Published on October 29th, 2019 | by Dumfries and Galloway Life


Welcome to November

November 2019

“It’s quite difficult to imagine the future of the high street if we don’t re-engage,” Big Issue founder and life peer John, Lord Bird said during his talk at Wigtown Book Festival.

During an anarchic and inspirational hour, in which he spoke about the reading revolution he has started with his new magazine The Chapter Catcher (“the best thing I have ever done,”), and how it is “fighting to defend libraries and bookshops as the epicentre of healthy communities,” he said he wants to “wake up the power of concatenation”, calling on communities to come together, to work together.

“Amazon isn’t the problem,” he said, when asked about the plight of our high streets: “You’re the problem. I want us to create social ‘Amazons’, working with the community, buying from the community. The power of the consumer is the power to change the world.”

‘The power of the consumer is the power to change the world’ – we’ll echo that as we continue to encourage you to shop local. We all have the power to change the fortunes – and futures – of our high streets, just by getting out and buying from the people in the shops on the streets where we live.

People power has been the driving force between major community achievements celebrated in this issue, from the opening of the new £2.44m Millennium Centre in Stranraer and the overwhelming success of the town’s third annual Oyster Festival, which was attended by more than 17,000 people, to the 21st year of Wigtown Book Festival, which saw more than 29,000 join in celebrations of the written word and the power of reading in Scotland’s National Book Town.

Storytelling was at the heart of the new Festival of Folklore, launched by Mostly Ghostly to showcase Upper Nithsdale, while the region’s musical talent was given a superb chance to shine in the new Doonhame Festival.

Communities in Wigtownshire, the Machars and Dumfries received royal recognition with a memorable visit by The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and Camilla, to Bladnoch Distillery, Garlieston and Moat Brae, in September.

And we celebrate the people, communities, organisations and enterprises who are working to make the region the special place it is in our Dumfries & Galloway Life Awards. With a record 600-plus nominations and entries, our panel of independent judges had their toughest task yet in drawing up their shortlists and they said they felt truly humbled by the heart-warming and inspirational stories which came in from around the region. In this issue we are delighted to reveal the finalists for our 10th-anniversary awards. Congratulations and best of luck to all

Andrea Thompson, Editor

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