WHEN Andrew Haddon decided to trace his family history, little did he know that his inquisitive mind would lead him into a promintent role in this year’s Selkirk Common-Riding celebrations.
During his research, the Denholm resident discovered that he was related to a founding member of the town’s Incorporation of Fleshers, also Andrew Haddon.
And this revelation kickstarted the 49-year-old’s election as this year’s Fleshers Standard Bearer.
Andrew said: “It was just by checking my family history that I found the connection to the Fleshers.
“I also discovered three Deacons in the 1700s were also Haddons.
“I was aware my family were from Selkirk but I am very proud and surprised to find out my family was so heavily involved with the Incorporation.”
The Friends of the Fleshers member was brought up in Denholm, attended the village’s primary school and later Hawick High. He continued his education at Stirling University, from where he graduated in economics. And it was during his time in central Scotland that he made it into the university’s golf team alongside former Walker Cup captain Colin Dalgleish.
Andrew moved to London to train as a chartered accountant before returning to his homeland as director of finance at Borders College.
Earlier this year he switched to Langside College on the south side of Glasgow as director of corporate services.
Andrew said: “I wrote in the last staff newsletter about Selkirk and one of our lecturers, David Marshall, is from the Royal Burgh.
“So there is a wee bit of Selkirk in Glasgow.”
Andrew still resides in Denholm with wife Patricia, and the couple have a 14-year-old daughter Charlotte, who attends Hawick High.
Patricia also has family ties to Selkirk, with a number of cousins hailing from the town including Stuart Kemp, the 1989 Selkirk Silver Band Deacon. Andrew’s interest with history was exemplified by his address to the Fleshers Bussin’ last year, when he traced Selkirk’s past back to its location in the South Pole many millions of years ago.
He told the company last year: “To follow the Incorporation of Fleshers throughout the year illustrates closeness of community, respect and joy for tradition and a willingness to celebrate in song and verse great deeds of the past.”
Andrew added: “I enjoyed researching the history of Selkirk and finding my family connections to the Fleshers.
“The chance has come round quicker than I expected and I will need to polish up my Casting skills.
“But I am very proud. People may not see me every day on the streets of Selkirk but I have followed the Common-Riding for many years.
“I am Borders through and through and our family have only moved 10 miles in around 400 years.”
The Fleshers also have a new Deacon in Mark Hislop.