I was in the capital last weekend and I have to say I fair enjoyed myself. I’d spent the week working on sister publication the Hawick News.
There was some fine craik with some fine folk like local cooncillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall – the latter being the provost of his grey auld toon. This pair seem to spend their entire week pounding the streets, and, of course, Watson knows all about pounding the streets from his time as a bobby. The intrepid duo have certainly got Hawick at heart – always on the lookout for problems and trials and tribulations to solve.
Last week it was folk flitting and simply dumping their unwanted furniture in the garden. The Hawick News had a grand photo of a turfed-out three-seater settee and various other battered bits of furniture. To this duo, it was like finding a pot of gold. Keep it up lads ... and perhaps some councillors elsewhere could take a tip from their book.
It wouldn’t be Hawick unless you had a heid-to-heid with Chugger – Four Hundred Horsemen – Brown. Sadly, he was leaving the Greens bar as I was entering, but he still had time to inform me he’d had a great summer following common ridings and festivals, and it wouldn’t be long to the Mosstroopers Burns Supper where they’d discover who was the next Hawick Cornet.
Some time chatting with John Slorance, who writes about football and athletics, and some of the other contributors to the paper is never time wasted. The Hawick News office is in the middle of the town, and at times its like Waverley Station – but without the trains.
The Southern’s offices used to be in the middle of Selkirk – but now they are just about in the Ettrick, away down at the bottom and we don’t get many visitors.
During my time in the late 1960s and early 70s on the Peeblesshire News, our office was slap-bang in the middle of Peebles, half-way down the Northgate (17a). We had a wee shop and a woman came and said she wanted her feet done. I was stunned and perplexed until I learned there was a wee red book under the counter where we booked appointments for the Red Cross chiropodist. We also collected silver paper for charity.
Hawick likes it statues and they have some fine examples – some old, others more recent.
But for all this, I needed culture of a different kind. And so the capital beckoned – out with the trusty bus pass and onto the, sometimes not so trusty, X95 in Selkirk. The journey to this haven seemed to take forever – but all worthwhile. The Auld Mill and guid auld Gala, well worth the visit.