Four fight it out for Cornet’s crown

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The election of the Langholm Cornet takes place tomorrow night – and four young men have put their names forward, writes John Smith.

Alasdair Cavers is standing for the third time, while it’s the first attempt for Stephen Devlin, Andrew Elliot and Simon Tweddle.

The public vote takes place in the Buccleuch Centre between 6pm and 8pm, followed by a meeting when members of the public have an opportunity to air their views. Chaired by Common Riding Committee chairman Roger Maxwell, he will also announce the result after the official count.

Prior to the meeting, the town and pipe bands will perambulate the town.

Alasdair Elliot Cavers, 23, works on the family farm at Sorbie and is the son of Elliot and Aileen Cavers of Kirkton, Ewes. He is a keen rugby player, having been a regular in the Langholm senior side for a number of seasons.

For well over 40 years, Alasdair’s grandfather John Armstrong has welcomed the flute band to his home at Hillhead before the hound trail on the Common Riding morning when the traditional rum and milk is enjoyed.

A relative of the family was the late James Harkness who was officiating magistrate on a number of occasions.

Alasdair first rode the common in 2005 and joined the Castle Craigs Club the same year. He has followed the cornet every year since.

Stephen Thomas Devlin, 25, is employed at Canonbie sawmill and is the son of David Devlin and Ann Hislop of Meikleholmside. His two passions are the Common Riding and rugby, and he is a regular for Langholm RFC.

His brother Malcolm was cornet in 1998, and his father David is a member of the Common Riding committee, and looked after the leading principals’ horses for 25 years.

Stephen first rode the common in 1998, joined the Castle Craigs the same year and is on the committee. He has followed the Cornet every year since.

Andrew Douglas Elliot, 30, runs the family farm at Burnfoot of Ewes with his brother Robin and mother Anne.

He is the son of the late Douglas and Anne Elliot, and enjoys being whip-in to the Liddesdale Foxhounds, as well as deer stalking and attending agricultural shows. Andrew’s grandfather, the late John Young, was Cornet in 1950 and his uncle Billy Young held the position in 1984.

He first rode the common and Castle Craigs in 2004, but during the past few Common Ridings has helped carry the greybeard and has laid the hound trail for the past six years.

Simon Jack Tweddle, 21, is a self-employed builder.

The son of Stephen and Maureen Tweddle of John Street, he is a regular on the golf course and also enjoys playing darts and pool.

His father is a past president of the Castle Craigs and is still on the committee. Simon first rode the common and the Castle Craigs in 2000, and has followed the Cornet every year since, with the exception of 2003.