SLIDE SHOW: Berwickshire celebrates jubilee in style

The crew of the Biscoe Kid representing Berwickshire in the Thames River Pagent for the Queens Jubilee
The crew of the Biscoe Kid representing Berwickshire in the Thames River Pagent for the Queens Jubilee

LIKE the rest of the country Berwickshire was firmly gripped by Diamond Jubilee fever over the weekend and whether it be on the Thames or on dry land, the area certainly did the Queen proud.

Sunday’s River Pageant will be one to remember for those aboard Bisco Kid and Unity, the two boats which left Eyemouth for London last Thursday.

Rather aptly the vessels left Eyemouth in heavy rain and were greeted with the same weather as they finished their journey from Battersea to Tower Bridge along with thousands of others for the spectacle which was broadcast worldwide and attracted a million people to the banks of the Thames.

Unity coach Julie Middlemiss-Brown said she and the weather failed to dampen spirits and she and the crew members enjoyed every minute.

She told ‘The Berwickshire’: “We had a great time even though the conditions were extremely cold for the guys in the boat.

“They were kept waiting by the water taxis for two hours at the end; I was glad I was inside!

“But despite being absolutely freezing they said they wouldn’t have changed anything; to have all those people cheering them on from the banks was unreal!”

And as well as the tireless Unity crew and those aboard Bisco Kid, including Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire, Major Alexander Trotter, the district was also represented at the pageant by David Melrose, the Duns firefighter who has been an inspiration to many after he was left severely injured in the call of duty a few years ago.

He was aboard Gloriana alongside a number of servicemen who were injured whilst fighting for their country.

Back in Berwickshire, there was a mixed bag of weather for the vast array of events hosted by many local communities.

Coldstream’s Border Gaitherin marked the Jubilee in a manner Her Majesty would surely approve of with the town’s community centre becoming a veritable hot bed of cultural activity over the weekend.

And the weather was kind to Duns on Monday as hundreds of people of all ages enjoyed a Jubilee street party which was staged in the Market Square which had been closed off for the occasion.

The event, which raised £500 for the Margaret Kerr Unit at Borders General Hospital, was opened in traditional style by Duns Pipe Band and the music continued with a performance from Where’s George and a disco with music which spanned the six decades Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne.

Families brought picnic with them as everyone embraced the party atmosphere and the evening was brought to a close with a rendition of the national anthem.

While one Queen was celebrating a 60 year reign, another was beginning hers in Cockburnspath over the weekend.

This year’s Gala Queen Lena Aitchison was crowned by outgoing Queen Holly Ellis on Saturday, an occasion which was enjoyed by everyone in the village.

A wide variety of events took place, including a hog roast, tug of war and children’s entertainments ensuring the day went, in the words of Lena “with a blast!” Music entertained everyone throughout the day and culminated in a ceilidh and disco til the wee small hours.

Over in Whitsome the village’s summer fair was a suitably royal occasion with the crowns submitted for the crown competition distinctly regal.

A record number of helpers ensured it was a jubilee to remember for all those who attended.

The crowds were in out in force in Gordon on Sunday for a party in the park.

Rain showers didn’t dampen spirits and local children had a wonderful afternoon of fun, with fete type games and races.

The community rounders game was a resurrection of another crowd pleaser of bygone years and there was music aplenty from Iain Grant, Mark and Dave, Tom Fairney, The Frequent Flyers and Fatlips.