Sid Huddart is to be commended for his efforts to test the water of public opinion in Denholm which last year, and not for the first time, suffered the slings and arrows of drink-fuelled anti-social behaviour.
The chairman of the idyllic settlement’s feuars and householders council is expecting a high-turnout next week when the 600 villagers will be asked to decide if the traditional annual ride-out by the Cornet and his mounted supporters on Saturday, June 4 – the week before Hawick’s big weekend – should go ahead.
Few of those who attended last year could criticise the residents if they give the thumbs-down to an event which has endured for more than five decades.
For, as we report on page one, Denholm was trashed; there were incidents of public nuisance and abusive behaviour, and a mountain of litter was left in the wake of the more unruly revellers.
That the event was not summarily cancelled in the wake of the excesses of an admittedly small majority says much for the esteem in which the ride-out is held. Under normal circumstances, it represents a huge boost for Denholm’s two pubs and other businesses.
Mr Huddart, whose association will also lose out in revenue which comes from parking on The Green, appears to be bending over backwards to avoid a repetition of last year. It is an aspiration shared by all true Common Riding supporters.
If Denholmites do decide the ride-out should go ahead, those whose behaviour cast such a shadow over last year’s event must be left in no doubt they are dining (or drinking) at the last chance saloon.