Selkirk Silver Arrow
In 1660, an archery competition to compete for the Selkirk Silver Arrow was instituted. Made from silver plate by a Captain James Fairbairn on the instructions of the then-Selkirk Burgh Council, the arrow was originally competed for in the Royal Burgh by archers all over Scotland, and was first won by Walter Scott (no relation) of Goldielands, south of Hawick. After 1675 the arrow was stored away in the charter chest in Selkirk, until unearthed by Sir Walter Scott in 1818. Scott was a member of the Royal Company of Archers, and revived the competition. The rules stated that winners were not allowed to take the arrow out of Selkirk, instead having their “arms” added to it. However, when it was won by Company archer Charles Nairn, it was spirited away to Edinburgh. For an update on the arrow’s return to Selkirk, please go to the ‘heritage’ page.
The Dandie Dinmont
The Dandie Dinmont terrier, beloved pet of Queen Victoria, Sir Edwin Landseer, and later Agatha Christie and Sir Alec Guinness, was named after a character in Scott’s novel, Guy Mannering, the only breed of dog named after a fictional character. In the novel, Dandie Dinmont is a rough but friendly farmer from the Liddesdale hills who owns a number of terriers. An upland sheep-raiser of Scott’s acquaintance named Willie Elliot, of Millburnholm, is thought to have been the model for this character.