Langholm Common Riding 2014
Langholm Common Riding 2014 has got be one of the hottest on record. Talking about records, bigger crowds and more horses and riders than ever must also be close to record levels. Each year I come back to a spectacular event that is Langholm Common Riding and this year it did not disappoint. Dale Irving was elected Cornet and he certainly did the tradition proud and carried out his duties with excellent aplomb. His riding skills were second to none and the way he delivered his speech showed the immense passion he had for his task. Well done Cornet Irving! The gallop up the Kirk Wynd was particularly fantastic with approximately 190 horses & riders running hard fast past the vast crowds.
John Rae Elliot performed his excellent Fair Crying and he is the perfect warm up for the riders and crowds that gather in Langholm – a job he has been doing since 2003. The last Fair Cry of the day is not to be missed and it was a fitting finale to bring Langholm Common Riding 2014 towards a close.
This year I climbed up to the monument to witness the tradition of the Cornet and riders encircling the tower three times. Also, the ground is cut with the traditional Spade emblem. There must have been a least 50 brave souls who managed to yomp up the hillside, in extreme heat to view the spectacle and admire the magnificent vistas toward Langholm.
After a bit of salt herring and Barley Banna, a nip of whisky to wash it down, it is off to the Kilngreen to cross the rivers (Ewes Water & Esk) to take part in the games on the field that include, athletics, traditional Scottish dancing, wrestling and horse racing. And at the end of proceedings, the town band assembles on the field to play a selection of Polkas and then the Cornet will take everyone back into town, dancing the polka along the way. Auld Lang Syne and God Save the Queen are sung to close the formal proceedings but generally this is just the start for many who like to take part in Langholm’s other tradition of being wonderful hosts to all the exiles and visitors especially in their fine hostelries. A fine end to a wonderful Langholm Common Riding 2014.
A special thanks must go to S & S Jarzyna (Pelosi’s Ice Cream Van) for keeping me cool and to the Douglas Hotel for keeping me hydrated with apple juice!!!
Here is a selection of photos I took throughout the day. If you wish to purchase a print, please click my PHOTOCART for my shop. Please use Langholm25 to get a 25% discount until August31st.