Mourning a huge loss to Holyrood

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of my colleague, David McLetchie MSP, former leader of the Conservative party north of the border.

He played a key part in the first Scottish Parliament and ferociously held different First Ministers to account over the years. His debating skills and wit could often dismantle opposition arguments, but despite this David had friends from all sides of the political spectrum and who were always happy to have a drink with him afterwards.

The value he brought to the Scottish Parliament could not be underestimated and his passing is a huge loss to Holyrood.


The last few weeks have seen the Border Union Show at Kelso and Duns Show in the grounds of Duns Castle.

There was a large turnout for both, with farmers, cattle breeders and agricultural enthusiasts from around Scotland in attendance.

As usual I had a stall at both shows to allow constituents the chance to talk to me about any issues or concerns they had.

We are incredibly lucky to have these events in the Borders and I am already looking forward to next year’s.


Eskdalemuir Observatory recently had a plaque unveiling in honour of meteorologist, physicist and mathematician Lewis Fry Richardson.

Richardson was a remarkable scientist who helped to pioneer mathematical methods to try and predict the weather. These methods helped to lay the groundwork of modern weather predictions that are used in weather bulletins we see and hear on our televisions and radios today.

The plaque unveiling was hosted by the Institute of Physics and the Met Office, and was held exactly 100 years after he was appointed as superintendent of the observatory in 1913.


The beginning of next month will mark the 500th anniversary of one of the most influential battles in the history of our region.

The Battle of Flodden saw the forces of Scotland pitted against those of England – with the casualties on the Scottish side being estimated as between 5,000 and 17,000. It not only marked a turning point in the warring between the two nations, it also devastated many families in the Borders who lost husbands, sons and brothers.

The impact is still felt in our region today, with many of local festivals taking their history from the battle.

One of these includes the Flodden ride-out during Coldstream Civic Week. This year hundreds of riders took part, with even bigger crowds there to see them.

It’s important to remember the sacrifice of those who died at Flodden and traditions like this will ensure we always do.