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Guid Nychburris: The highlight of the Dumfries year.

Guid Nychburris Logo 2019

We love a good festival and since its beginnings in 1932, the annual Guid Nychburris Festival is the highlight of the year for many Doonhamers – including us here at Heathhall Business Centre. The origins of the week-long festival are steeped in Dumfries history and very little has changed over the years by way of tradition and customs.

Queen of the South

The highlight of the week –  Guid Nychburris Saturday – always takes place on the third Saturday in June, and sees the crowning of the Queen of the South – elected from local schools to represent the community.  The Queen is accompanied by her coterie of attendants, also elected from local Burgh schools.  

Guid Nychburris Facts

With the annual festival just a few weeks away, here are some Guid Nychburris facts you may not know:

  • Guid Nychburris took its name from a time when anyone committing a crime would be instructed to be a `Guid Nychburr` (good neighbour) or face the consequences!
  • Dumfries was awarded Royal Burgh status in 1186 in a charter granted by King Robert lll. The granting of Royal Burgh status helped to make sure that citizens stayed loyal to the then reigning king or queen. This proclamation is re-enacted every year on Guid Nychburris Saturday.
  • The job of defending the clearly defined boundaries of the burgh was carried out each year by the Provost, Baillies, Burgesses and others within the town. This is the origins of the Riding of the Marches.
  • The annual Guid Nychburris festival was started in 1932 by the then town librarian Mr G. W. Shirley.
  • Mr Shirley was also responsible for the traditional Guid Nychburris Queen of the South song sung each Guid Nychburris Saturday.
  • With the familiar cry of ‘A Lore Burne!’ (to the lower burn), the Cornet,  Cornet’s Lass, Lynors and other riders Ride the Marches on Guid Nychburris Saturday to carry out the traditional Stobbing and Nogging (marking the boundary with posts and flags) before returning to the Midsteeple to meet the Provost who reenacts the proclamation of the Royal Burgh Charter to the good citizens of Dumfries, culminating in the crowning of the Queen.
  • The Cornet is selected every year and must be a young man born within the Burgh of Dumfries – and he must be a bachelor by tradition – perish the thought he would die defending the town’s boundaries, leaving a wife and children…

From everyone at Heathhall Business Centre – have a great Guid Nychburris and let’s hope the sun shines!

Further Information:  Guid Nychburris Association – Facebook

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