It’ll be another red letter day for Angus this week when the Earl of Wessex pops by and I’m sure he’ll be impressed by both the Brechin Community Campus and the William Lamb Studio in Montrose.
Who knows, the Prince might be a few years on from the Royal It’s a Knockout in which he was joined by brother Andrew, sister Anne and a host of late 80s celebs for all sorts of hilarious capers in Olde English fancy dress, but maybe the have-a-go spirit might still be burning brightly enough for him to take on the climbing wall at the front door of the campus.
And that’ll probably be as far as Brechin’s good week goes, with the high of a Royal visit seemingly destined to be followed by the low of another disastrous cut to local health provision.
VIP guests lucky enough to be introduced to the Earl of Wessex are likely to remember pressing Royal flesh for decades to come, and certainly the next five years.
For that’s the short space of time those present at the spring 2012 opening of the Susan Carnegie Carnegie Centre at Stracathro Hospital are now looking back as the death knell is expected to sound for the Mulberry adult mental health unit within the £20 million facility.
Local health campaigner and former county Provost Ruth Leslie Melville was part of the ribbon-cutting gathering that day and she is furious that NHS Tayside’s shake-up of acute adult mental health provision looks certain to hit our county hard when the decision is made before this week is out.
If any indication is needed of just how pressured such services are, I sat in a court a few days ago and watched as a sheriff had no option but to send a woman requiring a detailed psychiatric assessment to prison for a week because no appropriate hospital bed was available for her.
Anywhere in Scotland.
The charges that 50-year-old faces are serious, but the presumption of innocence remains with her until the due process of law runs its course.
In the meantime, she’ll be housed with the convicted killers, drug dealers and husband-beaters of Scotland’s female prison population.
And closing units like the Mulberry at Stracathro isn’t going to help ease that unsatisfactory situation.