New lease of life for our old home

Walter Thomson's printers in Scott's Close, Selkirk.
Walter Thomson's printers in Scott's Close, Selkirk.
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One of Selkirk’s most historic buildings could get a new lease of life after a planning application to redevelop it was submitted on Tuesday.

Walter Thomson’s, the former printer in Scott’s Close, has fallen into disrepair in recent years, but Lanark company Candleberry now hopes to transform part of it into a one-bedroom apartment.

Its plans involve creating a large living and kitchen area, as well as a bedroom and a single bathroom. The application marks the second time in the last 11 years that the building has been subject to plans for redevelopment, following a previous application in 2006 to change the whole building into six homes. However on that occasion the plans were withdrawn.

The dilapidated building is of great significance to the town, being the home of the Selkirk Saturday Advertiser, founded by the Thomson family in the 1890s.

Walter Thomson, who died in 2001, left school at 15 to join the family business started by his grandfather, working as a reporter and a printer for the paper.

After just a few years, and while still in his teens, Thomson then became the editor, a position he held for 58 years.

He also recived plaudits and admirers from across the country for his work reporting on rugby. This was marked by the longevity he enjoyed as the “Fly-Half” rugby correspondent for the Sunday Post for almost 60 years, a feat unlikely to be repeated.