What an undervalued lot they must be in Coldstream-and how has the local Community Council got up the nose of the writer of this letter to the Berwickshire?There appears to be some idea locally that, on occasions, the Coldstream provost’s robes and chain of office, could be used by the chairman of the local community council.
I need not remind readers that, prior to the dissolution of many Scottish burghs with local government reorganisation in 1975, local affairs were managed by a burgh council with a good deal of autonomy, duly elected as was the provost.
The office was highly regarded here in Coldstream and had authority and dignity with it.
I would certainly hope that the notion of a chairperson of a body that has no authority or fiscal power being entitled to wear the provost’s chain can be laid to rest once and for all. I think I am correct in saying that in Coldstream none of the community councillors have been properly elected and are not necessarily representative of the town.
I do know that in 1975 the Coldstream Museum Committee, on behalf of the recently opened museum, considered it to be right and proper for the burgh chain and robes to be permanently housed there, along with the roll of ex provosts from 1832.
This was achieved, but only after correspondence with the Lord Lyons Office in Edinburgh, who were adamant that the robes and chain be lodged in Edinburgh. However, we obtained the concession for them to remain in the museum, but only on giving them an assurance that they would not be used.
I am aware that time and circumstances have moved on and it may be that the position has altered as far as strictures from the Lord Lyon are concerned. But the provost’s robe and chain were used to dignify important events in the burgh calendar and I honestly cannot think of any equivalent occasion justifying its use by the community council
This is not a problem for Hutton and Paxton.We have no Provost to follow-Never a Burgh, always a couple of wee villages and a stressed out hamlet Our chairman of our community council would never need such trappings to signify the importance of the office. No Chain, no robe, no sparkling sequins or lambs wool hood. Just skin.
Labels: Coldstream, Community Councils, Hutton, Paxton