THE town’s turbulent and colourful 16th-century legacy will be brought to life this weekend with the staging of the Hawick Reivers Festival.
Now in its ninth year and a firm favourite on the calendar, the town will once again celebrate its past with processions, drama, re-enactments, talks, battles and music – and this year more than ever the whole family can get involved.
From a new children’s Reviers sports day, Hawick Archaeological Society’s Dander Roond Wilton Lodge Park and concert by award-winning Blazin’ Fiddles, to the spectacular Hot Trod procession and fireworks display to name just a few, the public and visitors certainly have plenty to choose from.
Festival committee spokesperson Cath Elliott-Walker said: “The stage is set for another great festival. The committee has worked really hard to provide another varied programme and there is something for everyone.”
Local favourites Scocha raise the curtain tonight with their popular concert, before tomorrow’s action-packed day starts at 10.45am with the Drums and Fifes leading a horseback procession along the High Street – arriving at the day-long bustling reivers’ market and encampment in Lovell Court. From school plays in St Mary’s Church, to a ceramic workshop, history talks in Drumlanrig’s Tower, and the Heritage Hub for songs, stories and ballads, the town centre will be transported to its medeival past. And townsfolk will also once again be able to relish in some rough justice, with local characters facing trial. This year they are Weel-Kent Face Gerry Graham (11.15am); Right-Hand Lass Laura Peden (noon); Hawick Sings stalwart David Nuttall (12.45pm); and MSP John Lamont (1.45pm).
As night falls one of the weekend’s highlights arrives with the torchlit procession, led by Hawick Scout Fellowship Pipe Band from the Common Haugh through the park, to the fireworks display at the Volunteer. And the day closes with the eagerly-anticipated Blazin’ Fiddles concert in the town hall.
Mrs Elliott-Walker commented: “Unfortunately a busy weekend in the town with other events has made advanced ticket sales slower, but we hope townsfolk will support our two special concerts.”
Townsfolk are also still able to join Sunday’s Dander Roond Wilton Lodge Park, which starts from the Common Haugh at 10am, and finishes at the reivers’ encampment for lunch. The packed programme contiues with the reivers sports and various activities including falconry and a treasure hunt for the under-fives.
The weekend ends at Hawick Rugby club with the literary high tea by historical author and lecturer, John Saddler.
Mrs Elliott-Walker added: “We wish everyone a great weekend.”