It isn’t all doom and gloom in Borders

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IT WOULD be all too easy to only see the gloomy side of life as we watch the number of empty outlets rise in our towns, worry about the lack of work in the region, particularly for our young people, and wonder how we are going to manage as fuel and hot food prices rise – no more heated pasties.

However, looking through the pages of this week’s Southern, there is a lot there to raise people’s spirits.

The youngsters who sang their hearts out on stage at Selkirk Scout and Guides concert, or those from St Mary’s school who tread the boards for their performances of Oklahoma.

Melrose was again in the spotlight when its amateur operatic society gave its annual week-long performance, this year staging HMS Pinafore. And in Innerleithen the hills were alive to The Sound of Music. In both cases, Borderers showed their usual unstinting support and enjoyment for the societies’ efforts.

In Hawick, the annual Reivers Festival was as popular as ever, and given a boost thanks to the good weather.

All these events would not happen without Borderers giving of their time and effort, in most cases freely, or the support of the wider community.

Many will no doubt have been inspired by bowel cancer survivor Karen Raeburn, who got the surprise of her life when her partner proposed during a fundraising dance that Karen had organised to help others.

And lastly, at a time when we are hearing about national businesses going to the wall, it is fantastic to read about the great local firms that are succeeding and thriving. Last Friday saw a number of them celebrated at the Scottish Borders Council business awards, not only those who came away with an award, but those shortlisted too.

While we can’t get away from our problems as a region, we musn’t forget we have a lot to celebrate too.