Letters to the editor

wind turbines

Company has complained to ASA

Readers will know that the stunning natural landscape of Greenlaw Moor, rich in neolithic features and an internationally acclaimed RAMSAR site, and the ancient county town of Greenlaw have become the latest of Berwickshire’s treasures to be threatened by an application to site wind turbines in a wholly inappropriate location.

Readers won’t be surprised to hear that some residents are protesting this threat and have printed a leaflet - the usual sort of thing, a few facts and figures, a line or two of editorial interpretation, and some photos showing impressions of what the turbines may look like.

What is rather more surprising is that the wind farm company TCI Renewables, has complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about some of the text in the leaflet, which it claims may be difficult to substantiate to the ASA’s satisfaction.

It seems strange to me that the ASA, which was formed in 1961 to protect consumers from the misleading claims of snake-oil salesmen and their like, should now allow themselves be used to champion (albeit indirectly) the interests of a multi-million pound international energy company chaired by an Australian millionaire.

It cannot be in the public interest to aid such a powerful and wealthy commercial protagonist, especially at the expense of a local non-profit group.

TCI have previously been successful in suppressing a wind farm protest group in Bridlington by resorting to the same expedient, and that is a good representation of the sort of thing before the ASA.

Protestors against that application, says the Bridlington Free Press, included The Ministry of Defence and Bridlington Town Council Fraisthorpe Parish Council.

And yet TCI’s objection was upheld, in part because the leaflet said the wind farm would ruin the landscape “forever”, which was “misleading” because the operational life of the wind farm would be 25 years and that after this period planning permission would need to be reapplied for.

I think that these are weasel words and snake-oil arguments and tell me a lot about TCI. I am 57, and if anyone can explain to me how, practically speaking, I would perceive the difference between forever and 25 years I am happy to hear from them.

Matthew Gibb.

Castletoun House, Greenlaw.

FLODDEN

Borderers Return

May I record my club’s sincere thanks to everyone who supported our Borderers’ Return project which involved the carrying of a specially-commissioned Flodden banner round a large part of the Scottish Borders and replicating the return of surviving warriors to their home-towns after the battle of Flodden.

The banner is now safely secured in Coldstream, having been carefully and proudly handled by the riders of Kelso, Jedburgh, Hawick, Selkirk, Galashiels, Melrose, Lauder, Duns and Coldstream.

When the project was conceived in 2010, it was expected that Scottish Border towns would fully engage and the response was as expected.

Each town responded positively and made their own arrangements for their local leg of the banner’s journey. Along with my club colleagues, we attended a variety of events during the actual relay, including dinners, concerts, proclamation readings, solemn commemorations, Flodden orations, musical events, bands playing, unveiling of memorials, a Flodden garden opening and luncheons in Burgh Chambers.

These events were truly inspirational and showed the true bond between the Scottish Border towns.

Our committee members were received with the greatest courtesy and it was wonderful to see so many locals turning out, even as early as 6am and 7am in the morning in some places.

Within the confines of this letter, there are too many people to name and thank but arrangements are being made to make contact with each person in the coming days. We are eternally grateful to the organisers of each town who attended the five project meetings and to the experienced and proud horse riders who carried the banner. It was clear right at the start of the project’s conception that we would not be able to include every town but we were extremely grateful that Hawick included Langholm in their concert and Peebles and Innerleithen attended Galashiels to buss their colours on the banner.

The SBC Emergency Planning and Licensing units were helpful as were Police controlling traffic and crowds in the towns. Marshals were well-organised and supportive.

Our project, developed and organised by Scottish Border towns was a great contribution to the Flodden commemorations and I was delighted that the Flodden Ecomuseum project (directed by Lord Joicey and George Farr) invited the Flodden banner and club banner, carried respectively by Raymond Brydon and Kenny Brodie, at the Solemn Commemoration at Branxton.

Finally, a huge thank you to all who supported our project and congratulations to the organisers of other Flodden-related events which made the last week or two a period to remember and showed the utmost respect to those who perished on Flodden Field.

James D. Bell,

Chairman, Flodden 1513 Club.

charity event

Royal Mail golf event

Royal Mail would like to thank Kelso Golf Club and the businesses in the Duns and Kelso areas who kindly donated to the fund raising golf event held in aid of Prostate Cancer.

The magnificent sum of just over £3,000 was raised.

Colin Foster and Robert Culbertson,

Royal Mail Delivery Office Managers.

FLODDEN concert

Thanks for a Rockin’ event

The organisers of ‘Folk Rockin For Flodden’ music event in Norham on Saturday, September 7, would like to thank everyone who supported this momentous and memorable event.

The feedback from the night is that all attendees had a fantastic time.

The committee of volunteers achieved their aims of marking the 500th anniversary of the battle of Flodden in a unique way in the calendar of Flodden 500 events.

Particular thanks should be given to:

Mr and Mrs Simon Orpwood for the use of the event field and the car park field, Maden Eco for providing many pieces of equipment and infrastructure, J.H. Greenwood and Co for the funding of a set of tower lights, Wm Hume and Son for the works carried out to prepare the area, assisted by Will Jackson, Alistair Birkett, Raymond Dickson and Alan Cowe also Humes’ loan of equipment and the First Aid van, Lothian and Borders ACF for manning our car park, R.L. Smith and Sons Ltd for providing us with waste disposal and recycling facilities, Norham Parish Council for use of the Jubilee Field for parking, vendors Geoff Allan, Call the Bar Scotland and Juicy Meat Co.

Local businesses for helping us to publicise the event, local radio stations, Simon Duke from Johnston Press, Alastair Cunningham from Music News Scotland and Border Festival Photographs, Paul from Fantasy prints for his hard work in helping us with promotion materials, Richie Grey – Call the Bar – without whom the event plan and risk assessment would have been a huge obstacle,

Northumberland County Council staff and workforce – for all their help, advice and road closure works,

Emergency services - who we happily did not require on the night, local businesses who sponsored our programme, volunteers for helping us set up, run and litter pick the event, Tower Insurance, Well safe Security and ‘British Red Cross’ for making sure we were safe and ‘legal’, Brian Martin for technical advice and stage management, James Gibson and Chris Burgess for features and photos for the souvenir programme, the families of the committee members – for supporting us through the trials connected to running an event of this nature and this size.

A special thanks to Derek Meins singer and compere for the night, Maddy for opening with a beautifully sung song backed by the Small Hall Band, the sweet sounds of the Northumbrian Pipers, Ronnie Hek and band for his original piece presented on the night, Dave Hull- Denholm, Charlie Harcourt and Steve Daggett and Scocha who all helped to make this a momentous event which we hope goes down in history.

Without the help of these supporters, sponsors, helpers and audience Folk Rockin for Flodden could not have been.

Norham Flodden 
500 committee.

Great event for Norham

Through your paper I would like to say a huge thankyou and well done to the organisers of Rockin’ for Flodden which was held at Norham on Saturday September 7.

A lot of work went into it and I know the people who made the effort to go really enjoyed it. So on behalf of the people who supported it thankyou, it was a great thing to happen in Norham.

Wendy Thackray,

Norham.

parking

Railway car park problem

I write in response to the article concerning the parking problems in and around Berwick railway station. I had occasion to contact the Berwick Advertiser in 2005 regarding the layout being built, see below my submission:

“The new layout of the car park at Berwick Railway Station fails to meet the requirements of the Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) in that no thought has been given to designing out risk to users of the car park.

“The previous layout enabled elderly people to drive up to the front door of the station; the new layout now causes the same elderly people to cross four lanes of roadway to get from the setting down area to the front door.

“There is also a problem with paving slabs at the station, the ones leading from the stairs at the over bridge to the station are too smooth and are extremely hazardous when wet, the ones at the crossing points which have 40 millimetre raised circles are also hazardous”.

There is also a considerable waste of valuable car parking space due to the design of the car park resulting in commuters having to park on adjacent streets.

NCC’s response to this issue was to put double yellow lines on Castle Drive at its widest point, the result of that was that commuters now park further up Castle Drive where the road is considerably narrower causing congestion and difficulty for motorists.

On the basis of the foregoing, I feel quite vindicated as we now have Berwick Town Council taking a stance which I took all those years ago.

David Spencer-Barry

big event

Borders has a lot to offer

Please could we say massive thank you to all the people who took part in our (ninth) Borders Interactive Gathering event in the town hall in Hawick on September 12.

Massive thanks to all the people who represented the wide range of support, learning and leisure activities in the Borders, to TD1 Radio for broadcasting live online from the hall and showing they may be Gala based but they represent the whole of the Borders, to Brydons of Hawick for once again giving delightful food to keep everyone well fed and happy, to all the public who came along to see what was on their doorstep, to Chalky for his leroc/jive dance, Donna and the babes with their enjoyable sing-song class, to Elaine and the Falls prevention team for showing gentle exercise not only helps keep you mobile but also gives a wee bit confidence and helps your balance.

Special thanks to Frank the caretaker for being so welcoming and accommodating and thank you to everyone for supporting each other and showing that the Borders folk have a lot more on their doorstep than you realise.

Next year will be our 10th year (not yet confirmed when or where) but we will be back!

Bob, Sheila, Beryl, Derek and Rodelle,

BIG Event Team.

eyemouth high

Parent Council fundraiser

I’d like to take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who supported the Eyemouth High School Parents Council Coffee Morning in The Mason’s Hall in Eyemouth on Saturday, August 31.

We raised funds of £223.40 which will go towards funding a variety of events, activities and items for the students of Eyemouth High School.

The Parent Council’s main purpose is to increase opportunities for parents to be involved in their child’s education.

This can be as straightforward as contacting a member with a suggestion, helping with fundraising or even joining the committee.

As a rule meetings are open to all parents of Eyemouth High School pupils and you can be involved as much as you prefer.

If anyone wants more information on the Council please contact us on eyhsparentcouncil@hotmail.co.uk or visit http://www.eyemouthhigh.org.uk/parents/parent-council.

Rieke Hettrick,

Secretary.

Malawi trip

Fundraiser

Can I say a huge thank you to everyone who donated items or who bought from me in aid of the Borders Exploration Group to Malawi 2014.

I had a fantastic response to my flyers asking for items to sell at St James Fair, Kelso, and a few people came and gave me a cash donation, which was very kind.

I took £512.67 over the two days of the fair which is a huge help towards the amount I need for this trip.

So, thank you good folk of the Borders, you are certainly amazing!

Euan Briggs,

Wallaceneuk, Kelso.

playgroup

Fantastic support

On behalf of Coldstream Playgroup and Toddlers I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported our Coffee Morning in the British Legion on Saturday, August 31.

The total amount raised was a fantastic £465.62.

Thank you to everyone who kindly donated prizes for the raffle and tombola and also to everyone who baked for our cake and candy stall.

Also, we would like to thank all those who helped and gave their time on the day.

Cheryl Ford,

Secretary, Coldstream Playgroup and Toddlers.