Last Friday some of Scotland's longest serving and most loyal agricultural workers were recognised at the Border Union Agricultural Society's (BUAS) bi-annual luncheon.

The luncheon is held to recognise the Scottish Borders and North Northumberland recipients of Royal Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) Long Service Award Medals and Certificates and Royal Forestry Society (RFS), Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and Ford and Etal Estates Long Service Awards.

This year’s event, which was hosted by Society Chairman, Ian Fleming, at the home of BUAS, the Borders Events Centre, Kelso, was a true celebration of loyal employment within the agricultural, forestry and horticultural sectors and their support service industries.

Attended by more than 90 people, the awards were presented to employees who have been employed by the same company for more than 30, 40 and 50 years.

This year there were 14 recipients in total. The longest serving recipient, James ‘Jimmy’ Mole, was given a joint award with his son Neil, for a combined total of 100 years service to Ford & Etal Estate. Jimmy has achieved 58 years service, whilst his son Neil has achieved 42 years. The other top individual awards were presented to Alexander Thomson, Cortleferry, Stow and George Anderson, Grindon Farm, Berwick on Tweed, who have both achieved 51 years’ service with their respective employers.

For the first time since RHASS expanded their award criteria, to cover associated industries the society was delighted to present three awards to employees from agricultural related industries including haulage and machinery engineering. Mr Alan Henderson, known as Doze to his friends, is a Lauder man. Alan, like his father before him has worked for Campbells of Oxton since 1970.

Brian Wilson has worked as an engineer and when Kelso Tractors were taken over by Lloyd in 1993, Brian remained with the company.

The awards were presented for the first time by His Grace the 11th Duke of Roxburghe, who like his father before him, is Society President. The compere for the day was Charlie Robertson with principal speaker, Kate Rowell, Chairwoman of Quality Meat Scotland, who proposed the toast to the medallists whilst Jonny McCririck, Whitmuirhaugh, Sprouston, Kelso, replied on behalf of the medallists and proposed the toast to RHASS.

William Gray, chairman of RHASS, replied on their behalf before BUAS vice-chairman, Peter Douglas, closed the day with a well-deserved vote of thanks to all. Since 1944 there have been 665 recipients through BUAS with a total of 23,319 years’ service, an average of 35 years.

RHASS long service medals and certificates:

Alexander Thompson, Cortleferry, Stow, 51. George Anderson, Grindon Farm, Berwick upon Tweed, 51. Alan Henderson, J & G Campbell, Oxton, 49. Brian Wilson, Lloyd Ltd Tractors, Kelso, 42. Robert Johnstone, Runningburn, Stitchill, 41. George Skeldon, Crailing Tofts, Kelso, 40. Brian Hope, Crailinghall, Jedburgh, 40. Colin Anderson, Grindon Farm, Berwick upon Tweed, 35. William Hill, J & G Campbell, Oxton, 34. Kenneth Anderson, Cortleferry, Stow, 32. Andrew Thoms, Windywalls, Kelso, 30.

RFS and RHS Long Service Awards:

Neil Mole, Ford and Etal Estates: RHS, 41. Neil Edmondson, Ford and Etal Estates: RFS, 31.

Special award presented for first time: Joint certificate to James (Jimmy) and Neil Mole for 100 years combined service to Ford and Etal Estates

Front row left to right: Rev Anna Rodwell, George Anderson, Alexander Thompson, His Grace the Duke of Roxburghe, Alan Henderson, Brian Wilson and Mr William Gray. Middle row L-R; Ian Fleming, Lord James Joicey, Neil Mole, Neil Edmondson, James Mole, Mags Clark. Back row L-R; Colin Anderson, Andrew Thoms, Robert Johnstone, William Hill, Brian Hope and George Skeldon