Jethart’s Callant Festival enters it’s final week today as the countdown to Friday’s main ceremonies and celebrations begin.
Callant Brodie Irvine, his right and left-hand men Gary Hogg and Grant Raeburn and Herald Brian Marshall have already led successful rideouts to Morebattle, Southdean, Crailing and Nisbet and Redeswire and more follow this week in the run up to Friday’s main day.
Tonight’s Queen’s ride to Fulton Peel Tower follows a similar route as Mary Queen of Scots when she visited the wounded Bothwell at Hermitage Castle in October, 1566. Riders leave Back Bongate 6.30pm. Arrives Fulton Peel Tower 7.35pm. Leaves 8pm. Cavalcade meets band at castle back in Jedburgh at 9.10pm. Market Place 9.25pm. While the riders are out of town the Jedforest Instrumental Band and Jedburgh Royal British Legion Pipe Band will play a joint concert in the bandstand at Murray’s Green from 7.15 - 8.30pm.
Tuesday’s rideout and gymkhana at Lanton sees the cavalcade leave from Back Bongate at 5.30pm and arriving into Lanton at 6.45pm where mounted events, including best-turned out horse and rider, will be organised by the Lanton committee. The horses leave at 9pm and the cavalcade meets band at Townfoot 9.55pm arriving at the Market Place for 10pm.
Wednesday’s visit to Ancrum leaves Back Bongate 5.50pm and arrives into the village 7.10pm where there will be speeches and the dancing of the reel. The cavalcade leaves 8.35pm and arrives back to Market Place at 10pm.
The investiture ceremony and callant’s walk take place on Thursday evening from 7.15pm in the Market Place, with the Callant’s Reel performed on the platform place after the walk around the town.
The celebrations on Festival Friday begin at 8.30am when the cavalcade assembles at Back Bongate.
Preceded by the band, it arrives at the platform in Abbey Place at 8.45am where the Lady Provost pins a rosette to the Jethart Flag borne by the Callant.
9am - Cavalcade proceeds by Jed Road, Kenmore Toll, Oxnam Road, Blair Avenue, Lothian Road, Lochend, Howden to Ferniehirst Castle. Here the Recitation of Walter Laidlaw’s “Reprisal” will be given at 10.10am by Jedburgh Grammar School pupil Alex Taylor. An address by a representative of the Kerr family will follow before one verse of Jethart’s Here and one verse of Brave Lads o’ Jethart.
At 10.35am the cavalcade proceeds to Douglas Camp, Lintalee. It arrives at the Capon Tree at 11.10am where the president of the Callant’s Club pins a sprig from the tree to the Callant’s sash. The cavalcade continues to King of the Wood, Inchbonny. 11.30am - The Toll. Band leads cavalcade to Market place, with the cavalcade saluting the war memorial as they pass it, and proceeds down the Canongate.
The Jed is forded at Auld Brig at 11.40am and the cavalcade then continues via Priors Road, Bongate to Townfoot Brig.
At noon the bands lead the cavalcade by way of High Street, Mercat Cross, Canongate onto A68 to Kenmore Toll and the war memorial where at 12.30pm the Callant and his henchmen dismount.
The Flowers of the Forest is played by an unseen piper. The Callant, attended by his right and left-hand men, lays a wreath on the memorial before one verse of “O God Our Help in Ages Past” is sung, followed by the sounding of The Last Post as the Callant dips the flag. One minute’s silence is ended by sounding of Reveille.
The Callant resumes his place at the head of the cavalcade which moves on to the platform, there to witness the ceremonial return of the Jethart Flag, presentation of the Callant’s Cup.
Callant Irvine will then acknowledge his mounted supporters as they pass the day’s ceremonial proceedings come to a close.
On Friday afternoon between 1pm and 5pm a family fun day is being held around Murray’s Green and Abbey Place. The fancy dress parade begins at 6pm and will make it’s way around the town before the Jethart Callant’s Festival Ball takes place later that evening.
Further entertainment is on offer at the Jedburgh Border Games on Saturday. The games begin with the cannon firings at 6am in Market Place before continuing at Riverside Park from 12pm.
Sunday’s ceremonial return of the sashes will take place at Mary Queen of Scot’s House at 2pm.