Plaque unveiled by Queen on track to come back to Tweedbank

A plaque celebrating the official opening of the Borders Railway is finally set to return after 14 months' absence.

Friday, 11th November 2016, 3:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 2:54 pm
The Queen unveiling the plaque at Tweedbank last year.

The plaque was unveiled by the Queen in September 2015 at Tweedbank at a ceremony also attended by the Duke of Edinburgh and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

It has been out of the public eye since then but is now about to be incorporated into a commemorative stone quarried at Hutton in Berwickshire and designed by Borders artist Michelle du Bruin.

Gerald Maitland-Carew, the lord-lieutenant of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale, will unveil the stone upon its return to Tweedbank next Friday, November 18, at 12.45pm.

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Queen at the official opening of the Borders Railway.

Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker will also be there, and he said: “It was always intended that the Queen’s plaque would be displayed at the station in a suitable way, given its historical significance. The Queen opened the railway the day she became the longest-serving British monarch, which is an important piece of history to recognise.

“The Borders Railway is the largest domestic railway to be constructed in 100 years and a very significant campaign led by the community was crucial in the railway’s return.

“Given what has been achieved by a great many people it was only right that something fitting should be done to recognise the achievements of so many.”

A ScotRail spokesperson said: “It has taken longer than originally anticipated, but for all the right reasons.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Queen at the official opening of the Borders Railway.

“Everyone was involved in carefully considering a number of locations for the sculpture and took care to select a locally-sourced stone that would perfectly complement the station plaza area.”

“It was also important to appoint a skilled stonemason and ensure that everyone was happy with the wording which was hard-carved into the stone.”