McAlpine fulfils ‘decades long dream’ by attending Common Riding

MSP Joan McAlpine said she was fulfilling ‘a decades long dream’ by attending the full common riding experience this weekend.

Ms McAlpine is arriving on Thursday night and spending the whole day in Langholm on Friday so she can experience the common riding along with locals.

Joan is staying with local family Duncan and Emma Ritchie.

Joan said this was her first time at the common riding.

The SNP MSP said:

“I had hoped to attend last year but I had to cancel because of family illness.

“I have wanted to attend the common riding since I first became aware of it through Hugh MacDiarmid’s poem ‘A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle’, which is partly inspired by the common riding and describes the giant thistle and the barley-bannock.

“In fact last year I went to have a look at the thistle being grown in advance of the common riding in the full expectation I would attend, and I was very disappointed when I couldn’t. I’m really excited at being able to mingle with the crowds and see it from the perspective of people in the Muckle Toon.

“I’m very grateful to Emma and Duncan for their hospitality.”

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