Saturday, 29 August 2015

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£10,000 raised towards border cairn celebrating England-Scotland union

Fundraising to build a monument to the union between England and Scotland has reached almost £10,000.

Rory Stewart photo
MP Rory Stewart with stonemason Steven Allan at the Auld Acquaintance

Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border, is trying to raise £55,000 to create the lasting monument entitled the Auld Acquaintance.

It will feature a cairn, built by people from around the world who visit the site near Gretna, and has been designed to “reflect existing shapes and structures in the landscape”.

The monument will combine formal work by dry stone wallers with input from the public.

The cairn was launched on July 20 and has been so successful that almost all the slate on site has now been used.

Mr Stewart explained: “This was in part thanks to a great team of teenagers from Middlesbrough, who spent a whole morning shifting stone. But there have been a huge number of people who have helped out.

“The dry stone wallers have been doing a fantastic job, along with various volunteers, of building up the inner and outer wall of the cairn. The inner wall now stands at around 8ft high. As the campaign progresses there has been an impressive stream of people offering help in some form or another. One visitor to the site, John, offered us a lorryload of free stone from his quarries in Aberdeenshire and Derbyshire.

“There have also been those kind enough to volunteer their services at the site to meet and greet visitors.”

With four weeks left to raise the money needed to complete the memorial, the total yesterday stood at £9,958.

The funds will pay for advice and guidance from four skilled stonemasons for two months; a project manager; administration costs; 500 tonnes of stone from local quarries, and support for the volunteers at the site.

On Saturday there will be a car boot sale and teddy bears’ picnic at the Auld Acquaintance cairn, which will run from midday until 5pm.

Children can take along their teddy bears and get creative decorating stones for the cairn. There will be a barbecue on site for those who do not bring a picnic.

Telephone 07850 584436 to reserve a car boot spot which costs £5 per pitch.

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