‘Terrific honour’ for Common-Riding chief guest Douglas

Douglas Scott
Douglas Scott

DOUGLAS Scott will be Chief Guest at this year’s Common-Riding.

And the 47-year-old professor, who carries out research in the study of the universe on the largest scales, admitted he can’t wait to play a leading role at the best event in the world.

He said: “It’s a terrific honour. I’m very flattered and hope I can live up to the fantastic job that previous guests have done.”

A former pupil of Wilton Primary and the high school, Douglas was brought up steeped in the traditions of the Common-Riding, thanks largely to his father and mother, former Honorary Provost Frank Scott and Janet, town stalwarts who were secretary and treasurer of the Common-Riding Committee respectively.

He said: “The year in our family started and ended in June.”

Mr Scott left the town in 1982 for university where he attained a BSc in Astrophysics at Edinburgh before moving on to Cambridge and graduating with a PhD in Astronomy.

He is now professor in the department of physics and astronomy at the University of British Columbia.

And although he has been away from the town for around 30 years, Douglas, who is married, admits he “tries to speak proper Hawick” to his two daughters as much as possible.

And he makes pilgrimages back to the Grey Auld Toon as much as possible.

“If you can’t live in Hawick, then you may as well live somewhere nice, so my home is in Vancouver, Canada,” he said.

Mr Scott revealed he is looking forward to the Drums and Fife starting up on the Kirk Wynd on the Thursday night although he admitted his engagements at the Colour Bussing and Hut may cause him some sleepless nights.

He added: “I don’t usually get nervous speaking in public, but it will be different on these occasions.”

The honour was revealed at the Callants Club dinner by Provost Ron Smith.

On making the announcement, he said: “Douglas hasn’t lost sight of his origins, and I have confidence in him being an excellent Chief Guest, well aware of the significance of the role.

“You can take the man out of Hawick but you can’t take Hawick out of the man.”