Hawick Callants Club: founded 1904

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Here Callants once at Flodden's fight
Renowned for deeds of matchless might
When Scotland's valour sank in night
Shone Hawick's on the Border.
And long as Hornshole Brig shall stand
That trusty valour through the land
Shall tell the story proud and grand
Of Hawick on the Border.

J L Hercus

17 May 2013 March: Smoker: Town Hall

Cornet Chris Ritson receives his Callants badge from club president Charlie Oliver

Callants congratulate Cornet Chris

Cornet Chris Ritson was invited to become the newest member of the Callants Club at the congratulatory smoker on Friday evening.

And it is a membership the 23-year-old richly deserves.

The club, established 109 years ago, was founded with the aims of cultivating local sentiment, preserving the ancient customs and institutions in Hawick and fostering local art and literature.

And in Cornet Ritson they have a man who does just that.

From writing poetry - his entry From Now to Then which won the schools' Common Riding poetry competition when he was 12-years-old and it is now published in the Callants Club book of poems and songs - and displaying a tremendous singing voice, to upholding the rugby traditions of the town, playing for Hawick Harlequins, Hawick YM and pulling on the famous green jersey.

At the traditional Callants Club Smoker, president Charlie Oliver said: "With the pride and the joy you will experience there comes a considerable responsibility of being Cornet to match up to all the hopes and expectations of the town.

"Judging by your performance so far, you're certainly doing just that."

With members and guests thoroughly enjoying a great evening there were performances from a wide range of people, kicked off in great style by the evergreen Bert Armstrong and a verse of The Callant.

He was followed throughout the night by Graeme Tinlin, Bernie Armstrong, Henry Douglas, Ian Landles, Ian 'Scocha' Scott, Alan Brydon, David Finnie, Scott Lambie, Drew Gibb, Philip Murray, David Nuttall, Malcolm Grant, Drew Johnstone, Ian Nichol, Doug Riddell and Kenny McCartney.

A Common-Riding evening wouldn't be the same without the Drums and Fifes and they enjoyed a star turn, while Ian Seeley was at his best on the piano.

Also at his best was Golden Jubilee Cornet John Hope, who quite rightly took his place at the top table, 50 years after first becoming a member.

The Toast to the Acting Father was proposed by club vice president Derick Tait and it was an emotional Fither who replied.

Ross Cameron proposed to the toast to the Right and Left, congratulating Ross Nichol and Michael Davidson on jobs well done. And the pair replied, peppering their speeches with touches of good natured banter.

Alan Turnbull congratulated club president Oliver on an excellent evening in his toast to the Chairman and proceedings were brought to a close by the singing of Teribus and Cornet's Up.