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David Stevenson, officiating magistrate, praises Cornet Stuart Murray at the handing in of the flagRachel Norris
Rachel Norris
David Stevenson, officiating magistrate, praises Cornet Stuart Murray at the handing in of the flagRachel Norris

AS THE sun's rays began to lengthen on a fine evening at the Castleholm and the dancers got in one last polka played by the town band, the people of Langholm prepared to say farewell to another Common Riding.

It had been an excellent day, not least because the heavy rain forecast earlier in the week, stayed away. The familiar sights and sounds, the colour and the ceremony, the reunions and new friends made, all made it special in many ways.

For Cornet Stuart Murray it was a day which will live with him and one on which he did his family and his town proud.

At the end of a sociable hour or two on the field the procession assembled at the Lodge Gates, accompanied by the town band, the thistle, crown and barley banna.

It must have been a moment that the Cornet hoped would never end as everyone made their way back to the town hall for the handing in of the flag, stopping at the Kilngreen, Crown Hotel and Townfoot to dance the polka.

David Stevenson, officiating magistrate, took back into keeping the burgh standard and congratulated Stuart on the manner in which he had carried out his duties.

He said: "From the moment you received the burgh standard this morning until you returned it to me tonight you have shown the maturity and confidence that being Langholm Cornet brings.

"Showing how much you were enjoying yourself rubbed off on everyone else and you have simply made it a wonderful Common Riding for everyone. Many thanks and very well done."

David said that, once again, the Common Riding had gone like clockwork and he congratulated Roger Maxwell, the members and the many stewards and participants who worked as one great team to ensure everyone had a Common Riding, year after year, which was "simply the best".

"I would like to thank the Common Riding members for inviting me to be the officiating magistrate Riding for the past 10 years or so. Having a Hawick father, this can't have been an easy decision to take but it has been a great honour and privilege to have performed this role and an experience I shall treasure forever."

To Stuart, he said: "You have been a credit to yourself, your family, your town and the position of Cornet but, above all, I think the person who would have been most impressed would have been your grandfather, Ian Murray, our diamond jubilee Cornet from 60 years ago. He would have been chuffed to bits.

"I think we can confidently say that a truly memorable chapter has indeed been written in the history of Langholm Common Riding."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 11:12AM
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