Sunday 23rd July 2023

The Sashing Ceremony will take place on the banks of the River Esk at 13:30 following the Kirkin’. This ceremony is still one of the most picturesque and poignant events of the Musselburgh Festival and sees the Honest Lad and Honest Lass being presented with their emblems of office. This year the Honest Lad and Honest Lass will be sashed by Alastair Knowles BEM, who was Town Champion at the 1995 Riding of the Marches.

The Burgh Flag will be presented to the Honest Lad by our Honorary Provost. They will task the Honest Lad to carry the standard around the boundaries of our Town returning it “unsullied and unstained” at the end of the Festival Saturday ride on 30th July. The Honest Lass will be presented with the jewelled riding crop and our Attendants will be presented with silver stock pins.


The Sasher

The Sasher for 2023 is to be confirmed. 

Our 2022 Sasher was Alastair Knowles, BEM.

Alastair was brought up in Campie Road and Eskside West. He is married to Lily and has two sons, Kenneth and

He was educated at Campie Primary and Musselburgh Grammar Schools and, following an architectural technician
apprenticeship with James Miller and Partners Ltd, he was employed by Scottish & Newcastle plc from 1968 to 2004
with a short break in the Scottish Local Authorities Special Housing Group from 1973 to 1976.

Alastair is a committed Musselburgh man with all of his interests centred in and around the town.
He is a life-long member of Northesk Parish Church having served 5 years as Session Clerk and describes himself as
having an everlasting special interest in the upkeep and development of the church’s buildings.

He has served all ranks from Life Boy to Captain in the 61 st Edinburgh (Musselburgh) Company, Boys’ Brigade and
was Vice President of the Edinburgh, Leith & District Battalion. He loves all things BB and has a special interest in
drill, bands and camping. He is still involved with the pipe band and has been bugler at Kirkin’ Sunday and
Remembrance Sunday services since 1959. More recently, he has taken on the role of Parade Marshal for both

Alastair is a member of Musselburgh Rugby Club, Past President of The Old Musselburgh Club and a Governor of the
Red House Home Trust.

Alastair was selected as Town Champion at the 1995 Riding of the Marches and was chairman of the charitable
company responsible for the 2016 event.

In 2018, Alastair was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community.
We hope that Alastair enjoys taking on yet another important role in our town and we wish him and Lily a happy
Festival Week.


This is the go to platform for Musselburgh Festival. Dating back to 1936, our week long annual celebration honours the traditions of our Town and brings our community together.