Reivers return for Hawick festival

Re-enactors parading and performing for the crowds at the 2018 Reivers Festival in Hawick.
Re-enactors parading and performing for the crowds at the 2018 Reivers Festival in Hawick.

The clock is set to wind back some 600 years in Hawick this weekend when the Border Reivers are back in town.

Locals and visitors alike will be whisked back to the mid 16th century, when violence was the order of the day and the Borderlands were an area of constant feuding.

Starting on Friday, the three-day 2019 Reivers Festival will give a glimpse into what day-to-day life was like in this turbulent period of our history.

Through music, drama and reenactments, families can be transported straight to the 300-year period when the English-Scottish Border was a lawless frontier of cattle rustling, feuding, murder, arson and pillaging.

Highlights include the Reivers encampment at the Wee Haugh on Saturday, where a series of re-enactments will include displays of musket drills, hand to hand skirmishes and mock battles; a Reivers procession along the High Street; school games; torchlight procession, banquet and fireworks.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s event, festival chair Cath Elliott said: “All the usual, popular features will be there, along with some new events for this year.

“Borders Kith and Kin are very much at the heart of the 2019 Reivers Festival and we are looking forward to welcoming representatives of the Scott, Elliot Turnbull, Routledge, Armstrong and Moffat families to our clan village, where they will be joined by members of the Ulster Scots Association representing the many Reiving families who settled in Northern Ireland, particularly Fermanagh, after the union of the crown.”

Hawick Archaelogical Society will host Turnbull Tales and Trails by Fiona Turnbull and Albert Turnbull on Friday, and there will be an opportunity for people to start researching their own family history, with genealogists Wendy Tait and Lorna Kinnaird on hand to help.

Other highlights include the guided walk with the Reivers from Hawick to Branxholme Castle, a rum tasting and demonstration session at the Old Baths, and the return of the popular ghost walks lead by members of the Teviotdale Steel Bonnets.

Go to www.hawickreivers.com for a full programme of events and ticket information.