Friends chosen as Hunter and Lass

Penicuik Hunter and Lass 2018 official party. This year's Penicuik Hunter Stuart Gillies and Lass Alisha Hall, pictured centre. On the left are 2017 Hunter and Lass Grant McGlagan and Sharon Sloan and the 2016 Hunters Lass Kerry Wilson  is pictured right.
Penicuik Hunter and Lass 2018 official party. This year's Penicuik Hunter Stuart Gillies and Lass Alisha Hall, pictured centre. On the left are 2017 Hunter and Lass Grant McGlagan and Sharon Sloan and the 2016 Hunters Lass Kerry Wilson is pictured right.

Two friends with links to the armed forces have been chosen as this year’s Penicuik Hunter and Lass for the annual week-long festival in May.

Alisha Hall (25) and Stuart Gillies (31) have been friends since 2004, when Stuart was serving in the 1st Battalion The Royal Highland Fusiliers under Alisha’s dad, Senior Pipe Major Captain Neil Hall.

Irvine-born Alisha has lived in Penicuik since 2005. The former Beeslack High pupil is a clinical support worker for NHS Lothian, and is currently studying to be a nurse.

She said: “Since moving to Penicuik I have made so many lovely friends in the town. I am extremely proud to be a part of bringing both the Penicuik and forces communities together with Stuart by my side.

“Being a military child I have always felt like a bit of an outsider in the communities we lived in, until we moved here and were welcomed into the area with open arms.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be felt worthy enough to be a representative of the town I now call home.”

Stuart is originally from Lamlash on the Isle of Arran. He joined the army at the age of 16 and is now the Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion’s Pipe Major, and second in command of the Assault Pioneer Platoon. He has lived in Penicuik since 2006 when his battalion was moved to Glencorse Barracks.

He said: “Over the years I have watched both the military families and local Penicuik community grow together.

“A town that has given me so much in ways of friendships, memories and opportunities. I would now like to give something back. And what better way than to have the honour to represent the town as Penicuik Hunter 2018.

“Alisha and I have been filled with excitement at the thought of representing Penicuik while visiting other town festivities and Borders rides, and can’t wait to show off Penicuik at its best. I know the next few years are going to be an amazing adventure and there is no one else I would rather experience it with.”

Penicuik Hunter and Lass Festival, May 19-26, with Penicuik’s Got Talent on May 12.