District News Thursday, December 22

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Ashkirk

SERVICES: The parish church is the venue for a watchnight service at 11.15pm on Christmas Eve.

Broomlands

WRI: The December meeting was a Christmas party, with games and supper supplied by members. There was a Secret Santa and carol singing ended the evening. Best-dressed parcels winners – Barbara Maclean, Joan Turnbull and Hazel Woodsell.

Cardrona

CAROLS: A carol service will be held in Cardrona village hall at 4pm on Christmas Eve.

Darnick

WRI: Due to weather conditions, the last meeting was cancelled. The next scheduled gathering is the birthday party meal at the Kings Arms Hotel in Melrose. Members should contact Evelyn on 01896 823639 by January 6 to confirm attendance.

Denholm

WHIST: A whist drive and dominoes will be held next Thursday at 7.30pm in the village hall.

Earlston

PARISH CHURCH: Two new elders have been welcomed – Tom Burnham and Paul Goode. Three other elders were presented with long-service certificates – Ruth Scoular, John Burns and Jimmy McLean have 101 years service between them. On Christmas Eve there will be services at 6.30pm (families) and 11.15pm (watchnight). Christmas Day sees a service at 10am (bring along a present) and for New Year’s Day there is a service at 11am.

Eckford

CEILIDH: A ceilidh will be held on Hogmanay in the village hall, with music by the Clarty Cloot Ceilidh Band. Tickets are available from Sandra on 01835 850324.

WRI: This month’s meeting was a Christmas night out at the Queen’s Head in Kelso where members enjoyed a meal and gave each other presents. Annual points competition – 1, Margaret Linton (silver salver); 2 (equal), Joyce Eaves and Christine Tucker; 3, Isobel Henderson.

Galashiels

Camera Club: The men v women competition, judged by Gerry Tomkinson, proved an entertaining evening with a large selection of images from the animal kingdom on view. The team event was a close call with the fair sex shading the result with the bonus point for having a better percentage entry, giving them a lead of 0.4 of a point. Individual results – projected images – 1, Gordon Swalwell; 2, Marion Moyles; 3, Gordon Swalwell; commended, Dorothy Ainslie and Ena Robson (2). Prints – 1 and 2, Ena Robson; 3, Geoff Harrison; commended, Dorothy Ainslie, John Frater and Neil McLean. The next meeting is on January 11 when speaker Keith Robson presents “Out and About in the Scottish Borders”.

50/50 draw: This week’s winning ticket is 2260.

Gordon

CHURCH: The Christmas Eve service starts at 11.30pm.

Greenlaw

CHURCH: The Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (bring a gift to show) services start at 11.30pm and 9.45am respectively.

Hawick

Camera Club: At last Thursday’s meeting members displayed some of their summer holiday pictures. Edith McLean’s series of dramatic Cuillin mountain scenes got the show started, followed by Anna Lee, Gordon Gilfether and Jimmy Anderson, who all had pictures of the club summer outing to Kippford on a dreich Sunday in June. Bert Lancaster had two sequences of recent trips to the Continent, the first being a visit to Dresden in Germany and the second a cruise along the fjords of Norway around the time of the midnight sun, each sequence was accompanied by music. George Murdie’s series featured Chillingham Castle, near Wooler. The programme concluded with an animated sequence by Gordon Gilfether which depicted a Christmas scene with humorous cartoon characters singing carols in the snow. The next meeting will be on January 5 with Gordon giving advice on making digital sequences.

ROTARY: A Christmas party night was held at the club gathering last week. MC Bobby Cairns linked the various artistes in humourous fashion. Pat Sutherland sang the carol “Oh, holy night” and another seasonal song. Billy McWatters displayed his sleight of hand with his magic tricks. The Salvation Army songsters Betty Oliver, Ina Cairns and Dorothy Shiels gave a rendition of “The Robin’s song” followed by “When a child is born”. Jane Bannerman gave a rendition of a Jenny Joseph poem, “A warning”. Jack Swanston, David Oliver and Gus Neilson sang “We three kings”, and Andrew Suddon gave a brief dissertation of the life of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley followed by a recitation of his poem “Love’s philosophy”. All the singers were accompanied by Ian Seeley on piano.

Heiton

WRI: A good turnout of members attended the Christmas party. Games and a quiz were enjoyed, and a buffet supper supplied by the committee. Competitions – Christmas stocking – 1, Lesley Abernethy; 2, Hazel Nisbet; 3, Gill Harrop; snowman – 1, Margaret Laidlaw; 2, Norma Wright; 3, Gill Harrop.

Hownam

SERVICE: A Christmas Eve service in Hownam Church starts at 7pm.

Innerleithen

SERVICE: The Christmas Day service in Innerleithen Church starts at 11am (people are invited to bring a present to show).

Kelso

BRIDGE CLUB: December 15 – Millennium Trophy 7 – N/S – 1, Val Fairbairn and Murray Thom; 2, Alison and Alastair Ireland; 3, Dominic and Diana Alkin; E/W – 1, Brian Saywood and Evelyn Erskine; 2, Lee Leeson and Bob Stevenson; 3, Annie Mitchell and Pat Sloan. There was no competition last Wednesday because the Christmas social evening was held.

RANGERS SUPPORTERS: The bus leaves The Square on January 2 for the Motherwell match at 11am. Tickets available from Jim on 01573 226240.

Langholm

Christmas Show: Academy pupils entertained parents, family and friends at their Christmas show, Our House. The musical was based on the 80s band Madness and the book by Tim Firth.

Visit: The Explorer Scouts visited the day centre as part of their community badge. They helped serve a meal to members and chatted to them. Justin Phillips spoke about his trip to Sweden to visit the world jamboree and staying with a Dutch family for a week.

Coffee Morning: Members of the amateur operatic society raised £500 at their Christmas table-top sale and coffee morning.Members, under musical director Anne Halliday, and accompanied by Henry Jeffrey and Simon Railton, sang Christmas songs. Rehearsals are currently under way for The Wizard of Oz.

Lauder

Church: Christmas Eve – a christingle service will be held in Channelkirk Church at 6pm with a watchnight service in Lauder Church at 11pm. Christmas Day – The 10am service in Channelkirk will include an opportunity to take communion for anyone in the parish of Channelkirk and Lauder. The 11.30am service in Lauder will be a family celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Legerwood

CHURCH: A Christmas Eve service starts at 6.30pm.

Linton

CHURCH: A watchnight service on Christmas Eve begins at 11.30pm.

Makerstoun

PARTY: A Christmas party was held in the village hall on Sunday. The children enjoyed party games, tea and a visit from Santa. Proceedings were organised by Alison, Ross and Ken.

Maxton

Ceilidh: Tickets for the village Hogmanay ceilidh must be booked in advance from 01835 823392.

Mellerstain

WRI: Harpist Iain Grant played music old and new, including some Christmas tunes. This was followed by mince pies and a cake to celebrate the rural’s 86th birthday. Competitions – two mincemeat pies – 1, Annie Jones; 2, Anne Storie; 3, Kate Grieve; home-made Christmas decoration – 1, Sheena Bell; 2, Agnes Hood; 3, Anne Storie. The next meeting, on January 18, is a meal at the out Buccleuch Arms Hotel.

Melrose

ROTARY: President Norman Melrose is grateful to everyone who donated to the club collection earlier this month in Melrose. The sum of £320 was realised, which will be split between the BGH Margaret Kerr unit appeal and other local causes.

LITERARY SOCIETY: Members enjoyed an address by author Allan Massie on the topic of writing history. He discussed “historical truth”, and the potential for historical novels both to distort and bring history to life, instancing misunderstandings about the history of Scotland since the 1707 Act of Union. He commented on different “histories” of the Second World War, perspectives on empires and their changing nature, and the danger of becoming trapped in the mythology of the past. At this month’s meeting members enjoyed mince pies while listening to one another’s readings on the subject of winter. Poems of John Donne and James Thomson, plus those of Welsh and Borders poets, were interspersed with extracts from Dickens and Hardy novels, Tolkein’s Letters from Father Christmas, and contrasting views of winter experiences in Czarist Russia and Obama’s Washington D.C. The first meeting of 2012 is on January 11 when John Wood will discuss 19th-century poet and letter writer, John Younger of St Boswells.

TRIMONTIUM: Members turned up at Grange Hall to speak to the Friends. Watching slides is one thing, but they also were able to touch some of the pottery usually on display in the museum. Objects keep being handed in to the museum for identification. A thick dark coin, almost filling the palm of the hand, came in the other day from Darnick. It was a George III penny of 1797. Another coin was very small, dull but silvery, and with an inscription difficult to read. However, the name Constantine – declared emperor in York in 306 AD – was identified.

CHURCH: The last Sunday in Advent, the Sunday before Christmas, was celebrated at Bowden and Melrose, two boys being christened on the Weirhill amid family and friends. James William Cowens and Brodie Stephen McLean each received a baptismal candle, lit from the church’s Easter candle. A retiral collection was taken to help with the care by a relative of a woman member of the church in Zomba, Malawi, with which Bowden and Melrose is twinned. She arrived in Edinburgh two months ago to take an educational course, collapsed and was hospitalised with a serious illness. Members gave generously to an appeal by Dr R. Gordon.

Activities: January Life & Work available for collection; Clic Sargent carol service raised £2,500; Christmas Eve, 6pm, christingle service (bring your christingle); 11.15pm, watchnight service (readers wanted); Christmas Day services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am).

Eildon Singers: The Eildon Singers, under Kate Fish, have had a busy December. They took part in the RNLI Kelso concert on December 4, their annual Selkirk concert seven days later and last Sunday at Melrose with Carols round the World, singing examples from Argentina, Canada and New Zealand, among others. At that concert the Tony Kime Ensemble were an addition to the programme, not only accompanying the carols sung with the audience but playing Vivaldi, lyrical pieces and a libertango. The Singers restart on January 11 at 7.30pm in St Mary’s School.

Morebattle

Church: A Christmas Day service starts at 11am.

Newmill

WRI: Sweetie making was on the menu for members of Newmill and Teviothead at their last meeting of the year when Lorraine Douglas was the demonstrator. Everyone had a go at making marzipan fruits, guided by Lorraine, and there was much amusement and fun along the way, but lots of wee boxes of sweets to take home at the end of the night. Mulled wine and mince pies ensured everyone got into the Christmas mood. President Trish Kirkpatrick welcomed new members and congratulated all those who had entered and won prizes at the recent federation show, including members who contributed to the inter-institute competition. Thanks were also extended to those who had made and helped provide lunches for the judges. Newmill and Teviothead also won the competition for best syllabus for 2010/11 at the federation AGM. Competition results for the night – Christmas cocktail – 1, Liz Howieson; 2, Jan Little; 3, Trish Kirkpatrick; Christmas chutney – 1, Sheila Robson; 2, Muriel Baptie; 3, Caroline Tullie. The first meeting of 2012 is on January 10 when Kirsty Dunlop will talk about her New Zealand skydive.

Newstead

OPEN HOUSE: Susan and Sarah of Buttonmoon held a Christmas Open House on December 10 and 11, raising £340 to be shared between the Margaret Kerr unit appeal at the BGH and Callum’s Trust.

Oxton

WRI: For their Christmas night out, members had a meal at Wendy Lyle’s Barlogan Competition – wrapped parcel – 1, Louise Scott; 2, Ray Kirkness; 3, Anne Wood. The next meeting is on January 18.

Selkirk

SERVICE: A service at 10.15am will be held in Selkirk Parish Church on Christmas Day.

St Boswells

WRI: At the December meeting members had a hands-on demonstration from Lorraine Douglas, when everyone made marzipan fruits. Competitions – Christmas tree decoration – 1, Marlyn McCall; 2, Margaret Rutter; 3, Annette Hotson; Christmas napkin – 1, Margaret Rutter; 2, Maisie Hope; 3, Marlyn McCall. Funds are being raised with a quiz sheet, which is for sale from the village post office.

Traquair

CAROLS: A Christmas Eve carol service will be held at 7pm in Traquair Kirk.

Walkerburn

CAROLS: Tomorrow at 5.30pm will see carol singing round Walkerburn, with refreshments and Christmas Thought in Caberston Coffee Shop at 7pm.

Westruther

CHURCH: A Christmas Day service will be held at 11.45am (bring a gift to show).

Yetholm

CHRISTMAS FAIR: A Christmas fair held in the Youth Hall raised £478 for the dry bar.

CHANGING LANDSCAPE: For years the area of land lying at the east end of Yetholm Mill Farm and bounding Yetholm Mains Haugh has been a boggy wilderness. Now it is part of the Wauchope Estate and has been cleared and planted with a variety of trees.

AIR AMBULANCE: Following a ceilidh in the Wauchope Hall, £500 has been given to the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

VILLAGE CHOIR: The recently-formed ladies village choir has grown since its first appearance during Festival Week and members have been rehearsing hard during the autumn. Tonight sees their first major performance – Christmas music at 7.30pm in the Wauchope Hall.

WINTER QUESTIONNAIRE: After the hard winter of 2010-2011, discussions took place between Yetholm Community Council and Scottish Borders Council with a view to finding better ways of snow clearance and putting in place ways of helping the elderly. Already this winter a village-based snowplough has been in action. More volunteers are now sought and these may include those willing to help with snow clearance, but other skills such as first-aiders are also wanted. Questionnaires seeking volunteers are available for completion at various village outlets and should be returned to the post office.

SERVICE: A christingle service will be held in Yetholm Church at 3pm tomorrow.