The sashing of the 65th Coldstreamer, Andrew Guthrie, also marked a new chapter in the town’s civic week traditions – the introduction of four streamer’s lasses.
For over half a century there has been no role for girls in the official party but the current Presenting Coldstream committee decided it was time for things to change.
In a rain-soaked Henderson Park, Iain Dickson told Caitlin Cressey, Ella Easingwood, Jude Turner and Lily Young: “You are making history today as the first Streamer’s Lasses.”
Eight Coldstream Guards were on duty in the park as Iain welcomed the Coldstream principals to the dais, introducing right-hand man Stefan Home, left-hand man Jamie Nicolson and the 2017 Coldstreamer, Andrew Guthrie.
Handing over the Coldstream sash and burgh standard to Andrew was the duty of silver jubilee Coldstreamer Gary Tait.
In the presence of 42 ex-Coldstreamers at the opening ceremony, Gary said: “26 ex-Coldstreamers have stood where I am today, and for all it didn’t feel like 25 years ago, it was the best time of their life and all made friends for life.”
There was a minute’s silence for the 12 Coldstreamers no longer with us.
The burgh standard was bussed with Andrew’s colours of slate grey and flame, by the left-hand man’s mother, Fiona Nicolson, and the Streamer’s Lasses were presented with Coldstream tartan sashes.
Presenting Coldstream did a roaring trade in selling their civic week umbrellas and a parade of principals, dignitaries, ex-Coldstreamers and youth organisations was led along to the parish church by Coldstream Pipe Band.
Coldstream’s big day is today, Thursday, when more than 300 horses and riders will follow Andrew over Coldstream Bridge into England and onto Branxton Hill for the annual wreath laying ceremony and oration to mark the 1513 Battle of Flodden.
This year’s Flodden oration will be given by Davey Scott, who hails from “the independent people’s republic o’ Hawick” and now lives in Duns.
Davey specialises in speaking in Scots tongue, so interpreters may be required for those not so well versed in it.
Here’s a flavour of what’s to come: “Ti stand on Flodden Field. Ti sei eer Coldstreamer and his cavalcade represent the men o’ Scotland whae fought thur faces aye ti the foe. Ti commemorate them, and the fallen fi baith sides. Ti dae maw wee bit ti make shure Flodden is never again referred ti as the forgotten battle.”
More photos – pages 12 & 13