Hawick was well represented in Jedburgh last Friday as its neighbours over the Dunion celebrated their 70th Jethart Callant’s Festival.
Hawick Cornet Ali George, his lass Katy Moffat and right-hand man Gregor Hepburn all followed callant Brodie Irvine for the town’s ceremonial rideout to Ferniehirst Castle.
They were greeted by hundreds of supporters as they made their way around the town’s streets and safely across the River Jed at Auld Brig before falling silent for an act of remembrance at the war memorial.
Katy, 22, who hails from Jedburgh and works in the town’s Little Treasures Nursery, had followed on horseback many times before, but for Ali its route and traditions were all new and made undoubtedly more memorable as the couple rode together as first time in their official capacities.
“It was a good day and it was great to be out riding beside Katy,” Ali, 24, said.
“It was my first time riding at Jethart, and it was a really nice route and a great atmosphere.”
The couple enjoyed their first visit to the festival ball that evening too, leaving a few hours short of the 6am finish to ensure they were fresh for the following day’s visit to Burnfoot Carnival.
Last Thursday, the pair also joined other visiting principals to witness the event’s investiture ceremony, callant’s reel and follow its walk around the town.
The link between the towns over the weekend was further strengthened by Hawick Pipe Band’s annual trip over to perform in its fancy-dress parade.
And on Saturday, Hawick veteran athlete Drew Bryson, coached by David Rae, raced to an unexpected victory in the Jed-Forest 110m handicap. It was the 54-year-old’s first sprint victory after 26 years on the open athletic scene.