Paterson’s Hornshole bid criticism resurfaces

Hawick Common Good is proposing to secure ownership of Hornshole.
Hawick Common Good is proposing to secure ownership of Hornshole.

Councillor Davie Paterson has again poured scorn on a bid to have Hornshole brought under the stewardship of Hawick Common Good Fund.

The proposal for the fund to secure ownership of the historic site was tabled by Councillors Stuart Marshall and Watson McAteer at November’s Common Good meeting, when Mr Paterson branded it a “load of twaddle”.

The Hawick and Hermitage member underlined his opposition to the plans at last week’s meeting, warning members that they were opening a “massively expensive can of worms”.

He added: “I can understand about wanting to find out about the legality of it
. . . but it could cost thousands and is there any real need to go through all this legal [process]?”

Councillor McAteer said: “This isn’t about opening a can of worms, it’s about establishing ownership of a historical and very important site for Hawick folk. At this stage, it’s not a question about how much money it will cost, because we don’t know [the final cost], we’re only speculating.”

“The can of worms remains if we don’t act, and then something happens on the site that we have no way of controlling.”

Scottish Borders Council solicitor Ron Kirk said that research indicated Hornshole was in the title of Cavers Estate, and that the land was gifted to Hawick Town Council in 1901.

Mr Kirk said he would write to the current owners to establish their solicitors. If there was agreement to the 1901 gift being honoured, then it should be a straight forward transfer of ownership to Hawick Common Good. He added that there would need to be an estimate of potential costs to allow the trustees to decide if they were prepared to pay all the fees.