New date for Berwick Riding of the Bounds

Berwick pipe band lead the cavalcade
2016 Riding of the Bounds
Berwick pipe band lead the cavalcade 2016 Riding of the Bounds

The Berwick Riding of the Bounds is the oldest of all the Borders common ridings, as well as being the first of the season, and this year it will be even earlier than usual.

In 1533, King Henry VIII commanded that the town’s boundaries be checked annually, and that custom has continued every since.

On May 1 each year, anyone with a horse is invited to take part.

This year, however, sees a break in tradition.

The organisers have moved the event to Saturday, April 29, rather than May 1, in the hope that by being held over the May Day bank holiday weekend more riders and spectators than ever before will be able to attend, giving a boost to the event and the local economy.

Many other changes have taken place over the years.

The route was changed so that no rivers are forded after several people were drowned, and there used to be a break halfway round at Mordington and flat races took place, but those have been stopped.

The ride leader is presented with a sash by the mayor of Berwick on the town hall steps at the start of the ride.