Curtis Welsh sent us this familiar image from Scott’s View with the Eildon Hills in the distance.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
TWEED BRIDGE RESTRICTION PLEA
I would like to comment on Janice Gillie’s article regarding the Coldstream High Street traffic headache (Berwickshire News, July 27).
Having lived on the bend in question for 47 years, there has only been one accident many years ago when two lorries speeding in opposite directions collided opposite my house. This happened at 6am when the street was almost clear of parked cars.
Having lived and observed traffic on the High Street for all these years, I have realised that congestion is the finest thing for slowing down vehicles which, in turn, enables pensioners and children to cross the street more safely.
I don’t know if the general public realise that, apart from the A1, the road from the Kelso turn-off to Cornhill roundabout is the busiest road in the Borders, with the west to east traffic joining the north-south traffic to pass through Coldstream.
The situation has worsened since the building of the Kelso bypass which has encouraged heavy lorries to come through Coldstream en route to Newcastle, rather than use the A68 at Jedburgh. Of course, if the A1 was dualled to Edinburgh, most of the heavy traffic would go that way, but the SNP Government has already stated that this is not going to happen.
I suggest we leave the High Street alone, but put in place a 20-ton weight restriction on the Tweed bridge which would immediately reduce the number of heavy lorries passing through Coldstream.
Before any decision is made, Coldstream and District Community Council should call a public meeting to discuss the situation.
TARGET LORRIES, NOT THE LOCALS
The folk on high seem to have it all wrong if your report in last week’s paper about Coldstream High Street is anything to go on.
It is hard to see why local people wanting to park their local cars on the local high street should be regarded as a problem. If it slows down lorries trying to speed from somewhere else to some other place, well then maybe they should be slowing down anyway. It is our local high street after all.
If the council was to further restrict parking on the High Street, what would happen then? Probably the lorry drivers would tell all their lorry-driving pals, with the result that we would get even more lorries wanting to drive even faster through Coldstream. And then they would probably eventually complain that even the parking that remained was impeding this higher level of lorry throughput.
By this vicious circle, we could eventually get to no parking allowed at all, but loads of lorries happily zooming along.
What would the council do then? Start restricting lorries? Good idea. So let’s get straight to it and leave the locals alone. Stop blaming the victims. If nothing else, we locals are the ones with the votes.
Basically, the locals are not the problem. The lorries are the problem. In the long run you never get anywhere unless you deal with the problem, not the symptoms.
Dan D. Burdock
MEDIA WITH AN AXE TO GRIND
I do not envy doctors and nurses working in Scotland’s NHS, doing their best to keep us all patched up in often difficult circumstances.
The NHS is a football for insensitive politicians, and subject to constant criticism from sections of the print and broadcast media with an axe to grind. In spite of this negativity, it must be a satisfaction that complaints rarely come from the thousands of patients seen every day.
More than 94% of A&E patients are repaired, admitted or discharged within the four-hour target, one of the best results anywhere. In fact, so effective is the NHS in Scotland that the Nuffield Trust (www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk ) reported that the rest of the UK should follow the Scottish model.
We should all be very grateful that the government north of the border is determined to keep our NHS in the public domain and free at all times, rather than taxpayers’ money being used to pay shareholders’ dividends in the privatised parts of the NHS in England.
Celebrate how lucky we are to have this service always available, and keep your criticism for the truly awful policies which are being inflicted on Britain.
OUTSTANDING DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
May the Parade of Colours Team express their sincerest gratitude to the community of Spittal and, in particular, Berwick RBL Pipe Band for an outstanding day of remembrance at Spittal war memorial.
In a year that has already seen the Parade Team travel more than 1,000 miles with visits to various war memorials, we opted to return to Spittal to commemorate Passchendaele 100 and conclude a story that started at Easter in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. This included the chapter about the historic house that is Lennel, on the outskirts of Coldstream, and the importance of that home 100 years ago – where much was learned then – in use even today – about in the treatment of post-traumatic stress, known as shellshock in those days.
On what didn’t promise to be a dry day for Spittal – somewhat reminiscent of the rain that must have been experienced at Ypres a century earlier (at least all we had to worry about was getting wet – no one was trying to kill us) – perhaps half a million angels had other ideas for the sun came out and the old Spa Well gardens were splendid settings in warmth and fellowship.
Our gratitude and admiration is expressed to Brian Douglas, deputy mayor of Berwick, who laid a Tweed Wreath on behalf of the community, Lt Debra Jerdan (Berwick detachment, Northumberland ACF) and to Jack and Sadie who laid a Tweed Wreath on behalf of all youth, to Laura Robertson and the outstanding Berwick RBL Pipe Band who joined us – their fourth engagement of the weekend that included Minden Day and Eyemouth Herring Queen – the Parade of Colours were delighted to donate £100 to their funds.
To the many locals and visitors who joined with us in our act of r emembrance, even from as far away as Gloucester – a veteran and his family paid their respects – we thank you.
Thanks are also expressed to Lockwood Patterson Kitchen and Interiors of Main Street, Spittal, who donated use of the forecourt for safe parking facilities, and to the Promenade Cafe and Mr Douglas for the refreshments following proceedings.
The Parade of Colours Team are just keen amateurs trying to do our best – our aim primarily is to support and encourage the youth of today – purely because they are the future of remembrance.
FEARING IRA RETALIATION
IRA bomb maker Michael Hayes has apologised via the BBC for 21 innocent people being killed in the Birmingham pub attack in 1974.
His pathetic excuses and refusal to admit his full role have sickened the relatives of those who lost their lives.
Despite MPs demanding his extradition from Dublin, no police action has been taken (for fears of IRA retaliation), while the witch hunt of British troops involved in The Troubles continues.
Perhaps the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Irelan (and £1bn of recent bribe money from the UK Conservatives) will bring murderous republicans to justice. Don’t hold your breath.
For a number of years I have led groups on pilgrimages to Normandy and the landing beaches on the special anniversaries of D-Day.
The visits were moving occasions, but it was always busy and crowded.
Between October 12 and 16, I will be leading a coach party from Scotland to Normandy at a much quieter time of the year when it will be possible to pause to reflect. There will be time to have an opportunity to visit a relative’s grave, as well as to see the landing beaches and important areas of the battlefield.
We still have a few places left. If any of your readers would like more details, I can be contacted by phone on 01368 866826 and 07710 270640, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also write to me at: Beachcote, Golf Course Road, Dunbar, East Lothian, EH42 1LS.
BIRD ‘ATTACKS’ EXAGGERATED
During the summer period, there are always alarmist stories of gulls “attacking” people – which inevitably lead to calls to cull them.
The holiday period coincides with the birds’ breeding season and, being such fierce defenders of their offspring, they may occasionally become aggressive in order to see off any perceived threat to their nest and children. These “attacks” are usually exaggerated by the media and are very rare indeed.
To cull wild animals for protecting their babies is nothing short of ludicrous.
Despite this, if gulls are causing issues, there are a number of effective, humane methods of deterrence that can be used to discourage birds from nesting on flat roofs or chimneys, or from rummaging in our rubbish. Animal Aid has free advice sheets that detail the number of humane, non-lethal methods of deterrence available.
To order a factsheet, email the following address: email@example.com
CHARITY BOWLS DAY A SUCCESS
Macmillan Cancer Support Coldstream Committee would like to thank everyone who took part in our charity bowls day.
We had a great day with glorious sunshine and raised a wonderful sum of £795.
Our grateful thanks to Coldstream Bowling Club for allowing us to hold this event and for their generous donation.
Our thanks also to Will Murray and Willie Johnson for organising this event for us, we wouldn’t have managed without them.
(on behalf of Macmillan Cancer support)
COST OF LISTENING TO GREEN BRIGADE
The UK Government is stopping the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040, and switching to electric vehicles.
But where will the additional electricity come from?
Electric vehicles will place unprecedented strain on the National Grid and peak demand for electricity would add 30 gigawatts to the current peak of 61.
It would require another 10,000 wind turbines or 9.6 Hinkley nuclear power stations, costing £20bn each and taking 20 years per plant to build. Creating charging points for electric vehicles will also cost billions. And the loss of tax from fuel duty and vehicle emissions tax will be many billions of pounds.
Estimates reveal that this electric vehicle madness will cost over £200bn.
Will income tax be raised to unacceptable levels, or is road charging being considered?
Politicians listen to the green brigade when they should be listening to engineers and scientists. Meanwhile, the rest of the world runs on petrol and diesel.
BBC MAN’S HUNT FOR HEIRLOOMS
I’m a producer with BBC2’s The Repair Shop.
We’re looking for family and community heirlooms that have special significance during Christmas time – and have fallen into disrepair – for our festive special. The Repair Shop series follows a team of passionate and skilled crafts people who restore damaged objects of sentimental value. The experts are drawn from different disciplines such as furniture repairers, metal workers, mechanics, ceramicists, clock makers, picture conservationists, and up-cyclers, restorers and fabricators of every ilk.
If you have a precious object you’d like repaired, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 224829.
RECIPES TO HELP WORKING ANIMALS
I am writing to invite your readers to host a World Tea Party this summer in support of working animal charity SPANA.
Putting on a Moroccan, Indian, Chinese, or another world-themed party, offers everyone the chance to get together with friends and try out tasty new recipes, while also raising much-needed funds to help the world’s most hardworking animals.
In the poorest countries worldwide, working animals transport goods to markets, children to schools, and water and supplies to remote communities – supporting the livelihoods of a billion people. SPANA’s work providing free veterinary treatment for these animals is so vital, helping to ensure that they can lead a life free from suffering.
The SPANA World Tea Party fundraising pack, full of free recipes, is available from www.spana.org/teaparty or by calling 020 7831 3999.
(SPANA World Tea Party