The Executive Committee met on Tuesday evening to discuss 2020 Hawick Common Riding in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak. It was felt inappropriate in the present circumstances to call a Full Committee Meeting due to the large number of people involved.

The Covid-19 outbreak is now a public health issue and on Tuesday afternoon we were informed by the Head of the Safety Advisory Group at Scottish Borders Council, that all SAG meetings have been cancelled and that Police Scotland are withdrawing all support for events for the foreseeable future.

Hawick Common Riding Committee SCIO first and foremost must ensure the safety of all those participating in it’s events. Historically the Common Riding was based on the need to protect the townspeople and because of this the Executive Committee, with the unanimous backing of the Full Committee, have taken the difficult, but it hopes you agree the responsible decision, to recommend that Hawick Common Riding 2020 does not go ahead this year, in the interest of the whole community.

To this end it was felt unfair to elect a Cornet and Acting Father this year, when events would be severely curtailed. We remain fully committed to marking the Common in some way at an appropriate time, when circumstances permit. We hope that this decision will have the backing of the townsfolk.

Lesley Fraser, Secretary, Hawick Common Riding Committee SCIO

❝I consider the decision made by the Hawick Common Riding Committee SCIO was a correct one in cancelling this year’s Common Riding. Our customs and traditions are dear to us all however the health and wellbeing of the townsfolk of Hawick had to be our priority.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank publicly the hard work of the Committee over the last few months. This work will not be lost and will stand us in good stead for future Common Ridings.

The town’s boundaries will be marked in some form during the year, when this is permissible.

I am sure the public will support our decision, made in everyone’s best interests.❞

Chairman Ex-Cornet John Hogg

Common Riding Principals 2019

Cornet Connor Brunton, Cornet’s Lass Victoria Campbell and
Acting Father and Acting Mother Alistair (Joe) and Tracy Crawford.

Hawick Common-Riding

The Hawick Common-Riding is the first of the Border Common Ridings and celebrates both the capture of an English Flag in 1514 by the youth of Hawick at a place called Hornshole and the ancient custom of riding the marches or boundaries of the common land.

The Cornet for the year is elected at the beginning of May, well in advance of the Common Riding proper, when the Provost’s Council, on the recommendation of the two previous Cornets (called the Right and Left-Hand Men) invites a young man to act as Cornet. The Halberdier, accompanied by the Drum and Fife Band, carries an official letter of invitation to the nominated Cornet. Invitation accepted, the Officer is rewarded with a new “shilling” and asked to carry the Cornet’s letter of acceptance back to the waiting Council. Afterwards the Cornet with his two predecessors walk round the older parts of the town before attending a congratulatory Smoker. From then until the festival is over the Cornet is an honoured figure in Hawick. The first recorded Cornet was in 1703 and other than the World Wars there has been an unbroken line to the present day.  [More]…

Attendance at all licensed events is restricted to 18 year olds and over.
‘Challenge 25 Rule’ will be enforced.