Berwick's back on the map

It was amazing to see the town alive on a damp, cold Sunday for Riding the Bounds.

Saturday, 7th May 2016, 8:00 am

The streets were packed to the gunnels with locals, tourists and riders’ families, all ready for the wonderful day that ensued.

There was a really large turn out of participants this year too – 85 riders, of whom at least 15 were juniors.

The youngest was a mere five-years-old, a Chief Marshal in the making. One lady rode side saddle, travelling to our town for the event from Currie.

This year saw many firsts for this ancient traditional day.

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Most notably was the invitation to everyone to be part of the event from the start to the end – a great way to open this up to the wider community. There was a very inspired committee delivering this free event to all.

There were singers, along with the local scouts and cub groups, as well as the Army Cadet force, which proudly carried the banners, all of whose members were part of the opening ceremony to see the riders away from the Guildhall steps.

The Mayor set Rachel Martin off as Chief Marshal to do her duties and the riders followed. The crowds were clapping and cheering, and Berwick’s high street came alive.

I heard people enquiring about next year and where could they stable horses nearby.

This is exactly what the town and its businesses need to hear. This sort of positivity and boost was needed for an event that was possibly diminishing over past years as numbers were dropping.

Sunday’s event is a testimony to the tremendous work that was undertaken by the committee to turn the event around.

Well done to Judith Eltringham and her team for putting Berwick firmly back on the map.

Mark G C Graham