Fireworks expected in Melrose
Published: 31 Dec 2012 09:310 comments
FIREWORKS are expected at the New Year street party in Melrose this year.
More than 1000 revellers are expected to attend the event under the clock in the Square tonight (Monday, December 31).
It is believed to be the biggest Hogmanay party in the Borders. But Keith McDonald, from the Ship Inn, Melrose, revealed it wasn't always that way.
He explained he and his wife, Vivien, staged the first fireworks display in the pub's beer garden in 2000 - to celebrate the start of the new Millennium - as a one-off.
However, he said he received such a fantastic response from revellers who saw the display from the Square opposite that it exploded into an annual event and, with the support of the community council, has grown every year since.
Last year, the local landlord - who buys his fireworks from the same company that lights up Edinburgh every year - is planning to apply for a pyrotechnics licence to ensure next year is the biggest and best yet.
Keith said: "I've never actually seen the display because I have to set them off manually at present and there is a lot of smoke." But he added: "It brings a lot of trade into the town. The pubs and hotels were all full and we were rammed to capacity."
The annual festivities and fireworks display cost upwards of £1800 to stage. But collection cans have been left around the town and a street collection will be taken on the night to help pay for the 2013 celebrations.
Speaking at this month's community council meeting, Melrose Provost William Windram described it as the "highlight of the year".
Local residents are advised not to park their car in the Square in Melrose after noon on Saturday to allow for preparations to be made. The road will be closed to traffic between 11.15pm and 1am.
OUR PHOTOGRAPHERS WILL BE OUT AND ABOUT AT THE HOGMANAY STREET PARTIES IN GALASHIELS AND MELROSE THIS YEAR TO WELCOME IN THE NEW YEAR. IF YOU WOULD LIKE YOUR PHOTOGRAPH TO APPEAR IN NEXT WEEK'S EDITION, FEEL FREE TO SAY HELLO :)