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Gala’s historic cross likely to be dismantled

Mercat Cross in Galashiels has been damaged after a white van crashed into it this morning around half past seven.

Mercat Cross in Galashiels has been damaged after a white van crashed into it this morning around half past seven.

Experts are exploring what needs to be done to repair the Mercat Cross in Galashiels which was damaged by a van last week.

It may have to be dismantled and might not be restored in time for the Braw Lads’ Gathering on June 28.

The base of the sandstone pillar was partly dislodged when the vehicle crashed into it last Wednesday morning.

A spokesman for Scottish Borders Council told The Southern: “It is likely that the Mercat Cross will need to be taken down and rebuilt. We envisage it being removed from its current location to allow us to check the stonework and repair it as necessary, prior to rebuilding. We are in discussion with the van driver’s insurance company, but it is too early to determine the extent or cost of the damage.”

But the spokesman admitted: “We will endeavour to make sure it is ready for the Braw Lads’ Gathering, although we are unable to guarantee it at this early stage.”

David Houston, chairman of the Braw Lads’ Executive Council, told The Southern they were not unduly concerned at this stage.

He told us: “The council knows the significance of this monument and I am sure they will pull out all the stops to have it ready for the Gathering.”

But he said if it wasn’t ready, the executive would make contingency arrangements.

 

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