CHRISTMAS and the Common Riding: For many of us, the Common Riding requires as much preparation and catering as Christmas so it’s hardly surprising that one man got them confused.
At Langholm Day Centre Common Riding lunch Michael Bell welcomed everyone to the Centre’s annual Christmas lunch.
The Three Degrees: We wonder whether it’s the first time the front three have all been graduates.
Henry, the Cornet, graduated this summer from Napier University and both Iain and Stuart are already university graduates.
A very well-qualified trio, indeed, to be leading everyone in the Common Riding.
Jeffrey Cornets: Henry is the third Jeffrey from the town to become a Langholm Cornet and made the town very proud last Friday.
The late Andrew J Jeffrey, Henry’s great-uncle, was Cornet in 1959 and his son Andrew J Jeffrey was Cornet in 1988. Andrew was asked to carry the flag from Castle Craigs to Whita Well in memory of his dad who would have been diamond jubilee Cornet this year.
Thistle no dae!: While approaching the Market Place with the thistle for the handing in of the flag, thistle assistant David McVittie ran on ahead to tell the Common Riding officials surrounding the platform that they’d need to get past the enclosing rope.
On hearing this, a bearded ex-Cornet, who shall remain nameless, proceeded to lift up the rope.
To which David said: “Ah dinna think we’re gan under it pal!”
New fair crier: Christopher Tait cried the fair for the first time at the Castle Craigs last Friday.
According to Billy Young, the previous fair crier, Christopher made a splendid job of it.
He was confident, poised and never faltered. It’s good to see the next generation playing their part in maintaining the traditions.
Generations of riders: There were at least two sets of three generations of the one family riding on Friday.
The Laidlaw family, with jubilee Cornet Billy Laidlaw, his daughter Hannah and son-in-law Graham Robertson, along with their daughter Gracie looked super.
David Grieve, ex-Cornet Kevan and his daughter Ellie were the other family. A lovely sight to see.
65 years and still on a roll (drum): It was Lennie Bell’s 65th Common Riding playing in the pipe band. Well done, Lennie!
A horse called Boris: We hear that one rider, while passing by the stage, told David Mundell MP that his horse was called Boris.
This, on the day after David was sacked by the new Prime Minister. That made us smile.
Langholm Town Band: The band had 38 instrumentalists last Friday, including the Rev Scott McCarthy on cymbals
The band was delighted to have both ex-players and guests joining them.
It was lovely to see hats and instruments adorned with roses and ribbons.
Big cheer: One of the biggest cheers after the one for the Cornet was for one of the little girls on a tiny pony which went up the Kirk Wynd last.
It was marvellous to see so many small ponies taking part this year with their leaders all taking them up the Wynd. One of those with the lead rein is an Army officer so he definitely had the fitness to run up the hill.
Carolle directs traffic: We hear that Carolle Warwick had to help Police Scotland officers to clear the traffic log jam after the horses went up the hill.
She suggested sending one lot around the town hall and this helped to sort out the problem.
The World this Weekend: On Sunday BBC Radio 4’s programme The World this Weekend, with Johnny Diamond, featured Langholm Common Riding.
We heard sounds from the Common Riding and several people, including Roger Maxwell, chairman, were interviewed.
They were asked for their thoughts on the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson as well as on Brexit. You can probably still listen to this on the BBC iplayer.
Common Riding Friday: According to Stuart Tedham, it’s 100 years since the Common Riding was first held on a Friday; before then it was held on a Wednesday or a Thursday.
Zander’s 60th: Zander Turnbull first joined the Common Riding committee 60 years ago this year.
It’s people like him who are the real stalwarts of Langholm Common Riding.
50 years in the Castle Craigs Club: Billy Young and John Murray, both ex-Cornets, first joined the Castle Craigs Club 50 years ago this year.