Seagulls flock to the sound of ploughing at  Butterdean.
Seagulls flock to the sound of ploughing at Butterdean.
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Vote ‘Yes’ for a more prosperous Scotland

SIR, - Occasionally you print letters from correspondents complaining about the neglect of east Berwickshire by Scottish Borders Council. Newtown St Boswells is only 38 miles from Eyemouth. Yet some of these complainants probably vote for Westminster candidates.

Where is the logic in this when London is over 300 miles away but it’s only 50 miles to Edinburgh where the Scottish government sits? Far easier to petition Holyrood than Westminster where Scottish voices are drowned out.

Think about this. About 20 million people live in the south-east of England (one third of the British population) and there are more voters in Kent than there are people in the whole of Scotland. How far down Westminster’s list of priorities do you think Scottish concerns are? The nearer government is to the people the greater the democracy.

There will be initial costs in establishing an independent Scotland of course, but there will also be immense savings, for instance: an immediate saving from the £50 million which it currently costs to maintain MPs at Westminster.

A further saving from the £250 million annual cost of the UK’s current nuclear weapons programme.

If you want a more prosperous Scotland the only answer come the referendum has to be YES.


Whitsome Crofts,


Fun and Frolice Mindbender

SIR, - We would like to thank everyone who attended our recent Fun and Frolics Mindbender in Coldstream Community Centre, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

This event would not have been possible had it not been for the people who gave up their time to come and assist us on the day, so we would also thank you for contributing to making it such a success. And of course we had the local businesses who donated raffle prizes and food for the evening, you certainly did your part and again we are extremely grateful.

The event raised the amazing total of £1,045.55. This money will be split 50/50 between Coldstream Riders Association and Guide Dogs. We had so much fun organising this one, who knows, we may do another!


Charity darts at Eyemouth

SIR, - On Sunday October 14, a Charity Darts competition was held in the Tavern, Eyemouth in aid of the Berwick and Eastern Borders Branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and £185 was raised for branch funds.

The winners were Ralph Hurst and John Bowles and the runners-up were Drew Scott and Michelle Borthwick, well done to you all.

May I say a huge thank you to Irene Aitchison, who organised the event and donated the trophies. Many thanks for your hard work Irene. Thanks to everyone who came along in support of the event and to Douglas and staff at the Tavern.

The branch is grateful to everyone for their continued support in raising funds which helps us to provide care and support to those with MS and their families and carers in our branch area.


Branch Secretary.

Concern over passing of Viridor application

SIR, - I was concerned to return from holiday to find that the application by Viridor to vary the condition regarding the area from which waste destined for Oxwellmains might be sourced was passed by East Lothian Planning Committee.

I had submitted an objection but was abroad on holiday on the day of the Planning Committee. If in the UK I would have continued to speak against the proposal. If still on East Lothian Council I would have joined Councillors Veitch and Berry in voting against it.

The decision flouts local democracy and the opinion of local people. East Lothian’s Planning Committee voted against the original application but was overturned by the independent Reporter.

Local community councils and pressure groups have been consistently against the application.

I express disappointment in Councillors McLennan and Hampshire who have not stood up for the locality they represent. Changing SNP national policy e.g. on the proximity principle may not be correct for local situations and local voices need to be heard.

This is an example of how the SNP Scottish Government has changed stance and worked against local views and democracy without listening to local people on how changes in policy may compromise them.

The application seems to have got through because the Scottish Government have changed their stance on the proximity principle. The nearest local authorities will not be sending waste to Oxwellmains but there is ample option for authorities from much further afield to send waste and its consequent pollution to the plant.

I remain concerned about the effect of the proposal on the dangerous cement works junction at Dunbar which Transport Scotland have consistently refused to upgrade on the grounds that its accident record is not bad enough. I am personally aware of deaths, not at the scene but as a consequence of accidents at the junction. Viridor, Lafarge, the Police and Community Councils have all raised repeated concerns about the safety of this junction.

I am still asking questions of East Lothian planners about the existence of a Heat Plan for the use of the energy produced at the plant which was another condition of the application. By summer 2012 there was still no designated user identified to use the energy produced.




Wind to blame for wet weather?

SIR, - Having just seen the pictures of waterlogged fields in last week’s issue, could someone comment on my observation that our prevailing wind this year seems to have been easterly as far as we in Berwickshire have received it?

My perception is that since April we have endured winds from the north-east, east or south-east almost constantly and my feeling is that our weather has suffered as a result being predominantly both wet and cold. Is my perception borne out by reality and have we had a much higher proportion of our wind coming that way?

If it is true, why is it and will it ever revert to ‘normal’?




BHS Craft Fair

SIR, - On October 19 the Berwickshire High School Vine Trust group held a craft fair to raise funds for the students going to Peru June 2013.

The evening raised a fantastic £530! A big thank you to everyone who helped with the setting up, running of the stalls and all those who donated prizes. Thank you to all of the stall holders who were there and the public who came along.



Wind turbines

SIR, - Thank God that one of our locally elected representatives is actually trying to protect our landscape and communities rather than towing the Salmond party line.

It’s time to stand up and be counted publicly and represent local people and Scottish Borders Council Planning Department who are being flooded with applications for inappropriately sited and often industrial size wind turbines in a lowland, prime agricultural landscape.

If you don’t do this now our enviroment will be irrepperably damaged, become “a devalued landscape” along with local tourism and other related businesses; people’s well being and health will be affected; property will be adversely affected and as they say evil happens when good men (and women) stand by and say nothing.


Whitfield Farmhouse,


Helping make Ayton more attractive

SIR, - Just under two years ago Ayton Community Council considered ways of improving the appearance of the village.

This resulted in the setting up of the Ayton Enhancement Group and the consequent entry of Ayton into the small village category of the Floral Gateway competition in which second place has been gained in the last two consecutive years.

Our successes would not have been possible without the excellent support which has been offered. The Enhancement Group is very appreciative of the support given by the Community Council and SB Local and Ayton Horticultural Society in helping to make the village more attractive.

Special thanks should also go the residents of Ayton who have assisted by putting out floral displays, helping to clear unsightly vegetation from pavements and walls and turning out to plant many bulbs on the approaches to the village.

Our work is ongoing, the next step being a perennial plant sale and coffee morning in the Community Hall at 10am on Saturday, October 27, at which people can also find out how they might be able to assist further with the work of Ayton Enhancement Group.



Ayton Enhancement Group.

Brilliant young actors in Borders Youth Theatre

SIR, - Personally, I wasn’t much taken by the Borders Youth Theatre’s performance of Macbeth at Coldingham Hall last Friday.

Admittedly, my judgement may be polluted by the daily overdose of, real-life, examples of political intrigue and moral degeneracy our current ‘upper crust’ indulge in to hang on to power and privilege – all of which make Shakespeare’s fictional characters look like rank amateurs.

What did impress me though, was how anyone could remember such complex and often longwinded lines – most all of which might just as well be written in double-dutch. And I, myself, would have rather chosen the gory death on display than, at their age, appear in front of an audience.

The real problem was, there was little ‘change’ left over from concentrating on dialogue to spend on the many other facets of acting.

I did think the witches though were outstanding.

Having said all that, it was all change in the second half. OMG! (to borrow a young phrase from the internet – which means; “Oh My God”), did we get a performance! The switch to another of Shakespeare’s plays, this time the comedy; Cymbeline, was like all the lights had come on at once. The acting was superb.

You wouldn’t fit a razorblade in the gap between one burst of audience laughter and the next. If everyone had brought along their pet dogs, I reckon, they’d have been howling with laughter as well; it was that funny.

Unfortunately I don’t possess a cast-list, otherwise I’d be naming names, but suffice to say there were at least half a dozen young actors present who should seriously be considering a career in acting – if not for their sakes, for ours.

From the girl with the oversized hat who stayed in character even when out of the limelight, to the young man with glasses whose humorous personality was so infectious, to the girl whose default portrayal of an Italian nobleman was like she’d stepped out of a Van Dyke painting, and many others; amazing! and well done.

As for the main character, I understand there’s a bill on the way from the local pub for the excessive number of shattered glasses following his ‘female’ shrieks. And the sudden jumping, what can I say? - ‘subsidence’ perhaps - such an ugly word, but worth a mention.

Brilliant all.