About 1,000 people lined the streets of Hawick last night, November 15, to welcome the One Show’s rickshaw challenge team back to the town for the first time since its inaugural journey six years ago.
Millions more saw the six-strong team, accompanied by One Show presenter Matt Baker, arrive in Hawick live on the BBC One magazine programme.
Upon arriving at the town’s Tower Mill after a 60-plus-mile ride up from Penrith in Cumbria, via Newcastleton, Baker told the assembled Teries there to greet them: “Honestly, Hawick, you live in a very hilly place, I tell you.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for anybody who’s got a bike around here.”
Dunfermline’s Greg Francis, 18, one of two Scots in the team, added: “It’s been constant hills up and down, but it’s my home country, so, to be fair, it’s amazing, and the views were amazing all day.”
Wednesday’s leg of this year’s 500-mile journey from London to Glasgow took the team past the 390-mile mark, and they are heading north through the Borders today, also taking in Selkirk, Galashiels and Fountainhall en route for Edinburgh tonight.
Following the end of last night’s live broadcast, Baker, 39, spent half an hour chatting to well-wishers and posing for selfies, saying afterwards: “We were really excited to have arrived in Hawick.
“It’s fantastic seeing everyone turn out to welcome Team Rickshaw, and the show of support for BBC Children in Need was a wonderful way to end day seven of our journey.”
Hawick Rugby Club players were drafted in to reveal the mid-week total amassed by the seventh rickshaw ride in aid of BBC Children in Need, it being £1.53m.
Hawick’s Escape Youth Cafe is one of the charity’s many beneficiaries, and representatives of the Havelock Street youth centre were out in force last night to show their gratitude by collecting donations to boost the appeal.
Cafe worker Sian Snowdon last night told us: “It’s been absolutely brilliant tonight, and people have been so generous.
“It’s the second time the rickshaw has come to Hawick, and it’s great to see so many people out again to welcome them.
“We are happy to be out supporting them since they are so good to us.”
Cafe chairman Stuart Marshall, also a councillor for Hawick and Denholm, added: “It was fantastic to see the One Show being broadcast live from Hawick on Wednesday evening.
“The atmosphere at the Heart of Hawick was just amazing, and along with the volunteers of the Escape Youth Cafe, we were asked by the BBC to help support the programme by way of fundraising.
“Some of our volunteers were given Children in Need charity buckets to carry, and some of us, including provost Watson McAteer and his wife Jeanette, went around the huge crowds selling Pudsey Bear merchandise and giving away free flags to the hundreds of youngsters who turned up with their mums and dads.
“Hawick folk were just superb in their generosity for this well-deserving charity, and with an estimated audience of around five million tuning in to this very popular TV show, it was without doubt a terrific way of putting Hawick firmly on the world map.
“We at the Escape Youth Cafe are indebted to Children in Need as they have been a major funder of our organisation for a number of years, so it was nice to be able to give a little support back when they visited our town on Wednesday.”
Last night’s coverage can be seen on catch-up online at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09dy4p1/the-one-show-15112017
Videos of their arrival can also be seen on the Southern Reporter’s Facebook page.
The team are due to conclude their journey in Glasgow tomorrow.
Viewers of the One Show will be able to follow Team Rickshaw’s progress daily, and a real-time update on the youngsters’ progress is available at pudsey.viewranger.com
To support the challenge, you can donate either £5, £10 or £20 by text. To donate £5, text the word TEAM to 70405. To donate £10, text TEAM to 70410. To donate £20, text the word TEAM to 70420. Texts will cost your donation, plus your standard network message charge.
For full terms and conditions, go to bbc.co.uk/pudsey