Festival spirit abounds as reivers roam once again

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HAWICK was alive with the sights, sounds and smells of the Border Reivers at the weekend and organisers are hailing it as one of the best festivals ever.

Hundreds of locals and visitors enjoyed a three-day trip back in time taking in a whole host of well run and entertaining performances, including popular drama sessions from primary school pupils in St Mary’s Church and The Heritage Hub, which brought the reivers to life.

Speaking this week, the organising committee’s Cath Elliott-Walker told the Hawick News: “We had a great weekend and everyone really enjoyed themselves. We had positive comments all weekend.”

The packed programme kicked off with the eagerly anticipated Scocha concert in the Old Baths and it was, according to one reveller: “Just fantastic and really set the standard for the weekend to follow”.

Centre stage on Saturday was the magnificent Reivers’ Parade along High Street, led by scores of young Teries, all of whom had dressed to impress in the costumes of the day.

The youngsters then ‘did battle’ at the Reivers’ Games in the Civic Space and were joined by Border Clansmen re-enactors who put on a superb display. And topping off a the parade were the Fifes and Drums, and Lanton-based Les Amis D’Onno, whose skilled horses and riders
provided the crowds with some stunning equestrian skills.

Another highlight every year is the torchlight procession, which saw more than 100 people brave the cool night for the walk from Common Haugh to Wilton Lodge Park. Young and old alike were enthralled by an explosive pyrotechnic extravaganza. One onlooker said: “That was excellent – the wee one enjoyed it. We’ve never joined the parade before but we will be back next year. That was fantastic.”

High Street butcher Lindsay Grieve provided the fayre for the Reivers’ Banquet, with diners joining the Baron Of Hawick and his family for the sumptuous feast including Scotch broth, roast beef and roasted vegetables with bread sauce served on a bread charger.

Mrs Elliott-Walker added: “This was a really good event. The food was fantastic and the bread chargers were really impressive and proved popular.”

Ever popular on the Sunday morning, for those wishing to get out and about to stretch their legs, is Ian Landles’ walk around Hawick Common. Ian was joined by 25 fellow walkers who enjoyed his wit and local knowledge, and this was followed by a lunchtime concert in the Old Baths. Later in the afternoon, the well-attended literary talk and high tea at the Mansfield Park clubrooms provided a fitting conclusion to a hugely successful festival, and it’s great to see it growing on a yearly basis.

While it may never rival the Common-Riding, organisers should be justly proud of what they pull off year on year.

To get involved in next year’s event, contact Mrs Elliott-Walker via hawickreivers.com