Mair the merrier: Youngsters in Common-Riding mood

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A group of 76 Burnfoot schoolkids enjoyed a special Common-Riding experience recently when they visited the Hut at St Leonards and had a picnic at the Moor.

On arrival at St Leonards, the youngsters were given a history lesson on the significance of the famous wooden building by Provost Stuart Marshall, before joining Michael Aitken in Up Wi’ Auld Hawick.

Ex-Cornet Ross Nichol explained his role at the Hut and four of the school’s ‘Big Eight’ got to sit at the top table.

Alan Brydon then sang Bonnie Banner Blue along with the youngsters, before watching Provost Marshall order the curds and cream. Then, to the strains of Teribus, it was off to the Moor to welcome guests and enjoy the picnic.

At the Moor, Sally Niven spoke of her role looking after the Principals’ horses, before the children, all aged between six and eight, enjoyed a run around the Moor wearing horse masks.

The guests included the Big Eight, the Saxhorn Band who entertained with a Common Riding medley, this year’s Common-Riding chief guest Henry Douglas and his wife Aileen, and Ex-Cornet Greg McLeod who gave a great talk with props including a green jacket, flag and top hat.

Following the picnic, the youngsters re-enacted ‘The Call and Response’ and took part in a quiz and question-and-answer sessions with guests and enjoyed more songs before receiving photographs of this year’s Cornet Ross Gibson.

Class teacher Dianne Murphy said everyone had a great day and added: “I’d like to thank the guests and everyone who made this day possible. The children really enjoyed their day and loved singing in the Hut and banging their fists on the tables, and they had great fun running around the racecourse. They thoroughly enjoyed it and for many this was their first experience of the Common-Riding.”