Letters

Eyemouth lifeboat in the Tweed estuary performing a exhibition rescue during Berwicks annual lifeboat fete.
Eyemouth lifeboat in the Tweed estuary performing a exhibition rescue during Berwicks annual lifeboat fete.

Coldingham Beach Cafe

SIR, - The front page news regarding imminent closure of the Beach Cafe at Coldingham Sands must have filled many readers with astonishment and dismay.

For a time the cafe premises looked as if they were crumbling but the improvements which were carried out resulted in something delightfully in tune with the beach huts which fringe the bay.

I recall that not so very long ago the council were very reluctant to keep the beach huts.

Coldingham Bay, as it presently exists, is a unique place (film makers have used it because they could not find a genuine early 20th century beach setting elsewhere). The new paths, carefully matched to the colour of the sand, have been an excellent access and conservation measure and the useful picnic tables are not intrusive.

If SBC have been so unhappy about their arrangements with Mr Harrison since 1998 why have they waited so long to issue their eviction notice? Why now? What has been the trigger?

Perhaps the answer lies in the reported statement from, SBC: “The council is currently investigating alternative ways of providing continuity in the seasonal catering operation at the Bay for next season in 2013.” What exactly does this mean? The catrering provision is obviously seasonal but also weather dependent.

I was first taken to this beach in my pram and have been there many times, every year since. I have now exceeded my three score years and ten, never having heard any complaints about the Beach Cafe.

This beach is a small one, relatively speaking, and the only one of its kind in the area. Over development would result in pressure which would ruin its charm and simplicity. Once lost these qualities cannot be recovered.

At a time when funds are so desperately short for the provision of basic services, the timing of this eviction order is puzzling to say the least.

We do not know the history of the relationship between SBC and Mr Harrison. I wish Mr Harrison well but from an outside view this seems to be a side issue. The important subject is the Beach Cafe and its place in the whole experience of visiting Coldingham Sands.

Could we not just recognise, celebrate and preserve what we have in some way which is simple and harmonious?

RENA RITCHIE,

Fisher’s Brae,

Coldingham.

Unable to enjoy Millbank

SIR, - For as long as I have lived in this area the people of Ayton and Eyemouth have enjoyed a little corner of Berwickshire called Millbank.

It’s a patch of earth by the rebuilt Ayton-Eyemouth road bridge. Of late, the land has been torn up by ‘Shooters’ using it for parking. People have picnicked there, dogs have splashed in the river and kids have swung on an old rope.

I was there last week, parked where people have always parked just before the bridge, sitting under a tree snoozing, with my Jack Russell chasing shadows in the river. All of a sudden a tractor appeared and dumped a load of rubble at the entrance. Then a miserbale looking cove who refused to give a name told me to move my van and proceeded to tell me why he was blocking the said area off.

He doesn’t like the way the Shooters have carved up the ground (but he is in negotiations with them), he doesn’t like the fact that dogs have been allowed off the lead, even though the area is not an SSSI and the chance of them doing damage is very small, and he certainly didn’t like the look of me, which is understandable because even I don’t like the look of me.

However, the men who have been risking life and limb pointing the gentleman’s road facing wall, without warning triangles or visability jackets may testify to the fact that I am one of the people who go slow when passing them.

It’s a bit like the world closing in on us all. It is no longer possible to walk up the Post Road (a highway for the best part of 1,000 years) with a dog off the lead for fear the dog might disturb a few pheasants that haven’t been killed on the road, or disturb the remaining kamikaze deer that haven’t jumped out and wrecked cars yet, without being verbally abused and threatened (police informed).

Now it will be neccessary to climb over a pile of rubble if you want to enjoy Millbank and you may not park by the bridge and you may probably have to observe a dress code of either Barbour or Berghaus jackets to fit into the new owner’s visions of his countryside.

I just hope that living in the Borders will have the same civilizing effect on these unhappy people that it has had on me.

LAURIE PETTITT,

Red Lion Cottage,

Ayton.

Tremendous support for RDA

SIR, - I write on behalf of Berwickshire Group RDA to thank everyone who supported our stall at Duns Show on Saturday, August 4, when the very good sum of £197.51 was raised for Group funds.

The Group would also like to thank everyone involved with the Cockburnspath Art Exhibition who once again have given a generous contribution to the Group.

RDA volunteer training will be held in the last week of August and riding and vaulting will begin in the first week of September.

MARGARET MORGAN,

Group chairman.

Get the government off our backs

SIR, - After a meeting on “reinvigorated regeneration” for Eyemouth, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, laments our cynicism about government initiatives. Let me explain our doubts.

It is government initiatives that have brought Eyemouth to its sorry pass. Government initiatives on fishing decimated the industry. Government initiatives robbed Eyemouth citizens of their Town Council and shipped decision making 30 miles away. Government initiatives are strangling small businesses with red tape and regulation. (One small business in Eyemouth applying for government work was presented with a 70-page questionnaire covering everything from sustainability, through social inclusivity and environment, to health and safety.) It is a government initiative that is closing down Coldingham Beach Cafe and putting three people out of work.

To give us hope, Paul Wheelhouse, his Scottish Government, Scottish Borders Council, the European Union, and all the other know-alls need to dismantle their initiatives and abandon their interference. Only then will local individuals through flair and hard work be able to lead the town to prosperity. They did it in the past; only they can do it in the future.

What MSP Mr Wheelhouse can do is to help get government off our backs. Until we hear his plans for doing so, he must forgive us for our scepticism.

BRYAN WEBSTER,

Eyemouth.

BHS graduates

SIR, - May I, through your column make my annual request.

Could any former students of The Berwickshire High School who have recently graduated from university or college please send me the relevant information so it can be included in our Upper School Awards Ceremony Programme in September.

The information required: Name, university, degree and subject. Please send this information to me at the school or via our website.

This will be much appreciated. Many thanks.

RONALD D. DRUMMOND,

Event organiser.

Legion club fittings to be sold

SIR, - As has been previously announced, the Duns British Legion Scotland Club has been forced to close and will cease to exist as a club after the Remembrance Sunday commemoration on November 11.

In the following weeks, the furniture and fittings will be removed from the building and sold to any interested parties.

I would like to take this opportunity to mention to your readers that if there is anyone who might think that they have some property in the club premises that belongs to them, they are requested to contact the club on 01361 883242 (mornings only) and make arrangements to remove the items. Any unclaimed property that remains in the club after November 11 will be sold.

DONALD STOKES,

Branch chairman.