The Riding o' The Bounds

The forst reference te 'the Bounds' wuh see dates from 1318,

Monday, 14th May 2018, 9:00 am

Which Robert Bruce’s charter defined as lands that lay between,

The Anglo-Scottish border and the bonny River Tweed,

Though thorty years would pass until that Border was agreed,

Until in 1348 the Scots an’ English signed a truce,

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Although incursions still continued, an’ it was subject te abuse.

So by 1542 a decision then was made,

That those Bounds should be “perambulated”, wi’ regular parade,

As the Garrison from Berwick rode, the limits te define,

“Te keep the Bounds well-knahn”, on wor Borderland front line.

Then in 1604, wi’ the Act o’ Union made,

A Royal Charter granted te the Freemen then conveyed,

A list o’ rights an’ privileges, which ahlso changed the way,

Those lands had been in common use, fer grazin’ an’ fer hay.

So the ownership was noo passed te the worthies o’ the toon,

Whee then had te pay an annual fee, as it was written doon,

That a defensive ditch should then be built, Berwick’s boundaries te maintain,

An’ although the ditch is noo lang gone, those ancient Bounds remain.

Since that time in May each year, a parade has taken place,

Wi’ scores o’ riders, well torned-oot, whee provide a fine show-case,

Fer the history o’ this ancient toon, as traditions here abide,

Definin’ once again the route their forebears used te ride.

Wi’ horses decked wi’ ribbons, an’ wi’ banners held on high,

The townsfolk gie a cheer as the parade gans trottin’ by.

A grand day oot fer ahll concerned, a worthy exhibition,

O’ the fine continuation o’ wor Borderlands tradition.

Michael McCarthy

Gateshead