The Scottish town of Kelso has a mass horse-riding event, established in 1937 by JohnScott provost of Kelso, as part of Kelso Civic Week. It was inaugurated so that Kelso like many other Scottish Towns can have what is known as a Common Riding.
A ‘Laddie’ is nominated to lead the huge train of riders, and he and his followers ride from Kelso to Heiton, Stichill, Hume and Ednam, Floors, Morebattle and to Yetholm where they meet the Yetholm Principals, the Bara Gadgie and the Bara Manashee.
I happened to find myself in Kirk Yetholm on Saturday right in the middle of this rally. Not knowing what was going on, I asked a local and he explained that the ride commemorates the return of the Scots from the Battle of Flodden with the news that the Scottish King and nobles had been killed in battle by the English armies. As 2013 is the 500th Anniversary of Flodden, it felt particularly poignant to find myself part of this commemoration.