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The Biscuit that Saved the Union?

On the run-up to the recent independence referendum, five Grange school pupils met six of their counterparts from The Grange Academy Kilmarnock at Gretna Green, on the Scotland – England border, to discuss the independence issue.

The event was organised by Sky News who wanted to film students from England and Scotland engaging in debate about issues including independence and whether 16 year olds should have the vote in other elections.

The day began with some filming in the new Sixth Form centre, before in-minibus cameras were installed so that debate in the bus could be filmed too. The Grange pupils met their Scottish counterparts in a conference venue and were filmed greeting each other and exchanging gifts. To our horror we realised that only the Scottish students had brought gifts. Luckily Mr Goff’s wife had packed him off with a box of homemade ginger biscuits, which he passed to Hattie Knutton to offer as our “gift” to the Scots. During the four minute magazine piece that aired on Sky News the following Tuesday, the biscuits are clearly visible!

After a tour of the local wedding venue in Gretna and some filming of the students giving their thoughts on the issues of the day, there was a small football match in the car park, which happily was edited out of the final Sky piece. The students were filmed on James Matthews’ (Sky’s Scotland correspondent) sofa. He had toured the country with it, and had persuaded his guests to sign the sofa and comment on the debate. Sam Williams’ “UK? It’s OK!” summed up the feelings of both Granges and indeed the result of the vote a week later.

Our Scottish equivalents were friendly and convivial counterparts throughout the day and we were all sad to say good-bye at the end of the day, although happier now we know we will not need passports to visit them again.


Mr Martin Goff