The story of David featured in the Reverend Elspeth Harley’s sermon and talk on Sunday. The Bible reading was delivered by Anne Grieve, while Margaret Blyth and Mrs Grieve played the music. Bible study classes begin in the manse at Galashiels on September 2 for an hour from 7.30pm. Melrose and Peebles presbytery is planning a youth visit to Malawi in July 2016. Full details from the Reverend Jim Wallace, 52 Waverley Mills, Innerleithen EH44 6RH, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The new moderator of Melrose and Peebles presbytery, Fraser Simm, will be guest at the August 2 service. He plans to visit all churches in the presbytery during his year of office. There will also be a short meeting of the kirk session at 9.40am before the service.
The Blythswood Care collection van will be making its monthly visit to the Borders on August 3 to receive donations of clothing, shoes, books, bric-a-brac and small items of furniture. In addition, Blythswood Care’s annual Shoe Box Appeal is about to start and leaflets will be available from the driver, along with the collection dates. Local collection location – The Lodge, 2.45-3pm.
The August 2 service at 10.15am will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods and members of the worship team. The following day sees a concert by St Peter’s Choir from St Albans at 7.30pm.
There are only a handful of tickets left for the Keats Quartet performance in the hall on July 31 (7.30pm) – phone Kay Ross on 01750 52324.
The next monthly coffee morning and sale in aid of hall funds will be held on August 1, from 10am-noon. Anyone with anything to sell should just appear, take a table and give a small donation.
The Blythswood Care collection van will be making its monthly visit to the Borders on August 3 to receive donations of clothing, shoes, books, bric-a-brac and small items of furniture. In addition, Blythswood Care’s annual Shoe Box Appeal is about to start and leaflets will be available from the driver, along with the collection dates. Local collection location – Asda, 12.50-1.10pm.
The Reverend Elspeth Harley conducted the service on Sunday, while Dorothy Howden led the music and Sandra Aitchison read Bible passages. Last week was Trinity’s turn on the foodbank rota. There will be a coffee morning in the church hall on August 1, between 10am-noon.
July 21 – 1, Valerie Johnstone and Marion Miller; 2, Mary Millar and Patsy Gilligan. July 28 – N/S – 1, John and Marian Miller; 2, Richard von Slicher and Sam White; E/W – 1, Mary Millar and Patsy Gilligan; 2, Helen and Malcolm Ouldcott.
The Blythswood Care collection van will be making its monthly visit to the Borders on August 3 to receive donations of clothing, shoes, books, bric-a-brac and small items of furniture. In addition, Blythswood Care’s annual Shoe Box Appeal is about to start and leaflets will be available from the driver, along with the collection dates. Local collection location – Morrison’s, 11.15-11.40am.
David Oliver, son of past president David, gave a talk on mini and primary schools’ rugby in Hawick, of which he is coach and co-ordinator. He started coaching Stirches school seven years ago and has built them into a trophy-winning team, recently winning the Keown Trophy for the first time in 44 years. The Hawick Mini-Robbie Dyes was formed and now 130 boys and girls turn up at Mansfield Park each Sunday morning. They run an annual tournament costing £1,000 which is all self-funded, thanks to dedicated parents, friends and supporters. Russell Gray, Christchurch, New Zealand, was the guest of David Oliver senior and was on a visit to Hawick with his wife, Dorothy (nee Taylor), who emigrated from the town in 1957 with her parents and two sisters.
A service of holy communion will be held at 10.30am on August 2.
July 15 – match-pointed pairs – N/S – 1, Val Johnstone and Mary Millar; 2, Kitty Home-Robertson and Christine McCreath; 3, Ian Watson and Stuart Graham; E/W – 1, Gerry Eglington and Jon Bridger; 2, Sheena McPherson and Sheila Urquhart; 3, Annie Mitchell and Bob Stevenson. July 16 – aggregate pairs – 1, Rena Stewart and Maureen Weightman; 2, Ian Watson and Georgina Hall; 3, Bob Stevenson and Lee Leeson; 4, Jean Henry and Myra Thomson; 5, James Tweddle and Brian Saywood; 6, Dorothy Graham and Lynda Douglas. July 22 – match-pointed pairs – N/S – 1, Jean Henry and Myra Thomson; 2, Maureen Weightman and Helen Long; 3, Dominic and Diana Alkin; E/W – 1, Annie Mitchell and Bob Stevenson; 2, Brian Saywood and Ken Ross; 3, Christine and Ian McCreath. July 23 – aggregate pairs – 1, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 2, Bob Stevenson and Lee Leeson; 3 (equal), Gerry Eglington and Jon Bridger, Helenor Pratt and Pauline Smart; 5, John Urquhart and Janet Kyle; 6, Rena Stewart and Maureen Weightman.
Cornet Jamie Fletcher and his Right and Left-Hand Men, Dale Irving and Alasdair Cavers, have been at several Common Riding functions, as well as attending other festivals. The rideouts organised by the Castle Craigs Club are under way. There has been a midweek lead rein pony ride for the children, with over 40 taking part, when they were joined by the Cornet and his Right and Left-Hand Men. Headed by the pipe band, they went round a number of streets of the town. This was only the third time the event has taken place. It was blustery, but dry, as Cornet Fletcher, Dale and Alasdair headed out of the town and over the hills to Bentpath, followed by more than 70 horsemen, which included semi-jubilee Cornet Kevan Hotson. Large crowds had turned up at the village to welcome them, and Westerkirk SWI treated the riders to tea in the hall. The winner of the W. H. Harkness Jubilee Shield for best-turned-out pony was Thomas Coates. The company enjoyed various toasts and songs in the hall, and prior to leaving Bentpath the leading principals received a dram and sang “Wee Bit Toon”. It was raining for the return journey and the riders headed back through Westerhall Estate, home of Mary Buckley, returning to the town by way of the Castle Hill. They were greeted by crowds at the Lodge Walks and Kilngreen. The leading principals had over 30 mounted followers for the rideout to the Craig, including a number of young female riders, and fortunately it was dry. At the Craig, Cornet Fletcher presented the James Harkness Trophy for the best-turned-out horse or pony ridden by a girl studying at Langholm Academy to Mollie Bell. The Craig Cup for best-turned-out pony went to Nicole Beattie.
Club president Jim Muir welcomed a good turnout of Rotarians and guests to the Crown Hotel. He greeted Cornet Jamie Fletcher and his Right and Left-Hand Men, Dale Irving and Alasdair Cavers, and wished the Cornet and his family an enjoyable Common Riding. Among the other special guests at the dinner were semi-jubilee Cornet Kevan Hotson, jubilee Cornet David McVittie, Castle Craigs Club chairman Kevan Grieve and Common Riding committee chairman Roger Maxwell, who is also Rotary club vice-chairman. Mr Muir spoke about diamond jubilee Cornet Jimmy Maxwell, who had been Common Riding chairman for 25 years and also officiating magistrate for 16, but was unable to attend due to ill health. Main speaker John J. Elliot, treasurer of the Rotary club and Common Riding, proposed the toast to the Common Riding.
At the opening of the Common Riding committee meeting in the Crown Hotel, chairman Roger Maxwell welcomed new member Stuart Murray. The chairman informed members that a trustees’ meeting had been held regarding safety of the public during the gallop up the Kirk Wynd. It had been agreed that signs would be placed at the foot of the Kirk Wynd and Drove Road, intimating that spectators viewed at their own risk. The power supply to the new chilled trailer will be further looked into after suggestions of a generator, or perhaps running a cable. The chairman suggested signs could be put up at the gates at the Castleholm, stating that entrants must have a ticket available for inspection, and a sign could also point out that entrants before 10am should get a ticket from the car park gate. Bruce Park said non-smoking signs would be needed for the beer tent. The maker of the Crown, Les Murray, is appealing to locals for Sweet William as there was likely to be a shortage of roses. More fencing was needed and it was agreed that some could be placed round the grandstand to prevent people climbing the scaffolding.
There was a good turnout for the flute band AGM and social evening in the Buck Hotel. Cornet Jamie Fletcher and his Right and Left-Hand Men, Ex-Cornets Dale Irving and Alasdair Cavers, were cheered into the hall. Chairman Roddy Innes presented an inscribed tankard on behalf of the band to Cornet Fletcher. Colin Irving presented a bottle of whisky to Audrey Maxwell for her husband, diamond jubilee Cornet Jimmy Maxwell, who was unable to attend due to ill health. Bottles of whisky were also presented to jubilee Cornet David McVittie by Kenneth Pool and semi-jubilee Cornet Kevan Hotson by Charlie Graham. The rest of the evening was held in a social capacity, with singers entertaining with tunes on the flutes.
The Cornet’s night in the Royal British Legion once again proved to be a very popular event. Cornet Jamie Fletcher and his Right and Left-Hand Men, Dale Irving and Alasdair Cavers, were given a warm reception as they entered the clubrooms. Billy Young was chairman for the evening. The toast to the Common Riding was given by Bernie Armstrong from the Callant Club at Hawick, with the chairman of the Common Riding committee, Ex-Cornet Roger Maxwell, repling. The toast to the Cornet was proposed by Dale Irving, and in his reply Cornet Fletcher wished everyone an enjoyable Common Riding. Henry Jeffrey was accompanist for singers Irving Stuart, Ex-Cornet David Pool and Stephen Milligan, while Charlie Graham sang and played guitar. Members of the town band played a number of Common Riding favourites, which were thoroughly enjoyed, and later in the evening they provided music for the dance.
It was dry as Cornet Jamie Fletcher, accompanied by his Right and Left-Hand Men, Dale Irving and Alasdair Cavers, led 81 mounted followers on the gallop up the Kirk Wynd to head out on the Castle Craigs ride-out. There was a quick stop at the Castle Craigs and the Cornet started off the fell race. The riders made their way to Cronksbank where they were joined by supporters – on foot, bikes and cars – for the refreshment stop. The Cornet presented the J. M. Mitchell Memorial Challenge Shield for the fell race to the winner, Alistair Hogg, who was also successful last year. The mounted cavalcade then headed for Broomholmshiels and it was now raining quite heavily. On returning to the town, riders were met by the pipe band who led them round the streets before finishing at the Crown Hotel. At the Castle Craigs Club dinner, the Alfie Bell Cup for best turned out pony went to Thomas Coates and the Ian MacMillan Cup (best turned out pony by a new member) was awarded to Ruaridh Hotson. New members received their badges and the remainder of the evening involved speeches and songs, and members of the town band played Common Riding tunes.
A large congregation gathered in the parish church for the Kirkin’ of the Cornet. The service was conducted by the Reverend Scott McCarthy and the organist was Muriel Askew. The lessons were read by Cornet Jamie Fletcher and Common Riding committee chairman ex-Cornet Roger Maxwell. A presentation was made to the Cornet and the retiring collection was in aid of Sunday school funds. Prior to the service, the Cornet and his Right and Left-Hand Men, ex-Cornets Dale Irving and Alasdair Cavers, and members of the Common Riding committee, joined Mr McCarthy at the war memorial in Buccleuch Park on what was a dry clear morning. There was a short service of remembrance and a wreath was laid by Cornet Fletcher. Band member Nicole Weatherstone played The Last Post and piper Craig Irving The Lament.
On what was a very wet Sunday evening, Lodge Eskdale Kilwinning held its annual parade, led by the town band, to the service in the parish church. It was conducted by the Reverend Scott McCarthy and music was provided by Muriel Askew, Henry Jeffrey and Simon Railton. Lessons were read by RWM Brother Alexander R. Maxwell and Brother K. McQueen IPM. Soloists were Brother P. I. Stuart PM Past PGM and Brother Allan Marshall PM Past PGM, Roxburgh, Peebles and Selkirkshires. Visitors from other lodges attended the service, and the retiring collection was in aid of Friends of the Thomas Hope Hospital.
Town band sale
It was a dry afternoon as the town band played through to the Buccleuch Centre for its annual sale of work, after the horses had left for the hill on Castle Craigs Day. The Reverend Scott McCarthy opened the event, which was well supported and he was presented with a gift from young Juliet Weatherstone. The sum of £1800 was raised for band funds. Members of the town band played at night at the Castle Craigs Club dinner in the Crown Hotel, and the musicians were given a collection of £215. The band also played a programme of music on the Kilngreen on the Sunday afternoon, where a bus with Australian tourists stopped off to listen – and they thoroughly enjoyed the band playing their version of “500 miles”.
Anyone who can manage to spare two hours a week on a Tuesday to help serve lunch and wash up for the elderly in the community should telephone 01835 862565 for more information.
The Blythswood Care collection van will be making its monthly visit to the Borders on August 3 to receive donations of clothing, shoes, books, bric-a-brac and small items of furniture. In addition, Blythswood Care’s annual Shoe Box Appeal is about to start and leaflets will be available from the driver, along with the collection dates. Local collection location – Melrose Rugby Club, 1.55-2.20pm.
Services on August 2 start at 9.30am (Bowden) and 11am (Melrose).
It’s not every year that the trust becomes involved in an archaeological dig. However, chairman John Reid, off his own bat, obtained a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to try to solve, with the aid of the Dumfries and Galloway county archaeologist, one of the long-standing mysteries of Scottish history – was there really a siege by the Romans of the tribes on Burnswark Hill, near Ecclefechan? Dr Reid needs volunteers, with travel expenses paid, for a two-week dig at the end of August/beginning of September. He can be contacted on email@example.com. Meanwhile, the museum is displaying its two coin hoards to visitors, the walks (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays) are attracting a steady stream of people and anyone wishing to join the Antonine Wall trip on August 8 should contact Donald Gordon on 01896 822651 asap.
Melrose in Bloom
Some 150 people attended Melrose in Bloom’s summer garden party at Tweedsyde on July 26, enjoying not only the garden, but champagne, afternoon tea and music. The weather remained dry and only at the very end began to lose its unaccustomed restraint this summer.
Midlem flower show will take place in the village hall on August 16. There are vegetable, flower and industrial sections. Anyone who lives within a three-mile radius and would like to participate, but does not have a schedule, contact Wendy (01835 870426) or Isobel (01835 870353).
There was a large congregation for the sashing of Morebattle Games Queen Kym Cessford, daughter of Grace and George Cessford, sister of Greg and Jennifer (who was Games Queen in 2008). Her granny, Helen, also held the post in 1958. Kym was sashed by last year’s incumbent, Emma Thomson. Kym presented Emma with a commemorative goblet. Kym’s duties start on August 1 with boys’ and girls’ five-a-side football competitions at 2pm on the school playing field, followed by a car treasure hunt which leaves from the Templehall at 6pm. August 2 sees the family day, with races on the school playing field at 2pm. August 3 – coffee evening in village hall, 7pm, followed by bingo in the Templehall, 8.30pm. August 4 – camera club exhibition, 2-4pm and 6-8pm. Pool competition in the village hall, 7.30pm. August 5 – whist and dominoes in the village hall, 7 for 7.30pm. August 6 – children’s egg hunt and teddy bears’ picnic and treasure hunt at the school playing field, 2.30pm, followed by the pet show at 6.30pm. August 7 – fancy dress parade with judging at the school playing field, 6.30pm, followed by a disco in the Templehall Lounge. Presentation of cups and results of scarecrow competition, approximately 8pm. August 8 – Morebattle Games at Morebattle Tofts, 1.30pm.
The Blythswood Care collection van will be making its monthly visit to the Borders on August 3 to receive donations of clothing, shoes, books, bric-a-brac and small items of furniture. In addition, Blythswood Care’s annual Shoe Box Appeal is about to start and leaflets will be available from the driver, along with the collection dates. Local collection location – West Port car park, 12.10-12.30pm.
St Boswells Church is hosting the first of two summer concerts on July 31 at 7.30pm, given by a new local group of 16 singers, The Border Pilgrims, and conducted by Marion Dodd. The programme is based around nature and pilgrimage on St Cuthbert’s Way, and will include piano duets by Anne Kerr and Jim Letham, flute (Christine Smith) and vocal solos (Catherine Hadshar and Geoff Ross), and poems by Mike Young. Tickets available at the door. The event is in aid of the Vine Trust house building in Tanzania.
There will be a Songs of Praise service in Traquair Kirk on August 9 at 6.30pm.
The next service in Walkerburn Public Hall will be on August 16 at 10am.
Yetholm Kirk is the venue for the second of two summer concerts (August 1, 7.30pm) given by a new local group of 16 singers, The Border Pilgrims, and conducted by Marion Dodd. The programme is based around nature and pilgrimage on St Cuthbert’s Way, and will include piano duets, flute and vocal solos, and poems (see St Boswells section for details). Tickets available at the door. The event is in aid of the reconfiguration of the church as a visitor centre.
Marco Biagi, Scottish Government minister for local government and community empowerment, visits Yetholm on August 10 at 10.30am. Further details next week.
The Polar Explorer holiday club, for primary school-age youngsters, will run from August 10-14, from 6-8pm, in Yetholm Church.