Hawick Cornet Ali George says he has enjoyed a “brilliant summer” so far and he expects that to continue tomorrow as he takes part in the Jethart Callant’s Festival’s main rideout for the first time.
Ali’s duties in his home town might now be over, but he’s keeping busy by representing Hawick at common riding events in neighbouring Borders towns, and he’s loving every minute of it, he says.
Last weekend, he took part in the rideout for this year’s Galashiels Braw Lads’ Gathering, and his duties continue tomorrow in Jedburgh.
A cavalcade will gather tomorrow morning at Back Bongate, with the throng then heading to High Street and belting out a verse of Jethart’s Here along the route.
Ali, a greenkeeper, of Longcroft Crescent in Hawick, said he is proud to represent the town further afield but added that he will probably be “completely exhausted” when all the celebrations are finally over.
The 24-year-old, speaking ahead of what will be the 70th Jethart rideout, said: “I think we’re about halfway through now, and I have loved every minute of it.
“There have been so many highlights, so many great memories, but the greatest honour of all is representing Hawick. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I’d never done anything similar, but it has been fantastic.
“We had a great day at Gala at the weekend. I couldn’t be sure how many took part, but there were over 200 for sure.
“Next up it’s Jethart, and I am expecting another great day.
“It’s been a long summer, and I’m sure I will be completely exhausted by the end of it, but it’s all been well worth it.”
Joining him for tomorrow’s ride will be his girlfriend Katy Moffat, also his cornet’s lass.
The 22-year-old, a nursery nurse, is from Jedburgh herself and has taken part in its rideouts previously, but never before with Ali.
Tomorrow’s cavalcade, led by 2017 Jethart Callant Brodie Irvine, 21, an electrician by trade, will assemble at 8.30am and will be at the centre of proceedings until the town flag is handed back for another year at lunchtime.
A children’s fun day, fancy-dress parade and festival ball will follow.