Mexican wave success shows support for Selkirk says chamber chairman

Selkirk mexican wave.
Selkirk mexican wave.

A Mexican wave swept through the Royal Burgh on Saturday and townsfolk, councillors, council officials and John Lamont MSP came together to show their support for Selkirk.

The chamber of trade initiative, supported by other local organisations, saw more than 300 people line the town centre from the Market Place to Waters butchers on High Street on the morning of the town’s rugby sevens.

The 150 ‘Imagine Selkirk’ T-shirts disappeared into supporters’ hands within minutes of being offered at La Contea before the 10.30am mass wave.

Chamber of trade chairman and co-owner of The County Hotel, Will Haegeland said: “It went astonishingly well. The thing is to build on that energy and make sure we go forward and upwards: I think the support from the town demonstrated there is hope we can do exactly that.

“The purpose of Saturday’s Mexican wave was to have a starting point of action. This town is on the brink of taking its last breath: there’s nothing we can do to hide that. We know there are more shops closing down in the next few weeks and that is serious.

“But we can come together and find a way, together, to go forward.”

He had made a rallying cry last week, urging locals to take action and warning: “If we don’t do something there is a limit to how long any one of us can stay in business.”

Latest statistics show the town has experienced a 30 percent drop in footfall and there have been retail closures in the centre.

The pop-up shop initiative is still in its early stages, said Will, but there had already been “a few very successful events”.

He added: “We have a fantastic community action plan and we know money is coming to us but without people’s willingness to be in the town and spend money in the town, it won’t help. We can make all the building frontages look nice but it takes a bit more than that.”

He urged anyone with ideas to come forward.

He also said the chamber is planning to hold a masterclass in retail.