THE Braw Lad and Lass were treated like Royalty on their visit to Abbotsford House this year - even though it resembled a building site.

Ryan Mania and Nicola Mackay, along with their Attendants, were greeted on their arrival by Jeanette McWhinnie, the senior administrator at Sir Walter Scott's historic home, which is currently undergoing a multi-million makeover.

The official party, who were each presented with a rose to commemorate the intimate relationship which existed between the renowned Scottish novelist and the people of Galashiels, signed a special visitors book normally reserved for Royalty to record their visit.

However, with the front of the house fenced off by building contractors and in a change to tradition, the ceremony was held in Abbotsford's walled garden and the customary toasts to Abbotsford and Galashiels held in a neighbouring marquee.

Mrs McWhinnie said: "It was very good to welcome the Braw Lad and Lass and their Attendants to Abbotsford House on behalf of the (Abbotsford) Trust, under really unusual circumstances as well. It was good to keep the tradition going because they have always visited right through the years so we didn't want to make it any different this year."

And she added: "The Principals have been really grateful that they have been able to come and visit as well so it's been really good."