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Fairytale castle in the Borders to reopen next month

Thirlestane Castle. Credit: ITV News

Thirlestane Castle in the Scottish Borders is reopening its doors.

Restoration work, which began in 2013 on the discovery of an outbreak of dry rot, is continuing but almost all of the public areas of the historic Borders castle are back to their best.

A wall affected by dry rot in 2013. Credit: ITV News

The castle near Lauder, which is still home to the Maitland family, will reopen on May 3rd.

Celebrating in style... just like the Queen!

Now hard to believe but this week Her Majesty turned 90 and throughout April, May and June a host of public events are planned to mark her special birthday.

Joining in the celebrations this weekend is a woman from Penrith. Eleanor Gardner is the same age as the Queen but until now, has never had a birthday party. Kate Walby went to meet her:


Beacons to be lit across the Border region for the Queen's 90th birthday

Queen Elizabeth II meets well wishers during a walkabout close to Windsor Castle in Berkshire as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Credit: PA

Beacons of light around Cumbria and the south of Scotland will add to the celebrations of the Queen's 90th birthday.

More than a thousand beacons will be lit across the UK with the first one being lit at 7pm at Windsor Castle.

In the Borders, beacons/bonfires will be lit at 8.30pm at the following locations:

  • Hawick
  • Kelso
  • Galashiels
  • Lauder
  • Bonchester Bridge
  • Peniel Heugh
  • Selkirk
  • Newcastleton
  • Eildon Hills
  • Morebattle

In Cumbria, Kendal Castle and Bitts Park in Carlisle will see beacons being lit:

  • Kendal Castle: 8.15pm
  • Bitts Park, Carlisle: 7.30pm

In Dumfries & Galloway, a beacon will be lit on the Solway Coast, at Carsethorn, where many of the Cumbrian beacons will be visible across the Solway.

That will begin at 7.30pm outside the Steamboat Inn.

Prince Charles visits Pooley Bridge

The Prince of Wales is visiting parts of our region that were affected by the floods to see how communities are recovering.

This morning, His Royal Highness made a stop at Pooley Bridge where he met many people whose businesses were affected after the 300-year-old bridge collapsed.

He's also visiting Penrith, Keswick and Grasmere today.

Prince Charles greets bystanders in Pooley Bridge Credit: ITV Border
Prince Charles surveys the new temporary structure at Pooley Bridge Credit: ITV Border
The Prince meets two Renault Twizzys - the Lake District electric cars. Credit: ITV Border
Crowds gather to welcome Prince Charles Credit: ITV Border


New Years Honours List 2015: Border region recipients

Mark Cueto, from Workington, has been awarded an MBE Credit: PA


  • Norman Kelvin Stoller, CBE. For philanthropic service. (Bowness on Windermere, Cumbria)

Officers of the Order of the British Empire

  • Dr John Calum Macdonald Gillies. Lately Chairman, Royal College of General Practitioners Scotland. For services to General Practice. (Selkirk, Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale)

Members of the Order of the British Empire

  • Mrs Jacqueline Arnold. Deputy Chair, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and Head of Strategy, BAE Systems Submarine. For services to the Economy in Cumbria. (Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria)
  • Roger David Bucknall. For services to Guitar Making, Music and Heritage Crafts.(Penrith, Cumbria)
  • Mark Cueto. Lately Winger, Sale Rugby Union Football Club. For services to Rugby Union. (Altrincham, Cheshire)
  • Mrs Gail Inglis. Magistrate and Chair, North and West Cumbria Bench. For services to the Administration of Justice and the community in Cumbria. (Cockermouth, Cumbria)
  • Miss Jennefer Tobin. Founder, South West Scotland RnR. For services to the Care of Wounded Soldiers. (Kirkbean, Dumfries)

Medallist of the Order of the British Empire

  • Trevor John Avery. For services to Heritage in the Lake District. (Sedbergh, Cumbria)
  • Mrs Agnes Forsyth Robb Craig. Chair, Save the Children, Wigtownshire. For voluntary and charitable services. (Newton Stewart, Wigtown)
  • Mrs Sylvia Margaret Emott. For public and political service. (Kendal, Cumbria)
  • Mrs Pamela Kirkbride. For services to the community in Coniston, Cumbria. (Coniston, Cumbria)
  • Thomas McCaig Stevenson. Project Manager, Mull of Galloway Trail. For voluntary services to Walkers in the West of Scotland. (Stranraer, Wigtownshire)

Royal encounter for Cumbrian WellChild award winner

Nellie-Mai won the award for the most inspirational young person Credit: PA

The award ceremony celebrates the courage of children coping with serious illnesses or complex conditions and honour the dedication of professionals who go the extra mile to help sick children and their families.

Nine year old Nellie-Mai from Warcop near Appleby, was awarded the most inspirational young person in the 7-10 age category after being born with a heart condition that meant she needed a heart transplant at just 11 months old.

Since then Nellie-Mai has battled cancer, suffered several strokes and has ongoing epilepsy.

She continues to amaze doctors, family and friends by beating all the odds against her.

Sarah Lofthouse is a Teaching Assistant at Warcop C of E Primary School.

Nellie-Mai has defied the odds time and again and fought every step of the way.

She is such a loving, caring child who is determined to live life to the full in spite of the difficulties she continues to face.

Nellie-Mai is truly special and makes a deep impression on everyone who meets her.”

– Sarah Lofthouse, Warcop C of E Primary School

Nellie-Mai was seriously ill in hospital and not expected to survive when foster carers Jeff and Sarah Evans agreed to care for her during her final weeks.

Nellie-Mai quickly responded to the family’s love and attention and her condition began to improve.

She has won a special place in the heart of everyone in her new family and all those she meets through her cheeky sense of humour, caring attitude and incredible lust for life.

Along with all the night's award winners, Nellie-Mai met HRH Prince Harry who is Patron of the WellChild charity.

He spoke to Nellie-Mai and her adoptive father Jeff before playing balloon tennis with the award winner.

HRH Prince Harry plays balloon tennis with Nellie-Mai Credit: PA

Speaking at last year's event, Prince Harry said:

All of us together can make a real, real difference for children and young people just like those we have seen on the stage this evening.

It is such a privilege to be Patron of this charity, a charity that has achieved so much and yet is working harder than ever to make life better for more and more young people.”

– HRH Prince Harry
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