THE Royal Burgh’s strong links with its twin town Plattling have been celebrated, writes Kenny Paterson.
Among the highlights of a weekend in Selkirk for a party of 10 councillors from the German town – headed by Burgermeister Erich Schmid and his deputy Michael Weiderer – was a trip up the Ettrick and Yarrow valleys to learn about Mungo Park, Walter Scott and James Hogg on Sunday.
Visits were made to Bowhill, the newly re-opened Gordon Arms, and The Waterwheel Café, while Abbotsford’s new visitor centre and The Haining were also taken in by the group from Bavaria.
Sunday evening saw Plattling play host to a dinner at the County Hotel for elected councillors and several Souters.Gifts were exchanged, short speeches made and the sound of piper Grant Munro was enjoyed before guests sat down to a menu reflecting the Scandinavian background of County owners Trond Arne Dalby and Will Hægeland.
Each Plattlinger and guest also went away with a copy of the recently-published Border Cookery book.
The following day saw a tour of the High School organised by head teacher Wilma Burgon. The Plattling group were guided round the school by Megan Brass (head girl), Jack Huston (head boy), Sarah McCombe and Kyle Stillie (deputy heads). The visit included discussions on developing further visits between the two towns’ schools in the future.
Tuesday saw the party enjoy lunch with Souter Donald Wilson, now Lord Provost of Edinburgh.
And the delegation’s trip was rounded off with a jam session by Selkirk musicians at the Heatherlie House Hotel on Tuesday evening.
Noteworthy was the gift from Selkirk to Plattling – a beautiful watercolour of Selkirk from the river by local artist Eric Johnstone.
The next visit from Plattling is going to be another Friends musical group, which was previously deemed a success, and another concert is also being planned.