HANDS of friendship were extended on Friday when Selkirk and Galashiels met on a wet and dreich Spurs Night.
Royal Burgh Standard Bearer Gavin Henderson and Braw Lad and Braw Lass Ryan Mania and Nicola Mackay exchanged greetings at Gala Foot.
Gavin was accompanied by Burleymen Michael Craig and Douglas Gunn, while the Galashiels principals were joined by Bearers of the Red and White Roses and the Sod and Stone.
After the riverside formalities the cavalcade of just over 100 were escorted into the town centre by Galashiels Ex-Service Pipe Band.
Outside the Auld Mill, Gala YM RFC provided stirrup cups for the principals and their supporters – a tradition going back to the days when the rugby club’s annual general meeting was held in the club on the same night as the spurs celebration.
It was then off to the local clubrooms of the Royal British Legion Scotland for the annual dinner hosted by the Gala Souters Association.
The Standard Bearer received his spurs from association chairman George Emond, while secretary Elspeth Heard presented spurs to the Braw Lad and a compact to the Braw Lass. All three principals were toasted and all three made suitable replies.
The toast to the Royal Burgh and Ancient Crafts was proposed by deputy editor of The Southern Reporter and Wee Paper, Bob Burgess.
He spoke of the important link between the town and its crafts.
“Without the crafts there probably would have been no Selkirk and without Selkirk there would have been no crafts,” he said.
He also spoke of how the sons and daughters of Selkirk had spread the burgh’s tentacles, far and wide.
In his reply, Common Riding Provost Les Millar said: “Our Common Ridings and festivals are unique and the friendship and camaraderie witnessed each summer between Border towns is a pleasure to be part of.
“Of course, we are all guilty of placing a hugely biased importance on our own events. And quite rightly so – as it is the self importance we place on those traditions that makes them meaningful and cherished.”
Tommy Knox sang appropriate Selkirk songs and Ex-Standard Bearer Gunn proposed the vote of thanks.
The early morning race at The Toll was won by youngest Attendant Chris Saunders, while the Standard Bearer’s dad Elliot Henderson and the kilted Burgess were joint last.