District News


St Mary’s WRI: Due to unforeseen circumstances Jan Beattie from The Lavender Touch was unable to give the evening’s talk. Hopefully this will be rearranged for a later date. Hostess Alison Brown served supper while some members judged the competitions. Knitted item for a child – 1, I. Brown; 2, I. Douglas; 3, R. Johnstone; bowl of spring bulbs – 1, A. Brown. Next month’s meeting on March 8 will feature a microwave cookery demonstration by Sheila Clyne. This meeting is in Yarrow Feus Hall (note change of venue) at 7.30pm. Competitions – most things in a Bluebell matchbox and three decorated Easter biscuits.


WRI: Rob Armstrong gave an informative and entertaining talk on antiques at this month’s meeting. Competition – favourite antique – 1, Miss Black; 2, Mrs Arthur; 3, Mrs Scott. The next meeting on March 10 will feature a talk on Hearing Dogs. Competition – three cheese scones.


BALLOT: Denholm feuars and householders will hold a ballot on Wednesday at 7pm in the village hall to decide whether to allow the Denholm rideout in 2011. For anyone who cannot attend due to illness or infirmity, votes can be collected by one of the committee members on Tuesday – contact Sid Huddart on 01450 870634. The community council meeting will be held on the same evening in the Lesser Village Hall.

GUILD: Hobkirk and Southdean Guild will host a talk in Southdean Hall on Monday at 7.30pm. Speaker will be Dr Jo Chapman Campbell, an art historian who will talk about the Jedburgh and Pictlands Connection through carved stones. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

VOLUNTEER PLEA: The 1st Denholm Brownies are seeking a volunteer to join the pack and help out on Thursdays between 5.30-7.30pm, term time only – contact Rachel (01450 870407) or Dee (01450 870985).

FILM CREW: A film crew from BBC Northern Ireland were welcomed to the Borders by Jimmy Steel of Denholm. They were here to film for The Northwest 200 Race and visited the Hawick museum, the Hizzy and Jimmy Guthrie statues, and various views over Hawick. The programme will be screened in May and the crew will visit again in June to film the 50th year of the Vintage Run.


PARISH CHURCH: Sunday’s service, which starts at 10am, will be the last for the Reverend Marion Dodd as locum. The service will be followed by refreshments and time to bid farewell to Marion. On February 25 at 7pm in the church, the induction of the Reverend Julie Woods will take place. She has been minister of Birnie and Pluscarden linked with Elgin High for the last five years.

KARATE: Martin will have his classes on as normal tomorrow at the church hall during the school break – 6-7pm, juniors; 7-8pm, intermediate/seniors.

PATHS GROUP: The group has been working on an alternative higher level route on the millbank path. Further improvements are planned as the weather improves. This route is intended to help reduce the user pressure on the main path where the river is starting to seriously erode the banking, offer an alternative when the river is in spate as well as offering a small circular route. This route starts just behind the hand-made bench and comes out at the boardwalk section.


WRI: The meeting held last Wednesday featured members sharing cookery secrets for ways with fruit. The making of bramble brandy was well appreciated. Competitions – apple dessert – 1, Rosemary Wilkes; 2, Marion Anderson; 3, Mary Upton; Valentine poem – 1, Evelyn Grierson; 2, Marion Anderson; 3, Rosemary Wilkes.


BINGO: A family fun bingo night will be held next Friday from 6.30-8.30pm in Kirkhope Hall, the proceeds going to Kirkhope primary school.

WINTER INTEREST: The next Winter Interest evening will be held in the village hall at 7.30pm next Thursday when the Reverend Brian Talbot will talk about his experiences in Zimbabwe.


Camera Club: A full house was entertained by historian and raconteur Ian Landles from Hawick. His subject was Robert Burns’ tour of the Borders in 1787. Members will be discussing next year’s syllabus on Wednesday.

PROBUS CLUB: An exceptional turnout of members welcomed Pat Usher who gave a lecture entitled Trekking in Nepal. She emphasised how the religions of buddhism and hinduism managed to live in harmony in this mountain country. Members expressed admiration for the fact that she and her husband had travelled independently and selected their own Nepalese guide. The next meeting will be at 10.30am next Thursday in the George and Abbotsford Hotel, Melrose.


AGM: Gordon Flower Show’s AGM is to be held in the village hall at 7pm on Monday.


COFFEE MORNING: The Hawick committee of Macmillan Cancer Support is holding a coffee morning in the Congregational Church Hall on Saturday, 10am-noon.

Bridge Club: February 7 – N/S – 1, M. Tuson and R. Witherington; 2, P. Young and J. Beedle; 3, K. Auckland and E. Aitken; E/W – 1, S. White and J. Urquhart; 2, P. Gilligan and M. Millar; 3, V. Johnstone and M. Miller; February 9 – N/S – 1, D. Usher and I. Wyze; 2, M. Tuson and J. Urquhart; 3, P. Young and J. Beedle; E/W – 1, V. Johnstone and P. Learmonth; 2, P. Gilligan and M. Millar; 3, H. and M.Ouldcott.

Camera Club: An informal competition took place at the meeting last week where members were given a digital image for manipulation by computer. The original image was of a shop window displaying four mannequins in colourful dresses. A total of 10 entries were submitted, each showing imaginative alterations ranging from faces of Hollywood actresses to Eve-style nudes wearing only fig leaves. Result – 1, Headhunter headline in a reproduction of the Hawick News cover, Dennis Laing; 2, Glass Tiles effect, Danny Bowie; 3, Famous Heads, Bert Lancaster. The meeting on February 25 will be the close-up competition with Geoff Harrison as judge.

ROTARY: A business meeting was held last week when president Billy McWatters presided and it was agreed to support Caitlin Hamilton on her project and expedition to Honduras later in the year. Similar support was given to the high school pupils’ trip to Borneo on a cultural and development visit in July. The rest of the evening was spent discussing arrangements for the 75th anniversary club dinner on July 1 and also future club developments.

PROBUS CLUB: President Alan Graham introduced Derek Robertson to talk about Border war memorials. Derek, a paramedic team leader who lives in Newcastleton, is currently working on his third book, The Great War 100 years On. Mr Robertson gave details of the construction and design of war memorials.


CHURCH: Sunday’s service of worship is in Innerleithen Church Hall at 11.30am.

AUCTION: St Ronan’s Primary School PTA will be holding a favour auction on March 4 in the Union Club at 7pm. More details at www.st-ronans.scotborders.sch.uk .

FLOWER APPEAL: Innerleithen Opera is looking for any unwanted artificial flowers for its production of My Fair Lady (March 28-April 2). Contact Angela on 01896 831078 or 07581 366626.

COFFEE MORNING: Tickets for Innerleithen and District Amateur Operatic Society’s production of My Fair Lady will be on sale at its annual coffee morning on Saturday in the Vale Club, 10am-noon.


CHURCH: For almost 170 years St John’s Episcopal Church has been open each day for anyone to come in and sit quietly and rest from the pressures of life, or to light a candle and offer a prayer for a loved one, friend or a difficult situation. Recently one Sunday, rector David Dalglish dedicated a set of prayer pockets where requests for prayer can be left and that person or situation will be prayed for daily. The pockets were made especially for St John’s by Trudy Green of Holy Trinity Church, Melrose. The first healing service of 2011 was held on Sunday in St John’s. Those attending may also receive communion if they wish. The services are held bi-monthly and the next service will be at 6pm on April 3. The next Jedburgh Churches Together’s Messy Church event will be held on Saturday in Jedburgh Arts Centre (St John’s Old School) between 10.30am-noon. Messy Church is for primary school age children and includes games, aerobics, crafts, music and a quiet time for worship, rounded off by a simple family meal together. All the children have to do is bring an adult along with them – adults may bring as many children as they like. The theme this month is Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden.

GUILD: Speaker last week was the Reverend Tom McDonald with a presentation about his seven-week trip to Dr Graham’s Homes and School in Kalimpong, northern India. His church, Kelso North, sponsors three children there and they also have raised money to improve the hospital.


Embroidery Guild: Members meet on Tuesday at 7pm in Abbey Row Centre when Mary Locke will show how to make spiral bags. Members will need to bring one-and-a-half yards of one-and-half to two inches wide ribbon, beads for embellishment as well as normal sewing kit. For more information, contact Rineke Sangster on 01573 229414.

BRIDGE CLUB: February 9 – Rose Bowl 6 – N/S – 1, Pam and David Palmer; 2, Brian Saywood and Ken Ross; 3, Val Fairbairn and Jean Bunyan; E/W – 1, Annie Mitchell and Bob Stevenson; 2, Lee Leeson and John Hayton; 3, Ian and Eliz Ross; February 10 – Millennium Trophy 11 – N/S – 1, John and Marian Miller; 2, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 3, Alison Darling and Mary Logan; E/W – 1, Lee Leeson and Bob Stevenson; 2, James Duncan and Ged McIvor; 3, Jeanette Chalmers and Annie Mitchell.

THURSDAY GROUP: Members heard about countryside access in the Borders from senior countryside ranger Keith Robeson, illustrated by images of wildlife and landscape.The Reverend Tom McDonald will today speak about his recent visit to the Dr Graham’s Homes, Kalimpong, West Bengal – 2pm, Abbey Row Centre.

GUILD: The guild met last Thursday in Kelso North Church vestibule. Barbara Maclean presided over the meeting and introduced the Reverend John Shields, speaker for the evening. His talk, entitled Another look at the church in days gone by, proved to be informative, but interspersed with humorous stories. Next Thursday’s meeting will feature a talk from the Mission Aviation Fellowship.


Probus: The club held its fortnightly meeting in the Eskdale Hotel when president George Turner welcomed 23 members. He thanked those who had taken up the invitation to visit the Canonbie club, and also thanked the hosts for their hospitality. Jack Rae, a previous speaker from the disabled aids charity Remap, was presented with a cheque by club treasurer Charlie Edgar. This was to support the work that Remap does in the manufacture and alteration of disabled persons’ aids to meet their specific requirements.

Primary school: During assembly the Reverend Scott McCarthy made the presentations to prize winners in the Burns and Scottish poetry competitions. The Burns contest for P7 was judged by ladies’ Burns club president Stella Winter, along with Nancy McLure. The prizes were also donated by the club. The Scottish poetry was for all the other primary classes. Burns competition P7 – 1, Amy Gospel; 2, Rebecca Hall; 3, Alistair Hogg; highly commended – Elliot Dumbarton, Rhys Crossan, Owen Scott, Ralph Phillips, Annie Young. Scottish Poetry P4 – 1, Molly Bell; 2, Phillip Porter; 3, Melissa Park. Highly commended – Amy Forsyth, Jessica Kenny, Murray Pool, Aidan Wilson, Jay Gordon, Chloe Beattie. P5 – 1, Louis Ellis; 2, Carly Blaikie; 3, Ciaran Jackson; highly commended – Charlotte Dirom, Lauren Graham, Luke Bell, Matthew Grieve. P6 – 1, Zoe Little; 2, Katie McCall; 3 (equal), Christopher Tait and Calum Henderson; highly commended – Daniel Winter, Luke Tolson, Kitty Pham, Robbie Gordon.

Burns supper: There was A Nicht Wi’ Burns evening in the Masonic clubrooms which was organised by Billy Young and Bill Smith was chairman. Billy Braithwaite said the Selkirk Grace and the haggis was piped in by Paul Mitchell, carried aloft by Harry Murphy, with Kenny MacQueen whisky bearer. Billy Young gave a stirring address to the haggis and a meal was served up by club members. The Immortal Memory was proposed by Gordon Jackson of Hawick, while the toast to The Lassies was delivered by the Reverend Scott McCarthy. Audrey Smith replied. Alex Pool recited Tam O’ Shanter and A Scotch Night, with Holy Willie’s Prayer from Billy Young. There was also a recitation from Grace Brown. Margaret Howe was accompanist for singers Anne Halliday, Lesley Edwards, Irving Stuart, Stephen Milligan, Billy Young and Alex Pool. Mrs Halliday and Mrs Edwards sang a duet, and Willie Brewed a Peck O’ Maut was sung by Messrs Pool, Young and Stuart. David Yarrow proposed a vote of thanks and the evening ended with Auld Lang Syne.


ROTARY: The club welcomed ex-history teacher Derek Phillips who gave an informative and entertaining talk on the American Civil War from the point of view of Captain William Wilcox of the Union army. The club will be holding a coffee morning on Saturday in the Corn Exchange, 10-11.30am.

CHURCH: Activities – Bowden coffee morning raised more than £300 for church funds; Sunday’s services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am); Sunday, 7.30pm, Fejes String Quartet in the hall (music society); Wednesday, midweek service and lunch, 11.45am; March 5, AGE coffee morning, Corn Exchange, 10am – contributions requested.

Trimontium: The museum is open for the schools’ holiday week. The season begins in earnest on April 4 and goes on till October 30. A couple from Comrie came in after having had a go at exploring the information boards at East Newstead and venturing as far as the 1928 Trimontium Stone. The museum panels and cases of gems and artefacts opened their eyes further. The husband noticed the fort of Dalginross (near Comrie) on the map of Roman Scotland, the location of which was unknown to him.

Literary Society: Members were saddened to learn of the death on January 31 of honorary member Alastair McNab, treasurer of the society for 23 years. At their meeting last week, members discussed historical fiction. The varied literary experiences and backgrounds of panel members Liz Taylor (the novelist Elisabeth McNeill), Pamela Hoad and Rosemary Morrison produced wide-ranging responses to questions such as the need for historical accuracy, the effect of historical novels on present-day attitudes and the reasons for women writers’ domination of contemporary historical fiction. At their next meeting on Tuesday, members will welcome the return of Professor Douglas Gifford of Glasgow University. Honorary librarian of Sir Walter Scott’s library at Abbotsford, the professor will discuss Scott’s poetry.


WRI: Last week’s meeting featured a talk by chiropractor Dr Donald Francis. Competitions – Selkirk Bannock – 1, Annette Craig; 2, Dilys Whellens; 3, Anne Cochrane; photograph of a Border church – 1, Sheena Combe; 2, Gweyn Williamson; 3, Sheena Galloway. The meeting on March 8 will feature a talk from Mark Chapman, carbon omissions officer. Competitions for the meeting – bowl of hyacinth bulbs and a small bottle of home-made liqueur.


WRI: President Sheila Marshall introduced the speaker, Roy Scott, and his wife. Mr Scott is a metal detecting specialist who started metal detecting in 1992 and most of his finds come from the Teviot valley. He outlined the law governing metal detecting and described the treasure trove system. The most common place to find material is in fields. Mr Scott brought a range of objects which he had found. These included buckles, weights, spindle whorls and musket balls. He also spoke about some of his most exciting finds, including an early brooch in the shape of two snakes, found on the edge of Denholm, and gold dentures dating from 1810-1820 which he discovered on Spittal beach. After questions from members, Sheila Marshall gave the vote of thanks for a fascinating talk. Competitions – metal brooch – 1, Zilla Oddy; 2, Pat Jardine; 3, Sheena Graham; 4, Ann Reid; three hyacinths – 1, Zilla Oddy; 2, Dee Baxter; 3, Lily Scott; 4, Gina Hughes.


Coffee Morning: The Holm Show committee held a coffee morning in the village hall which raised £530.

WRI: A pot-luck supper was held in the village hall. A minute’s silence was observed for Barbara Robson. There was a secret santa, food provided by the members, and some had some funny stories and poems that they shared. After nine years of service retiring secretary Margaret Crawford was given a gift of a rose bush and a card which had been signed by members. Competition – evening bag – 1, Margaret Thomson; 2, Sandra Hope; 3, Doris Stephen. The coffee morning will be held on March 5.


Monday Club: Roz Dooner will give a talk on reminiscing with artefacts at 2pm on February 28.

Ex-Standard Bearers: A coffee morning will be held on Saturday in the parish church from 9.30am. Old photographs and memorabilia will be on show, as well as old Common Riding films. Orders will also be taken for Common Riding polo shirts. Any Ex-Standard Bearer wishing to go to The Woll at night should contact secretary Scott Tomlinson asap.


Friday group: The group meets tomorrow in the village hall from 10.30am-noon when there will be a talk by the Reverend Tom Macdonald. More information from Eleanor ( 01573 228276), Caroline (01573 224199) or Maureen (01573 228453).

St Boswells

WRI: This month’s meeting was the branch’s 82nd birthday celebration. Speakers for the evening were Liz Howieson and Pauline Hemsley, who showed how to make quick and easy snacks, and supper dishes, which were later raffled off to members. Competitions – pretty jam dish – 1, Jean Blackwood; 2, Jean Grieve; 3, Maureen Colebrook; what is this? – 1, Rose Cameron; 2, Jean Grieve; 3, Maureen Colebrook. Next meeting is on March 8 – a hospitality evening. Demonstrators – Pampered Chef.


QUIZ: The village hall will host a quiz night on February 25, 7.30pm start. Teams of four – £2.50 per head. Entries to Dave Waring, 01573 470336.


WRI: Local historian Ian Landles was guest speaker at the February meeting when his subject was Teviotdale. As usual he was both informative and entertaining, with poems and songs included. Competitions – photograph – 1, Liz Howieson; 2, Mary Irving; 3, Sheila Robson; cheese scones – 1, Pat Douglas; 2, Liz Howieson; 3, Sheila Robson. On March 1, Liz Jackson will demonstrate floral art when the competitions are a favourite coaster and a bowl of bulbs.


SERVICE: The next service at Traquair Kirk will be on February 27 at 10am.


SERVICE: The service of worship at Walkerburn on Sunday is in the village hall at 10am.


CROSS BORDER CLUB: Members meet next Thursday at 12.15pm in the Wauchope Hall. After lunch there will be a talk by former Daily Mirror editor David Banks on his time in Fleet Street. Those unable to attend and those bringing a guest should contact the secretary by Monday.

COMMUNITY COUNCIL: Much of the business at the latest meeting related to snow clearing. Scottish Borders Council was congratulated on its efforts in keeping open the main roads to the village. The help provided by local farmers was also welcomed. The main concern related to the clearance of pavements and back roads which, in the icy conditions, remained hazardous. Enquiries are being made by the community council into the availability of grants to acquire a small plough for use by a quad bike to be kept in the village.

PENSIONERS’ LUNCH: During the past year the Plough Hotel has collected money from a bottle on the bar, supplemented by the proceeds of a quiz, and these funds are now to be used to provide a lunch for village pensioners. It will be held on March 1 at 12.30pm and there will be background accordion music from Stan Brown. Any pensioner will be welcome and all that needs to be done is to advise the Plough by next Friday of an intention to attend.

BURNS SUPPER: Those present at the Border Worthies Burns Supper at the Border Hotel had a splendid night. The Immortal Memory was delivered by Ronnie Fleming, immediate past president of the Kelso Burns Club. A witty toast to the Lassies was given by David Redpath of Yetholm, with a devastating reply from Barbara Paul, also from the village. Music was provided by Netta Harvey on the keyboard and Mike Youn on the Northumbrian pipes. Recitations and songs came from regular enthusiasts Pat Young, Carol Butler, Eileen Woodward, Patrick Griffin, Tom Tokely, Susan Stewart, Rob Smith and Alastair Turnbull. The evening began with the Selkirk Grace from Robin Mchaffie who also toasted absent friends who had passed away during the year – Harry Brown, Stephen Mcllroy and Nancy Robeson. A special vote of thanks was given to Judi ElIiot, main organiser of the event who also sang during the evening.