IT started with an obscure quote in a 17th-Century burgh minute and led to a couple of ageing gentlemen sheathed in rubberwear, performing an awkward aquatic morris dance. Bobbing up and down alternatively as they sawed in an upwards motion with a nordic saw, striving to retrieve a piece of medieval timber for dating.

We assume that fortunately, no-one observed this quaint, moistened ceremony in the middle of the River Teviot, since there were no car crashes on the adjoining A68 trunk road bridge.

In all seriousness, however, we of the Ancrum and District Heritage Society have always believed that Ancrum was a small village with a big history.

READ MORE: Ancient bridge in Scottish Borders found by local heritage group

We had a major dig last year at the site of a bishop’s palace in the village and we are working to preserve Ancrum’s hogback stone – an early medieval grave cover.

There are other projects brewing too, and we always welcome new members.

ADHS is a newcomer to the local heritage scene, but there’s a lot of unheralded, unsung work being done by local enthusiasts and heritage societies right across the Borderlands.

We have unashamedly learnt from their example and welcomed their help and advice. It allowed us to approach the work done with the palace, the hogback and the Ancrum Bridge in a measured, professional manner, tempered with the rowdy enthusiasm of the amateur.

We came across the bridge story just at the right moment in time. The remains are the very last pieces of an edifice more than 650 years old and we have been monitoring its erosion.

There is much more to learn from this bridge. We want to be able to tell its full story – from beginning to end.

Funding will be crucial, and we will look to ways to enable the society to tell the tale of the lost bridge in the Borders.