AFTER working 12-hour shifts for 17 consecutive days prior to the weekend thaw, Scottish Borders Council roadmen Andrew Bytautus and Rob Young are bracing themselves for more of the same as the region prepares for the second instalment of the Arctic winter.
However, the pair, who operate in their home town of Selkirk, have the consolation of being hailed “local heroes” by Councillor Kenneth Gunn (SNP, Selkirkshire) who has commended their efforts to SBC leader David Parker.
“I have emailed Mr Parker to say how much I appreciate the work being done by Andrew and Rob, and I’m sure that sentiment is shared by the vast majority of townsfolk,” said Mr Gunn.
“They worked tirelessly at the start of the year in the snow and here they are eight months later doing the same job again, almost unaided.
“Selkirk would be totally lost and cut-off without these two local heroes.”
Andrew, 46, said he appreciated the gesture.
“We generally get our orders the night before and slowly but surely we managed to get around the town.
“The big job was clearing snow which had been dug out by motorists and, of course, clearing pavements.
“Earlier in the month, it was the main roads and the schools.
“Rob and I have worked together for 11 years and because we’re from Selkirk we know most people.
“Last week, for instance, we cleared the pathway for a resident with MS.”
Rob, 60, played down the “hero” description.
“We’re only doing our job and there are local lads like us working in all the Borders towns throughout the winter,” he told us.
“I must say that when Selkirk was snowbound, folk were great, apart from the odd one who thought his pavement was more important than his neighbour’s.
“But generally, they know the task we face and were helpful and supportive.
“People came out with cups of tea and, when we were clearing the High Street, we were given hot pies by a local butcher.”