PROUD Borderer Robin Sharp has been appointed as the new Left Hand Man for 2023 and will take over the role of Melrosian in 2024.

The former Melrose Primary and Earlston High School pupil, who works as an apprentice electrician for Bruce Colvine Electrical, is the first in his family to take on the role.

As well as leading the Melrose Festival week the 26-year-old, who plays rugby on the wing for Melrose, will also represent the town at neighbouring fairs, festivals and common ridings.

Border Telegraph:

He said: “I’ve known for a while but I’m delighted, I know a few former Melrosians, Douglas and Donald Crawford and Struan Hutchison, and they have been keeping me right.

“And I’ve known the current Melrosian elect Will Owen from school, as well as being a team-mate.

“I’ve lived in the same house in Melrose since I was born so I know there's always a buzz around the place during the festival.

"We've had family horses through the years when I was growing up so I can ride, although I’ve never done a ride out.

Border Telegraph:

“I’m really looking forward to getting to see what goes on in the other Borders towns, particularly Selkirk as I have a lot of family there.”

His appointment was announced at the ex-Melrosians Burns Supper in the town’s Corn Exchange on Saturday night.

This was the first Burns Supper in Melrose for three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the event was chaired by Bryn Thom.

Border Telegraph:

Michael Crawford addressed the haggis and proposed the Immortal Memory.

Douglas Crawford, in his last formal act as Melrosian, proposed the Toast to the Lassies with Ex Brae Lass Alex Mundell replying.

Chris Rogerson proposed the toast to Melrose town and trade, Ex-Melrosian Jamie Murray replying.

The vote of thanks was given by Will Owen and the Tam o’ Shanter was a collective effort by all the ex-Melrosians who attended.