A tow­er­ing prob­lem

The Galloway News - - INTIMATIONS - Stu­art Gille­spie

A tourism op­er­a­tor be­lieves there is plenty of v-room in the area for a new ven­ture – motorcycle side­car tours.

Alan Jamieson, from Kirk­patrick Durham, is look­ing to take tourists round the area us­ing a pair of mo­tor­bikes in a business that would be a first for Scot­land.

The coun­cil’s li­cens­ing panel will de­cide on Tues­day whether or not to grant him the nec­es­sary li­cence.

Mr Jamieson said: “No one else has done this here. The coun­cil has put a fair amount of work in and it means if any­one wanted to do some­thing sim­i­lar in Dum­fries and Gal­loway there would be a tem­plate for them.”

Over the past few years Mr Jamieson, 56, has of­fered tours to guests who stay at hol­i­day cot­tages he runs with his part­ner on Durhamhill Farm.

Th­ese have been free but as he is plan­ning to in­tro­duce charges there is red tape to deal with, in­clud­ing seek­ing a pri­vate hire op­er­a­tor’s li­cence from the coun­cil.

The tours would be taken by Mr Jamieson and his pal Robert Sproat, 62, who are both ex­pe­ri­enced mo­tor­cy­clists.

The tours would be on quiet roads, for peo­ple over the age of 16, and while hel­mets are not legally re­quired they would be of­fered to all pas­sen­gers.

The re­port also re­veals Mr Jamieson would plan to use a Rus­sian Ural Gear Up 745cc and a Tri­umph Bon­neville T100.

But the Chief Con­sta­ble has raised con­cerns. He wants seat belts and guard rails fit­ted to the side­cars, although Mr Jamieson feels this would com­pro­mise safety.

As a re­sult, a me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer has been brought in to pre­pare a re­port for coun­cil­lors about the mat­ter. Thou­sands of pounds of re­pairs need to be car­ried out to a Dal­beat­tie church.

And that could mean part of the tower at Christ Church hav­ing to be re­moved.

The roof of the Scot­tish Epis­co­pal Church, which was built in the 1870s, has started leak­ing.

Some funds are avail­able to carry out the work but around £25,000 is still needed.

Rec­tor’s war­den Dr Keith Den­ni­son ad­mit­ted: “It may be that some of the tower has to be de­mol­ished.

“We’re look­ing to re­place the roof there. At the mo­ment it has a flat roof, but we’re look­ing to put a pitched roof on it.

“There is a lead roof just now but it is rot­ting and we’d like to put a slate roof on.” The leak­ing tower has caused other prob­lems in the church with tim­bers also need­ing to be re­placed.

The church cur­rently has what Dr Den­ni­son de­scribed as a tar­pau­lin “bon­net” on the tower to keep out as much wa­ter as pos­si­ble.

He said: “The church was built by Le­ices­ter quar­ry­men who came here to work in Craig­nair Quarry.

“They didn’t have any­where to wor­ship and they built the church us­ing gran­ite given to them by the quarry own­ers.

“There was no tower at the time, it was put on in the 1950s. They had in­tended putting a spire on but they ran out of money so didn’t man­age to do that.”

Re­pair work

Keith Den­ni­son at Christ Church, Dal­beat­tie

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