A single tear traced a path down 2018 Cornet Gareth Renwick’s cheek as he proudly waved the Hawick flag for the final time on Saturday.
The traditional handing back ceremony brought the town’s annual Common Riding to a close following an action-packed three days.
“I didn’t think I was an emotional person but I was greeting,” the 22-year-old admitted. “I was telling myself to get a grip, but it just meant that much.
“It has been the most unbelievable experience, I can’t describe how good it has been to do.
“Everybody kept saying ‘blink and you miss it’, and it’s true. I’m gutted it’s over, it hasn’t really sunk in yet that it has all finished - I don’t think it will until next weekend when there’s nothing to do.”
The handing back ceremony was the culmination of the 2018 Common Riding, following a whirlwind few weeks for the Barrie Knitwear machine mechanic, who was charged with safeguarding the town’s traditions at his installation at the beginning of May.
Since then, assisted by right and left-hand men Alistair George and Euan Reilly, and acting father John Lyle, and supported by Cornet’s Lass Jennifer Nichol, right and left hand lasses Katy Moffat and Lisa McLean, and acting mother Lynn Lyle, Gareth has led hundreds of supporters and mounted followers on the historical ride-outs, services and ceremonies that Teries hold so dear.
Speaking in the hut on Friday, following the chase on the Nipknowes, Acting Father John told him: “You have done a fantastic job. You are truly a credit to your whole family, and to Hawick.”