Messages from Jubilee Principals



To say time has flown by is an understatement.  I can’t quite believe 25 years have passed since I was given the chance to carry out a childhood dream.

One thing for sure, I’m as proud now as I was back then.  The whole experience from start to finish was just awesome.  I had such a great Acting Father and Mother in Phil and Moira; whom I can’t thank enough for the support they gave me and Angela.

We are very fortunate to have such happy memories from 1995 and I’m sure we will have some great stories to reminisce over the coming weeks.  We made some great friendships with principals from other towns during the summer of 1995 and are looking forward to catching up with some of them at some point this year.

Angela and I are also looking forward to sharing our memories with our children, Sam and Lily.

Common Riding 2020 may not be the one anyone could have envisioned for our Silver Jubilee, but during this difficult time cherish the memories of past Common Ridings and friendships made over the years.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all good health, stay safe and I’ll see you on the “Wester Heather” next year.

Lee, Angela, Sam and Lily


25 years, a quarter of a century, and yet it seems like only yesterday when I was asked to be Acting Father to the then Cornet Elect Lee Matthews.  To say I was shocked would be an understatement but this soon turned to a feeling of immense pride as I had known Lee since he was a young boy and I was thrilled that I would be supporting him in his duties as Cornet 1995.  I first followed at the Common Riding 54 years ago when I followed Ex Cornet Carswell Imrie to Wolflee in 1966 and I have never missed a Common Riding since, but never did I imagine that I would be at the front of the cavalcade as one of the ‘Big Four’.   To carry the Ancient Banner from the cutting of the sod to the Moor gates on Common Riding Friday, with my son Mark riding at my side, and a record 332 supporters was unbelievable, it was certainly something ‘better felt then telt’.

Acting Father Philip Nichol and his son Mark

The support we received from family, friends and Common Riding supporters was incredible and without doubt made 1995 feel like the ‘best of a’.

During this very difficult time Moira and I hope you are all staying safe, keeping your distance; “Safe in, safe oot”.

Ex-Acting Father Philip Nichol



The Jubilee Cornet for 2020 would have been Ronald Gibson elected in 1970 but unfortunately passed away in 2003 at the young age of 55.

Ronald or Ronnie as he was known was 22 when he was elected and was the youngest son of Guid and Chris Gibson. They lived at Elmlea Weensland Road.

Ronnie was educated at Wilton and then Hawick High School and was employed in the office of George Hogg and sons. He had been a mounted supporter for 9 years when he first followed Cornet Brian Paterson. A keen rugby enthusiast he played prop forward for the Harlequins and he was also keen on shooting. He was a member of the Conservative Club and Hawick YM Rugby Club.

His Cornets Lass in 1970 was Vivienne Young of Elm Grove a hairdresser at the Imperial Salon in Oliver Place. Her sister Lillian was Cornets Lass to John Hope in 1963.

The Right and Left that year were Ex Cornet Bruce Wilson and Ex Cornet Elliot Hutton together with their respective Lassies Valerie Franklin and Shiela Richardson.

The Acting Father in 1970 was Wattie Scott of Newton Farm together with his wife Joey a primary teacher at Wilton School they have three children John, Jill and Terry.

The Toast to the Cornet at his home on Election Night was made as always by the most senior Cornet present, this was Ex Cornet Robert E Tait who was celebrating his Golden Jubilee that year.

The Chairman at the congratulatory smoker was Provost Atkinson who proposed the toast to the Cornet. He said that Cornet Gibson was a young man with a good Hawick background, brought up in a Hawick home by parents of the best kind, he is a young man of the highest integrity.

It was the first time a Gibson has been added to the long line of Cornets.

By Ex-Cornet George Peden


1970 was a huge year in my life when I was asked to be Cornet’s Lass to Ronald Gibson.  It was a time of great excitement for my family as I was to follow in the footsteps of my sister Lilian, who was Cornet’s Lass in 1963.  The weather during the weeks of The Common Riding was absolutely fabulous with sunshine throughout.

Fifty years on I have so many happy memories of that time.  I loved being involved in everything from start to finish with The Colour Bussing being the highlight for me.  It was a huge privilege to be bussing The Banner Blue.  I still remember how nervous I was waiting to carry the flag though the Town Hall and on to the stage to be bussed.  There were so many highlights but visiting the schools on the Thursday morning and seeing the exited faces of the children and hearing them singing Common Riding songs was amazing.  I couldn’t have asked for a better Acting Mother and Father than Joey and Wattie Scott from Newton Farm.

My memories came flooding back in 1991 when my niece, Jackie Hope was Cornet’s Lass, continuing our family involvement with The Common Riding.

Fifty years is a long time and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then but my memories of Common Riding 1970 are still with me as if they had happened yesterday.

Ex-Cornet’s Lass Vivienne Robertson.



This year’s Diamond Jubilee Cornet is Ex Cornet Jared Huggan who was Cornet in 1960 and, Jed, as he has always been called, proved to be an excellent choice as Cornet for that year.

The first Cornet Jed followed was 1950 Cornet, Tom Crosby, and he went on to support many Cornets in future years.  Jed lived most of his young days in old Dickson Street before moving to Burnfoot.  He was educated at Wilton and Hawick High Schools.

On leaving school, he went to work at Pringle of Scotland as a frame worker for many happy years. After National Service he returned to Hawick to continue his love of horses and the Common Riding.

Jed, being one of the finest jockeys ever to ride Hawick Moor, proved this by winning the Tradesmens’ Handicap on five occasions.  Jed was also very keen on rugby and played on the wing for the YM for many seasons.  His popularity with the team was proved on the rideout to Mosspaul when a large number of his fellow players followed that day in their scarlet pullovers as the club was also known as the ‘Redskins’.

The Cornet’s Lass in 1960 was Miss Irene Wylie, a young beauty of the day, who showed dignity and charm at all times throughout the Common Riding that year.  Jed and Irene married in 1965 and had two sons, Iain and Stuart, both who went on to be great supporters of the Common Riding for many years, just like their dad.   Iain progressed to Acting Father in 2012, to Cornet Ross Nichol.

Jed’s grandsons are now also following in the family footsteps, Sean, Grant, Jared, and this year would have been his youngest grandson Jake’s first Common Riding.  Jed is a very proud dad and papa and feels privileged that his sons and grandsons have followed him in his love for the Common Riding.

Jed says, despite these challenging times, he and Irene would nevertheless find some way to celebrate their 60 years milestone and wished everyone a happy Common Riding, however they may mark it.  He looks forward to an extra special year in 2021 and to seeing all his Common Riding friends again on the Mair.

Acting Father in 1960 was James Leithhead who, with his wife Ella, will be remembered for the fine support they gave to the Cornet and his Lass that year.