The weather stayed just right yesterday as all who wished accompanied this years Riding of the Marches principals out onto the Solway shore to check the most southerly boundary of our Royal Burgh, the “altar stane”.
The” altar stane” lies in the middle of the Solway between Battlehill and Bowness in Cumbria, it is the size of a large kitchen table and is believed to have been deposited by glacial action during the ice age from the Alston district of Cumbria it is more often covered in shifting sands or is difficult to access due to the tides and shifting channel.
As we all settled onto our respective trailers decorated with flags and bunting with cushions and bales of straw for our comfort and a very regal settee for the Cornet and his Lass we set off onto the shore in the very safe and capable hands of our local fishing community.
With tradition adhered to photographs taken we all trundled back to shore to the fishermen’s hut for juice and crisps for the children and punch for the adults and then it dawned on everyone this could be the last time.
With the recent changes to fishing licenses regarding the poke, stake and haaf netters fishermen will no longer have a need for the tractors and trailers which were used today.
It seems strange that someone from across the Solway and even further away in the European Parliament can change something that was originally granted in 1538 by a grateful James V of Scotland by Royal Charter.
Maybe more of a fight could have been made not just by our local councillors but by the Scottish Parliament as well its sometimes better to have tried than to look back later and think if only we had …
I would like to thank our fishermen for their knowledge of the Solway in making it a very safe and enjoyable morning.
I am so glad we made the effort.