Statement 24/01/2018

Due to recent comments and speculation on social media The Common Riding Committee issue the following statement:

Hawick Common Riding Committee is a volunteer based organisation whose main purpose is to organise and run our historic ceremonies for the benefit of Hawick. As stated in the constitution: ‘The objects of The Committee shall be to uphold and continue the Heritage, Customs and Traditions of The Common Riding for the benefit of the people of Hawick, and to annually accept responsibility to ensure the proper conduct of the ceremonies.’

The Committee appreciate and would like to thank the Hawick public and those of our neighbouring towns who respect the heritage, customs and traditions of Hawick Common Riding, i.e. allowing The Chases and The Common Riding Friday as well as the Hut and The Election Night Smoker to be all male events.

We are a town steeped in history and rich in pageantry and so it is important we preserve what we have for our future generations.

The Common Riding Committee are aware that a few women are now wishing to have full access to all Common Riding functions and are also aware that under the Equal Opportunities legislation they have the right to do so. The Common Riding Committee will not break the law. All those taking part must be aware that there are codes of conduct and protocols for these events and these must be respected. These include the orders of riders in the Procession on the Friday and also The Chases, where all married riders are led by The Acting Father and all unmarried riders are led by the The Cornet and his Right and Left Hand Men.

As a Committee we are aware we live in a time of equal rights for women, and can appreciate this, although we also need to remember our historic traditions so that they can be passed on to the next generation. We ask, please, that Your Cornet gets the positive support that he deserves.