2015 Common-Riding returns £13,000 profit

Hawick Common-Riding principals at the Friday Moor 2015
Hawick Common-Riding principals at the Friday Moor 2015

Hawick Common-Riding Committee’s finances are in rude health with almost £210,000 in the bank.

This is up almost £13,000 on last year, and despite atrocious weather at this year’s Saturday Moor, committee chairman Ian Scott says it all bodes well for the future.

The total income from this year’s Common-Riding and related activities stands at £90,016, with expenditure amounting to £77,149, which gives a net income/profit of £12,867, with total funds in the bank sitting at £209,577.

This year’s Saturday Moor takings plummeted from £13,038 in 2014 to £6,120, and the Friday saw takings of £20,625 against the big 2014 Friday Moor which returned £26,245 on the gate.

Speaking to the Hawick News this week, Common-Riding Committee chairman Ian Scott said: “We began the year by agreeing to leave ticket prices for the functions the same as for 2014. There was a degree of risk in this, but with economic conditions still tight and to try and encourage as many people as possible, of the large numbers from 2014, to return to the events in 2015, this was decided as the best option.

“We knew there were potential cost increases to come and that there was the potential for reduced numbers, for example with bad weather, but felt comfortable we would cover our costs. The good news from the accounts is that we were able to cover our costs whilst keeping prices unchanged for townspeople and have also been able to create a surplus of £12,867, whilst putting on another successful Common-Riding in 2015.

“This is down to the hard work put in by members of the committee and their commitment to doing the work required themselves, wherever possible, to minimise costs.”

Commenting on the poor Saturday takings at the Moor, Mr Scott said: “The Saturday Moor takings were down dramatically, but as the whole day was in jeopardy early on Saturday morning due to the overnight and ongoing wind and rain, I was delighted that we worked hard at correcting everything and the day went ahead and all the ceremonies were observed. Dinner and Ball takings are less, as less numbers attended, but costs were down as well so the surplus was the same. Looking back at previous accounts, even though we are down on 2014, the figures stand up well to years before 2014.”

Total income for the Moor gate and horse racing stands at £44,999, compared to the year previous which showed an income of £61,083. Ceremonial income was down to £25,858 from £27,094 in 2014.

Administration expenses dropped from £7,337 in 2014 to £5,501 this year.

Mr Scott added: “We would normally hold the value of one year’s expenditure in the general fund as coverage for a bad year, but the figure is higher than this at present, so we are in a very healthy position. This is partly because, having created a fund to celebrate the quincentenary in 2014, we still have funds left. Our net extra expenditure on the 2014 commemoration was almost £90,000.

Mr Scott finished by saying it all amounts to a secure future for the Common-Riding: “The funds remaining will now be used to continue our objective of upholding the traditions of the Common-Riding for Hawick folk. A sub-committee has been set up to examine projects that could use the funds to continue to enhance future events and the sub-committee will make recommendations on these to the full committee.”