SINGING Souters will have their ranks swelled again this year thanks to a project driven by Common Riding enthusiast Joyce Wright, writes Bob Burgess.
Four years ago she began classes to teach the youngsters of the town the songs that have long been associated with the Royal Burgh’s big day.
And since then hundreds of them – and many of their parents – have attended weekly sessions.
And with the Royal Burgh Standard Bearer about to be appointed tonight, this year’s classes get underway on Monday.
Joyce told The Wee Paper: “I began the project because I was worried that our children were not being taught the songs of the Common Riding at schools because many of the teachers were not from the town and were not familiar with the words.
“It has been great over the years to see many youngsters come along and enjoy learning the songs and also more about the history of the Common Riding.”
Each year between 30 and 50 youngsters have turned up, eager to learn.
“And because some have been as young as four, many parents have come along as well and have enjoyed the experience. It is quite unbelievable that the singing club is now in its fourth year”, said Joyce.
Joyce is assisted by Barbara Hood and Ian Wilson while stalwart Jim Marshall is at the piano.
The Ex-Standard Bearers Association pays for the hire of the Parish Church hall and at each session either the Standard Bearer, an ex-Standard Bearer, the Provost or one of the Bailies gives a very short talk on part of the Common Riding tradition.
This year’s club gets underway on Monday and runs each Monday until June 4. Sessions last an hour, beginning a 6.30pm.