River’s potential to be explored through Heritage Festival

Published: 5th September 2017

A guided river walk along the Teviot in Hawick on Saturday 9 September will explore the possibilities of using the river for power generation once again, as it did in the town’s textiles peak.

‘Harnessing Our Heritage Powering Our Future: A river walk through time’ is part of the Scottish Borders Heritage Festival programme and has been organised by the Hawick Community Energy Group.

Past and potential of River Teviot

Starting at the Hawick Museum at 2pm, James Hunt, a fish biologist from the Tweed Foundation, will talk about the importance of the Teviot as a fish habitat. Downstream, the walk will pause at the Cobble Cauld where Andy Maybury, Chairperson of Hawick Community Energy Group, will talk about the possibilities for once more powering Hawick through the river.

In particular he will be outlining a vision for a community-owned Archimedes screw that could potentially provide power to Hawick High School.

Gordon Macdonald from Hawick Archaeological Society will also be on hand to explain how getting the river to power the mills along Commercial Road required an innovative engineering solution and he’ll also recall stories about how the River Teviot and Slitrig Water powered Hawick to international recognition and generated more than a few legal battles.

The walk is expected to finish by 3.30pm. It is free but booking is required. You can reserve a place by phoning Hawick Museum on 01450 364747 or through the Eventbrite website – just search for Hawick.

Powering art and animation

The power of the river will also be put to use as part of a specially commissioned event for the Scottish Borders Heritage Festival, and which also forms part of ‘River Ways: A Future Heritage for Hawick’, organised by Hawick Community Energy Group this coming week.

‘Spinning into Life: connecting creativity, renewables and heritage’ will see local artist Beverley create a unique zoetrope – an early form of animation - powered by renewable energy.

The artist will be demonstrating the zoetrope, with a special Hawick-themed design, between the museum and playpark in Wilton Lodge Park on the afternoon of Sunday 10 September from 1pm to 4pm.

Beverley will also be taking the zoetrope to local primary schools where school pupils will create their own designs.

Extensive festival programme

The Scottish Borders Heritage Festival, which runs throughout September and includes over 200 events, is being delivered by Live Borders in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and the Borders Heritage Forum.

A full programme of events can be found online.

Funding for the festival has been provided by Creative Scotland, Museums and Galleries Scotland, EventScotland – as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology - and the Fallago Environment Fund.

More information

Hawick Community Energy Group is a community energy project with a vision to see Hawick in the Scottish Borders powered once again by its rivers. It is registered as a Community Benefit Society - Reg. No. 7593

Beverley Cornwell, originally from Yorkshire, settled in Hawick three years ago with her husband Sam Cornwell to raise their young family. Together they set up the Taxi Office Gallery in Hawick and are currently producing a unique pinhole solargraphy camera ‘The Solarcan’ while continuing to practice a love of digital and analogue film alongside experimental techniques in photography and filmmaking. Beverley joined the Moving Image Makers Collective (MIMC) two years ago and has exhibited work in the Aesthetica Art Prize, York, The Haining, Selkirk and Alchemy Gallery, Hawick.