FOR many people in Selkirk, the late Eleanor McCudden was a real star when it came to rolling her sleeves up and helping make the various local events and organisations she was involved with a success.
Now, in an appropriate and poignant gesture, Eleanor, who died suddenenly aged 64 in January, is being commemorated with a star, which was placed atop the town’s Christmas tree in the Market Place yesterday.
The placing of the star was part of work to erect the festive lighting in time for this year’s Scott’s Selkirk at the beginning of December.
The first ‘mistress’ of Scott’s Selkirk, Eleanor was a stalwart of the festivities and will be much missed at the event.
“The star was bought in memory of Eleanor and it has pride of place at the top of the tree,” explained this year’s ‘maister’ of the festival, Tommy Combe.
As well as Eleanor, many other people are being remembered by family and friends who are purchasing bulbs in their memory and a special plaque is being mounted which will give information on who has bought the individual bulbs.
“There’s certainly going to be plenty of bulbs this year, as the response has been excellent,” Mr Combe told us during a break in work to install the festive illuminations.
This year there has also been a competition among the town’s three local primary schools to design a festive lighting display.
Nine-year-old Kerys McGlasson, a pupil at Knowepark Primary, proved to be the artistic talent behind the winning design and this has now be made and will be installed above the entrance to the car park just off the Market Place, ready for switching on in time for Scott’s Selkirk.
“We’ve also got a lot more street lighting this year, so the town should look fantastic,” added Mr Combe.
And to help cope with the inclement winter weather which has caused problems for the event in the past, organisers have purchased 24 new gazebos at a cost of £13,500, which will be used to shelter the various stalls.
The new coverings all come with equipment for securely achoring them to the ground and it is hoped this means any blustery weather during the actual event will not be the problem it has sometimes previously been.
“That should make a big difference, being able to anchor these properly,” Mr Combe explained to The Wee Paper this week.
“The gazebos were bought with grants from the Awards for All scheme and the Common Good Fund – they also have sides all the way round which should also be an improvement.”
The stalls are once again being constructed by the local Incorporation of Hammermen.
While there will still be some events on the Sunday, organisers of the festival, which began in 2000 to boost town trade during December, took the decision earlier this year to focus the majority of activities on the Saturday.