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"Reiver's Week"


For many years during the first part of the 20th. century there was held in Duns and elsewhere in the Borders an annual fundraising event known as Infirmary Week, the aim of which was to raise funds for the running of medical facilities (for your bed in the infirmary if you ever needed one).

With the coming of the National Health Service in 1948 this became somewhat redundant and it was decided that the week should be celebrated as Duns Summer Festival with the appointment of a Reiver and his Lass and the week accordingly also becoming known as Reiver's Week. There was also perhaps an attempt to emulate or resurrect the traditional Riding of the Marches which had survived since the middle ages in the Border towns of Langholm, Selkirk, Hawick and Lauder.

Three years earlier it had been decided to appoint annually a "Wynsome Mayde" elected by the children of the Primary school and duly crowned "Queen" with all due solemnity at an elaborate ceremony. Over two centuries earlier when witches were burnt on Witches Knowe in the grounds of the Castle Estate it had been open to the townspeople to save the life of the poor unfortunate condemned to death for witchcraft by bringing her to Town and crowning her "wynsome maid".

Since its inauguration in 1949 the festival has been staged every year during the first week of July. Over the week all sorts of events take place but the highlights are probably the Sunday evening service in the Parish Church, the ceremony of the installation of the Reiver, the crowning of the Wynsome Mayde, the ceremony on Duns Law to remember the events of 1639, the various ride-outs, the Ba' game, the grand ball and the firework display. Below some images from past festivals;


The Reiver and his Lass pass Sally Lodge


Ceremony at the Brunton stone (site of the original Town of Duns)


The Reiver and his Lass




The Reiver-The Reiver's Lass-Colours;


1949 David Young - Mary Morrison - primrose and pale blue

1950 William L. Renton - Nan Renton - maroon and orange

1951 Kerr Walkinshaw - Hilda Nairn - green and gold

1952 George Robertson - Molly Wood - scarlet and white

1953 James Mackie - Catherine Cowe - purple and gold

1954 David Massie - Alice Hogg - royal blue and white

1955 Alex Brown - Anne Millar - emerald green and lemon

1956 Lee Paxton - Sheila McLennan - vermillion and yellow

1957 William Walker - Jean S. Tait - orchid pink and cornflower blue

1958 David Redpath - Jean Borthwick - spring green and lilac

1959 William Nairn - Nessie Baird - royal blue and amber

1960 John Aitchison - Sheila Whitehead - kingfisher blue and tangerine

1961 William Robertson - Myra Collin - yellow and black

1962 George Storey - Evelyn McMurchie - primrose and deep pink

1963 Edward Ruddy - Margaret Fleming - Gainsborough blue and scarlet

1964 Walter Elliot - Ann Howie - orange and emerald green

1965 Christopher Robertson - Helen Lackenby - buttercup yellow and brown

1966 Frank Millar - Sandra Jones - jade green and royal blue

1967 Robert Denham - Jennifer Jeffrey - royal blue and deep pink

1968 Alan Lothian - Mary Massie - violet and orange

1969 William Cowe - Lorriane Cowe - emerald green and white

1970 Graham Walker - moss green and deep pink

1971 lain Lothian - Janet Scott - emerald green and bright red

1972 Walter Aitken - Brenda Renton - purple and primrose yellow

1973 Peter Dryburgh - Joanne Robertson - maroon and white

1974 Stuart Renton - Judith Aitken - purple and emerald green

1975 Ian Renton - Helen McKeeney - buttercup yellow and royal blue

1976 Alexander G. Brydon - Jennifer Aitchison - maroon and lemon

1977 Henry McKeeney - Caroline Lamb - red, white and blue

1978 Russell Duncan - Barbara Smith - emerald green and chocolate brown

1979 Alistair Redpath - Anne Walkinshaw - bright orange and white

1980 Kevan Walker - Pamela McKeeney - royal blue and Saxe blue

1981 Alasdair Nisbet - Carol Lackenby - tangerine and bright yellow

1983 Keith Nairn - Aileen Richardson - maroon and lime green

1984 Andrew Burns - Marion Smith - purple and white

1985 John Liddell - Hazel Turnbull - royal blue and silver grey

1986 Kevin Renton - Helen Burns - purple and pink

1987 Steven Hutchison - Julie Redpath - royal blue and orange

1988 Gavin White - Janice Wait - maroon and silver grey

1989 Andrew Feeney - Margaret Burns - emerald green and rose pink

1990 Gary Stevenson - Elaine Deuchar - national blue and cerise

1991 Dale Wakenshaw - Diane Ross - dark royal blue and canary yellow

1992 Steven Redpath - Jayne Ainslie - emerald green and white

1993 Michael Ruddy - fuchsia and charcoal grey

1994 John Bryce - Denise Burn - bottle green and gold

1995 Jim Carnie - Lesley Carnie - sky blue and cream

1996 Vikki Rybowska - electric blue and emerald

1997 Niall Whyte - Anthea Reed - sunshine yellow and turquoise

1998 Brian Bolton - Alison Boutland - terracotta and gold

1999 Dougal Affleck - Jennifer Herbert - lemon and purple

2000 Scott Lindsay - Paula Jane Preston - hunting green and mint

2002 Dale Robertson - Windsor blue and Erin green

2003 Sandy Aitken - Julie Thomson - bishop and citrus

2004                           Ann Lindsay - Erin and tulip

2005 Craig Prentice - Louise Denham - bottle green and navy

2006 Kevin Aitchison - Lisa Fortune - Windsor blue and mailbox red

2007 Christopher Blaikie - Sara Thomas - emerald green and aqua

2008 Stuart Pearson - Nicola Gillies - viola and Windsor blue

2009 Scott Cullen - Susie Anderson - tulip and Windsor blue

2010 Richard Burns - Ruth Drummond - Erin and Bishop

2011 William Walker - Morag Poole - tulip and admiral

2012 Martin Aitchison - Claire Whellens - viola and bishop

2013 Scott Lackenby - Iona Gibb - gold and pearl

2014 Ross Foreman - Lauren Burns - purple and aqua

2015 Darren Aitchison - Stacey Wilson - larkspur and gold

2016 Euan Reed - Jade Whellens - pearl gray and petunia

Wynsome Maydes - Crowned by;


1944 Nan Renton - Mrs. Baillie of Manderston

1945 Agnes Stevenson - Mrs. Hay of Duns Castle

1946 Joyce Burt - Mrs. Petrie, The Geans

1947 Jean Utterson - Miss Thomson, Mansefield

1948 Sheila Aitchison - Mrs. Tait, Sandylands

1949 Anne Morrison - Miss Burns, Mount St Michael

1950 Jean Bryce - Mrs. Renton, Castle Street

1951 Mary Speirs - Mrs. Davidson, Earlsmeadow

1952 Jessie Pringle- Mrs. Connell, Winterfield Gardens

1953 Edith Massie - Mrs. Swinton of Kimmerghame

1954 Linda Wightman - Mrs. Lennie, The Schoolhouse

1955 Jean Knox - Mrs. Landale of Whitchester

1956 Elizabeth Hume - Mrs. Laidlaw, Chirnside

1957 Mary MacLennan - Mrs. Mackay, St. Mary's

1958 Moira Hood - Lady McEwan of Marchmont

1959 Sally Helik - Lady Haddington of Mellerstain

1960 Louise Hume - Lady Ramsay of Bughtrig

1961 Isabel Dickson - Mrs. Wm. Robertson Jnr, Market Square

1962 Catherine Melrose - Mrs. Dickson, Temple Hall

1963 Anne Boyd - Miss J. S. Cunningham, Bridgend

1964 Kim Parle - Mrs.H. C. G. Allan, The Manse

1965 Winifred Beedie - Mrs. P. Redpath, Teindhillgreen

1966 Aileen Stobie - Mrs. A. Lothian, Cheviot Way

1967 Anne Anderson - Miss M. A. Knowles, Kirklands

1968 Mary Chisholm - Mrs. R. McEwan of Marchmont

1969 Sheila Stevenson - Mrs. W. Clark, Castle Heaton, Cornhill

1970 Jacqueline Turner - Miss I. A. Gillon, Abbey St. Bathans

1971 Margaret Brown - Mrs. W. B. Swan, Blackhouse, Reston

1972 Anne Walkinshaw - Mrs. J. Elliot, Bridgend House

1973 Barbara Davidson - Mrs. R. Massie, Easter Street

1974 Sandra Hardie - Mrs. J. Fairbairn, Redholme

1975 Sandra Mcintosh - Mrs. J. Small, Castle Street

1976 Susan Douglas - Mrs. D. V. Hugonin, St Mary's Cottage

1977 Linda Stewart - Mrs. M. Mackay, The Manse

1978 Hillary Fleming - Mrs. R. Clarkson, The Glebe, Gavinton

1979 Shona Scott - Mrs. A. Hay of Duns Castle

1980 Katie Buss - Mrs. W. S. Landale of Whitchester

1981 Trudy Sawers - Mrs. J. L. Wilson-Smith of Cumledge House

1982 Elaine Sweeney - Mrs. W. Nairn, Cheviot View

1983 Nicola Buss- Mrs. W. L. Thorburn, Creian

1984 Lesley Gallagher - Mrs. J. Fortune, Cheeklaw

1985 Vicki Millar - Mrs. L. B. Chappell, Murray Street

1986 Catriona Wilson - Mrs. J. Boyd, B.E.M., Polwarth

1987 Shona Turnbull - Lt. Col. W. B. Swan, C.B.E., T.D., of Blackhouse

1988 Sheena Carss - Lady Swinton, Kimmerghame

1989 Jenny McColl - Mrs. Louise Aitken-Walker, Berwick Road

1990 Gillian Reid - Miss Sheila Whitehead, Brierybaulk

1991 Kate Jones - Mrs. K. H. Candlish, The Elms

1992 Lisa Fortune - Lady Palmer of Manderston

1993 Laura McCraw - Mrs. Rosemary Stewart, Kimmerghame

1994 Ruth Budd - Mrs. Sheila Romanes, Norham Lodge, Duns

1995 Roxanne Brown - Mrs. Margaret Nitsche, The Mount

1996 Nicola Davidson - Mrs. Anne Robertson, Eran, Sunnyside

1997 Hannah Budd - Miss Doreen Calder, Marygold

1998 Fiona Romanes - Mrs. Connie Lamb, Coldingham

1999 Ashleigh Dixon - Mrs. Winifred Dodds, Kelso

2000 Lynn Blaikie - Mrs. Jennifer Finnie, South Street

2001 Chantel Lackenby - Mrs. Janis Pearson, Trinity, Duns

2002 Gail Weir - Mrs. Jessie Atkins, Easter Street

2003 Leonie Robertson - Mrs. Catherine Kirk, Brierybaulk

2004 Jasmin Lackenby - Mrs. Eileen Stewart, Todlaw Road

2005 Jodie Hutchison - Mrs. Wilma Brack, Earlsmeadow

2006 Mhairi Deuchar - Mrs. Molly Aitchison, Turnbull Court

2007 Ashely Brack - Mrs. Moira McCraw, Winterfield

2008 Hayley Simpson - Mrs. Rosemary Thorburn, Duns

2009 Kara White - Mrs. Julia Trotter M.B.E. Charterhall

2010 April-Lea Taylor - Mrs. Peggy Spouse M.B.E. Briery Place

2011 Claire Wilson - Mrs. Anne Hartley Hawthorn Bank

2012 Abigail Sullivan - Mrs. Pat Scott Gavinton

2013 Lucy McPherson - Mrs. Ann Affleck, Willis Wynd

2014 Shannon Bates - Mrs. Nella Feeney, Newtown Street

2015 Mariah Rong - Mrs. May Kinghorn, Station Avenue

2016 Lauren Reid - Mrs. Marion Romanes, Quarry Road