TWEEDSMUIR PARISH HISTORY.

27. Silver Jubilee Road.  

The Silver Jubilee Road was opened in 1977 - the Silver Jubilee - 25 years on the Throne - of HM Elizabeth Queen of Scots.  It is a 9 mile route in an elongated horse shoe shape as outlined on map below.   More details about the route are on a leaflet produced at the time by The Forestry Commission - see page 27.1 Jubilee Road Forest Drive.

The route was opend as a vehicular drive but at present is available for walkers only.  The western access to the route is direct from the Tweedsmuir/Fruid public road with the eastern access via a short stretch of track through farmland. 

 

The western side of the route takes a distinctive sweep towards the Fruid Reservoir Dam - Viewpoint 1 on Forestry Commission leaflet.  Around the time of the Millenium it was still possible to park ones vehicle in the car park at the Fruid dam and scramble up to the Jubilee Road on the bank of a burn through the Sitka Spruce trees.   In April 2001 the Editor of this website wrote to the forestry managers of the Menzion Estate suggesting that a proper footpath be constructed at this point - there was no response to this proposal.   The route is now impassable due to the growth of the trees.  However, replanting of this area with broad leaved trees around the waterway, after clear felling, will allow the prospect of this path to be revisited.  

 

At the south west corner of the route the road rises towards the upper limit of the Sitka Spruce planting affording, on a clear day, some magnificent views.  A very short climb up Capilus Hill from the road affords views all round.   The image on left is the view due north and shows in the foreground the six sided sheep stell, half surrounded by trees, at the head of the Menzion Valley.   The Silver Jubilee road is obscured by the long grass in the foreground.   The Talla Reservoir can be seen at the upper right.  The forest in the background at very top of image is the forest north of Heartstanes.

The  image above is taken from the road on the eastern side of the route overlooking the Talla valley looking north.   The faint small dark oval in the centre of the view is the clump of trees on the site of Oliver Castle - see page 5 Frasers of Oliver.

Continuing north a short distance Victoria Lodge beside the dam of the Talla Reservoir comes into view - More on page 1.2. Victoria Lodge. image on right.

On the east flank of Quarter Hill between the Silver Jubilee Road and the Talla Water west of Victoria Lodge is the important site of several Iron Age platforms .   These are survivors of the Iron Age landscape of the Talla Valley which was severly damaged by the construction of the Talla Reservoir in the period 1895-1905.   The site can be accessed from the Jubilee Road.  More about these platforms in section 2.a. on page 2. Early Peoples.

  At the most northly tip of the road on Quarter Hill is the site of an old Quarry.   Until recent times it was the site of the Tweedsmuir TV Co-Operative.   This was a locally run organisation that provided the rebroadcasting of BBC1, BBC2, STV and CH4 coverage for the village for several decades until the advent of satellite TV.  The above view up the Tweed valley shows the TV radio hut that housed the receiver and transmitters and one of the three transmit antenna masts.   The gap in the trees is the route of the mains power cable which came up the hill from the Talla road.  The cable was about half a mile long - the trench was dug and the cable installed by members of the community.  The site has now been decommissioned and by the terms of the Wayleave the hut and antenna masts removed.   The trees shown have now been felled but the new planting still includes a gap for the power cable.

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