Sadly, it's not for the better

On a visit to Berwick two weeks ago, a friend called to see me. We went to school at Bell Tower at the same time.

Saturday, 21st January 2017, 8:00 am

His wife conjured up our favourite beverage of tea whilst his daughter and two grandchildren listened to our reminiscing over Berwick of yesteryear.

I was somewhat astounded at her comments: “The town has a lot to be said in favour of its furtherance as both a market town and a holiday resort.”

To this, George and I agreed.

However, daughter Pauline, from Canada, said: “The only things is that the noticeable stench hanging over Berwick has an odour not unlike ‘Auld Reekie’, as Edinburgh was once known, but sadly akin to that which emanates around Billingsgate fish market or Aberdeen’s Torry fish quay.”

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George and myself said: “Crikey, even you notice it.”

True, there is something amiss, greatly so, and everything is being hit.

Stephen and Adele, George’s two grandchildren said, almost in unison, pedestrian safety is being compromised with pavements uneven, there is a narrow High Street, sparse toilet facilities, and by far Berwick’s change is not to the advantage of its people.

I do believe we were somewhat flabbergasted – even a 20-year-old expressed such deep concern.

George said he was pleased he left Berwick and married in Canada, possibly the best move he ever made.

For a family who have visited Berwick for a period of two weeks every three years, the meeting spoke volumes.

Dear knows what regular visitors, ranging from day trippers to regular two weekly holidaymakers, think of Berwick?

It’s enough to put just about anyone off, with far too much emphasis on sport and leisure.

Eric Allen

Berwick-upon-Tweed