June 2004 saw a small literary gathering take place in the old Wynd Theatre in the middle of Melrose. The brainchild of Alistair Moffat; what started with a few speakers and an audience of 400 has turned into a 4 day extravaganza with an audience of 30,000 in 2018. We’ve certainly come a long way since June 2004, when Paula Ogilvie walked into The Wynd Theatre in Melrose, shook her head and headed across the road to borrow some pot plants to make the stage look more inviting. That was the beginning of a great partnership between Alistair & Paula who are still running things today (with the assistance of a few others).
From the Wynd Theatre, we moved on to the Corn Exchange then Melrose Festival Ball Marquee before landing in Harmony Garden. In 2014 we expanded into The Orchard just over the wall from Harmony Garden – we’ve now got Tipi’s, stretch tents, a mobile cinema old fire engines selling hot dogs, a creme brulee van and lots of coffee!
In 2017 we came full circle and had one of our first ever guests returning for the first time – we were delighted to welcome Melvyn Bragg back to Melrose. I bet he noticed a few changes from his first visit!