Lauder Common Riding
From early days, it was the custom for the burgesses of the town, who were charged with maintaining the integrity of the boundaries, to make, with their supporters, an annual inspection of the various markers which delineated the ground belonging to the burgh. This annual check, fell into disuse once there was no immediate threat to the town itself, and a genuine confirmation of the bounds was no longer needed.
The idea of a Cornet, came into being in 1911, when, to commemorate the Coronation of King George V, Lauder decided to have a ceremonial, similar in principle, to the Selkirk Common Riding.
The ceremonial aspects have remained from 1911 to this day with a programme of events throughout the week. Unchanged are: The Annual Election of the Cornet; The Kirking of the Cornet; and The "Night afore the Morn" Concert. There have been, at various times, horse racing, foot racing, a gymkhana, dances etc, all as part of the celebrations. From 1931, the Cornet has been required to name a Cornet's Lass to partner him at the various functions, both within his own week of celebrations and at the other Border Festival Weeks.
Now taking place on the first Saturday in August, the date of Common Riding Day was formerly that of Ascension Day, but with the many Town Festivals throughout the summer, fixing the date ensured that other Festival Principals could attend the Lauder Common Riding, and that Lauder could be represented, in return, at all the other towns' events.
The election of the Cornet and the organisation of the events is the responsibility of the Common Riding Committee.
Supporting that Committee is the ex-Cornets Association, to which all former Cornets automatically belong, and the Ladies' Committee who do so much to ensure that the week is a successful one for all involved.
The ex-Cornets have a dinner on the Monday night of the week, and former holders of that proud title return to Lauder from all over the globe for that night.
To summarise, by quoting from "Lauderdale in the 20th Century":
"The ancient and cherished tradition of the Common Riding today continues to contribute much to the life of the Royal Burgh, increasing the sense of pride and cohesiveness in its people, while at the same time providing a wonderful experience for each young man lucky enough to serve as Cornet".