Alternative virtual common riding ideas being considered in Hawick for 2020

Hawick Common Riding supporters might still be able to come together to celebrate their annual traditionas this summer despite Covid-19 social distancing rules and the current lockdown, it’s hoped.

By Kathryn Wylie
Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 9:42 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 1:06 pm
Cornet Connor Brunton during last year's Hawick Common Riding.
Cornet Connor Brunton during last year's Hawick Common Riding.

Organising officials are in the early stages of planning a way of upholding some of its traditional events in alternative formats.

The six-week long Hawick Common Riding should have named its 2020 cornet-elect on Wednesday, May 6. with rideouts to due to have followed to Bonchester Bridge, Lilliesleaf, Roberton, Priesthaugh, Mosspaul and Denholm before the common riding weekend proper’s chases, rideouts and ceremonial events taking place from Thursday, June 4.

Amongst all that, the cornet would also attend congratulatory smokers, dinners, a colour-bussing ceremony and visits to St Leonard’s Hut for toasts, songs and speeches.

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Committee chairman John Hogg said it’s too early to share much but did say: “Hawick Common Riding committee is working on certain aspects of the common riding functions to be held this year. These are in the very early stages.”

The committee made the decision to call off this year’s event in March but hopes to check the town boundaries in some way later in the year.

“We will mark the common, cut the sod and lay the wreath at Hornshole at some time this year, it just depends on when we get the all clear from the government,” John added. “In 2001, when it was the foot and mouth outbreak, we did that in the September.”

These events will be led by last year’s cornet Connor Brunton and his lass Victoria Campbell, with the wreath-laying ceremony potentially involving the cornets lasses from 1995 and 1970. “We are still throwing ideas about,” John added.

Meanwhile, a host of online events over the space of five weeks is replacing St Boswells’ village week, usually held in the first week of June.

With social distancing restrictions put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus five weeks ago putting paid to any hope of organised events, villagers are taking to Facebook instead, having already taken part in a fitness-inspired competition this week, and quiz week before. A fancy dress-themed week is next up before the village’s virtual events schedule concludes with a craft week.

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