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CEILIDH: A ceilidh will be held on January 26 in Blainslie village hall – tickets from 01896 860607.


Church: The Epiphany Sunday service was conducted by the Reverend Marion Dodd. The Lessons were read by Hamish Tennent and the minister read a special message by Eugene Peterson, entitled “From the Message”. Thanks go to everyone who contributed £275 to the Gift Aid service (for Borders children’s charities) and £235 at the joint watchnight service with Trinity (for the Margaret Kerr Unit at the BGH). Bible study continues in Trinity each Thursday at 6pm, and there will be a meeting of Caddonfoot kirk session on January 23 in Caddonfoot Church at 7.30pm.


WRI: Accordionist Robert Clelland entertained at the Christmas party.Competition – Christmas table decoration – 1, Mrs Waldie; 2, Mrs Ramsker; 3, Mrs Crosbie. The January meeting saw members at Quins in Galashiels for the rural’s birthday party. Competition winner for most points throughout the year was Mrs Ramsker. New members are welcome at the next meeting on February 14 in Darnick village hall at 7.15pm.


Camera Club: Members were invited to show a few images of their own last Wednesday night and covered topics such as “A year with our camper van”, “A very wet week in Skye”, “Some wild animals in Australia”, “Some wonderful shots in India” and “A very clever show set to music”. Competition – calendar shot – projected images – 1, Helen Pugh-Cook; 2, Barbara Greer; 3, Dougie Oliver; prints – 1, Curtis Welsh; 2, Barbara Greer; 3, Curtis Welsh. Next Thursday sees a three-way battle at Kelso.

PARISH CHURCH: Sunday’s service at 10.15am will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods. A congregational board meeting is being held in the church hall lounge on Tuesday at 7.30pm.


FOLK GROUP: Award-winning singer songwriters Ian Bruce and Ian Walker will appear at the village hall on February 1. Tickets from Sandra Kinnoch (01835 850324) or Annette Fraser (01835 862228).


WRI: A social afternoon was held last Wednesday when members tried to identify fellow members from childhood photographs.The joint winners were Maggie Greenwood, Jean Browne and Marion Anderson. Competition – favourite soft toy – 1, Maggie Greenwood; 2, Jackie Dunn; 3, Evelyn Grierson.

BuRNS SUPPER: The village hall is the venue for a Burns supper on January 26. Tickets are available from Evelyn Grierson (01835 863625).


RESILIENT: More than 40 people have signed up to Scottish Borders Council’s Resilient Community initiative. Anyone still with completed forms to hand in, or who would like a form, should contact George (01750 52243).

BOWLING: Although Kirkhope Carpet Bowling Club closed its doors some months ago owing to lack of numbers, there was no sign of this on New Year’s Day at the annual bowling tournament in the village hall when 28 pairs contested the silverware. The event was run by members of the local community, with all profits going to The Lavender Touch charity which benefited by £288. The final was between Kevin Massie and Gail Tennant, and George and Anne Turnbull, with the former running out winners.

FORENSIC TALK: The next interest evening held in Ettrickbridge Village Hall is on January 24 at 7.30pm when Findlay Grahame will be speaking about forensic psychology.


Camera Club: The first meeting of 2013 featured a presentation by Georgia Connolly, marine ranger from St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve, who gave an insight into the work of the reserve. The diverse and colourful wildlife of the undersea world of the reserve was illustrated in a short film. Georgia explained the complex relationships within the reserve between recreational divers and local fishermen. There is no meeting at Langlee on Wednesday, but members are invited to the three-way competition with Kelso and Earlston at the Kelso Abbey Row Centre at 7.30pm.

PROBUS: Malcom Lindsay spoke about researching family history, explaining why it was cheaper and easier to do this in Scotland than south of the border, and detailed how to set about it. He also highlighted why it was important to make sure that the older generation identified photographs etc. before it was too late. The club’s Burn’s lunch is next Thursday.


WRI: Roy and Jo Scott gave a talk on metal detecting and brought along artefacts found in the Borders. Competition – old coin – 1, Ina Lunn; 2, Cathie Johnson. The raffle was won by Ann Lothian.


Camera Club: Ron Bell of Galashiels Camera Club presented an illustrated talk entitled “Scary munros and other hills”. He explained that a munro is a mountain more than 3,000ft above sea level, and the various categories of climber are often known as munro baggers, scramblers and rock-climbing mountaineers – he considers himself to be a scrambler. There were 284 munros in Britain. Ron’s long-held ambition of climbing all the munros was realised in 2005. The meeting on January 24 will be the flora and fauna competition.

Bridge Club: January 7 – 1, S. White and J. Urquhart; 2, R. Goldie and M. McLeod; 3, P. Gilligan and M. Millar. January 9 – 1, M. and H. Dooley; 2, P. Gilligan and M. Millar; 3, D. Usher and I. Wyse.

ROTARY: Mike Fraser, conservation officer of the RSPB’s Lothian and Borders branch, gave an illustrated talk on the flora and fauna of the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Mike and his wife, Liz, spent 12 years there where he was a post-graduate student at Cape University. He said there are more species of plant growing on the top of Table Mountain than in the whole of the UK. He also showed examples of Liz’s paintings of flora, fauna and animals.


Towford WRI: Helen Cessford and Mary Pringle gave a slide show and presentation of the Roxburghshire Federation’s exchange visit to Shetland at the latest meeting. An “observation” quiz on the local area proved very testing with Elizabeth Kellington emerging victorious. Competition – Christmas napkin – 1 (equal), Frances Armstrong and Sue Aitchison. The next meeting is the family night on February 5 at 7.30pm with Gilly Fraser talking about her Clydesdale trek.


CHURCH: The service on Sunday starts at 11.30am in Innerleithen Church.

COUNTDOWN CLUB: The Countdown Club will meet on Wednesday at 10.30am in Innerleithen Church Hall.

AGM: St Ronan’s Piping Society will hold its AGM on February 3 in the Vale Club at 1pm.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF: There will be a chance to buy tickets for Innerleithen Opera’s production of Fiddler on the Roof (March 25-30) on February 13 in the Library Hall, Buccleuch Street, from 6.30-7.15pm and at the society’s annual coffee morning in the Vale Club on February 16 (10am-noon).


Laidlaw memorial Pool: Children’s swimming lessons have now started – contact 01835 863430 for further information.

Bridge Club: January 7 – N/S – 1, D. Cessford and D. Gray; 2, M. Forsyth and P. Harris; 3, J. and M. Weightman; E/W – 1, A. and R. Stewart; 2, R. Oates and S. West; 3, I. Whillans and B. Miller. January 14 – N/S – 1, D. and P. Palmer; 2, J. Henry and A. Mitchell; 3 (equal) J. Tait and I. Weir, A. and R. Stewart; E/W – 1, D. Cessford and D. Gray; 2, B. and I. Middleton; 3, E. and J. Pearson.


BRIDGE CLUB: January 9 – BGB sim. pairs – N/S – 1, John and Marian Miller; 2, Rena Stewart and Beth Stark; 3, Mary and Nigel Lindsay; E/W – 1, Brian Saywood and Ken Ross; 2, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 3, Jean Bunyan and Val Fairbairn. January 10 – Calchou Cup 7 – 1, John and Marian Miller; 2, Rena Stewart and Val Johnstone; 3, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 4, Alison Darling and Mary Logan; 5 (equal), Lee Leeson and Bob Stevenson, Jon Bridger and Archie Stewart.

MARKET: Kelso farmers’ market will be held in the town square on January 26 (9.30am-1.30pm).

ROTAry: Member Anne Wright surprised the club with news that Scotland used to be very near where Australia is now located. Her presentation, “The Geology of Torridon”, revealed the extent of movement of land masses over many millennia, which results in the rock formations found today in that area and across Scotland.

Thursday Group: Clare Oliver will give an update on the BGH’s newly-opened Margaret Kerr Unit at 2pm in Abbey Row Centre today. Next week Colin Gilmour will talk about the Kelso Heritage Initiative. For a group syllabus and information, phone Isabel on 01573 224753.


School: A starting date of January 21 is scheduled for the new primary school. The contract has been awarded to Graham Construction, a company based in Northern Ireland.

Broadband: Residents of Ewes were attending a meeting last night in the village hall to discuss the plan for broadband with representatives from Scottish Enterprise and Dumfries and Galloway Council. They had been urged to fill in questionnaires that had been distributed and to hand them in at the meeting.

Malawi fundraiser: A safari supper was held in Canonbie to raise funds for the church youth group’s Malawi expedition in July. About 70 people enjoyed the evening, with the starter and main course held in various houses in the area. Then everyone gathered to enjoy puddings in the United Parish Church. There was musical entertainment from Donald and Jenny Scott, Charlie Foster and a number of young people. The youth group served the company with the sweets, wine and coffee.


WRI: For the first meeting of the new year, Sheila Whyte demonstrated keep fit – great fun was had with a multicoloured parachute and a ball, trying to keep a Mexican Wave going.Competition – home-made fruit drink – 1, M. Mabon; 2, M. Lawrie; 3, M. Inglis; pretty brooch – 1, J. Roden; 2, S. Todd; 3, M. Mabon. Raffle – K. Coates, J. Stewart, M. Mabon, M. Ewart, M.Lawrie, M. Stephen.


CHURCH: The church office is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday (9am-1pm); Sunday – services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am); Wednesday – midweek community service and lunch.

RECITAL: At 2.30pm on Sunday, Melrose Music Society is presenting a piano recital (Arte Aricane).

BOOK LAUNCH: The book, A Roman Frontier Post and its People: Newstead 1911-2011, was launched by Lord Polwarth of Harden, near Hawick, a newly-recruited patron and member of the Trimontium Trust, last Thursday lunchtime in the Corn Exchange. Dr Fraser Hunter, of the National Museums in Edinburgh, gave a short presentation of the publication and his co-editor, Professor Lawrence Keppie, of the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow University, recalled various other historical events taking place about the time of the founding of Trimontium, including the eruption of Vesuvius and the opening of the Colosseum in Rome. Ex-councillor Bill Smith welcomed this latest National Museums/Trimontium Trust ploy on behalf of the town and district, and Dr John Reid, chairman of the trust, gave a vote of thanks before bidding to lunch the 60-strong gathering of VIPs, members and friends. Book-buying and signing became the after-lunch sport. The friendly and convivial atmosphere continued into the evening, upstairs in the Ormiston, when another new patron and member, the Lord Lieutenant of Roxburgh, Ettrick and Berwickshire, Captain Gerald Maitland-Carew, also launched the book. Provost William Windram welcomed the arrival of the book as a celebration of James Curle and the continuation of the trust as a town attraction. The two editors reprised their lunchtime performance and Dr Reid did likewise, thanking all concerned on behalf of the trust and, in particular, the friends of the Curle family who had contributed so generously to the success of the day. At total of 101 books had been sold, a fifth of the initial print run, and copies can be obtained through the Trimontium Museum.

LITERARY SOCIETY: At the society’s first meeting of 2013, Selkirk-based Dr Robert Leach spoke about his long-term friends, writer and dramatist John Arden, who died last year, and his Irish wife, Margaretta D’Arcy. They are the subjects of his recently-published book, “Partners of the Imagination”. Dr Leach explained how the pair were determined to create a different kind of theatre – not merely after-dinner entertainment, but one that engaged with social and political issues, both in its writing and performance. Dr Leach illustrated his talk with film clips in which the writers discussed their work The society’s next speaker, on Tuesday, is Katriona MacEwan and “Making words come alive for Radio”. She worked as a producer with the BBC for more than 30 years, writing, casting and producing up to 50 programmes a year. Meetings, in the Ormiston Lounge, are open to non-members (£3 charge).


WRI: Members had an energetic start to 2013 with a zumba class led by Sybil Bunyan. Competitions – three oatcakes – 1, Sheena Galloway; 2, Dilys Wheelans; 3, Anita Craig; best Christmas cracker joke – 1, Margot Hastie; 2, Sheena Combe; 3, Sheila Swanston. The next meeting on February 12 will feature China and t’ai chi, with Trish and Fiona. Competitions – three gypsy creams and a hand-written verse from a musical.


Quiz: Winners of the quiz held in the Templehall Hotel were Gail Gibson, Titch Tait and Janette Marshall, with Jock Cessford, Danielle McNulty and Annie Tait runners-up. The picture competition was won by Steven Wright, Grace Cessford and Bryan Johnstone. Once again Tom Culbertson made up the quiz. The proceeds of the quiz and raffle will go to Clic Seargant.

Keep Fit: Keep-fit sessions have restarted in the institute on Tuesdays (10-11am).

WRI: Marie France Taylor welcomed all to the first meeting of the new year and introduced Mary Hanson who gave a talk on local history. Competitions – savoury dip – 1, Angela Cook; 2, Margaret Blackmore; 3, Grace Cessford; photograph of local view – 1, Mary Pringle; 2, Nancy Anderson; 3, Helen Cessford. The meeting on February 13 features a film “Forgotten workers” (bondagers). This gathering is open to non-members and gents in the institute at 7.15pm.

Guild: Margaret Lees introduced Nancy McNicol from Jedburgh and welcomed everyone to the meeting. Mrs McNicol spoke about her Danish connections and brought along a display of items she had been given over the years.

Coffee Morning: A charities coffee morning will be held in the institute on January 26 from 10.30am.


WRI: Members enjoyed a Christmas meal at the Kingsknowes Hotel Galashiels. At the first meeting of the year on January 10, president Mary Redburn introduced PC Karen Mcllroy, community police officer for St Boswells and Newtown St Boswells. PC McIlroy then gave a talk on security measures one should take at home and also how to be aware and stay safe when out and about, especially when handling money at cash lines. She also asked members to beware of telephone scams and cold callers. The officer enjoyed supper with the members and judged the competition for the evening – decorated coat hanger – 1, Margaret Luke; 2, Elizabeth McMillan; 3, Elaine Thornton-Nichol. The next meeting will be on February 7 in the Community Wing.


COLLECTION: The collection at the Oxnam Church Christmas Eve carol service, when the singing was led by Jamie Mackenzie, raised £440 for the Borders branch of the Red Cross.


AUCTION: Peebles Community Council’s projects committee is holding an auction on Sunday afternoon to let people turn unwanted items into cash – and to raise funds for the council’s activities programme. The event will be held in St Joseph’s Neighbourhood Centre, Rosetta Road. Unwanted items can be handed in on Saturday between 11am-5pm (viewing 2-5pm) or Sunday between noon and 1.30pm. A small commission will be taken to help fund the council’s community projects calendar.


CAMERA CLUB: Last week, in a change to the planned programme, Don Lees gave a presentation on underwater photography and his background as a diver. Bert Lancaster will be judging the final club competition.

Monday Club: At 2pm on Monday at St Joseph’s church hall, Amanda Richard will demonstrate how to have fun with seated gentle exercise.


WRI: It was a bit of Upstairs Downstairs when Helen Currie gave a talk and slide show on Bowhill House and estate, and the Buccleuch family, at the first meeting of the year for Newmill and Teviothead members.Competitions – knitted baby’s hat – 1, Gill Francombe; 2, Caroline Tullie; 3, Muriel Baptie; favourite calendar – 1, Sheila McLaren; 2, Anna Hislop; 3, Carol Valentine. The February 5 meeting will feature a talk on photography by Ian Oliver. Competitions – jar of marmalade, sunset/sunrise photograph and favourite picture frame. A trip to Cragside in Northumberland will be held on June 15.


CHURCH: The next service in Traquair Kirk will be on January 27 at 10am.


SERVICE: Sunday’s service will be at 10am in Walkerburn Public Hall.


LUNCH: A village lunch takes place today (noon-2pm) in the Wauchope Hall. Everyone is welcome and proceeds will be donated to the Water Aid charity.

SCRABBLE: The village Scrabble club has restarted after a break for the festive holidays. New players are welcome. The games take place in the Wauchope Hall on Wednesdays from 1.45pm.

VILLAGE TRUST: Yetholm Community Council has promoted the establishment of a village trust. It is envisaged that funds donated to the local community will be administered through the trust which recently won the approval of OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator).

BURNS SUPPER: Tickets for the Border Worthies Burns Supper to be held in the Border Hotel on February 1 can be obtained from Susan Stewart, 22 The Yett, Kirk Yetholm (01573 420231).