Hub cafe goes out with bang

The Hub cafe, run by mountain bikers Tracy Brunger and Emma Guy, has closed its doors after nearly 10 years, writes Sally Gillepsie.

The popular eatery was the last of the former competitors’ ventures to shut on November 27 after the tuition, bike shop and hire finished.

The women’s lease with FCS ran until March, but they decided to close now after failing to win the tender to run the cafe and bike shop in FCS’s new multi-million pound Peel centre earlier this year.

Emma said: “Winter is always a difficult time at Glentress and we felt we would rather have a good weekend and go out with a bang than fizzle out.

“We would like to have been part of the development of Glentress in the future, but for us it’s the end of a chapter. We’ve got some really good memories – people we have met and what we have achieved – and that’s how we are looking on it. We don’t feel bitter that we are not still there. We have had a great 10 years.”

The business partners remortgaged a flat and borrowed money to start the venture with two portacabins in 2002. Now they are taking time to consider their future. “We have got a few options. We are going to take a bit of time out and maybe look at a couple of projects people have approached us about once we have a clear head,” said Emma.

Meanwhile, Tweeddale residents are being asked what they would like to see in the woodland expansion Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) plans for Nether Horsburgh and Castle Hill.

FCS bought the 120 hectares of land – from the back of the Glentress Peel development to Cardrona – for £732,000 last year and said then they would consult locals before developing what they hope will be “an exemplar forest for the 21st century with a wide range of tree species and habitats”.

Now interested parties are being invited to a public ‘drop-in’ session at Cardrona Village Hall next Thursday (December 15) to say what type of trees they want to see, suggest a use for the wood, what benefits it could bring the local economy, uses for the timber, and comment on issues to do with climate change, access and health and others.

Planning forester Alan Gale said: “We would like to find out what local people think – what would be good, what’s not so great. The aim is to understand and highlight the issues that are important to the community and this will act as a guide for the forest design within the area.”

Mr Gale said FCS staff would be there to explain ideas for the woodland design and take a note of issues raised which would be fed into developing a plan.

“The entire planning process will take about 12 months and there will be opportunity for the public to provide feedback at various stages. Various draft plans will be sent to the community councils for consideration and comment during this phase.”