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The Weekly Blog

Window Shopping

The BHA Integrity Department is investigating irregular betting patterns in the market for the Kelso Ladies Day ‘Best Shop Window Competition’.

Among a strong field of twenty runners, the early market was formed around previous winners Swans Shoes, Border Blooms, and Glendale Paints. The latter’s use of paint-charts to fabricate a stylish ladies’ hat created a particularly positive impression, while common consensus confirmed that the Border Blooms window was well up to their normal high standard – a striking silhouette of a horse’s head revealing a bright Ladies Day display inside the shop.

There was solid support for Hector Innes, the photographer’s shop, whose use of archive images added a touch of class to the display, and for The Mole House – whose depiction of a teddy bear’s picnic at the races packed a powerful ‘Ahhh’ factor.

Dessert Diva, a relative newcomer to the Square, created a delicious display – but one that proved tricky to maintain once the chocolate couverture started to melt in the Borders’ sunshine.

Whether the Ladbrokes shop was promoting Ladies Day or not was difficult to tell – they usually have a bit of a racing theme in any case – but they did say that they’d pay out with a smile when this week’s selection wins on Sunday: the appropriately named Lissen To The Lady in the Five Star Taxis Handicap Hurdle.

And then, almost out of nowhere, came a flood of money for James Stewart & Son, the electrical, homeware, kitchen & gift store. Rumours that the racecourse have recently taken delivery of several brand-new television sets are completely unfounded and constitute an unfortunate slur on the judges who made their decision with complete impartiality. In fact, it turns out that Stewarts’ televisions aren’t even the cheapest sets in town – there’s one currently in the charity shop marked “Bargain – £2.50 – No Volume Control”, which is quite a difficult offer to turn down… (Haha)

The Stewarts’ window, designed and built by Jo Stewart, features two Ladies Day mannequins made entirely from products sold within the shop. A fetching costume, fabricated from 42-watt halogen bulbs, 7mm rawl-plugs, washing-up pads and sieves, was topped off with a cotton mop with rolls of electrical tape for earrings. There was also a competition to name one of the mannequins – with one lucky customer winning a shopping basket fringed with pink pompoms.

And so it was that, in a tight finish, James Stewart & Son took the top prize by a short mop-head.

Not every shop in the town managed to give their windows a Ladies Day makeover, but then perhaps it wouldn’t have been appropriate for D.R. Collin & Sons, the fishmongers, to dress one of their cod in a wig and tiara. And in any case, why bother to dress a window when you can dress crabs and lobsters as sumptuously as they do?

Whatever you need this Ladies Day weekend, from batteries to bikinis, flowers to furniture, or shoes to shrimps – you’ll find it all in Kelso Square.

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