Sunday, July 05, 2009

Annan Riding of the Marches

During the first Saturday in July, in conjunction with the Riding of the Marches, or Annan Common Riding there is a pipe band competition with a parade at the end. Pipe (bagpipe) and drum bands the world over come to the small town of Annan to take part in this competition. The benefit to us is that we get to see a very high standard of marching when we attend the parade.

The Marches or boundaries of Annan have been ridden since the town was created a Royal Burgh more than 600 years ago. Each year in early July more than one hundred horsemen and horsewomen Ride the Marches to ensure that the landmarks, cairns and other features have not been removed or tampered with and all is safe

The past several years we have missed this parade as we have already departed for our annual summer holiday. This year, due to scheduling, we're not leaving on our holiday until the 8th of July and we were able to travel into Annan to see the pipes. Although I can ride, I haven't ridden in years and I don't have a horse. I would love to go out with the riders one year. It looks like great fun! The High Street (main street) is blocked to traffic for a couple of hours. It seems that the regulations for drinking in public is relaxed as well.

The pavements get crowded with spectators and competitors. There are lots of kilts around. Competitors are getting ready for the first march down the street.
The riders!

We had a good spot near the beginning of the parade. We were just in front of the Annan branch of our bank and across the road from Mr Graham's where George has always gets his hair cut. We've had an exceptionally warm and sunny week but the luck didn't hold out until Saturday. Saturday was overcast with occasional showers. Thankfully there was no wind with the rain and the showers that came during the parade were light and warm.

There are pipers of all ages, sizes and from all walks of life.

The second group of pipers - playing Scotland the Brave - I love to see them getting into step at the beginning of the video clip.

The third group of pipe bands - neighbour girl Laura's head in the bottom of the frame.

Even with a small amount of rain everybody had a great time. Pipe bands make such a stirring sound. I love that I live in a place where I can catch a bit of it from time to time.

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