District News


Line dancing

Line dancing begins again on Wednesday in the village hall (2-3pm). Former and new pupils welcome. More information from 01450 870042.


Wednesday Club

Morag Hunter has been invited to be the first life member in recognition of her continuous support of the club for many years. Last week members enjoyed a nostalgic journey of slides from Wednesday Clubs of the past, presented by Connie Seaton and Ann Thomson. A fun competition of “Committee Childhood Photographs” was won by Jan Pringle and Diane Robertson. The next meeting is on February 12 and the competition is a “comical cat ornament”.

Parish church

The February 9 service at 10.15am will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods. The trustees meet on February 13 at 7pm in the church hall lounge to approve the accounts. Monthly communion will take place on February 16 immediately after morning service.



The Scottish Enlightenment and depopulation caused by The Clearances were cited by Gala Burns Club president Keith Cowan as major influences on the Bard when he proposed the Immortal Memory to Rotarians and partners. Keith, guest speaker at the club’s Burns supper, started the evening by addressing the haggis. Following a traditional meal of soup and haggis with chappit neeps and tatties, he gave a talk on the influences on Burns, including his mother, Agnes. Burns wrote his first poem at 15 to Handsome Nell and when he was 27 the famous Kilmarnock edition of his poems was published before his move to Edinburgh.

Dogs chipped

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest canine welfare charity, joined forces with local MSP Christine Grahame last Wednesday to provide free microchipping for dogs and promote responsible ownership in the town. The event, held at the Focus Centre, resulted in 110 dogs being chipped. Dogs Trust veterinary staff were also on hand to perform basic health checks and answer general queries from dog owners. Microchipping is a simple and effective tool which helps to reunite lost or straying pets with their owners. This in turn reduces the number of healthy dogs unnecessarily put to sleep and saves money for local authorities by cutting kennelling costs. The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on the possible introduction of compulsory microchipping.

Afore Ye Go

The Volunteer Hall is the venue for an event which has seen Age Scotland join forces with Scottish Borders Elder Voice to help central Borders residents prepare for their future in later life. Afore Ye Go runs from 10.15am-2.30pm on February 13. It offers an insight into some of the most challenging topics and decisions facing people as they grow older, such as living wills, power of attorney, care costs, trusts, equity release and funeral plans. Further information from 01896 668601 or info@eldervoice.org.uk.


Bridge club

January 28 – 1, S. White and J. Urquhart; 2, J. and S. Law; 3, V. Johnstone and D. Usher; 4. J. and M. Miller.

Film and Video Group

Club president Jean Tait welcomed members to the Burns night celebrations, announcing an evening of professionally-made Scottish comedy film sketches dating back several years which produced an atmosphere of nostalgia and good humour among the audience in preparation for a supper of haggis, tatties and neeps provided by members. The visit to Hawick Camera Club is on February 13.

Camera club

“A Year at the Hirsel” was the title of Stephen Whitehorne’s illustrated talk last Thursday.

Stephen, a professional photographer, provided a display of scenery which makes up the estate. In addition to woodland walks and Highland cattle grazing in idyllic surroundings, there are pottery workshops and art galleries to browse around. February 9 sees the Newtongrange inter-club competition at the village’s mining museum, opening at 10am for a 10.30am start. Transport to be arranged. The meeting on February 13 will be the biennial visit from Hawick Film and Video Group.


Scott Renwick, principal of physical education at Hawick High School, was speaker at the latest meeting. In an entertaining talk, he highlighted his career and how he arrived at his present post. A Teri, his family had been Salvation Army Corps members and he thanked two Rotarians, David Oliver and Bobby Cairns, also Salvationists, for their guidance and help in this respect. He played the euphonium in the army band, later progressing to the town band. He also went on a Borders Exploration Group expedition to Outer Mongolia. After graduating he took up his first post at Earlston High School, where he met his wife, and later moved on promotion to Hawick High School as head of department. Scott’s presentation ended with a rendition of “My Borderland” on his euphonium.



A service will be held on February 9 at 11.30am in Innerleithen Church.


There will be a chance to buy tickets for Innerleithen Opera’s production of “South Pacific” (March 31-April 5) on February 19 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 22 (10am-noon). Anyone who would like to become an honorary member and take advantage of preferential booking with tickets delivered to their door, contact the secretary on 01896 830577 or email secretary@idaos.org.uk


Bridge club

January 20 – N/S – 1, V. Johnstone and M. Miller; 2 (equal), A. and R. Stewart, I. Weir and G. Young; E/W – 1, R.Oates and S. West; 2, M. Weightman and M. Forsyth; 3, H. Long and D. Cessford. January 27 – N/S – 1, V. Johnstone and M. Miller; 2, M. Forsythe and M. Weightman; 3, A. and R. Stewart; E/W – 1, M. and H. Ouldcott; 2, N. Porter and S. Graham; 3, R. Oates and S. West.

Historical society

Nancy McNicol gave a talk on the fact that she had always lived and worked between the Antonine and Hadrian’s walls. Born and brought up in Cumbernauld – population 1,300 before it became the new town of 65,000 people it is today – she compared it with Jedburgh. The two towns are both ancient settlements – Cumbernauld had a castle dating from the 11th century, as did Jedburgh. Both were “visited” by the retreating Jacobite army in 1746, and their layout of streets and houses, with “lang rig” gardens, is very similar. Mary Queen of Scots visited each place. The next meeting is on February 13 at 7.30pm in the Royal British Legion when Norrie McLeish recalls a long-forgotten local rugby dispute – “It’s Only A Game”.


Thursday Group

Graham Garvie, convener of Scottish Borders Council, gave an overview of the problems faced by the local authority and how it is dealing with

them. Today (Thursday), Keith Hanson talks about the polymath Thomas Young – 2pm, Abbey Row Centre. Janice Whiteford and David Thaw have swapped, andFebruary 13 will feature the Vine Trust.


Kelso Ornithological Society’s AGM will be held at 7.30pm on February 11 in the British Legion, Roxburgh Street. Anyone who is or is thinking of becoming a bird keeper/breeder is welcome. For more information, contact Linda Nairn (01573 224006) or John Connor (07971 528621).


The next meeting of Abbey Quilters will be held on February 11 at 7pm in Abbey Row Centre when Margaret Thompson gives a talk entitled “This year, next year, sometime, never...”. Members should remember their mugs. For further information, contact Rineke Sangster (01573 229414).


Charity Begins At Home (CBAH) is inviting organisations, including clubs and societies, in the TD5 area to apply for funding of a project that will benefit local people. Requests, in writing, should be sent to Eilean Hogarth, Orchies, 24 Broomlea, Kelso TD5 7RB, to be received on or before March 21. They should include a brief description of the project. Applications must not be handed into the charity’s shop and individual requests can not be considered.

Bridge club

January 29 – Rose Bowl 5 – N/S – 1, Rena and Archie Stewart; 2, Mary and Jim Stone; 3, Sheena McPherson and Sheila Urquhart; E/W – 1, John and Marian Miller; 2, Annie Mitchell and Bob Stevenson; 3, Diana and Dominic Alkin. January 30 – Calchou Cup 9 – N/S – 1, Bob Stevenson and Lee Leeson; 2, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 3 (equal), John and Marian Miller, Alison Ireland and Sheila Urquhart; E/W – 1, Margot McVie and Jean Henry; 2, Archie Stewart and John Urquhart; 3, Helenor Pratt and Pauline Smart.


Kelso North and Ednam Parish Church men’s group, men@kne, held a Burns supper last Wednesday at the Forestfield manse. Angus Hislop piped in the haggis, which was addressed by the Reverend John Shields. The Immortal Memory was given by John Nichol who, along with Matthew Burgess, entertained with recitations. The group will be leading worship in both churches on March 23. Last Friday night, Kelso North played host to “The Lion King” on the big screen, with over £200 being raised for the Great North Air Ambulance Service. Tomorrow (Friday) at 7pm, “Seven Years in Tibet”, featuring Brad Pitt, will be shown, followed by “Sunshine on Leith” on March 14. Last Saturday two local families, Paxton and Carruthers, organised a coffee morning at Kelso North, with around £1,400 being raised in aid of Ronald McDonald House, an independent charitable organisation providing a “home away from home” for parents of sick babies and children in the care of Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, Glasgow. This Saturday – in the Upper Hall at Kelso North – there is a coffee morning (10am-noon) in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service. Tickets for the Seder meal/ceilidh on April 11 at Kelso Rugby Club can be obtained after morning worship and from the church office in Bowmont Street. Sunday’s services are at Ednam (9.30am) and Kelso North (11am).


Anniversary dinner

The ladies’ Burns club held its anniversary dinner in the Masonic clubrooms last Wednesday. President Alison Aston was chairman for the evening and after welcoming everyone, said the Selkirk Grace. The haggis was carried into the hall by Rena Liggins, led by piper Jackie Fletcher. The president then addressed the haggis. Chief guest was Bobby Jess from Dumfries who gave the Immortal Memory. Bob McLure proposed the toast to The Lassies, with Fiona Evans from Annan replying. There were recitations from Grace Brown and Billy Young, and the latter also sang for the company, along with Jackie Becket and Bob McLure. Isabel Connelly was accompanist.


Border Flower Club

The next meeting is on February 12 at 7.30pm in the Corn Exchange and takes the form of hands-on fun night. Members finished 2013 with a festive demonstration by Elizabeth Forster, a member and past chairman of the club. The title for her designs was “ Christmas Sparkle”. Her choice of containers added to the festive topic, from a large red bauble to a Santa’s sledge with gold reindeer and a cool reminder with an elegant piece of wood to remind the audience of snow and frost. Her flowers were a selection of roses, orchids, lillies and carnations, along with foliage to complement.


Local Historic Scotland members last Thursday donned heavy boots, hard hats and high-visibility vests before being taken up the in the mass of scaffolding which covers the south side of Melrose Abbey, right up to the level of the Victorian-slabbed roof. There are various landings in the scaffolding which allow close-ups of the statues of the Madonna and St Andrew, carved animal and human heads – and inscriptions – and the top of the rose window on the south front, some of the rotting mullions of which are to be replaced with newly-carved sandstone from a Durham quarry. Signs of decay (and small falling stones) were noticed in 2008 – but the application for £20,000 to install the scaffolding had to take its place in the queue until this year.


Trimontium museum (aka The Three Hills Roman Heritage Centre) is opening on February 7, 8, 10 and 11.


Historical Jesus – February 6 (10am) and February 10 (7.30pm); food bank – donations welcomed, especially tins or jars of jam/marmalade; WFO church offerings – helped by Gift Aid (just ask at the office); services – February 9, Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am).

Bondagers DVD

On February 11 Dinah Iredale will present the DVD based on her book, “The Forgotten Workers – Bondagers”, to the Melrose Historical and Archaeological Association meeting in the Ormiston Institute at 7.30pm. All welcome – non-members (£3).


Coffee morning

The coffee morning held on January 25 raised the sum of £463.73 for the Morebattle defibrillator.


The WRI meets in the institute on February 12 at 7.15pm for Robin Hogg and Friend on Gardeners’ Question Time. Competitions – bowl of bulbs and a garden photograph.


Morebattle Games AGM will be held on February 9 at 1.30pm in the Templehall Hotel.



Selkirk and District Angling Association AGM will be held in the town’s Conservative Club at 7pm on February 14. Members will be able to purchase their 2014 salmon permits after the meeting.



The next men’s breakfast is scheduled for February 22 at 8.30am in The Cloudhouse. The Reverend Victoria Linford plans to hold a course entitled “Exploring the Christian Faith”, starting in April. For more details, contact her.



Tweedbank Playgroup is holding a fundraising under-fives fancy dress party on March 2 (11am-1pm) in the village’s community centre. The event will include two bouncy castles – one with a slide – face-painting, tea/coffee and homebaking.



There are more children in the village than there have been for some time, and there is a possibility that there will be a third teacher at the primary school. If this happens the

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classroom used by the playschool may be required. Informal discussions have been taking place and an option to is for the playschool to be rehoused in the Youth Hall.

Wine and nibbles

The local church is hosting a fundraising wine and nibbles evening at the Kirk Yetholm manse on February 22 (7 30-9.30pm). Participants from Yetholm, Morebattle. Hounam and Linton welcome.


A whist drive will be held on February 11 in the Youth Hall at 7.30pm.


Carol Butler of Kirk Yetholm spoke about growing up in Yetholm during the 1950s, especially life in Woodbank Road.


The Plough Hotel has changed hands. After 10 years, Andrew and Diane Hay have sold up, although they still have The Castle, Coldstream, and The Swan, Warenford, Northumberland. Taking over The Plough are the Keddie family from Romany House.