Thursday, July 28, 2005

Due South
By Mark Entwistle
The Southern Reporter
Selkirk, The Borders
Scotland

Scotland colored by recent London bombings

It would be nice to start off our very first column for you guys with a happy and upbeat kind of story, but everything here has been coloured by the recent London terrorist bombings.

The whole country was on a bit of a high the night before the bombings when the news came through from Singapore that London had been awarded the 2012 Olympics with many predicting a beneficial spin-off for Scotland as well.

The euphoria didn’t last long though, with London’s rush hour the following morning ripped apart by the three bombs that exploded among commuters on packed underground tube trains and a fourth that wrecked a red London double-decker bus. And while the bombs have caused nothing like the loss of life that came as a result of the 9/11 attacks, they still have had massive psychological impact.

But probably not exactly the kind of impact that the terrorists would have wished for. What these murderers of innocents have achieved is to galvanize public opinion against not just them but also against their cause and anyone else who espouses it.

On the Sunday immediately after the bombings, thousands upon thousands of people packed The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace for the special commemorations to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of The Second World War. There was a huge number of people waving British union jack flags and many believe the crowds were swelled because of the bombings.

Much has been said that Londoners have been showing that war-time blitz spirit. Of course the war on terror is an entirely different sort of conflict from the dark days of the Second World War, but no less a threat to our way of life.

But the terrorists picked the wrong country to pick on. People here have been determined to show their defiance — Osama bin Laden sympathisers or Adolf Hitler, it’s all the same to us. Up here in rural Scotland, we are geographically far removed from London and with the recent glorious summer weather of azure blue skies and sunshine temperatures in the 80s, it was easy this week to feel removed from the tragic events in London.

In spirit though there is a strong bond between Scotland and England, forged through two world wars and numerous other conflicts. Scotland and England have their own private disagreements and Scots will often blame England for much of their ills. That is born of the long and often bloody history between our two nations. However, that is between us. When someone from outside picks on one of us, then it’s a different matter. It is like having a fight with your brother — you and he can swing punches at each other, but woe betide anyone else who tries to hurt him!

On a lighter note, here in the Scottish Borders, we are just coming in to agricultural show season, with the biggest event on the calendar this coming weekend.

The Border Union Show runs over two days starting tomorrow (Friday) and will attract over 20,000 people through the gates to see a huge display of cattle, sheep, horses, poultry, the latest farm machinery right down to displays of home-made jams and preserves.

The summer festivals — with lots of people on horseback re-enacting our ancient traditions of riding the boudaries of common grazing pastures — are also going on and we are now two-thirds the way through that list.

Kelso Laddie
Kelso Civic Week is an annual festival held in Kelso (every town has something like it). Pictured above is the young man chosen to represent the town and lead a column of mounted riders round the boundaries of the town. An age-old custom here. He is called the Kelso Laddie.

Our photograph this week was taken during the annual festival in the town of Kelso, which finished on Saturday. It shows the young man picked to represent the town — called the Kelso Laddie — and lead a mounted cavalcade of riders.

That’s all for this week and is hopefully just the first in what we here in the Scottish Borders hope will be a long friendship with our new readers in Holly Springs and Marshall County.

Oh, and we hope you all had a great Independence Day on July 4 — even if it was celebrating independence from us!


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Report News: (662) 252-4261 or south@dixie-net.com
Questions, comments, corrections:
south@dixie-net.com
2004, The South Reporter, All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site may be reproduced in any way without permission.
The South Reporter is a member of the Mississippi Press Association.

Web Site managed and maintained by
South Reporter webmasters Linda Jones, Kristian Jones
Web Site Design - The South Reporter

Back | Top of Page