Travellers on Virgin with time to kill in Berwick station as the timetable strives to catch up with the usually early trains crawling south may like to contemplate that they are in a historic place. No other station in the realm can boast being on the site where an English King, in the Great Hall of a mostly vanished castle, chose a Baliol man to be King of Scotland rejecting the claims of 8 other candidates including Robert the Bruce, the future victor of Bannockburn and the then world's greatest expert on spiders.
The First Class Waiting room may now be on the exact spot of ER1's travelling throne (the local Loos were truly noisesome) but of the castle itself only an outer wall remains across the tracks. A notice above the stairs describes the meeting of 1292-the preliminary for which was held in a field beneath Ladykirk church and opposite Norham. Baliol, although an English vassal foolishly intrigued with the French and Edward,in 1296, marched on Berwick, and having camped his army where Hutton now is, descended on the town and destroyed it, killing 8,000 burghers." The mill wheels of the town could have been turned by the torrents of blood"wrote a contemporary chronicler for the then Ye Berwicke Advertiser
)He spared the castle garrison-but not the building itself thus preparing the ground for a future railway station which otherwise might have had to be built some where else to all our inconveniences.All is now quiet on this historic spot except when the non-stopping Mallards hurtle through. GNER may feel something of a lurking menace about the place, hence the other notice warning 'Proud Edward' or any other yob from taking their frustrations out on railway staff (Click on image for the small print)