Sunday, June 6, 2010

'Safe oot, safe in' - Hawick Common Riding

The hearts of Teries everywhere will be in Hawick this week as the annual Common Riding takes place.  The ride-outs are over for another year, the town is bedecked in blue and yellow and the Horse has been washed once more. Everything is in place for the climax to this year’s festivities.

The excitement builds all week  as the Cornet carries the Banner Blue for the first time at the  Thursday morning  chase. Young and old make their way to the Nipknowes for 6 am to see the flag once again being proudly held aloft.

After partaking of curds and whey in the Hut, the Cornet and his followers return to Hawick to display the flag  at Hawick Town Hall. Then it’s off round the schools to experience enthusiastic welcomes from the young of Hawick.

Thursday evening sees the Colour Bussing ceremony when the Cornet’s Lass once again busses the flag. The Cornet leads his supporters on the walk  to the Horse monument  where ribbons are tied onto the horse’s neck to the loud cheers of the many townsfolk gathered to watch this event.

The Friday morning procession cannot fail to stir the emotions of the assembled spectators as the Cornet and his followers ride along Hawick High Street to the sound of the fifes and drums and the Saxhorn Band on their way up to the Mair.

Of the many  poignant ceremonies which take place during the Common Riding, two cannot fail to impress - dipping  the flag at the Coble Pool on the Friday afternoon  and the laying of the wreaths at the War Memorial on the Saturday morning.

These are only some of the events which Teries everywhere will recognise.
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Text by Marjorie Gavin.

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