District News


WRI: Liz Ramsay welcomed members to the business meeting and committee members were elected for the following year – president, Margaret Taylor; vice-president, Adele Richardson; secretary, Liz Ramsay; treasurer, Olive Hogg. Competition – postcard – 1, Elaine Turnbull; 2, Teela Ferguson; 3, Kathryn Barlow. The member with most points overall for the year was Teela Ferguson.


CarolS: Carol singing will be held on Sunday at 6.30pm at the village hall, accompanied by St Boswells Silver Band, and followed by mince pies and mulled wine.

Cafe: The next community cafe will be held at the village hall on Wednesday (11am).


CHURCH: The second Advent candle was lit during morning service on Sunday. The Reverend Marion Dodd conducted the service and the lessons were read by Joyce Brown. Members are invited to bring an envelope containing a financial donation for the Borders Children’s Charity at Sunday’s Christmas gift service. There is a family service on December 23 and Christmas Eve’s watchnight service with Trinity is in Caddonfoot Church at 11pm. Members are asked to save stamps, which go to Atholl Innes, for the Eden Valley Hospice at Brampton.


PARISH CHURCH: A nativity play and all-ages celebration for Christmas will be held at 10.15am on Sunday, conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods.Refreshments will be served after the service followed by a party in the church hall. The December 23 service also starts at 10.15am and the church will remain open until 6pm for those wishing to visit. Christmas Eve services at 6.30pm (families) and 11.15pm (watchnight); Christmas Day – presents and praise service, 10am; December 30 – end-of-year service of lessons and carols, 10.15am.

WEDNESDAY CLUB: To round off this year, members were joined by ladies from the women’s guild for a Christmas lunch, followed by festive songs, at the Lauderdale Hotel, Lauder. A surprise invitation came from Earlston High School sixth-year social group to a coffee morning with entertainment last week. Many members, together with other friends from the village, had an enjoyable time. The first meeting of 2013 is on January 16 at 2pm in the church hall. Competition – a favourite Christmas card. Potential new members welcome. Age Concern (Scotland) made donations towards the costs of the coach for the club trip to Dobbies in November and the Christmas lunch journey to Lauder, together with a contribution towards the cost of the meal.


Camera Club: Members enjoyed the hospitality of Selkirk Camera Club for the three-way battle with Hawick and Selkirk. Galashiels and Hawick tied for first place on 245 points each. There is no meeting at Langlee on Wednesday, but members are invited to Peebles Community Centre at Walkers Haugh for a fun “photosnap” evening (7.30pm) with Tweeddale Photographic Group.


CAROLS: Glendouglas Hall is the venue on Monday for carol singing around the Christmas tree with Jedforest Instumental Band at 7pm, followed by mulled wine and mince pies.

WHIST: Tuesday sees the Christmas whist drive at 7.30pm in the hall.

FLORAL ART: A Christmas floral art workshop starts at 7pm on Wednesday in the hall.

Hogmanay: Tickets are available from the community hotline (01835 863604).


TREE COMPETITION: For a bit of fun, Gordon Kirk is holding a Christmas tree competition in the church tomorrow in parallel with a carol concert (6.30pm) in aid of Shelter. Gordon Community Woodland has donated 10 trees which are to be decorated by local clubs/farms/firms/organisations. Those attending the concert are being invited to vote for the best tree. Athlete Samantha Kinghorn will present the prize (a Hardiesmill hamper) to the winner at the 10.45am service on Sunday.


ROTARY: The newest member, Mairhi Trickett, formerly president of the Orkney club, addressed the latest gathering on her experiences of nursing in Africa. In 1970 she volunteered as a nurse for two-and-a-half years in the VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas) in Kenya. She has been back to the country since. Mairhi showed coloured slides which she had taken. Vice-president Scott Elliot gave the vote of thanks. The raffle at the president’s ball last week raised £280 which is being donated to the Friends of Hawick Community Hospital.

Camera Club: A three-way digital competition between Galashiels, Selkirk and Hawick camera clubs took place last Wednesday evening in Selkirk’s High Street clubrooms. The judge was Curtis Welsh of the Earlston club. The event ended with Selkirk in third place. Galashiels and Hawick tied for first, resulting in a tie-breaker. Therefore, an Image of the Competition was chosen – Sel Messer’s Skye Sunset elevated the Teries into first place. The December 20 meeting will be an informal president vice-president competition with humour as the theme. Members should bring along party snacks.


CINDERELLA: St Ronan’s Community Centre is to present Cinderella tomorrow at 6.30pm in St Ronan’s School Hall. Tickets are available at the door.

CONCERT: A feast of seasonal music is on offer from St Ronan’s Silver Band at a Christmas concert to be held in the Memorial Hall on Saturday from 7.30pm. The Future Band will also make an appearance. Tickets are available at the door.

COUNTDOWN CLUB: The club will meet on December 28 in the church hall, Leithen Road, at 10.30am.

CHURCH: There will be services on Sunday in Innerleithen Church (11.30am) and St Ronan’s House (4pm).

SHOWTIME: St Ronan’s Primary School pupils are currently presenting their festive show in the school. Entitled A Magical Christmas Jigsaw, the remaining performances are today (6.30pm) and tomorrow (1.30pm). Tickets are available from the school office (01896 830349).


Bridge Club: November 26 – N/S – 1, M. Forsyth and P. Harris; 2, J. Tait and I. Weir; 3, J. and M. Weightman; E/W – 1, R. Oates and S. West; 2, I. Whillans and B. Miller; 3, D. Cessford and D. Gray. December 3 – N/S – 1, M. Forsyth and P. Harris; 2, M. and H. Ouldcott; 3, D. Cessford and D. Gray; E/W – 1, D. and P. Palmer; 2, I. Whillans and B. Miller; 3, N. Porter and S. Graham.

Laidlaw Memorial Pool: A children’s Christmas pool disco will be held tomorrow (6.30-8pm). Under-eights must be accompanied by an over-16. The new block of swimming lessons starts on January 7.

ROTARY: Bronwyn Coggan, who chairs Borders Children’s Charity (BCC), told members the organisation provided for the basic needs of local youngsters who come from poverty-stricken backgrounds. Care and health workers, school staff and others who deal with these children refer them to BCC who supply shoes, clothing, bedding and even Christmas presents. The Rotary club had no hesitation in donating to this charity, £500 coming from the group of Rotary wives who raise money at car-boot sales and similar, and £1,000 from the club itself.

CHURCH: The Three Kings have been brought to life by Primary 2 from Howdenburn School. After a visit to St John’s Episcopal Church to take part in the church trail, they asked if the kings could find a resting place there. They are indeed a work of art and have to be seen to be fully appreciated.

GUILD: Members were treated to a thought-provoking and, at times, hilarious talk by Nancy McNicol, My Life as a Schoolteacher, from her early days in the west of Scotland until her retirement in Jedburgh. Hymns and prayers were led by Jan Fotheringham, Bible reading given by Kathleen Turnbull and the vote of thanks by Jean Kinghorn. On another occasion, about 80 people were welcomed to afternoon teas in Kenmore Hall and the final meeting for November heard from Andrew Bramhall who gave a talk on his work with the Gideon Bible School. The Bible reading was given by Wilma Spence and vote of thanks by Chris Ross. The guild Christmas lunch was attended by 23 members at Glenbank House Hotel on Saturday.


BRIDGE CLUB: December 5 – Rose Bowl 4 – N/S – 1, John Hayton and Lee Leeson; 2, John and Marian Miller; 3, Dominic and Diana Alkin; E/W – 1 (equal), Lynda Douglas and Lesley Dick, Jean McLaren and Robert Hutchinson; 3, Ruth Mackay and Sheila Urquhart. December 6 – Celtic Nations Simultaneous Pairs – 1, David Harris-Burland and Sheila Urquhart; 2, Lynda Douglas and Lesley Dick; 3 (equal), John and Marian Miller, Jean Henry and Myra Thomson; 5, Alison Darling and Mary Logan; 6, Dominic and Diana Alkin.

DISCO: See Yetholm section.


CHRISTMAS Lights: Paralympians James and Libby Clegg, whose mother lives in the town, carried out the Christmas lights switch-on in the Market Place, proudly wearing the medals they won in London. They were presented with gifts from Dumfries and Galloway Council in recognition of their achievements, and a large screen showed them competing. The town and pipe bands entertained, along with the LAODS choir, and the compere was Billy Young. The Reverend Scott McCarthy blessed the Christmas tree.

Presentations: During the Muckle Toon producers’ market in the Buccleuch Centre, three cheques were presented to local causes. Stallholder Dennis Cockburn made a short speech of introduction then the presentations of £100 each were made. Kate Turk and John Scott accepted the cash for the day centre from Dorothy Gillis. Mr McCarthy was handed a cheque for the parish church from Janice Steven and on behalf of the junior band, David Calvert accepted a cheque from Chris Harrison. The next market is in the Buccleuch Centre on February 2.

Bentpath: A number of townsfolk made the short journey up Westerkirk to the Benty Hall for a fun night last Saturday. It was a fantastic night for the Kenny family from the town who picked up numerous prizes. Hazel Johnstone won the stand-up bingo and her son-in-law, Shane Kenny, came out top in the darts with his wife Katrina Kenny taking the prize for guessing the number of beads. Daughter Jessica Kenny correctly guessed the dog’s birthday.Katrina and daughter Anna Kenny won the dominoes. Bagatelle champion was John Kinstrey, while Robert Elliot won the drinks raffle.


PLAY: A Nativity play led by the Sunday Club at Lauder Church on Sunday (11am) will form part of the morning worship. A watchnight service will be held at 11pm on Christmas Eve.


WRI: This month’s meeting was the Christmas party held in the village hall. Members provided a buffet supper and were entertained by John Nichol who had everyone in stitches with his songs and recitations. There was a gift for everyone from Santa’s sack. Competition – three mince pies – 1, G. Aitchison; 2, M. Inglis; 3, J. Roden. At the November meeting Catherine Meldrum, from Granny’s Den, and Kath Kelly gave a demonstration and talk on jewellery making.


CAROLS: There will be carol singing at 6.30pm in Melrose Square on Saturday, plus the pipes and silver band.

CHURCH: Services on Sunday at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am); Wednesday – church Christmas lunch (tickets from 01896 823339).

CONCERT: Eildon Singers will perform at Melrose Parish Church on Sunday from 7.30pm.

TRIMONTIUM: Newstead: 1911-2011, the book celebrating James Curle’s report of his 1905-10 excavation, hits the bookshelves next month. On January 10, Fraser Hunter, curator from the National Museums and fresh from his hour-long film on Roman Scotland shown on BBC2 last Friday, will join co-editor Lawrence Keppie from Glasgow University in launching this generation’s homage to one of Melrose’s famous sons, whose life story was celebrated at last June’s Melrose Festival. Members of the Trimontium Trust are being sent unusual invitations in that they are being offered a choice of two events in the Ormiston. There will be a soup and sandwich lunchtime launch and, as an alternative, a wine and nibbles evening.

Historical Association: Gordon Gilfether from Hawick spoke about Stobs military camp which existed at Stobs Castle from 1902 to 1959. It was a prisoner-of-war complex (1915-1918) and a training establishment. The next meeting of the historical association will be in the Ormiston Lounge on January 15 when Clive Hallam-Baker will show a DVD and lead a discussion entitled The Battle of Flodden – Then and Now.


Coffee Morning: The coffee morning for Clic Sargent raised £1,052. Rosie Girvan realised £400 on her own – sewing aprons, bottle bags, face cloths etc. Competition winners – lucky Santa – David Johnstone; cushions – Brenda Dixon; plant – June Bell.

DISCO: See Yetholm section.


WRI: There was plenty of Christmas sparkle and festive goodies on offer at this month’s meeting. Musical entertainment was provided by Humble Scribes and Pat Douglas, and the singing ended with festive songs after mulled wine and Christmas pies.Fiona Benton gave the vote of thanks on behalf of everyone. Competitions – rum truffles – 1, Muriel Baptie; favourite CD – 1, Shona Brennan; 2, Tina Ainslie; 3, Caroline Tullie. Helen Currie will give a talk on Bowhill at the January 8 meeting. Competitions – knitted baby hat and favourite calendar.


LIBRARY CAFE: The library cafe held its final meeting of the year last Wednesday. It resumes business in March on the first Wednesday that the library van calls at Oxnam.

Oxnam Owls: Oxnam Owls celebrated their first year with a Christmas dinner at The Caddyman. Meetings have stopped for the winter, but will resume on the first Tuesday of March. The chairman thanked the ladies for their support and revealed membership now stood at 40.


CAROLS: A carol service will be held at 6.30pm on Christmas Eve at Channelkirk, followed by mince pies and mulled wine.


CONCERT: The Eildon Singers’ concert in Selkirk Parish Church on Sunday was the first under conductor James Young of Yarrowford. The requiem by Faure was accompanied by John Bryden on the organ and Mrs Young on cello, and Heather Cattanach, the choir’s regular pianist, accompanied the carols.

CAMERA CLUB: Ali Johnston gave a presentation on workflow, using Camera Raw and Elements. Last week the club hosted a digital battle between Hawick, Galashiels and Selkirk, which was judged by Curtis Welsh. Hawick and Galashiels tied on 245 points, while Selkirk scored 196. The Hawick entry – “Skye Sunset” – was judged best overall image.The club’s Christmas dinner last night was the final get-together of the year. The programme resumes with an informal evening on January 9 when members should bring their entries for the final club competition, which has the theme Architecture.


sweetpea festival: The sweetpea festival video is to be shown in the village hall tomorrow. Memorabilia of the occasion will be on sale and stovies are to be served.

St Boswells

BAG PACKING: The village primary school pupils’ bag-packing session held at Asda raised £528 towards new IT equipment.


WRI: Twenty-four members enjoyed a Christmas meal in the village hall. Competitions– wrapped parcel – 1, Dawn Steel; 2, June Brown; 3, Lyn Anderson; Christmas card – 1, Jeanette Mackie; 2, Yvonne Wood; 3, Meg Black. The next meeting will be held in the village hall on February 5 at 7.30pm when Erica Smith will be demonstrating paper flowers.


Karaoke: Sound Out’s Stars in their Eyes karaoke raised £233 for Children in Need.


KIRK: The next service in Traquair Kirk will be Christmas Eve (7pm).


WORSHIP: There will be morning worship from 10am in Walkerburn Public Hall on Sunday.


ART EXHIBITION: Tricia Duncan of Yetholm is organising the EPTAS art exhibition in Kelso. It features original paintings by local artists and runs at 25 Horsemarket until Saturday (10am-4pm). There is no entry fee, but donations to Alzheimer Scotland are welcome.

DEFIBRILATOR PROJECT: Yetholm Community Council is backing a campaign to bring a defibrilator to the village. Barbara Paul, of the council, is organising fundraising, a location for the equipment and training in its use.

CHOIR: The village choir is giving a Christmas concert in Kirk Yetholm Parish Kirk at 3pm on December 23. Apart from choir members, Kate Fish will be singing, Roy Howell reciting and Molly Pringle featuring on organ.

ICY ROAD: There have been several accidents on the Yetholm-Kelso road due to icy conditions.

DISCO: There are still tickets left for the Christmas disco party for young people being held tomorrow (7.30-10pm) in the Youth Hall. They can be obtained at the door from 7.15pm.