Flying the flag for Hawick Common Riding

Flying the flag for Hawick Common RidingOne of the largest ever exhibitions of items relating to Hawick Common Riding and the Hawick Tradition is now open at Hawick Museum.

Entitled The Banner Blue, the exhibition coincides with the 500th anniversary of the 1514 Battle of Hornshole and is a collection of photographs and memorabilia, paintings, historic objects, documents and flags.

Three of the museum’s rooms have been dedicated to the exhibition, with ground floor displays exploring the form of the present-day Common Riding with pictures, photographs and objects. Ceremonies such as the Snuffin’ and the Colour-Bussing are explained, as are the roles of the principal figures such as the Cornet, the Acting Father and the Cornet’s Lass.

A special feature of the exhibition is Racing at the Common Haugh, an oil painting of the Common Riding of 1846 by A Kennedy, gifted to the town in 1900 and now part of the Hawick Museum collection.  Recently restored with funding from Hawick Archaeological Society, the painting shows horse racing taking place on the town’s Common Haugh in 1846 before the move to the present racecourse on the town moor.

On display in the museum’s Waterfall Gallery are many historic items relating to the town of Hawick and its Tradition, including the town’s charter of 1537, the early town minute book from the 1600s and the oldest surviving Common Riding flag, dated back to 1707.  Also on display here are some of the oldest images and photographs of Cornets as well as the town drums from the 1800s and an early hand-written version of the song Teribus.  A lively video of the 2013 Common Riding can also be enjoyed in the gallery.

Hawick Museum is in Wilton Lodge Park, Hawick, TD9 7JL.  It is open from 10am to 12noon and 1pm-5pm from Monday to Friday and between 2pm and 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The Banner Blue will be on display until Sunday August 3 2014.  Admission is free.

Above:  Mounted Cornet carries the flag.
Gallery: Teribus handwritten sheet music, 1777 and Hawick in the 1100s by illustrator Allan Watt Robson.

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