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Annan Riding of the Marches 2014

2014 ROM Day Report
by Kevin Edgar

It was another early start at 7.30am on Saturday the 5th of July and a large cavalcade of around 120 riders led by Standard Bearer Simon Millar and accompanied by Chief Marshal Jim Hodgson, Cornet Steven Tinning and Cornet’s Lass Ceilidh Baron and their supports, set off along the High Street, down Battery Brae and onto the Everholm for the first gallop.

Safely over the playing fields and up the hill to the road at Springfield they then made their way through Guillilands to Landheads where the traditional snuff was handed round by the ROM President John Ramage and this year 7 year old Alfie Stewart-Kay was “skelped” through at the Hole in the Hedge ceremony by convener Stuart Thompson.

Next scheduled stop for the Official Party was Williamwood House where they were introduced to their hosts Michael and Shirley Clarke. Next was the popular stop at Chapelcross for a filled roll and refreshments for the riders and horses and then it was downhill to Stapleton Crossroads, Woodhead underpass, Swordwell fields, Peggy’s Burn and on to the shore at Battlehill. The tide was still ebbing this year as we were going onto the shore and the horses legs had a good wash, guided by the local fishermen with their tractors around 105 riders had a gallop of almost a mile along the shore.

The Burgh Standard flying along made a stirring spectacle watched by many spectators from the old viaduct at Seafield, before coming back round and off the shore at Whinnyrigg. After the shore it was quickly back by the shortest route to the Everholm to pick up the lead rein riders for the parade start at Newington Roundabout and for the chases, the going under hoof was ideal and the Chase winners were 10 year old Alyssia Jamieson - Juvenile, Estelle Black – Junior, Margaret Kane – Cornet’s Lass, Frank Johnstone – Cornets, and Gary Patterson from Lockerbie – The Open.

The female and male best turned out riders on the High Street at 7.15am was judged to be Nicola Carruthers from Dornoch and Mr Craig Johnstone from Annan. The winners all received a bag of horse feed (courtesy of the new Carrs Billington branch)

The 2014 Queen of the Border Miss Nicole Anderson, along with her Champion Kane Marshal led another well supported, colourful parade with the display of 15 decorated floats and around 40 children in fancy dress. (see prize winners in right hand column and more images in the Gallery). The “Has Beens” were without their usual leader this year (as Steven was Cornet) but with their “Comparethehasbeens.com” tribute to Gary Barlow and were still hugely popular with the crowds and had a great reception.

The large crowds that turned out to view the parade at 1.00pm must have went home for a BBQ as attendance was down at the “Out and About” held at the John Bell field from 2.00pm. This year’s entertainment included the marvellous Riders of the Storm horse/acrobatic display and Joseph Peace with his red hot fire show (which struggled in the gusty conditions) and the Drakes of Hazard.  The adjacent Annan Academy playing fields hosted the Children’s Sports competitions at 2.30pm and of course the keenly contested annual Pipe Band competitions consisting of bands from all over the UK.

At 5.50 pm the handing back of the Standard ceremony and presentation of trophies took place. Special congratulations must also go to Neil Hodgson on being granted an honorary life membership of the R.S.P.B.A. for services to piping.

This year 16 pipe bands marched up the High Street, which was a great turn out, culminating in Leona Evans singing Auld Lang Syne bringing  another marvellous finale to Annan's big day…… SAFE IN.

Kevin Edgar  
Marchriding Convener 2014

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The 2014 parade winners

The Pride of Procession Shield: ET Productions with around 30 participants and the theme "Riding the Minions".  

The Rotary Cup for the most original float: went to the Cummertrees Youth Club with the theme "Jungle Capers".

The Best Small Vehicle going to Home Angles "Abba"

The best small group was the Barker Anderson and Kerr families as "Steve Irwin and the Crocodile Hunters"

The Children’s Fancy dress category for the Brian O’Neill Memorial Shield went to Makensie Graham with the theme "Transformers".

The 2014 Pipeband Contest

The Grade 2 BNFL Cup: The 101st Northumbrian Regiment

The Grade 3 P/M Callum Beck Memorial Trophy: The 101st Northumbrian Regiment

The Grade 4 McCubbin Shield: Brisbane Boys College pipe band

The Best Dressed Adult Pipe Major:Sharon Smith

The Best Dressed Juvenile: Lewis Bell of the Royal Burgh of Annan

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