Her Majesty The Queen Opens The Borders Railway

The Queen and dignitaries

The Borders Railway is now officially OPEN! Black Diamond FM were there live as Her Majesty The Queen opened Newtongrange Station.

Newtongrange was put on the map today as the eyes of the world watched.

Bright and early this morning well-wishers had already began to gather at Newtongrange Station. Getting ready to herald the arrival of Her Majesty the Queen as she unveiled a plaque commemorating the re-opening of the Borders Railway. Coinciding with another landmark occasion, as she officially became the United Kingdom’s longest serving monarch.

The 1,000 strong crowd began to gather as the Queens arrival on the Union of South Africa steam train became more imminent. Soon the station was packed with both young and old alike. All gathered to celebrate this momentous occasion in history.

With local schools and residents out in force plus the Newtongrange Band playing away, the atmosphere was one of celebration and excitement.

Not even the unexpected 40 minute delay could dampen people’s spirits. Instead everyone rallied around. Filling the time with an impromptu concert from the Newtongrange Band, as some of the School children held a spontaneous ceilidh.

Sweets were shared and photos were taken, as flowers and flags were passed around. Bringing a great sense of comradery between all those waiting out in the cold.

As the news got passed around that the Queen had left Waverly station, members of the Royal Company of Archers marched onto the concourse. Decked out in their full regalia to form the guard of honour.

With the sound of the steam train heralding the imminent arrival of the Royal Party, the flag waving and cheering began in earnest. As the train drew up to the platform the Newtongrange Band began to play. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and the First Minister then alighted from the train at approximately 11:55am.

Greeted by Sir Robert, Her Majesty was presented to the assembled dignitaries. Including the Vice Lord Lieutenant, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Callander, Midlothian’s Chief Executive, Kenneth Lawrie and Midlothian Council Leader Councillor Catherine Johnstone.

The Queen then began her tour of the concourse, smiling and waving. Stopping to talk and accept flowers from some of the local school children. Whilst further well-wishers waved flags and took photos to commemorate the occasion.

Having greeted the assembled throng, The Queen unveiled the Newtongrange Station plaque to rapturous applause and cheering.

With the Newtongrange Band striking up for the final time Her Majesty re-alighted the train. Departing for Tweedbank in the Borders as the Proclaimers 500 miles played out across the concourse.