The Selkirk Incorporation of Weavers named John Black of Glebe Terrace as their 2014 Standard Bearer on Friday.
“I can’t wait,” the 58-year-old former spinner told us. “It’ll be one of the proudest days of my life, up there with the birth of our children.
“I’m Selkirk born and bred, and since I was a boy, I’ve attended hundreds of Common Ridings, and always had a hankering about what it would be like to stand on stage and cast the flag. I’m looking forward to a successful cast: there is politics between the associations, and there’s a right and wrong way to cast. It’s an opportunity to represent the craft, and a hell of a challenge.”
Following in his late father’s footsteps, John began his apprenticeship in 1970 as a shader Selkirk’s Whinfield Mill – the spinning division of Heather Mills – before spinning yarns at Ettrick & Yarrow Spinners. He left in 1988 to take up a position as “a man from the Pru’”, before working as a chartered financial planner for an Edinburgh firm.
John, the first in his family to cast the flag, will be supported by his “pleasantly surprised” 85-year-old mum Jean, and his Lady Busser and wife of 37 years Val, who has also lived in Selkirk all her life.
Together they raised two children: builder Jon, 35, who lives near Yair, and their daughter Jodie, 33, who’s married with a daughter, Eva, in Newcastle.
“They’ll all be making the journey back for the Common Riding,” he said: “They’d better come, or I’ll write them out my will.”