Just champion – young Borderers prove to be a brass act

Scottish Borders Youth Brass Band (SBYBB) was crowned Scottish champions amid emotional scenes at Perth Concert Hall.
Scottish Borders Youth Brass Band (SBYBB) was crowned Scottish champions amid emotional scenes at Perth Concert Hall.
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Scottish Borders Youth Brass Band (SBYBB) was crowned Scottish champions amid emotional scenes at Perth Concert Hall.

The band, under the direction of Selkirk-based conductor, arranger and teacher Alan Fernie, had only got together for the first time in September. And after only four rehearsals the band entered the senior section (18 and under) of the Scottish Youth Band Championships as part of the Scottish Festival of Brass.

It was four years since the SBYBB last took part in the event – and this time every town band in the Borders and Langholm were represented.

“It was evident that this was something special from the very first rehearsal and the performance today was one of the highlights of my banding career,” said Alan Fernie. “This fantastic result is testament to all the hard work from the teachers, tutors, conductors and bands who have encouraged these youngsters to become fine musicians in our fantastic brass band movement in the Scottish Borders,” he added.

As a result of the Perth success, SBYBB has qualified for European Youth Championships to be held in Ostend, Belgium, at end of April 2017.

“It is going to be a challenge to get the band to Belgium financially, but we are determined to do this for the youngsters,” explained Scottish Borders Brass Band Association secretary Keith Belleville, adding: “We will now look at a fund-raising programme and would love to hear from anyone – business, organisation or individual – who can help us with this unique project.”

Anyone who can help should contact Keith on 07775 557156 or email him at KJBelleville@aol.com.

CADDONFOOT

Parish church

Advent is in full swing and the first two candles over the past two Sundays were lit by Halle Houghton and Hannah Birch. Sunday’s service, conducted by minister Elspeth Harley, also celebrated the baptism of Billie-Rose Walker, daughter of David and Karen. A prayer for the family was read by Fiona McDougal. Mrs Harley spoke of the gifts of Christmas on the day that was Gift Sunday when members donated cash for Borders Children’s Charity. Christine Dorward delivered the Bible reading and music was played by Margaret Blyth and Anne Grieve. Bible study continued this week in the Trinity manse. Christmas cards, showing the painting of the church by Catherine Bird, and calendars, produced by Selkirk High School charities’ committee, are 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

Parish church

Messy Nativity is in the church hall on Saturday, December 10, from 10.30am to 1pm. On Sunday, December 11, the service at 10.15am will be conducted by the Rev Julie Rennick. On Sunday, December 18, the DIY Nativity will be held at 10.15am. The church will be open that day from noon to 6pm for quiet reflection. Monday, December 19, sees the carol service in Hanover at 3pm.

FOUNTAINHALL

SWI

Members meet in the village hall on Wednesday, December 14, at 7.30pm for their Christmas party. November competition winners: flower arrangement in a cup – 1, Dianne Wilson; 2, Janice Currie; spoon – 1, Irene Scott; 2, Agnes Mathison.

GALASHIELS

Camera club

On a fairly dull St Andrew’s night, the hosts welcomed members from Hawick and Selkirk camera clubs to a three-way digital image contest. A total of 45 images were displayed – 15 from each club. They were judged and marked by Hazel Mason and James Frost. Hawick emerged victorious with 238 points, followed by Galashiels (218) and Selkirk (193). Two images were awarded the maximum 20/20 – ‘Smailholm Tower’ by Ali Graham of Hawick, and ‘Splash’ by Gordon Gilfether, also of Hawick.

Clef Club

The club’s Christmas meeting is on Saturday, December 10, at 7.30pm at the Lucy Sanderson Hall, Tweed Crescent. The programme includes a selection of festive offerings by the Galawater Singers, led by Jim Letham, as well as music by Bach, Handel and Gordon Jacob, as well as carols for everyone to join in. Anyone who enjoys listening to and/or playing classical music, and would like to meet like-minded people over mulled punch and Christmas cake, they are welcome. Contact 07780 378590 or visit www.onlineborders.org.uk/community/galaclefclub for more information.

Trinity Church

Minister Elspeth Harley conducted last Sunday’s annual gift service and Dorothy Howden led the music. Members of the congregation brought along gifts which will be distributed by social services to children in Galashiels. Ann Blackie, from social services, gave the ‘Talk for Everyone’, explaining the work carried out by her department. Ann also read the lessons. Bible study continues on Wednesdays at the manse and there is to be a memorial service on Sunday, December 11, in Trinity for all who find this season difficult, especially those who have been bereaved in the last year or so. This service is at 3pm and the morning service is at 11.15am, as usual. The guild party was held on Tuesday afternoon and the MPPC carol service is at Innerleithen on Saturday, December 13, at 2.15pm. Rehearsals are continuing for this year’s Christmas show, ‘Is Christmas Pointless?’, which will be performed on Sunday, December 18, at 2pm. Entry is by donation.

St Peter’s Church

Monday, December 12 – 11am, carol service, Oakwood Park. Tuesday, December 13 – 5.30pm, Messy Church: 7.30pm, Advent study group. Thursday, December 15 – 10am, communion. Friday, December 16 – 6.30pm, carol singing at Tesco. Sunday, December 18 – 10.30am, family service with nativity; 6pm, carol service. Monday, December 19 – 2pm, carol service at Abbotsford Court. Wednesday, December 21 – 2pm, carol service at Hazeldean.

GLENDOUGLAS

Whist

A Christmas whist drive will be held on Monday, December 12, at 7.30pm.

Lunch club

Christmas lunch club on Wednesday, December 14, from 11.30am-1.30pm.

Floral art

A Christmas floral art demonstration and workshop starts at 6.30pm on Friday, December 16. Flowers, oasis etc. can be bought, or participants can bring their own, along with a vase. For more information, call Cath on 01835 840215.

Carols

A carol service will be held on Monday, December 19, at 7pm around the Christmas tree with Jedforest Instrumental Band.

Party

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

HAWICK

Bridge club

November 29 – N/S – 1, Marian and John Miller; 2, Mary Millar and Patsy Gilligan; 3, Ken Auckland and David King; E/W – 1, Morag and Fraser Beaton; 2, Lance and Tricia Witten; 3, George Graham and Bob Francombe.

Rotary

Last week’s meeting in Thorterdykes Roadhouse took the form of round two of the district quiz when Hawick played Galashiels and came out winners by 22-21. Alan McCreadie was quizmaster and the Galashiels team was Ruth Collin, William Windram, Rae Hastings and Bill Zawadeckyj, while the hosts were represented by Linden Warburton, Ron Smith, Ron Sutherland and Jim Walker.

Coffee morning

Hawick High School has organised a Christmas cake coffee morning in the assembly hall on Friday, December 9 (10.30-11.30am).

JEDBURGH

Rotary

Ian Huzzard, a former RAF pilot, told members he first trained on De Haviland Chipmunks before graduating to larger, more powerful aircraft, known as ‘fast jets’. From there he moved on to Hawker Hunters and Harrier Jump Jets. Ian was posted to Germany in 1975, helping to defend the inner border between the then East and West Germany. He joined Red Arrows display team and left the RAF in 1986 to work for Loganair and other commercial airlines. Rotarians were pleased to help with the town’s annual running festival, providing food and drinks to participants. The Canongate pop-up shop run by the Rotary Ladies has raised more than £5,000 for local charities and causes. The club held its annual president’s night in Jedburgh bowling club. President Tony Rae outlined the club’s achievements during the past Rotary year and its determination to press on with service initiatives in the year ahead. New members are always welcome. At their special general meeting, Rotarians elected the senior and junior vice-presidents. The club was pleased to welcome Pamela Rigby, SBC’s engagement worker for Borders Youth Project Voice. She helps to organise activities for under-25s, with bases in Eyemouth, Galashiels and Hawick. Support is provided for young people with additional needs and limited social skills. Among the topics covered are tobacco-free schools, use of digital technology and mental health awareness. There are currently three Borders members of the Scottish Youth Parliament and more are being encouraged to stand for this, enabled by Pamela’s organisation. Members will celebrate Christmas with a dinner at the Carter’s Rest on December 22.

Carols

Lauderdale Community Choir will sing a mix of traditional carols and other festive songs at Born in the Borders, Lanton, from 3pm on Saturday, December 10.

Bridge club

November 28 – Champagne Challenge – 1, F. and M. Beaton; 2, P. Harris and M. Fortune; 3, V. Johnstone and M. Miller; 4, J. Louden and S. Graham; 5, O. Whillans and I. Whillans.

St John’s Church

Nomination forms are available at the back of the church for six vacancies on the vestry committee – further information from Christine McLachan. Thursday, December 8 – 10am, holy communion; 10.45am, study group in church centre. Sunday, December 11 – 9am, holy communion; 10.30am, sung eucharist – celebrant and preacher, the Rev John Evans. St John’s AGM follows morning service at noon, followed by a light lunch in the centre. A carol service will be held at 3pm on Sunday, December 18, with Jedburgh Rotary Club in attendance for the nine lessons and readings. There will be refreshments following this service. The winter edition of St John’s magazine is available to pick up at the back of the church where foodbank items may also be left.

KELSO

Bridge club

Wednesday, November 30 – Abbey Salver – N/S – 1, Jean McLaren and Alison Ireland; 2, John Urquhart and Miles Browne; 3, Mary and Nigel Lindsay; E/W – 1, Jean Bunyan and Val Fairbairn; 2, David Harris-Burland and Ruth Mackay; 3, Annie Mitchell and Bob Stevenson. Thursday, December 1 – Calchou Cup – N/S – 1, Bob Stevenson and Lee Leeson; 2, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 3, John and Marian Miller; E/W – 1, Helenor Pratt and Pauline Smart; 2, Alison Darling and Mary Logan; 3, Avril Ronald and Donald Swanson.

U3A

The next meeting of the Four Border Abbeys U3A group will be the members’ Christmas social and buffet lunch which will take place on Monday, December 12, at 12.30pm in Kelso Rugby Club. All members are welcome – more information from www.u3asites.org.uk/fourborderabbeys.

Thursday Group

Stuart Fuller-Shapcott, of Border Search and Rescue, spoke about the organisation – a team made up of unpaid volunteers which turns out in all weather, day and night. Today is the Christmas tea when Moira Walsh will talk about ‘Growing Old Disgracefully’ at 2pm, in the Abbey Row Centre (room 6). The collection will go to Syria refugees. The spring 2017 syllabus will be available at the tea or by phoning 01573 224753.

Kelso North Church

The church will host an evening of traditional music on Friday, December 9, at 7.30pm in aid of church funds. Artists participating include Highline Small Hall Band, Carly Blain and Graeme Armstrong. On Sunday, December 11, at 11am, in a special morning service is being held to celebrate Kelso North Parish Church’s 150th birthday.

Music Makers

Kelso Music Makers were presented with a more varied programme than usual on Friday, November 25. Baritone, piano and vocals told the story of ‘Tubby the Tuba’; a contemporary viola piece played by Steve Tees was delivered with virtuosity, as were two modern updates of songs composed by Tom Lehrer; a General Reid Solo for flute with piano and baritone; several celebratory songs involving the audience; fiddle, violin and percussion version of the theme from the William Tell overture; a percussion and piano polka; solo flute; songs with both guitar and ukulele. The next Makers’ event in Abbey Row is on Friday, February 3. Contact 01573 224920 for further information.

LANGHOLM

Youth band

Three town band members – Josh Calvert, Connor Mitchell and Mungo Mann – were in the Scottish Borders Youth Band crowned champions in the senior section at the Scottish Youth Band championships which took place in Perth. The Borderers have now qualified for the European Brass Band Championships in April 2017, which will be held in Ostend, Belgium. The young Langholm players have travelled to the Borders on a number of occasions at weekends to join the other band members for practice sessions.

Poppy collection

The Poppy Scotland organisers for the town, Irving Stuart and Kate Turk, were delighted with the response to the annual appeal. It was the first time it was undertaken by the social club committee and £2,202 was raised.

Art exhibition

The local art club winter exhibition was officially opened by the Reverend Scott McCarthy. He was introduced by president Jessie Martin who welcomed everyone and thanked tutor Alex Drysdale. The exhibition, which is in the former information hub, has a wide variety of paintings which include landscapes, animals and flowers, and many are for sale. It runs until Saturday, December 10.

LAUDER

Church

Worship will be celebrated on Sunday, December 11, at Channelkirk (10am) and Lauder (11.30am), and will be led by the Reverend Rae Clark. Remembering with Love on Tuesday, December 13, at 7pm in Lauder Church is a short service to remember those we will miss this Christmas. The Parish Treat is on Saturday, December 17, in Lauder Public Hall – free Christmas parties for all Lauderdale children, plus games, visit from Santa and party food. Also free refreshments for accompanying adults. Babies to P2 – 10am to noon (adults must accompany all children); P3-7: 2-4pm.

Carols

On Sunday, December 18, at Lauder Church, Lauderdale Community Choir will perform a mix of traditional Christmas carols and other festive songs from 5.30pm.

MELROSE

Pain meeting

The next meeting of Pain Association Scotland’s Melrose group will be held in the chaplaincy centre at Borders General Hospital from 10am-noon on Friday, January 27. The subject will be ‘Understanding Pain’. More information is available via www.chronicpaininfo.org or 01738 629503.

Choir

Lauderdale Community Choir will perform a concert at Borders General Hospital chaplaincy from 2pm on Sunday, December 18. This programme of songs and readings is for patients and their visiting family or friends.

Parish church

Robin Cochrane read the lessons at last Sunday’s service. It was announced that the Reverend Rosemary (Rosie) Frew, of Abbotshall Church, Kirkcaldy, has been unanimously nominated by the nominating committee of the parish to be minister of Bowden and Melrose. On Sunday, January 15, she will preach at a united service in Melrose at 11am, and all members are urged to attend, vote and sign ‘the call’. An information sheet about the nominee and this important day in the life of church and community is available from the church. Friday, December 9 – 7pm, Darnick carol singing. Sunday, December 11 – Advent III services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am); 7.30pm, Eildon Singers’ concert. Wednesday, December 14 – 10am, St Mary’s School carol service; 11.45am, midweek service; 12.15pm, Christmas lunch (tickets available from office – 823339).

Trimontium

The Digging for Britain archaeology series will be screened on BBC4 on Tuesdays at 9pm, with trust chairman John Reid interviewed by presenter Alice Roberts on December 13 about his finds of hundreds of Roman lead sling bullets at Burnswark, the Eildon-like hill near Ecclefechan where he is convinced there was a Roman hillfort assault and massacre at the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Antonine. Travelling exhibition, The Offensive Romans, which details the story, started in Dumfries in September and moves to Peebles Museum this month.

MOREBATTLE

Guild

Members held their annual dinner in the Templehall Hotel last Thursday when around 15 members attended. Catherine Mabon, president, proposed a vote of thanks to the hotel staff.

Coffee morning

A coffee morning in aid of Clic Sargeant was held last Saturday, raising about £640. Santa made an appearance and each child received a gift. The Christmas parcel lucky number winner was Douglas Hall.

Lights

The Christmas lights switch-on took place on Sunday night around the tree when Games Queen Lucy Thomson did the honours. Carols were sung, with music supplied by Wullie Elliot on accordion. Afterwards, in the institute, everyone enjoyed sherry, tea, mince pies and shortbread. More than £100 was raised for Parkinson’s UK (Borders branch).

SWI

Members meet in the Templehall Hotel on Wednesday, December 14, at 7.15pm, for the Christmas dinner.

Degree

Local lad James Gray, son of David and Joanne, and brother of Suzanne, was awarded a masters degree in corporate law and finance at Glasgow University last week.

newtown

Seniors’ club

Newtown Seniors’ Afternoon Club Christmas party will be held in Newtown Community Wing on Wednesday, December 14, from 2pm.

OXNAM

Cafe

The next library cafe, which is the Christmas one, is in the hall on Wednesday, December 14, from 11am-noon, with proceeds going to Scottish Homeless charity. This is the last cafe until March next year.

OXTON

SWI

Demonstrator Anne Clark showed members how to create different flower arrangements – some modern, some traditional, but all with a Christmas theme – at the latest meeting. She also entertained with stories of her working life in floristry right up to the present day running floral art classes. Margaret Smith gave the vote of thanks. All of Anne’s arrangements were donated to the raffle. She also judged the competition – house plant – 1, Evelyn Cramer; 2, Margaret Smith; 3, Doreen Gilchrist. The next meeting will be the Christmas meal at Barlogan on Wednesday, December 14. The bus leaves Oxton at 6.45pm. Competition – a wrapped gift to the value of £8. Members should bring their choice of drink.

SELKIRK

AGM

The AGM of Selkirk and Ettrick Forest branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland (RBLS) and Selkirk Ex-Soldiers’ Association will be held on Monday, December 12, at 6.30pm at The Fleece Bar and Kitchen. A stovie supper will be available following the meeting. RBLS subscriptions may also be paid at the AGM. Indications of attendance is appreciated to get an idea of numbers for supper. Enquiries to 07944 228996.

Monday Club

At 2pm on Monday, December 12, in St Joseph’s Church hall, Hilary Bell and her singing group, Safety in Numbers, will add a swing to members’ Christmas celebration.

SOUTHDEAN

Fairs

The gift fair in the hall was well supported and organisers are grateful to all who came to support the local crafters. The annual food fair will be held on Sunday, December 18, from 11-4pm, and once again it will feature mainly local produce. Soup and bacon rolls will also be on sale.

Footpath

‘The Courses’ footpath has been reopened.

Councillors

It’s time to elect a new community council – details will be on the community email and Southdean Hall Facebook page shortly.

ST BOSWELLS

SWI

The next meeting of St Boswells SWI is on Tuesday, December 13 – a Christmas meal at the new restaurant in the village called Hunters Stables – and not Hunters Hall, Galashiels, as reported in last week’s issue.

STOW

Concert

Gala Water Singers are staging a Christmas concert on Sunday, December 18, at 7pm in Stow Church. There is a post-performance buffet. Tickets are available from Stow Shop, 01578 730289 or on the door.

YETHOLM

Bowling club

At the club’s men’s singles on Saturday, the winner was Murray Gillies, with Gordon Robertson runner-up.

Bingo

It’s bingo night in the Wauchope Hall today (Thursday) from 7pm – proceeds to festival week.

Jazz

A jazz concert will be held in the Wauchope Hall on Saturday, December 10, at 7.30pm. Tickets – village shop or Susan Stewart (01573 420231).

Fair

A Christmas fair will be held in the Youth Hall on Saturday, December 10, from 10.30am. All proceeds are going to Yetholm Primary School and Yetholm and Morebattle Playgroup.

Guild

Yetholm Guild meets at 2.30pm in the church on Tuesday, December 13 – ‘Joy to the World’, with Mike and Pat Young.

Quiz

A quiz night will be held in the Plough on Wednesday, December 14, at 8pm – proceeds to Yetholm Primary School.

Concert

The school concert will be performed in the Wauchope Hall on Thursday, December 15, at 1.30pm and 6 30pm. Contact the school office for tickets.

Choir

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

Fundraiser

A craft fair held in the Border Hotel realised £440 for various community events throughout the year.

Calendar

Yetholm village calendar is available in the shop for £5. All funds raised from this will be shared with the school and community events.