THE sons of Neil Armstrong, the first man to step foot on the moon, landed in the Borders recently to retrace their father’s roots.

Mark Armstrong, 59, and Rick, 65, together with their extended family visited the Johnnie Armstrong Gallery and Borderlands Museum at Teviothead, near Hawick.

It came 50 years after their dad had paid a poignant visit to southern Scotland after retracing his roots to Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway, where he was made the town’s first freeman in March 1972.

On the visit to the Teviothead museum they were greeted with a rendition of the song ‘Johnnie Armstrong’, played on Border pipes by Matt Seattle.

The song commemorates folk hero and Border raider Armstrong, who was captured and hanged on the order of King James V in 1530.

Mr Seattle said: “I was surprised and honoured to be asked to play for Neil Armstrong’s sons. It was clear that returning to Scotland meant a great deal to his family.”

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The Armstrongs were also shown the breastplate and helmet of their 16th-century namesake, which is due to go on display at the Borderlands Museum, based at the gallery.

Venue owner Kenneth Moffatt said: “Neil Armstrong originally visited the museum in the late 1980s, so it was a pleasure for his sons and grandchildren to visit and pre-view the new museum.

“They thoroughly enjoyed their visit and are already making plans to return. They have huge affection for the area which is reciprocated by the people living here.”

When visiting Langholm Mr Armstrong’s sons signed a book of condolence in remembrance of Her Majesty The Queen.

The pair said their father had fond memories of the late monarch after he met her at Buckingham Palace in 1969, just three months after making that historic “small step” off Apollo 11 onto the lunar surface.

And back at the Borderlands Museum three generations of the Moffatt family staged a solemn ceremony in honour of The Queen when Drake’s bell was tolled for an hour in time with bells across the country to signal her state funeral on Monday (September 19).