Exploiting potential for tourism is only option
I AM responding to David Ainslie’s excellent letter of last week. He brings together many of the diverse issues which recur decade after decade. Berwick’s malaise is not a new phenomenon.
Higher education, utilising unused eyesores, cross-border festivals, creating attractions, exploiting our proximity to urban centres, developing the port, taking on new ideas. We want all of that, we need all of that. But, how is it to be done?
I write as a representative of Mouth of The Tweed. We already have over 60 businesses and voluntary groups signed up to our Vision.
There is no magic wand for Berwick. No amount of grants and subsidies will be enough by themselves, however welcome. No large manufacturer is about to arrive.
We have only one viable economic future and that is to exploit Berwick’s tourist potential to the full. And that means deliberately and determinedly aiming ‘up-market’.
Berwick has the history, built environment and hinterland with which to offer ourselves as a desirable destination to affluent tourists. MoTT’s Vision begins by exploiting just one aspect of our town (our unique food heritage) thus providing an initial, single and clear marketing focus where expectation can be readily satisfied.
The beauty and simplicity of Mouth of The Tweed is that all we need already exists. Old shiels, smokehouses, breweries, bakeries, shops and premises, historical sites and artefacts adorn our landscape.
We already have food producers, guest houses, cafes, restaurants and retailers. It’s all here, now, just waiting to be brought ‘alive’ in a coherent trail, cross-river and cross-border.
We want the river to again become Berwick’s true heart. A thoroughfare, a source of food and the means of export, the Tweed was central to Berwick’s past and at the centre of our Vision.
We are building an eco-museum within a 15 mile radius of Berwick. Guest houses, cafes, attractions and producers are currently combining and ‘raising their game’; promoting and sharing the best of our local produce.
Beyond exploiting our past to boost our present, MoTT aims to create. We will encourage new food-related enterprises. We are working to develop a tourist ‘hub’ in Spittal and would like to see the old Spittal Ferry and river cruises re-established.
We are discussing options to open up Berwick’s quayside and to develop sea links to Lindisfarne and Eyemouth/St.Abbs. We can even foresee the building of a replica Berwick Smack. The potential is bounded only by imagination.
Through businesses and local communities working together in this way, the benefits will spread way beyond our core within the food-related industry.
However, we need more people to join us and share our Vision. MoTT is an ambitious project and it needs community commitment from individuals and businesses alike.
Anyone interested in what we are doing can look at our website (www.mouthofthetweed.co.uk) and is welcome to register an interest via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is up to us, the people of Berwick, to make this happen. No-one else will do it for us, indeed no-one else should do it for us. We can do this ourselves.
for Mouth of The Tweed
The Green Shop
Bridge Street, Berwick
Why pay consultants when we can consult for free?
DAVID Ainslie in last week’s Advertiser produced 10 ideas for getting Berwick moving, and all for nothing!
Why pay consultants large sums of money if you can “consult” for free, local people with good ideas.
I wonder who the consultants are, do they live in the area and do they know the possibilities?
Berwick sits in a large area which draws people in from both the south of Scotland and the north of England, that’s quite a lot of people.
Yes people come for the supermarkets with their free parking, but then since they have already driven there they might be enticed to stay in the town and have a meal or meet people, provided they can park easily and for free.
Having some Higher Education facility in Berwick would be a real draw, getting into Newcastle or Edinburgh as students is expensive both on time and money. The Barracks would make a wonderful college facility.
Judging by the number of holiday cottages and caravan sites in the area there must be numbers of people looking for a day’s outing and cruises both up and down the coast and up the Tweed would be a good draw.
There are excellent food producers in the area, why is there not an outlet for their goods permanently available.
Berwick could provide a place to go for the day by train, just as York has. A bus ride round the interesting places in the town would provide a good introduction to the town and enable the places like the castle, the pier and walls to be appreciated.
I hope there are more letters with suggestions, well done David Ainslie for starting the idea.
Civic Society awaiting answer to bench offer
BERWICK Civic Society have agreed to buy two new benches with the cast iron snake frame. One is to be on the first 100 yards of the pier and the second on the green at Dock Road Tweedmouth.
We have also offered to repair the two multi-tiered benches at Fishers Fort but so far have not been contacted to discuss how we might save these benches from indefinite storage in the county council’s depot.
Berwick Civic Society
Tiered benches are part
of Berwick’s heritage
I HAVE learned that the town council are planning to remove and put in store the two multi-level seats on the Walls near the cannon.
Has the council any idea how much pleasure these seats give to residents and visitors?
Not only are they part of Berwick’s heritage but they give a superb view over the estuary for people resting when walking the Walls.
For the younger generation they are pirate ships to be attacked and castles to be stormed and sanctuary for the beleaguered. I know this - I take my grandsons there and sometimes have to wait in line for our turn at make-believe.
I understand the town council has had an offer to repair and maintain these valuable pieces of our heritage. I sincerely hope it will accept this offer – if there is any doubt I would like the town council to let me know so that I can start a petition to save this part of our heritage
KOSB territorial army will hold a reunion in Kelso
WE are planning to hold a Territorial Army reunion in the Kelso branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland in Roxburgh Street on March 15.
This is the nearest date we can get to the commemorative date of the formation of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, as the reunion is mainly for those who served with B (KOSB) Coy, 2/52 Lowland Volunteers in Galashiels.
It must be emphasised, however, that this event is for anyone who served in the Territorial Army, including PSIs.
There will be a charge of £15 to cover the cost of the evening and this should be paid before the night. It would be nice to have old photographs to compare and discuss, so anyone who has any available, please bring them to the function and they can be collected at the end of the evening.
To be able to take part in the reunion, call James Black (01573 223484) or Bill Heaney (01573 228316).
Croft Road, Kelso
Thanks for the support after death of our son
SCOTT and I would like to say a huge thank you for all of the cards and flowers sent to us after our son Adam suddenly passed away on December 3.
We received a massive £1,242 for The Grove Special School, Berwick.
The Grove was a special place that Adam loved so much, even wanting to go in the school holidays.
The donations were in lieu of flowers and the school are planning to use the money to update their light works room of which Adam would have approved.
We want to say thank you to all of our family and friends for their generosity and support. We thank Elizabeth Brown and all of her wonderful staff and also the patients at Market Street Dental practice, Alnwick who all contributed so generously and have supported Scott and I over the past few weeks.
We also wanted to say thank you to all of the staff at Alistair Turner Funeral home in Alnwick for their special care and attention to our son Adam and also for protecting and caring for Scott, myself and also Fiona at the most devastating time imaginable.
We also want to say a huge thank you to the police officers and paramedics who attended our home on the morning we lost our beautiful son Adam. We appreciated your care and professionalism in a traumatic situation.
We always knew how special a boy Adam was but we have been so overwhelmed by how many peoples’ lives he touched over his 13 years of life.
We have received over 300 condolence cards and received many letters to offer us support and comfort.
We are left devastated by Adam’s sudden death but the care and attention that we continue to receive is very much appreciated and we hope that you realise how much we value all of your continued support.
Thanks for Christmas hamper efforts
THROUGH your paper I would like to thank the customers and friends of the Hair Boutique for donating food and wine for our Annual Christmas Hampers and for buying raffle tickets. This year we raised £172. The money will go to Leukaemia Lymphoma Research. It will add to the £750 we have handed to Helen Tait for the last few years in memory of Stuart.
Thank you so much once again.
STELLA RENTON &
Thanks for supporting British Heart Foundation
I WOULD like to take this opportunity to thank the local residents of Berwick for their support over the Christmas period.
Thanks to all their generous donations and volunteering hours, the Berwick British Heart Foundation shop has had a fantastic Christmas.
It’s because of these efforts and those of the other 700 BHF Shops across the UK, that we have managed to raise record funds last year to fight heart disease, the UK’s single biggest killer.
This is a fantastic achievement and a real credit to the people of Berwick.
The Berwick BHF shop is always looking for stock donations and volunteers. Just pop in and see us at 63 Marygate, Berwick or call 01289 332198 for more information.
British Heart Foundation
63 Marygate, Berwick
Mission Christmas toy appeal is a huge success
I WOULD like to express my gratitude to the people and businesses of the Scottish Borders and north Northumberland who so generously gave to Radio Borders’ Cash For Kids “Mission Christmas” Toy Appeal.
This appeal aims to provide gifts to children who would otherwise wake up to nothing on Christmas morning.
We received more requests than ever this year but I am pleased to say that thanks to the volume of donations received we were able to help over 330 children across the region.
Cash For Kids works throughout the year to give a helping hand to local children who need it most and we hope to build on the success of this appeal by helping even more children in 2013.
Thank you to everyone who helps make this work possible.
Radio Borders’ Cash for Kids