Stewart and Dudley ready to make history!

Stewart and Dudley with the flag
Stewart and Dudley with the flag

Wigtown’s first Riding of the Marches for half a century will be led by Cornet Stewart McGregor and his stunning grey horse Dudley.

The thirty-year-old fencing contractor said he was “a bit nervous, but looking forward to it” when he and Northern Flight, his 15-year-old thoroughbred Irish draught gelding, better known as Dudley, posed with the original Riding of the Marches flag at Borrowmoss this week.

The previous Riding of the Marches in Wigtown ended in the 1960s, but the revived event will take place at 7pm on Sunday, 28 June, and the five-mile course will be led by Wigtown man Stewart, with Katy Jones from Kirkinner as the Cornet’s Lass, Mhàiri McConnel from Whauphill as Ensign to carry the flag, and Lyndsey Wilson from Kirkcowan will be the Marshall. The symbolic act will protect the town’s boundaries against ‘invaders’ from other parishes.

Organiser Andrew Wilson said: “These four principles will be invested at Wigtown Parish Church in the morning of the riding, as part of the morning service, which will include their ‘kirking’.

The principles will lay a wreath at the war memorial, after the service.”

Andrew of Beltie Books and Cafe, and Fiona Murphie of Box of Frogs, as members of Wigtown booksellers, are keen to promote the event as something that would enhance the community life of the town, resurrect an historic tradition, and attract visitors to Scotland’s book town.

The organisers are hoping for around 70 riders on the night, but numbers are still to be confirmed. They will foregather and disperse from the old Wigtown Showfield, travel along the Moss of Cree road before turning towards Bladnoch and then back into the town.

Andrew Wilson thanked 3b Construction for allowing the use of the former showfield and Wigtown Community Shop for donating £500 towardshe costs of the event.