Prayers for a dry Beltane were surely answered despite a bleak forecast and the sun burst through the cloudy sky for installation night in this Royal and Ancient Burgh.

Umbrellas were safely stowed away and sunglasses sat on the proud faces of Peebleans and visitors who came to witness Andrew Napier and Natalie Stewart being installed as Cornet and Lass.

It would be an emotional moment for the principals and also the end of an era for retiring Chairman of the Beltane Festival, Keith Brunton, who would carry out the official installation for the last time.

Before announcing Andrew as the new Cornet, Mr Brunton praised 2018 Cornet Gregor McGrath and his Lass Loryn Paterson for representing the festival with “honour and dedication” adding that they had been true ambassadors for the Beltane.

Returning the Burgh Standard untarnished and unstained, Gregor described being Cornet as “the best year of my life”.

He told the audience he would “do it all again in a heartbeat”, adding: “This time last year I was the most nervous man in Peebles standing exactly where my good friend Andrew is right now. Andrew all I can say to you mate is take it all in, enjoy every single second of your year because, trust me, it goes by so quick.”

Gregor paid tribute to his family and his Lass Loryn who he said “is the best lass anyone could ever ask for”.

He told her: “You have truly been one in a million and I am sure you have inspired a future generation of Cornet’s Lasses by your hard work, commitment, your infectious smile, and laugh. LP thank you so much. We truly have had a summer to remember.”

Gregor closed by telling locals of the importance of continuing the town’s traditions for future generations. “Look at all you wee boys and girls in the crowd tonight, you could all be future Cornets and Lasses.”

Before taking her position as right-hand support, Loryn said being Cornet’s Las was a “humbling and character building experience”.

And true to her down-to-earth character, with a penchant for saying it like it is, she thanked her mum for going above and beyond the call of duty.

She mused: “A special thanks to my mum for her exceptional help, from getting the horse ready, towing the trailer, making the picnics – and laying my pants out. She is always there for me and I could never have managed without her.”

Loryn gave thanks to Gregor for asking her to be his Lass and praised Andrew and Natalie for their passion and commitment to Peebles and the Beltane.

After many weeks of waiting the time had finally come for Andrew to be given the glorious symbol of the festival, the Burgh Standard.

Mr Brunton told him: “Enjoy the opportunity you have been given. It will bring a lifetime of memories and experiences in the next 12 months and for many years to come.”

See this week's Peeblesshire News for full Beltane Coverage