Get into festival spirit for return of reiving times

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One of the highlights in the town’s calendar continues to go from strength to strength after a decade of success.

Ten years after the inaugural Hawick Reivers Festival began to tell the story of an age of local families taking to cattle thieving and plunder in order to gain wealth and power, a diverse programme of activities is once again planned for this weekend.

Now, each year, Teries and visitors alike step back in time to the 16th century. Through drama and song, poetry and re-enactments, everyone is invited to experience life in a turbulent and violent, but very colourful, era.

“It’s a real family event and there’s something for all ages,” said Cath Elliot-Walker, the festival’s chairwoman. “It’s a tremendous celebration of our culture and our heritage.

“And we really need everybody’s support to make it great.”

Among the extensive programme of activities, many of which are free to the public, there is tomorrow’s reivers procession, falconry and archery demonstrations, a look at craftsmen of the times and dramatic re-enactments. There are also concerts, historical lectures and many other events.

Evening entertainment takes the form of two concerts by traditional Scottish bands. Scocha (tonight) and Session A9 (tomorrow) are set to bring the crowds flocking to the town hall, where the specially-made Reivers Ale will surely also go down well with concert-goers.

Festival regulars Scocha will again open this year’s event with their unique sound. Stirring new material with traditional classics, the band comprises acoustic and electric guitars, bagpipes, whistles, drums, bass, keyboards, and bodhrans – something for every music fan,

Session A9, a world class traditional music band, are also making a comeback to Teri territory, and their high-energy performances are set to be a surefire hit with the crowd.

A re-enactment group somewhat aptly named The Best of Times The Worst of Times offer a detailed insight into life during reiving times, taking into account 16th-century food, entertainment, daily tasks, politics, combat and training. Cast members also don period costume and carry replica weapons.

On the theme of combat, equestrian specialists Les Amis D’Onno will saddle up for tomorrow’s reivers procession, while the Hotspur School of Defence will also be present brandishing their weapons.

In a change to the previously advertised schedule, tomorrow’s Saxhorn Band sponsored play has been cancelled and replaced by a performance in Trinity Gardens between 10am and noon.

Tickets for all events are available from Bannerman Burke or by logging onto www.borderevents.com/boxoffice