Excited Teries arose early this morning and flocked to the Vertish Hill in their hundreds for the Chase and that first special glimpse of Cornet Gregor Hepburn with the Banner Blue.
There is nowhere else on earth Teries would rather be for the next three days, as that unique Common-Riding atmosphere descends over the town and the west end comes alive with Hawick’s beloved celebrations.
As friends and family gather, picnics are made and the air fills with song and pride, at 6pm tonight (Thursday), Hawick’s historic and cherished celebrations will once again officially get under way.
And as hearts begins to beat a little bit faster, for one special Teri his own will be fit to bursting as he embarks on the biggest weekend in his 23 years.
Popular Cornet Gregor Hepburn told the Hawick News: “I keep wondering where the time has gone, but I can’t wait for everything that lies ahead, there’s so much to come I can hardly think about it all.”
And he revealed: “I’m a wee bit nervous, but I’m just really excited. To get my hands on the Banner Blue will be something else, I will be so proud.”
And these sentiments are echoed by an equally thrilled Acting Father Richie Lynn, who says being handed the Flag for the first time this morning will be a dream come true. He said: “I’m struggling to sleep there is so much to think about and to look forward to. I’ve had the time of my life so far, and it’s just going to get better.”
The Moor has been transformed into the cherished vision it becomes and quietly awaits the thunder of hooves, while Hawick Horse, refurbished last year, is looking resplendent ahead of tonight’s tying of the ribbons ceremony.
And following a hugely successful four weeks in the run-up to the ‘big pictur’, Common-Riding chairman Ian Scott has extended his best wishes to the Principals and townsfolk as he oversees the main events in his first year in the role.
He stated: “With the preliminaries over I would like to wish all the Principals good luck, particularly Cornet Gregor, in receiving the flag and riding our Marches; Cornet’s Lass Lois in her special evening bussing the Banner Blue; and to Acting Father Richie in seeing our Common is unmolested by ‘quirky lairds’.”
He continued: “To the townspeople of Hawick, young and old, I hope you all have a most enjoyable time, whatever elements are your favourites. Be it the Snuffin’, Colour-Bussing, Hut, up the Mair, or whatever, have a great weekend.”
Provost Stuart Marshall added: “I feel very honoured to have been given the chance to preside over yet another Common-Riding. The weather and the rum and milk have been ordered, and I hope that both arrive on time. Our Cornet is doing a brilliant job and his popularity has contributed to the fantastic atmosphere. May I wish all Teries , townsfolk and visitors alike a very happy Common-Riding.”