South Scotland

Village to vote on Hawick Common Ridings ride-out fate

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Image caption Last year's Hawick Common Riding attracted more than 3,000 people to Denholm

Residents of Denholm in the Borders are to vote on whether to allow this year's Hawick Common Riding's ride-out to visit their village.

A secret ballot is due to be held after calls to have the annual event banned from entering the village.

The vote comes amid concern about anti-social behaviour at past ride-outs.

The ride-out celebrates the capture of an English Flag in 1514 and the ancient custom of riding the marches, or boundaries, of common land.

Last year's festival, which usually takes place in June, attracted about 3,000 people to Denholm and raised more than £17,500.

'Out of hand'

Sid Huddart, chair of the Denholm Feuars and Householders Council, said: "We had one or two small problems last year on the green with anti-social behaviour.

"It seemed to get a little bit out of hand, it was more, shall we say, a small minority of people."

Mr Huddart said his council had put some measures in place in an attempt to mitigate the threat of trouble at future events.

He said: "But you can't have things in place for everything, it's just not possible. But we've worked very hard over the last year just to try and come to some answers."

Regarding Wednesday's vote, Mr Huddart added: "It's totally down to the villagers. They have their say whether they want the ride-out to come or not and I believe that's as it should be."

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