Booze warning ahead of Hawick Common Riding
After a two-year absence townsfolk are looking forward to the return in the second week of June of an event which is steeped in history and rich in pageantry.
But the organisers are anxious to avoid a repetition of drunken clashes which have sometimes marred the celebrations in the past.
In particular, back in 2017, there was booze-fuelled disorder which led to the recruitment of a Midlothian-based security firm to keep the peace the following year.
‘The Hut’ is the unassuming name given to the building on St Leonard’s Farm, near Hawick Moor, in which celebrations occur.
Many will gather there and that is when the greatest revelry takes place, with songs sung, toasts made and drinks downed.
What was once an exclusively-male domain ‘the Hut’ is now open to women too.
But in order to prevent those celebrations getting out of hand Hawick Common Riding Committee has issued a strongly-worded statement warning that “anybody queueing for entry into the Hut who is thought to be intoxicated will be refused entry. No appeal.”
The statement goes on: “This is a ceremonial event and respect must be given to the Cornet, guests, speakers, singers, the occasion itself and anyone around you.
“Failure to do so will have consequences.
“Common Riding supporters have waited a long time for these events, let’s remember it for the right reasons.”
The committee has emphasised that attendance at all licensed events is restricted to those aged 18 and over and that the ‘Challenge 25 Rule’ will be enforced.
Meanwhile, thanks have been passed on to Hawick Common Riding Committee members and volunteers who helped put up bunting in the town at the weekend, ahead of the celebrations.
The Hawick Common Riding is the first of the Border festivals and marks the capture of the English flag in 1514 by the youth of the town.