The countdown has begun for Cornet Dale Irving, who will this year lead Langholm Common Riding when it takes place on July 25. His Right and Left-Hand Men are Alasdair Cavers and Andrew Elliot.
The day starts at 5am as the flute band parades through the town and ends at 9.30pm as the cornet hands back the flag in front of the town hall.
Unique to Langholm, the four emblems of the festival are carried in the procession. They are a barley bannock and a salted herring on a pole, a spade, a giant thistle and a crown. Watch out for the spectacular gallop up Kirk Wynd and the Fair Crying, when the proclamation is read by a man standing on the back of a horse.
5am: Langholm Flute Band perambulates the town, to gather people for the walk to Hillhead, on the northern spur of Whita.
6.25am: Hounds meet at Collins’ Turn.
6.30am: Hounds slipped.
8.15am: Presentation of Hound Trail Cups at the Town Hall.
8.30am: Cornet musters his supporters in the Market Place. Presentation of Town’s Standard. Procession led by Town Band is formed which moves up the High Street, across the Langholm Bridge, to Buccleuch Square Pump. It moves on to Townfoot and back to the Market Place, and is accompanied by the Spade and the Bannock.
9am: First Fair Crying in the Market Place.
9.10am: Cornet leads his supporters up the Kirk Wynd to Whita Yett and Castle Craigs. The Fair is cried again, and refreshments taken. The horsemen ride around the Monument, and move down to Whita Well.
10am: Children assemble with heather besoms at Mount Hooley. Here they are judged, for the best besom. The whole procession reforms, (note now the Spade is decked in heather after its use).
10.15am: Town Band marches with Thistle and the Crown from Townfoot Gardens to Mount Hooley (by the old Kirk). Many people from here carry on the climb up the Kirk Wynd to meet the horses as they come down from the hill. Also a chance to sample the refreshments, the barley banna and salt herrings. Langholm Pipe Band joins in March to Townhead, on to Townfoot and back to the Market Place.
11am: Second Fair Crying in Market Place. Three cheers are given, and the band play Auld Lang Syne.
The procession marches up the Kirk Wynd, along Drove Road to the Kilngreen. The children with their heather besoms should follow the Pipe Band across the Ewes Bridge to collect their 20 pences at the Lodge Gates.
11.55am: The sods are cut on the Kilngreen. The Cornet, horseback supporters, Spade bearer and followers on foot, wade across the Ewes and onto the Castleholm. The Cornet’s Chase, where the Cornet, carrying the standard, is given a fair start to run the course with his supporters in pursuit.
12.30pm: Races begin on Castleholm.
1pm: Highland dancing.
1.30pm: Athletic Games begin on Castleholm. Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestling.
7.15pm: The Town Band plays for the Dancing on the Castleholm.
8.45pm: Move to the Lodge Gates to reform the procession, led by the Cornet, his Left and Right-Hand Men, and all the emblems. Halts are made for a polka – at the Kilngreen, The Crown Hotel, and Townfoot.
The procession reforms and returns to the Market Place where the Cornet returns the standard to the Officiating Magistrate. He thanks the Cornet and calls for three cheers. A verse of Auld Lang Syne is played along with the National Anthem.