Denholm votes – yes!

CORNET Greg Easton has spoken of his delight that this year’s Denholm ride-out has been given an overwhelming thumbs-up to return.

An enthusiastic round of applause greeted a landslide victory in favour of the popular day on the Green when it was revealed to a packed village hall on Wednesday night – with the ride-out being backed by 216 votes, compared to only 73 against.

A thrilled Cornet told the Hawick News: “I am really pleased that the village has voted yes and that we will be coming back.

“From a ride-out point of view everyone loves coming to Denholm and that part of it always runs smoothly. We had begun to put other things in place just incase, but I’m delighted that won’t be necessary and it’s going ahead.”

Cornet Easton, Right-Hand Man Jamie Richardson, assistant Master of Ceremonies Mick Robertson and Graham Paxton, chairman of the Ride-out Working Party, were amongst those crowded into the hall for the result.

Yet despite angry calls for the event to be banned last year following complaints about anti-social behaviour, an estimated 52 per cent of the village did not even vote. This was despite ballot papers being hand delivered to every household, and votes able to be cast in the Post Office throughout the week, or at the meeting.

However, Sid Huddart, chairman of the Denholm Feaurs and Householders Council which owns the Green and hosts the ride-out, says he is happy that a final decision has been reached.

He told the Hawick News: “I am happy with how the vote went, it was done democratically and now we know what the village really wants. Nobody was confident of which way it would turn out, but I think with extra measures in place that is as much as we can do, and we are confident it will work. We got the right result for the village tonight.”

The meeting heard a long list of ground rules which the Feaurs have agreed to ensure problems suffered last year, such as urinating in closes, broken glass on the green, fighting and threats – created by a minority when people from all over the Borders descended on the village – cannot be repeated.

The precautions include doubling the toilet provision from six to 12 and dividing them into ladies and gents; community wardens in attendance all day; more volunteers sought, as well as support from the Ride-out Working Party; no gazebos allowed until Saturday morning, or along the front of the Main Street; barriers at various openings; extra rubbish disposal; and Scottish Borders Council providing and removing recycling facilities.

And although the charge for car parking has not yet been revealed, it has been decided that ‘foot soldiers’ arriving by bus and taxi will pay a £1 donation.

Sid commented: “This year we estimate we will spend more than we take in.

“But we look forward to welcoming the Cornet into the village on June 4 this year.”