ONCE again, Whipman Week has been a major success in West Linton, and it’s not over yet.

Whipman Fraser Kay and his Lass Vikki Kay have done an amazing job leading the village’s events this week.

After making a welcome return last year – for the first time since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic – with sunshine throughout the week, the weather was again on West Linton’s side this year.

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The celebrations started with the float procession and Installation Night in the marquee on the Lower Green.

Everyone gathered to admire all of the hard work that had been put into the decoration of the floats and creating the amazing costumes including aliens, golden eagles and video game characters.

The Friday night celebrations continued with the long-awaited installation of the Whipman and Lass.

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President of the Whipman Play Society Alan Stewart presented gifts to the Ex-Whipman and Lasses who were celebrating anniversaries.

Raymond Nicol celebrated 50 years this year; Andrew and Julie Brown celebrated 40 years; 1993 Whipman and Lass Nick and Lillian Slater marked 30 years this year; and Graham and Fiona Burke celebrated their silver anniversary this year.

A presentation was also made to honourary president Neil Forsyth.

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Whipman 2022, Gregor Brown, returned the flag to the president unsullied and untarnished and addressed the audience.

The Proclamation of the new Whipman, Fraser Kay, was read out by the Barony Herald, Joshua White.

Mr Stewart then sashed the 2023 Whipman and Lass followed by the Bussing of the Colours by the Whipman’s Lass and the Casting of the Flag by Fraser.

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Fraser told the Peeblesshire News: “I was pretty nervous delivering my speech and remembering the official lines when I received the flag but thankfully all went well.

“What an amazing feeling casting the flag!

“It was fantastic to see the ceremony so well supported.”

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Gifts were then presented by Presenting Lady Sheila Forsyth to the Whipman’s Lass, Barony Herald and Flower Girl, Lennix Wright.

Lennix then presented flowers to the Presenting Lady.

The Whipman Reel went ahead before the procession around the village.

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And for Saturday’s Rideout there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

As the sun shone over the crowds gathered at the Lyne the sound of pipers filled the air.

The procession of horses and riders left Howieson Hall and paraded along Station Road before crossing the Lyne Water.

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Fraser and Vikki shared that joining the ride out was “one of the best days of our lives”.

Fraser added: “I was so proud to lead the mounted cavalcade with the flag over the splash, watched by so many of our towns folk, visiting principals and friends and family alongside my wife.

“The ride was fast paced and the sun shone.

“Thanks to our ride lead Tracey Dow for getting us all round safely with plenty good gallops.”

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The crowd mirrored the ‘hoorays’ from riders as they galloped past.

An afternoon of fun followed, with market stalls around the Lower Green, and the children’s fancy dress competition.

There were many impressed looks around the green as an array of costumes were highlighted.

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The amazing work parents, carers and young people put into their costumes was hard to miss, with costumes including R2D2, Three Musketeers and their two horses, and a Whipman rider with their horse.

Saturday’s festivities closed with the Whipman’s Fancy Dress Party with the theme of 90s rave.

Families and friends came together on Sunday for the Cycle Rideout. Linton Hotspur FC then welcomed this year’s teams to their New Moor Road pitch for the annual five-a-side tournament.

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The events soon returned to four legs as the dog show took to the green.

On Monday there was a storytelling hour and then an afternoon of sport including kids’ football, netball, cycling and scooter events.

Tuesday saw the return of of the West Linton Tea and Tots, the Junior Disco and the Quiz Night at the golf club.

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Wednesday the town took part in cross country events, bogie and wheelbarrow races, and pillow fights.

On Thursday night audiences were treated to a show by Scottish comedian Ray Bradshaw with Susan Riddell and hosted by Jeannie Jones at the Whipman marquee.

Partygoers then enjoyed the Summer Ball in the marquee on the Lower Green on Friday, June 9.

Yesterday (Saturday) the Whipman Second-hand Booksale returned, alongside the Whipman Market. Villagers of all ages also joined the tug of war and sports day.

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Then tonight (June 11), to mark the end of Whipman Week 2023, there is a worship service in the marquee at 6pm.

Whipman 2023 Fraser said: “We have been honoured and privileged to have been selected for the role of Whipman and Lass. We have enjoyed every minute of our own celebrations in West Linton and look forward to supporting our fellow principals throughout the borders and further afield over the summer. We have plenty rides booked between us and are keen to observe other towns traditions during their own festivities.”

To keep updated on this weekend’s events, visit the Whipman Play Society’s Facebook page.