Concern as Earlston history items vanish

Earlston Primary School.
Earlston Primary School.

A plea has been made for better care of items of historical interest in Earlston, after artefacts vanished recently from its local primary school.

Former local councillor John Paton-Day says he is now concerned not enough care is being taken with such items.

“A while ago there was opportunity to create a community/history room in one of the spare rooms at the rear of Earlston Primary School, and, as I understand it, this was to be used to house artefacts and photos linked to Earlston’s history,” said Mr Paton-Day this week.

“As well as photos, there were also important papers and even some original gingham – the latter was something that Earlston was famous for.

“Unfortunately, it seems the boxes containing these items were left in the room before it had been cleared of other items left over from the school.

“The outcome was that the boxes disappeared.”

Scottish Borders Council said it was last year that the Auld Earlston Club informed the school that a box, containing photos and newspapers, was missing.

Despite extensive searches, the missing items have never been traced.

The spokesperson added: “The school is happy to accommodate local community groups, but any items stored are left at the owner’s risk.”

Mr Paton-Day wants to see all items related to village history brought together in one place, secured and run by a dedicated group.

“The history of a community is important and objects should be treated with care, by the community and for the community,” he added.

Harry Cummings, chairman of the local community council, told us: “It’s a tragedy. You can replace a printer, but the old photographs that have disappeared cannot be replaced. It seems that someone, possibly clearing stuff out of the room at the school, thought it was just a box of junk and got rid of it.”