Readers should look out for posters in local shops advertising the sale of the Society book‘’Tales of the Exiles’’ and their CD containing many of the songs and music of the Common Riding featuring local singers and bands. The book tells the story of the Society history, from its founding in Hespeler, Ontario during 1910 by Souters who had emigrated looking for work in what was, the textile capital of Canada, their first Standard Bearer and Bussin’ Concert in 1911 and the new Flag sent from Canada. We journey through the next 100 plus years to 2018 and the newly created mosaic on Riverside and the Market Place regeneration with the Society emblem ‘’set in stone’’ alongside the other Casting Associations. Included in the book is a photo gallery of all our Standard Bearers and Lady Bussers together with a host of pictures covering the history of the Society.
Many tales of our members are spread across the book starting with those who were involved in the founding of the Society in 1910 and ending with stories from our ‘’exiles’’ in more recent years. Some of these tales were written by High School students as part of the annual Colonial History Medal competition (Oliver Linton, pictured, was one of those whose story was told in 2018), while others originated from newspaper articles, or from the members themselves.
The recording on CD has been produced by Selkirk Colonial Society to preserve the traditional form of songs and music which are an integral part of the centuries-old Common Riding. Some of the songs are traditional to Ettrick Forest, of which Selkirk is the ancient capital. Others were incorporated, primarily by the late Baillie Reekie, because they seemed to catch the mood and spirit of the festival. How well the choice of songs was made in these early years is evidenced by the fact that they are sung with gusto by Souters all over the world, and at the annual Common Riding all those who take part in the procession sing these well-loved songs and march behind the bands to these well-loved tunes.
THE NIGHT AFORE THE MORN
Tracks 1-13 represent the start of the Common Riding on the Thursday night, with the Flute Band heralding the Burgh Officer as he ‘’Cries the Burley’’, followed by the procession around the town and various bussin’ concerts.
COMMON RIDING DAY
From track 14 the songs and music follow the sequence in which they are heard with Selkirk Silver Band, Souters ‘’frae a’ the airts’’ and Selkirk Pipe Band all involved. The day starts with the pipers playing ‘’the Flo’ers o’ the Forest’’
at the War Memorial, and then at the First Drum, the Silver Band sets of on its traditional march to the tune of ‘’Hail Smilin’ Morn’’. We salute the exiles with ‘’Her Bright Smile’’, march along for the Bussin’ of the Burgh Flag, and head doon the Green at the Second Drum singing ‘’O’ a’ the Airts’’. Marching to the Toll to meet the riders we sing‘’Maggie’’ and ‘’The Boys of the old Brigade’’. At the Toll we sing along to ‘’the Roses’’ and ‘’the Rowan Tree’’, and once the riders have safely returned the procession heads back to the Market Place with both Silver and Pipe Bands to the fore. Flags are cast in the time-honoured manner to the tune ‘’Up wi’ the Souters’’ and then after the silence to remember those who fell at Flodden, the Common Riding ends with the band playing ‘’the Liltin’ ‘’. The recording features many of the old, long departed artistes such as Willie Grieve (The Riders o’ the Marches), Charlie Brodie (The Soft Lowland Tongue), John Mitchell (Wild Ettrick) and many more.
The Book is available at the special price of £5.50 and the CD at £7.00. Buy both and get a further discount of £1.50 a really fantastic offer of £11.00
Only available from the Peony Rose, Post Office, Scotts Selkirk, Turnbull Shoe Repairs and Ettrick Valley Giftware (Bryan Hoggan).