Gregor and Iain’s tears as pal joins history books

03.08.2013.  Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)
03.08.2013. Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)
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As the crowds dispersed from the town centre, Cornet Cameron McNeill and his Right Hand Man Gregor Ker shared a hug.

It was fitting that the two 23-year-olds were side by side in front of their fellow townsfolk.

03.08.2013.  Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)

03.08.2013. Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)

The close friends have now achieved what they were destined to since they ran around Lauder Primary School playground as youngsters.

Both come from families steeped in the Common Riding tradition, and as a result it was no surprise the pair shared some tears as Cameron handed back the Burgh Standard.

Gregor said: “It was just amazing.

“We have both grown up together since we were five years old at school. It could not get any better than supporting your friend as he is Cornet.

03.08.2013.  Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)

03.08.2013. Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)

“It was emotional because of that.”

Left Hand Man, and another friend, Iain Dick was next to congratulate Cameron and also struggled to contain his feelings as he stepped out of the Common Riding limelight after carrying the flag in its centenary year in 2011.

Iain told us: “It is a very emotional time. I am just so chuffed for my mate Cammie.

“I am delighted to have been involved this year. I have done my three Common Ridings now, but carrying the flag was the highlight.

03.08.2013.  Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)

03.08.2013. Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)

“That is something that will live with me forever.”

Another to be stepping aside this year is secretary Elaine Brotherstone. After nine years in the role, she believes common ridings remain vital to Borders life.

Elaine said: “Everything in constantly changing and we have to make minor changes every year.

“The ceremonies essentially remain the same, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes.

03.08.2013.  Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)

03.08.2013. Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)

“It is important that the common ridings are carried on for future generations.

“We need to promote it to the kids – everyone in the Borders has to.

“When you see it today, it shows that it really does mean something.”

In terms of the challenges, Elaine added: “There is great legislation now.

“There is an incredible amount of administration and that does make it hard to get people involved.”

As the invited dignitaries mingled inside the Town Hall, chairman Ian Fallas spoke of his pride that the festival remains as strong now as it ever has.

03.08.2013.  Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)

03.08.2013. Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)

Ian said: “It is another Common Riding, so it was a fantastic day. We have people coming here from as far away as Sweden.

“It was a nice, dry morning and a good turnout of horses, an excellent Cornet leading the cavalcade – what more can you ask for?

“It bonds the whole town together and is a chance for us to celebrate riding our own lands.”

The best turned out rider cup was presented to eight-year-old Hamish Stenhouse, while Doug Redpath picked up the oldest rider award – the fourth time he has done so.

With Common Riding season drawing to a close, the strength of the bond between principals of each town was highlighted by Raymond Knox.

The 1974 Hawick Cornet stands waiting on his Lauder colleague from the same year, Robin Riddell, and 1969 Lauder Cornet Bill Anderson, returning into town from the Waterin’ Stane with a welcome home pint – as he does every year.

Raymond said: “I gave Robin a drink from my hip flask in 1974 on the Linhope Hill at the Mosspaul ride-out and we have remained friends ever since.

“We are now one big family.”

03.08.2013.  Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)

03.08.2013. Lauder, Lauder, Scotland, Great Britain.'Lauder Common Riding 2013'One of the original Border Common Ridings and there is a reference to a ceremony in Town Council minutes of 1686. The main events on the Saturday when the Cornet receives the Burgh Flag at the Tollbooth. He leads the mounted cavalcade to the Watering Stane and onto the Burgess Cairn, the only boundary stone still in existence. The proceedings conclude with a ceremony at the War Memorial and the return of the flag.''(Photo Credit: Rob Gray)