VIDEO: Duns Summer Festival gets underway

Duns Reiver Ross Foreman marked his birthday in style on Sunday by proudly taking charge of the town standard to mark the official opening of the 2014 Duns Summer Festival.

A large crowd, along with many visiting principals from other Borders towns, attended Duns Parish Church for Sunday’s Kirkin’ which was followed by the opening ceremony in the Market Square.

Kirkin' o Reiver to mark the start of Duns civic week

Kirkin' o Reiver to mark the start of Duns civic week

In the church the congregation had sung an impromptu ‘Happy Birthday To You’ for birthday boy Ross.

The standard was brought in procession from the church led by Duns Pipe Band and Doug Redpath, president of the Summer Festival Committee, charged Ross to take the standard and return it to him at the end of the week ‘untarnished and unsullied’.

Reiver’s Lass Lauren Burns then ‘bussed’ the standard with this year’s colours of purple and aqua.

Ross and Lauren and their attendants Darren Aitchison and Stacey Wilson were given three hearty cheers by the large crowd.

Commemorative riding crops were presented to the principals by Ex-Reiver Brian Bolton, chairman of the Duns Ex-Reivers Association. He also made presentations to the principals of 25 and 50 years ago.

On Sunday evening there was a good turnout for the Family Cycle Run through Duns Castle estate.

On Monday afternoon the Reiver’s Party visited the Knoll Hospital and Turnbull Court.

Monday evening saw Shannon Bates crowned the 70th Wysome Mayde O’ Dunse at a colourful ceremony held in the grounds of Duns Castle.

Duns Pipe Band led the processions as Shannon, in her horse-drawn carriage, and her court were escorted to Duns Castle by the Reiver, his Lass and their attendants.

Shannon was crowned by Mrs Nella Feeney in front of a large crowd which included almost 30 of the previous Wynsome Maydes.

Following the crowning Shannon, Ross, Lauren, Darren and Stacey paid homage at the War Memorial in Duns Public Park where wreaths were laid.

Reiver Ross then led the mouned cavalcade around the town.

Monday’s festivities were rounded off by the ever-popular Bed Race organised by the Duns Ex-Reivers Association. Eventual winners were ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’.

There was fun for all ages on Tuesday. A Teddy Bears Picnic was held in the Volunteer Hall for parents and toddlers and this was followed by a Tea Dance.

Duns Football Club hosted ‘Fun Kids’ Football’ in the evening while the Reiver, his Lass and their attendants, led the ride out to Duns Law and the Bruntons.

A service to commemorate the encampment of the Covenanting Army on Duns Law in 1639 was conducted by the Rev Stephen Blakey and homage was paid at the Bruntons with an oration by Mr Alec Hay.

A Gymkhana followed in Mainsgate Park.

Tuesday evening came to a close with a Family Ceilidh in the Volunteer hall with music supplied by Dod Hutchison and Friends.