MP Rory Stewart turns TV presenter to tell the Border Country story

Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart

First published in News
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EDEN MP Rory Stewart will present a two-part BBC television documentary exploring the story of the Borders region, which once incorporated the whole of present-day Cumbria.

The first instalment of Border Country: The Story of Britain’s Lost Middleland will be broadcast at 8pm on BBC2 on Sunday (March 30), with the second part being shown on Sunday, April 6.

More information about the programme can be found at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0404r3t

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5:17pm Tue 15 Apr 14

glyn thompson says...

Having been pleasantly diverted by Rory Stewart’s elegy for Britain’s lost ‘Middleland’ recently broadcast on BB2, I was somewhat taken aback when, idly leafing through the August 2013 issue of Cumbria Life, between pages 48 and 50 I gained the distinct impression that I was strolling down memory lane, for there I encountered observations which gave me a distinct sense of retrospective déjà vu.

Borderlands such as the one I am walking through are as much a state of mind as a line on the map…..my Scottish border ancestors had more in common with their Cumbrian neighbours than they ever had with the clannish tartanry that defines Scottishness to so many people….We both happened to live in a battle zone….the Debatable Lands were a block of disputed territory…if you want a modern comparison imagine the warlord frontier zone between Afghanistan and Pakistan….the only way of making that a permanent solution was to garrison the Debatable Lands with the sixteenth century equivalent of a UN peacekeeping force…some years ago I came across a farmer in the eastern borders (another Robson as it happened) who had the borderline running through his farmyard….walking along the line of the sadly eroded remnants of the Scot’s Dike, I tripped over something the bracken. And there it was, one of the sixteenth-century square marker stones that were originally set up at intervals along the top of the rampart’, and so on.

And in an uncanny anticipation of the thinly-disguised ulterior motive of the the Right Honourable Member for Penrith and the Borders, the author Eric Robson concludes with following prescient observation: ‘Maybe I should…contact Scotland’s First Minister. If Alex Salmond gets the result he wants in his referendum next year, the Scots Dike could come into its own again.’

Whist being a Sassenach resident in Cumbria, with no political axe to grind - since Westminster hasn’t paid me the courtesy of canvassing my opinion- as usual, it does seem to me that someone owes somebody else an acknowledgement.

DR Glyn Thompson, Appleby in Westmorland.
Having been pleasantly diverted by Rory Stewart’s elegy for Britain’s lost ‘Middleland’ recently broadcast on BB2, I was somewhat taken aback when, idly leafing through the August 2013 issue of Cumbria Life, between pages 48 and 50 I gained the distinct impression that I was strolling down memory lane, for there I encountered observations which gave me a distinct sense of retrospective déjà vu. Borderlands such as the one I am walking through are as much a state of mind as a line on the map…..my Scottish border ancestors had more in common with their Cumbrian neighbours than they ever had with the clannish tartanry that defines Scottishness to so many people….We both happened to live in a battle zone….the Debatable Lands were a block of disputed territory…if you want a modern comparison imagine the warlord frontier zone between Afghanistan and Pakistan….the only way of making that a permanent solution was to garrison the Debatable Lands with the sixteenth century equivalent of a UN peacekeeping force…some years ago I came across a farmer in the eastern borders (another Robson as it happened) who had the borderline running through his farmyard….walking along the line of the sadly eroded remnants of the Scot’s Dike, I tripped over something the bracken. And there it was, one of the sixteenth-century square marker stones that were originally set up at intervals along the top of the rampart’, and so on. And in an uncanny anticipation of the thinly-disguised ulterior motive of the the Right Honourable Member for Penrith and the Borders, the author Eric Robson concludes with following prescient observation: ‘Maybe I should…contact Scotland’s First Minister. If Alex Salmond gets the result he wants in his referendum next year, the Scots Dike could come into its own again.’ Whist being a Sassenach resident in Cumbria, with no political axe to grind - since Westminster hasn’t paid me the courtesy of canvassing my opinion- as usual, it does seem to me that someone owes somebody else an acknowledgement. DR Glyn Thompson, Appleby in Westmorland. glyn thompson
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