Berwick upon What?
Its usually the VisitScotland highheidyins who attract a lot of stick about their unwillingness or inability to portray the Borders as a Tourist Paradise but now a writer to the Berwick Advertiser: the Berwickshire News' townee cousin who has targeted the Northumberland Tourist people (aka Visitnortheast) for virtually ignoring the charms of this ancient walled city.SIR, - I have watched Berwick Borough Council’s tourist guide develop into a publication worth keeping. Not only was it an informative source of encouragement to visitors but also a souvenir record for locals, packed with images and details of all that our unique town and borough have to offer Northumberland’s tourist economy.
Visiting London in January I was horrified to pick up a leaflet advertising Northumberland with no mention of Berwick. Then our local borough guide successor, the 130 page grand and glossy ‘Visit Northumberland’ hit my mat. Berwick merits only one small picture and a few paragraphs, no mention of our historic Parish Church but invitations to visit the 13th century ruined castle site by the railway and news that our Main Guard had been miraculously relocated to Castle Terrace! Did the editor visit Berwick?
On Saturday last I was shown a 16-page advertising supplement published by The Daily Telegraph and funded by ‘Visitnortheast.’ The front page invites readers to ‘Discover North East England’ but I found no image of Berwick amongst its 37 photographs and only a couple of paragraphs of information. The final page has a map of Northumberland, with Berwick-upon-Tweed over the border in Scotland.
The supplement invited folk to visit ‘our’ tourism web site www.visitnortheastengland.com but its map has our town standing south of the mighty Tweed and when invited to click on labels ‘don’t miss’ ‘visitor itineraries’ ‘walking routes’ ‘cycling routes’ Berwick does not merit a showing in any category.
On the evidence so far, I am beginning to think that Berwick is being painted out of the Northumberland picture and tourism may be just the start, unless we can work together and set out our stalls. For a start, I warmly invite any staff members from ‘northeastengland’ to tea at The Vicarage to learn a little more about Berwick, surely a worthy jewel in Northumberland’s tourism crown and hope that next year’s publications will give us our due.
PS. I was in Kelso on Monday and they had a wonderful range of guides published by VisitScottishBorders which included Berwick in them, and gave the town lots of mentions, including our tourist information office, market and station. The maps even include Berwick in their area, with Northumberland starting south of the Tweed.
Is this the reason for the silence over the unitary authority’s care of us - have we been ceded to Scotland without a referendum?!
Marketing Berwick as a Northumbrian town is probably mistaken. Given its long period of separate existence '
"Scotland, England and Wales indeed.
Its Great Britain and Ireland
and Berwick upon Tweed"
as the old song had it.
Its better treated on its own merits and not part of the North East of England with which it has only geographical links. It sits easier with the Borders than with England and logically should be treated as part of Scotland-it has the look and the feel of a Scottish town. And its good that VisitScottishBorders is treating Berwick as part of its bailiwick. Given that visitors are invited to enjoy the Borders as Scotland's Favourite Short Break Destination,if you omit Berwick from your itinerary you might as well not bother to stay the night, especially before Easter when everywhere worth visiting is
(The image is of a cannon on Berwick's walls. Pointing south.Towards England
Labels: Berwick upon Tweed, Joining Scotland