Jedburgh Common Riding

07 Jul

Jedburgh Common Riding or The Jethart Callant’s Festival as it is known locally is halfway through. All the Border towns have their week of Common Riding when they choose a worthy leader (Callant means ‘Youth’ in Border tongue) from the young men of the toon and patrol the burgh boundaries on horseback. But – Jedburgh does things different – they hold it over two weeks.

I had travelled over to nearby Kelso for a motorcycle show and rally on Saturday and because I have been ‘proper poorly’ recently I looked for a B&B to split my journey and do the return leg on Sunday. Kelso accommodation prices seemed a bit over the top – so – being in frugal mode I moved sixteen miles down the road and found a really nice place to stay in Jedburgh just a few miles north of the Scottish/English border crossing point at Carter Bar on the A68.

While I waited with the crowd outside the Carter’s Rest for the riders to return victorious from some far-flung outpost of their jurisdiction I got myself a glass of cider from the bar and filled my time taking a few photos of the striking ruins of Jedburgh Cathedral across the road —

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The stonework had a warm glow in the early evening sunlight —

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One more shot before the riders return —

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Ok – just one more —

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Then the riders appeared after a sweaty day in the hills being Border Raiders and were led into town by the Silver Band  —

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Raiders come in all shapes and sizes —

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including the brave wee one on a Shetland pony —Jed 042

The horses were followed by a team of hardy walkers who had no doubt opened gates and controlled traffic at road crossings en-route —

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An even bigger team of mountain bikers came next doing whatever mountain biker’s do —

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While right at the back were the rescue/medical team to pick up the fallen and make sure that none were left behind —

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Sixty years ago I was one of the young cyclist’s who would tend the horses as their thirsty riders would take a dram or two at the pubs in outlying villages. It was a merry throng who would ride back into town after a hot day in the saddle – but – with the old gaol right next to the abbey there was room for virtuous and miscreants both 🙂

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See what I mean 🙂

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Jedburgh Common Riding

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Posted by on July 7, 2013 in out and about


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