Era ends for common riding as five resign

Cllr Stuart Marshall is bowing out after 20 years
Cllr Stuart Marshall is bowing out after 20 years

It’s the end of an era for Hawick Common Riding’s organising committee now five members with almost 130 years of service between them have called it a day.

The decision of the members to stand aside means the committee is now on the lookout for new recruits to step into the breach.

Those making an exit are ex-cornet John Hope, with 20 years’ service to his name; ex-acting father Lawrence Marshall, also a member for 20 years; George Linton, leaving after 27 years; and councillors George Turnbull and Stuart Marshall, bowing out after 40 years and 20 years respectively. They tendered their resignations at the committee’s latest annual meeting.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor Mr Turnbull said: “I have seen first hand the highs and lows and the workings of this organisation, which is made up of willing volunteers who have given so much to the town of Hawick.

“To the best of their abilities, they work tirelessly to ensure that year after year the common riding goes as well as can be expected under very difficult circumstances and with the many challenges that are associated with organising such a major event.

“The time is right for me to make way for new blood on the committee and hopefully with enthusiasm to carry forward the various projects and tackle the new challenges that await this organisation.

“It has been a privilege to have served continuously for 40 years and to have seen so many changes over that period. I wish Hawick Common Riding committee every success for the future.”

Hawick and Denholm councillor Mr Marshall said: “I would encourage anyone with some spare time to get involved in this great organisation. Our common riding is a precious part of the very fabric of our town, and whilst I will be sad to go, I do take with me some great memories.

“It’s a decision that I have mulled over now for some considerable time, and I think that after 20 years’ continuous service it is now time to make way for some new faces to come on board.”

In letters of resignation read out at the AGM, Mr Hope said he had enjoyed every minute of his time on the committee, the other Mr Marshall said his decision was not taken lightly and Mr Linton said it was time for the committee to move forward.

Committee chairman Cameron Knox thanked the five members for their service over the years, saying: “Among them, these five members have given almost 130 years of service to the common riding committee, and we are totally indebted to them for their service. They are a walking encyclopaedia of all things common riding.

“They all have our common riding at heart and are only a phone call away for any advice required.

“Going forward, by stepping down, these gentlemen have opened the way for new blood to join the committee.”