INNERLEITHEN’S Standard Bearer and Lass have been reflecting on a “rollercoaster” week after the St Ronan’s Border Games came to a close for 2023 at the weekend.

Standard Bearer Ryan Simpson and his wife and Lass Rachael Simpson, did a wonderful job of representing the town at all of the events across Games Week, and also on visits to other neighbouring summer festivals and ride outs.

Ryan, 28, and Rachael, 22, were officially announced as those taking over from 2022 Standard Bearer Jonathan Lea and Lass Katie Archibald in May.

The couple said: “The last week has been a rollercoaster.

“We have both loved every minute of it.

“The highlight of the week has definitely been the Cleikum Ceremony, but we both also loved the ball.”

Sharing the experience of being Games Week principals has been “extra special” for Ryan and Rachael.

Rachael said: “Ryan has really enjoyed sharing his experience with me and I have loved being a part of everything with him.

“It has been an extra special week sharing this experience together as a couple as well as Standard Bearer and Lass.”

And throughout their time as Standard Bearer and Lass, Ryan, a lawn technician, and Rachael, a sales executive, have been supported by friends, family and their Games Week supporters – Jonathan Lea and Lass Katie Archibald, Right Hand Man Ronan Caine and his Lass Caitlin Urquhart, and Left Hand Man Jamie Boyd and his Lass Rosie Graham.

The couple added: “Our friends, family, flag party and the games committee have been a huge support to us this last week as well as throughout the summer.”

As well as enjoying activities as part of Games Week – like the five-a-side football tournament, the Kirkin’ service and parade, and the Cleikum Ceremonies – Ryan and Rachael have had the chance to visit towns and villages around the Borders as part of their summer festivals and common ridings.

The pair have shared a lot of memorable moments over the summer’s festivals, and are looking forward to the remaining celebrations to come.

Rachael said: “Every festival we’ve been to has been thoroughly enjoyable and each one has a special memory for us both.

“We are looking forward to making many more memories at the festivals still to come over the next few weeks.”