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Safe oot, safe in

It's that time of year again. We can't quite believe it but the end of July is upon us and with it, of course, the last Friday that means so much to our community. It's that palpable atmosphere of excitement that breeds in the air throughout July and reaches a fever-pitch this week that really makes the whole event so special. A coming together of the community in a way that has to happen organically over centuries to feel so authentic. It's a culture so deeply ingrained in the mindsets of Langholm folk that the year is essentially split in two: Christmas and Common Riding. Our Common Riding is a deeply special time for a lot of people, and for many different reasons. The sights, the smells (particularly), and the sensations form a bond between people and place is rarely replicated elsewhere in Scotland. But it's not just a sentimental time of year. The Common Riding is important socially, culturally, politically and economically. It's the cornerstone of identity that brings people of all ages, wealth and health together in mutual celebration of our Wee Bit Toon. Events like Langholm Common Riding are indicators of community resilience: that no matter the challenges faced, we can come together and still be proud of the place we live and what it means to us. That our young people feel connected to their hometown. That everyone is welcome at Langholm's great day. Of course, this year leading the charge is Cornet Henry Jeffrey. We were delighted to present Henry with his "mini-me", lovingly crafted by local hands, last week. The gift is part of a tradition of Langholm Initiative presenting the cornet of the day with a Border Fine Arts-inspired figurine to commemorate their special day. This year was particularly special given that Henry, as some of you may or may not know, was a regular visitor to our Buccleuch Mill office during the early days of his and his business partner Daniel's business: Jeffrey & Scott. (We were pleased to support them with many opportunities, including making the cover of Dumfries & Galloway Life). A man so involved with his local community (including a momentous fundraising effort for Langholm Parish Church's organ) is a fantastic representative for our area. We believe Henry will do a brilliant job come Friday and embody the spirit of the day as only he could. Safe oot, safe in from all your friends at Langholm Initiative.

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