Provost issues an apology after chair mix-up

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Assurances were given this week that a chair specifically designed for the Colour-Bussing will be used for future ceremonies after it was mistakenly left out this year.

And the Common-Riding Committee has issued an apology after the oak chair, which was designed by Alex Cuthbertson, wasn’t part of this year’s proceedings.

Speaking to the Hawick News this week, Common-Riding committee chairman and provost Stuart Marshall was quick to point out that this was nothing more than an oversight, and that he is at a loss as to why the chair wasn’t used.

Mr Marshall said: “It was agreed at a meeting of the Common-Riding Committee that the chair should be placed on the stage for the Cornet to use during the Colour-Bussing ceremony.

“I am at a loss to explain why this did not happen. I can only offer our sincere apologies to Mr and Mrs Cuthbertson that this didn’t happen. We will endeavour to make sure that this beautiful piece of craftsmanship is in place for next year’s Colour-Bussing.”

The chair was crafted by Alex ‘Cubby’ Cuthbertson at his Commercial Road workshop and gifted to the Common-Riding Committee.

The chair is adorned with dates which read 1514-2014 and shows a flag above the words “Lest We Forget”, and is made from Scotch Oak timber which was sourced locally. This is not the first time Mr Cuthbertson has gifted a highly-crafted piece to the town.

Around 10 years ago he presented a ceremonial lectern which stands in the Burgh Chamber.

In a letter to members of the Common-Riding Committee, dated June 27, Mr Cuthbertson’s wife, Joyce, wrote of her disappointment that the chair had not featured in the historic ceremony, and that there has been no satisfactory explanation.

Others who worked on the chair included Hawick Upholstery and Wilson Signs, and Mrs Cuthbertson’s letter claims that this was a missed opportunity to showcase the skills of local craftsmen.

And commenting further, Mr Marshall said: “This was a fantastically-generous offer. It is a wonderful piece of craftsmanship and the Common-Riding Committee is grateful. This was a total mistake and once again I would like to take this this opportunity to apologise. We are keen to find a way forward which will ensure this chair plays an integral part in future Colour-Bussing ceremonies.”