Line-up of events for Hawick Reivers’ Festival announced

Last year's Hawick Reivers' Festival.
Last year's Hawick Reivers' Festival.

The full line-up of events making up this year’s Hawick Reivers’ Festival has now been announced.

Activities for people of all ages will be on offer from Friday, March 24, until Sunday, March 26, including historical re-enactments, ceilidhs, tours and plays.

The festival, held annually by Hawick Reivers’ Association since 2003, celebrates the Borders’ history from the 14th to the 17th centuries, a period characterised by cross-border raids in both directions by reivers.

Association chairwoman Catherine Elliot said: “The festival is a very popular annual event. As it takes place right at the start of the tourist season, we are really hoping to get a lot of visitors to the area. Of course, we also hope that there will be a large turnout from the locals too.”

The festival will open with a family ceilidh featuring music by the Reivers Ceilidh Band at Hawick Auld Baths, in Bath Street, on the Friday at 8pm, with tickets priced £5.

The opening night will also include guided tours including tales of the townsfolk’s ancestors.

Saturday will see a 16th century-style market open from 10.30am in High Street with live music and games.

A parade will proceed aalong High Street at 10.45am, and pupils at Drumranlig St Cuthbert’s Primary School will act out a four-part play at St Mary’s Church at noon.

Headteacher Jeanette Gordon said: “The schoolchildren will prepare a four-part performance all about different families at the time of the reivers, which is hopefully going to give a different flavour of the importance of families of that time.

“At the school hall, they will have a reivers-themed breakfast to really soak in the whole experience, then they will walk up to the meeting point, where they will take part in the parade before holding their performance at the church.”

A performance by Stirches Primary School pupils will follow at 12.45pm of Alan Jermison’s play A Reiver’s Romance.

Later, a torchlight procession will be held at 6pm from the Common Haugh, and at Wilton Lodge Park, there will be a firework display from 7.30pm in the bandstand area.

Visitors are also invited to a reivers-style banquet at the Auld Baths at 8.15pm.

Entertainment will be provided by Hawick minstrels including Michael Aitken, Henry Douglas, Billy Young, Robert Scott and Michael Scouler.

Tickets cost £15, or £8 for primary school-age children, or £100 for a table of eight.

On the Sunday, a literary high tea will be hosted by Hawick Rotary Club, and author Rosemary Goring will give a talk on the Battle of Flodden in 1513 and its aftermath.

Tickets for events can be bought at ILF Imaging in Sandbed, at Dorward’s gift shop in High Street or online at borderevents.com

For further details, go to www.hawickreivers.com