It was all hush-hush when the Hawick Common Riding tradition of dipping the flag at Coble Cauld went ahead this morning (Friday, June 11)
Traditions just don’t die in Hawick.
And so it was proved from 6.30am today.
The town’s Common Riding may have been cancelled for the second year due to the ongoing ordeal that is Covid-19, with only virtual events being staged due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
But the ceremonial dipping of the flag in the Coble pool of the River Teviot was carried out by cornet Connor Brunton on horseback today as per the long-standing tradition of marking the boundary of the ancient burgh.
However, on this occasion it was all very hush-hush.
The event had been cleared by the necessary authorities but was organised with a high level of secrecy, with strictly no advertising of it allowed.
Following the marking of the boundary the cornet and his Right & Left-hand men and acting senior magistrate, Acting Father Alistair Crawford, headed via Buccleuch Street to the furthermost boundary point, where a sod was cut in time-honoured fashion.
The Silver Jubilee Cornet, ex-cornet Alan Wear, read the oration of the Cutting of the Sod and this was followed by the singing of the Teribus, led by the official song-singer Michael Aitken.
The cornet then passed the un-bussed colour to Acting Father Crawford who carried this to the Moor gates, before handing it back to the cornet to ride around the Moor racecourse.
The colour was then handed over to town provost Watson McAteer in the paddock, who accepted its return on behalf of the people of Hawick
The marking of the town’s boundaries was carried out in accordance with strict guidelines agreed with both Scottish Borders Council and Police Scotland.
The horses taking part were turned out impeccably by Lesley Douglas, of Langlee Stables in Jedburgh.
Happily, SOUTHERN photographer BILL McBURNIE arose with the lark and was on hand bright and early to capture the magic of this key element of the Common Riding tradition.