Potential artists given food for thought

Selkirk Common Riding 2015.
Selkirk Common Riding 2015.
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The tender documents issued this week for the Selkirk art installations stipulate that the artworks should have “some form of permanent physical manifestation”.

And although the creations are “open to the interpretation of the artists”, the project bosses have suggested a number of themes which the artists may want to explore.

These include The Battle of Philiphaugh in 1645 when the Royalist army under the command of James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, was defeated by the Scottish Covenanter army under the command of Sir David Leslie.

Another potential theme is Selkirk’s industrial heritage, notably the many textile mills which operated from the 19 th century close to the Ettrick Water.

Selkirk Common Riding and the World War II prisoner of war camp at the former Ettrickbank Mill are other suggested sources of inspiration for the aspirant artists.

And then, of course, there is the flood protection scheme itself – eight years in the planning and two years in the construction.

The scheme aims to protect up to 600 properties from flooding from the Ettrick and Yarrow Waters, the Long Philip Burn, the Philiphaugh Mill Lade and the Shaw Burn.

The scheme consists of 3.1km of flood embankments and 3.4km of flood walls, stretching from the confluence of the Ettrick and Yarrow to the west to the OregonTimber building at Dunsdale Haugh to the east.

In addition, significant work has been undertaken at the outlet of St Mary’s Loch to allow it to be used for floodwater storage during storm events and enable water to be released into the Yarrow Water in a controlled fashion.