Music might not be over at Hawick park

Scocha were among the acts featured in last summer's concert programme at Hawick's Wilton Lodge Park.
Scocha were among the acts featured in last summer's concert programme at Hawick's Wilton Lodge Park.

It ain’t over till the fat lady sings, according to the old saying, and the proverbial plump lass, as well as her male and thinner peers, might yet get the chance to perform in Hawick’s Wilton Lodge Park this summer.

The music had looked to be over for the park’s annual summer bandstand series after Scottish Borders Council and Live Borders pulled the plug on their funding for it, but Hawick Community Council might now be about to step into the breach.

The Zandra Elliot bandstand in Wilton Park Lodge, Hawick.

The Zandra Elliot bandstand in Wilton Park Lodge, Hawick.

It will decide whether or not to stage a programme of summer events at the Zandra Elliot bandstand at its February meeting.

Acting chairman Cameron Knox told members last week: “Scottish Borders Council are not providing any musical entertainment at the park this year.

“It’s up to the community council and other groups to say if there is going to be concerts at the band stand this summer.”

Secretary Liz Adams said that funding could be available from the Langhope Rig wind farm community fund or elsewhere but warned that finding someone to manage events would be the main stumbling block.

“It needs somebody who is going to set up, put chairs out, then clear it all away again and lock up. It’s a huge task,” she said.

Mr Knox said: “It’s over the summer months when people are on holiday.

“It is a big ask for anybody, but I think it is an opportunity we should take forward because it has brought a lot of enjoyment to the people in the town.”

In her last meeting before stepping down from the council, Mrs Adams explained that no decision could yet be taken because, having fallen below the minimum number of elected members required, the community council was not fully constituted.

A by-election is currently taking place to fill vacancies, with the deadline for nomination papers to be returned to Scottish Borders Council having elapsed on Monday.

The summer concerts were laid on by the council, with sponsorship from Hawick’s Johnstons of Elgin textile factory, for three summers as part of its £3.64m regeneration of the park.

Performers featured included Dunblane-born singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean in 2016, fellow singer-songwriter Karine Polwart, from Banknock, near Falkirk, in 2017 and controversy-hit Hawick folk-rock act Scocha last year.