Virtual Hawick Common Riding hailed a success after Teries and celebrities yin an a’ get behind concerts

The thousands of folk who would usually pour into Hawick town hall, High Street, hut at St Leonard’s and moor for the annual Hawick Common Riding celebrations these past few weeks have been tuning in online instead to enjoy a flavour of the traditions upheld this year by video stream.

By Kathryn Wylie
Friday, 5th June 2020, 4:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 3:38 pm
Hawick Common Riding committee chairman John Hogg.
Hawick Common Riding committee chairman John Hogg.

And it’s a move which common riding committee chairman John Hogg says has gone down overwhelmingly well.

“We have actually been really surprised by the really nice comments we have had from all over the world during this.

“It’s gone bigger than we ever imagined it could’ve gone.

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“It’s not ideal for a common riding but we have done what we could to try mark it and it’s come together really well.”

Three virtual concerts shown on what could be chase night, the evening of the exiles’ night and the colour bussing ceremony, were streamed online to thousands over the space of just over a week, thanks to Hawick’s own television-producing talent Ronald Yule.

“For long enough we have had talent in front of the cameras in the form of Hawick’s talented singers and performers, but this Ronald is a very talented laddie indeed,” John added. 
“We just sent him all the videos and he did the rest and they’ve come up really well.”

Ronald, who works for ITV in London, even used his contacts in the city to persuade a couple of celebrities to feature in the colour bussing concert last night.

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, hosts of This Morning, appeared briefly dancing along to Bernie Armstrong’s performance of Up Wi’ Auld Hawick.

“He said to us he had got a surprise for us,” John added. “He wanted to teach them the words at the same time so they could sing along but they ran out of time. It’s a wee bit fun and a bit different getting something like that included.”

The 1983 cornet added: “We are really surprised by how many folk have clicked in to watch these. If everybody just makes a bit of effort in their own town it keeps an interest going.

“We’ve seen common riding and festival organisers from other towns looking at it already.”

As well as the three virtual concerts, reruns of previous common ridings and productions were also shared.

The chase night concert was hosted by 1514 Club President and Ex-Acting Father Derek Oliver and Callants’ Club past president David Chapman compered Wthe overseas night concert.

Mr Hogg was at the helm of the final concert where he thanks Teries yin and a’ for their support.

That sentiment was shared by 2019 cornet Connor Brunton and his lass Victoria Campbell too.

Connor added: “A massive thanks goes to everyone involved with putting these concerts together. Thanks to the townspeople of hawick for the support shown to me, Victoria and the rest of the big eight last year.”