The Wynsome Mayde, no less, has switched on the Duns Christmas Lights-and what message of seasonal good will is blazoned out in glowing carbon positive letters of the deepest Red? 'Happy Christmas'?, 'Oh come all ye Faithful'? ,'Peace on Earth?'
No, none of these:
'DUNS DINGS A'
What's that again?
The official history of the town sheds some (non seasonal) light:Percy, the Earl of Northumberland, invaded Scotland in 1377 and seemingly met little opposition. Upon reaching Duns, he relaxed his vigilance. The townspeople saw that the English were off their guard. The Scots made "a kind of rattle, made of dried skins distended round ribs of wood that were bended into a semi-circular form and fixed at the end of long poles". When shaken, they produced a horrendous racket that frightened the English horses, causing them to bolt. The Earl's men fled and were subsequently routed by local people. It may be from this episode that the town takes its design for the Burgh Arms and motto "Duns Dings A'".
The English had long memories as the history goes on:The English razed Duns to the ground in 1544, 1545 and 1558.
So Duns Dings A' can be translated as 'Duns beats them all'
Stirring stuff. If not always accurate. As a glance at the recent playing record of the Duns Rugby Club illustrates.
But as a general statement reflecting the general desirabity of the Burgh vis a vis other Border Toons:
(The image is of last years Christmas Tree. Borrowed from Flikr. Thankyou JDSTYNX)
Labels: Christmas lights, Duns, Reivers