Going about lawful business in Selkirk

Further to Andrew Keddie’s article in last week’s Southern, I think the general public need to appreciate that the closure of courts in the Borders, but particularly in Selkirk, is a very real possibility.

While the court administration insists that no decisions have been or will be taken without full consultation, it is important that people make their feelings known now and do not simply wait until they are asked.

There has been a sheriff in Selkirkshire since the late 12th century. Close the court and the office of sheriff at Selkirk will be consigned to history. All the history that is part of the Borders, including the tenure of perhaps the most famous of all, Sir Walter Scott, will be gone after around 800 years.

In addition, the main courtroom at Selkirk has one of only a very few examples of a hammerbeam roof in a public building in Scotland. The main hall at Stirling Castle has probably the largest and there is one in Parliament Hall in Edinburgh. There are also examples of this very distinctive architectural style in the courts at Forfar and Alloa, both of which appear on the list of courts being considered for closure.

The courthouse is a public building – go along and have a look at the roof.

If the court at Selkirk closes, what will become of it? Perhaps a focal point of a trendy wine bar? Who knows?

The people of the Borders need to speak now to their local councillors and parliamentary representatives to ensure that Selkirk Sheriff Court remains open for business for a long time to come.

Ben McCabe

Glenfield Court