ROAD AND RAIL NOT AN OPTION

Why does John Lamont continue to make misleading statements about the Border Rail Link?

There is not and never has been a question of choosing whether to spend money on the A7 road or the railway. They have totally different and separate funding mechanisms.

After four years as our MSP Mr Lamont must know this.

Like it or not, the railway is being built, so surely it would be better to be positive and welcome it, and in the case of Hawick, put all our efforts into seeing it extended from Tweedbank into Hawick!

I completely agree with Mr Lamont that failure to invest in the main A7 road could lead to further economic misery in Hawick, it has, my memory is longer than his.

I moved into the Borders in the 1940s, and to the best of my knowledge, this area has been represented by either Conservatives or Lib Dems (previously Liberals) since then.

What a great pity they did not address the shortcomings of our transport network during that time.

When you consider the money that was generated along the route of the A7 in the boom days of the textile industry, and how little of it was spent on good infrastructure for the area – the politicians in power at the time should be ashamed.

David Cameron tells us ‘we should mend the roof when the sun is shining’ – sadly, this did not happen for the A7!

Of course the A7 needs a major upgrade, but until our area is represented by politicians who think more positively and realistically - it ain’t gonna happen!

JEAN D. BRUCE

I AM writing to say how wonderful the production of Beauty and the Beast was. I’ve so far been to each production over the three-year period that I have lived here and have enjoyed them all.

This year I found the story (which conveys a well-meaning moral) to be projected to the audience with much aura – great acting and singing by all the cast. I was mesmerised.

Hawick can well be proud of this Operatic Society and its members. I can’t wait for next year’s opera; bring it on!

GINETTE MOZUMDAR

I wonder whether any of your readers may be able to help me with some research regarding James Gowans, born 1863, at 1 High Street, Hawick.

His mother’s maiden name was Purvis. I do know James was a schoolteacher for some time in Ross and Cromarty and that in 1910 he emigrated to British Columbia, Canada, returning to Scotland in 1916, after which I am led to believe he taught somewhere in Edinburgh.

I may be contacted by email at mar.will@hotmail.co.uk or 31 Anderson Road, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS1 2PG, and shall be most grateful for any information at all regarding this gentleman.

MRS M. MACLEOD

IN last week’s Soap Box, Councillor David Paterson said he was disappointed that most of his fellow Hawick councillors did not wish to attend “a meeting to be held in the town hall at 2pm” last Friday to discuss who owns the library: the council or the Common Good.

His words suggest this was some sort of official meeting called by the council whereas in fact it was a private meeting suggested at very short notice by Councillor Paterson himself, at which no officers from the legal, estates and property departments would have been present.

One of my colleagues who did turn up at the Town Hall at 2pm found that no room had been booked, council staff knew nothing about a meeting and Councillor Paterson himself was not there!

Of course he had perhaps already embarked on his new religious life.

I could not see the point of a meeting of councillors alone about a very complex matter which can only be resolved with expert advice.

The Common Good Working Party meets regularly, with council officers in attendance, under the chairmanship of the Provost Zandra Elliot, to keep a very close eye on all Common Good matters and will next meet on Tuesday April 19: high on the agenda will be the ownership of the Library.

JOCK HOUSTON

With regard to Councillor Davie Paterson’s comments regarding the library ownership and a lack of participation of the five Hawick councillors I should like to add the following – Councillor Paterson has been a Hawick member involved in the running of Hawick Common Good Fund for over 20 years.

He has had plenty time before now to find out about the ownership of Hawick library, but has done nothing.

As the council is carrying out a review of all its properties at present, his antics are nothing more than a one-man publicity bandwagon.

ZANDRA ELLIOT

THROUGH your paper Hawick Community Council would like to thank the Burns Club for the use of their premises for our Christmas lights fundraising coffee morning, and also the donations they gave for raffle prizes.

We raised £146 which was great. And many thanks to the coffee makers, also Margaret Casson and George Scott, they were a great help.

HELEN FORD