Book shines a light on town memories

Train at Kelso Station

Train at Kelso Station

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A new book about Kelso aims to shed light on the town, incorporating verbal memories of long-time residents.

Kelso Memories has been compiled by two of the town’s citizens, Alastair Campbell and Derek Robeson.

Kelso's first ambulance 1934

Kelso's first ambulance 1934

For example, did you know that the first train arrived at Kelso Railway station in the summer of 1851 or that the first house in Scotland to have gas lighting was in Kelso?

Can you remember when the town’s swimming and diving pool was in the River Tweed at the Cobby?

Or remember when the Cobby was frozen so deep and for so long in 1963, that they could curl on it?

These are just some of the interesting facts and stories covered in the book’s 200 pages. The book was started several years ago by Alastair and by Derek’s late father Robin, as a follow-up to their highly successful book ‘Kelso – History in Focus’, which was published in 2001. It took them a number of years to gather the material for a second book but they knew it would be worth the wait.

Last of the Lamplighters Mr Hugh McCraw 1958

Last of the Lamplighters Mr Hugh McCraw 1958

Kelso Memories is a personal look at perhaps some of the lesser known facts, faces and former businesses in the town.

Alastair, who is already the author of several highly successful books on the Borders and Fife, said: “It has been a wonderful journey for us compiling this book on Kelso with its rich and varied history.

“Derek and I are sure that it will prove interesting to Kelso residents and visitors alike. We both learned such a lot of new things about the town and its residents.

“We are indebted to the townsfolk for the material and information they shared with us.”

This high-quality hardback book is packed full with over 500 images dating back over two centuries.

Copies are available from several outlets around town from August 17 and all proceeds go to Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity close to both families’ hearts.