Popular pig Portia will be missed by Galashiels kids

Portia the pig, a popular resident of Boleside for decades, has died.
Portia the pig, a popular resident of Boleside for decades, has died.

A Borders community is in mourning after the death of a legendary pot-bellied pig who was a much-loved feature of the landscape for more than quarter of a century.

Folk living in and around Boleside, on the outskirts of Galashiels, and others further afield, aren’t telling porkies when they say Portia the pig was almost like one of the family.

Mildred Currie said Portia will be missed by many.

Mildred Currie said Portia will be missed by many.

Portia, who lived in splendid isolation in a field close to the riverbank, was a particular favourite with generations of children.

And Portia was no ordinary pig ... she would sit up like a dog and enjoyed being patted.

Now locals are wondering who is going to follow in her illustrious trotters as dozens of tributes and memories were posted on social media sites.

Gillian Macdonald said: “I don’t know who owned her but I do know she has been a resident of Boleside for many years. I first met her when I used to take my toddler son to feed her apples and fruit. That was 25 years ago.

“As you can see from the many comments on social media there has been many a mum and dad who have taken their own children to visit her to give her pig treats. She was a wonderful creature that meandered the field for many a year.”

Mildred Currie added: “She will be missed. Everybody loved her and everybody fed her. I’m sure she must have been about 30 years old. She was that fat with everybody feeding her.

“It’s a favourite walking spot and people would go there to feed the pig and let their children feed it. She was a character.”

Mike Allen posted: “My kids used to feed her. If you told her to sit – like you would a dog – she’d sit.”

Eildon Housing handyman Graeme Henry lives a quarter mile from the field where Portia roamed and would often feed her while out walking his dog.

He said: “She was a big softy and she would let you pat her.

“A lot of the kids’ parents and grandchildren would take them along to feed it. She wasn’t your pink-coloured pig, she was quite dark coloured and a big beast. She’ll be a miss.”

“My grandchildren used to love going to see the pig”, Wendy Lawson added.

Portia is believed to have died from old age.

Vegan Laurel Vaughan was clear what she thought Portia’s legacy should be, posting: “Hopefully it will make you all think twice about eating such amazing, clever animals.”