Animals add to the magic of the Christmas story

The mart in Newtown St Boswells resounded with the peal of childrens voices when Borders Clic Sargent cancer charity put on a nativity play  featuring live animals and performed by pupils of St Marys School, Melrose
The mart in Newtown St Boswells resounded with the peal of childrens voices when Borders Clic Sargent cancer charity put on a nativity play  featuring live animals and performed by pupils of St Marys School, Melrose

The mart in Newtown St Boswells resounded with the peal of children’s voices when Borders Clic Sargent cancer charity put on a nativity play – featuring live animals and performed by pupils of St Mary’s School, Melrose, under musical director Kirsty Mcrae.

The youngsters filled the sheep ring, relegating a few regular four-legged occupants to a pen at the rear.

Taking a new slant on an old story, the children presented Channel 7 Evening News Hour which contained interviews with the shepherds, some innkeepers, Mary and Joseph and the three kings, after their arrival on Shetland ponies.

The packed audience joined in the communal carols – from Once In Royal David’s City, with the first verse sung by Tegan Taylor, to We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

Lighting and sound was supplied by Dave Angus.

Borders Clic Sargent committee members are grateful to the sponsors and all who donated raffle prizes. They are pleased to announce that the garden surrounding the new Clic Villa currently under construction across the road from the new Sick Children’s Hospital at Little France, Edinburgh, is to be called The Border Garden and all money raised from the nativity performance – nearly £3,000 to date – goes to that cause.

BOWDEN

Carols

Carol singing, accompanied by St Boswells Band, takes place in the village hall on Sunday, December 18, at 6.30pm, followed by mince pies and mulled wine.

Community cafe

The Christmas community cafe will be held in the village hall on Wednesday, December 21, at 11am.

CADDONFOOT

Parish church

Suzanne Hume lit the third candle for Advent on Sunday when the service was conducted by minister Elspeth Harley. There was a welcome for two visitors who had been married in the church by the late Rev Donald MacCuish. Their children were also baptised in the church. Fay Brydon and Fiona McDougal delivered the Bible readings. It was announced that the congregation had donated £277, with Gift Aid still to be calculated, for the Borders Children’s Charity. Music was played by Andy Bird and Anne Grieve. Bible study continues this week at Margaret Blyth’s house. Sunday sees a family service with CY (Caddonfoot Youth) taking part. Christmas cards, showing the painting of the church by Catherine Bird, and calendars, produced by Selkirk High School charities’ committee, are still available. Cash for the cards goes towards the stained-glass window appeal and from the calendars to Cancer Research UK and the Sick Kids’ Friends Foundation.

eARLSTON

Thursday lunch club

Members enjoyed a game of indoor golf at their latest gathering. After lunch they were entertained with songs and stories by the Golden Girls. After lunch last week, members went to Earlston High School where they were welcomed by students and given afternoon tea, followed by the youngsters singing and playing the piano.

Wednesday club

The Christmas party was held at the Lauderdale Hotel in Lauder. Members received a parcel from the Santa Bag. The following day – last Thursday – members went to the high school where they had afternoon tea and were entertained with singing and music on the piano by the fifth and sixth-year students. The next meeting is on January 11 and the competition is a novelty from a cracker.

Parish church

Sunday, December 18, at 10.15am sees the DIY Nativity when church-goers help retell the Christmas Story. The church will remain

open after the service until 6pm for some quiet reflection time. There will be a carol service the following day in Hanover Close at 3pm. Christmas Eve – family service at 6.30pm when the Grumpy Shepherd will make an appearance; 11.15pm, traditional watchnight service. Christmas Day – presents and praise service at 10.15am. Please bring a gift and wear a Christmas jumper, if they have one. January 1 – 10.15am, service with lessons, carols and holy communion.

ETTRICKBRIDGE

Carpet bowls

The New Year’s Day carpet bowling competition in Kirkhope village hall starts at 2pm – entries (£5 per pair) to Linda (52238) or Eileen (52715) by noon on the day. Proceeds from the event will going towards the Samaritans.

GALASHIELS

Burns club supper

The 2017 Galashiels Burns Club supper takes place in the Volunteer Hall on Friday, January 27. Selkirk-based actor John Nichol will propose the Immortal Memory and he is joined at the top table by fellow townsman Les Millar, a former Selkirk provost, who will provide the Toast to the Lassies. Dave Scott, campaign director of the national charity Nil by Mouth, which is aimed at stamping out sectarianism , will give the toast to the Land of Cakes Caledonia, with Raymond Hume delivering the vote of thanks. Singers will be Malcolm McEwan and Paul Syme, supported by pianist Chris Achenbach, with recitations by John Nichol and David Sanderson. Doors open at 6.15pm, with the formalities getting under way at 7pm. Tickets are priced £23 (including £1 club membership) and available from committee members.

Probus

After the induction of a new member, William Kilpatrick, members, meeting for the final time in 2016, were entertained to a journey through the history of Scotland in 30 minutes. Dougie Johnston is a tour guide with Haggis Adventures and Highland Explorer Tours. After travelling the world as a backpacker, Dougie had a desire to work in tourism in a less formal way than traditional bus tours. No suits are allowed in the business and he came to the meeting in his work clothes of kilt, walking boots and jumper. He took his audience from three billion years ago when some of the world’s oldest rocks were formed around Ullapool. The Ice Age and continental collisions led to the formation of some of our spectacular scenery and humans first appeared around 12,000BC at Biggar. The first known lunar calendar is formed by standing stones near Aberdeen. From around 8,000 BC, the various groups, Norse, Picts, Angles, Britons and Scots settled across the country. Dougie then took members through the Wars of Independence, William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the Jacobite rebellion, with his personal take on some of the stories. Tourism in Scotland was started by Sir Walter Scott who collected many of the old tales and found the hidden Scots’ Crown jewels. He was also involved in the reinvention of the kilt and King George IV’s visit to Scotland, leading to Queen Victoria’s love for Scotland and her buying Balmoral. Nowadays, tourism brings an estimated £8billion to Scotland each year and employs thousands of people. The next meeting, at the Waverley Castle Hotel, is on January 12 at 10.30am when the speaker is Donald MacLeod on ‘Hooked on Rugby’.

Camera club

Former Galashiels Camera Club member Fiona Cadger was welcomed back last Wednesday night to give a presentation entitled ‘A Journey with Photography. She took members on a voyage from her first camera to achieving associateship of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS). Her most interesting talk culminating in a show of her LRPS and ARPS portfolios. Fiona showed what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. Wednesday, December 21, sees a presentation by Eleanor and Allan Drummond entitled ‘Serendipity’, featuring travels around Sri Lanka. The Christmas meal will be held on Friday, January 6, at the Kingsknowes Hotel. A link to the menu is on the club website in the syllabus page – members should send their meal choices to Jim Paxton asap. The club reconvenes on Wednesday, January 11, with a quiz night hosted by Ford Renton, last year’s winner.

St Peter’s Church

Thursday, December 15 – 10am, communion service. Friday, December 16 – 2pm, foodbank bag packers needed; 7pm, carol singing at Tesco. Saturday, December 17 – 12.30pm, soup ‘n’ pud lunch; 2pm, Messy Church preparation for nativity. Sunday, December 18 – 10.30am, family service with nativity. Monday, December 19 – 2pm, carol service at Abbotsford Court. Wedneday, December 21 – 2pm, carol service at Hazeldean. Saturday, December 24 – 6pm, christingle service; 8.30pm, communion service. Christmas Day – 10.30am, family service; Christmas Day soup ‘n’ pud lunch at 12.30pm (helpers welcome). January 1 – 10.30am, family service.

Trinity Church

On Sunday morning, the third Sunday in Advent, Neil Wilkinson lit the candles at the beginning of the service, while the congregation sang a verse and chorus of the advent hymn. Minister Elspeth Harley conducted proceeddings, while Dorothy Howden led the service. Bible readings were delivered by Sheila and Alistair Wilson. In the afternoon, a memorial service was held for those who find the season difficult, and especially for those who have been bereaved in the last year. The service on Sunday, December 18, will be a family one. This will be followed in the afternoon by the Christmas show, ‘Is Christmas Pointless’ which involves members of the congregation and the choir.Entry is by donation. Christmas week – Thursday, Burgh School Christmas service at 9am; Christmas Eve, christingle service at 6pm and watchnight service at 11pm at Caddonfoot Church; Christmas Day, joint service with Caddonfoot Church in Trinity at 10.30am.

GLENDOUGLAS

Floral art

A floral art demonstration and workshop starts at 6.30pm on Friday, December 16. Flowers and oasis available to buy – or bring whatever you need. Call 01835 840215 for further information.

Carols

Carol singing takes place on Monday, December 19, at 7pm around the Christmas tree, helped along by Jedforest Instrumental Band.

Party

Old-time dancing party night with Gordon Brown will be held on Thursday, December 22, at 7.30pm – bring and share supper.

HAWICK

Rotary

Rotarians enjoyed an evening of food, fellowship and entertainment with partners and guests last Thursday. After a traditional Christmas meal, president Jim Walker handed the programme over to entertainment organiser and past president Bobby Cairns, who introduced an array of artistes, starting with magic tricks from Billy McWatters. Then it was the turn of Yorkshire-born Jane Bannernan who read three amusing short stories by Gervaise Phinn, set in North Yorkshire. Mairhi Trickett then set the company a quiz about Christmas food, appropriately followed by Gus Neilson’s recitation of the ‘Twelve Days of Turkey’ and the many ways in which the remains of the bird can be cooked after Christmas Day. The president then recited ‘A Visit from Saint Nick’ before guest Joyce Tinlin treated members to her second Christmas song, ‘O Holy Night’. Accompanist Roslyn Walker then led with everyone singing the Wizzard song, ‘I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day”. Past president Sandy Bannerman then proposed a vote of thanks to all who had entertained before the president gave the final toast – ‘Rotary the world over’.

Bridge club

December 6 – 1, Morag and Fraser Beaton; 2, George Graham and Bob Francombe; 3, Mary Millar and Patsy Gilligan.

INNERLEITHEN

Parish church

Services for Christmas week – Sunday, December 18 – 10am, Walkerburn Public Hall; 11.30am, Innerleithen Church; 4pm, carols at St Ronan’s House. Monday, December 19 – carol singing round Walkerburn (meet at Tweedholm Avenue at 6pm, arriving at Caberston Coffee Shop for 7pm, or just join up there). Christmas Eve – 4pm, Cardrona Village Hall (family carol service); 7pm, Traquair Kirk (family carol service). Christmas Day – 11am, Innerleithen Church (family service).

JEDBURGH

Bridge club

December 5 – N/S – 1, R. Stewart and M. Weightman; 2, D. Cessford and D. Gray; 3, R. Oates and S. Blair; E/W – 1, M. Beaton and D. Beaton; 2, J. Louden and S. Graham; 3, S. White and R. Von Slicher.

St John’s Church

This coming Sunday, as well as the normal morning services, sees the carol service at 3pm in association with Jedburgh Rotary Club. Gifts will be received for under the tree – to be sent to the Abelour Children’s Charity. After this service, refreshments will be served in St John’s Old School. On Christmas Eve, midnight communion (choral) will commence at 11.30pm. Christmas Day – 9am, communion; 10.30pm, family communion.

KELSO

Stitchers

Kelso Stitchers’ Christmas meeting is on Tuesday, December 20, in Abbey Row Centre at 7pm. Members are asked to bring a small plate of eats to share, as well as a small Santa’s Sack gift and their sewing kit.

Broomlands SWI

Members had their Christmas meeting at The Contented Vine for a meal which was enjoyed by all. There was a Secret Santa present for everyone. Prizes for the best-wrapped parcel went to Joan Turnbull, Mary Cron and Jeanette Farquhar.

Thursday Group

At the Christmas tea last week, Moira Walsh gave a talk entitled “Growing Old Disgracefully”. The sum of £40 was collected for Syrian refugee charities. The spring programme starts on January 12 and the syllabus is available from 01573 224753.

Farmers’ market

A farmers’ Christmas market will be held on Saturday, December 17, in The Square (9.30am-1.30pm).

Bridge club

December 7 – Rose Bowl – N/S – 1, Jean Henry and Myra Thomson; 2, Joyce Thomson and Helenor Pratt; 3, Jon Bridger and Chris Anthony; E/W – 1, Brian Saywood and Ken Ross; 2, Jean McLaren and Alison Ireland; 3, Annie Mitchell and Bob Stevenson. December 8 – Celtic Sim. Pairs – N/S – 1, Val Johnstone and Vanessa Wilson; 2, Bob Stevenson and Lee Leeson; 3, Michael Horwood and Alison Ireland; E/W – 1, David Harris-Burland and Sheila Urquhart; 2, Helenor Pratt and Pauline Smart; 3, Annie Mitchell and John Loudon.

Accordion club

At the latest meeting of Kelso Accordion and Fiddle Club, there was a supporting cast of the usual suspects on accordion, with Charlie McIntee, Bill Elliot, Tommy Herdman, Stewart Smith and Robin Davidson. Young Alexander McGrory, 9, showed further promise on the fiddle and, also on fiddle, it was good to see Ian Wood at the club. Guest artiste was Leonard Brown, with Malcolm Ross on drums. The second half saw performances from Ronnie Easton, Bob Liddle and Gordon Clark, all on accordion, and also a nice set of fiddle music by husband and wife duo Matt and Jill Leavey. Pianists were Bob Liddle, Brian Forrest and Bill Elliot, drums – Tom Riddle and Kenny Bell – and all held together by MC Jim Wilson. It was a packed house, with probably more than 100 people present. The second set by Leonard and Malcolm provided another great selection of music, highlights being the High Level Hornpipe, The Typewriter, a unique version of the Skye Boat Song (Les Dawson style) and a Samba selection with drum solo from Malcolm.

LANGHOLM

Panto

Centre Stage Community Theatre is once again presenting the Muckle Toon pantomime. This year it’s Beauty and the Beast, getting under way in the Buccleuch Centre tonight (Thursday) and running until Sunday, December 18. Performances start at 7.30pm and there is also a matinee on the Saturday. Les Murray plays Ma the Dame, with Zoe as Little Beauty, Stuart Tedham is the Beast and Alistair Paisley the Prince. There are around 30 cast members and the costume ladies, Tricia Little and Val Ewens, have been kept busy. Tickets can be booked on 01387 381196.

Christmas lights

The Christmas lights went ahead in the town, thanks to a dedicated committee who held fund-raising events and raffles. After a busy Saturday afternoon of fun, the Christmas tree and lights along the High Street burst into a sparkling wonderland when officially switched on just before 5pm by Lady Fiona Armstrong McGregor, Lord Lieutenant for Dumfries and Galloway. The Rev Scott McCarthy blessed the tree. The afternoon started with Santa’s fun run from the Buccleuch Centre and the winners were presented with their medals by Para Olympians from Rio, Libby Clegg, who won gold, and her brother, Stephen Clegg. Santa and his helpers, led by the pipe band, left the Buccleuch Centre for the grotto in the Crown Hotel yard where the children received presents. Later in the afternoon, there was carol singing with the town band and amateur operatic and dramatic society members. There was also a street market.

LAUDER

SWI

President Sheila Hardie introduced Kim Shaw Walker and Michele Gibb, of Zaagi, a charity which provides a range of services, including specially-designed hand-made garments for babies in special care units, sibling dolls and a range of garments for baby loss, including nesting blankets, wraps and blessing gowns. As part of a wider network of charities, Zaagi participates in offering support and services to meet a family’s individual needs. Jane Thomson gave the vote of thanks. Secretary Liz Dalgliesh reported on the Berwickshire federation meeting she attended. President Sheila thanked hostess Jane Thomson and helpers for providing supper, Kim and Michele for judging the competition, Christine Riddell and Annette Holton for organising the raffle and all who brought prizes. Finally, she said a big thank you to everyone who provided gifts for the Radio Borders Children’s Christmas Appeal. Competition – four pieces of tablet – 1, Annette Holton; 2, Wendy Bryson; 3, Sheila Hardie. The Scotch Night, featuring local talent, is on Friday, January 20, in the Lauderdale Hotel at 7.30pm – names to Sheila Hardie (722657) by January 10. Competitions – three dropped scones and one wine glass.

Church

Worship will be celebrated at Channelkirk (10am) and Lauder (11.30am) on Sunday, December 18. Both services will be led by the Rev Rae Clark. Lauder Parish Treat is on Saturday, December 17 – free Christmas parties for all Lauderdale children in Lauder Public Hall – babies to P2, 10am-noon (adults must accompany all children); P3-7, 2-4pm. Carol singing takes place on Sunday, December 18, at 5.30pm in Lauder Church. Lauderdale Community Choir will also be performing. The Christmas Eve family service is at 6.30pm in Channelkirk Church, with the watchnight service at 11.30pm in Lauder Church, with carol singing from 11pm. Christmas Day and New Year’s Day sees services at 10.30am in Lauder Church and Oxton Memorial Hall respectively.

Choir

Weekly Lauderdale Community Choir rehearsals take place on Thursdays, from 7.30-9pm, in Lauder Public Hall. For more information, visit www.lauderdalechoir.org.uk.

LINDEAN

SWI

At the Christmas meeting, entertainer John Irvine sang songs of yesteryear. The next meeting is on Thursday, January 5, when Edith Scott will talk about Rotary. Competitions – favourite Christmas card and artificial flowers in a mug.

MELROSE

Parish church

Sunday, December 18 – services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am – donations of mince pies and shortbread welcome); 6.30pm, Bowden carols. Thursday, December 22 – Melrose primary school Christmas service; church decoration for Christmas (greenery requested); foodbank ongoing; readers requested for Christmas Eve service.

Trimontium

Treasure Trove has been in touch with the museum, in the form of the Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer, following up the recommendations of the Scottish Archaeological Finds Assessment Panel that recent Treasure Trove discoveries be offered to museums, on the payment of the appropriate fee (normally rather modest) to the finder. Coming Trimontium Museum’s way for display in the 2017 season are two items, one found at Hawick and the other at Melrose. The Hawick find is a Romano-British trumpet brooch with a now-separate spring. The Melrose item is an Iron Age button loop fastener.

Eildon Singers

Eildon Singers’ Christmas concert last Sunday provided a pot-pourri of old and new seasonal music under musical director James Young. The string sextet, with Jim Letham at the keyboard, not only played ensemble items, but supported local soprano soloist Claire Taylor and the choir in Gade’s Christmas Cantata, Vivaldi’s Credo and a number of carols.

MOREBATTLE

Party

The children’s Christmas party will be held in the institute on Sunday, December 18, from 3-5pm, for local youngsters under 12.

Choir

Morebattle church choir were singing at Ancrum church’s Christmas afternoon last Monday. The singers also took part in the Jedburgh East Guild Presbysterial Council service of lessons and carols held on Sunday afternoon at Jedburgh Old and Trinity Church.

NEWMILL

SWI

During another great night to round off this year’s meetings, Sheila Clyne gave a demonstration on Christmas fare. Members were lucky enough to sample the goods afterwards, washed down with mulled wine. Caroline Tully offered a vote of thanks to Sheila. President Liz Howieson ensured further entertainment with a Christmas quiz. Competitions – mince pies – Sheila Robson, Muriel Baptie, Dorothy Grierson; folded napkins – Nicky Watson, Jan Chetwynd, Lorraine Lord. The next meeting is on Tuesday, January 10, when Jack Swanston will give a talk entitled ‘Memories of Turnbulls the Dyers’. Competitions – a New Year resolution and three fruit scones.

NEWTOWN

SWI

President Elaine Thornton-Nicol, assisted by Daryl Du Bois, hosted a Christmas party at this month’s meeting. Members had been invited to bring along a favourite party dish to share. After supper Morag Sharp demonstrated how to wrap Christmas presents and there was an exchange of presents from the Secret Santa. The next meeting will be a week later than normal – on Thursday, January 12, at 7pm in the Community Wing.

SELKIRK

Camera club

The second club competition, entitled Festivals 2016, was held last Wednesday and judged by Stuart Cobley, from Kelso. Results – digital images – 1, William Palin; 2, Bryan Johnstone; 3, Bryan Johnstone; black and white prints – 1, John Nairn; 2, William Palin; 3, William Palin; colour prints – 1, Jennifer Payne; 2, Jon Fair; 3, Jon Fair. The club is now on its festive break until January 4.

ST BOSWELLS

Whist

A whist drive will be held on Thursday, December 22, at 7.30pm in the village hall in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind and MS. More informnation is available from 01835 822305.

AmDrams

The theme for the December meeting was Candles. Members heard many quotes, including one from a member, from Bell Book and Candle, Four Candles, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Lady Macbeth, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Runrig, Scrooge, Wee Willie Winkie and Wolf Hall, and the meeting recognised that many others had also mentioned candles, including Alastair Campbell, Anne Frank, Bill Bryson, Chaucer, Longfellow, Oscar Wilde, Siegfried Sassoon, Sir Walter Scott and Tennyson. After everyone sang ‘Candle in the Wind’, thanks were given to those who had brought along Christmas nibbles. Members had fun reading a short pantomime, about Cinderella after she’d been married to her prince for about 20 years, performed by the drama club many years ago. Topic for the next meeting is Chocolate – and this is to be held on Thursday, January 19, in the village hall’s upper room from 7.30-9.30pm.

STICHILL

SWI

Sixteen members attended a Christmas meal held at Teviot Smokery. Competition – a wrapped parcel – 1, Jean McDermid; 2, Brenda Waring; 3, Meg Black. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 7, when there will be a craft evening with Erica Smith.

TEVIOTHEAD

SWI

See Newmill section.

TRAQUAIR

Parish church

See Innerleithen section.

WALKERBURN

Parish church

See Innerleithen section.

WESTRUTHER

Carols

On Sunday, December 18, a carol service will be held at Westruther Church, starting at 6.30pm.

YETHOLM

Concert

The school concert will be held in Wauchope Hall on Thursday, December 15, at 1.30 and 6.30pm – contact the school office for tickets.

Choir

A choir concert with the Yetholm Colliery Band will be held on Sunday, December 18, at 7.30pm in Kelso Old Parish Church. Entry by donation.

Boxing Day

The village shop and coffee shop will be open on Boxing Day from 10am.

Hogmanay

A Hogmanay party will be held in Wauchope Hall from 7.30pm-1am. Entry is by ticket and all proceeds go to BGH’s Margaret Kerr Unit, Festival Week and Bonfire Night.

Quiz

A quiz night will be held in the Plough Hotel on Wednesday, December 28, at 8pm. All proceeds go to the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland.