Time for bit more of ‘can do’ spirit

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Pumping more than £3million into the local economy and attracting over 13,000 people, the Borders Book Festival is a truly world class standard event.

The Southern was once again proud to be a media sponsor of the festival, which this year could not have gone any better, with glorious weather and plenty of happy, smiling faces by the time it drew to a close on Sunday night.

The fact that the smiles were not just confined to those attending the packed four-day programme of events, but could also be found on the faces of such literary luminaries as Hilary Mantel and Pat Barker, as well as that of actors, Joanna Lumley and Tom Conti, surely says much about the Borders welcome they received.

As festival director Alistair Moffat says, the event’s success shows that here in the Borders we have talented people who can create events and projects to rival anything found elsewhere.

In a few weeks, the results of the near £15m restoration of Abbotsford House will be open to the public and soon we will have our rail link restored.

Moffat is right. We have the people to make things happen. But more of us need to start believing that.

Enough of the ‘ah kent his faither’ and ‘wha’ does he think he is’ mentality. Perhaps once such views helped keep people’s feet on the ground.

But maybe now it’s time to break free of those shackles and fly.