ON Monday evening (June 19) more than 80 members and guests filled the Tontine Hotel for the Royal Burgh of Peebles Callants Club Annual Supper.

The annual event – filled with food, drink, music, speeches, and poetry – is an important event in the town's calendar and was held just after Beltane Festival celebrations got under way on Sunday.

Joining the Callants at the top table were Beltane Queen Minnie Mitchell’s dad, Steve Mitchell, the Warden of Neidpath John Falla, Cornet Robert Girdwood’s uncle, Ronnie Girdwood, and Senior Guest Bob Abbot.

Overseeing proceedings was Chief Callant Adrian Swanston.

Mr Swanston said: “I would like to thank our speakers, the Cornet Elect, the Tontine Hotel and all of our members and guests who all contributed to a successful and enjoyable supper.

“I hope everyone has a fantastic Beltane and best of luck to the principals including our very own John Falla, Warden of Neidpath.”

At the opening of the dinner, Callants president Dougie Millar spoke about the club’s work in the community over the last year.

Highlighting the new picnic benches at Victoria and Hay Lodge parks, the installation of handrails, and the work to make recordings of local songs by Callants in 1999 available on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Amazon Music.

Since being made available online, the songs have been heard by thousands of listeners in 34 different countries.

Speaking to the crowd, Cornet Robert – who has been a member of the Callants Club since 2019 – shared his enjoyment of other Borders festivals and how his life has become a “whirlwind” since his appointment.

Former vice-chair of Peebles Community Council and ex-Peebles Community Trust chair Scott Rae gave the Toast to the Royal Burgh of Peebles.

In his speech Mr Rae highlighted the importance of volunteering and community engagement, and the vital roll played by organisations such as the Callants and community leaders in Peebles.

He said: “It is important we pull together to find a vision for the town we can all get behind and inspire the people of our lovely wee town.”

The reply was made by Callant Pete Collins, who spoke fondly of Peebles, which became his family’s home in 1992.

“You truly couldn’t wish for a better town to live in,” he said.

Davey Scott, a well-known speaker in the Borders, made a toast to the Callants Club.

In his speech Mr Scott not only ensured to entertain listeners with jokes and witty tales, but also spoke on the history of the Borders’ common ridings and festivals, paying tribute to men from across the region who sacrificed their lives at the Battle of Flodden in 1513.

Live musical entertainment came courtesy of Callants Hendry White and Dave Robb, who provided the accompaniment for the Beltane Song, Come Ower the Hills to Peebles, and Soft Lowland Tongue of the Borders.

Mr White's contributions to the evening did not end there, however, as he offered the reply to Mr Scott’s toast.

He spoke about the history of the Callants and the Beltane Festival.

He also raised the sacrifices made during the Great War.

Mr White's speech was then followed by an emotional rendition of the Green Fields of France – a song penned by Eric Bogle, of Peebles, about a fallen soldier.

Callant and ex-Cornet Andrew Napier then had the honour of giving the vote of thanks, bringing the Callants Annual Supper to a close – however, the night’s celebrations continued with stories from years gone by, songs and additional refreshments.