Centenary celebrations set to culminate with parade

Hawick Scout Pipe Band leading the parade up Vertish Hill earlier this year.
Hawick Scout Pipe Band leading the parade up Vertish Hill earlier this year.

They may have been almost a decade too late, but the celebrations marking the centenary of one of the Borders oldest pipe bands will culminate in a rousing fashion next weekend.

Hawick Scout Pipe Band is promising a spectacle of both sight and sound next Saturday, September 23 when they host a celebratory massed bands parade and free performances throughout the town centre.

This year’s centenary events, which have included performances at Edinburgh Castle’s Battle of Arras commemorations, the massed bands display at Floors Castle and a centenary exhibition at Wilton Lodge Park museum, have been celebrated regardless of a slight numerical calculation.

The celebrations were planned under the long-held belief that the band was formed in 1917, but shortly after plans were finalised for the big year an eagle-eyed member came across a photograph of the band printed in the Hawick News from 1914. Following some recalculations it was concluded the band was likely formed soon after the formation of the Scouts in Hawick in 1908. However, members chose to see the funny side and pushed ahead with the deserved celebrations regardless.

Hoping the parade will garner plenty of local support and attract a few tourists to the town, the band’s pipe major Michael Bruce said: “We have received much support over the last few years from local people and organisations and the Council and while this year has turned out to be a little late to be our Centenary, at least we can give some entertainment back to the town.

“The High Street will be closed to traffic for the duration of this event, but local shopkeepers are pleased that an event is happening.”

The parade will begin from the Scout Hall in Union Street at 3pm making it’s way to the horse for a static performance then on to Tower Knowe for a few more tunes. After a short break there, the parade returns back along the High Street to the horse with the salute being taken at the Town Hall by Major General Jeremy Phipps, president of the Borders Scout Group, accompanied by provost Watson McAteer and the band’s ex-pipe major Charlie Turnbull.

The band will be supported by friends from Jedburgh Royal British Legion, Melrose and District and Edinburgh Postal pipe bands. Additional performances are scheduled from the Edinburgh Postal Pipe Band’s team of Scottish country dancers, subject to good weather.

New members, experienced or complete beginners of both sexes are always welcome to join the band, which meets at its headquarters in the town’s Union Street. The band takes new members both from the local Scouts and anyone else who is interested, including adults.