WILL H OGILVIE CAIRN GATHERING, Saturday, August 17th, 2019. (Ian Landles)

MY LORD, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I WELCOME YOU AS CHAIRMAN OF THE WILL H OGILVIE MEMORIAL TRUST, TO THE VERY SPOT WHERE WILL HIMSELF ONCE STOOD AND ENCAPSULATED WHAT HE FELT HERE FOR ALL TIME
“AS I CAME OVER THE HARDEN HILL
A WHAUP ON THE MOOR WAS WHISTLING SHRILL
IN HIS PRIDE TO BE FIRST RECORDER
OF NEW LIFE STIRRED IN THE SLEEPING LING
OF LAUGHTER AND LOVE AND SONG – AND SPRING –
AND THE FIRST BLUE DAY ON THE BORDER.”
UNFORTUNATELY THE WEATHER ISN’T VERY SPRING-LIKE TODAY AND I THANK EACH OF YOU FOR BRAVING THE ELEMENTS TO GIVE US YOUR SUPPORT.
ALTHOUGH HE HAD SEEN THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD THE MAN WE HONOUR TODAY WILLIAM HENRY OGILVIE WHO WAS ARGUABLY THE FINEST POET THE BORDERLAND EVER PRODUCED, SCOTT AND HOGG INCLUDED. WAS FIRST AND FOREMOST A BORDERER. FOR HE WROTE
“I HAVE TRIED THE SPOTS IN ORDER
WHERE THE BRIGHTEST SUNBEAMS FALL
BUT THE LAND UPON THE BORDER
IS MY OWN LAND AFTER ALL”.
WILL WAS BORN 150 YEARS AGO COME NEXT WEDNESDAY ON THE 21ST OF AUGUST 1869 AND HE DIED AT THE GRAND OLD AGE OF 93 ON THE 30TH OF JANUARY, 1963 AND ALTHOUGH HE HAS A MEMORIAL TABLET IN THE FAMILY ENCLOSURE IN ASHKIRK KIRKYAIRD HIS ASHES WERE SCATTERED JUST NORTH OF HERE BESIDE HIS BELOVED “HILL ROAD TO ROBERTON” AND IT WAS THERE AFTER A SERIES OF FUND-RAISIN EVENTS IN THE EARLY 1990S THAT THE WILL H OGILVIE MEMORIAL COMMITTEE, AS IT WAS THEN, ERECTED A MARVELLOUSLY EVOCATIVE MEMORIAL CAIRN, THE WORK OF ONE O SCOTLAND’S FINEST SCULPTORS, MY FATHER’S COUSIN, THE LATE WILLIAM LANDLES. IT WAS UNVEILED BEFORE A CROWD OF GETTING ON FOR THREE HUNDRED ON THE BREEZY 21ST O AUGUST 1993, THE 124TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE POET’S BIRTH WHEN WE HELD OUR FIRST GATHERING. WHEN MY FATHER, ALSO WILLIAM LANDLES, IN HIS TRIBUTE TI THE POET DESCRIBED HIM IN SIR WALTER SCOTT’S WORDS FROM “THE LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL” AS
“THE LAST OF ALL THE BARDS WAS HE
WHO SANG OF BORDER CHIVALRY”
THERE HAVE BEEN FOUR GATHERINGS SINCE THAT FIRST ONE. WE FELT WE COULDN’T SUSTAIN IT EVERY YEAR SO WE HAVE TWO EVERY DECADE, IN THE YEARS THAT END IN A ‘9’ TO MARK EVERY TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF WILL’S BIRTH AND IN YEARS THAT END IN A ‘3’ TO MARK EVERY TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH AND SO WE FIND OURSELVES HERE AGAIN IN THIS 150TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR OF WILL’S BIRTH TO CELEBRATE THE MEMORY OF THE BORDERLAND’S GREATEST EVER AMBASSADOR OF VERSE.
FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOW THE WILL H OGILVIE MEMORIAL TRUST HAVE BEEN WORKING HARD TOWARDS MAKING THE POET’S 150TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR SPECIAL.
WE HAVE SIGNIFICANTLY UPGRADED OUR WEBSITE.
WE HAVE BROUGHT OUT A NEW EDITION OF WILL’S “BORDER POEMS”, COPIES OF WHICH WILL BE DONATED TO BORDER SCHOOLS AS PART OF AN EDUCATION PACKAGE.
WITH HUGE HELP FROM THE EX-KELSO LADDIES ASSOCIATION A MEMORIAL STONE WITH ACCOMPANYING INFORMATION PANELS HAS BEEN ERECTED AT WILL’S BIRTHPLACE AT HOLEFIELD AND ON HIS RETURN FROM THIS YEAR’S YETHOLM RIDE THE KELSO LADDIE UNVEILED THE STREET SIGN FOR THE NEWLY NAMED “WILL H OGILVIE WAY”.
WE HAVE BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN HELPING CREATE AN APP-BASED OGILVIE TRAIL.
WE HAVE ESTABLISHED SIGNIFICANT LINKS WITH AUSTRALIA WHERE WILL SPENT OVER A DECADE AND WHERE HE IS STILL VERY HIGHLY REGARDED. IT WOULD BE REMISS OF ME NOT TO MENTION THAT WE HAVE IN OUR COMPANY TODAY TWO GENTLEMEN WHO HAVE COME ALL THE WAY FROM AUSTRALIA TO BE WITH US, ALAN WAUGH AND CELEBRATED AUTHOR, LACHLAN HUGHSON WHO HAS WALKED IN WILL’S HOOFPRINTS IN NEW SOUTH WALES AND HAS BROUGHT WITH HIM COPIES OF HIS MOST RECENT PUBLICATION “WALKABOUT TO WISDOM”. THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE TODAY AS ARE OTHER BOOKS OF WILL’S POEMS, ALL PROCEEDS GOING TO THE TRUST. IT’S GREAT TO HAVE YOU HERE, GENTLEMEN, AND WE TRUST YOU ARE ENJOYING YOUR TIME IN THE SCOTTISH BORDERLAND.
WE HAVE SPREAD THE OGILVIE MESSAGE THROUGHOUT THE BORDERS WITH THE WELL ROAD PRODUCTIONS OF “WILL” AND THE PUTTING ON OF MUCH ENJOYED “NIGHTS WI WILL” WHEN TALENTED EXPONENTS OF THE POET’S WORK HAVE TAKEN HIS POEMS AND SONGS TO NEW AUDIENCES.
LAST NIGHT WE OPENED OUR 150TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION IN HAWICK’S HERITAGE HUB WHICH WILL RUN UNTIL THE END OF SEPTEMBER AND LAUNCHED A NEW EDITION OF WILL’S EPIC REIVING BALLAD “WHAUP O’ THE REDE”.
THE FRONT PAGE OF THE ORIGINAL 1909 EDITION READS THUS
TO WALTER SCOTT OF HARDEN, BARON POLWARTH BY PERMISSION IS DEDICATED THIS BALLAD OF RAIDERS
WILL HAD A SOFT SPOT FOR HARDEN AND ITS HISTORY WHICH MAKES THIS SITE A VERY FITTING ONE FOR THE RE-SITING OF HIS MEMORIAL.THE WHAUP TELLS THE STORY OF THE UNEXPECTED OUTCOME OF A RAID INTO REDESDALE BY AULD WAT SCOTT O HARDEN AND HIS MEN. THE THIRD CANTO OF THE POEM INCLUDES “HO! FOR THE BLADES OF HARDEN!” WHICH INCORPORATES THE SCOTT OF HARDEN MOTTO “THERE WILL BE MOONLIGHT AGAIN”. MUSIC HAS BEEN SET TO WILL’S WORDS AND JIM CHISHOLM, A STALWART MEMBER OF THE GREAT KELSO SEVEN OF THE 1970S WHO HAS LONG SINCE SWAPPED SCRUMMAGING FOR SINGING IS NOW GOING TO SING IT FOR US.
JIM CHISHOLM
THANK YOU, JIM FOR THAT GRAND RENDITION
WE NOW COME TO THE HIGHLIGHT OF THIS SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE WEEKEND.
SADLY AS YOU ARE ALL AWARE WILL’S EVOCATIVE MEMORIAL CAIRN ON “THE HILL ROAD TO ROBERTON” WAS WANTONLY DESTROYED WHEN WILLIAM LANDLES’S PRICELESS BRONZE WAS STOLEN IN 2016. HOWEVER THANKS TO THE WONDER OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY, WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET A LASER COPY FROM THE IDENTICAL BRONZE IN AUSTRALIA AND RUARAIG AND IOMHAR MACIVER AND THEIR TEAM AT BELTANE STUDIOS, TO WHOM WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL, HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CREATE A REPLICA WHICH WITH THANKS ALSO TO HAWICK BUILDERS CLAMP AND PRINGLE, WE ARE NOW GOING TO UNVEIL ON THIS SUPERB NEW SITE, THANKS TO THE GENEROSITY OF ANDREW HEPBURNE-SCOTT, THE PRESENT LORD POLWARTH
THE OGILVIE FAMILY ARE REPRESENTED HERE TODAY BY THE POET’S GRANDSON TOM AND GRAND-DAUGHTER ROSEMARY AND IT NOW GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO ASK ANDREW AND TOM TO UNVEIL THE NEW MEMORIAL
UNVEILING
I AM NOW GOING TO ASK THE REVEREND MICHAEL SCOULER, FORMERLY MINISTER OF TRINITY CHURCH IN HAWICK, NOW CHAPLAIN FOR BORDERS GENERAL HOSPITAL AND HUSBAND OF OGILVIE TRUSTEE, KATHERINE, TO BLESS THE GROUND AND MEMORIAL CAIRN.
MICHAEL SCOULER
THANK YOU, MICHAEL
AS MENTIONED MY FATHER GAVE THE ORATION AT THE FIRST GATHERING AND OTHERS WHO HAVE PERFORMED THIS TASK ARE THE PHILIPHAUGH BASED, CELEBRATED SCOTTISH WRITER, ALLAN MASSIE, THE LATE DAPHNE COLVINE-SMITH, A PERSONAL FRIEND O THE POET, EX-LANGHOLM CORNET DAVID POOL, A PAST MEMBER OF OUR COMMITTEE, HAWICK MAN, AUTHOR, PLAYWRIGHT, SINGER-SONGWRITER ALAN BRYDON AND ETTRICK BRIDGE’S RESIDENT AUSTRALIAN KAY ROSS. IT’S GREAT TO HAVE DAVID, ALAN AND KAY IN OUR COMPANY TODAY.
WHEN IT CAME TO WONDERING WHO TO ASK TO UNDERTAKE THIS VERY IMPORTANT TASK IN THIS SIGNIFICANT ANNIVERSARY YEAR THE TRUST COMMITTEE SAT ROUND THE TABLE SCRATCHING OUR HEADS BEFORE SUDDENLY REALISING THAT THE ANSWER WAS LITERALLY STARING US IN THE FACE AND WE MANAGED TO TWIST THE ARM OF A FOUNDER MEMBER OF THE OLD WILL H OGILVIE MEMORIAL COMMITTEE, A MAN WHO IS ALMOST AS WELL KNOWN IN HAWICK AND THE OTHER BORDER TOWNS AS HE IS IN HIS BELOVED MUCKLE TOON, AND IS RIGHTLY RENOWNED AS ONE OF THE FINEST SPEAKERS IN THE BORDERS.THUS IT IS WITH MUCH ANTICIPATION THAT IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO CALL ON MY FELLOW OGILVIE TRUSTEE AND GREAT FRIEND AND KINDRED SPIRIT, EX-LANGHOLM CORNET BILLY YOUNG TO ADDRESS THE GATHERING.
BILLY YOUNG
THANK YOU BILLY. WE LOOKED FORWARD TO WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY AND WE HAVE NOT BEEN DISAPPOINTED. THANK YOU FOR ALL THE HARD WORK YOU HAVE PUT IN TO PAY SUCH A FITTING TRIBUTE TO OUR BARD AND GIVE US SUCH A FASCINATING INSIGHT INTO HIS LIFE AND WORKS. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION ONCE AGAIN TO BILLY FOR HIS SPLENDID ORATION.
ONE DAY WILL AND HIS SON GEORGE AND HIS DAUGHTER WENDY SET OFF ON THEIR BIKES FROM THEIR HOME, KIRKLEA AT ASHKIRK, AND THEY PEDALLED, OR I SUSPECT SOME OF THE WAY PUSHED THEIR BIKES, RIGHT UP TO BLAWEARIE BEFORE GETTING A GRAND BIRL BACK DOWN THE HILL FOR HOME. THAT NIGHT WILL SAT DOWN AND SCRIBBLED DOWN THE WORDS OF WHAT HAS BECOME ONE OF HIS MOST RECITED POEMS AND OGILVIE TRUST VICE CHAIRMAN, THE LAIRD OF BRANXHOLME BRAES, EX-HAWICK CORNET PHILIP MURRAY WILL NOW GIVE US “THE ROAD TO ROBERTON”. LISTEN AS PHILIP RECITES FOR ANOTHER COUPLE OF MENTIONS OF HARDEN.
PHILIP MIRRAY
THANK YOU, PHILIP. THAT’S GOT OUR BORDER BLOOD STIRRED UP.
KATHY HOBKIRK IS A VITAL COG IN THE HAWICK HERITAGE HUB WHEEL AND SHE HAS BEEN A HUGE HELP TO THE TRUST NOT ONLY IN HELPING TO SET UP OUR EXHIBITION BUT ALSO THROUGH HER LOVELY SINGING. SHE PERFORMED FOR US AT ETTRICKBRIDGE AND AT HOLEFIELD AND SHE IS NOW GOING TO GIVE US ANOTHER OF WILL’S POEMS WHICH HAS BEEN SET TO MUSIC, “THE COMFORT OF THE HILLS”. KATHY.
KATHY
THANK YOU KATHY. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HEAR KATHY SINGING AGAIN – AND WHY WOULDN’T YOU – SHE IS ONE OF OUR TEAM FOR OUR NEXT “NIGHT WI’ WILL” WHICH WILL BE IN GILNOCKIE HALL ON FRIDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED SPEAK TO BILLY AND HE WILL ARRANGE TICKETS FOR YOU.
ALL THAT REMAINS TO BE DONE NOW IS FOR ME TI CALL ON HAWICK PROVOST WATSON MCATEER TO GIVE A VOTE OF THANKS. WATSON DOES A FIRST CLASS JOB FOR THE TOWN AND WE WERE VERY GLAD WHEN HE ACCEPTED OUR INVITATION TO SAY A FEW WORDS AS OUR CEREMONY DRAWS TO A CLOSE. THANK YOU, WATSON.
WATSON MCATEER
THANK YOU WATSON FOR YOUR APPROPRIATE REMARKS AND KIND WORDS.
TODAY AND OUR OTHER 150TH ANNIVERSARY PROJECTS WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE VALUED FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF SCOTTISH BORDERS COUNCIL, HAWICK COMMON GOOD FUND, THE UPPER TEVIOTDALE AND BORTHWICK WATER COMMUNITY COUNCIL, HAWICK CALLANTS CLUB, HAWICK ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, THE 1514 CLUB, THE JOHN AND MARY ELLIOT MEMORIAL TRUST, HAWICK SINGS, THE ANCIENT ORDER OF MOSSTROOPERS AND MANY OTHER DONATIONS FROM INDIVIDUALS. TO ALL OF YOU A MOST SINCERE THANK YOU.
AND ESPECIALLY MY PERSONAL THANKS TO THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE WILL H OGILVIE MEMORIAL TRUST COMMITTEE WHO HAVE GIVEN BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS TO BRING THIS COMMEMORATION TO FRUITION. PHILIP, BILLY, KATHERINE WHO HAVE BEEN MENTIONED ALREADY, CHARLIE ROBERTSON AND NORRIE FRASER AND OUR AUSTRALIAN LINK, WARRICK JACKES BUT IN PARTICULAR TO OUR LYNCHPIN, SECRETARY AND TREASURER ANN HOLT WHO DESPITE HAVING HAD A VERY SAD AND DIFFICULT YEAR PERSONALLY HAS DEVOTED COUNTLESS HOURS TO THE CAUSE. MY GRATEFUL THANKS AND A HUGE WELL DONE.
THANKS TO DAVE FINNIE FOR THE P.A. AND TO PIPER RODDY MCINTYRE FOR PLAYING AS WE GATHERED. WHEN I ASKED HIM, RODDY SAID HOW HONOURED HE WAS TO BE A PART OF THE DAY AND I SAID TO HIM RATHER THAN JUST BE PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND AT THE START HOW HE WOULD FEEL ABOUT WRITING A PIPE TUNE TO BE PLAYED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE CEREMONY. RODDY HAS RISEN TO THE CHALLENGE AND WE ARE NOW TO BE TREATED TO A WORLD PREMIERE AS WE LISTEN TO RODDY MCINTYRE’S “TRIBUTE TO WILL H OGLIVIE”.
RODDY MCINTYRE
THAT WAS GREAT, RODDY, HAUNTING AND EVOCATIVE. WHAT A FITTING WAY TO END WHAT I HOPE YOU, LIKE ME, FEEL HAS BEEN A MEMORABLE AFTERNOON.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENDANCE. WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US FOR REFRESHMENTS IN THE FORMAN HALL IN ROBERTON. COULD WE ASK DRIVERS TO OBSERVE AN UNOFFICIAL ONE WAY SYSTEM AND LEAVE BY HEADING UP THE ROAD THEN LEFT FOR ROBERTON. TRYING TO TURN AND GO DOWN THE WAY COULD, I’M SURE YOU WILL APPRECIATE LEAD TO A NASTY SNARL UP AND POTENTIAL ROAD RAGE! IT WOULD BE NICE ALSO TO WELCOME YOU TO ASHKIRK CHURCH TOMORROW AT TWELVE NOON FOR THE SERVICE WHICH WILL CONCLUDE OUR COMMEMORATION. IF YOU’RE COMING THE MINISTER HAS ASKED THAT YOU PARK IN THE CAR PARK AT THE FOOT OF THE HILL AND DON’T TRY TO DRIVE UP TO THE CHURCH. IF YOU VALUE YOUR CAR THIS IS GOOD ADVICE!
IT IS THE TRUST’S HOPE THAT A CENTURY AND A HALF FROM HIS BIRTH WE HAVE DONE JUSTICE TO THE MEMORY OF WILL H OGILVIE, A SHY AND UNASSUMING LITERARY GENIUS WHO DIDN’T GET THE PLAUDITS HE DESERVED FROM HIS OWN COUNTRYMEN IN HIS LIFETIME BUT WHOSE LEGACY LIVES ON AND WILL DO FOR AS LONG AS HIS POETRY WINGS ITS WAY DOWN THE GENERATIONS TO ALL WHO CHERISH IN THEIR HEARTS A LOVE LIKE HIS FOR THE MATCHLESS SCOTTISH BORDERLAND WE, AS HE WAS, ARE SUPREMELY BLESSED TO CALL OUR HOME.
LET’S LEAVE THE LAST WORD TO WILL HIMSELF AS HE SINGS ITS PRAISE

THE CORRIES DARK OF CHEVIOT
THE HEATHERED SLOPES OF REDE
THE GRASSY HAUGHS OF TEVIOT
THE SILVER BENDS OF TWEED
THE SPELL OF YARROW’S MYSTERY
THE CHARM OF ETTRICK’S GLEN:
THE PEEL TOWERS WITH THEIR HISTORY
OF BOLD AND BUCKLERED MEN;
THIS COUNTRY TO THE CORE OF IT
IS DEAR AND DOUBLY DEAR,
THE LEGEND AND THE LORE OF IT,
THE RAIDER AND THE SPEAR.
LET OTHERS LOVE THE LAZINESS
OF GENTLE SOUTHERN RILLS,
FOR ME THE TUMBLED CRAZINESS
OF BROWN BURNS FROM THE HILLS;
THE SCATTERED HOMESTEADS, EACH OF THEM,
THE SHEPHERDS’ COTS FAR FLUNG,
THE STRONG MEN AND THE SPEECH OF THEM,
THE LILTING BORDER TONGUE.
HAVE A SAFE JOURNEY HOME. IF I DON’T SEE YOU BEFORE I’LL SEE YOU BACK HERE FOR OOR NEXT GATHERING IN AUGUST 2023. THANK YOU.