THIS week, Ted McKie from the Innerleithen Community Trust, shares details of a historical pageant...

On the evening of Thursday, August 18, 1927 a historical pageant was one of a series of events held to celebrate the centenary of the inauguration of the first St. Ronan’s Border Games in 1827.

The event was held in the hockey field, the land now occupied by “Westwood”, the former police houses and the police station. This is where three of the photographs were taken.

The fields in the background have disappeared under the houses of St. Ronan’s Terrace though the trees mark the wood that still blankets Caerlee Hill from St. Ronan’s Wells to Tighnuilt House.

The house in the distance behind the crowd in two of the pictures is The Pines. Peebles Road is still easily recognised in the other photograph.

According to the Games programme after the tableaux had been shown the participants would parade along that well-trodden route encompassing Peebles Road, Traquair Road, Miller Street, Waverley Road, Chapel Street, Bond Street, Leithen Road, High Street and Hall Street to finish in Victoria Park.

The pageant was divided into eleven “episodes” ranging from Roman times to the inauguration of St. Ronan’s Border Games in September 1827. There were savage Britons who battled with the Romans, later to be converted to Christianity by St. Ronan and his monks.

The origin of the Horsbrugh name and a visit by Mary Queen of Scots on a hunting trip, the tale of Muckle Moo’d Meg and Montrose’s rejection at the gates of Traquair House took the displays to the interval.

Then Prince Charlie showed up at Traquair followed by Robert Burns paying a visit to the Bush Aboon Traquair in the company of “six damsels”.

Scott and Hogg, so important to the founding of the Games, were represented with a scene from the novel St. Ronan’s Well and by the tale of Bonnie Kilmeny, a young lass who lived for a time with the fairies in Plora Wood.

The climax of the pageant showed the authors themselves present at the first ever meeting of St. Ronan’s Border Games, now the longest running organised sports meeting in Scotland.

The photograph of the entire group with the woods in the background was taken by Innerleithen photographer Thomas Colledge. The other three seem to be the work of an unknown friend of the Prince Charlie tableau.