Borders business brothers in the exhibition frame

During 2013, as part of the Battle of Flodden 500th anniversary commemorations, the Coldstream Museum is mounting an exhibition about the work of Andrew and Robert Robb who, during the 1860s and 1870s, operated a grocer’s and bookseller’s business in Coldstream High Street.

One of their special lines was to sell wooden souvenirs “made of wood grown on Flodden Field”, and they presented a copy of Sir Walter Scott’s Marmion, bound in Flodden Field wood boards, to Queen Victoria during her 1867 visit to the Borders.

This book will feature in the exhibition. It has been possible to gather quite a lot of material about the Robbs, but we lack pictures of either of them.

Andrew died young at Coldstream in 1877, but had been superintendent of the Sabbath School and session clerk for the United Presbyterian East Church, secretary of the Border Horticulturists’ Show and a member of the Masonic Lodge – is it possible that the records of any of these institutions hold early photographs which might show him?

His younger brother, Robert, was a grocer in Lowick, north Northumberland, after his brother died, then living in Tweedmouth (1901) and Crieff (1911), but ended his life in Glasgow in 1915, aged 83.

If anyone can help with photographs of either of the Robbs, please contact Jane Bowen (01668 219653 or

Jane Bowen

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