Borders pair on the road to priesthood

St Andrews and Edinburgh seminarians Bobby Taylor, from Galashiels, and Jedburgh's Martin Eckersley have taken a major step towards the priesthood, being admitted to the ministry of lector by Archbishop Leo Cushley at the Pontifical Scots College in Rome.A lector is appointed to read sacred scripture '“ with the exception of the gospel '“ at mass and other sacred occasions. Pictured, from left, Martin, the archbishop and Bobby.

Thursday, 1st June 2017, 10:10 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:12 pm
St Andrews and Edinburgh seminarians Bobby Taylor, from Galashiels, and Jedburghs Martin Eckersley have taken a major step towards the priesthood, being admitted to the ministry of lector by Archbishop Leo Cushley at the Pontifical Scots College in Rome. Pictured are, from left, Bobby, the archbishop and Martin.


Christian Aid

Thanks to the generosity of villagers in Bedule, Denholm and Minto, the total raised in these communities for Christian Aid this year has amounted to £1,603.47, mmade up as follows – £505.55, Lenten Lunches; £60, lambing service; £1037.92, Christian Aid Week collection. This money goes to support relief work among the growing number of refugees in the world.

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Coffee morning

See Jedburgh section.


Parish church

The Rev Elspeth Harley returned from the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh to conduct morning service on Sunday. The Bible reading was performed by the Rev Jack Kellet, and music played by Margaret Blyth and Fiona McDougal. Donations can still be given to the annual appeal and monies will go towards the heating project. Bible study continues this week at the Clovenfords Hotel. The Christmas tree festival, held last year in Trinity Church, Galashiels, will again be held in 2017, and a volunteer is asked to assist with the arrangements. There will be a meeting on Tuesday, June 20, at 7pm in Trinity. Sunday concluded with an open invitation to visit the Rev Harley and husband Ewen at the manse in Galashiels.


Christian Aid

See Bedrule section.


Parish church

The total raised via the concert for Christian Aid held on Friday, May 19, is now £390. The service at 10.15am on Sunday, June 4, will be conducted by the Rev Julie Rennick. The congregational board meets on Monday, June 5, at 7.30pm in the church hall lounge. The next service in Hanover lounge will be on Tuesday, June 6, at 3pm.


St Peter’s Church

Thursday, June 1 – 10am, communion service; Sunday, June 4 – 9.45am, breakfast; 10.30am, family service (Joanna Smith); Thursday, June 8 – church closed because of the general election; Saturday, June 10 – 4pm, strawberry tea. The Growing Together Roadshow, with Bishop John, will be held on Saturday, June 24, from 10.30am- 3pm at the church (bring and share lunch).



President Jim Walker welcomed three Rotarian visitors to last week’s meeting – Kelso president Anne Wright and her husband, Mick, and past president Douglas Forsyth of the Selkirk club, who gave a presentation of a project his club are undertaking in 2018. A party of 15 are going to Nasa City, Manila, in the Phillipines to supply mattresses and other equipment to the Queen of Peace Children’s Home, as well as sanitation improvements to a local school through a connection with the wife of Selkirk president Ferdous Ahmed. Rather than just sending the money to a local Rotary club, members decided to take it there personally and hand it over, as well as undertaking some of the work along with the locals. Rotarian Ron Sutherland and his wife, Pat, of the Hawick club will accompany the Selkirk party. About £6,000 in total will be required for the project and various events are planned, as well as seeking support from other Border clubs. President Walker and Rotarians Robin Mason, Sandy Bannerman, and Ron and Pat Sutherland assisted Kelso Rotary Club at the Springwood Park School’s Day last week.



Services on Sunday, June 4, are breakfast song and story at 8.30am, followed by communion at 10.30am in Innerleithen Church.

Music festival

St Ronan’s Silver Band’s MUSICfest and fun day will be held at St Ronan’s School on Saturday, June 3, from 2.30-11pm. It features the pipe, silver and future bands, plus bouncy castles, cake and candy, face painting, books, pony rides, raffle, tombola, a children’s pet competition (judging at 3.30pm) and a car boot sale. The evening programme kicks off at 6pm with Spark and the Choirboys and guests, St Ronan’s Silver Band and Swingloaded Peebles High School Jazz Band.

Community council

The next meeting of Innerleithen and District Community Council has been rescheduled from Monday, June 5, to Monday, June 19, at 7.15pm in the council chambers, Leithen Road. The next meeting will be held on Monday, July 3, at 7.15pm in the same venue.


The PTA summer fair at St Ronan’s School will take place on Wednesday, June 7, from 6-8pm. Attractions include archery, pony rides, dunk tank, netball shoot, beat the goalie, Gladiator Duel, coconut shy, face painting, nails and tattoos, bouncy castles and a selection of local craft/producer stalls.

Games committee

The next meeting of St Ronan’s Border Games committee will take place on Thursday, June 8, at 7pm in the council chamber, Memorial Hall, Leithen Road. Following this, the remaining meeting dates are June 28 and July 5.

Football fives

Entries for the annual Games Week Football Fives (Saturday, July 8) are being accepted. To enter, contact Steven Notman on 07792 092118.

Overseas guests

Every year St Ronan’s Border Games committee tries to accommodate visitors from overseas who are staying in the town during Games Week as guests at the Cleikum Ceremonies. This year’s ceremonies will take place on Friday, July 15, and applications for overseas guest invitations are now being accepted via email – [email protected]

Seniors’ social

St Ronan’s Games Senior Citizens’ Social Evening is open to all senior citizens within the district. This year the event takes place on Tuesday, July 11, in the Memorial Hall at 7.30pm – doors open 7pm. Tickets are free and available from The Thrift Shop. There will be entertainment from Traquair Choir, followed by supper and then dancing to Graham Halliday.


Anyone who wishes to contribute to the 2017 St Ronan’s Border Games and Cleikum Ceremonies Patrons’ Scheme should send donations (minimum £5 per person) to Ted McKie, 41 George Street, Innerleithen.

Silver band

June sees a busy month for St Ronan’s Silver Band. Events get under way on Friday, June 2, when the members will be on parade at West Linton for the Whipman Play. The next day sees the band organise a new event at the school – St Ronan’s Family MUSICfest and Fun Day. The following weekend it’s off to Lanarkshire for Strathaven Gala Day. Engagements then follow at Peebles Beltane, Galashiels Braw Lads’ Gathering and Walkerburn Summer Festival, before the band goes on to play its role at St Ronan’s Games Week.


Coffee morning

Jedburgh Legion’s Saturday coffee morning will be hosted by Bedrule Village Hall Trust on June 3 (10am-noon) to raise funds for repairs and refurbishment after water damage in the hall. For more information or to donate, call 01450 870506.

Disco party night

To celebrate Cheviot Youth’s official opening of Jethart Youth Hub, a disco party night is being held at Jedburgh Town Hall on Friday, June 16 – primary school pupils, P5-7 (6-7.45 pm); Jedburgh Grammar School pupils S1-3 (8-10.30pm). Tickets are on sale from Howdenburn primary school office, Jethart Youth Hub and the Jedburgh Grammar School ticket sellers. For further information or to reserve your tickets, email ian on [email protected] or ring/text him on 07958 277766.

Bridge club

Monday, May 29 – 1, M. Miller & R. Oates; 2 (equal), J. Bridger & G. Eglinton, J. Loudon & S. Graham; 4, M. & F. Beaton; 5, C. Taylor & Y. Sharrat.



Last Thursday at Waverley Castle Hotel, president David Romanis welcomed back Alasdair Hutton as speaker whose subject was the Order of St John, with which he is closely involved. Alasdair has been a member of the European Parliament, convener of Scottish Borders Council, and presenter and script-writer of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo for 26 years. He said the order is an active Scottish charity dedicated to saving and enhancing life. It went back to 1099 when a group of monks established a hospital in Jerusalem to care for pilgrims who became ill on their journeys to the Holy Land – and they were known as the Hospitallers. After Jerusalem was overrun by the Crusaders, they also took on a military role and became known as the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. They secured pilgrim and trade routes, and increasing wealth allowed them to continue their health care work. Following Palestine being captured by the Moslems in 1291, they were forced to move to Cyprus and then in 1308 to Rhodes. After the Turks invaded Rhodes, the order departed for Malta where they remained for more than 260 years, building several hospitals. The Maltese capital, Valetta, is named after one of their grand masters. Napoleon invaded Malta and expelled them from there in 1798, and the order dispersed throughout Europe, members being subject to disruption from changing religious ascendancies. Being Catholic, it had ceased to function in Britain at the time of the Reformation, but in 1877 the St John Ambulance Association was founded and in 1882 a hospital was opened in Jerusalem, specialising in eye diseases which continues to this day. They also have a hospital in Gaza and are major supporters of projects in Malawi. In Scotland they no longer provide a first aid or ambulance service, but support mountain rescue services, rescue boats, public access defibrillators, patient transport and other charities. Locally, the order funded a base for the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue team in Melrose and defibrillators at Galashiels Transport Interchange and St Boswells Golf Club. Funds are raised through events held by local committees and volunteers are welcome. The next Probus club meeting is on Thursday, September 14, when the speaker will be Margaret Jeary on ‘1950s Singapore’.


The 18th Scottish Borders LGBT Pride Barbecue will be held on Saturday, June 3, from 2-5pm at St Monans, Tweed Road, Galashiels (St Monans is the bungalow beside the shop). Barbecueing facilities and basic food will be provided, but those attending should bring meat to eat and something to drink. For more information, contact Alastair Lings on 07763 850087 or [email protected]


Coffee morning sale

On Saturday, June 3 (10am-12.30pm) at The Planet, Abbotseat Road (next door to the Border Ice Rink), a coffee morning sale has been organised by the children and young people to raise money for their GetAway Friday trips in the summer. Among the items for sale are DVDs, books and CDs. Donations for any of these stalls and/or raffles can be left at The Planet on Friday, June 2 (2-4pm). For further information, contact Ian on [email protected] or ring/text him on 07958 277766.


Kelso-based singing group Mosaic is putting on a concert on Saturday, June 3, at 3pm in St Andrew’s Church in aid of Famine Relief in South Sudan. Mosaic, which this year celebrates 20 years singing together, has raised many hundreds of pounds for both local and worldwide charities, giving concerts which have included all types of music, from jazz to classical. For this latest performance, the group welcomes pianists Harris Playfair and Heather Cattanach, and flautists Gillian Campbell and Simon McCann.

Bridge club

Wednesday, May 24 – match-pointed pairs – N/S – 1, Val Johnstone & Mary Millar; 2, Brian Saywood & Ken Ross; 3, Bob Stevenson & Annie Mitchell; E/W – 1, Christine & Ian McCreath; 2, Dominic & Diana Alkin; 3, Vanessa Wilson & Chris Anthony. Thursday, May 25 – pairs – 1, John Loudon & Annie Mitchell; 2, Brian Saywood & Sheila Urquhart; 3, Val Johnstone & Maureen Weightman; 4,t John Urquhart & Viv Heskett; 5, Jean Henry & Myra Thomson; 6, Shirley Armstrong & Moira Ayton.



Worship will be celebrated at Channelkirk on Sunday, June 4, at 10am and Lauder at 11.30am. Both services will be led by the Rev Rae Clark. The stated annual meeting will be held in the church centre, Lauder, at 7pm on Wednesday, June 28.


Border Flower Club

The club ran a pop-up shop in Selkirk on Saturday, May 6, to promote itself and the joys of flower arranging. The club also contacted the Borders Women’s Institute and, via the shop and publicity, hopes to increase membership. The May meeting saw treasurer Julia Loudon as demonstrator and the title she chose was “Into Wonderland”, using characters from the book Alice in Wonderland for her designs. First was the White Rabbit with super ears and a stylish waistcoat. The smiling Cheshire Cat was next with grinning smile and long whiskers. The Mad Hatter’s hat was followed by the Tea Party in a three-tier container which looked like teacups. The final design was based on the Queen of Hearts. Next meeting is on Wednesday, June 7, in the Corn Exchange, Melrose, at 7.30pm. This is practical evening, which will be different, but promises to be interesting.


Members and friends of the trust are starting to come back down to earth after the hugely-attended and highly-enjoyable literary feast when Lindsey Davis, Roman crime novelist, held court from Melrose Festival Queen’s Chair. She told how she had made the transition from a good job in the Civil Service to the precarious life of writing for one’s living on a subject which the word on the street said “wouldn’t sell”. Persistence and a couple of people who believed in her helped to get her started and it would now be safe to say that she leads that particular field. Two more schools are booked in for the Route March before the end of term, and still to come is the adventure of the ‘dressing’ of the Roman soldier to meet the Melrosian at the Trimontium Stone.

Parish church

It was a summer communion at both Bowden and Melrose, just after Ascension Day, which is not noticeably celebrated in the Church of Scotland. The choir, accompanied by Jim Marshall at the organ and conducted by Jim Letham, sang James MacMillan’s simple Memorial Acclamation. The summer edition of the church magazine is available for distribution or online; the church office (01896 823339) is closed till Tuesday, June 13, but urgent messages will receive a response; foodbank contributions welcomed; services – Sunday, June 4 – 9.30am, Bowden, and 11am, Melrose; kirk session, Wednesday, June 7, 7pm, the chapel.


Christian Aid

See Bedrule section.



Morebattle fishing competition will be held on Saturday, June 3, with the draw taking place at the Templehall Hotel today (Thursday) at 9pm. Morebattle Fishing Club held its annual coffee morning last Saturday in the institute when £268 was raised. Competition winners – lucky door card, Linda Fox; number of sweets in the jar, Graeme Lang.

Coffee morning

Morebattle Institute coffee morning will be held in the premises on Saturday, June 10, from 10.30am.



At the last meeting, members enjoyed a meal and evening out at Hunters Stables Bar and Bistro in St Boswells. The next meeting will be on Thursday, June 1, in Newtown Community Wing at 7pm. Guest – Susie Finlayson on stitching.


The Christian Aid house-to-house collection in Newtown and Eildon raised £887.75.

Seniors’ afternoon club

The next meeting of Newtown and Eildon Seniors’ Afternoon Club will be on Tuesday, June 6, in the Community Wing at 2pm. This is the last meeting before the summer break.


Border Flower Club

The club ran a pop-up shop in Selkirk on Saturday, May 6, to promote itself and the joys of flower arranging. The club also contacted the Borders Women’s Institute and, via the shop and publicity, hopes to increase membership. Next meeting is on Wednesday, June 7, in the Corn Exchange, Melrose, at 7.30pm. This is practical evening, which will be different, but promises to be interesting. Visitors will be made most welcome.



The next service in Traquair Kirk will be on Sunday, June 11, at 10am.



The next service to be held in Walkerburn Public Hall will be the festival service on Sunday, June 25, at 10.30am, followed by a short act of remembrance at the war memorial.



Yarrowford SWI is grateful to all who attended the afternoon tea in aid of the Sandpiper Trust, raising £407. The next meeting is a talk on ‘Blood Bikes’, and the competitions will be three treacle scones and a photograph of an animal.


Wauchope Hall

The hall key is now available from Yetholm Shop or the Plough Hotel, and must be signed for and returned to where it was obtained from after events.


Names of the new community councillors have been posted on the village noticeboards. Office bearers and portfolios will appear later.

Sponsored walk

Cheviot Churches are holding a sponsored walk on Saturday, June 10 – sponsorship forms in churches and village shops. Contact Carol Butler or Simon Oldham for further information.

Plant sale

Floral Gateway’s annual plant sale is on Saturday, June 3, at 10am on Town Yetholm green.


Isosceles Theatre group return to Yetholm this Friday, June 2, with their production of ‘Murder – Just what the Dr Ordered’ (the story of Burke and Hare). It’s curtains up at 7.30pm in the Wauchope Hall and tickets (£8) are available from the village shop or at the door on the night. National Theatre’s next screening performance (recorded), ‘Peter Pan’, is on Saturday, June 10, at 2pm in the Wauchope Hall.


The final festival meeting before the event itself takes place on Monday, June 5, at 7.30pm in the Youth Hall. Festival Week programmes are on sale at various outlets in the villages.


Yetholm Guild is hosting its annual guild summer rally on Wednesday, June 7, starting at 7.30pm in Yetholm Church.