Menu
 
Home | News | Cornet rides out to where heather blends with sky: Record crowds enjoy a truly amazing day at Langholm Common Riding
 
News | 1st August 2019
 

Cornet rides out to where heather blends with sky: Record crowds enjoy a truly amazing day at Langholm Common Riding

 
 
 

TO BE where heather blends with sky on that last Friday in July – the words which rang out around the Market Place on Common Riding day.
Every single person gathered around the stage, whether on foot or horseback, would rather have been in Langholm at that hour than anywhere else in the world.
For Cornet Henry Jeffrey, it was the moment he had been waiting for since the night he was elected on May 10.
He was welcomed by officiating magistrate Roger Maxwell who said: “Once again, we’ve reached the last Friday in July and we gather here at the foot of Whita Hill surrounded by the beautiful hills of Eskdale to celebrate Langholm Common Riding.
“I extend a special welcome to exiles, many of whom will have travelled great distances to be with their ain folk in this ancient market place.
“If God could grant one wish I’d choose, to walk by Wauchope, Esk or Ewes and be where heather blends with sky on that last Friday in July.
“Those words beautifully sum up how both exiles and locals feel about this wonderful town. The Common Riding is the perfect expression of how proud we all are to be born “where hounds bay out on a July morn”.
Thoughts
“As many of you will know, Ian Ewart, Cornet in 1994, sadly passed away two years ago, missing the opportunity to celebrate his semi-jubilee. His family have attended many pre-Common Riding functions and our thoughts are with them today.
“Fifty years ago Billy Laidlaw fulfilled his lifetime’s ambition when he carried the burgh standard. Billy has been a keen Common Riding supporter ever since and is riding today.
“I would ask you to join with me to wish Billy all the very best for a great Common Riding as he celebrates his jubilee.”
Turning to the Cornet, he said: “You have carried out your duties at other Common Ridings and our ride-outs in an exemplary manner but now comes the moment you’ve waited for, the epitome of every local boyhood dream as I present you with the flag, the symbol of your office.
“Carry this flag aloft with dignity and pride and return it to me at the end of the day when your duties have been completed.
“Cornet Jeffrey, “Gan oot and suy gif a oor mairches they be clear”. I wish you good luck.”
The Cornet then turned and, following the town band, led more than 150 horses up the High Street, along Thomas Telford Road, round the Buccleuch Square pump, back to the Market Place, down to Townfoot and returned to the town hall.
There, Rae Elliot cried the first fair, standing on the back of the horse ridden by Gillian Paterson.
As the spectators crammed into position on the Kirk Wynd, it seemed packed more than ever and, indeed, it was believed the event had attracted a record crowd.
They waited in anticipation and the cheers went up as the Cornet came past, flag held high, and the tremendous spectacle of horses and their riders flying past, only feet away, was breathtaking.
The riders made their way to Castle Craigs where Christopher Tait cried the fair for the first time.
Monument
On remounting, the flag was handed to ex-Cornet Andrew Jeffrey to mark the 60th year of his late father, Andrew, being Cornet.
After going round the monument, they dropped down to Whita Well where they were met by those who had walked up and everyone enjoyed refreshments of barley banna, whisky and water from the well.
They paused at Mount Hooley where the town band had gathered along with the crown, thistle, barley banna and spade bearers.
Before their arrival the children had presented their heather besoms for judging by the pie club and the winner of the best besom was Kian Harper of Langholm.
Led by the spade, the procession made its way down the Kirk Wynd. Once again, everyone gathered in the High Street to watch the pipe band lead the heather besom parade followed by the emblems, town band and horses.
Back in the Market Place Rae Elliot cried the second fair before everyone lined up in Drove Road and proceeded along the Bar Brae to the Kilngreen.
Hundreds of people packed the banks of the Ewes Water to watch the spade bearers, followed by the horse riders, cross the river and on to the Castleholm where Gordon Reid cut the final sod.
After a short break, the Cornet, escorted by his right and left-hand men Iain Little and Stuart Murray, led the Cornet’s Chase round the racecourse.
The morning’s ceremonies ended, the horse racing and athletics took over and a fine afternoon of sport was enjoyed.
The dance on the field in the evening stayed mostly dry and the time arrived for the front three to once again mount their horses and the crowds lined up with the town band to make their way back to the Market Place.
The street was packed as the followers stopped three times: at the Kilngreen, the Crown Hotel and Townfoot to dance the polka.
The Cornet returned to hand back the flag and, on receiving it, Roger said: “Today another wonderful chapter has been written into the history of Langholm Common Riding.
Dignity
“We had amazing weather, what looked like a record crowd this morning and the final scenes I have just witnessed, with wall-to-wall people coming down the street, were a site to behold.
Cornet Jeffrey, I congratulate you on carrying out your duties with dignity and enjoyment.
“You were a credit to yourself, your family and the people of Langholm. This morning I asked you to enjoy yourself and I have no fear in suggesting that this has been the greatest day in your life.
“Thanks to everyone who has made this day the success it has been and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2020.”
In response, Cornet Jeffrey said the day had been “amazing” and he thanked his parents, Gavin and Frances, his sister, Claire, and his girlfriend, Lara, for whom it had been her first Common Riding.
He thanked the Common Riding members and the Castle Craigs Club for the excellent job they did and Iain and Stuart for their support.
He praised Clare Johnstone, the front three’s groom for turning out the horses so well and her husband, Andrew, who helped him with his riding skills.

 
 
Would you like to support us?

The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is our community owned local newspaper and even in today’s troubled times, we aim to bring you local news and articles in an impartial, responsible and factual way.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this free article but we need your support so we can keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent and keeps you up to date with what is happening in Eskdale and Liddesdale.

Every reader’s contribution, however big or small, is so valuable to us.
 
 
‘Owned by the Community...Published for the Community’
Do you have a story?

Please get in touch if you have a story or article you would like to see published.

Related Articles

Residents distressed over military exercise

And fears over shooting ranges operating without permission

 

Second year of devastation for Newcastleton

Up to 30 homes flooded as river Liddel burst banks

 

Langholm groups reap rewards from the wind

Thousands are paid by the Ewe Hill 6 windfarm to…

 

A big surprise

Congratulations to Rowanburn couple

 

Study identifies top 10 projects for funding

Nearly 1,000 ideas proposed on how to use windfarm grants

 

Operation to change boy’s life costs £25k

Joshua turned down in Scotland but Liverpool hospital steps in

 

Do not feed

Horse nearly dies from treats

 

Sports centre redesign is to be scaled back

Flood plain and funding challenge force rethink on Townfoot

 

Feedback will aid bridge plan

Developer seeks views on active travel

 

Multi-purpose centre will attract thousands

Langholm’s regeneration is on track for an enterprising future

 

GP practices join list of vaccination venues

Over 70s can be vaccinated in the first two weeks…

 

No police here

Crimes go unreported and unrecorded

 

Mass testing deployed after cases spike at 41

Langholm and Eskdale has highest number of cases in district

 

New company will run nature reserve

Estate manager will be recruited to implement moorland plan

 

Course to help women set up their own business comes to Liddesdale

LIDDESDALE has been chosen as one of three rural areas…

 

Eskdale COVID-19 cases second highest

Esk valley comes second only to Gretna in the whole…

 

Rail group argues its case to UK review body

Extension to Carlisle will bring economic and social benefits

 

Over 80s welcome call to receive vaccination

The most elderly in Langholm will be vaccinated from next…

 

A danner for Doddie

DODDIE Weir’s story has touched the rugby world. He played…

 

EWM is sold but not all jobs will be saved

CRITICISM has been levelled at the way Tuesday’s sale of…

 

Kerry’s passion for town lands her the dream job

THE Langholm Alliance has announced the appointment of its project…

 

A Kiwi Christmas

Langholm lass sends positive vibes from a land down under

 

More infectious virus forces new lockdown

Measures close schools and businesses as vaccine is rolled out

 

Better early warning system to be devised

Newcastleton villagers are urged to protect their own houses

 

Ploughing halted after breach of conditions

Forestry watchdog steps in to investigate the loss of deep…

 

From King Herod to the Grinch ....

A Christmas message from Rev Morag Crossan

 

Have yourself a Merry LITTLE Christmas now

It’s a Level Four lockdown from Saturday

 

Reindeer are flying

ALAN Miller’s new tartan reindeer are flying off the shelves…

 

Kevin moves to new post

But he will keep an eye on moor

 

New looms help secure Langholm mill’s future

Drove Weavers expands its capability to meet greater demand

 

Camera plan will combat the lack of police presence

Copshaw’s rural isolation adds to concerns

 

Wetter winters and more hot summers

Met Office says emissions must be cut to avoid extreme…

 

Council refuses to endorse sports centre proposals

Flood plain causes yet more planning problems

 

Amazing ceremony for wildlife watchers

Shortlisted Newcastleton group is celebrated at awards night

 

2020 Magic Lantern Show

ONE of Langholm’s theatre companies is determined to do its…

 

Langholm store marks 20 years of shopping

Co-op staff look forward to 2021 and arrival of a…

 

Vaccination roll-out is imminent: NHS chief

Immunisation of high-priority groups will start next week

 

NHS seeks input on plan

Health and social care and support are at centre of…

 

Happy 400th birthday as town marks charter

Alliance invites groups to host events in run-up to main…

 

200m high turbines for two Eskdale sites

Developer pledges £900,000 a year for nearby communities

 
 
requires mailchimp logins and wired up to a list
Join our mailing list
Keep up to date with all that’s going on at the E&L
This site uses cookies.
Configure
 
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.