Biggar Cornet James Tawse is installed

2012 Cornet James Tawse'Investiture of Cornet, Marches and Sashing of Gala Queen'Municipal Hall'Biggar'10/6/12
2012 Cornet James Tawse'Investiture of Cornet, Marches and Sashing of Gala Queen'Municipal Hall'Biggar'10/6/12

On Sunday afternoon James Tawse was officially invested as Biggar’s Cornet for 2012.

Representatives from towns across the Borders, including Lanark’s new Lord Cornet Stuart Wilson, were present as were retiring Fleming Queen Amy Watkins and this year’s Queen Eilidh Sandilands.

Biggar Primary pupil Eilidh (11) will be crowned this year’s Queen on Saturday in the culmination of Biggar’s Gala Week.

And it appears that being the Fleming Queen runs in the Sandilands family as Eilidh’s sister Kathryn was Queen two years ago.

Eilidh said: “I found out that I was going to be Queen in January and I was really excited when I was told.

“I think that the whole week will be very special but Saturday is going to be a very big day and I am looking forward to it.

“I think everyone in the court will enjoy the day and I will be busy helping decorate my house which is called Sealife in Biggar.

“The one thing I am looking forward to is wearing my dress. I got the idea from the internet and Jean McCurrach, from Symington, has made it for me.

“On Saturday afternoon there is going to be a party at my house and all my family will be there.”

Kathryn is also looking forward to her sister’s big day and has offered her some advice having been Fleming Queen in 2010.

“I’m really happy for her,” said Kathryn. “It’s pretty incredible that both of us have managed to be Fleming Queen.”

Mum Kay and dad Ian are once again looking forward to their daughters’ big day and both of them have been eager gala participants down the years.

Indeed Ian has been dressed up as Snow White and Ginger Spice in recent times during the gala processions.

Kay said: “It’s lovely that both of the girls have been given the chance to be Fleming Queen and it’s a great honour that both of them have been chosen.”

On Sunday afternoon James Tawse was officially invested as Biggar’s Cornet for 2012.

Representatives from towns across the Borders, including Lanark’s new Lord Cornet Stuart Wilson, were present as were retiring Fleming Queen Amy Watkins and this year’s Queen Eilidh Sandilands.

Thankfully the expected downpours did not happen as the ceremony passed off with just a few droplets of rain in the air.

2011 Cornet Andrew Barrie returned the Biggar Standard unsullied and unstained and gave the waiting crowd his report from the past year.

Sashing Lady Shiona Simpson then officially sashed Andrew who will be Right Hand Man for the next 12 months.

Having been sashed herself by her predecessor Amy, this year’s Fleming Queen Eilidh Sandilands then sashed Cornet Elect Paul Scott.

Shiona then came back on stage to officially sash 2012 Cornet James.

In a short speech James (32), an engineer and businessman, said: “It’s a great honour to be chosen as Cornet for this year. I’m enormously proud.

“I have to say a big thank you to all my family and friends over the past year. I can’t thank them enough.

“I am looking forward to the various ride outs throughout the year and will return the Burgh Standard one year from now unsullied and unstained. Let the deed shaw!”

A rousing rendition of the Burgh Song by Mike Chad brought the proceedings to an end as the riders prepared for the Biggar Marches.

Despite the heavy rain in the afternoon every rider made it “Safe Out Safe In” and enjoyed the Cornet’s Dance in the Municipal Hall later in the evening.

Jim Ritchie, from Biggar Cornet’s Club, said: “It was a first class day for all concerned and although there were a couple of minor falls everyone made it back in one piece.

“There was a massive downpour at one point but that didn’t stop everyone from enjoying themselves.”

The Biggar Cornets Club thank the Tawse family for hospitality throughout the weekend.