A small piece of Langholm’s Great Day

Today’s guest picture, sent to me by my neighbour Gavin, shows his granddaughter Ellie, who is visiting from California, with the crown which is carried in the Common Riding procession.  Some of our roses are in there.


It was the Common Riding, Langholm’s Great Day, today and the sun shone on the crowded streets as the procession made its way round the town.


The town’s standard is carried by a mounted cornet who is accompanied by his right and left hand men, the ex-cornets from the previous two years.

Cornet Dale Irving

In the town, the procession is led by the emblem bearers and the Town Band and the cornet has a large train of mounted followers…

mounted followers

…who spend quite a lot of time shuffling about the streets….

mounted followers

…in front of large crowds of cheering supporters.

After going from one end of the town to the other, which involves a good deal of work in getting the horses organised at the turning points, the cornet arrives in the Market Place….

Market Place

…where a large crowd gather to hear the first crying of the fair.  I took my time and while the procession was going through the town, I walked up the Kirk Wynd and waited.

After the fair has been cried, the cornet gallops up the Kirk Wynd and leads his followers onto the hill…

The Kirk Wynd

The Kirk Wynd

Where they visit the boundaries of the common land to make sure that they have not been encroached on. (As it happens, the boundaries do seem to have been encroached on but no one seems to mind very much.)

It was a great spot to watch the horses pass by….

The Kirk Wynd

…with a great range of riders from the mature…

The Kirk Wynd

…to the young.

The Kirk Wynd

Thanks to the dry weather, they literally disappeared into a cloud of dust as the final riders passed me by.

The Kirk Wynd

While the horses are on the hill, most of the spectators retire to the town and  spend the time while they are waiting for them to return in convivial social activities.

There is much more to the day after the riders return from the hill (more fair crying, more processions, horse racing, athletic games, wrestling, dancing and a final procession when the flag is handed back)  but this was as far as my interest went this year and it was back to a comfortable chair in the house for the rest of the day.   Even the magic of the Common Riding couldn’t clear my hip pain up, though it has improved a lot thanks to resting.

I would like to thank all those who offered me sympathy either in person or through the medium of the comments on this blog.  I haven’t replied to the kind comments today as sitting at the computer does not help matters and I am trying to get through this post as quickly as possible but I appreciate the sympathy very much.

Not being out and about gave me plenty of opportunity to enjoy the presence of our granddaughter Matilda, the world’s greatest baby.



She went for a walk in her father’s old perambulator.

Mother and Granny
Mother and Granny checking that all is well before the off.
Al and Clare and pram
And father making sure that the blazing sun is not a problem as she returned.

We were visited during the afternoon by Gavin’s son Fraser, father of the rose clutching Ellie and an old friend of Alistair, who now lives in California.  He was saying that although the temperature today was much the same as he would expect in California, it felt much hotter here due to the higher humidity. We asked if it was a lot drier in California and he told us that he had seen one day of light rain this year.  It is a lot drier there.

Our dry spell has meant that Mrs Tootlepedal has had do quite a bit of watering in the garden but she has kept things looking very well.  The flowers were celebrating Langholm’s Great Day even if I wasn’t out watching events.



poppy and insect

A reader asked if I could put a picture of the gooseberry bush onto a post as she had never seen one so here is ours.  It doesn’t look great but it had produced a lot of fruit this year.

gooseberry bush

I have picked several pounds of berries already but there are lots left.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that my hip continues to improve and once again I thank all those who offered me their kind thoughts.

A sparrow is the flying bird of the day.

flying sparrow




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “A small piece of Langholm’s Great Day

  1. I’d love to see processions like that one! Nice pictures Tom! I hope you’re doing better with your aching hip. 🙂

  2. I remember in the 1950s and 60s when the Common Riding was preceded by the ride out. Refreshments were taken at my grandparents’ tenancy, Cronksbank Farm. Yes, the Common Riding was and remains a marvellous day. Here’s hoping you’ll soon be tootlepedalling with previous gusto.

  3. The world’s greatest baby has certainly got a lovely face; so full of expression! Some good shots of the Common Riding I hope you continue to improve in health.

  4. That pram is a work of art – very stylish design – and I’ll bet there’s no plastic “chrome” on it either! Also like the young rider on the pony – a very well kitted out young thing! Glad you hip is better – albeit marginally.

    1. Mrs Tootlepedal checked on line to see what the top of the range modern equivalent would cost and found that it was about £1500. She got ours second hand from a neighbour for £25. Those were the days.

  5. thank you for letting us share in Langholm’s great day. Matilda is gorgeous and her father’s pram was fittingly majestic! We add our best health wishes to the long list of well wishes – maybe you can enjoy some of the “games” from your comfy chair.

  6. That’s a great way to bring the town together each year and looks like a lot of fun.
    Matilda’s chubby little cheeks look just right for a grandmother to pinch, just like mine used to do to me.
    I hope you have continued success with the hip.

  7. Fascinated by the Common Riding, your visitor from my hot and dry California, but most especially by the gooseberry bush!! I’m so appreciative, Tom. Thank you! I wonder if there are thorns. I can’t see any from the enlarged picture, and I’m fascinated by the leaf shape. Almost reminds me to the cilantro leaf, although I’m sure this is much sturdier. I’d rather expected a vine-type plant. My mom used to buy gooseberry jam at a little shop when I was a girl. It was my favorite. I’m going to try to find some around here. Thanks again! ~SueBee

    1. It does indeed have thorns as my blood stained arms can testify. The bush is pruned each year to try to keep it fairly compact. I hope that you find some gooseberry jam though often makers doubt its capacity to attract by itself and adulterate it with ginger and other such unnecessary flavours.

  8. Loved the pictures of Matilda, the Common Riding especially the small child and your garden. Pleased you could get some relief sitting in that chair hope the improvement continues speedily.

  9. Tom as your aware hip or no, I find your blog a constant inspiration, I live in the city albeit on the outer rim, A daily reminder of life in the borders your humor,with never a hint of irony, absolutely spot on Understandable that Matilda is The worlds greatest baby not only her fathers pram, but you kept the gooseberry bush! Mrs T does indeed keep an excellent garden,along with other duties.The garden of course much complimented by the greensward, itself a work of art.
    All of this comes as a result of effort,as with everything, its to your great credit that its conveyed in such an easy going way. I can say its like being neighbour to you? I have often thought, We are all human, anything else is a label to separate us Thank you for your humanity
    P.S. I touched lightly on your hip problem, As with all [your problems] the indomitable way they are dealt with,and again the humour. so light.A real and genuine inspiration I feel you a friend,its just that we have yet to meet.
    Thanks Tom,and all the Toots.
    Lang may yer lum reek
    All you wish yourselves

  10. (No acknowledgement required). Well done for getting out and about the Common Riding. Very sorry to hear of trapped nerve, but you have exemplary attitude which I shall attempt to instil in H. You will have to break it to Matilda that though she is undoubtedly a beautiful baby with a range of striking talents she is coming under competition from her cousins Lila and No-name-as-yet Ramazanoglu, though she has the advantage of age.

  11. Loved, loved, LOVED the photos of the Common Riding! Thank you!! Ah, my old equestrian bones would love to have participated in something like that. I do miss my riding days! Your photos were wonderful and conveyed the excitement well.

    In the one photo, Matilda looks like she’s commiserating with grandfather’s hip pain! 🙂 She’s so adorable and I’m thankful her proud parents allow you to share her with all of us around the globe.

    Another stunning sunflower photo. Hope your pain continues to ease, Tom.

    1. Our children have all ridden on Common Riding Day and it was always a great worry to see them among such a crowded procession. I have never been up to the task myself.

  12. You take such lovely photos of horses, birds and flowers and babies too. I do hope your hip resolves itself very soon. All the best from wintery Western Australia.

  13. More good wishes for hip improvement soon, do hope it will be less painful shortly.
    Great pictures of the Common Riding, and splendid photograph of beautiful Matilda.

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