The election of Langholm Cornet was held on Friday the 12th of May. The announcement was preceded by the general public meeting, during which the trustees of the Common Riding gave a full report of the year’s work.
Chairman ex-cornet Tommy Morrison thanked the retiring chair, ex-cornet Roger Maxwell, for his decades of diligent service to the Common Riding and to the committee. His influence and hard work cannot be overstated, and he will be a real miss to the proceedings.
He then went on to thank retiring treasurer John Elliot, whose efforts and service have allowed the committee to look to a brighter financial future. John will, however, continue as auditor.
The position of Vice-Chairman will be filled by ex-cornet Kevan Hotson, with the role of treasurer being taken by Joyce Bell. Jamie Fletcher and Katherine Latimer also join the trustees this year.
Emblem bearers, growers and makers, town- and pipe-band members, sponsors, donors, organisers, and everyone who attends and participates in the Common Riding were thanked.
Secretary Kenneth Hill went on to give a detailed report of the year’s work. The issue raised at the previous year’s meeting about the location of the burgh standard has been settled, with a new flag ordered as an insurance policy. The two flags will be kept in separate locations, with one remaining in the care of the secretary, and the second in the care of another trustee.
The controversy around the banna was also addressed, with the existing ceramic banna to be kept as a backup.
It was noted that since the last meeting, there has been nine new members join the committee, including six women. Several younger members now serve on the committee, which is a promising sign for the future. Iain Little has agreed to take on the role of Games Secretary, and Thomas Hope is taking over as Bar Convenor.
Retiring treasurer John Elliot then gave the financial report. The takings at the hound trail and car park were down compared to 2019, and the decision was taken to make spectator entry free.
The Castleholm Gate was up by 10%, which is an obvious sign that support for the Common Riding hasn’t been dampened by the two missed years. Sales in the refreshment tent were up as well, though the horse racing and athletics entries were down.
Sponsorship, donations, ribbon and tie sales were up significantly, with programmes and dances holding their own.
Extra costs were incurred due to security changes owing to bad behaviour on the Castleholm in previous years. Rising costs have also been seen in printing and advertising, as well as renting the Buccleuch Centre.
Despite the losses made during the Covid years, Langholm Common Riding remains in a strong financial position.
The result of the election was then announced. Lloyd Jonstone secured 149 votes, Ewan Alexander Patterson secured 147, Christopher William Tait secured 470, and Stuart James Albert Tedham had 419.
As there was no other business, the meeting was then drawn to a close.
Our congratulations to Cornet-Elect Christopher Tait.