INNERLEITHEN residents are invited to share their memories of the mill lade as part of plans to create a trail that celebrates the town’s industrial heritage.
Organised by Go Tweed Valley (the Tweed Valley Tourism BID), Mill Lade Memories day will give the community the opportunity to share stories of the lade – from those who previously worked in businesses powered by the lade to those who may have played it in as children.
By sharing their stories people can help with the development of a mill lade trail along the 1.5km stretch and to share what restoration works may be required.
A spokesperson for Go Tweed Valley said: “Running for roughly 1.5km from where it begins at a cauld on the Leithen Water near Innerleithen Golf Course to its delta-like outlet into the River Tweed, the lade once powered a dozen industries in the town.
“These included many of Innerleithen’s textile mills, sawmills, a smithy and Robert Smail’s Printworks.
“Although much of the lade and the accompanying infrastructure along its length is largely hidden from view, much remains not only of the channel itself but also the turbines, wheelhouses, sluices and water wheels that once helped keep the water flowing and power generated.
“Given its importance to the town, Go Tweed Valley (the Tweed Valley Tourism BID) sourced funding for a feasibility study looking into the development of a mill lade trail along some or all of its length, together with interpretation. With the lade in a poor state of repair in some sections, the study also explored what restoration might be needed.
“It is hoped that the stories shared by local residents and those with memories of the lade will add further colour and energy to the interpretation work taking place.”
The Mill Lade Memories day will be hosted by Go Tweed Valley alongside Connecting Threads, the cultural branch of Destination Tweed.
Mill Lade Memories will run from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, March 19 at Innerleithen Memorial Hall.
Tea and cake will be available.