Geoff Smith is Lanark Lord Cornet-elect

LANARK'S new Lord Cornet-elect has been named as popular — and highly active — local police officer Geoff Smith.

The 40-year-old admitted that the very last thing he expected was to be told on Sunday night that he'd been accorded the honour of being the Burgh's standard bearer during the 2010 Lanimer celebrations and at other civic celebrations and Ridings throughout the Borders.

"I was in my jammies when they called to tell me; I had to ask them to wait at the door while I put on a pair of trousers. So, yes, you could say it came as a bit of a surprise,'' said Geoff.

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"Now I'm over the initial shock, I'm looking forward to it — despite being allergic to horses!"

While Geoff says he'll overcome his equine problems with the aid of anti-allergy pills plus some riding hints from his best pal — by happy coincidence a police Mounted Branch sergeant — the 'star chamber' which select Lord Cornets can rest assured they've made a popular choice.

Despite his accent, Geoff isn't, contrary to widespread belief, one of the few Englishmen to be sashed as Lanark's Lord Cornet.

He was, in fact, born in Edinburgh from where his parents emigrated to England, Geoff returning to Scotland to live in Lanark, and join Strathclyde Police, 17 years ago.

Since then, he's been very active in the community.

For more information on this story, pick up a copy of this week's Lanark Gazette which is in the shops now.