03 June 2014: Abbie Corbett wins Howahill shield
The Big Return 2004 - A day to remember. By Abbie Corbett
It's the day before the Big Return and all the tension is building up in me. We've tried on our costumes and we look awesome and all 'olden-day-ish'. I'm so excited because the Primary 7's are getting to drum in front of all the other schools in Howick. I think it will be so fun to dress up and watch all the entertainment. I'm imagining the field is going to be very, very big. We've been told about a fake camp fire and I think it's going to look so cool. The camp fire won't be lit but it should still look great. I think the walk is going to be boring. We've got the longest route.
It's the big day and I can't wait; I'm practically running to school. We get there and put our costumes on and the teacher takes a picture; even she's dressed up. We're all worked up and we can't calm down.We have a snack then set off for the PSA pitch. We get together with all the other schools and we set off . About 15 minutes into our walk we see a red coat hanging from a tree: it reminds us about our literacy book that's called 'Into the forest' by Anthony Browne. After that some of us felt excited and we started to look out for things like Hansel and Gretel and other fairytale things. On our way we stopped ond did the call and response. When we were almost there I spotted a stage and thought 'is that for the drumming?' and then we were there.
WOW! The field is enormous, it's unbelievable. There are a lot of other children sitting in their encampments, we walk to our encampment. I spot a man breathing fire and all of a sudden his beard catches firel He drops the fire and pats his beard to put the fire out, then carries on. Some people around me start laughing and talking about what had happened. We find our spot and get handed a poncho to sit on, so we don't get a wet bum. We hod lunch; a sausage roll, piece of fruit, a biscuit and a drink of water. We sang songs, did the Hawick-a and we watched Drumlanrig drum; they were pretty good. Then we got up to drum and I have to say we were better by far. Next was the re-enactment of the battle. It was so good, I felt thrilled that I was there watching. Everyone was quiet when the Hexham Raiders come down the hill carrying the flag. We watched them set up camp and fell asleep. A little while later a group of youths from Hawick came and attacked the guard. They killed everyone else and captured the flag. Then the cornet, the left hand man and the right hand man appeared on horses carrying the flag. They sang 'Teri Bus' before leaving the field.
We walked back the short route along the road, some people got to carry the encampment flag. We saw some of the S1's who were Primary 7's in our school last year. When we got into the ward of Burnfoot we began singing 'Home by Burnfoot' because when the youths come back with the flag they were greeted by lots of people, just like we were. When we got back to school we took off some of our layers, we were very hot. We had a drink and rested our bodies. Some of us went along to the unveiling of the new statue at the end of the High Street. The statue is of one of the youths with the flag being greeted by old people ond children; those who were left behind in the town.
Now it's the day after the Big Return. I feel sore from all the walking and fun we had yesterday. I'm so wowed about all of the entertainment; it was great. When I was drumming I felt so excited and proud to be doing it. My favourite part was the re-enactment because they made me feel like I was actually there when it happened; it seemed so real. It was the best day of my life and was most certainly a day to remember.