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 —
The stonework had a warm glow in the early evening sunlight —
One more shot before the riders return —
Ok – just one more —
Then the riders appeared after a sweaty day in the hills being Border Raiders and were led into town by the Silver Band —
Raiders come in all shapes and sizes —
including the brave wee one on a Shetland pony —
The horses were followed by a team of hardy walkers who had no doubt opened gates and controlled traffic at road crossings en-route —
An even bigger team of mountain bikers came next doing whatever mountain biker’s do —
While right at the back were the rescue/medical team to pick up the fallen and make sure that none were left behind —
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 🙂
See what I mean 🙂
Jedburgh Common Riding