Hawick (/ˈhɔɪk/ (listen) HOYK;  Scots: Haaick, Scottish Gaelic: Hamhaig) is a town in the Scottish Borders council area and historic county of Roxburghshire in the east Southern Uplands of Scotland. It is 10.0 miles (16.1 km) south-west of Jedburgh and 8.9 miles (14.3 km) south-southeast of Selkirk. It is one of the farthest towns from the sea in Scotland, in the heart of Teviotdale, and the biggest town in the former county of Roxburghshire. Hawick's architecture is distinctive in that it has many sandstone buildings with slate roofs. The town is at the confluence of the Slitrig Water with the River Teviot. Hawick is known for its yearly Common Riding, for its rugby team Hawick Rugby Football Club and for its knitwear industry.

At the 2001 census Hawick had a resident population of 14,801. By 2011, this had reduced to 14,294.

A town landscape

Hawick from the top of the Mote
Hawick is in the Scottish Borders in the south of Scotland
Hawick is in the Scottish Borders in the south of Scotland
Location within the Scottish Borders
Area1.9 sq mi (4.9 km2)
Population14,294 [3] (2011 census)
• Density7,523/sq mi (2,905/km2)
Southern Scots
OS grid referenceNT505155
• Edinburgh39.7 mi (63.9 km) NNW
• London292 mi (470 km) SSE
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townHAWICK
Postcode districtTD9
Dialling code01450
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament


Horn's Hole, Hawick, Scotland LOC 3450338616
"Horn's Hole, Hawick, Scotland", ca. 1890 - 1900.

The west end of the town contains "the Mote", the remains of a Norman motte-and-bailey. In the centre of the High Street is the Scots baronial style town hall, built in 1886, and the east end has an equestrian statue, known as "the Horse", erected in 1914. Drumlanrig's Tower, now a museum, dates largely from the mid-16th century. In 2009 another monument the "Turning of the Bull" (artist, Angela Hunter, Innerleithen, Scotland) was unveiled in Hawick. This monument depicts William Rule turning the wild bull as it was charging King Robert the Bruce, thus saving the king's life and beginning the Scottish Clan of Turnbull. A poem written by John Leyden commemorates this historical event. "His arms robust the hardy hunter flung around his bending horns, and upward wrung, with writhing force his neck retorted round, and rolled the panting monster to the ground, crushed, with enormous strength, his bony skull; and courtiers hailed the man who turned the bull."



Companies: Hawick Cashmere, Hawick Knitwear, Johnstons of Elgin, Lyle & Scott, Peter Scott, Pringle of Scotland, and Scott and Charters, have had and in many cases still have manufacturing plants in Hawick, producing luxury cashmere and merino wool knitwear. The first knitting machine was brought to Hawick in 1771 by John Hardie, building on an existing carpet manufacturing trade. Originally based on linen, this quickly moved to wool and factories multiplied, driving the growth of the town. Engineering firm Turnbull and Scott had their headquarters in an Elizabethan-style listed building on Commercial Road before moving to Burnfoot.[7]

In recent times, unemployment has been an issue in Hawick, and the unemployment claimant rate remained ahead of the overall Scottish Borders between 2014 and 2017.[8] The closure of once significant employers including mills like Peter Scott [9] and Pringle [10] have impacted job availability in the town over the last few decades, and the population has declined partly because of this, at 13,730 in 2016, the lowest level since the 1800s. Despite efforts to improve the economic situation, employment and poverty remain relatively important in the context of the Scottish Borders, with the number of children living in poverty in the town 10% higher than the average for the region in 2017.[11] Developments such as a new central business hub,[12] Aldi supermarket,[13] and distillery,[14] all set for opening in 2018/19, are expected to benefit Hawick. Despite this, continued business closures, for example Homebase[15] and the Original Factory Store in 2018, suggest continued economic decline for the town.


Hawick lies in the centre of the valley of the Teviot. The A7 Edinburgh to Carlisle road passes through the town, with main roads also leading to Berwick-upon-Tweed (the A698) and Newcastle upon Tyne (the A6088, which joins the A68 at the Carter Bar, 16 miles (26 km) south-east of Hawick).

The town lost its rail service in 1969, when as part of the Beeching Axe the 'Waverley Route' from Carlisle to Edinburgh via Hawick was closed. It was said to be the farthest large town from a railway station in the United Kingdom,[16] but this changed as a result of the opening of the Borders Railway, which in 2015 reopened part of the former Waverley Route to Tweedbank, near Galashiels. Regular buses serve the railway station at Carlisle, 42 miles (68 km) away. Reconnecting Hawick to the Borders Railway would require reinstatement of a further approximately 17 miles of the former Waverley Route from Hawick to Tweedbank station via Hassendean, St Boswells, and Melrose, and refurbishment of the four arch Ale Water viaduct[17] near New Belses. Hawick station was on the north bank of the river Teviot, below Wilton Hill Terrace, with a now demolished viaduct (near the Mart Street bridge) carrying the route south towards Carlisle. Waverley Walk[18] in Hawick is footpath along the former railway route, north-eastward from the former station site near Teviotdale Leisure Centre.

The nearest major airports are at Edinburgh, 57 miles (92 km) away, and Newcastle, 56 miles (90 km) away.

Hawick 06
Hawick Town Hall, on High Street by James Campbell Walker.
A track to the west of Shankend Farm - geograph.org.uk - 508017
A track to the west of Shankend Farm, the twin summits in the distance are the Maiden Paps.

Culture and traditions

The town hosts the annual Common Riding, which combines the annual riding of the boundaries of the town's common land with the commemoration of a victory of local youths over an English raiding party in 1514. In March 2007, this was described by the Rough Guide publication World Party as one of the best parties in the world.[19]

People from Hawick call themselves "Teries", after a traditional song which includes the line "Teribus ye teri odin".

Teri Talk

Many Hawick residents speak the local dialect of Border Scots which is informally known as "Teri Talk". It is similar (but not identical by any means) to the dialects spoken in surrounding towns, especially Jedburgh, Langholm and Selkirk. The speech of this general area was described in Dialect of the Southern Counties of Scotland (1873) by James Murray, considered the first systematic study of any dialect. The Hawick tongue retains many elements of Old English, together with particular vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. Its distinctiveness arose from the relative isolation of the town.


The town is the home of Hawick Rugby Football Club and a senior football team, Hawick Royal Albert, who currently play in the East of Scotland Football League.

Rivalry between the small Border towns is generally played out on the rugby union field. The historical competition continues to this day, as Hawick's main rival is the similarly-sized town of Galashiels.

The Hawick Baw game was once played here by the 'uppies' and the 'doonies' on the first Monday after the new moon in the month of February.[20] The river of the town formed an important part of the pitch. Although no longer played at Hawick, it is still played at nearby Jedburgh.


The Borders Abbeys Way passes through Hawick. A statue of Bill McLaren the late popular rugby commentator is in Wilton Lodge Park to the west of the town centre.[21]

Town twinning

Notable residents





Politics and public life

See also

Hawick's villages:


  1. ^ An Stòr-dàta Briathrachais, www2.smo.uhi.ac.uk. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  2. ^ Scots Language Centre: Scottish Place Names in Scots
  3. ^ Town Size. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Scotland (United Kingdom): Council Areas & Localities - Population Statistics, Charts and Map".
  6. ^ "Plea for Hawick, a town in deep trouble".
  7. ^ "16-20 Commercial Road". British Listed Buildings.
  8. ^ Hawick and Denholm – Overview of Population, Deprivation, Unemployment and Schools. Scottish Borders Council - Corporate Business Management Service. 2017. p. 3.
  9. ^ "Scottish knitwear producer Peter Scott to close". 25 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Jobs blow as Pringle decides to shut Scottish knitwear plant". 30 June 2008.
  11. ^ "Nearly one in three Hawick kids live in poverty". 31 August 2017.
  12. ^ "Hawick business centre plans submitted". 12 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Wait for Hawick's new superstore is over". 19 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Borders Distillery opens to the public in Hawick". BBC News. 1 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Jobs to go as Hawick's Homebase store set to close". 14 August 2018.
  16. ^ Brocklehurst, Steven (27 March 2013). "What was Beeching's worst railway cut?". BBC News. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Geograph:: Disused railway line (C) Walter Baxter".
  18. ^ "Geograph:: Waverley Walk, Hawick (C) Oliver Dixon".
  19. ^ "Guide book praises common riding". BBC. 13 March 2007. Archived from the original on 14 March 2007. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
  20. ^ "February 2010". Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  21. ^ "New bridge honours 'voice of rugby'". BBC News. 7 February 2018.
  22. ^ "Tornado hits Hawick twin town Bailleul". Hawick News. Retrieved 28 April 2014.

Further reading

  • Murray, James (1870–72, 1873) The Dialect of the Southern Counties of Scotland, London: Philological Society.

External links

1909 Hawick Burghs by-election

The Hawick Burghs by-election of 1909 was held on 5 March 1909. The by-election was held due to the resignation of the incumbent Liberal MP, Thomas Shaw. It was won by the Liberal candidate John Barran.

Albert Park, Hawick

Albert Park is a football ground in Hawick in the Scottish Borders, which is the home of Lowland Football League club Hawick Royal Albert F.C.

Alison Suttie, Baroness Suttie

Alison Mary Suttie, Baroness Suttie (born 27 August 1968) is a British Liberal Democrat politician. She was appointed a life peer in the House of Lords in September 2013. A party whip, she is a member of the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs team. She is also a trustee on the board of IPPR.

She is a campaigner for public awareness of tuberculosis in the UK and internationally and also a campaigner on homelessness issues.

Andrew Smith (zoologist)

Sir Andrew Smith KCB (3 December 1797 – 11 August 1872) was a Scottish surgeon, explorer, ethnologist and zoologist. He is considered the father of zoology in South Africa having described many species across a wide range of groups in his major work, Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa.Smith was born in Hawick, Roxburghshire. He qualified in medicine at the University of Edinburgh obtaining an M.D. degree in 1819, having joined the Army Medical Services in 1816.

Border Amateur Football League

The Border Amateur Football League is a football league for amateur clubs in the Scottish Borders.

The league was founded in 1936 and is affiliated to the Scottish Amateur Football Association. It currently features 33 teams in three divisions, named A, B, and C.

Colin Deans

Colin Thomas Deans (born 3 May 1955 in Hawick) in the Scottish borders is a former rugby union player with Hawick RFC and Scotland. His nickname was Beano.He made his Scotland debut (at the age of 22) against France in 1978 when Scotland lost, 16 - 19. He was active on the national team between 1978, and 1987, with his high point being in Scotland's 1984 Grand Slam.Richard Bath writes of him that he was

"The prototype for the faster hooker, acting as an extra flanker that has since emerged, Deans has few equals. Superb in the loose and a wonderfully quick striker of the ball in the scrum, the rugged Deans was also a pinpoint line-out thrower."Allan Massie describes him as a hooker with back-row skills:

"He is the most remarkable loose forward of any hooker I have seen. There can have been few, if any, faster; indeed, his speed is such that from the broken play and the line-out he gives Scotland in effect a fourth back-row forward. This means that, like Carmichael, he is ideal for the modern game, capable of fulfilling his specialist role, but also of taking a full part in fifteen-man Rugby. He harries the defence tirelessly: in the great win at Cardiff in 1982 Deans had a big part in the build-up for two of the Scottish tries; he was also at Calder's shoulder to take a pass, had that been necessary, when the first try was scored."He also says that Deans was, "with the possible exception of Peter Wheeler, the most accurate thrower-in of recent years."Deans was selected for the 1983 British Lions tour to New Zealand, but despite playing well was surprisingly kept on the bench for the entirety of the 4 test matches. New Zealand thrashed the British Lions on this tour.

He obtained 52 caps for his country. He is said to have been most effective when playing in combination with David Leslie.Noted for his skills at the line-out, of the game against Wales in 1984, the first Scottish Grand Slam since 1925, Allan Massie says "we would have probably lost that game if the Deans-Leslie combination had been less effective".With 52 caps he overtook Frank Laidlaw's previous record.Deans attended the primary school in Hawick where Bill McLaren taught.

Hawick RFC

Hawick Rugby Football Club is an amateur rugby union side, currently playing in the Scottish Premiership and Border League. The club was founded in 1873 and are based at Mansfield Park at Hawick in the Scottish Borders.

One of Hawick's lesser known claims to fame is that they held the first floodlit match in Scotland in 1879. Bizarrely, it is said that some of the players in the match attempted to tackle shadows.

Hawick Royal Albert F.C.

Hawick Royal Albert Football Club are a Scottish football club who play home matches in the town of Hawick but who train in, and source all of their players from, the Lothians. The club was founded in 1947 and competes in the East of Scotland Football League.

Before the East of Scotland League was split into two divisions, Hawick Royal Albert won it three times and finished runners-up once. The club reached the final of the Scottish Qualifying Cup South on three occasions, winning it twice, before it was abolished in 2007. Hawick Royal Albert now qualifies automatically for the Scottish Cup as a member of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), its best result reaching the second round on five occasions. The club plays its home matches at Albert Park in Hawick and is managed by Paul McGovern .On 19 July 2018, Paul McGovern became the new manager of the Club.

Hawick Target Hill Greyhound Track

Hawick Target Hill Greyhound Track was a former greyhound racing track in Hawick in the Scottish Borders.

The greyhound track was located between Mosshills Loch and Braid Road, south east of Hawick. The track opened in 1939 adjacent to Target Field after some form of early greyhound racing existed at nearby Millers Knowes. The name 'Target' derives from Boozieburn Rifle Range. It was a small independent (unlicensed) track and closed in 1967 and is now private kennels.

Hawick television relay station

Hawick television relay station is a relay transmitter of Selkirk, situated on top of the Miller's Knowes, in Hawick, covering the whole of the town. It is especially used by people north of the Teviot who cannot receive transmissions from Selkirk. It is owned and operated by Arqiva.

Jimmie Guthrie

Andrew James Guthrie (23 May 1897 – 8 August 1937) was a Scottish motorcycle racer.

A motor-cycle garage proprietor and professional motor-cycle racer from Hawick Roxburghshire, Jimmie Guthrie was known as the “Flying Scotsman,” with a hard-charging motor-cycle racing style winning 14 European Continental Grand Prix in a three year period 1934-1937 out of a total of 19 European Grand Prix victories .While racing with the works Norton motor-cycle team, Jimmie Guthrie won the 500cc FICM 500cc European motor-cycle championship for three constitutive years 1934-1937 and the 350cc category in 1937. During the 1930s, Jimmie Guthrie won the North West 200 races on three occasions and a further six wins at the Isle of Man TT races.

While leading on the last lap of the 1937 German Grand Prix, Jimmie Guthrie crashed avoiding a collision with another motor-cycle competitor and died later in hospital from the injuries.

Mansfield Park, Hawick

Mansfield Park is a rugby union ground in Hawick, Scotland, with a capacity of approximately 5,000.

It is the home of Hawick Rugby Football Club, who currently play in the Scottish Premiership and Border League. It became the home ground of Hawick Football Club in 1888, with the club relocating to Mansfield Park two years after being admitted into the Scottish Football Union in 1886.

The grandstand at Mansfield Park holds 1,400 spectators and is the biggest rugby club stand in the Borders.

In the early days of Hawick Rugby Club, crowds of four or six thousand were common, and ten thousand would come to watch overseas touring teams. In recent years two thousand or more might attend on three or four games each season, including the sevens in April. Facing the grandstand is a steep natural banking, south facing, which attracts many spectators on a sunny sports day. The club rooms have modern bar facilities and a function hall. The Pringle Lounge holds many of the club trophies.

Melrose Sevens

Melrose Sevens is an annual rugby sevens event held by Melrose Rugby Club, in Melrose, Scotland. It is the oldest rugby sevens competition in the world, dating back to 1883 when the tournament was suggested by former Melrose player Ned Haig.

Held every April, the tournament is part of the Kings of the Sevens competition, and has attracted teams from as far afield as Japan, Hong Kong, Uruguay and South Africa. As of 2018, Scottish side Watsonians are the current champions after beating hosts Melrose Rugby Club 19-14 in the final to win the event since for the first time since 1996.

Domestically, the tournament is broadcast live on BBC Two Scotland and BBC Red Button, and locally, from the first tie right through to the final, on Radio Borders.

From 2018 the playing time in the final was cut from twenty minutes to fourteen minutes which is in line with the standard match time.

Nikki Walker

Nikki Walker (born 5 March 1982) is a Scottish rugby union player coach for Hawick RFC, who is retired from international competition having won 24 caps for Scotland. He has played on the wing for teams in Scotland, Wales and England, winning the Pro12 twice with the Ospreys.

Scottish League Championship

The Scottish League Championship (currently the BT League Championship for sponsorship reasons) is the domestic rugby union league system within Scotland. Operated by the Scottish Rugby Union, the championship was founded in 1973 as the first formalised national league system within any home nations country. The new six division championship replaced the haphazard "unofficial championship" system that had been in operation until that time. The top division is the Scottish Premiership.

Traditionally the championship has been dominated by teams from the Borders region, the sport's hotbed of popularity in Scotland. This is illustrated by the most successful clubs in the championships history, with Hawick RFC possessing 13 titles and Melrose RFC currently holding eight titles.

Scottish Premiership (rugby)

The Scottish Premiership (referred to as the Tennents Premiership for sponsorship reasons) is an amateur league competition for Scottish rugby union clubs.

First held in 1973, it is the top division of the Scottish League Championship. The current champions are Ayr, while the most successful club is Hawick, who have won the competition twelve times.

Ten clubs contest the league, with the bottom club relegated to the Scottish National League Division One and second-bottom club involved in a play-off. The top level of club rugby in Scotland are the two professional teams that play in the Pro14 competition.

Tony Stanger

Anthony George Stanger (born 14 May 1968) is a Scottish former international rugby union player, and is Scotland's joint record try scorer with 23 tries.

Waverley Route

The Waverley Route was a railway line that ran south from Edinburgh, through Midlothian and the Scottish Borders, to Carlisle. The line was built by the North British Railway; the stretch from Edinburgh to Hawick opened in 1849 and the remainder to Carlisle opened in 1862. The line was nicknamed after the immensely popular Waverley Novels, written by Sir Walter Scott.

The line was closed in 1969, as a result of the Beeching Report. Part of the line, from Edinburgh to Tweedbank, reopened in September 2015. The reopened railway is known as the Borders Railway.

Wheatland County, Alberta

Wheatland County is a municipal district in south-central Alberta, Canada, east of Calgary. Located in Census Division No. 5, its municipal office is located east of the Town of Strathmore on Highway 1.

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