Kirkcud­bright cel­e­brates

The Galloway News - - FRONT PAGE - Stephen Nor­ris

Hun­dreds of peo­ple lined the streets to en­joy the Kirkcud­bright Rid­ing of the Marches on Fri­day evening.

On­look­ers were treated to a won­der­ful spec­ta­cle of 107 horses and rid­ers, all be­at­i­fully turned out, clat­ter­ing through the town in the cen­turies-old tra­di­tion.

Start­ing from Dee Walk, the rid­ers halted at the war memo­rial where Cor­net Jack Bell and Cor­net’s lass Elen Austin dis­mounted to lay a wreath as Ian We­myss of Kirkcud­bright Pipe Band played “Floo­ers o’ the For­est.”

Then it was on to Har­bour Square where Pur­suiv­ant Jim McDowall and Dea­cons Ian Mcin­tyre and Ian Swan of the Haill Six In­cor­po­rated Trades of Kirkcud­bright re-en­acted the grant­ing of the royal char­ter to the town by King James II in 1455.

Dea­con Swan thanked Jack, from Gel­ston, for per­form­ing his du­ties “most no­tably” be­fore Jack in­vited the crowd to give three cheers for the Royal Burgh of Kirkcud­bright.

Ev­ery year since the char­ter was granted, the pur­suiv­ant – the King’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive – the Cor­net and horse­men ride to­gether round the bound­aries of the burgh lands re­ferred to in the char­ter.

The act is recre­ated an­nu­ally by the Kirkcud­bright Cor­nets’ Club with the Rid­ing of the Marches to the square.

Club chair­man Aly Austin was de­lighted with the sup­port shown by the com­mu­nity in cel­e­brat­ing the event which cre­ated Kirkcud­bright as a royal burgh of Scotland.

She said: “It went re­ally well. The rain stopped just be­fore we set off. There was a great turnout of horses, we had 107 in to­tal, and of folk turn­ing out to watch.

“I’d like to thank all the towns­folk of Kirkcud­bright, the vis­it­ing prin­ci­pals, their fol­low­ers, Kirkcud­bright Cor­nets’ Club and the Dea­cons of the In­cor­po­rated Trades for all their sup­port.

“I also thank Kirkcud­bright Sum­mer Festivitie­s for stag­ing the event.”

Af­ter the cer­e­mony, judg­ing took place for the best turned out horses and rid­ers. Dum­fries Cor­net’s lass Ellen Bell and Bruce were named se­nior win­ners, Na­dia Pow­ell and Poppy won the ju­nior award and Malachy Mann lead rein. Sean Duffy was judged as the best turned out horse and cart.

A suc­cess­ful Cor­net’s Ball in the Ar­den House Ho­tel rounded off the evening’s festivitie­s.

The event fol­lowed the first Scot­tish Night in Har­bour Square the pre­vi­ous evening, at which Alix Davis was crowned Sum­mer Festivitie­s Princess.

Her at­ten­dants are fel­low pri­mary school pupils Ab­bie McCormick and Alexi Baty.

The royal party ar­rived in the tra­di­tional vin­tage car to be wel­comed by Kirkcud­bright Pipe Band en­ter­tain­ing a crowd of around 300. Kay Alexan­der High­land Dancers also per­formed on the evening.

Alix, Ab­bie and Alexi will at­tend var­i­ous festivitie­s events through­out the sum­mer and will at­tend a num­ber of tasks be­fore their big fi­nale – the Kirkcud­bright Tat­too and fire­work dis­play.

Scot­tish Night Some of the Kay Alexan­der dancers en­ter­tain the crowd, in­set above

Great night Rid­ers of all ages took part in the event on Fri­day

Show of af­fec­tion Zoe Gaffney gives her trusty steed a kiss

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