‘Home’ comfort for man-of-the-moment

“WHERE else would you rather be than in oor hut, the hut?”

A jubilant Cornet Ross Nichol was “on top of the world” as he put the question to hundreds of mounted followers and foot soldiers in St Leonards Hut. But, in truth, the answer was plain for all to see – quite simply, there was no other place in the world they would rather be than inside Hawick’s most hallowed of venues on Common-Riding Morn.

A venue full to bursting point by 9.40am last Friday, and a venue which has clearly become a home from home for Hawick’s man-of-the-moment.

The Cornet said: “It’s been an incredible day, my feelings and emotions are even more unbelieveable than yesterday. Words can’t explain just how privileged I am and how honoured I really am. This has been the best six weeks of my life, believe me, and it’s one of those things that’s better felt than telt.”

After paying tribute to his Lass Gillian Smith for bussing the Banner “with true dignity”, Ross told of his joy at visiting the homes, hospitals and schools earlier in the week. “It’s a pleasure knowing you can make a bairn or auld yin’s Common-Riding just with a smile, a wave or a quick blether,” he said.

The Cornet went on to pay tribute to “absent freends” – an emotionally-charged moment during which he made special mention of his late granny and grandpa, Lid and Bill, and the late ex-Acting Father Norman Dickey, George Harrow and Richard Wilkinson.

After thanking all those who had made his big year possible, Ross rounded off on a rousing note by urging followers to “kick on . . . have a right yin, and I’ll see you on the Wester Heather!”

Full report and more photographs in the paper.