CORNHILL SOCIAL HISTORY PROJECT
2002-2019 Cornhill ShopReported in the Berwick Advertiser, 23rd May 2007.
NEWLY REFURBISHED, CORNHILL VILLAGE SHOP & COFFEE SHOP
MAKING A CHANGE FOR THE GOOD
Cornhill seems to be going through a transition period at the moment, the hotel being refurbished and new houses being built - and not to be outdone the owners of Cornhill Shop are only too happy to go along with the change.
In 2002, the owner Elspeth Bell decided to take her well-earned retirement after 20 years running the store. Morag Pitman and daughters Linda Waite and Julie Jones took over in the February of that year and the shop proved to be just as popular as it had always been with the locals. Now, they have decided the time is right for a major revamp of the store.
“We have always been a small newsagents, catering for the local townsfolk of Cornhill. We acted as newsagent, grocery, off licence and post office” said Julie. “Of course, it is important that we continue to provide these services for the people of the village, but now we hope to offer a lot more on top of these things.”
As well as the store getting a complete make-over, there will also be a modern style coffee shop with hot and cold snacks on offer. Julie said: “We’ll be selling food like muffins and doughnuts, as well as paninis and sandwiches. We’re hoping this will make the store even more popular than it already is. As well as being able to do a general shop, you can take the weight off your feet and have a chat and a coffee before you head home.”
The expansion has meant an increase in staff and there could yet be more job opportunities in the future. “We’ve already taken on a couple of new staff members and, depending on how things go, there also could be a couple of new vacancies in the near future,” said Julie. In addition to this, opening hours on Sundays are now going to be slightly extended. Julie explained: “We’ve always been open from 6.30 am - 5.30 pm. Monday - Saturday, with the shop closing at 1 pm on a Sunday. Now however, the shop will be staying open until 4.00 pm on a Sunday to accommodate people who want to use the coffee shop.” Julie sees this venture as a symbol of the expansion of Cornhill. The village is seeing a number of new businesses setting up here, as well as more established businesses that are having a revamp. This is a very exciting time for the village. The whole of Cornhill just seems to be taking off. It really is the place to be,” she said.
Morag, Lynda and Julie see the revamp as being the start of a long-term investment. “We all see our futures here. We’re planning on this as being the next 25 years of our lives, and we hope the people of Cornhill take to the place as much as we think they will,” said Julie.
Local produce is also very important to the owners, and this is a point that will be stressed even more so when they re-open for business. “It seems that these days Borderers are taking more pride and interest in their area. Local products are becoming increasingly popular and we’ll certainly be stocking a lot of it here,” she said, adding: “We’ve always had local products, but they used to be a little harder to find. Now we want them to be at the forefront.”
Reported in the Berwick Advertiser, 23rd May 2019.
Cornhill and the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020
Copies of the flyer below were delivered to every household on 23rd March
Many acts of kindness and selflessness in this community
Tae a virus
Corona used tae be a beer,
Our holidays have been pit aff
The boredom surely will set in,
So dinny think yell wipe us oot
Lockdown - it's all gone quiet - down on the riverbank
These are indeed strange times. The COVID-19 has really changed life as we know it. Following the UK and Scotland Government statements there are only a limited number of reasons for leaving our houses. These reasons do not include leisure pursuits such as fishing. Consequently, nobody should be doing any fishing of any kind.
All our local still waters, as far as I know, are now closed. Local fishing clubs have closed their river beats to members and even the mighty River Tweed has stopped fishing. It is tough, but these are very tough times, and it does make sense if we are to beat this virus sooner rather than later. Sooner might be a while, but it will be sooner if everybody follows the guidelines.
COVID-19 - HISTORY
The restrictive nature of the lockdown was a hard-hitting reality to most people, causing an uptake of people with poor mental health. However, the lockdown did prove effective, with new daily case numbers dropping to below 600 in July. Another positive to be born from this lockdown was the immense sense of community spirit and national pride, shown by the weekly ‘Clap for Carers’, Captain Tom’s fundraiser, local support for the vulnerable and elderly and the unwavering strength of our key workers.
UPDATE JANUARY 2021
Despite entering two more lockdowns post-summer 2020, the news of successful, late-stage clinical trials for multiple vaccines boosted nationwide morale, with the first one to be approved in the world by the MHRA being the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which uses novel mRNA technology to stimulate the recipient‘s own cells to produce the spike protein that you can see on the outside of any computer-rendered images of the virus particle. This means that, should an individual be infected with COVID-19, the immune system is able to identify it immediately and destroy it before it has the chance to replicate and do damage to the body. This made the UK the first country in the world to approve a vaccine.
Before the end of 2020, the Oxford University/Astrazeneca vaccine was also approved on the 30th of December. This vaccine made within our own country, uses traditional vaccine technology, in which inactive particles of the virus are injected into the body. This allows the immune system to identify and remember the shape of the spike proteins, so any subsequent infection would be destroyed immediately. Inactive particles are used so that they don’t replicate and cause a reaction.
As a community, we are immensely grateful for the volume of resources and researchers that have worked towards the development of the vaccines, to allow them to be produced in such a safe yet timely manner. We are looking forward to getting the vaccine any day soon, and are eternally grateful to all frontline and key workers who have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic.