day as she was crowned the 2011 Wynsome Mayde O’Dunse.
Duns Pipe Band led the procession as Reiver Billy Walker Reiver’s Lass Morag Poole and their attendants Richard Burns and Claire Whellans, escorted Claire and her court to the Public Park.
A large crowd witnessed Claire being crowned by Anne Hartley during a colourful ceremony which was again blessed by fine weather.
Claire’s court was as follows: Maydes on Honour - Milly McColm, Megan Armitage, Emily Sawyers, Ally Simmonds.
Herald - Grace Allman; Sword bearer - Emily Bates; Crown bearer - Sarah Learmonth; Courtiers - George Smith, William Robertson and Barnaby Bevan; Pages - Liam Longstaff, Hattie Williams, Finian Green and Vhari Smith.
Flower bearers - Rio Akpokavi, Robyn McVee-Knowles, Niall Brown, Eliza Master, Jay Douglas, Kirsten Blair Simpson, Owen Blair Simpson, Grace Watson, Clarke Wilson, Leah Cameron, Stephanie Blair, Chantelle McGregor, Ewan Feeney, Sophie Morton, Rosanna Prentice, Mariah Rong, Aaron Lyall, Keira Waddell, Ally Scott, Emily Redpath.
Following the crowning ceremony the Wynsome Mayde, Reiver, Reiver’s Lass and their attendants laid wreaths at the War Memorial.
Duns Pipe Band once again led the mounted cavalcade round the town.
The popular Bed Race, organised by the Ex-Reiver’s Association kept the spectators amused with their fun and games.
The eventual winners were Border Farm Supplies.
During Monday the ladies’ and juniors’ golf competition were held at Duns Golf Club and there was free play at Hurly Burly for children aged between 1-12.
The Kirk Cafe was held in Duns Parish Church and the Reiver’s Party visited both the Knoll Hospital and Boston Court.
On Tuesday the gents’ golf competition was held and another Kirk Cafe was held in the church hall.
The Teddy Bear’s Picnic once again proved very popular and a Tea Dance was held in the British Legion clubrooms.
There was a good turnout for the Fun Kids Football in the Public Park with around 35 youngsters taking part .
In the evening the Reiver led the ride-out to Duns Law and the Bruntons. However, the service due to be held on the Law commemorating the encampment of the Covenanting Army there in 1639 was held in the Parish Church due to the wet weather. The service was led by the Rev Donald Gaddes and the oration was given by Mr Alick Hay.
A Gymkhana followed in Mainsgate Park and the day’s festivities were rounded off by a Family Ceilidh in the Volunteer Hall.
On Wednesday the Reiver’s Party visited Mount View while the Wynsome Mayde and her attendants visited the Knoll Hospital.
A Fancy Dress Disco was held in the Volunteer Hall for the youngsters and there were Strawberry Teas in the church hall.
In the evening the traditional Riding of the Bounds was carried out by the Reiver and his followers. Reiver Walker carried out the token ceremony of cutting a sod on Duns Common before the cavalcade made its way to Gavinton.
Duns Amateur FC and Duns RFC contested the John Thorburn Challenge Cup.
The popular Quiz night brought Wednesday’s event to a close.
For all the results from the week’s events and for more pictures see next week’s Berwickshire News.