Thursday 28th July.
|Neil & Rae|
After lunch Neil, myself and the boys set off to go and see the slow worms at the Pool Corner via Becks Burn. The boys had an excellent time slaying dragons and aliens. Neil said it was a long time since he had been along this route and didn't think it had changed much except for the tree felling on Gaskell's Walk
Further along the way we met Ray Elliot who is our Fair Crier. He had been visiting friends the previous evening and was returning to retrieve his car. A big night by the looks of him. He was in fine fettle and looking forward to his important duty next day. Neil had his pen knife with him so I cut a couple of suitable twigs and made whistles for the boys, which was maybe not a good idea as they were rather piercing on the ears.
|"Look at what I've got"|
|" I think I could take you home"|
The boys were impressed at the various sizes of the worms. Surprisingly both Joe & Sandy handle them quite confidently and sensibly. Joe thought it would be a good idea to take one to his show and tell lesson at school, but we persuaded him this wasn't a good idea. After spending some time studying the worms we headed for the Buccleuch Centre to meet Mum and Granny for lunch.
I always think the Summer Fair night is one of the best parts of the Common Riding as it is mainly locals and exiles that gather in the market place to listen to the bands as they play, but this year I noticed a change. There were more strangers than ever before most of them intent on pouring as much drink down their necks as possible.
Friday 29th July
I was spared the task off making Heather Besoms this year as Joe decided he would give it a miss and Sandy goes along with what ever Joe does. We did all the usual things that we do on Common Riding day. The Cornet went up the Kirk Wynd to rousing cheers from the crowd, followed by a cavalcade of horses and riders.
In the afternoon Neil and I took the boys to the Castleholm so they could join in the boys races and watch the sports and horse racing.
|Waiting for the Cornet|
|Refreshments at the Golf Cub|
|A tense moment for the Cornets father?|
|Common Riding Thistle|
|The second fair|
|Riders coming down the Bar Brae|
|Barry Jackson. A possible contender for Tub 2012 at Copshaw|
|Riders returning back over the Ewes|
|Cumberland Wrestlers in action|
|Neil, Joe and Sandy watch the wrestlers|
In the evening I decided to give the Handing in of the Flag a miss. This to many people is the most emotional part of the Common Riding ceremonies.