Borders Weekend 2019
Borders Weekend based in Melrose 17th, 18th and 19th May
After an absence of 5 years the Borders weekend was revived. Our weekend away was based at the George and Abbotsford Hotel in the centre of Melrose. The weather on Friday was fantastic for top down driving with some of the group meeting up at the Soutra Coffee House before heading for Melrose.
Once booked into the hotel the numbers swelled to 16 and a get together to catch up before dinner, in the bar, set the scene for the weekend. After dinner with lots of laughs, everyone headed off to bed ready for the next day's adventure.
Saturday morning, we were unfortunately woken by rain which was a great pity considering how brilliant the weather on Friday had been. After breakfast, we all headed south stopping at Carter Bar, the border crossing for England, for a photo opportunity.
Our next stop was our coffee break at Otterburn, where I had a superb sausage roll and coffee.
The next leg of our trip took us to Cragside which is a NTS property. It was the home of William Armstrong, 1st Baron Armstrong, founder of the Armstrong Whitworth armaments firm. An industrial magnate, scientist, philanthropist and inventor of the hydraulic crane and the Armstrong gun, Armstrong also displayed his inventiveness in the domestic sphere, making Cragside the first house in the world to be lit using hydroelectric power. The entire estate was technologically advanced; the architect of the house, Richard Norman Shaw, wrote that it was equipped with "wonderful hydraulic machines that do all sorts of things".[ In the grounds, Armstrong built dams and created lakes to power a sawmill, a water-powered laundry, early versions of a dishwasher and a dumb waiter, a hydraulic lift and a hydroelectric rotisserie.
In 1887, Armstrong was raised to the peerage, the first engineer or scientist to be ennobled. Everyone very much enjoyed the visit, and if you have not been it is well worth the visit.
We made our way back to Melrose via Kelso and the weather started to improve.
Back at the hotel we all met up in the bar discussing our days' outing and the plans for Sunday. In no time, we sat down for dinner and were very fortunate to have the use of our own room for the meal and the quiz night. It was great fun, and some cheating using Google may have taken place. A great evening's entertainment was had by all and then off to bed.
After breakfast we had our pre-run briefing and there was a real improvement in the weather, no rain. We left Melrose and headed northwards stopping off in Galashiels for fuel. We visited the Great Polish Map of Scotland, which is a large three-dimensional, outdoor concrete scale model of Scotland. It located in the grounds of the Barony Castle Hotel, outside the village of Eddleston. One of the distractions after our coffee break at the hotel was a TR6 with clutch issues. Fortunately having technical expertise and spare parts to hand Steve was up and running in no time.
We all had a brilliant weekend and look forward to next year.