Every year on May 1 the “Riding of the Bounds” takes place in Berwick upon Tweed. In 1438 Berwick became part of England after changing hands between England and Scotland several times. Berwick lies 3 miles from the Scottish border and I call the area Scengland. The “Riding of the Bounds” was initiated to check that the area was secure, presumably from the Scots.
Leaving the Barracks
Riders gather at the Barracks Square. A piper heralds the start of the procession, led by a Marshall holding the Berwick flag down to the Guildhall to request the Mayor’s permission to secure the boundaries.
Heading down Marygate to the Guildhall
The Mayoral party on the Guildhall steps
The riders then set off on their mission, halting traffic on the A1, check for marauding Scots and then report back that all is secure handing back the Berwick flag.
“Riding the Bounds” is rather perverse in the current political climate, as recent opinion polls show that 60 – 80% of Berwick residents would like Berwick to be part of Scotland, mainly because of higher per capita public spending in Scotland, so perhaps the ceremony will have to be renamed “Redrawing the Bounds”?