One of the main news items on Border Television’s Lookaround reccently informed us that Carlisle United were able to play a vital game due to volunteers clearing snow at Brunton Park.
I am sure that would please viewers in Peebles, only 25 miles away from Tynecastle, home of Hearts, and Hibernian’s Easter Road in the capital city of Scotland.
The only relevance the name “Border” may have is that the viewing area straddles the geographical division between Scotland and England.
From Stranraer in the west to Berwick in the east, and from Peebles in the north to Penrith and Kendal in the south, Border TV refers to this purely artificial area as “our region”.
Sadly, many people think Border TV is indeed Scottish Borders TV. But a news programme produced in Gateshead and beamed from Carlisle, with the majority of items concentrating on Cumbria, is not and cannot be acceptable.
Watching the Lookaround programme, Borders viewers will never get lost in Cumbria as they have a non-stop dose of Carlisle, Workington, Lake District et al.
Surprisingly, we never hear of Barrow-in-Furness, the second largest town in Cumbria. Being in the south of the county, it is served by ITV from Manchester.
I resided in Barrow for several years when it was still part of Lancashire. When the town was transferred into Cumbria it was deemed unacceptable for Barrow to lose its cultural TV roots in its former county.
Perhaps if ITV established a proper news studio in the Borders, say in Galashiels or Hawick, and gave our area the credence it deserves, I would consider changing my 6pm viewing from Edinburgh STV news back to my local station.