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Survivor urges cyclists to wear helmets

A teenager who was knocked off his bike in Dumfries and Galloway has started a campaign, urging all cyclists to wear a helmet.

15-year-old Alexander Lawson was involved in the accident near Wigtown. He says his bike helmet saved his life and now he wants to raise awareness of how important they can be.

Fiona McIlwraith has this report.


Cyclists: how to stay safe

Using the right lights makes you more visible Credit: ITV Border

15-year-old Alexander Lawson says his helmet saved his life, after he was hit by a car near Wigtown.

He's urging cyclists to take steps to ensure their safety, whenever they travel on the road.

  • Wear bright clothes - particularly if you are cycling in foggy weather. If you ride at night, choose reflective clothing.
  • Use lights after dark - you can be fined if you don't have a white front and red rear light.
  • Stay away from parked cars - keep your distance in case a door opens at the last minute.
  • Signal - be sure to let cars know if you are turning left or right.
  • Wear a helmet - it could save your life.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is a charity that works to prevent accidents. You can find more cycle safety advice on their website.

Dumfries and Galloway boy saved by helmet

A helmet saved Alexander Lawson's life Credit: ITV Border

A teenager who was knocked off his bike in Dumfries and Galloway is urging anyone cycling on the roads to wear a helmet.

15 year old Alexander Lawson hit a car near Wigtown, he says his helmet saved his life and wants to make more people aware of just how important they can be.

"Cuts to the back of my head when the helmet split, and bruising and cuts to legs, the ambulance came out to see if I was ok, they sort of poked and prodded me a bit and then they took me off to Dumfries hospital to get an x-ray to see what was wrong with me."

– Alexander Lawson

Artists travel in style to Book Festival

The Trading Journeys arts event was a part of Wigtown Book Festival Credit: Colin Hattersley

An arts event has celebrated ancient trading routes of the historical port and market place of Wigtown as part of the Book Festival.

The celebration, on the 27th September, saw people travelling to the town by different methods of transport. Horses and carts, boats and cyclists made their way to the event for a parade and surprise performance in the evening.

Events included drumming workshops, spoon crafting and flag making.

"We became very aware that the festival’s organisation involved a lot of travelling to and from different places and how the journeys became part of the art experience.

Trading Journeys is a chance to celebrate Wigtown’s historical importance as a trading hub and pilgrim route. By bringing different people into town using diverse forms of transport, each separate element is fused into one musing.”

– Will Marshall, Stove artist and event curator
The event is part of the celebrations around Wigtown Book Festival and commemorates the royal burgh’s historical importance as a county town and trade route. Credit: Colin Hattersley
Artist Alice Francis with the 'standard' and horse-drawn cart, the centre pieces of the Credit: Colin Hattersley


The book festival that revived Wigtown

The Wigtown Book Festival is one of our region's great success stories, having boosted the area's local economy after a slump in the 1990s.

Now in its sixteenth year, the festival goes from strength to strength, as Gill Brown found out.

You can see more of Gill Brown's report on the Wigtown Book Festival in next week's Border Life. Viewers with Freeview can see it on ITV Border Scotland at 20:00 on Monday evening.

Bookmarked event expects 20,000

More than 150 events will take place over 10 days Credit: ITV Border

Up to 20,000 people are expected to visit Wigtown from today for its celebrated book festival.

The event has become the biggest of its kind in Scotland and attracts some of the UK's top writers. More than 150 events will take place over 10 days days.

Bladnoch whisky distillery for sale

Twenty years after it was saved from closure the Bladnoch whiskey distillery near Wigtown is up for sale once more.

The company, which is financially sound, was put in the hands of receivers on Monday and the business is to be sold as a going concern.

It has been run for the past two decades by Raymond Armstrong and his wife who own a 50% share of the business.

"I'm very sad about the way it has all ended, we didn't want to sell. My wife and I have enjoyed our Scottish adventure. It has been a great challenge but we have enjoyed it.

"The staff are naturally worried about their jobs but they are a great and dedicated workforce and I see no reason why new owners wouldn't keep them on.

"The company is profitable so I'm sure someone will want to buy it."

– Raymond Armstrong

Accountants Ernst and and Young have been appointed to sell the distillery.

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