Principals and representatives of the 11 Borders common ridings and festivals gathered at Tower Mill at the Heart of Hawick on Monday for the official launch of Return to the Ridings, part of Homecoming Scotland 2014.
Following the success of last year’s Homecoming Scotland, Hawick, West Linton, Selkirk, Peebles, Melrose, Galashiels, Jedburgh, Duns, Kelso, Lauder and Coldstream will celebrate their historic festivals by collaborating with Homecoming Scotland and Scottish Borders Council (SBC) to increase the promotion of next year’s events.
2014 is of particular significance for Hawick, as it commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Hornshole. Only a year after Hawick lost most of its able-bodied men at Flodden in 1513, the youth of the town defeated a large English raiding party and captured their standard – symbolised throughout the years at Hawick Common Riding.
Frank Scott, Hawick Common Riding secretary, said: “2014 is a hugely-important year for the town and there will be a lot for visitors to see.
“On May 5 well over 1,500 children from Hawick will take part in a march from Hornshole to the centre of Hawick for the unveiling of a new 3m-high bronze statue commemorating the ‘Big Return’ from Hornshole.”