Common-Riding container destroyed in arson attack

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A container belonging to the Common Riding Committee was burnt out at the Moor last weekend and the gates to the area could be locked permanently.

The latest incident follows a spate of vandalism in the second half of last year and Hawick Common Good fund will be left counting the cost of increased insurance premiums thanks to a £3,000 claim.

The Hawick News has reported several incidents in the past few months. Railings were ripped out of the ground, the Portaloo was pulled off its foundations, the metal doors have been kicked in, the gateman’s shed was burnt out, and the seat at the top Moor gate was wrecked.

The fire was reported to police by a passing farmer at 6.20 am on Sunday morning and speaking to the Hawick News this week, SBC property officer Frankie Scott said: “To be honest this is a bit sickening. The sums involved aren’t huge and the most expensive things to replace will be the boards used by cars to cross the racecourse at the Common-Riding – these cost £1,600. The container also held fence posts, running rails, ropes and tools but there is nothing of any great cash value. The container and it’s contents will need to be replaced but what is most annoying is that it’s a huge kick in the teeth for the folk who volunteer their time and make things like the Common-Riding the success they are. The gates have been locked for a while but that could become permanent.”

Also condemning the latest incident is Provost and Common-Riding Committee chairman Stuart Marshall: “This is just appalling. You can barely believe the mentality of some folk. I am extremely concerned. Incidents of vandalism have been ongoing for a year now at the Moor. It is gut-wrenching to see the good work of those involved ruined by a minority. This also affects the Common Good Fund through higher insurance payments.”

And Mr Marshall is urging anyone with any information to do the right thing by contacting police.

The police did not respond to our request for a comment.