In front of me on my desk is a veritable tome. It’s cover is coloured blue and gold, and it bears the grand title – Reflections 0’ Hawick.
It is heavy and is 577 pages long, and is jam-packed with photographs and words from a variety of writers, mostly from the Hawick airt.
It has been compiled and edited by Ian Landles and Alan Brydon – two men who live and breathe in Hawick and count their days – hours actually – away from their Grey Auld Toon as time wasted.
Hawick to these gentlemen is not the centre of the universe, it is the very universe itself.Ian dropped off a copy at The Southern’s office the other week – giving a guid auld, well no so auld, Gala man the unenviable task of reviewing a book that is all – and I mean all – about the town of the Teries.
I haven’t read it from cover to cover, but I have dipped in and out of its various chapters and found them enthralling and of more than considerable interest.
Ian and Alan state in the introduction: “While compiling this book on aspects of life in the Grey Auld Toon, one thing became abundantly clear to us – we could write and collect forever on the subject of Hawick, the town we love, and still leave many areas uncovered.
“Consequently this volume is not intended to be a definitive history, not an encyclopedic, all-encompassing reference source.”
Well, Ian and Alan, if this worthy publication isn’t what you maintain it isn’t, then I’m not a Gala man. Having scanned briefly the 57 chapters, you and your contributors have provided the people of Hawick and the wider Borderland, and even wider world and universe, a truly magnificent insight to Hawick, its people, its history and its traditions.
From Chapter One ( Early History) to the back-end Bibliography, its pages beat with the very heart that is Hawick.
Ian is coming to collect the book.
Ian, can I keep it for another week or so, please?