Bumper crowd for Norham Rideout

The break in the weather could not prevent the cross-border rideouts beginning this week with the traditional journey from Coldstream to Norham.

More than 40 riders set out from Coldstream Lees as part of Coldstream Civic Week, passing through Milne Graden and by Ladykirk House before crossing the Tweed.

Coldstream Civic week rideout to Norham

Coldstream Civic week rideout to Norham

They entered Norham with the recently installed Coldstreamer, Grant Campbell, at their head, leading the cry of “Hip-hip!”

The riders rested their horses on the village green, and took some refreshment themselves in the village hall.

The principals of the border towns then gathered in a circle beneath the village clock to dance their traditional reel, urged on by the gathered spectators.

Coldstream Riders’ Association chair Victoria Dickson said she was encouraged by the turnout.

“It was a wee bit damp, but it didn’t dampen the spirits,” she said.

“It was really good to see the turnout. We had plenty of followers, and to have 42 riders was great.”

As the youngest rider in the procession, Archie Fuller was presented with the Thompson Family Shield, by Liz Thompson.

The traditional visit was made to lay a wreath at the grave of ‘Piper Laidlaw’, who famously won a Victoria Cross for gallantry at Loos, in St Cuthbert’s churchyard.

In the 500th anniversary year of the Battle of Flodden there has been great anticipation about this year’s Flodden Day (today, Thursday) and the Coldstream Riders Association is hoping for a record turn-out of riders.

It had been hoped for the rideout to consist of 500 horses to honour the battle’s quincentenary, but that may be surpassed.

Some are already putting the number of horses likely to attend at over 580.

The annual Flodden Oration on Branxton Hill will be given by Michael Moore, MP and Secretary of State for Scotland.

The Flodden-related events come thick and fast over the next few weeks, including a photo competition run by the Remembering Flodden Project.

Pictures are to be submitted either on CD or by email to Wooler & District Camera Club c/o 4 Ryecroft Park, Wooler, NE71 6AS or email MikeAllport@glengraphics.co.uk

The closing date is Wednesday September 11.