What’s it like to be the Cornet to the Langholm Common Riding?

Billy Young interviewed by Mairi Telford-Jammeh on 3 March 2013, in Langholm.Interviewed: 3 March 2013.
Ref: DG3-4-1-2
© European Ethnological Research Centre, 2016.

Mhairi asks Billy about his day as cornet, and Billy remembers with great emotion the sense of community and inclusion that he felt.

MT-J: Do you think it’s such an intense experience that you sort of remember strange things, you know?

BY: Yes yes, I mean I can remember one thing that stuck in my mind was…at night, which is incredibly emotional it’s…the experience of coming round the corner into the high street, and seeing three/four/five thousand people in front of you, and knowing that that was it, that was the end of it, it was as if somebody had punched me in the stomach, really really hard, you know it just hit me, and I remember being down at the town foot, wi’ the polka rings dancing…you know the people dancing the polka rings and the nuns from the local nunnery were dancing as well and I just thought well that seems to sum up the common riding because it belongs to everybody and it doesn’t matter how old you are, what colour you are or what religion you are it’s everybody’s common riding and it just struck a chord in me you know to see them all there and everybody being so happy and everybody being so united and you know…

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