Documenting Britain

The Brief Charms of the B7088

My Documenting Britain project is The Brief Charms of the B7088. The B7088 is a short road across the Tweed, scarcely mentioned in maps or on official documents, little more than a bridge and a pair of roundabouts. It is the tally line across an ancient, arterial, long inhabited landscape.


The B7088 runs across the flow of its location. The higher, Western Borders is defined by steep sided valleys, well scoured by glaciers. There is a sense of linearity, at least when following the main routes near the valley floor. Everything flows in one direction: the river, the earlier road to the South, the latter to the North of the river; the route of the railway; the furtive gas pipeline; power transmission lines of the middling sort. The B7088 draws a line across this tally.

The iron age peoples that inhabited the hilltops would have done their utmost to avoid marsh and mosquito of the low ground. It was only the 18th Century taste for agricultural improvement which led to a coherent riverbed of suspicious angularity.

Efficient routes abhor the stationary. The road itself too brief for dawdling. The surrounding land is a place of fast fading memory.