Sunshine and rain for start of Coldstream Civic Week

Coldstream Civic week gets underway
Coldstream Civic week gets underway

The 2013 Coldstreamer, Grant Campbell, was presented with the burgh standard and sash in Henderson Park on Sunday heralding the start of Coldstream’s Civic Week.

Promising to return both the standard and sash ‘unsullied and untarnished’, at the close of Civic Week, Grant was advised by many of the Coldstreamers who have gone before him to savour every moment of this week - not that he needed the reminder, being Coldstreamer has been a long time coming for young Grant.

Over thirty Ex-Coldstreamers, 14 Coldstream Guards and principals from across the Borders were on parade for the sashing ceremony, the first diamond jubilee Coldstreamer from 1953, Kenneth Palmer, receiving a gift from the Presenting Coldstream Committee and the Coldstream Riders Association.

Tradition now has it that the 25th anniversary Coldstreamer is entrusted to carry out the sashing ceremony and present the burgh standard, and this year the job fell to silver jubilee Coldstreamer Malcolm Simpson.

On being introduced to the large crowd assembled in sunny Henderson Park, Malcolm recalled an eventful start to his week in 1988. It started off with a hail storm that turned the town white. “My abiding memory is of the hailstones on the Monday and Bob McKenzie making the ‘Berwickshire News’ with his bath full of hailstones, saying they had come up the plughole. Or had he shovelled them up from outside and filled his bath?”

Malcolm told Grant: “25 years ago I stood here and I was filled with pride and all sorts of emotion.”

Like every Coldstreamer before and after him, Malcolm’s proudest moment was leading the cavalcade of horses and riders from Coldstream to Branxton Hill, the setting of the 1513 Battle of Flodden and admitted that by the time he got to the top of Branxton Hill he was “greetin’ like a wee bairn”.

“The best advice I can give you Grant is to take a few moments every day to reflect what you have done because it goes by so quickly and on Saturday you will stand here and wonder where the week went.”

Finally receiving the sash and burgh standard, Grant told the crowd: “Coldstream Civic Week is finally here and I can’t wait to start the best week in the Borders.

“Four years ago when I first got handed my Coldstream Ammies shirt it was a proud day and four years down the line it’s a better feeling than that.”

After his thanks to the Ex-Coldstreamers for choosing him as the 2013 Coldstreamer and his parents for their support Grant finished by thanking the people of Coldstream for making it ‘nulli secundus’ (Second to None).

The Coldstream Guards and Coldstream Pipe Band then led the parade of principals, Ex Coldstreamers, and town organisations along the High Street to the parish church for the inauguration service. They moved on to the war memorial to lay a wreath and then into Coldstream Community Centre for the opening ceremony reception.

Day one may have enjoyed good weather but once again typical Civic Week Monday weather prevailed and it poured down for most of the day, meaning that once again the children’s sports day had to be postponed to the Tuesday. The all-weather Dub Dash, however, went ahead as planned and was won by Gerald Tait.