Cross-border club comes to the end of the road

TODAY will mark the final get-together of the rural Cross-Border Club in Yetholm.

The group was started by farmers’ wives in Yetholm, Morebatttle and Northumberland about 15 years ago for women who lived in isolated places to meet and talk.

Secretary for the last five years, Jo Mountford said: “It brought people together to have lunch and sit down and talk to each other rather than just have a speaker and then go home. There have been some really good friendships formed through it.”

But membership has dropped from a high of over 40 to 27 this year. And the £5 a meeting, which paid for hiring a hall, speakers’ costs and expenses, and the lunch has had to be boosted by donations from the Kelso-based Charity Begins at Home (CBAH) for the last two years.

Now, the club, which meets once a month between September and March and battled through the previous two harsh winters, will meet in Yetholm’s Wauchope Hall for the last time today.

Mrs Mountford said: “It’s partly the recession, also the club has dropped off and some of the older members are feeling they can’t make the journey. We kept going through all the dreadful weather but this winter people have just said they can’t afford it.”

The committee realised that with membership having fallen it would need to ask for a bigger donation from CBAH if it was to continue. And in January it put the issue before members.

“We hoped somebody was going to jump up and say they had thought of a better way to run it but nobody came forward and in the end it’s better to go out on a high,” said Mrs Mountford.

Remaining kitty money will go to two village halls covered by the club’s area, one in Yetholm and one in Crookham.

The final talk today will be the diaries of Eleanor Weatherley, a woman who lived in one of the large houses in Yetholm. The subject will be discussed by Joan Wright.