In a reversal of fortunes from the horrid weather of last year, the sun has been shining firmly on this year’s Duns Summer Festival.
A number of events had to be cancelled last year thanks to incessant heavy rain, so the sunshine which down on the Market Square for Sunday’s opening ceremony was well deserved.
The man at the centre of this year’s festivities, 2013 Reiver Scott Lackenby looked as proud as can be when entrusted with the town standard following an earlier Kirking in Duns Parish Church.
Scott says being Reiver is “a tremendous honour”. He is clearly enjoying every minute and is doing the town proud.
He was joined on stage by Reiver’s Lass Iona Gibb, right-hand man Ross Foreman and right-hand lass Lauren Burns.
The quartet gathered quite a crowd for their moment in the spotlight and there was standing room only as Duns Summer Festival committee chair Ronald Drummond and president Stuart Renton carried out their duties.
With an Andy Murray victory at Wimbledon adding to the celebrations, there was quite an atmosphere in the Volunteer Hall on Sunday night for an evening of entertainment, courtesy of Duns Operatic Society and Duns Players.
The jovial mood carried on into Monday when the sun once again had the good grace to put his hat on for the crowning of this year’s Wynsome Mayde, Lucy McPherson, at Duns Castle.
Lucy and her young court looked resplendent as they took their places in front of a large crowd who basked in warm sunshine, enjoying temperatures in excess of 25 degrees.
There were a few watery eyes as the flower bearers, sword bearers, pages, courtiers and maydes of honour made their way to the crowing dias for Lucy’s big moment.
She was crowned by former Duns Summer Festival president Ann Affleck and was then presented with gifts from Chirnside Gala Queen Selina Eaton and Greenlaw Maid Gwyneth Hume before being addressed by Stuart Renton and Ronald Drummond, who passed on the regards of well wishers.
Lucy and her court and the Reiver’s Party were then piped out of the Castle Estate to the war memorial by Duns Pipe Band as a crowd gathered in the Market Square and Public Park for the annual Reiver’s Week bed race.
Six teams competed to varying degrees of success. After an obstacle cause which provided much hilarity for its audience, it was the ‘Still Game’ team who emerged victorious.
Tuesday brought more fine weather, meaning there were plenty of participants for the teddy bears picnic and ride to Duns Law and Bruntons, and it was the same again on Wednesday for the Riding of the Bounds and the keenly contested John Thorburn Challenge Cup between the town’s football and rugby clubs.
“It’s been an absolutely fantastic week so far,” said Stuart Renton. “The weather really makes an event like this and people have been coming out in force. Scott is a great Reiver and he is doing the town proud.”
l Pictures by Kimberley Powell
l For pictures from the second half of Reiver’s Week see our second photo pullout in next week’s paper.