Robert Burns first set foot on English soil at Coldstream Bridge

over 50 members and guests of the Coldstream Burns Club were led down to Coldstream bridge by pipers Rob Bell and Keith Guthrie and drummers James Bell and Alec Thomson to commemorate the visit to the town by Robert Burns and his crossing of the bridge entering England for the first time in May 1778
over 50 members and guests of the Coldstream Burns Club were led down to Coldstream bridge by pipers Rob Bell and Keith Guthrie and drummers James Bell and Alec Thomson to commemorate the visit to the town by Robert Burns and his crossing of the bridge entering England for the first time in May 1778

Coldstream Burns Club held their annual Tweed Bridge Ceremony on Sunday to commemorate the visit of Robert Burns to the town in May 1787 when he crossed over the bridge and stood on English soil for the first time.

Over 50 members and guests attended the ceremony, including Robert Stewart, president of Robert Burns World Federation, Jim Davidson, president of Coldstream Burns Club, Coldstreamer Grant Campbell, James Bell chairman of the 1513 Club, and Derek Balmbro, chairman of the ex-Coldstreamers Club along with representatives from other Border clubs including Galashiels, Peebles, the Howff Club of Dumfries, Whiteadder, Eyemouth and Kelso.

Members and guests, led by pipers Rob Bell and Keith Guthrie and the drums of James Bell and Alex Thomson, set off in procession for the bridge from the British Legion Club. On arrival the company gathered around the plaque on the west parapet, placed by the club in 1926.

During the short ceremony. club chairman Rob Smith, reminded everyone of the story of Burns’ crossing the bridge and then, as Burns did all those years ago, he dropped on one knee before reciting the last stanza from Burns’ famous poem ‘The Cotter’s Saturday Night’. Garlands were then attached to the parapet alongside the plaque by Grant Campbell, who is not only the Coldstreamer but also the youngest member of the Burns Club, and Dr Godfrey Bedford, president of the Howff Club of Dumfries.

The ceremony then moved to the Craw Green before heading back to the British Legion Club.