Hawick Callants Club: founded 1904

The Common Riding
Dear relic of the days of yore
Of deeds of hardy valour done
Thy folds are floating as before
Beneath the summer sun.
Old trophy, much was daied and done
To wrest thee from the foemans hand
And nobly, bravely wert thou won
By that determined band.

James Thomson

16 The Kirkin' and Wreath Laying

The Cornet, along with his Right and Left and Acting Father, pays a tribute to his centuries old predecessor at the Lest We Forget Memorial at Hornshole.

On their return from the Denholm ride out which takes place on the Saturday before Common-Riding week, they sing "Teribus" and stand in their stirrups as if to attention.

The Common-Riding week begins on the Sunday morning when the Kirkin' o' the Cornet takes place. The Cornet is accompanied by his Right- and Left-Hand Men and the Acting Father, all in formal dress, followed by Ex-Cornets and Ex-Acting Fathers by year of office and other supporters on foot. They walk in a procession called the Cornet's Church Parade led by the Halberdiers. They walk through the town from the Council Chambers to a local church. Here they attend a service with the Lasses and also the Provost's Council. During the service the custom of Kirking the Cornet is performed.

The Cornet gives a reading and he and his Lass are presented with Bibles. After the service the Lasses, also in formal dress, join the four Principals walking via the High Street to a local restaurant for the Cornet's Lass's Lunch. They are applauded by townspeople lining the street.

In the afternoon the Principals along with the Lasses visit the Lest We Forget Memorial at Hornshole. The Cornet’s Lass accompanied by the other Lasses lays a wreath at the Memorial. The Cornet, Right- and Left-Hand Men and Acting Father stand aside to witness the wreath laying. The Common-Riding Flag is planted beside the monument for this service. (Until 1977 this ceremony was carried out on the Thursday night after the Colour-Bussing.)

One of the ceremonies which comes at the end of Common-Riding week is the laying of the wreath at the War Memorial on the Saturday morning. The people are again roused by the Drum and Fife Band. The Band marches round the town. By 9.30 am. the riders are once more saddled and bridled for a procession similar to the one on Friday. This time, however, they ride to Wilton Lodge Park. In the avenue close to the Laurie Bridge the riders halt. The four Principals, standing in their stirrups, each in turn sing verses of "Teribus" with spectators joining in the chorus.

From here they proceed to the Museum. Here the Lasses, the Common-Riding Committee members, Chief Guest and a crowd of townspeople wait to see the Cornet, Right and Left-Hand Men lay wreaths on the War Memorial. While this happens the Acting Father holds the flag in a lowered position, a part of the Ceremony first introduced in 1963.  In this way the Principals pay a tribute, on behalf of the people, to those men of Hawick who died in the World Wars and subsequent conflicts.