1514 Club hailed ‘a shining beacon’

1514 Club president Alan Brown and some of his guests
1514 Club president Alan Brown and some of his guests

The 1514 Club’s clear sense of “camaraderie, friendship and belonging” were thrust into the spotlight at last Friday night’s annual dinner in the Burns Club.

Giving his toast to The Club, David Seeley, son of the late Ian Seeley, formerly the club’s honorary pianist, said that there was also a great loyalty engendered by and for the club. These were all values which he said repeatedly cropped up when he spoke to other members.

David, a forensic psychiatrist who lives in Cardiff, continued: “In little more than 50 years the club has established itself as a major force in promoting the traditions and culture of not only the Common-Riding, but of the town of Hawick itself.”

Focusing on the concept of tradition, he went on: “Its obvious function is as a way to pass on the values, morals, customs and culture of one generation to the next. Tradition also teaches us something about life, where we came from and who we are as people.

“The 1514 Club is a shining beacon in this promotion.”

It was an informative and thought-provoking speech and rightly received warm applause.

Chairman for the evening was club president Alan Brown, who also gave the toast to The Cornet. He said: “Once again we have another fine young Teri callant to lead this year’s celebrations. He is undoubtedly the right man in the right place at the right time.”

In reply, Cornet Hepburn congratulated Alan on his appointment as the 39th 1514 president and pledged to “uphold the standards set [at the club] andprove a worthwhile addition in the years ahead”.

Toasting The Common-Riding was local businessman, author and musician, Alan Brydon, who hit the perfect note with an emotive speech, during which he railed against the proposed changes to the boundary at Hornshole.

“We don’t want to lose Hornshole or Denholm or Bonchester, Newcastleton or any household in between,” he asserted. “These are oor ain folk, in communities that are historically tied to Hawick. If it’s no’ broken – dinni fix it.”

Alan also aired a specially written poem on the boundary issue, entitled Juist (a hunder) Lines, and his superbly crafted verses summed up Teri feelings perfectly.

During the evening, the Cornet and Acting Father Richie Lynn were presented with embroidered numnahs, while president Brown welcomed several new club members to the dinner, namely Rodger Hart, Keith Lawson, Lyle Murray and Steven Wood.

Denholm’s Joe Crawford gave the toast to The Acting Father. Ideally placed to do so as a good friend and former business partner of the Fither, Joe had some warm words for Richie, and the newly-appointed Acting Senior Magistrate thanked him for his toast.

The top-notch catering was by Deborah Brown and her team, while the finest of entertainment was provided by the following: the Saxhorn Band, official Common-Riding song-singer Michael Aitken, Bert Armstrong, Ex-Acting Father Henry Douglas, Keith ‘Chugger’ Brown, the Drums and Fifes, Ex-Cornet Ian Nichol, Davie Chapman, Iain ‘Scocha’ Scott, Ronnie Nichol, John Tait, Tam Amos, Euan Robson, Ex-Cornet Chris Ritson, Alan Brydon, Ronnie Tait, Derek Inglis and Greg McLeod. Ian Landles and Richard Common accompanied on the piano.

Ex-Cornet Greg Easton toasted The Right and Left, and Right-Hand Man Ross Gibson replied.

1514 vice-president Kenny King delivered a well-earned toast to chairman Brown who he said had “raised the bar with his commitment and loyalty to the club”, after which what had been a terrific evening was brought to a fitting conclusion with Teribus by Michael Aitken and Cornets Up.