Eight Borders towns are uniting in the largest ever enactment of the Borderers Return this September.
Riders from each town will carry a special banner in a relay, between Thursday, September 5, and Sunday, September 8, commemorating the Borders men who fell at the battle of Flodden 500 years ago, and those who returned to their towns with news of the Scottish defeat.
Flodden 1513 Club officials, who instigated the Return in 1997, will begin the Return when they deliver the Flodden flag to the battlefield monument, Branxton, at 7.45 on the morning of Thursday, September 5.
Rev David Taverner of Coldstream Parish Church will bless the banner before it is handed to the Kelso riders. A proclamation will be read to the Kelso riders by the chairman of the Flodden 1513 Club, and the riders leave for Kelso at 8am.
After it has been carried through Kelso, Hawick, Jedburgh, Melrose, Galashiels and Selkirk, the chairman of the Lauder Common Riding Committee will be handed the banner on Saturday August 7, after piper Kevin Laidlaw has accompanied it into town. There will be a concert in the Public Hall at 7.30pm, with performers playing under the flag.
On Sunday August 8, the flag will be handed on to representatives of Duns, at 7am. The Duns riders - bearing the Duns town standard carried by 50th-year Reiver Eddy Ruddy and followed by more ex-Reivers and Reiver’s Lasses - will be met by the Duns Pipe Band at the Castle Street north lodge at 1.30pm. Rev Stephen Blakey will oversee a ceremony in the Market Square and a proclamation will be read to the Coldstream riders ahead of them being piped out of Duns on the final leg.
Raymond Brydon, Godfrey Bryson, Harry Brydon, Willie Johnson, Hamish Brown, 2013 Coldstreamer Grant Campbell and Burnett Smith, will head to Coldstream with the flag, via Swinton Kirk, arriving at Coldstream Police Station at 5pm.
Pipers will accompany the Flodden 1513 Club members including club standard bearer Ged Deane, to Tweed Green, where Rev Taverner wil pertform an open-air service, blessing the banner at 8pm.
Following the closing ceremony, there will be entertainment in the form of ‘Soddin’ Flodden’, in the St Cuthbert’s Centre. Tickets are £10 each from Clark’s the Newsagents.
The Flodden 1513 Club would like to thank all the towns and participants taking part and especially wish the riders “Safe Oot and Safe In”.