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.
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…
…who spend quite a lot of time shuffling about the streets….
…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….
…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…
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….
…with a great range of riders from the mature…
…to the young.
Thanks to the dry weather, they literally disappeared into a cloud of dust as the final riders passed me by.
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.
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.
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.
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.