Battle of Hornshole re-enacted in Hawick

Common ridings The event came on the eve of the common riding season in the Scottish Borders

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Hundreds of children from Hawick and the surrounding area have gathered to re-enact the Battle of Hornshole which marks its 500th anniversary this year.

It came ahead of the common riding season in the Scottish Borders which starts in the town on 6 June.

In 1514 a group of Hawick youths defeated an English raiding party and captured their standard at Hornshole.

About 1,800 children dressed in period costume to recreate the famous conflict.

The re-enactment included a fight sequence involving 22 boys from Hawick High School, representatives of the common riding, battle re-enactors and a stunt team.

Children attending also took part by singing Teribus, the Hawick song, and dancing the Hawicka - a specially commissioned dance created for the occasion.

A new bronze statue was also unveiled.

Hornshole statue The Battle of Hornshole is central to Hawick's annual celebrations and is commemorated by a statue

The story of the Battle of Hornshole plays a central role in common riding celebrations in the town.

The re-enactment was part of Hawick's Vision 2014 project, the final part of a four-year community initiative based around "raising the ambitions and aspirations" of young people in the area.

Janice Chapman, who chairs its steering committee, said: "Commemorating the proud history and traditions of Hawick in this milestone year in such a dramatic way is the experience of a lifetime for the children here."

She said she was delighted the whole community had "come together to help mark this important anniversary in such a memorable way".

Horses Borders councillor Stuart Marshall said the re-enactment could "kick-start" the common riding season

Scottish Borders councillor Stuart Marshall said: "Today's re-enactment of such a significant battle in Borders history is a tremendous way to kick-start the common ridings season in the Scottish Borders.

"Hawick's festivities next month are the first of the Return to the Ridings festivals across the region that provide a unique and spectacular insight into the traditions of the Scottish Borders.

"We are sure that residents will provide visitors coming to witness any of these wonderful events with a warm Borders welcome."

'Attracting visitors'

Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said the Big Return was one of more than 800 events celebrating Homecoming Scotland.

"I am sure the new statue will be much admired both by Teries and visitors to Hawick alike, and, as someone who has traced my own Turnbull roots to the Hawick area with the help of the Heritage Hub, it is inspiring to see so many young people also re-connecting with town's past," he said.

"It is a reflection of the important role these events play in keeping the region's and thereby Scotland's heritage alive and attracting visitors to the area from all over the world."

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