Earlier this month organisers of the event, usually the first to host its traditional ridings each year, announced it would be taking its celebrations online following the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent cancellation of all festivals, civic weeks and common ridings for 2020.
Using footage of the town’s rich culture and history captured on film or video over the decades, local lad Ronald Yule was called upon to produce a series of virtual streamings and tributes, and this week organisers have named the Teries set to star in them.
The first of the three specially produced concerts will be streamed live online this Thursday evening, on what would have been Chase Night.
Hosted by 1514 Club President and Ex-Acting Father Derek Oliver, the 70-minute concert will feature virtual entertainers including official common riding singer Michael Aitken, Bernie Armstrong, Ian Landles BEM, ex-cornets Ian and Ross Nichol and Keith ‘Chugger’ Brown.
Also featuring is 16-year-old Ben McCredie, who has been performing at the common riding since he was a child.
He said: “It’s always a great honour to take part in the common riding and this year is certainly different, but I was delighted to be asked to take part in the virtual concert.” After that the overseas night virtual concert will be available for one week from Wednesday, June 3, the Colour Bussing virtual concert follows the evening after that.
The alternative common riding offerings concludes with a rerun of the 2014 Big Return on June 5, which will feature hundreds of Hawick children reenacting the Battle of Hornshole.
Niamh Scott, 17, who is performing in the overseas night concert, said: “It was a great pleasure to be asked to take part in the virtual overseas night. The common riding is such a special time for me and my family, like many others.
“It’s great that we still get to look forward to something in these difficult times, even if it’s not how we would normally celebrate our common riding.”
Members of the public were also encouraged to get involved in the virtual concerts and are featured during the choruses of some songs including Up Wi’ Auld Hawick and Teribus. There is also a special appearance from ITV’s This Morning presenting duo Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.
Hawick Provost Watson McAteer commented: “The coronavirus has taken a terrible toll on our community, but it will not stop us remembering and celebrating our rich history.”
A full programme of events as well as all the streamings, which begin at 6.30pm, can be seen on the common riding Facebook page and online at www.hawickcommonriding.co.uk/virtual.