Welcome to Scotland is less than impressive
claims the Berwickshire. And the story continues in part:Sign has been missing for months
Quote By : Eyemouth Provost Douglas YoungerBy Kenny Paterson
'O Flower of Scotland, when will we see your sign again?'(#)
It may be a slight variation of the Corries much loved Scottish anthem, but it could quite easily be the amended version sung by those entering Scotland via the A1.
Where once a sign stood stating 'Scotland Welcomes You', since March this year there has been a distinct lack of a friendly reception when you cross the border at Lamberton. While a stone engraved with 'Scotland' still stands, it is fairly indistinctive.
To make the border crossing even more unimpressive, one of the three saltire flags flying from the high poles is missing, presumed stolen for a souvenir.
"We were a bit disappointed", said a couple from Surrey who had stopped at the border for a photograph before travelling to Edinburgh.
"We thought they're would be a lot more (at the Scottish Border). This is our first time to Scotland and it looks abit scruffy."
The signage on the A1 is the responsibility of BEAR Scotland, who recently took over the contract for maintenance of the road from AMEY. AMEY had removed the previous sign for Scotland when it was labelled outdated, small and too low to the ground, allowing vandals to target it last year. It was set to be replaced by a larger, updated sign in March but when it was set to put up, the sign fell off its brackets. As yet, it has still not been replaced, with BEAR Scotland taking over the contract weeks after the accident.
Eyemouth Provost Douglas Younger was scathing of the current state of the crossing. He told the Berwickshire News: "The crossing should be better maintained. I realise Bear Scotland have only just taken over the contract but it is a problem they should be fixing soon.
"Somebody should be taking notice to get this right. First impressions are everything and if people are crossing the border seeing that just now, they are going to think 'what the hell are we going into?'
"If bus loads of Japanese tourists stop off and see half a sign and a missing flag, what are they going to think? The welcome into Wales from England is very good so why shouldn't Scotland's be as impressive?"
Mr Younger also took issue with the absence of one of the three saltire flags, despite not being Scottish himself. "My wife is Scottish and when you come across the border and see the three saltires she admits to feeling a bit of pride*. But not at the moment. When you start a job you should finish it."
No such problem going south on most Border crossings: ENGLAND
. No welcome. Take it or leave it. And some of us might be happier if you left it.
GNER sometimes does it better: 'Ding Ding: We are now entering Scotland. Any inconvenience etc ' A frisson of excitement ripples through the massed ranks of Japanese tourists as the digital cameras are pressed hard against the grime covered windows snapping away. No Saltires in sight and not even a distant view of Eyemouth, another 'first toon in Scotland' to gladden the jaundiced eye. With Reston station reopened we could have a bit more of a happening-saltired bunting, a mendicant piper, kilted station master, a jocular request for passports, duty free Whisky and a fast haggis stall.
Come on VisitScotland. Lets see some imagination and vision. 'The Borders: Scotland's Favourite First Stop Destination'
* Being a frugal Scot she may feel that three saltires is a bit of extravagence?
# Send the Tourists back to Think again-presumably.