Boys tussle for the leather ball during the annual 'Fastern's E'en Hand Ba' event on Jedburgh's High Street in the Scottish Borders. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday February 7, 2019. The annual event, which started in the 1700's, traditionally the first ever game was played with an Englishman's head, involves two teams, the Uppies (residents from the higher part of Jedburgh) and the Doonies (residents from the lower part of Jedburgh) getting the ball to either the top or bottom of the town. The ball, which is made of leather, stuffed with straw and decorated with ribbons representing hair, is thrown into the crowd to begin the game. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

In pictures: Two ‘tribes’ of Jedburgh collide for annual Hand Ba’ match

THE youths of Jedburgh were running hell for leather today as one of Scotland’s oldest annual events, Fastern’s E’en Hand Ba’, got under way in the town centre.

The annual game, which can trace its origins back to the 1700s, involves two teams, the Uppies (residents from the higher part of the town) and the Doonies (those from the lower part) getting the ball - which is said to represent the head of an Englishman - to either the top or bottom of the town. The ball, which is made of leather, stuffed with straw and decorated with ribbons representing hair, is thrown into the crowd to begin the game.

Shops are boarded up ahead of the annual 'Fastern's E'en Hand Ba' event on Jedburgh's High Street.

1. Jedburgh Hand Ba event

Shops are boarded up ahead of the annual 'Fastern's E'en Hand Ba' event on Jedburgh's High Street.
Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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Boys chase the leather ball up the hill past cars during the annual 'Fastern's E'en Hand Ba' event.

2. Jedburgh Hand Ba event

Boys chase the leather ball up the hill past cars during the annual 'Fastern's E'en Hand Ba' event.
Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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Over a dozen different balls are used throughout the day.

3. Jedburgh Hand Ba event

Over a dozen different balls are used throughout the day.
Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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Around 100 turned up to take part in the men's match, which takes place every year.

4. Jedburgh Hand Ba event

Around 100 turned up to take part in the men's match, which takes place every year.
Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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