On their return to the town they proceed to regate themselves in the various inns, whence a great many of them were not long in emerging in a condition which did less credit to themselves than to the potency of Scotch whisky.
In fact, the streets were soon in a complete uproar; brawling and fighting were going on in al directions; some were staggering about without hats, some without coats, and some minus both. Many were covered with blood and dirt, the effects of pugilistic encounters. There were not a few who appeared to be severely cut about the face, besides having their clothes torn. Altogether such a disreputable exhibition has not been witnessed in Kelso for a long time.
The band started for the railway station at 5 o’clock in the afternoon; followed by a reeling and noisy crowd. The departure of the above pleasure trip was a most revolting and disgusting scene.
The railway station was almost taken possession of by the drunken rabble, and it is little else than a miracle, that lives have not been lost on the occasion. Many of the strangers became furious, which soon led to a complete riot, during which one person was taken into custody, and lodged in the station-house; this led to an attack upon the house itself, and much praise is due to Mr. Tait, the station-master, and Mr. Brown, one of the Berwick railway guards, as well as the few police present, for the manner in which they resisted the assailants of the station-house. In short, the whole scene was a most disgraceful one.
It was a different experience for the party of fifty gentlemen, consisting of the managers of the engine works ship-owners on the Tyne, and friends of Mr. Stevenson. They partook of a sumptuous dinner in the afternoon in the Cross Keys Hotel. The dinner was in a most elegant style; and the wines first-rate, and in abundance. Some excellent speeches were made in giving toasts appropriate to the occasion; and the time of the party was spent most agreeably until the hour for the departure of the train.”