THE 127 cyclists who took part in the annual Biggar Gala week cycle brought to an end another action packed week, with 25 fantastic activities occuring across the seven days.

Around 80 riders took part in the March Riding in ideal weather, in sharp contrast to the poor conditions the riders experienced at West Linton the previous day.

As always the route is only possible due to the understanding and co-operation of the local farmers and landowners who provide access and sustenance on the way.

At the end of the ride, Cornet Graeme Watson, who had earlier been sashed by Sue Pacey, reported that the Burgh boundaries were indeed intact. Dr David Carvel provided the 'Safe Out, Safe In’ At the Races, Ross Wilson from Peebles won the Open event, Billy Spence from Jedburgh won the Visiting Principals race, Gordon Hamilton was first Biggar Cornet, while Sandy McNaughton was the Junior Race winner.

The early evening wee kids disco and the late night big kids disco both had a huge turn-out.

Monday’s quiz, with George Stewart of the Cross Keys as host, was its usual fun-filled success, the Court Parade saw three performances on Tuesday while the Slippy Side, which owes so much to the assistance provided by the local retained Fire Brigade who willingly give up their time to help, saw another massive attendance bask in true summer sunshine.

Wednesday’s Junior Rideout had around 30 riders in attendance while the kids were also well looked after in the Gymnastic display which preceded the Mini Highland Games. The Duck Race was as competitive as ever with Gordon Hamilton’s duck demonstrating a Michael Jamieson-like speed in the water to round off what must be a unique 'double’! Horse and duck race winner! Cornet Elect Fraser McNair presented the prizes at the Whist drive.

Thursday was surely one of the hottest days this year and so not only did Lanark Lanimers’ prosper but Biggar’s pavement artists enjoyed cracking conditions. The scooter races were the busiest ever although the conditions weren’t just as ideal for those who competed in the Glove Race and Mini Marathon. Congratulations to Michael Tawse who won the Gloves (they were presented on Saturday) for the second time – his first win was in 2001!

Friday’s tree planting saw Queen to be Katie Child take the court to Kello Hospital for the ceremony. Many thanks to hosts Anne Mathieson and Jim Ness for hosting the Ancestors Walk with all present reflecting on the absence of Brain Lambie who sadly passed away in January. Saturday dawned dry for Katie, her court and Crowing Lady Sandra Bolton. The parade, which was the biggest for many years went without a hitch. Some folks thought the attendance kerbside was smaller but that has to be balanced with the large numbers who were actually taking part in the parade.

Biggar Pipe Band, which continues to grow in both size and quality, was joined by Glencorse Pipe Band and Peebles Silver Band – a fantastic accompaniment to the parade. Queen Katie was crowned by Sandra and the morning ended with the traditional visit to Kello Hospital.

There was a big change to the afternoon programme as, for the first time in many years, the venue was not the Burn Braes but Biggar Showfield instead.

The court, led by Chairman Scott Brotherstone, was piped into the Showfield. Stalls were manned by volunteers from a variety of local organisations with a live Band stand and disco along with inflatables and the usual races. The weather was a tad cooler but all seemed to go well.

So that left the Saturday nights festivities with Pipe Major Jimmy Cowan leading the Cornets up the town to the Cornets Reel which was this year preceded by the Court Reel. After hours of practice the Cornets just outdid the court in remembering their steps as the Gartocharn pair of musicians provided the music.

And so another Gala week ends with a host of memories for all those involved. House decorations, float preparations, fun, laughs, exercise and socialising all in equal amounts…..just how it should be as the town comes together for its summer week.

Special mention of Connie, Tyrone and Tiffany who have traced the roots back to the Flemings of Boghall and who travelled all the way from Wisconsin to enjoy the week’s events! A special day to round off their trip.

Congratulations to the members of the Gala Week committee (chaired by Scott Brotherstone) and the Cornets Club (Chairman Craig Whitefield) who provide the impetus for the weeks programme. A big hand as well to this year’s Principals who carried out their duties admirably.

The 'greeting meeting’ will, as is customary, throw up a number of issues and the committees are ever grateful for feedback from the public. The shift of venue for the Saturday afternoon events was a bold attempt to increase the space for families and attractions and as such was a 'test case’.

Blessed again with some excellent weather the Gala Week and Cornet’s club would like to extend a huge thank you to all who contributed to making Gala week a success.