MORE than four decades of service to their community and civic festival was recognised on Friday as Allan Beveridge and David Turnbull were presented with their British Empire Medals.

Davie and Allan acted as joint secretaries of the Beltane Festival in Peebles for more than 40 years until their retirement in 2017.

They were joined by dozens of friends and family members at the Council Chambers on Rosetta Road for the presentation by Lord-Lieutenant for Tweeddale, Sir Hew Strachan.

Sir Hew told the gathering: "The Beltane Festival would not be in such an extraordinary good position were it not for these two gentlemen.

"They have provided unstinting service to Peebles.”

As well as unwavering service to the Beltane Festival since the late 1970s, Allan and Davie have been heavily involved in many other groups and organisations in their hometown.

They are both members of the Royal Burgh of Peebles Callants Club, Davie has chaired the Ex-Cornets Association and Allan is still playing his part every season at Peebles Rugby Club.

Davie, who is 65, admitted his inclusion in the New Year's Honours came as a huge surprise.

He told us: "It feels bizarre getting the British Empire Medal for doing a job we thoroughly enjoy.

"We have worked with such a diverse range of people during our 40 years with the Beltane Festival."

Despite retiring from their joint secretary role in 2017, Davie and Allan have continued to ride the Marches each year - dressed in their traditional red jackets.

A custom that came from trying to speed up proceedings on the Beltane Wednesday.

Allan explained: "It was around 30 years ago that the Wednesday night reel was getting later and later because the Marches were taking so long, so we came up with the idea of trying to hurry things along.

"Davie was working in Duns at the time and he managed to get us a couple of red jackets from the Hunt down there to give us a bit of authority when we rode round behind the Cornet.

"It sort of worked, and we've been wearing the red jackets ever since."

Following Friday's presentation, Allan was quick to pay tribute everyone else who have played their part over the years.

He added: "We have had fantastic support from so many people, in particular our families.

"This is a tremendous honour.”