Author on the road to more fame

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THE Galashiels author of a famous Scottish lullaby could have a street named after him on one of the Borders largest housing estates.

National developer Persimmon has put forward Coulter Avenue to Galashiels Community Council as one of the possible road names in its 500-home site at Easter Langlee.

The inspiration comes from Coulter’s Candy, written by Galashiels weaver Robert Coltart who penned the song while earning extra money as a sweets salesman during the 19th century. Despite passing away in 1880 at the age of 43 due to a brain tumour, Coltart’s children’s tune, which includes the famous line “Ally bally, ally bally bee”, became a national favourite.

Previous plans to honour Coltart have included a statue and festival of children’s songs in his name.

Three names were put forward by Persimmon – who have dropped the estate’s controversial Melrose Gait title – for the first phase of the scheme due to be completed this year.

Queen Elizabeth Drive and Queen Elizabeth Circle would reflect the monarch’s diamond jubilee year, while Kingfisher Grove represents one of the varieties of wildlife seen on the nearby Allan Water.

No objections were made when Queen Elizabeth Drive and Circle and Kingfisher Grove were discussed at the community council last Wednesday. Other suggestions include Redpath Square, as a tribute to Galashiels-born artist Anne.

Meanwhile, a 49-home development by Miller Homes which forms part of Persimmon’s development was approved by Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee on Monday.

The land was previously subject of a successful planning application by Inverness-based Tulloch Homes before SBC’s policy required new estates to include at least 25 per cent affordable housing came into force.

As a result, Tulloch’s agreement for 15 per cent affordable homes will stand.