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Preview.    Our River - Stories of the Tweed

Preview. Our River - Stories of the Tweed

The Tweed and its catchment has had an important place in history from the earliest times when nomadic inhabitants followed game up the valley, through pre-history to the Romans and then with its turbulent part in Anglo-Scottish border rivalry, always with the river dominating the local economy. The project aims to capture this rich past through the built heritage, including some of the most historically important castles in Britain, fine abbeys, mansion houses, and the relics of the industrial past such as the woollen mills, the sheils of the net fisheries and the buildings of bygone agriculture. These images will be mixed with the cultural heritage, the Border Ride Outs commemorating past battles or raids by the Border Reivers, the formation of the Coldstream Guards, traditional music, the unwritten folklore and the published stories and poetry of Thomas the Rhymer, through James Hogg, writing in Scots and English, to Sir Walter Scott. In the past the river has formed the basis for the local economy with the woollen mills in the towns and the salmon net fisheries on the lower reaches but these are now in decline or have disappeared altogether, and those who worked in them are getting older. It is planned to record these memories, dialect and local knowledge which are fast disappearing as people move away, industries close, and the workers pass away. The population of the catchment will be involved from the beginning and arrangements made to interview and record those with stories and memories to share. There will also be equipment to scan old photographs and documents. The presence on social media after it ends so the public can read updates and share information regardless of where they live. The interviews, photos, music and places of local interest will all be digitally recorded and edited to produce a sixty minute DVD of broadcast quality, which will be screened at local venues throughout the river’s catchment so that the collected information can be shared. At the moment people are often not aware of the Tweed as a whole, just their immediate stretch of it. The DVD will be given to community groups and schools across the area so that it will be accessible for the foreseeable future. It will also be available for sale locally and via the internet. Copies of the DVD and all the digital footage shot will be lodged with the local archives for the Scottish Borders at Hawick, and Northumberland at Berwick-upon-Tweed for use by the general public.
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