AS dawn broke above Hawick this morning the air began to fill with that unique feeling of pride and excitement, as Teries awoke early for the start of Common-Riding 2011.
Townsfolk have flocked to the Vertish Hill for the Thursday Morning Chase, Cornet Michael Davidson has proudly carried the unbussed Banner Blue for the first time, St Leonards Hut has been fit to burst with Common-Riding spirit, and the Moor has been transformed into the magical place it becomes once a year. The stage is well and truly set for a weekend of celebrations and Teries couldn’t be more ready – but the most eager of them all is the town’s man of the moment. Having proved a worthy and proud incumbent each week, he stated: “I don’t have any nerves, I am just totally excited now. This is what I’ve been waiting for.”
Although the 25-year-old says it is impossible to focus on one event among the three most important days of his life, he admitted: “Friday morning leading the procession through the archway at Towerknowe for the first time with the Flag will be one of the very special moments, but there is so much ahead of me, I just can’t wait.”
These feelings are shared by Acting Father Grahame Nichol who told the Hawick News: “All I feel now is sheer and utter excitement, I can’t put it into words.”
Cornet’s Lass Kirsteen Hill is also gripped by Common-Riding fever, and with her big moment tonight. She said: “I’m really looking forward to the Colour-Bussing which will be a really proud moment for me. But I can’t wait to see Michael carry the Flag.”
With a weekend ahead which holds so many favourites, all roads will certainly lead to the west end as it resonates with horses, song and chatter throughout – but most importantly, the town’s cherished history.
“We have so much to be proud of in Hawick and this weekend is the jewel in the crown,” said Common-Riding Committee chairman Stuart Marshall. “It’s great to see our grey auld toon buzzing. Our Cornet and the rest of the Big Eight have been superb in the lead-up to our Common-Riding proper, the Mair is looking a picture and Teries have rallied once more. What more could anyone ask for?”
He added: “On behalf of the entire Common-Riding Committee, I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend.”