Riders association faces a new battle of Flodden as charges soar

The future of Coldstream Civic Week’s Flodden Cavalcade, commemorating the lives of Border men who died in one of the bloodiest battles in British history, is in doubt.

Thursday, 20th February 2020, 9:55 am
Updated Thursday, 20th February 2020, 9:57 am
Left hand man Gareth Watson holds the flag for 2010 Coldstreamer Craig Telford as he cuts a sod of turf from Flodden Field.

The last rideout of the region’s summer festivals, organised by the Coldstream Riders Association, sees riders from all over the Borders paying their respects.

However, plans by Northumberland County Council to hike road closure charges could see it, like the battle itself, become a thing of the past.

Former Coldstreamer Gareth Watson, who is on the committee of the Coldstream Riders Association, said: “The very future of the Flodden Cavalcade hangs in the balance due to these charges increasing as it would no longer be financially viable for the Riders Association to sustain.

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“The rideout is a massive attraction for Borderers, and it honours a most significant and historical event, as so many men lost their lives in the battle.

“Up to now, we have been paying around £2-3,000 for the closing of the roads.

“Under the proposed changes, it would be in the region of £6-7,000, which is a massive hike, and not financially sustainable.

“We are fundraising at the moment to try to cover the costs, but we are a fair way off.

“We have asked the council if we could get someone else to manage the road closure, but they would have to be approved by them.”

A spokesperson for the county council said that it was looking into options and would contact the association about the matter.

She told the Southern: “Northumberland County Council values the wide range of sporting, cultural, community and heritage events undertaken across the county by community and voluntary organisations each year.

“These events do sometimes involve costs to the council which would normally be passed on, but we are currently looking at how we can help event organisers with this.

“We will be in touch with the Coldstream Riders Association as soon as we have considered this further.”