Duns Summer Festival put on a wonderful display of what the Border common ridings are all about and BBC presenter Jeremy Paxman was in town to soak up the atmosphere.
In the Borders to film for a future programme on British rivers Jeremy and a television crew were out and about in Duns for several days to experience a common riding, and Duns did not let them down.
Duns Reiver Euan Reed led the town’s summer festival celebrations and rideouts in style, with a record number of horses and riders following him to Gavinton last Wednesday evening.
“The rideouts have proved to be very popular, with a record-breaking number of horses visiting Gavinton on the Wednesday evening, which is excellent, and, as always, a full Market Square to cheer the horses on their way,” said festival committee chairwoman Ann Lindsay.
“Saturday’s rideout also saw a large number of horses.
Accompanied by Reiver’s Lass Jade Whellans and attendants Josh Herbert and Melissa Redpath, Euan never stopped all week, taking part in all the festival events, visiting the Knoll Hospital and Turnbull Court so patients and residents didn’t miss out, witnessing the mayhem of the annual bed race, being on hand to present prize-winners of the various competitions throughout the week with their trophies, and leading the torchlight procession and the celebrations at the Reiver’s Ball.
Following the opening ceremony in Duns Market Square, when Euan was presented with the town standard, he carried it safely to Duns Law on the Tuesday evening, on the riding of the town’s bounds which takes in Gavinton on the Wednesday and Whitchester on the Saturday morning.
He tearfully returned the standard at the closing ceremony on Saturday evening after the carnival parade, the town continuing with its partying in the Market Square.
Duns Summer Festival committee chairman Ann Lindsay reported: “Overall Reivers Week appeared to go seamlessly, behind the scenes we were running about as usual, but that’s all part of the fun of putting on a full week of activities and we wouldn’t do it otherwise.
“We have an amazing committee who work very well together and who have worked extremely hard this year with a few hurdles to jump over. We are so grateful that we have many helpers in and around Duns who are willing to get stuck in whenever possible, a lot of individuals, families and community groups get together to organise some events for us and this is an invaluable resource.
“We re-introduced the walking treasure hunt this year which went down really well. All of our other events were very well attended and we hope to keep building on this year on year.
“We are so grateful to the local villages for continuing to support us and inviting us to their own events, it really does add to the fantastic community spirit we have here in Duns.
“We can’t thank the local businesses, SBC, the community, Duns Pipe Band and Police Scotland enough, without their help this week would just not go ahead.
“The wheels are already turning for 2017 trying to think of new events to add and possibly give things a shuffle to help the week flow. If you have any ideas please do not hesitate to get in touch with any committee member or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.”