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PROBUS: At the meeting held in the Kingsknowes Hotel last Thursday, members were given a talk entitled “Modern Abbotsford”, introduced by Tony Taylor and followed by a detailed presentation by Sandra McNeil, on the life of Sir Walter Scott and on the development of Abbotsford by the Abbotsford Trust. The vote of thanks was given by past president Murray Thom. The next meeting will be on September 13 at the Kingsknowes Hotel, 10am.


Probus Club: The meeting opened with a silent tribute to Jean, wife of honorary member Jim Stirling. Derek Phillips then gave a presentation on the American Civil War. In the American Civil War Society, he serves as a staff officer and portrays Captain William Willcox of the 95th New York Volunteer Infantry.In costume, Derek as himself recounted the history of the war and then, as Captain Willcox, described the events, personalities encountered and skirmishes leading to the Battle of Gettysburg. He has visited the battle re-enactment several times, and while there was invited to join the Confederation of Union Generals as ADC to Major General John F. Reynolds.

BRIDGE CLUB: The president’s charity night was held on May 21 when £150 was raised for the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland. Winners of the bridge were – N/S, H. and M. Ouldcott; E/W, J. and M. Miller.

ROTARY: President Liz Wood was welcomed back in the chair at last week’s meeting following her recent illness. Speaker was Sid Huddart, chairman of Denholm Feuars’ Association, who outlined the history and workings of the group. Feuars were first mentioned in the 17th century as managers or factors of village lands owned by the church or local estate laird. Denholm’s lands were owned by the Palmer Douglas family of Cavers and in 1892 a Feuars’ council was set up to look after The Green. The council is all-inclusive and recently two 13-year-olds were elected to the council. A lively question session followed after which Iain Smith gave the vote of thanks. Several members attended the district assembly meeting in Edinburgh earlier this month.


OPEN AFTERNOON: An open afternoon is being held at Heiton village hall on June 4 between 2-4.30pm. A display of quilting and sewing by the local group will be on display, along with old photographs and prints. There will also be an informal talk from local historian and village resident Ian Abernethy, author of The High Toun on the Hill. Refreshments, home-baked cakes and scones – donations to the BGH Margaret Kerr unit – will also be on offer.


OPEN EVENING: Innerleithen Opera will present Fiddler on the Roof from March 25-30 next year. The society is appealing for new and returning playing members – particularly men. Rehearsals for the show start in September. An open evening has been arranged for June 13 at 7.30pm where new members can meet the production team. Anyone who is interested should contact Esther Gilchrist on 01896 630611, secretary@idaos.org.uk or speak to a member of the society.

CHURCH: There will be a communion service in Innerleithen Church on June 3 at 10.30am.


WRI: Roxburgh federation and members of neighbouring federations were entertained by Calico Queen Jennie Rayment in Jedburgh Town Hall. She tweaks, tucks, twiddles and manipulates fabric into what could almost be described as fabric origami. Dressed from head to boots in embellished calico waistcoat, blouse and skirt, Jennie was a shining example of her craft. A packed venue was taken on a whirlwind tour of how she started working with fabric, quickly moved on to teaching and demonstrating, both here and abroad. Throughout the evening more and more quilts, cushions and other fabric creations were displayed and gathered at the front of the stage. The opening of the evening and finale featured a selection of music. During the event a selection of individual Border Tarts were judged. First was Frances Armstrong from Towford, who will now submit an entry representing Roxburghshire at the national conference in September, with Joan Duncan (Makerstoun) reserve. A group of members spent the next day at Glendouglas making cushion covers under the tuition of Jennie.


FAIR PRINCIPALS: Kelso Events Committee held a draw to select the four principals of St James’ Fair. The names picked out of the hat were – king, Jamie Stenhouse; queen, Tegan Taylor; standard bearer, Josh Gibson; cushion bearer, Anya Lane Leifer. These four youngsters will join the reigning king, Jonny Duffy, queen Kacey Redpath, standard bearer Ben David Lyall and cushion bearer Eva Zita Dornan in the crowning and fair opening ceremony on September 1.

BRIDGE: May 23 – Tom Peel Quaich – 1, John Miller and Rena Stewart; 2, Diana Alkin and Lee Leeson; 3, Jean McLaren and Lynda Douglas; 4, John Hayton and Ian Watson; 5, Alison Ireland and Billy Potts; 6, Dominic Alkin and Sheila Urquhart.

ROTARY: Member Norman Thomson entertained fellow Rotarians with a quirky account of his life, marked by pivotal points which led him into a fulfilling career in banking. From his birth in Selkirk, through his early life in Dryburgh and on to the responsibilities of bank management in Kelso, Norman demonstrated a sense of humour and a philosophical approach to career challenges.


WRI: Members were given an origami demonstration by Lara Armitage at this month’s meeting. Competitions – handwritten verse – 1, Sheila Shaw; 2, Fiona Wilson; 3, Lesley Fitchett; oriental bowl – 1, Jennifer Dun; 2, Anne Runciman; 3, Isa Riddell. The summer outing will be supper and a talk at The Waterwheel, Selkirk, on June 20. Meetings after the summer break resume on September 19 when Jennifer Thomson will be speaking about costume design.


CLOSED: Lauderdale library will be closed for two or three weeks from June 2 while the book collection is moved to new premises in the Old Jail. Boxes will be left in the leisure centre for people to return books, but no new borrowing will be available.


Fishing: A fishing competition will be held on June 2 – names to David Gray by May 31. Drew Gibson was the winner of the fly-only fishing contest. Runner-up and third were Gilbert Elliot and Jim McNulty respectively.


AGM: Oxnam village hall’s annual meeting will be held on June 11 at 7.30pm in the hall.


Mini Museum: On June 3, between 2-5pm in the village hall, items of interest and old photographs will be on display. Members of the public are invited to bring anything of interest they may have (originals will be returned) and pick up a book or plant.

St Boswells

CEILIDH: The ceilidh held on May 19 raised £520 for The Lavender Touch charity and the church.


Olympic Lunch: After the Olympic torch makes its way through Walkerburn on June 14, there will be a free Olympic soup and sandwiches lunch in the village hall – timing will depend on the relay.


WRI: A talk by Tom Hardwick on the gardens of Dalkeith was a feature of the monthly meeting held in the hall. A discussion on gardening and house plants followed. Competition – small floral arrangement – 1, Annie Coltherd; 2, Hannah Young. The raffle was won by Yvonne Clayton. The next meeting is the summer evening outing for a meal.


RAMBLERS: Coldstream Ramblers were in the Cheviots last week when six walkers hiked up the College Burn near Kirknewton to Hethpool. Coffee was taken at Hethpool Linn and a couple of gliders were seen competing with buzzards for thermals. From Hethpool walkers joined the St Cuthbert’s Way and returned eastwards, enjoying lunch in the ruins of an old shepherd’s home.

WEE YETT: It’s time for the summer edition of the Kirk magazine, The Wee Yett. Copy should be sent to the Reverend Robin McHaffie at the manse, Kirk Yetholm, by June 3. Items relating to the village festival and other community events welcome.

COMPETITION: In recent years as a fundraiser, Yetholm Border Shepherds’ Show has run a competition whereby a bucket and a single Yetholm Gypsy tattie is purchased. The buyer then plants the seed potato and harvests it shortly before the autumn show. The person with the heaviest crop at a weigh-in is declared the winner. Potatoes and buckets can be obtained from Sarah Little (01573 440238).

BUNTING: Yetholm is usually decorated with yellow and green bunting for the annual village festival. This year the bunting goes up in the next few days for the diamond jubilee celebrations, remaining until the end of festival week on June 15.

CONCERT: As a run-up to festival week, there will be a concert on June 7. This opens with a play, the murder-comedy “Ladies Day”, followed by a programme of music featuring the village choir.