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


For many years the Club has sponsored an Essay Competition in the Primary Schools in the town on the history and traditions of the Common-Riding. It has long been thought that the Club should produce a booklet for the instruction of school children in these subjects. This was taken up by Mr William Turnbull in early 1982 at the beginning of his Presidency. He visited the headmasters of all the primary schools in the town to discuss the ideas mooted by the Club. During his visits he discovered that Mr Ron Taylor, headmaster at Burnfoot School, was quite independently working on the same theme as part of a course of further training in his profession. The reception and encouragement given to Mr Turnbull by the headmasters and his fortuitous meeting with Mr Taylor has resulted in this project for use in the town's six primary schools.

The production of a project such as this has involved a great deal of work by very many people and I wish to record our thanks to Mr Ron Taylor, Mr William Turnbull, Mr Jim Coltman, Mr Adam lngles, A.T.C.L., Mr Jim Crawford, Messrs Aitken & Turnbull, Mr R. E. Scott, Mr W. P. McLaren, M.B.E., Messrs Scott & Paterson Ltd., Mr Don Cottrell, Mr Alan Hill, Mrs Rita Moody, Mrs Nan Brunton also the members of Hawick Archaeological Society and our own Club who read the proofs.

We have also received generous financial support towards the cost of the project from Roxburgh District Council, Borders Regional Council Education Committee, Hawick Common-Riding Committee, The Mosstroopers' Club, Hawick Archaeological Society and the 1514 Club. I acknowledge with thanks their contributions.

Finally, although the project has been prepared for children in the primary schools I am sure that it will be read with interest and perhaps enlightenment by their seniors. By imparting information in a modern and readily understood manner it will add to the general interest in and preservation of the ancient customs and institutions not only of the Common-Riding but also of the town. It is therefore with special pleasure that I commend it to you.

McDONALD LUNN, President.


Since this project was revised in 1998 with the help of the late Frank Scott, a past president of the Club and General and Civic Secretary of Hawick Common-Riding Committee, further changes have taken place to some Common-Riding procedures and to Hawick, including another reorganisation of local government.

The Club wishes to record its thanks to Ex-Cornets John Hope and Ian Nichol for revising the text where affected by further change, members of the Drum and Fife Band for their contribution to that section, Colin N Dallison of Hexham Abbey for historical information regarding The Flag and Ian W Seeley for his considerable contribution to the 'Songs of Hawick' section. The Club also wishes to acknowledge Cameron Reith for providing a CD of the 1998 version, in 'PageMaker' format, Lesley Fraser for photographs of the Principals' Badges, Bruce McCartney for carrying out the print layout for the updates, Brian Tait, former Council Member, who researched the changes and co-ordinated the work and Core 3 Partners for publishing and printing the document.

DR CHARLES H OLIVER, President 2013

Summary of Common Riding...