Hawick locals gather to watch the impressive spectacle of horses kicking up the dust in the centuries-old custom of common riding in this varied early film. The practice originally involved patrolling the Scottish borders to protect citizens from attack, and the Hawick common riding also commemorates the capture of an English flag in 1514. The event captured here, the quadricentennial of that auspicious event, was particularly special - as the newly unveiled memorial and streets festooned with bunting demonstrate.
Common ridings still take place in the Borders every year, drawing large crowds to celebrate the region's centuries of tradition. The Hawick riding is traditionally the first of the season.