Kirk Wynd gallops pledge as wall repairs begin

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THE chairman of Langholm Common Riding has been assured there will be no obstacle to the gallops up the Kirk Wynd on Castle Craigs day or Common Riding day.

Repairs have started on the Kirk Wynd wall
Catherine Greer
Repairs have started on the Kirk Wynd wall

Work began on Monday to dismantle and rebuild about 30 metres of the wall on the Kirk Wynd, the scene of the two spectaculars in the Common Riding calendar.

Residents received letters last weekend to tell them work was about to begin and the repair would take six weeks, with the objective being to be finished by the last Friday in July.

However, the council had not taken into account the Castle Craigs ride-out. It is not thought the work will interfere with the runners or mountain bikers during this weekend's Muckle Toon Adventure Festival.

Roger Maxwell, Common Riding chairman, said he heard from his vice-chairman Tommy Morrison on Sunday about the repair starting. Tommy was told by councillor Ronnie Tait, Annandale East and Eskdale, that he did not think the work would start but he would get back to him.

Roger said: "I had a conversation today (Monday) with Nicola Simpson at the council, who is in charge of the contract. I expressed my concern about it.

"The council is also concerned about the safety of the wall and its current condition.

"Everything has to be finished by July 21, the day before Castle Craigs. I don't think the council had been made aware of that ride-out, although it was aware of Common Riding day.

"She was going to explain this to the contractor. If it's not completed, they will make sure everything is taken off the Kirk Wynd and put back to the way it was with herris fencing.

"I said it would be a safety issue if construction was going on around the Common Riding. I've requested a meeting with Nicola Simpson and the contractor to make sure everyone knows what is happening and stress the doubts I was talking about to them.

"I did say the fence had been there for about two years it was ironic to do it right before the Common Riding. There are also the two practices after Castle Craigs.

"These dates are set in stone; you can't alter them.

"But it's a tricky one. If they tell me that the wall is in danger of collapsing, I can't argue with that."

A council spokesman said: "Our priority is keeping people and horses safe.

"The Kirk Wynd wall is unsafe. It has collapsed in on the cemetery side and needs to be rebuilt.

"It was fenced during the Common Riding celebrations last year but has collapsed further since and there is concern that there may be a further collapse when horses and riders gallop past.

"The Common Riding members have been consulted on the works and have been assured that it will either be completed or all materials removed by Friday, July 21."

The council has now applied for listed building consent to do the work.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 10:32AM
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