COPSHAW Common Riding came of age last Saturday but, despite getting the key to the door, it has not lost its sense of childish fun and mischievous humour.
The honour of leading the 21st ceremonies fell to district nurse and artist Paula Downey.
She was supported by her Flake, husband Adrian, and her left and right-legged men Deev Mitchell and Ian Nichol.
A beautiful sunny morning greeted the cyclists as they gathered at the fountain in Douglas Square.
The Tub was supported by the Tub’s Scrubs, who were dressed in nurses’ scrubs and adorned with the traditional yellow.
The opening ceremonies were led by Gary Cuthbert and included handing the flag to Tub Downey and singing the Tub’s song.
Martin Pearson sang Tub Downey is Oor Lady to the tune of Hi Ho Silver Lining by Jeff Beck.
The Tub and her Flake judged the windows and the winner was the Copshaw Kitchen. Paula presented Linda Thomson with her prize.
The prize for the best-dressed adult went to the Tub’s Scrubs and the best-dressed child was Bella Pearson, whose bike was adorned with a model of the Tub sliding down a bannister.
Fiona Bell won the prize for the best-dressed bike.
Gary said they had no applicants for the New Year’s honours but this year the committee was given a big chocolate Easter egg to raffle at the Tub’s Ball.
This was done in aid of the old people’s welfare committee and it raised £332, a massive help to the welfare.
The committee topped up the sum to £1,000 and a cheque was presented to co-ordinator Sandra Hope.
The committee also gave £500 to the Newcastleton School Partnership and this was handed to Hayley Pearson. Another donation was given to the Polysport.
Gary said: “We don’t only give cheques.
“We have an old folk’s tea party in the autumn and last year’s video of the party went viral on social media.
“This year the party is at the end of September and any pensioner in the village can come. If you can’t make it, we bring it to you.
“The kids have a Christmas party and Copshaw Common Riding buys the presents.”
He added: “Every Common Riding Sunday, for how many ever years, the Tub has gone to someone’s house to say hello and have a brandy. Sadly, that person is no longer with us. Thanks, Peggy, and rest in peace.
On to the Common Riding’s origins, Gary said: “In 1998 eight men and one “lady boy” decided Copshaw should have a Common Riding.
“It wasn’t great. We got a three-inch flag from Fred’s The next year there were 40, then 50, then 70. Who knows how many this year?
“Now it’s 21 years, we have a key to the door. Our first Tub, Barry Robson, was a 50p Tub; that’s how much it was at Pelosi’s that year.”
Gary presented Barry with a watch and gave him the job of official timekeeper and said that every year the 21st Tub would receive a gift.
Gary then exhorted the Tub and her mounted followers to ride the boundaries, starting with the ride up the hill to the golf clubrooms where the entertainers had their chance to shine.
At the monument there were the snogging the sod and supping the tequila ceremonies.
The winner of the Mick Rick tankard was Shane Mitchinson, while Chloe Patterson, the fastest woman up the hill, won the Spanner Face trophy.
In the shed George Porteous won the Bob Burgess trophy for best entertainer.
At The Olive Tree Gary presented the barley fadge to Alistair Rowan, the Tub’s brother, while Ryan Cuthbert gave the kipper to Stuart McColm of Selkirk.
Later, everyone gathered at Fred’s Corner for the touching the cloth ceremony at the site of the Battle of Fred’s Corner and at Copshaw Kitchen for the Twa Posh Chickens tradition.
In the afternoon everyone let down their hair for games and sports in Liddleview Park.
In the evening the procession for the closing ceremonies was led by Jedburgh Pipe Band and once more at the fountain, Gary cried the fair (evening version).
Tub Downey handed in the
flag and addressed her followers to conclude the day’s celebrations.