FARM WORKERS in the Borders were honoured last week at a lunch held by the Border Agricultural Society at its Springwood Hall, in the showground just outside Kelso, last week.

The recipients, some of whom were receiving a second long service medal in the merit scheme backed by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, totalled 18 who were given medals for a total of 676 years service – an incredible average of more than 35 years.

The BUAS awards commitment goes back to 1944 and in the years since then there have been a total of 651 recipients – a proportion have had two awards – with a total of 22,803 years service.

This was the 33rd collective awards lunch held by BUAS and this year’s medal winners included two farm managers; three farm stewards; three tractormen/stockmen; six tractormen; two shepherds and two ‘Jack of all trades’.

The oldest recipient was Alec Herkes, of Marlefield, Kelso, with 50 years of service. Primarily a tractorman, he has made himself fully acquaint with all the intracacies of modern equipment and has ‘survived’ a recent changeover from John Deere to Claas tractors.

The Scottish Farmer:

LONG SERVICE Alec Herkes who has completed 50 years at Marlefield, near Kelso

The other recipients were: Ian Bandeen (41 years at Southfield, Hawick); John Gallon (41 years at Howtel, Mindrum); Alistair McAulay (41 years at Spittal on Rule, Denholm); Andrew Shortreed (41 years at Hassendean, Denholm); Richard Taylor (41 years at Milne Graden East, Coldstream); Trevor Brannan (40 years at Mouldyhills, Canonbie); Gavin Byers (40 years at Caverton Hillhead, Kelso); William Grieve (40 years at Easter Softlaw, Kelso); Keith Learmonth (40 years at Kelloe Mains, Duns); David Jerdan (39 years at Howick Estate, Alnwick); Leslie Anderson (35 years at West Morriston, Earlston); Trevor Nelson (33 years at Callaly Estates, Whittingham); Gavin McLean (32 years at Old Cambus Quarry, Cockburnspath); Paul Cossar (31 years at Chesters, Ancrum); Alan Ramage (31 years at Bowhill, Selkirk); Mark Scott (30 years at Bowhill); and Derek Taylor (30 years at Lauderhill, Lauder).