George celebrates 50 years as Reiver

George is pictured escorting the town's Standard at the opening ceremony
George is pictured escorting the town's Standard at the opening ceremony

GEORGE Storey celebrated his 50th anniversary of being Duns Reiver last weekend.

And despite the heavy rainfall, the adopted Teri savoured the occasion almost as much as he had done back in 1962.

George, who is originally from Duns but moved to Hawick 40 years ago, was just short of his 21st birthday when he was elected into the role of the town’s figurehead, along with the late Evelyn McMurchie as his Lass.

Casting his mind back half a century he told the Hawick News: “What they used to do then was have a public election, the same as what they do in Langholm, where you voted for the Reiver, Lass, Right and Left and the Maid.

“I first stood in 1961 and I was Right Hand Man and the next year I was elected as Reiver which was a great honour.

“The funny thing is, my main memory from back then was that all the ride-outs we went to we never had to wear a rain coat and I wrote in the programme that I hoped that would be the same this year.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t, but despite the rain, we had a great time.”

Linden stalwart George played a prominent part in the kirking ceremony and the installation of this year’s Reiver Martin Aitchison.

He was also presented with a glass paperweight to mark the occasion of his landmark anniversary.

Sunday was a real family affair for George, who was joined by the 25-year Lass, his niece Julie Todd (Redpath).

And there was a familiar face at the reception in the town’s Volunteer Hall as Hawick provost Ron Smith was in attendance representing the grey auld toon.

He said: “The reception was a superb event but the whole thing was memorable. I really enjoyed it. It was a great day.”

George will be returning to Duns tomorrow (Saturday) to see the Reiver hand back the flag and help escort it back to the Parish Church.