District News



Members enjoyed a Craft Corners evening. Competition – candle holder – 1, Sharon MacKenzie; 2, Liz Ramsey; 3, Susan Govan.



The Reverend Elspeth Harley conducted what she said was a “service with a difference” on Sunday when gale-force winds brought down power lines and plunged the church into darkness. Also, there was no organ music for hymns, so session clerk Anne Grieve and CY leader Catriona Bird stepped in with their flutes. The lessons were read by Joyce Brown.


Camera club

Former knitwear designer and lecturer Mark Timmins entertained members of the club with a presentation of his photography. This included abstract pieces looking at reflections in water, numbers and letters, and even fish boxes. He also judged the competition – abstract/still life, which had 45 entries. Digital – 1, Adam Drummond; 2, Stephen Morris; 3, Linsey Anderson. Print – 1, Adam Drummond; 2, Linsey Anderson; 3, Stephen Morris.

Parish church

The 10.15am service on March 2 will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods. A series of Lent Study and Worship services begins on March 5 at 7pm in the church which also hosts the World Day of Prayer service on March 7 (7pm).

Women’s group

The next meeting is on March 6 at 8pm in the church hall when the speaker is from Milestone Garden & Leisure Centre.

Social club

A Thursday social club is run weekly (11am-2pm), providing support for older and isolated people in the Earlston area. A lunch is provided, along with activities and entertainment. Just turn up at Hanover House or phone 01835 862565 for more information.



Cynthia Wise showed members how to make marzipan vegetables as a novel way of decorating a birthday cake before they all had fun making pandas. The winning decorated biscuits were brought by Gail Chandler, Christine Turner and Carol Wilson-Green. Prettiest cake plates – Ina Cowe, Gail Chandler and Christine Turner.



Quins restaurant is hosting a quiz night in aid of Selkirk-based national charity Scottish HART. Teams of four or more are wanted for the event on March 7 (8pm). More information from Matthew on 01896 757004.

Lunch club

The Lapwing Lunch Club, held every Tuesday, provides a meal for pensioners in the Galashiels area. Transport can be arranged and volunteers are welcome. For more information, phone 01835 862565.



The old-time and ceildh dance class meets tonight (February 27) at 8pm, with the Reel Half Hour at 7.30pm. The class will continue to meet on the first and third Thursday of the month. A dance will be held on March 8, with Susan MacFadyen and her Scottish Dance Band providing music.


The rural celebrates its 64th birthday on March 5 (7.30pm).


Bingo night

The primary school is the venue for a bingo night on February 28, starting at 7.30pm. Tea, coffee and cake will be available, but bring your own drink and nibbles.


Camera club

The sixth monthly competition – monochrome – took place last Thursday with professional photographer Tony Cook from Leith as judge. Results – projected images – 1, “Pettico Wick”, Ali Graham; 2, “Winter’s Gibbet”, Ali Graham; 3, “Avenger”, Mark Murdie; mounted prints – 1, “Do Not Enter”, Ali Graham; 2, “Atop Sweet Hope Hill”, Ali Graham; 3, “Splash”, Dennis Laing; overall winning image – “Do Not Enter”. Members are requested to submit 10 images each at the March 6 meeting.

Art club

Hawick Art Club has organised a meeting on March 6 at the high school lecture theatre when Borders artist Win Nicol will lecture on the versatility of acrylics. The event starts at 7.30pm. The club also holds painting afternoons every Thursday (1-4pm) from October to April at the Catholic Church Hall.

Bridge club

February 11 – Margaret Burgon Quaich for teams of four – 1, V. McPherson, R. Francombe, M. Miller and J. Miller; February 18 – 1, John and Susan Law; 2, John and Marian Miller; 3, Sam White and John Urquhart; 4, Patsy Gilligan and M. Millar.


A Selkirk club deputation – president Jim McPherson, with past presidents Edith Scott and Stuart Wilson – were the visitors at last week’s meeting. The speaker had to cancel at the last minute and president Jim filled in. Jim, who retired from teaching at Selkirk High School four years ago, had taken up a post with the Borders outdoor education department. He has had a lifetime experience of outdoor activities with the school, Borders Exploration Group and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. He is involved with senior pupils from Kelso, Hawick and Jedburgh, and takes them, among other things, canoeing, skiing and rock climbing, as well as spending nights under canvas. He also tutors Duke of Edinburgh Award candidates.



The February meeting featured a talk and book reading by local author Margaret Skea. Members heard about her interest in 16th-century Scottish history and the research and preparation required before she wrote her award-winning novel, “Turn of The Tide”. Competition – an original verse of our own composition – 1, Norma Wright; 2, Lesley Abernethy; 3, Gill Harrop.


Towford WRI

The family night included musical entertainment from Cathy Johnston and her friends – Tom and Helen on fiddles and Graham (guitar). The rural’s members provided supper. Competition – glass of fruit punch – 1, Mary Towers; 2, Jean Douglas.



The service on March 2 begins at 10.30am, followed by a light lunch in the hall.

Coffee morning

Innerleithen and District Amateur Operatic Society’s coffee morning raised in excess of £600 – cash which will go towards the spring production of South Pacific (tickets from 0845 224 1908).


St Ronan’s School PTA will hold a coffee morning on March 1 in the Vale Club from 10am-noon. Donations for the raffle/bottle and cake/candy stalls welcome.

Public meeting

The annual public meeting of St Ronan’s Border Games will take place on March 14 in the Vale of Leithen Social Club at 7.30pm.


Bridge club

February 17 – N/S – 1, A. and R. Stewart; 2, M. Purdie and O. Whillans; 3, H. Long and M. Weightman; E/W – 1, R. Oates and S.West; 2, B. and I. Middleton; 3, N. Porter and S. Graham. February 24 – N/S – 1, B. and I. Middleton; 2, N. Porter and S. Graham; 3, A. and R. Stewart; E/W – 1, M. Forsythe and M. Weightman; 2, R. Oates and S. West; 3 (equal), M. Ouldcott and H. Ouldcott, E. Pearson and J. Pearson.


Jedburgh and District Twinning Committee is aiming to revive the town’s link with Malestroit in Brittany. The towns were twinned during the 1990s, but there have been no official trips to or from Malestroit for a number of years. A number of independent trips have, however, taken place and the committee wants to hear from local organisations and individuals who might be interested in travelling to Malestroit or hosting people from the town. There will be more information at a committee meeting in Jedburgh Community and Arts Centre (formerly St John’s School) at 7 pm on March 3, which will include the AGM. Anyone who can’t make it, but wants to express an interest or find out more, should email jedtwin@gmail.com.

Lunch club

A lunch club will be held every Thursday, providing a nourishing meal for pensioners in the Jedburgh area. Transport can be arranged and volunteers are welcome. Phone 01835 862565 for more information.

Stock appeal

The Sue Ryder shop in Canongate is running a stock appeal from March 3-29. The charity will take everything from a once-worn blouse to an odd sock. Shop manager Nikki Mirk said: “Often people choose to throw away items rather than donate as they feel no one will want them. But those long-forgotten pair of shoes lying in the bottom of your wardrobe could help pay for food for a day for one of our patients, providing them with the nutrients they need to stay well for as long as possible.At Sue Ryder we care about the environment as well as caring for people, and we can stop tons of clothing going towards landfill every year.” To donate, call Nikki or Pauline on 01835 864662, or email nicola.mirk@sueryder.org.


Bridge club

February 19 – Abbey Salver 7 – N/S – 1, Rena Stewart and Beth Stark; 2, Jean McLaren and Alison Ireland; 3 (equal), Jim and Mary Stone, Lesley Dick and Lynda Douglas; E/W – 1, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 2, Alex Jeffrey and Jock Dun; 3, Jean Bunyan and Val Fairbairn. February 20 – Calchou Cup 10 – N/S – 1, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 2, Rena and Archie Stewart; 3, Jock Dun and Nancy Porter; E/W – 1, Lynda Douglas and Michael Horwood; 2, Gerry Eglington and Jon Bridger; 3, Helenor Pratt and Pauline Smart.

Thursday Group

Roger Hemming stepped in at short notice and spoke to members about an environmental conference in Murmansk to which he took two Borders pupils who gave a paper about their researches at St Abbs. Today, David Thaw speaks about “Hardship and Hope in Zambia” – 2pm, Abbey Row Centre. Next week sees Peter Neilson (The Horse Whisperer).

Parish church

The coffee morning and film night at Kelso North organised by the Bates family in memory of Michael Bates, who died in a motoring accident last July, raised more than £1,400 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service. Kelso North was overflowing with young people – Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts – along with their leaders, helpers and parents for their annual Thinking Day Service. Tomorrow (Friday) the men’s group – men@kne – will be challenging Women Together at a quiz in the upper hall at 7pm. Nibbles will be provided, but BYOB. Along with the other member churches of Kelso Churches Together, members and friends will gather at the rugby club on March 4 for their annual Pancake Party for Shrove Tuesday from 6-8pm. The following evening (Ash Wednesday), the Presbytery of Jedburgh will be gathering for their monthly meeting at Kelso North. Sunday sees the normal pattern of worship – Ednam at 9.30am and Kelso North at 11am, where there will be a retiring offering for Noah’s Ark Playgroup and an opportunity to buy goods from the Fair Trade stall. Open days are being planned at Kelso North from March 14-16 when there will be an opportunity to view proposals for The Bowmont Street Project. The next film night at Kelso North will be on March 14 at 7pm with a screening of “Sunshine on Leith”. Tickets are on sale for the Seder Meal and Ceilidh at Kelso Rugby Club on April 11.

Drop-in evening

The Abbey Row committee has organised a drop-in evening at the centre on March 4 (6.30-8.30pm) to show off the new kitchen and renovated coffee room, and chat about Abbey Row and what it offers to the local community.


Accordion club

Although the weather was rather poor, there was still a good attendance at the February accordion and fiddle club meeting in the Royal British Legion clubrooms. Compere Adam Grant introduced guest band The Bon Accords who had made the short journey from Claygate, and Robin and Deryn Waitt on accordions had been joined for the night by Derek Hamilton (Galston) on piano, Ronnie Matthews from near Newcastle on fiddle and Keiran Johnstone, formerly from the town but now in the Edinburgh area, played the drums. Accordion players who entertained were Les Hurst and Newbie Park from Carlisle, Davie Dunbar (Lockerbie) and James Lawrie (Gilsland), along with Guy Forrest from near Newcastle. Locals Roger Dobson and Robert Willens were on the accordion and drums respectively, while Ian Wilson from Crawford played piano, with Canonbie’s Ian Bell performing a selection on the bagpipes.


John Glover, who was born in the Ewes valley where his late father was minister, has been invested with the MBE at Buckingham Palace by the Prince of Wales. He received his award for services to the community and his involvement over 20 years with Dumfries-based charity the RAP Foundation, which works to relieve suffering among children and young people in Romania. John worked for the health service for 41 years before retiring at the end of 2012. This included responsibility for the community hospital at Langholm. John, a regular visitor to the town, was welcomed to the local Rotary Club where he gave a talk on the RAP Foundation and was given a donation for the charity.



Stuart Scott delivered photography presentation at the latest meeting. He brought along a selection of his photographs of wildlife and landscapes, which members were able to buy on the night. Competitions – vintage postcards – 1, Clare Milne; 2, Kath Runciman; 3, Margaret Fairburn; bowl of bulbs – 1, Margaret Fairburn; 2, Victoria Watt; 3, Fiona Wilson. The next meeting is on March 19 when the speaker will be Aileen Orr. Her subject – Wojtek the Bear.


Lunch club

A lunch club is to be held weekly on Tuesday, providing a nourishing meal for pensioners in and around the Lauder area. Transport can be arranged and volunteers are welcome. For more information, phone 01835 862565.


Channelkirk and Lauder Church Guild’s monthly coffee morning is on March 1 in the Church Centre (10-11.30am). The next meeting is on March 5 at 2.30pm in the same venue when Sandy Aitchieson will give a talk about Stow Church.


A World Day of Prayer service will be held in Earlston Parish Church on March 7 at 7pm. This is a joint service with Lauder, Channelkirk, Stow and Earlston churches.



Eight schools have booked spaces for the route march from Leaderfoot to Newstead milestone before being transported to the museum experience in Melrose. Two are coming with double classes of 60 pupils. The Synton denarii hoard returns from Tweeddale in April, along with the steering oar from the National Museums in Edinburgh.

Parish church

February 27 – 2.30pm, guild, Jenni Young; March 1 – Traidcraft coffee morning, Trinity Centre; March 2 – services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am); March 7, 2.30pm, World Day of Prayer; March 20 – 7pm, Arthritis whist drive.

Border Flower Club

The February Fun Night was well attended. Marion Hamilton gave the instructions on the handwork, using different textures and colour to be used in the finished designs. She had different finished designs, with the handwork incorporated, showing different ways the handwork could be used. Foliage and flowers were made available and many interesting designs were achieved. The next meeting is on March 5 in the Corn Exchange at 7.30pm when the demonstrator will be Val Guest from Darlington

Turn to page 28

From page 27

with “ Tantalising Textures”.

Literary society

Alan Riach, professor of Scottish literature at Glasgow University, addressed members at their latest meeting on Hugh MacDiarmid, bringing his poetry to life through readings from some of his works. The society meets fortnightly in the Ormiston Institute at 7.30pm – the next gathering is on March 4 when Allan Massie will focus on “Witchwood” and John Buchan’s other historical novels. The AGM will be held on April 1 (not March 18 as on the membership card). Further details are available from www.melrose.bordernet.co.uk/literary-society and Peter Hoad (01896 823852).



The communities of Yetholm and Morebattle came out in force to mark the villages’ playgroup’s 40th anniversary in the Wauchope Hall on Saturday. The committee and play leaders were joined by former office bearers, including the majority of the founding group of mums. A photographic display spanning the playgroup’s history had many visitors reminiscing about happy times. A total of £932 was raised on the day.


Afternoon Club

The next seniors’ afternoon club meeting is on March 4 (2-4pm) in the Community Wing when there will be an opportunity to meet community police officer Karen McIlroy.



Jackie Mackenzie and her colleague Claire spoke about dementia. Competition – flower from the garden – 1, Sonya Borthwick; 2, Marion Muir; 3, Helen Lothian.


The stated annual meeting will be held in Lauder Church Centre following a joint service in Lauder Church on March 23.

Health and well-being

Zumba with Fit Borders starts on March 7 in Oxton War Memorial Hall (6-7pm). Contact 07899 792317 for more information.


Monday Club

At 2pm on March 3 at St Joseph’s church hall, Carol Byres will give a talk entitled “Arabian Adventures”.


Riddell Fiddles are running a stepdance class on March 2 (11am-12.30pm) in the Argus Centre.



Mary’s Annual Charity Party was held on February 15 in the village hall, raising £510 which has now been donated to Marie Curie Cancer Care in Kelso. Crawford and June Brown co-ordinated the event, Gordon Brown’s Dance Band provided music, while other entertainment was provided by Sandy Redpath (stories) and Peter Fry (songs).



The men’s breakfast in The Cloudhouse on Saturday featured lively discussion on the topic of “The Language of Christianity.” At Sunday’s service, the minister reminded everyone about the World Day of Prayer service in Earlston Parish Church on March 7 at 7 pm. Anyone interested is invited to take part in any or all of the Lent Discussion Group meetings to be held on Mondays in the manse (March 10-31 at 7.30pm).



The next service in Traquair Kirk is at 10am on March 9.


History society

History society members meet in the Mission Hall on March 4 at 7.30pm when Dr Elizabeth Watson will be talking about an intrepid woman from the 16th century who spent the early part of her life in the Borders. “From Borders lass to royal grandmother” is the story of Lady Margaret Douglas.


Last week all those involved in the production of the kirk magazine, The Wee Yett, met for lunch. There was also a wine and nibbles fundraiser at the manse.


The village shop has tickets for the Will Ogilvie evening – a fundraiser for the Wauchope Hall on March 15 – and shepherds’ show dance and supper on March 8.

Pancake lunch

Yetholm’s Macmillan cancer committee has organised a pancake lunch in the Youth Hall on March 3, beginning at 10.30am.

Prayer event

The Reverend Douglas Nichol will be the speaker at a World Day of Prayer event in the kirk at 7.3opm on March 7. Egypt is the theme of his talk.


The communities of Yetholm and Morebattle came out in force to mark the villages’ playgroup’s 40th anniversary in the Wauchope Hall on Saturday. The committee and play leaders were joined by former office bearers, including the majority of the founding group of mums. A photographic display spanning the playgroup’s history had many visitors reminiscing about happy times. A total of £932 was raised on the day.