District News



At the February meeting members and guests enjoyed a talk, “The Art of Nature”, by photographer Liz Hanson, illustrated by pictures taken through the seasons. Competition – an animal photograph – 1, Mairi Cooke; 2, Ann Stewart; 3, Anne Wilkie.



The Reverend Elspeth Harley preached the service on Sunday and the lessons were read by Eddie Brydon. Books are available for loan in front of the church after services. The kirk session meets in the church on March 19 at 7.30pm. The stated annual general meeting will be held on March 2 after morning service.


Caddonfoot Parish Hall committee has arranged a return visit from Murray Dickson, of the Old Gala Club, to present his newest illustrated talk, this time entitled “The Road to Edinburgh”. The event will be held on February 28, doors opening at 7pm.



Denholm and Minto members were last Wednesday treated to a tale of adventure that many would love to have – pony trekking in Patagonia. Augusta Greenlees told how she flew to Buenos Aires then to Santiago to join a group of eight trekking for nine days through the southern part of Chile. The vote of thanks was proposed by Mary Beck. Competitions – best hyacinths – 1, Merle Oddy; 2, Dee Baxter; horse picture – 1, Dee Baxter; 2, Sheena Graham; 3, Jo Hanson; 4, Win Nichol.



Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford was the subject of a talk by Hamish Reid to members at their latest meeting. Competitions – handwritten poem – 1, Mary Scott; 2, Louise Benton; flask of homemade soup – 1, Heather Smith; 2, Edith Cockburn. The next meeting is today (Thursday) at 7.30pm in Hanover Close when Marion Pate, from Maid by Marion, will give a demonstration. Competitions – Berwickshire fruit loaf (recipe supplied), best use of 100g DK wool (donated to charity) and an extra contest for a bottle of juice.


The Friends of Thomas the Rhymer Group AGM is on February 24 at 7.30pm in the Black Bull Inn.

Wednesday Club

Members’ minds were tested by a quiz presented by Ruth Scoular last week. Competition – a comical cat ornament – 1, Wilma Henderson; 2, Anne Falconer; 3, Agnes Graham. The next meeting is on February 26 when the competition is for a string of beads.



John Rogerson will be giving a talk on Jedburgh and surrounding area on February 28 (7.30pm) in the village hall. Bring and share supper, £4 entry and raffle. Contact Christine for further information on 01835 840246.

Coffee morning

A coffee morning will be held on March 3 (10.30am).


Members gathered last Wednesday to hear Andrew Simmonds, head gardener at Floors, describe the gardening year at Balmoral in preparation for the arrival of the Queen to spend her annual holiday. He and his wife, who worked the projector, were thanked by Joan Badger. Competitions – Queen Mother’s favourite cake – 1, Marion Anderson; 2, Rosemary Wilkes; 3, Jackie Dun; miniature garden – 1, Rosemary Wilkes; 2, Evelyn Grierson; 3, Marion Miller. The raffle was won by Sue Vind.


Coffee morning

The next coffee morning and sale in aid of hall funds takes place on March 1 in the hall between 10am-noon. Anyone with anything to sell should simply turn up, take a table and give a small donation.


There are still a few tickets left for the annual hall dinner on March 1, with Ian Landles of Hawick and Kelso’s Eric Paxton speakers. Contact Linda on 01750 52257.


Mike and Liz Fraser will deliver a talk entitled “Wildlife at the Cape of Good Hope – the smallest kingdom” on February 27 from 7.30pm in Kirkhope parish hall.


Members and visitors were treated to a cake-decorating demonstration using Belgian chocolate paste by Sarah Gorrill. The cake, which was raffled, was won by Linda Elmitt. Competitions – Valentine cupcake – Isla Guthrie, Marjory Tennant and Alison Blackadder; a Valentine verse – Ann Davies, Marjory Tennant and Isla Guthrie. The next meeting is on March 12, featuring Mary Thomson on dog psychology.


History and heritage

The next meeting of Fala, Soutra and District History and Heritage Society will be held in the village hall on February 27 at 7.30pm. Alistair Beck will talk about “The untimely death of a health pioneer – Hector Gavin, 1815-1855, and the Gavins of Edinburgh”.



Bill Birell stepped in at short noticed as speaker at last week’s meeting. His topic was “Myths, Magic and Legends of Management” – this resonated with almost all present as most had been senior managers. The vote of thanks was proposed by Hamish Reid.

The next meeting will be in the Kingsknowes Hotel on February 27 (10am) when Henry Borthwick addresses members about the Soutra Plateau.

Ladies’ night

Third-year beauty therapy students at Borders College – as part of their planning and implementation of promotional activities unit – are organising a ladies’ night to be held on March 26 (6-8pm) at the Netherdale campus. They will be offering back, neck and shoulder massages, plus manicures. There will also be demonstrations of treatments, stalls and displays, raffle and spray tans. Ticket sales and all other proceeds will be split between helping fund further training for students and their chosen charity, “Look Good, Feel Better”, which helps those suffering with the visible signs of cancer treatment.

Camera club

Sandy Cleland judged the internal competition, “A day at the seaside”. John Peters took first and second place in the digital print image class, while third went to Ford Renton. John Peters also headed the print section, followed by Christine Swalwell and Gordon Swalwell respectively.


Whist drive

Ladies – 1, Joan Kyle; 2, Chrissie Paterson; 3, Betty Fleming; booby, Eileen Law. Gents – 1, Ralph Ramsky; 2, Marion Thompson; 3, Ella Young; booby, Mamie Hogarth; bingo, Rose Cameron; sweep, Hannah Wilson, Rose Cameron and Greta Middlemas. The next whist drive is on March 10 at 7.30pm.

Lunch club

The next club gather is on March 12.


Old-time dancing has been cancelled tonight (Thursday), but will go-ahead on February 27 at 8pm, with the Reel Half Hour class meeting 30 minutes earlier.


Camera club

President Anna Lee welcomed members of Hawick Film and Video Group to a programme of digital slideshow sequences at last Thursday’s meeting. David Peacock, on behalf of the visitors, thanked the club for the show and a buffet. The Borders Photographic Exhibition is on February 26 at Selkirk. The meeting the following evening will be a review of the Newtongrange competition entries.


Several guests attended last week’s meeting. While the members gathered upstairs, the ladies held their dinner downstairs. Speaker Alec Burgon gave an illustrated talk entitled “Gallipoli – the bloody peninsula” about the campaign that was fought there when Britain invaded Turkey who were assisted by their allies, the Germans. It took place during the summer of 1915. Over a million men were involved, including King’s Own Scottish Borderers. Hawick Callants’ Club later erected a plaque opposite The Horse and on each July 12 a ceremony is held there to commemorate the event and remember the KOSB men who gave their lives. The film night raised £593 for the End Polio Now project. Robin Mason reported that mock interviews had been held at the high school for S6 pupils.



The village hall will host a whist session on February 25 (7.30pm).



The service in Innerleithen Church on February 23 starts at 11.30am.

Coffee morning

There will be a chance to buy tickets for Innerleithen Opera’s production of South Pacific (March 25-30) at the society’s annual coffee morning in the Vale Club on February 22 (10am-noon).

Countdown club

The Countdown Club will meet in Innerleithen Church Hall on February 26 at 10.30am.


Innerleithen Civic Association’s AGM is in St Ronan’s School community centre on April 22.

Christmas lights

December 7 is the date for the Christmas lights switch-on.


Bridge club

February 10 – N/S – 1, A. and R. Stewart; 2, V. Johnstone and M. Miller; 3, A.Ireland and D. Harris-Burland; E/W – 1, R. Oates and S. West; 2, M. Forsythe and M. Weightman; 3, I. Whillans and B. Miller.


A street collection in High Street in aid of End Polio Now by town Rotarians raised £124. For the first two weeks in February, the “Rotary Ladies” ran a charity shop, also in High Street, realising in excess of £1,000 towards local charities.


Thursday Group

Keith Hanson spoke about the polymath Thomas Young who deciphered the Rosetta Stone and was said to be the “last man in England to know everything”. Today, Malcolm Ross will speak about the Isle of May and its birdlife at 2pm in the Abbey Row Centre. Next week sees David Thaw talking about Zambia.

Charity walk

Kelso chiropractors Health for Life are organising a charity walk when fundraisers will hike 13.5 miles from Jedburgh Abbey to Kelso Abbey to raise money for CENIT (Ecuador) and Borders Women’s Aid on April 26.


Kelso Marie Curie Fundraising Group’s quiz night held earlier this month raised £870.93 for the charity.


A farmers’ market will be held in The Square on February 22 (9.30am-1.30pm).

Bridge club

February 12 – Rose Bowl 6 – N/S – 1, John and Marian Miller; 2, Rena and Archie Stewart; 3, Bob Stevenson and Annie Mitchell; E/W – 1, Gerry Eglington and Jon Bridger; 2, Joyce Thomson and Helenor Pratt; 3, Stuart Graham and Ian Watson. February 13 – Millennium Trophy 11 – N/S – 1, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 2, Jean Henry and Myra Thomson; 3, Jim Stone and Annie Mitchell; E/W – 1, James Duncan and Ged McIvor; 2, Jean McLaren and Ken Ross; 3, David Harris-Burland and Sheila Urquhart.



The second Muckle Toon adventure festival will take place over the weekend of May 15-18. The inaugural event last year attracted more than 800 participants in the mountain biking, road cycling, running and walking sections. There will also be bike events for children this year.

First responders

The idea put forward by Les Harrison to have a first responders’ group in Eskdale and Westerkirk has now come to fruitation – the Esk Valley first responders will be up and running at the beginning of March. There will be two sections – one based at Bentpath and the other at Eskdalemuir. At the Benty show last year, Mary Buckley of Westerhall presented the group with their first defibrillator and another was bought by Arthur Bell and the Arthur Bell Trust, along with the British Heart Foundation. There has also been a grant from Dumfries & Galloway Council,plus more financial help from the Ark vets’ centre in Lockerbie, James Ewart Racing and the Big Lottery Fund.


Silver Swans

Scottish Borders Dance is organising a six-week course of dance classes on Mondays for over-50s in the Youth Trust Hall. The Silver Swans classes will be led by professional tutors from Dance Base in Edinburgh. They begin on March 3 and further information is available from Diane Mitchell (phone, 01578 722 433; email, pdianemitchell@msn.com).


President Janette Waldie introduced Allan Mallone, of Granny Jean’s Bakery in Kelso, who demonstrated making cherry and currant scones, as well as Mars Bar, Malteser and Snicker traybakes. Senga Towers, hostess for the evening, thanked Allan for his tips and allowing members to sample his scones. He judged the competitions – Victoria Sponge – 1, Kathleen Thomson; 2, Joanne Watson; 3, Sheila Hardie; small cream jug – 1, Kathleen Thomson; 2, Betty Wood; 3, Joyce Black. Next month sees a trip to Galashiels Opera – Half a Sixpence –” on March 4. The coach will leave from Lauder Post Office at 6.15pm. The next meeting is in Lauder Primary School on April 22, featuring a talk by vet Andy Armitage. Competitions – Lemon Drizzle Cake and an animal ornament.


Family history

Borders Family History Society has arranged a talk on February 23 at 2.30pm in the Corn Exchange. Entitled “The Veitch Archives – the Stories behind the Pictures”, it will be delivered by Chris Veitch. This is the second of a series of talks based on the archive of materials collected by the Veitch family over more than 200 years.


Wine and nibbles

Church funds will be boosted on February 22 at a wine and nibbles event (7.30-8.30pm) in Yetholm manse.


There was a good turnout at this month’s meeting – question time with Robin Hogg and Andy Simmonds. Helen Cessford acted as questionmaster. Mary Pringle proposed the vote of thanks. Competitions – bowl of bulbs – 1, Nancy Anderson; 2, Lizzie Thomson; garden photograph – 1, Mary Pringle; 2, Brenda Dixon; 3, Eileen Woodward. Names will be taken next month for the federation outing to St Andrews in May.


The guild next meets in the institute on March 6 at 7.30pm. This will take the form of a members’ night with a hymns of praise, readings and a sketch.

Coffee morning

Morebattle In Bloom has organised a coffee morning in the institute on March 8 at 10.30am.



Guest at the latest meeting was Emma Emmerson, from Woodside Gardens in Ancrum, who had brought with her a variety of herbaceous plants and early spring flowers. She gave members advice on how to get the best from their plants and encourage wildlife to their garden. Competition – spring flower photograph – 1, Janette Corcoran; 2, Margaret Luke. The next meeting will be on March 6 in the community wing.



The library cafe starts the new season on March 12 at 11am in the village hall.

Oxnam Owls

The new session starts on March 4 at 7.30pm in the village hall.



Oxton Horticultural Society’s annual meeting will be held on February 25 (7.30pm) at Viewfield, Main Street. More details are available from 01578 718633.



The next service in Walkerburn Public Hall will be on March 16 at 10am.



The village is staging a quiz on February 28, starting at 7.30pm – maximum four per team.


Wine and nibbles

Church funds will be boosted on February 22 at a wine and nibbles event (7.30-8.30pm) in Yetholm manse.

Daffodil nights

The new owners of The Plough are continuing the monthly Daffodil nights when a group of senior male members of the community meet for dinner. Last month was ladies’ night when the men brought their partners along. This month it was back to normal with an all-male function.

Theme nights

The Border Hotel is starting theme nights – on March 1 there will be a Chinese evening.

The Great War

This year sees the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of

Turn to page 28

From page 27

the First World War. Villagers hope to stage an exhibition entitled “Yetholm in the Great War”. If anyone has mementoes such as photographs or family records, Bill Rae, Susan Stewart or Alastair Turnbull would be pleased to hear from them. There is a memorial board in the Wauchope Hall with the names of locals who served in the conflict, including their regiments. It is hoped the exhibition will be staged during Festival Week.

The Wee Yett

Contributions for the spring edition of The Wee Yett church magazine should be sent to minister Robin McHaffie by March 23. Alternatively, they can be submitted to guest editor Dr Grant Mooney. Health issues will be highlighted in this edition.