Berwick is a market town and seaport, its main economic activity is salmon fishing. Other industries in Berwick include: shipbuilding, engineering, sawmilling, fertilizer production, and the manufacture of tweed and hosiery.
The town has changed hands between England an Scotland numerous times throughout history. Between 1147 and 1482 it changed hands more than thirteen times. In 1482 it was clamed for England by king Edward IV, although not officially merged.
The status of Berwick-upon-Tweed remained anomalous until 1885 when the Reform Act made it part of England. The town is north of the river Tweed, and was formerly the county town of Berwickshire. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I vast sums were spent on its fortifications, in the new style, designed both to withstand artillery and to facilitate its use from within the fortifications. After King James VI of Scotland also became James I of England in 1603, it was not returned to Scotland. Various proclamations authored before 1885 referred to "England, Scotland and the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed".
One such was the declaration of war against Russia in 1853, but it was not named in the peace treaty of 1856 - was it still at war with Russia or not? The problem arose because Queen Victoria signed the declaration of war as "Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, Ireland, Berwick-upon-Tweed and all British Dominions". But when the Treaty of Paris (1856) was signed the "Berwick-upon-Tweed" was missed out. In 1966 a Soviet official waited upon the Mayor of Berwick, Councillor Robert Knox, and a peace treaty was formally signed. Mr Knox is reputed to have said "Please tell the Russian people that they can sleep peacefully in their beds."
Places of interest