South Scotland

Hawick Common Riding celebrates 500-year landmark

Hawick Common Riding Image copyright PA
Image caption Hawick enjoyed glorious sunshine for its common riding in the year of the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Hornshole

Hawick has kicked off the common riding season in the Borders on the 500th anniversary of a historical battle which is central to its celebrations.

The festivities were given extra significance due to the landmark date.

The Battle of Hornshole in 1514 saw a group of Hawick youths defeat an English raiding party and capture their standard.

It is a key part of the annual common riding tradition and statues in the town also commemorate the event.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Huge crowds packed the streets of Hawick as it got the Borders common riding season under way

Earlier this year, about 1,800 children dressed up in period costume to recreate the conflict.

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

Image copyright PA
Image caption This year's celebrations are also part of the Return to the Ridings promotion aimed at drawing more visitors to the events

This year the common ridings are also playing a key part in Homecoming Scotland 2014.

The towns of Hawick, West Linton, Selkirk, Peebles, Melrose, Galashiels, Jedburgh, Duns, Kelso, Lauder and Coldstream are taking part in the Return to the Ridings scheme.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Cornet Ross Gibson tied a ribbon to the 1514 monument in the centre of Hawick

They are working with Homecoming Scotland and Scottish Borders Council (SBC) to increase their marketing and promotion.

The common ridings and festivals recreate the ancient tradition of riding a town's boundaries on horseback.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Cornet's lass Michelle Paxton was among those waiting to pin ribbons on guests before the traditional Colour Bussing ceremony in the town

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