LIFELONG Souter and newly appointed Standard Bearer Mathew Stanners has reflected on a “special” Appointment Night which surpassed all expectations.

A large crowd gathered outside Selkirk Town Hall on Friday (April 26) to cheer on the latest man to be given the honour of representing the area.

The 25-year-old – carried high by attendants Nathan Mill, Derry Alexander, Darren Knox and Robbie Reilly – beamed as he took in the rapturous applause.

“Friday was really good,” said Mathew. “Whatever I expected the weekend to be like, it was definitely beyond my expectations. I really enjoyed it.

“In the town hall when I was chosen was definitely the highlight and then coming out on the chair in the square was definitely up there as well.

“When the doors open, the moment you’ve always waited for is there, you’ve seen it happen so many times before and for it to be you, it’s so special.”

For Mathew, who now works in Selkirk after attending primary and secondary school in the town, the Common Riding has always held a special place in his heart.

“My dad was a Standard Bearer 30 years ago, in 1994, so it’s always been a big part of life,” he said. “My parents knew it was coming and they’ve been supporting me the whole way.

“My dad’s been giving me advice, he’s been there and done it, he knows what it’s like. They’ve been really helpful.”

Mathew added: “I’m just looking forward to getting started, meeting new people and representing Selkirk everywhere else. In terms of Selkirk, it would probably be coming into the toll with the flag and then probably coming back into the Market Place with the flag before casting on the platform.”

On what it means to him to be chosen, he said: “It’s a lot of hard work and it's a lot of thinking it won’t be you so when it is, it’s a surreal experience.

“Knowing that I’ve waited nine years to be chosen to be the Royal Burgh Standard Bearer, it makes you appreciate it a lot more.”