PART IV

Dunwhinny House was a decision that was strongly opposed by the people of Peebles, and it was argued that if local opinion had been properly taken into account, the statutory permission would not have been given. Although permission was granted, the full scheme, which included blocks of flats, was modified in view of the vigorous opposition.

Another important issue which the newspaper successfully campaigned against was the projected idea that the Tweeddale District should be amalgamated with the Ettrick and Lauderdale District. Again local opinion was strongly opposed to such a proposal and the newspaper did an excellent job in focusing attention on the issue and ensuring that public opinion was kept well-informed and that their views were clearly made known through the columns of the newspaper. It showed that the editor's coverage and comment on these issues were fully in accord with the founder's declared intent: 'Fear no one's frown, court no one's smile.' J. A. Kerr would have been well pleased with his newspaper!                 .

Apart from the local newspaper, the other 'local medium' for news about Peebles is BBC Radio Tweed. It is a Scottish Community Radio Station which started up in April 1983 and is located at Selkirk. A commercial radio station is currently being established at Galashiels and will be 'on the air' early in 1990. Border Television also provides news coverage of major local events but as the catchment area for the station's news coverage is so extensive there is little scope for more than a brief reference.

A ' brief reference' would not have been good enough for 'Booky' Scott, Robert Stirling, Allan Smyth or J. A. Kerr. If that was the measure of the coverage that the town's affairs would receive – and if no newspaper existed to properly cover the news - they would be cIamouring to start a newspaper, or a radio station, or a Peebles community television station . . . and demonstrate again their dedication to local affairs and love of their town that each had shown in their time during the 145 years of the 'Local Press of Peebles'.

 

 

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