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Images from the Common Riding

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Selkirk Common Riding



Selkirk commemorates and celebrates her history at the annual Common Riding during the second week in June when the town's boundaries or 'marches' are ridden.

Selkirk Silver Band

The adrenalin rush that accompanies each Common Riding is absolutely unique. The celebrations actually commence on the Thursday night, locally called 'The Nicht Afore the Morn', when the Senior Burgh Officer cries the Burgh Law and orders everyone to be up and about the next day to 'attend to their interests'.

Standard Bearer Scott Hermiston

The band of the Fifes and Drums make sure of this, parading the town at 4.00am. This is followed by the 'First Drum' when Selkirk Silver Band parade round the triangle of the old town - The High Street, Back Row and Kirk Wind.

The young Standard Bearer - the latest in Fletcher's line - then mounts his horse to lead followers round the town's marches, and on this day Selkirk boasts of the largest cavalcade of horse and riders in Europe. Indeed, as a spectacle, Selkirk Common Riding ranks as one of the European Union;s 'must see'.

The legend comes alive on that morning, and folk say it is only a legend, but legends live forever. The morning ends with the emotional and spectacular ceremony of the Casting of the Colours in the Market Square.

Selkirk ancient guilds and crafts also parade and cast their banners on that day. Selkirk is the only town outside of Scotland's cities where these ancient incorporations and guilds are still in existence.

In Selkirk on the Common Riding morning, the past, the present and the future all meet in this ancient royal burgh.

Selkirk Common Riding has been the subject for several film and television presentations but the ancient wynds and closes of Selkirk have also been the setting for many a fi lm and TV period drama, places where it has been said that the 'spirits of the centuries converse'. The latest of these was the 'North and South' drama which featured as a Sunday night series on BBC television.