Since the Hawick Knitwear closure announcement, the road past my house in Slitrig Crescent to the factory has suddenly gone quiet.
Slitrig Crescent is now another part of the town’s industrial map consigned to history.
Many mills lie empty – a constant reminder of Hawick’s glory days. Others have long since been demolished, helping cover up the true extent of the decline of a once-proud town.
A walk along High Street fills Teries with even more dejection. Many shops lie empty, with others queuing up to join them. For months, no years, the chance to breathe new life into the town has been suffocated at every opportunity, Commercial Road being a prime example of lack of progress.
While Sainsbury’s is a glimmer of hope, it has fought against the eyesore of Wilton Mills for too long.
Some of our councillors are fighting hard to reverse the decline, but since the move from Roxburgh District Council to Scottish Borders Council, they have struggled more and more to make their voices heard. It would help if all six put aside petty squabbles for the good of the town.
Some may claim other towns in the area have suffered a similar decline, but when you look at Galashiels there is much more cause for optimism. It has a railway – we don’t. It has a thriving college-come-university – we don’t. It has various retail parks – we don’t. It has a world renowned fast-food giant – we don’t.
Why does it take so long for things to happen in Hawick? We have a fabulous community spirit here, as was evidenced during the recent floods.
We need to rally that spirit once more or Hawick will continue to decline.
We need to find a collective voice and shout for progress in Hawick. Now!