The biggest week on Hawick’s calendar kicked off on Sunday with the traditional Kirking ceremony amid beautiful sunshine, writes Gavin Gibbon.
Halberdiers Robert Payne and Eck Barclay led Cornet Chris Ritson, his Right and Left-Hand Men, Ross Nichol and Michael Davidson, and Acting Father Stuart Hunter on the procession from the town hall.
The Big Four, looking immaculate in their Sunday best, were joined by a long line of ex-Cornets, ex-Acting Fathers, family and supporters as they made their way to St Cuthbert’s Church – where Acting Father and Mother Stuart and Julie were married 21 years ago and where the Cornet himself attended while a pupil at Drumlanrig Primary School.
The service was conducted by the Reverend Canon Duncan McCosh. He said: “I thought the service was well received by the congregation which completely filled the church.
“The Cornet and his Lass both said they enjoyed the service and we were blessed with a nice sunny day. I also felt very honoured to be asked to be part of something which has such a long tradition and is very important within the culture of the town.”
Cornet Ritson and his Acting Father both gave readings, while the Cornet and his Lass Heather Amos were presented with Bibles from the church’s oldest regular attenders, Lu Dunnet and Ena Dickson.
Cornet Ritson said: “I thought it was a good service and I’d like to thank the minister and congregation from St Cuthbert’s for making the morning so special.”
After the service, the principals took off on the traditional walk along the High Street, cheered on by members of the public.
z The retiring collection for Hawick Food Bank, which is supported by the churches of the town and run through the Salvation Army, raised £466.