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'It's up wi' the Souters o' Selkirk,
An doun wi' the Earl o' Hume,
An here's tae a' the braw laddies
That weirs the single-soled shuin.
It's up wi' the Souters o' Selkirk,
For they are baith trusty an' leal,
An up wi' the lads o' the Forest,
An doun wi' the Merse tae the deil.'

Souters are entitled to wear the town colours of 'True Blue and Scarlett' on Common Riding Day, as well as the colours chosen by the Standard Bearer, which change annually and can be worn by anyone.


[edit] O' Floddenfield!

Statue of Fletcher out side Victoria Halls, Selkirk
Statue of Fletcher out side Victoria Halls, Selkirk

Selkirk men fought with William Wallace at Stirling Brig and Falkirk, and also with Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn, but it is Selkirk's connection with The Battle of Flodden (1513), her ready response to the call of the King, the brave bearing of her representatives on the fatal field, and the tragic return of the sole survivor, provide the Royal Burgh with its proudest memories.

The annual Common Riding commemorates Selkirk's main link with a turbulent past every June, Up to 500 riders saddle their horses at daybreak to commemorate the age-old custom of riding the Burgh Marches, the land of the town. The Casting of the Colours remembers the story of when over eighty men from the town marched to Flodden Field with their king, James IV.

Only one returned, "Fletcher", bearing a blood-stained English flag, belonging to the Macclesfield regiment. On his return he cast the captured English standard around his head to describe that all others had perished in battle.

[edit] Sir Walter Scott and Selkirk

Walter Scott's Courtroom in Selkirk Market Place
Walter Scott's Courtroom in Selkirk Market Place

Selkirk's past also includes the legendary Sir Walter Scott, also more commonly recognised in the town as "Walty the Plamf". This is one connection that the town has put to great use.

'Scott's Selkirk' transforms the town into a bustling Georgian Christmas market town, when all of the shops, pubs, restaurants and locals take on the atmosphere and appearance of the days of Scott.

With holly adorning shops and buildings, locals dressed in period costumes and horse and carriages travelling up and down, it is a special event worth taking in.

The two-day winter festival also features street theatre and historical re-enactments from professional actors, stalls selling many local festive goods, musical performances and children's shows.

[edit] The Selkirk Grace

The Selkirk Grace, is a grace (prayer said before a meal) attributed to Robert Burns:

Today it is mainly used on special occasions, such as Burns' Night.

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae the Lord be thankit.

[edit] William Wallace

"See approach proud Edwards power, Chains and slavery!"

The words of Robert Burns conjure up a vivid picture of the troubled times in which the forefathers of the Borderland lived at the end of the thirteenth century.

After the death of Alexander III the hopes of the people of Scotland rested with the Maid of Norway. Her untimely death in 1290 left the country at the mercy of the English King. From that date until the crown was awarded to John Balliol, King Edward prosecuted remorselessly his schemes against the independence of Scotland.

Balliol, as preceding kings before him paid homage, in respect of his lands in England, to Edward and, in return, suffered many humiliations at the hands of the supposed English Suzerain. Scottish nobles and gentry, many from the Borderland, were compelled to swear allegiance to the "proud usurper."

From the West of Scotland came William Wallace, a Scots knight who led his countrymen in resistance to English domination.

No part of Scottish Borderland, perhaps, is more definitely associated with Wallace than the Forest of Ettrick. It was in Selkirk, supported by nobles and clergy, he was declared Guardian of the Kingdom of Scotland.

Today in the 'forest kyrk' (the Kirk of the Forest), referred to in ancient times as the church of St Mary of the Forest, visitors can now visit this ancient site, which is also the final resting place to several relatives of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States of America. Roosevelt, whose ancestors came from the area, named his famous dog Fala, after Fala and the nearby village of Falahill.

[edit] The Hungarian Connection

Annually, In March, local-living Hungarians gather in the town's County Hotel for their National Day celebrations. It was from the balcony of The County in December 1856, that Hungary's great patriot Lajos Kossuth addressed a large massed meeting of Borders sympathisers. It was part of a grand tour of the UK in which Kossuth raised awareness and funds for his subjugated Magyar people. Eight years earlier, he had led a Magyar revolution against the tyranny of Habsburg rule. A plaque now stands outside The County Hotel, commemorating this occasion, and a wreath is laid every year to commemorate the struggle of the Magyar people. Due to the wider spread of ethnic Hungarians around Scotland, the community now meets up to celebrate their National Day in a different Scottish city each year. It is thought that the strong bond between the Hungarian people and Selkirk is strengthened greatly by the nightlife Selkirk has to offer the visitors. A fine selection of drum 'n bass, techno and acid house nightclubs are on offer, and it is not uncommon for revellers to gather from far and wide to enjoy hedonistic evenings, typically beginning with tonic wine parties in the Pringle Park.

Further information on Kossuth's trip to Scotland - and details of the annual gatherings - can be found at the following link: [1]

[edit] Notable people of the Town

[edit] See also

(Source: Wikipedia)
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