Safe Out, Safe In for Cornet Michael Allen

After a virtual rideout in 2020 and a March riding walk of 2021, it was fantastic to see a real Rideout return for 2022.

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A stunning shot of Cornet Michael Allen with Biggar in the background.
A stunning shot of Cornet Michael Allen with Biggar in the background.

It has been a long wait for the Prinicpals with Cornet Alan Bartholomew standing down after three years in harness, beating the last double year Cornet of 2000/01 when Willie Steel spanned the Foot and Mouth years.

The church service preceded the installation. Past Cornet Meikle Jackson hosted proceedings at the Municipal Hall and introduced Fleming Queen Elect Kelsie Brotherstone, Crowning Lady Margaret Brotherstone, Sashing Lady Fiona Gibson, ‘Safe Out, Safe In’ George Stewart, Right Hand man Alan Barthlomew, Cornet Michael Allen, Cornet Elect Euan Sanderson and Community Council rep Jerry Sumpster.

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Gordon Porteous and George Scott, who were prevented from receiving their 25 year medals in 2020 and 2021 respectively, also took to the stage. Unable to attend was this year’s 25 year medal recipient Robin Young who is in Australia. His medal will be forwarded to Robin as a lasting momento of his year as Biggar Cornet in 1997.

This incredible horse was one of 74 who was turned out beautifully for the ride out.

The Rideout, led by Biggar Pipe Band, then began and the Cornets Club was delighted to see 74 riders, many seasoned veterans and a party of Americans, in Scotland on a horse riding tour. All enjoyed the day!

With Cornet Michael Allen to the fore the cavalcade followed a traditional route round the district. None of this would be possible, of course, without the landowners and farmers support. It is something for which the Cornets Club is both very proud and grateful.

At Burn Braes everyone was treated to sandwiches, refreshments and a downpour! However, the storm passed and the riders left for the second half of the route, including the all-important furling of the Scottish Saltire atop Bizzyberry.

Returning to Biggar the ride was piped down the High Street to the War Memorial and Cross Keys where Cornet Michael was able to confirm that the boundaries of Biggar were intact.

Riders were blessed with sunshine, well for most of the ride out anyway!

Refreshments followed with the Cornets Party rounding off the night superbly.

The principals ensure the Saltire is flying securely, atop Bizzyberry.
A huge thanks has been extended to all the landowners who enable the ride out.
American riders had an incredible day in Biggar, taking part in the ride out.
An incredible reception for Cornet Michael Allen on his return to Biggar. (All pictures: Nigel Pacey)