Union Jack bunting and cake were the order of the day as Borders street parties celebrated Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday this week.
In Lauder, people gathered in front of Thirlestane Castle for refreshments, a dog show and pony rides, while the Horse and Hound pub at Bonchester Bridge saw celebrations on a London bus, a birthday cake competition and a royal tug o’ war.
Hawick filled with music as Teries congregated in Wilton Lodge Park, enjoying the pipe band, face painting and a bouncy castle.
Honorary Provost, Stuart Marshall, said: “Sunday’s event in Wilton Lodge Park was a huge success with hundreds of townsfolk and visitors alike enjoying a real party atmosphere. We had live music in the Elliot Bandstand as well as loads of activities to keep the children entertained.
“There were also stalls from the Salvation Army and the Boys Brigade who did a magnificent job in keeping the youngsters entertained.
“The Boys Brigade even made and cut a birthday cake, and Happy Birthday was sung to Her Majesty. I can’t thank enough all those who supported this event. I was very proud of the way that Hawick paid its very own birthday tribute to our Queen.”
Last week also saw Stuart receive a royal letter, inviting him to an evening reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, to be hosted by Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on July 4.
Speaking after Sunday’s celebration, Provost Marshall said: “It was a real shock and a lovely surprise to receive an invitation from Buckingham Palace to attend such a reception and one which I was very honoured to accept.”
In Newcastleton, Liddesdale Ladies Amenities Group (LLAGs) held a street party in Douglas Square on Sunday.
With the help of a grant from Scottish Borders Council, and the invaluable support from voluntary groups, businesses and individuals in the community, the theme was ‘Bring Your Own Picnic’.
Guests of Honour were residents in the parish born in or before 1926, who were served with a delicious picnic prepared by Newcastleton SWI. They were also presented with commemorative medals to mark the occasion. Mrs Isabella Rutherford (101), the oldest lady in the village, was photographed holding Oliver James Goldie, who at just two weeks old is the youngest.
Other guests of honour were Mrs Doreen Reay, Dr Arthur Bethune, Mrs Enid McGavin, Mrs Ada Oliver, Mrs Ruth McLean, Mrs Ellen Wylie and Mr Stan Mounsey. Guests who were unable to attend were Mr J Patterson, Mr R Oliver, Mr A Nichol, Mrs P Hardie, Mr B Henry and Mrs H Forster.
A beautiful commemorative birthday cake, which was made by Diane Adamson, was cut by Jade Jackson, the winner of the Fancy Dress competition and Alice Forster, chair of LLAGs.
Duns got in on the action, with crowds mingling in the Town Square, enjoying refreshments and musical entertainment.
Kelso, meanwhile, will take its chance to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th on June 26, with a Royal Tea Party and Songs of Praise in Kelso North Church.
Youngsters will dress up for a Royal Fancy Dress competition and cake makers will have a go at a cake fit for a Queen.
The event will be held indoors, just in case of poor weather, and the Tea Party, which will include all the expected summer fare with a royal twist, will be staged in the Kelso North Church Hall from 3.30pm.
The Songs of Praise will start at 6.30pm. Entry for the tea party is £5, but free for children.
The event is organised by the Borders branch of the Order of St John. Chairman, Alasdair Hutton said: “This will be a great chance for anyone in Kelso to come and join in the 90th birthday celebration and have some fun as well as enjoying some well-loved hymns in the Songs of Praise.”
Two choirs will swell the sound in the church, the Kelsae Singers and the Duns Parish Church Choir, and the Lord Lieutenant of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale, Captain the Honourable Gerald Maitland-Carew, will read a lesson. “We will be raising money for another defibrillator for the Borders, so the event will have a worthwhile aim as well as fun,” Alasdair added. “I hope as many people as possible can come and be part of Kelso’s celebration.”