Brightening up street corner is sheer poetry

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The junction between Selkirk’s Scott’s Place and Chapel Street – much maligned as being an eyesore – has been brightened up no end.

Although the future of the former Co-op building hangs by a thread, the exterior has been spruced up with newly commissioned artwork by Wasps artists and high school pupils.

The last attempt to cover the crumbling building took the form of boards with poems by local legends such as James Hogg, and gained the junction the nickname of Poets Corner. However, the boards soon deteriorated.

But this latest project, instigated by Colin Gilmour, project officer of the Selkirk Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) really does catch the eye.

It includes works by three of Wasps Studios artists – Liz Douglas’ beautiful rose: “People return to Selkirk when the roses bloom again”; Alex Hain’s incredibly colourful bus, complete with passenger on their phone in the window; and Joy Parker’s superb mosaic of cobbler Colin Turnbull.

And taking pride of place in the corner is the remarkably uplifting mural from Selkirk High School pupils Marnie Davidson, Dawn June McGlasson (both S3) and Caitlin Riddell (S4).

It shows the rolling hills of the Borders countryside, and the Victoria Halls flying above them, attached to balloons, alongside the words “Never Give Up”.

Marnie said: “We just wanted to do something pro Selkirk and came up with the idea of this mural.”

Mr Gilmour told us: “We got together with the Wasps artists to try to come up with ideas as to what to do with this building, and local councillor Gordon Edgar said some pupils from the high school were also looking to do some work here.

“So we brought everyone together and looked at how we could make it a real community project, and this is the result.”