Have your say


WRI: President Molly Marshall welcomed a large turnout of members to this month’s meeting which took the form of a Burns supper. Competition – a Scottish brooch – 1, Margaret Taylor; 2, Ann Reid; 3, Susan Govan.


WRI: David Fuller-Shapcott, speaker at this month’s meeting, gave a talk about the work of the Border Underwater Search Team, a group of voluntary amateur divers who can be called on to help in search and rescue situations. His presentation was illustrated by a slide show of photographs taken underwater by his wife, Alison, around St Abb’s , on the west coast and on a holiday abroad. The evening ended with supper and the prize winners were Elizabeth Bruce and Hazel Woodsell for a holiday-themed limerick. The seaside gift competition was won by Beryl Jones, with Moira Coull second.


CHURCH: Sunday’s service was conducted by the Reverend Marion Dodd, The lessons, some from the Glasgow Bible, were read by Atholl Innes. Members are invited to the weekly vestry bible study, led by Marion, each Thursday in Trinity Church, Galashiels, 5-6pm.


MINTO WRI: The Reverend Douglas Nicol, minister of Hobkirk and Southdean with Ruberslaw (Denholm, Minto and Bedrule), spoke on Life and Work at this month’s meeting. He began with descriptions of his boyhood in Burntisland during the 1950s. His early jobs included working on the dodgems in the fairground while still a schoolboy, and helping with the Seaside Mission and in a work camp in the Gorbals. Mr Nicol studied at Edinburgh and Glasgow universities, and after gaining a degree in theology, he worked at Crieff Conference Centre. He left to become minister of Lochside, Dumfries, before moving to Kilmacolm, then Edinburgh and on to the Borders. Mary Beck gave the vote of thanks. Competition – favourite bookmark – 1, Pat Jardine; 2, Sheila Marshall; 3, Ann Forrest; 4, Dot MacLellan.

Church: A Ruberslaw Church lunch will be held tomorrow at noon in the church hall, Denholm. Also tomorrow, a service will be held at Knowesouth Home at 2pm. On Sunday services will take place at 9.30am (Hobkirk) and 11am (Denholm). Ruberslaw congregational board meets on Tuesday at 7pm in the church hall. Members of Ruberslaw kirk session are invited to be present at 7pm to consider the draft annual report and accounts. Next Thursday Ruberslaw fundraising committee meets at the manse at 7.30pm. The 1st Denholm Boys’ Brigade coffee morning will be held on February 4 at the church hall, 10am-noon. February 5 services will take place at Hobkirk (9.30am) and Minto (11am). Both will be conducted by the Reverend Professor Graeme Auld. The Hawick Olympic Torch will be visiting Denholm in early February and a special school service held in Denholm Church at 11am on February 6. A similar service will be held in Hobkirk Church when the torch arrives in Hobkirk in May. On February 7 Hobkirk and Southdean kirk session will meet at Howahill at 7pm, with the joint kirk session gathering on February 14 at 7pm at the church hall.

CONCERT: High tea and a concert are on the menu at Denholm village hall on Sunday, 3-5.30pm. Tickets available from Brydons in Hawick, or by calling 07592 943523.

BEER FESTIVAL: The Auld Cross Keys stages a beer festival on March 2-4. There will be more than 40 beers and perries from throughout the UK. Phone 01450 870305 for tickets and more information.


PARISH CHURCH: Sunday’s service – all-age, 9.30am; traditional, 11am. Both will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods. Trustees have been asked to attend the local review visit meeting in the church hall at 7pm on Wednesday.

WOMEN’S GROUP: Next Thursday’s meeting is in the church hall at 8pm when the Reverend Marion Dodd will be sharing stories from Balmoral.

WEDNESDAY CLUB: The club started a new session last week with a quiz, which had a Scottish flavour, prepared by Mrs McKay. Competitions – cake slice – 1, Mrs E. Scott; 2, Mrs M. Chisholm; Christmas decoration – 1, Mrs G. Forsyth; 2, Mrs A. Penman. The competition at next week’s meeting will be for a fob or wristwatch.


SUPPER: The Burns supper will take place on Saturday night – phone Christine on 01835 840246 to book a place.

Coffee Morning: February 6 at 10.30am.


COFFEE MORNING: The next coffee morning in aid of hall funds will be held in the village hall on February 4, 10am-noon. Anyone with anything to sell can simply turn up, use a table and give a donation to hall funds.

DINNER: The annual hall dinner is on March 3 and tickets are available from Linda on 01750 52257. Speakers are Bobby Fraser and Johnny Gray, with the usual supporting cast of singers and entertainers.


ROTARY: Following their donation to Aquafilter, pupils at St Peter’s will have a link with a school in Rwanda. The Rotary Aquafilter team is visiting Rwanda to supply and promote the use of Aquafilters and will be delivering one kit, named after St Peter’s, to a school there. This will lead to opportunities to write to youngsters in that school and, hopefully, build up long-term links. This project is part of St Peter’s work with Rotakids. Other schools, groups or individuals can donate money towards Aquafilter boxes which are a means of purifying water where no safe mains supply exists. For more information, contact the club through its website.

Camera Club: Galashiels hosted the annual three-way projected image competition with Kelso and Earlston. Professional photographer Alastair Innes judged the 45 entries. The outcome was a victory for Galashiels with a score of 202, followed by Earlston (173) and Kelso (165). The night was rounded of with supper supplied by host members. Curtis Welsh and Helen Pugh-Cook will deliver a talk entitled Ladakh, India on Wednesday.

SLIMMING CLASS: A Scottish Slimmer class is to be held at Asda’s Galashiels store, noon-1.30pm, weekly from February 8. Use colleagues’ entrance, right of building at back of car park. All welcome, just turn up. Information stand in store from February 1 to 6.

50/50 DRAW: The latest winning Borders 50/50 draw ticket is number 2545.


ROTARY: Last week’s meeting, chaired by president Liz Wood, had a traditional meal of Burns’ fayre, followed by an appreciation of his life and work given by the president. She also gave an account of the history of Burns’ suppers. In 1801 – on the fifth anniversary of his death – nine of his friends met in Alloway for dinner in honour of his memory and agreed to carry on the tradition each year thereafter. The first supper outwith Scotland was held at Oxford University in 1806, hosted by Glasgow students.

Bridge Club: January 16 – N/S – 1, P. Gilligan and M. Millar; 2, R. Francombe and V. Macpherson; 3, S. White and J. Urquhart; E/W – 1, J. Henderson and M. Walker; 2, K. Auckland and E. Aitken; 3, M. Tuson and R. Witherington; January 18 – 1, D. Usher and I. Wyze; 2, H. and M. Ouldcott; 3, E. Aitken and M. Bowie; 4, M. and H. Dooley.

Camera Club: At the meeting last Thursday, Juline Baird of the Hawick Heritage Hub presented an illustrated talk on the preservation of photographs. She featured pictures of several Border towns and villages, including images of people at their places of work, some in factories and others on farmland. The wareroom of the Peter Scott knitwear mill photographed in the early 1900s was one example on show. Another was of a group of farm workers posing beside hay stacks. These and other images have been photographed, catalogued and made available for public access while the originals are archived and stored in appropriately controlled conditions. The evening concluded with John Hill proposing a vote of thanks. Next Thursday’s meeting features an illustrated talk about Honduras by Caitlin Hamilton.

PROBUS: The following were elected at the AGM – president, Richard Nicol; vice-president, David Davidson; secretary, Reverend Stanley Britton; treasurer, John G. Douglas; hon. auditor, Eric Grierson; speech convener, David Davidson; press secretary, Tony Wilson. Committee – Alan Graham, Elliot Broatch, Giles Passmore and Les Short. The president then gave a moving talk on the experiences of his family during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. Rob Drysdale gave a vote of thanks.There followed a Burns lunch provided by Joanne, Michael and the staff of Spinners.


RACE NIGHT: Vale of Leithen Football Club is holding a race night on February 4 in the Union Club, 7 for 7.30pm start. This will be followed by a karaoke in the front bar.

TICKETS: There will be an opportunity to buy tickets for Innerleithen Opera’s production of The Sound of Music (March 26-31) at a coffee morning on February 18 in the Vale Club, 10am-noon. Tickets will also be available at the Free Library Hall, Buccleuch Street, on February 16, 6.30-7.15pm, at Graham McGrath’s, Eastgate, Peebles, from February 25 and the Thrift Shop, Innerleithen, from March 12.

SERVICE: Sunday’s service in Innerleithen Church starts at 11.30am.


Bridge Club: January 16 – N/S – 1, D. and P. Palmer; 2, J. Tait and I. Weir; 3, B. and I. Middleton; E/W – 1, A. and R. Stewart; 2, R. Oates and S. West; 3, D. Cessford and D. Gray.

Rotary: After two weather-related postponements, the club was able to hold its annual grayling fishing competition on Saturday. It was a very windy day and the water too muddy, so it was not surprising that no fish were caught. However, everyone involved had an enjoyable day out on the Teviot and several were so impressed that they are planning to return. All monies raised are destined to buy Aquaboxes for disaster zones. In the district quiz the club’s run of success ended when members were beaten by Duns.

HANDBA’: The traditional throw-up of the handba’ will be carried out at the Mercat Cross next Thursday at noon by Grammar School head boy Fraser Cockburn. Handba’ play day is Thursday, March 1, with the Candlemass Ba’ (Laddies Ba’) at noon and the Faster’s E’en Ba’ (Men’s Ba’) at 2pm.

Friends of Guiding: There will be a meeting on February 6 to discuss and establish a Friends of Guiding for Jedburgh. This will take place in Howdenburn Community Wing at 7.15pm. All welcome. For more information contact Sarah Borthwick on 01835 864880.


Thursday Group: The spring programme opened with Liz Brown talking about drugs awareness. Today, Roger Hemming will speak about a visit to Bhutan for a solar eclipse. Len McDermid and An Artist at Sea is on next week’s agenda at 2pm in Abbey Row Centre.

Music Society: The Elysnan Horn Trio will play works by Delius, Brahms, Timothy Jackson and Lennox Berkeley in Kelso High School hall at 2.30pm on Sunday. For more information, phone 01668 216550.

BRIDGE CLUB: January 18 – Rose Bowl 5 – N/S – 1, Bob Stevenson and Annie Mitchell; 2, James and Brenda Duncan; 3, Lee Leeson and Alastair Ireland; E/W – 1, Brian Saywood and Ken Ross; 2, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 3, Jean McLaren and Evelyn Erskine; January 19 – Millennium Trophy 8 – N/S – 1, Bob Stevenson and Lee Leeson; 2, Alison and Alastair Ireland; 3, Val Fairbairn and Jock Dun; E/W – 1, John Hayton and Rena Stewart; 2, James Duncan and Ged McIvor; 3, Gerry Eglington and Jon Bridger.

MARKET: Kelso Square farmers’ market is on Saturday, 9.30am-1.30pm.

FILM NIGHT: See Yetholm news.

RANGERS FANS: The bus for the Hibs game leaves Kelso Square at 11am, picking up in St Boswells, Earlston, Lauder, Pathhead and Dalkeith. Tickets available from Jim on 01573 226240.

ROTARY: Kelso Rotarians have contributed towards the achievement of the Rotary International global target to collect $200million. This target was surpassed last week – some six months earlier than predicted. This money has been raised to provide equal matching to a contribution by the Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Foundation – put in place to provide funding to support the global campaign to eradicate polio, which is easily prevented by early immunisation. Europe has been polio-free since 2002, but there is work to be done in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan to reach all the young children who are still at risk. However, there remains a significant funding gap for future polio immunisation activities and it is essential that Rotarians continue to support this cause.


Accordion club: There was a good turnout for the January meeting in the Royal British Legion clubrooms. This was a club night with no guest band, but it was still an excellent evening with a good line-up of musicians who were introduced by compere Adam Grant. Among the accordion players were Billy and David Bell, Les Hurst and Newby Park, all from Carlisle. Ken White, from the Rigg, also played, along with Jimmy Johnstone (Annan) and James Lawrie (Gilsland). The Bon Accords Deryn and Robin Waitt, from Claygate, were again present with local player Roger Dobson. Canonbie’s Ian Bell played a selection on the bagpipes and Ian Wilson (Crawford) was on the piano. The John Douglas Band from Dumfries will be the guests at next month’s meeting.

Farmers’ Dance: The Eskdale farmers’ dance took place in Eskdale Sports Centre, attracting a turnout of 240 people. Chairman Glen Brodie welcomed everyone and Spice Catering from Longtown served up the meal. The rugby club was in charge of the bar and music for dancing provided by the Strangers from Selkirk.


Messy Church: Messy Church is a once-monthly time for children and their parents/carers, at a time other than Sunday, giving them a chance to express their creativity and have fun within a Christian context. Plans for a trial session on Wednesday, 3.15-4.15pm, in Lauder Youth Trust Hall are now well in place. If successful, a monthly one-hour session will follow. More information from www.messychurch.org.uk, Dr Rebecca Green on rjlomax@btopnworld.com or 01578 718874.

Blythswood Care: Collections from The Lodge hotel will be made on February 7, March 6, April 3, May 8 and June 5 – all 12.30-12.45pm.

Twinning Partnership: Oxton and Lauder plan to contribute to a container of resources travelling to Zomba in April. Items requested include sets of football/netball strips, office equipment, bicycles, musical instruments, garden and woodworking tools, school textbooks, knitting needles, sewing machines and wool for knitting. Contributions should be submitted to Graeme Donald by the end of this month.

Channelkirk Services: From now until Easter, 10am Sunday services will be held in the War Memorial Hall, Oxton.

Kirk Session: The purpose of Tuesday’s meeting at 7pm is to adopt the 2011 accounts and the statistical return. It is open only to members of the kirk session in their role as trustees of Channelkirk and Lauder Church.

Souper Sunday: This will be the theme at both churches on Sunday, led by members of the congregation and worship team.


Melrose in Bloom: Elected at the annual general meeting were – chairman, Quin Dunlop; treasurer, Vivien Chisholm; secretary, Pam Rowlands; fundraiser, Val Miller. The Bloomers have been invited to take part in Britain in Bloom and as many helpers as possible will be needed. For more information, telephone Quin (01896 822224) or Pam (01896 822024).

Historical Association: Walter Elliot spoke about Speaking Scotts at the latest meeting, covering the place names in the Borders, especially around Selkirk. He showed how these names were influenced over the centuries by Gaelic from the north, the Cymri (Welsh) from the south and the Anglians from the east. All met around Selkirk. The vote of thanks was given by Ian Skinner. The next meeting is on February 14 when Isabel Gordon will speak on Thomas the Rhymer, Michael Scott and John Duns Scotus.

TRIMONTIUM: The Trimontium Walk has been going for some 18 years, but local information keeps coming to light. A Newstead historian produced a map the other day laying out the 18 or so little fields, originally runrig, with their names, that centuries ago once occupied the now huge flat fields lying between the Middle Walk and the Tweed. A glimpse of the textile history of Melrose lies in the Waulk Mill and Tenter Yards fields – where cloth was beaten, soaked, shrunk and then stretched to keep its shape on frames. Local schools’ half-term begins on February 9 and it is proposed to open the Melrose accredited museum from then to February 19 in order to be available to schoolchildren and visitors during the break. Mention last week of possible delays in the treasure trove process with regard to the two Roman coin hoards found last year at Bowden and Ashkirk have led to an unofficial report that wheels have begun turning and meetings are being scheduled.

CHURCH: Activities – Sunday’s services, Bowden (9.30am) and Weirhill (11am); next Thursday, enquirers’ class, 7.30pm; February 4, church coffee morning, Bowden, for overseas projects; February 16, guild Palm Court tea fundraiser (Clef Club players).

Flower Club: The latest meeting had a festive theme – Ding Dong Merrily on High was the the title chosen by Linda Hopkins. Music and poems were read by Margaret Marshall, while Pam Johnston and Marjorie Fulton interspersed the designs to give a real feeling of the spirit of Christmas. Her choice of containers and a good variety of flowers took members to the front hall of the house, then a pot to sit at the fireside. Next was a star design to take as a hostess gift, followed by a glass cube with a modern design with an orchid as the focal point. Her final design was for the church, with palm leaves and white flowers. The first meeting of 2012 – Fun Night – is on February 8 in the Corn Exchange, Melrose, at 7.30pm.


WRI: Kate Hunter brought along a display of her quilting with tatting at this month’s meeting. Nancy Anderson gave the vote of thanks. Competitions – wedge of Christmas cake – 1, Nancy Anderson; 2, Marian Dumma; 3, Grace Cessford; Christmas napkin – 1, Nancy Anderson; 2, Marian Dumma; 3, Mary Pringle.

Coffee Morning: The annual charities coffee morning will be held in the institute on Saturday at 10.30am.

Guild: The guild meets in the institute next Thursday at 7.30pm, taking the form of a members’ night.

FILM NIGHT: See Yetholm news.


Coffee Morning: £416 was raised at a coffee morning in the village hall. The event was run by the Liddesdale Ladies Amenities Group who joined forces with the Floral Group to raise money to renew the play park in the village.


WRI: President Mary Redburn welcomed members to the first meeting of the year. The minutes were read by secretary Elaine Thornton-Nicol and the new syllabus for the year ahead was handed out. Anne Turnbull, assisted by other members, then demonstrated some of the skills involved in jewellery-making. Competition – needle case – 1, Elaine Thornton-Nicol; 2, Mary Redburn; 3, Elizabeth McMillan. Members meet again next Thursday in Newtown Community Wing.


WRI: Gillian Dick from Body and Mind, Lauder, gave tips on how to stay looking young. Competition – a compact – 1, Agnes Bell; 2, Alice Telford; 3, Sylvia Thomson. Next meeting – February 15.


RABBITS: The Rabbit Welfare Association will be sharing advice on the care of pet rabbits at the Bridge, Tweed Brae, High Street, on Saturday, 10.30am-12.30pm. More information by contacting 01721 723269/07527 219358 or visiting www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk.

St Boswells

CEILIDH: The church ceilidh held last Friday in the village hall raised more than £1,100. Music was provided by the Neil Hardie Band and supper by the committee.

SOUP CLUB: The village hall soup club meets in the Lesser Hall every Wednesday from noon. So far this winter, the club, for senior citizens, has raised in excess of £800 towards village hall refurbishment funds.

COMMUNITY COUNCIL: An open meeting in the Lesser Hall tonight at 7.30pm has been organised to encourage members of the public to become community councillors. There are elections in April as there are a number of retiring councillors.

GOLF CLUB: The club invites potential and existing members to play on Sundays at 9.30am. There is a Gents Easter League every Sunday and Ladies Winter League each Tuesday at 1pm. New members welcome. Call Sue Brooks on 01835 823527 for more information and an application form.

ST BOSWELLS LIVE!: Rory McLeod and Hannah Scott perform tomorrow, with doors opening at 7.30pm. Tickets are available at the post office or on 01835 822692.


SERVICE: The next service in Traquair Kirk will be on February 12 at 10am.


SERVICE: Sunday’s service in the village hall starts at 10am.


FILM NIGHT: On Monday, the Yetholm Dry Bar film season continues with The Smurfs. Doors open 6.15 pm. Free admission.

CROSS-BORDER CLUB: Members meet today at 12.15pm in the Wauchope Hall for lunch, followed by a talk entitled A Lady Almoner at Barts Hospital by Sandra Gann.

BURNS SUPPER: Border Worthies’ Burns supper will be held in the Border Hotel on February 4. Tom Tokely, of Yetholm, will propose the toast to the Immortal Memory, while the toast to the lassies will be delivered by Stuart Smith. Anyone interested in attending should contact either Judi Elliot or Alastair Tumbull to reserve a place. A performing newcomer this year will be Jean Hurst, of Kirk Yetholm, who will be replying on behalf of the lassies.

BABEL: The film Babel will be screened on Saturday at 6.30 for 7pm in the Wauchope Hall.

FLOOD PREVENTION: The long-promised flood prevention project in the Venchen Haugh is under way. Notices have appeared detailing the work which includes fencing off the river banks and tree planting. Access to the riverside is being retained for walkers, anglers and others. However, the size of the fencing is giving rise to local concern, as is planting of trees. The Bowmont Water is well known for the fury of its flash floods and some are wondering if the fences and young trees will survive the next torrent.

HISTORY SOCIETY: There was a double feature at this month’s meeting when BiII Rae and Alastair Turnbull each gave a talk at the meeting at the Old Manse, once occupied by the ministers of the United Presbyterian Church. Bill’s illustrated talk traced the history of four Presbyterian denominations in Yetholm during four centuries. Alastair described the careers and authorship of several of his ministerial ancestors.