Thousands expected to attend Border Union Show in Kelso

Thousands of visitors are expected to descend on the region’s premier agricultural event – the Bicentenary Border Union Show in Kelso this month

The Border Union Show
The Border Union Show

Thousands of visitors are expected to descend on the region’s premier agricultural event – the Bicentenary Border Union Show in Kelso this month.

The annual event, which last year attracted 18,000 people, has a packed programme including livestock classes with cattle, sheep, ponies, donkeys, goats, pigs and poultry.

Themes at this year’s event include four working plots of cereals, oilseeds and vegetables, some of which will be harvested at the show, which runs over two days on Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27.

There will be 12 trial-sized plots sown to show crops, such as maize, lupins, linseed, borage and evening primrose. Experts will also be on hand to explain how they fit into the industry, from making flour to crushing rape.

The Tweed Basin Project is a huge ordanance survey map with a magnetic surface, made up of 12 panels which measures five metres in length.

The map, which will show the River Tweed from its source at Tweedswell to where it enters the sea at Berwick upon Tweed, and aims to show every field, church, bridge and town along the banks.

Schools will be invited to use the map to research their area’s history.

The show will also feature a history of fishing on the Tweed led by Kenny Galt, trout and grayling biologist with the Tweed Foundation.

A display on The Story Of Wool will show how things have moved on since the 12th Century. There will also be clipping demonstrations followed by examples of washing, scouring, carding, spinning and weaving with two fashion shows hosted by Scottish Enterprise.

In the main ring on Saturday will be a History of the Horse Pageant, a fast-moving story of horses through the ages, from the Romans to Border Reivers. The Lowland Band will provide music for the pageant. Stunts will be performed by Les Amis d’Onno who are based at Lanton near Jedburgh.

The working horse element of the pageant will be masterminded by John Fairbairn from Broadmeadows, Berwick.

There will be a food fair on both days of the show with 50 stalls offering a range of dishes from across the Borders and beyond.

There will be something for everyone, including the Locheil Marching Drill Team from New Zealand, who are on their way to the Tattoo in Edinburgh, three bands including the Lowland Band, Kelso Pipe Band and Wooler Junior Steel Band. The sheep show also returns for its eighth consecutive year. There will be a memorial flight of Great Britain flypast of a Hurricane and a Spitfire – weather-permitting – and the Lings Bolddog Motorcycle stunt team return by popular request.

For youngsters, there will be a Crazy Bears Show, climbing wall, fun fair and pet show on the Friday (open to children up to 15).

As reported in The Journal, more than 400 farmers, landowners, members of BUAS and guest of honour, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, met earlier this year for a celebratory lunch to mark 200 years since a group of landowners got together to set up the society.

A commemorative avenue of trees, bought by families and companies associated with the society, was also planted from the main gate to the main buildings.

In May, more than 1,300 children from schools in the Borders took part in a Countryside Day to introduce them to rural eco-friendly initiatives, renewable energy sources, the food chain and health and safety.

Youngsters from 60 schools took part in a competition to design a sheep. The winner was Kingsland School in Peebles. The winning designs which have been painted on to the sheep and her two lambs will be on display at the show.



David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
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