HAWICK Common Riding, which reaches its climax tomorrow, began in traditional style on Sunday when Cornet Ross Nichol led a large gathering to the official kirking service in Trinity Church.
The 22-year-old and his fellow principals, dressed immaculately in morning suits and tile hats, led the customary walk to the kirk from the town hall. They were joined by a long line of ex-Cornets and ex-Acting Fathers.
It was the 125th anniversary of the first kirking of the Hawick Cornet and the second successive year the honour of conducting the ceremony had fallen to the Reverend Michael Scouler.
“There were reflections on the not always cosy relationship the church and Common Riding had experienced,” reflected Mr Scouler. “History had sometimes cast them as rivals for the loyalty of the other followers.
“But we also looked at the many characteristics they shared together, as rivals do – a lot in fact. Not least the saddled champion who marks out a community’s territory, which has echoes of another rider who was marking out the kingdom of God and called his followers to share in the work.”
A bible was presented to Cornet Nichol by Margaret Miller, who was described as his “honorary grandmother”.
The resplendently-dressed Lasses then joined the four principals as they were cheered along High Street on their way to the Cornet’s Lass’s lunch at the rugby club.