< Cross-border support for girls' education in Malawi – Mamie Martin Fund

Cross-border support for girls’ education in Malawi

This past week saw another group of MMF cyclists, in their yellow tee-shirts, cycling the Scotland-England border. At the end of the 91-mile ride (they were not able to start at Annan because of transport difficulties) they reached Berwick-upon-Tweed. There, the local library hosted a book reading and signing. Dr Alasdair Allan MSP read from this book, Tweed rins tae the OceanAll royalties are donated to charity, the Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative and the Mamie Martin Fund.

This book is a fascinating exploration on the history, culture and literature of the border area. Alasdair walked the border but it’s not a walking book and certainly not a guide book to that route, as he himself stresses.

The next day, Alasdair joined a circular bike ride around the border. There are many places of interest very close to Berwick and it was wonderful to hear stories about Paxton House, Ladykirk and Norham from Alasdair. Like so many stately homes, Paxton House’s history includes money from plantations worked by slaves.

Ninian (Ninian Home, the then owner of Paxton House) was the British Governor of Grenada. Despite his various assertions that he (somehow) managed to be an enlightened or benevolent slave owner, most of those best qualified to judge took a different view. He was captured and executed during the great uprising of Grenada’s slaves in 1795.” (p.60)

Alasdair reading about Paxton House from his book

A more cheerful story at Paxton House was that of the glove. Read the book!

The cycling group were ‘delayed’ by an art event and tea/cakes at Norham. It was that kind of cycle ride. Their final stop was at the Chain Bridge Honey Farm. The Chain or Union Bridge, which should cross the Tweed is still under refurbishment. It was the longest wrought iron suspension bridge in the world when it was built in 1820 (p.62). Even in semi-completed mode, it is impressive. The honey farm is a ‘must visit’ place. We gratefully accepted a donation from them towards our fundraising.

They criss-crossed the border several times that week