ONCE upon a time there lived a fair maiden named Jenna Jones who lived in the quaint countryside town of Peebles.

On a glorious sunny day she was escorted from a horse drawn carriage by handsome Courtier Fin Price and up the stairs of a historic church where she was crowned the Beltane Queen.

Red Letter Day is the only day in the year when the town is closed off and comes to a complete standstill for the arrival of a special guest arriving in a carriage cloaked in royal red.

The parish church bells echo through the streets – ringing to the Beltane tune summoning townsfolk to gather and ‘hail the festal day’.

It truly was a fairy-tale for 12-year-old schoolgirl Jenna who was surrounded by her Court and an array of characters from all countries through the ages, who came to bear witness to momentous occasion in the town’s history.

Hundreds of spectators poured onto the High Street on Saturday to watch the royal ceremony which is an enchanting part of this festal week.

As children from the three primary schools made their way to the celebration, the official party of Principals and Committee gathered at the Mercat Cross where Sally Swinney delivered the Proclamation of the Beltane Fair. It was at this moment that proud 25th year Cornet Gary Anderson was presented with his medal by Chairman Keith Brunton.

With all the fairest in the land of Peebles now gathered at the Old Parish, it was time for royalty to arrive.

Mandi Bain, who helped to make and mend many of the costumes worn by the children, put her sewing kit firmly to one side for her role this Beltane as Crowning Lady.

The call of the Herald’s horn signalled silence to the crowds. Cornet Andrew Napier and his Principals led the way on horseback as the carriage with Jenna, her Chief Maid Ayla Russell and Pages Daniel Allan, Aran Clark, Billy Clink, Ollie Graham, Max McGovern-Helfter and Tom Service arrived.

Once she was seated on her royal throne, her maids arrived in a second carriage and, with an entourage of young ladies, they all curtsy to their Queen.

As the sun shone over the town of Peebles, the smile beamed from Jenna as she was crowned Beltane Queen.

The Telegram girl Ellie Napier delivered the Queen and her Court messages from loved ones near and far.

It was the perfect day for the grand procession as it travelled around the streets of Peebles to cheering crowds that lined the pavements.

The Principals made their way to the War Memorial where they paid their respects to the fallen and laid wreaths. It was solemn ceremony, carried out poignantly by the children, Principals and the town’s bands.

Beltane is drawn to a close in the best way possible with the Beating of the Retreat. There is something about the rich sound of the brass band and the traditional bagpipes that warms the soul and makes you feel at home. The amalgamation of these bands truly is a tradition to behold.

As the sun went down on the town of Peebles and Keith Brunton gave his final salute as the retiring Chairman, the only drops were those of tears at this emotional moment.

That was until the heavens opened up on Monday, emptying a week’s worth rain which came Beltin’ down o’er the hills o’ Peebles.

See this week' Peeblesshire News for our extensive Beltane coverage