Annan Riding of the Marches 2016
Saturday the 2nd of July was a cool cloudy morning and no time was wasted in traveling to Whinnyrigg to access the shore.
Considering the weather forecast this year's turnout of riders was exceptional with around 144 riders leaving the High Street at 7.30am led by Standard Bearer Emma Marshal (pictured below) and accompanied by Chief Marshal Jim Hodgson, Cornet Mathew Crombie and Cornet’s Lass Toni Bell and their supports, set off on the shortest route via Carlyle’s Place to arrive at Whinnyrigg to go on to the shore, with around around 16 riders opting for the safer road route.
The fishermen (and Margaret Kane) had found us a really good smooth stretch of sand to canter along and we all pulled up safely and walked off the shore at Battlehill. The cavalcade managed to make the usual stirring spectacle watched by many spectators from the shoreline.
It was then over Peggy's Burn, up past Swordwell, through Toppinghall, Woodhead and along to Stapleton for a short hospitality stop provided by the ever generous David Logan and family. Next stop at 9.20am was at the popular Chapelcross runway, after a 20min break it was then over the heights of Jockstown and for the Official Party the traditional visit to Williamwood where they were introduced to their hosts Michael and Shirley Clarke.
Continuing the ride, they were joined by the rest of the cavalcade on the river side at Cleughhead Bridge and then followed the old track through Mount Annan to Landheads where the traditional snuff was handed round and the boy picked this year to be "skelped" through the Hole in the Hedge ceremony by Stuart Thomson was Tyler Smith.
The Everholm chase course was found to be in good condition and the ropes and tapes were quickly erected as the ride continued through Guillilands and Northfield to the Everholm for the Chases. The first chase was the Juvenile and the winner was 6 year old Tara Kane, the junior winner was for the second year Annalise Jeffrey, the Cornets Lasses winner was Margaret Kane (making the first family double), the Cornet’s Chase winner was our deputy marshal Frank Johnstone and keeping it in the family the Open Chase Winner was Connan Johnstone, Annan. See photo gallery for pictures from the Chase.
Then it was up the hill through Springfield House to pick up the lead rein riders for the parade start at Newington Roundabout at 12.30pm.
The female and male best turned out riders on the High Street at 7.15am was judged, this year, to be Isla Graham and Simon Millar from Annan. Also receiving a special award for long service and support was our 1956 Cornet Frank Johnstone.
We had many riders from a great variety other towns this year, it was nice to see The Edinburgh Captain riding and this was the first year that I have started a chase with an immaculately turned out lady riding side-saddle (wearing a Currie sash).
Special thanks must go to all riders for joining our boundary ride this year and to all my Marchriding Committee members, first aiders, other helpers, the land owners and the council for letting us over their ground.
After the large turnout of riders the Grand parade was led by the 2016 Queen of the Border Miss Brooke Gallimore led another well supported, colourful parade with a display of 15 decorated floats and around 35 children in fancy dress, followed by vintage tractors. A list of parade winners can be found on the right.
The large crowds that turned out to view the (unusually early) parade at 12.50pm meant there was a good attendance at the Afternoon at the Academy, which was held this year on the Annan Academy playing field from 2.00pm.
Admission was free this year (with parents asked to make a £1 donation), this year’s entertainment included Owl Magic, The Gordon Highlanders, Archery and a variety of games stands. There was also the Fair at the John Bell field, the hotly contested Children’s Sports (including Children’s Highland Games) competitions at 2.30pm on the sports field 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. There were 23 pipe bands competing at the field in the afternoon and the results are listed on the right.
The spectacular sight and sound of the massed pipe bands marching up the High Street, and Leona Evans singing Caledonia and Auld Lang Syne ended another successful Riding of the Marches day.
The 2016 parade winners
The Pride of Procession Shield: Annan Enable and Gallus Produckshuns with their theme of "a tribute to Mohammad Ali", they were also judged the most humorous and were popular with the crowds.
The Rotary Cup for the most original float: The Cummertrees Youth Club with their "LEGO inspired float"
Lower Annandale Trophy for the most topical float: Annan and District Day Centre their theme "Peter Pan".
The Best Small Vehicle: Brydekirk with their impressive "101 Dalmatians" float.
The 2016 Pipeband Contest
The Grade 2 BNFL Cup: The Lochmaben Royal Burgh Pipe Band.
The Grade 3 P/M Callum Beck Memorial Trophy: Lochmaben Royal Burgh.
The Grade 4 McCubbin Shield: Lochryan Pipe band.
The Best Adult Drum Major: M. Binder
The Best Dressed Juvenile: G. Fraser
The Annandale Distillery Trophy: went to Gary Hawkins of the Royal Burgh of Annan Pipe Band.
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