50 year Cornet - Brian Pattersonwae is eet!

As our Common-Riding fast approaches we have another young Cornet in place, but for me this year it is a great privilege to write a few words about our Golden Jubilee Cornet Brian Patterson 1962.
Brian was a keen enthusiastic supporter of Hawick Common-Riding, and first followed Cornet Bruce McTaggart in 1954, and his personal need to achieve the highest standard and see that he carried out his duties made him a very popular Cornet with both his riders and the public of Hawick.
On leaving school Brian started work as an apprentice plumber, with Millers in O’Connell Street, but , when his six year apprenticeship was finished, he made a change in his career for the future and moved into the knitwear trade working for Glenmac Knitwear and stayed in the knitwear trade until he retired.
Brian was also a very keen rugby enthusiast playing initially for Hawick Harlequins, but moved to Hawick Trades where he played as scrum half for a number of years before being promoted to the Hawick team. He was also a squad member of the all conquering seven that won 11 consecutive sports on the trot.
He also continued his support for the Common-Riding and was elected president of the Ancient Order of Mosstroopers in 1977.
His Cornet’s Lass Joan Grieve, who is sadly no longer with us, was a lovely person who carried out her duties, with pride and dignity in support of her Cornet. Brian and Joan married in 1964 and have two sons Alan and Derek who were both keen mounted supporters of the Common-Riding.
Another delighted man that year was Frances Baillie when he was asked by Brian to be his Acting Father. Frances and his lovely wife Isa gave Brian and Joan the greatest support throughout the Common-Riding celebrations and are well remembered.
Brian all the best and I hope you and your family have a memorable Common-Riding.


25 Year Cornet - Eliott Turnbullwae is eet!

As I sat down to write a brief reflection on 1987 the immediate thought is “Well here we are 25 years on and we’re ready to celebrate our Silver Jubilee so just where exactly did the last 25 years go?” Apart from getting married in 1989 and having 2 daughters, Elis (19) currently at Borders College and Jily (16) still at HHS studying Highers, walking and travelling (and hope to go back to New Zealand) and of course enjoying the Common Riding as ever.

1987 was of course very special for Jackie and I and and along with Ian & Anna, David & Gael and Ian & Sandra we had an unforgettable year. With Faither Ian and real faithers Joe and Chuck to watch over us how could we go wrong.

The early ride-outs to Bonchester and Teviotdale Lodge came and went in a blink and before we knew it Mosspaul was upon us and with 210 followers on the Saturday including 46 new Mosstroopers and 16 on the Tuesday it ensured the old route was given a good send off before the forestry was planted the following year.
Over the course of the 5 weeks we attended numerous functions from concerts to Dinners but the one event which is always remembered for being so successful was the “Pesco” dinner at Mansfield, production levels certainly hit an all-time low on the following day from the MD to the cleaner, even 25 years on people who attended still talk about it. On the subject of Dinners and Smokers what a trio of Presidents we had in the following 3, Callants Club “Kel” Smith, Mosstroopers AP “Sandy” Stevenson and the boy of the trio was 1514 President Terrence Froud beat that!

The Colour Bussing was a real highlight for us and I will always remember the pride I felt as I was sashed by Jackie, who like all Lasses before her was a credit to her family and the town in both her dress and manner. I always remember the moment of being asked to ride the Commonty of Hawick, which for me was the pinnacle of being Cornet, by Provost Jake Irvine who had always been very supportive and dignified in his role and along with the Chief guest Professor David Wallace a Teri born and bred and former member of the Saxhorn band, the Town Hall showed all that was good about the “Grey Auld Toon”.
So there we were all set for the “Big Picture” Green coats and Toppers and Horses at the ready and although we didn’t quite have the splendid back drop of Drumlanrig Tower and Lovell court as we have nowadays the Marina and the Tower Garage served a purpose. A then record of 307 horses rode around the marches that day many without hats as Health and Safety hadn’t kicked in yet! and after arriving at the Moor we watched Miss Mizzi pip Paper Question to the Tradesmens. A quick change of horse and off we went to the cobble pool and rounded of a great day with a jam packed Town Hall for the ball and even had a trip to the secondary ball in the old pictures at “Humphreys”.

After the traditional visit to the Motte and the Towerknowe bull reel and a couple of hours sleep we were back in the saddle again but if you remember it was possibly one of the worst Saturdays on record due to the monsoon which descended on us. However despite the rain we completed our duties in the council chambers and the sombre mood was soon replaced with smiles of satisfaction as we made our way to the Volunteer for the games and rounded off the night with great entertainment at the Greetin Dinner in the Marina where, as was the norm, “Chugger” Broon stole the show.

Over the course of 1987 we made some great friends from all over the Borders and I am proud to say we have stayed in touch with most and we are really looking forward to meeting and re-acquainting with auld friends over the next few weeks.

So there we have it but even after 25 years it still lives strong in the memory and come June it all floods back and no doubt this year it will be stronger than ever so here’s to the next 25 years.
We would both like to take this opportunity to wish Ross and Gillian along with Ian and Andrea all the best for 2012 and just say -“Was there ever a better bred Cornet and Lass!”

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