Friday up the Mair

Cornet Michael Davidson atop the committee rooms at Hawick Moor
Cornet Michael Davidson atop the committee rooms at Hawick Moor
0
Have your say

ALL roads led to the Wester Heather on Friday morning as thousands of people headed to the special spot for the celebrations.

Teries were riding high on the crest of a Common-Riding wave as the racecourse came alive with the cherished sight of row upon row of cars and gazebos - and the unique atmosphere of the town united in festivities filled the air.

Vehicles waited patiently in long queues hoping to get their ‘space’, and by bus, taxi or foot the hallowed ground filled up ALL ALLroads led to the Wester Heather on Friday morning as thousands of people headed to the special spot for the celebrations.

Teries were riding high on the crest of a Common-Riding wave as the racecourse came alive with the cherished sight of row upon row of cars and gazebos - and the unique atmosphere of the town united in festivities filled the air.

Vehicles waited patiently in long queues hoping to get their ‘space’, and by bus, taxi or foot the hallowed ground filled up with Teries, families, friends and visitors all eager to celebrate the best day of the year. Although more layers of clothing were required than previous years, just like the morning before at a hugely successful early morning Chase, the rain stayed away and the sun shone occasionally on Cornet Michael Davidson. And with a mounted support of 335 followers following him on his special ride into history, there was no doubt for the man of the moment it was a day of dreams. He told the the Hawick News: “I was very excited and just wanted to get hold of the Flag. It was very emotional when Master of Ceremonies John Hope gave me the Bussed Flag, and coming out through the arch to see so many people was overwelming.”

Emotions certainly remained high as the Friday morning procession was cheered on its way, up the Chase, and into the Hut which pulsed with pride. Left-Hand Man Jamie Richardson commented: “As always the Friday is a great day, but the highlights are singing of the Auld Song at the steps, the Chase and the entry into ‘The’ Hut, what a reception our young Cornet received and it was well deserved.”

And the highlights just kept coming for Cornet Davidson whom, after experiencing the honour of Cutting the Sod, explained: “I was very proud handing the Flag to my Acting Father and seeing him take off closely followed by his two sons, that must have meant the world to him.”

And moments later with the crowd on Hawick Moor warmed up nicely by brighter skies and the hugely popular 1514 Primary School Relay, it wasn’t long before Common-Riding spirit reached its peak as the Cornet arrived on the racecourse. As crowds packed the railings straining for a glimpse of the Banner Blue flapping in the breeze, he was given a hero’s welcome along with his Right and Left Hand Men, Acting Father and followers thundering behind. The 25-year old stated: “I will never forget carrying the Flag round the racecourse, that was an amazing buzz.”

And for Common-Riding Committee chairman Stuart Marshall it is one of his abiding memories from Friday. “I will never forget the pride etched on the Cornet’s face when he came storming past the winning post to the cheers of thousands”, he told the Hawick News. This is shared by Cornet’s Lass Kirsteen Hill who commented: “It was amazing to see Michael carry the Flag round the Mair and hear everyone cheer.”

And although a fall prevented some riders completing the thrilling gallop, it did nothing to take away from a day which from the Tradesmans, to the stalls, racecourse was some experience, I couldn’t hear a thing apart from the roar of the crowd.”

Right-Hand Man Greg Easton added: “The general good friendly feeling up the Mair is always a highlight, it is superb and helps make Hawick Common-Riding what it is.”