Social Life

during recent years began with the demolishing of St Andrew's Church at the foot of the Old Town. This was a local decision and one taken by the Church Council but it was a decision that disappointed, as it was the hope of many in the town that this beautiful red sandstone building could have been adapted for other uses that would have benefited the social life of the town.

The second issue which raised local hackles and was strongly debated in 1973 was the proposal to demolish Buchan's House to facilitate the widening of the Cuddy Bridge and make more road space for traffic. A petition was presented by 600 residents against any alteration to the 'House with the Red Door' and they had the support of the Council of the Society of Antiquaries who were at that time expressing concern about major road changes in other burghs and cities in Scotland. However, the bridge could not be widened on the Sheriff Court side because the Parish Church and the Sheriff Court buildings were 'listed' due to their historic interest, but fortunately public opinion prevailed to the extent that the plans were changed so that only a small part of Buchan's House was affected.

The greatly increased volume of cars and lorries that had developed over the years became a major problem and sparked off a debate about the desirability of an 'east-west bypass' to relieve the heavy traffic congestion on the High Street - a hazard to motorists and pedestrians alike! Four hundred attended the meeting, held in the Chambers Town Hall early in 1973, to discuss the matter with the representatives of the Peeblesshire County Council and the Peeblesshire Roads Committee. However, a survey showed that of 554 vehicles counted in the High Street, only 91 were 'by-passable' and that the remaining 463 vehicles per hour in the High Street were due to locally generated traffic. However, it was decided to ease the overall traffic flow by introducing a one-way system at Young Street and Rosetta Road. Fourteen years before this change occurred, Rosetta Road, which is the longest street in the burgh, was by some mischance the last to have electric lighting installed and that took place in 1959.

There were 2,404 (62.1 per cent) households in Tweeddale in 1981 with a car and 845 (35 per cent) of these had at least two.6 This high proportion of car ownership created a need for more private garages to be built, particularly in high density areas like municipal housing schemes. Most private and council houses were built at a time when a car was a 'pipe dream' for many householders but this modern-day