An ode to auld Hawick and the Common-Riding

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Everybody’s different, on that we’ll all agree

Some folk live on pies and bread, while others are ‘wheat free’

Some folk like a drink or two, some folk just like juice

Rum and coke’s preferable if your name is Moose.

Especially at this time of year when Hawick folks a’ unite

Oo suddenly become a’ the same, nae mare say than tonight

Oo’ve a’ been brought together, oo’ve got a special bond

It’s a thing that yearly brings exiles hame frae yonder ‘ower the pond’

But maist o’ us have spent oor lives living in this toon

Oo’ve seen it when it’s on the up, oo’ve seen it when it’s doon

Jobs were aye available, on knitwear oo’d depend

Ee’d never turn a corner, but ee aye would see a friend.

Ee could walk along the High Street on a Seturday afternin

Even up O’Connell Street, ee could shop wi’ Fasil Dinn

There were jewels at Jimmy Ingles, claethes fri Skirt and Slacks

Coloured tights at Timpsons, Paige’s for coats and macs.

Oo’d buy loads and loads o’ sweeties frae a shop called Lamb and Blake

And Taddei’s was the place ti gan for ice cream and a flake

Ee’d buy ‘tat’ fri Perky A’things, food fri Liptons and fri Lows

And ee’d gan ti Lamb’s, the seedsman, ti buy a garden rose.

Ee got lovely shoes at Mosgroves, where hilarity and mirth

Was brought to light by mirrors and the late great Harry Worth

Rennies ower in Bourtree Place had other lovely shoes, and

Guttie Turnbull’s shop was guid for coffee and for booze.

And if ee fancied foreign stuff frae places such as Rome

Ee purchased lovely delicacies from Armstrong and Combe

Travelling up the Howegate was Nardini’s for a coffee

Then into Hills for Hawick Balls and bags o’ lovely toffee.

But the best place where oo’d spend time, yince oor through the door

Was the grand department shopping place oo a’ kent as ‘The Store’

There was stockings, tights and a’ the like sold by Pearl Fox

And ee travelled in the gated lift ti where they selt the frocks.

There was furniture and household goods, pyrex bowls and such

Never has a shop in Hawick ever selt si much

There was Neil Mackay’s in Croft Road, Arthur Armstrong an’ a’

And when ee reached a certain age there was Galls ti get yer bra.

Miss Lynch’s for a special treat if ee’d been behaving

And A mind A bought a ball dress, efter I’d been saving

Frae a shop called Wullie Robertson’s, another lovely store

But just like the rest a’ve mentioned, alas, they are no more

Like maist things in this day and age, things come and then they go

So in a life full of uncertainties it’s really good to know

That every year in May and June when toonsfolk come together

They’re celebrating something that will be here forever.

So,while shut doon shops are in the past, oo’ve yin thing that is bidin’

And for years ti come oo’ll a’ take pride in oor brilliant Common-Riding.

– By Cornet Ross Nichol’s mum, Lesley, for

recital at a post-ride-out function last month