The Chieftain of this year’s Cumnock Highland Games has been presented with the traditional ceremonial shepherd’s crook.

Local businessman Stewart Birrell received the crook from the Reverend John Paterson, chairman of the Cumnock Highland Games Organising Committee.

Mr Paterson said: “I am delighted to present Stewart with his ceremonial shepherd’s crook, and I am sure that he will enjoy his role as this year’s Chieftain as much as I did when I had the honour.

“These shepherd’s crooks are specially commissioned from local craftsman Dane Love Sr and are presented each year to the Chieftain of Cumnock Highland Games. They are a symbol of the status of the Chieftain and after the event they are a beautifully crafted memento for each Chieftain and his or her family to keep.”

Stewart added: “I have attended Cumnock Highland Games in the past not only as a spectator but some people may also recall seeing me at the games flipping burgers for Cumnock Rugby Club on their fundraising stall.

“This year I feel honoured to be invited to be the Chieftain and I will be proud to carry the shepherd’s crook on the day and later to keep in my family as a keepsake of such a special occasion.”

Cumnock Highland Games takes place on Sunday, August 25 from 12pm.