Thanks to all for creating special day

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Can I take the opportunity through the Hawick News to thank the huge support from the townsfolk of Hawick for the Vision 2014 Project and The Big Return.

Thursday, May 15, was a hugely successful and memorable day which will live in the hearts and minds of all those who attended for years to come. It most certainly felt you were part of a special moment in time. The 1,500 children who attended all kitted out in their costumes were a credit to their families, their schools and to Hawick. Huge thanks must go to school staff, parents and friends who spent countless hours ensuring that the children had costumes on the day.

The Big Return did not just happen and has been many years in the planning. The Steering Group is made up of people from all walks of life in the town, many who have been with us since the start of the project in 2008. This truly remarkable and dedicated group of people have given their time, energy and thinking on a monthly and latterly weekly basis to ensure that everything was thought of and everything was in place.

The call for volunteers to help marshal resulted in over 35 people coming along on the day to marshal children and the public on the routes both there and back.

Thank you so much to this great band of people for helping make the day run smoothly.

Finding the funds to put on such a day has never been something that held back ‘The Vision’ and we are indebted to the huge number of sponsors who donated money, materials and food for the day, namely The John and Mary Elliot Memorial Trust, Hawick Trades, Scocha, The Border Club, Shorts of Hawick, Deans & Co Accountants, Bannerman and Burke, David Craig Motors, and Richardson Printers,who all donated money.

Thanks to Stuart Marshall for ensuring the Community Grant bid went through; to Lovat Mills, Ian Whillans and Colin Gilchrist who donated material for costumes; to Jus- Rol in Berwick for sausage rolls and cookies; to Harrow’s Bakery for cooking the sausage rolls; the school kitchen staff for making the cookies; and to Sainsbury’s for apples and Morrisons for water.

A huge thank you also to Olivia Roper from Scottish Borders Council Arts Development for dance and music tutor time; to Sara Best, our dance tutor, who helped with the Hawicka and prepared the boys to take on the role of the Hawick Callants; to Matt the Hat for the fantastic drumming and the call and response; to the PSA for the use of their premises and pitches as the gathering place; and to Peter and Olivia for helping us on the day.

The background crew were immense; Terry Scott helped prepare the routes; Susan Kevan, from the Countryside Access Rangers, put in additional boardwalks by the river; Stuart Beck strimmed the foliage; and Keith Davis loaned us the tailors. Thanks to Graeme Cockburn for taking away the rubbish at the end of the day.

Mr and Mrs Derrick Parrish willingly gave the use of the field and Hornshole; and Mr J. Oliver and the Usher family allowed access through their land. The committee of between 20 and 25 people, all important cogs in the wheel, did their part to make everything the success it was. Local schools showed what can be done when everyone works together.

This fantastic day culminated in the unveiling of a wonderful statue at Tower Knowe. The children again did us proud, and now have memories tht they can pass onto their children and grandchildren and can say with pride “I was there in 2014.”

The Vision 2014 had its own slogan and I think it is fitting to end with this as a final thank you to the people of Hawick:

Where oo gan

Where oo been

It’s a’ aboot 2014

Janice Chapman

Chair, 2014