The Kelsae Stane Revealed
UNVEILING THE KELSAE STANE
To general disbelief, on Monday 14th July the new public toilets were open, the Square was finished, the planters filled with flowers.
The folk of Kelso gathered to the sound of Kelso’s Pipe Band marching bravely along Bridge Street in the drizzle to play in front of the Town Hall. Jake Harvey, the sculptor of the Kelsae Stane had just opened the Civic Week Art Exhibition in the Council Chamber and the Pipe Band led him, the Kelso Laddie and his Right Hand Man, his Left Hand Man, the four Lady Bussers, Honorary Provost John Bassett with a host of Council worthies, representatives from Sainsbury’s and members of the committee which had made the final selection, across the new setts to the Stane. The onlookers closed in behind them, filling the Square as Ex-Laddie Colin Henderson welcomed us all.
A highlight of Civic Week is the casting of the Standard to the four corners of the Square in recognition of the parts that Kelso folk have played in the four corners of the World. On the Stane are the names of the villages around Kelso, each handwritten with pride for Jake to carve. Alistair Moffat spoke movingly of his Kelso childhood and what so many of these names meant to him personally and as part of the long history of Kelso and of this part of the Borders.
The Lady Bussers each seized a corner and lifted the blue tarpaulin off the Stane. Charlie Robertson, Chair of the Kelso Town Centre Stakeholder Group, filled the new silver Quaich presented by Sainsbury’s and offered a dram to the Laddie, his Men and the Lady Bussers before the Laddie poured what was left over the Stane as a libation.
Laughter and applause and the onlookers joined the Laddie and his Men in singing the first and last verses of “Kelsae Bonnie Kelsae”.
The Kelsae Stane had been properly christened and the revamped Square opened.
The Kelsae Stane Revealed, Scotland