|23 December 2007
Historian's race to preserve ancient Scottish site
Local historian Alan Brydon has been instrumental in protecting a site of significant archaeological importance which dates back thousands of years. The ancient site at Midshiels (about 4km SW from Hawick, Scotland) comprises a standing stone that is reportedly 4,000 years old and an ancient burial mound, were under threat due to the renewal of power lines and poles in the area.
But Alan's quick thinking has ensured the sight remains undisturbed. He said: "Knowing the archaeological importance of the area, I had been watching the progress as poles were being erected and since the new lines and poles were running parallel to the old ones, it appeared that they would comfortably miss the enclosure. However, on Thursday afternoon, just before dusk, I noticed that a marker post had been planted in the middle of the enclosure. Alarm bells were ringing in my head, it was the next pylon to be installed and fortunately they had stopped work that day just before that point. But I realised that the next pole would be the first to be sunk the following morning."
Alan then spent a frantic night making phone calls to the Royal Commission, Historic Scotland, Councillor Stuart Marshall, Provost Zandra Elliot and several members of the Archaeological Society. Fortunately, the next morning, Alan managed to meet with the two staff members from the contractor before they started work.
Alan continued: "I made contact with Rory McDonald, Scottish Borders Council's archaeological officer, and he immediately made his way over to Midshiels. What followed was a model for diplomacy and common sense. Both Mr McDonald and Charlie Dodds from ScottishPower were fully supportive and did their utmost to find a solution which was eventually reached, resulting in a repositioning of the overhead power lines. Who knows what is underneath the site but it just seemed criminal to be driving poles into it. Now it will be preserved."
Source: Hawick News (20 December 2007)
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