Duns Reiver Billy follows in family tradition

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The people of Duns turned out in force on Friday night to see the 2011 Reiver’s Party and Wynsome Mayde Elect and her maids of honour installed into office.

Duns Summer Festival president Ann Affleck welcomed the large crowd to the traditional installation ceremony in the town’s Market Square and gave a special welcome to visiting principals from neighbouring Borders towns and festivals and Ex Reivers and Ex Reivers Lasses.

She then welcomed to the stage last year’s principals - Reiver Richard Burns, Reiver’s Lass Ruth Drummond and Wynsome Mayde April-Lea Taylor - and congratulated them on carrying out their duties so well during the past year.

Mrs Affleck then announced the 2011 principals.

Reiver is 22-year-old Billy Walker. Billy was Right Hand Man last year and is following a family tradition - his father Billy was Reiver in 1957 and his half-brother Kevan was Reiver in 1980. Billy works for the family business in the town.

Reiver’s Lass is 24-year-old Morag Poole. Morag was Right Hand Lass last year and works for Scottish Borders Council.

Right Hand Lass is Claire Whellans. Claire grew up in Chirnside before moving to Duns and works at the Kelso Medical Group practice.

As there were no applications for the post of Right Hand Man this year, these duties will be carried out by last year’s Reiver Richard Burns.

Billy and Morag were then presented with their official sashes of office by the president who charged the duo to wear them with dignity and pride. Chairman Ronald Drummond presented the Reiver’s Party with their official rosettes.

Billy said he was “very proud” to be selected as Reiver and promised to promote the good name of the town at the other festivals and common ridings throughout the Borders,

Reiver’s Lass Morag said she was “thrilled” to be appointed and promised to carry out her duries “faithfully and well”.

It was then announced that this year’s Reiver’s colours will be tulip and admiral.

The new Reiver’s first task was to draw the names of the Wynsome Mayde Elect and her Maids of Honour.

The Wynsome Mayde Elect is Claire Wilson and her maids are Milly McColm, Megan Armatage, Emily Sawyers and Ally Simmonds. Ronald Drummond presented the girls with their rosettes. Claire will be crowned during the festival week (July 3-9) by Mrs Anne Hartley.