Berwick: England /Scotland
Berwick Rangers, Northumberland's answer to a number of questions, is the only English football team to play in the Scottish League. Right. Berwick upon Tweed is in England. Right. But where, nationaly, is the B-u-T branch of the Bank of Scotland? Huttonian only asks as today is a Bank Holiday in Scotland. It is full working day in Protestant ethical England. Gloriously open were Lloyd's, Barclay's, Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation-and that symbol of Scottish Banking Expansionism : The Royal Bank of Scotland. But we wanted the Bank of Scotland. Closed. In sympathy with its cousins across the Border or making a statement about Berwick being Scottish (or the staff had slept in?)
Berwick is resolutely ambivalent about its national loyalties. Saltires generally outnumber Crosses of St George and Union Flags. Dour stone buildings shout 'Scotland' and the pubs erupt in cheering when the English try line is crossed-by anyone.
Today, banking aside, there are compensations for Berwick's Gallic mistiness. The major shops were open. And empty despite the New Year Sales. So deserted was Homebase that a salesperson, normally as elusive as visible human life in Hutton, actually asked if we needed help. As it happened we didn't but its nice to be asked.
Bank holidays are something of an issue around here so I was not surprised to see a large placard outside a local shop inviting customers to sign a petition demanding an extra national Bank Holiday. I might have done. But as it wasn't a bank holiday, except in Scotland, the shop was
If you see whatI mean
(The image is of the new Bank of Scotland £10 note. Acceptable everywhere accept the rest of the UK. And obtainable everywhere in Scotland and Berwick upon Tweed. Except today)
Labels: Bank Holidays, Berwick