District News



Jennifer Smith gave a talk on her year in Uganda at the latest meeting. Competitions – slice of Christmas cake – 1, J. MacDonald; 2, R. Sinton; 3, M. Smith; 4, J. Butler; artefact from abroad – 1, C. Law; 2, E. Munro; 3, M. Goodfellow. The next meeting is on March 12 and will see a presentation by Selkies Artisan Soap Company. Competitions – fruit smoothie and bowl of bulbs.



The stated annual meeting was held on Sunday after morning service. Treasurer Andy Bird presented the financial report, which will be officially approved at the next meeting of the congregational board. Clare Macfarlane was re-elected to the board, and Michael Bathgate, Jen Elliot and Frances Pringle were co-opted. Earlier, the Reverend Elspeth Harley conducted the service and the lessons were read by newcomer Sharon Hume. The next meeting of the kirk session is on March 19 in the church at 7.30pm.



St Mary’s Hall AGM was held on February 27, with all committee and office bearers remaining unchanged. This year marks the hall’s 90th anniversary and an application for a grant to replace the roof has been made to the Awards for All lottery fund . It is hoped to mark the anniversary with a commemorative exhibition in the hall in September, followed by a ceilidh in October.



Channelkirk and Lauder churches raised £350 for the Church of Scotland HIV programme while sharing soup on Souper Sunday (February 23).


Wednesday club

Members enjoyed a talk by Hamish Reid about his life working on cruise liners. Kay Brownlie made a presentation to Catherine Robertson to celebrate her 80th birthday. Competition – string of beads – 1, Agnes Penman; 2, Margaret Chisholm; 3, Marjory Murray. The next meeting is on March 12. Competition (change to members’ syllabus) – an antique.

Parish church

The March 9 10.15am service will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods. Elders should note there will be a practice after this service for next week’s communion at which some new Pulpit Falls will be dedicated in memory of the late Madge Young.

Women’s group

Tonight’s (Thursday) meeting at 8pm in the church hall will now be an informal evening.


Games night

A games night will be held on March 7 at 7pm – bring and share supper.


The village hall is the venue for a table-top sale on March 22 (10am-noon). Tables available from Christine on 01835 840246.


Musical evening

On March 21 at 7.30pm in the village hall, a musical evening featuring Hillary Bell and “Safety in Numbers” will be held. Tickets from Ian Moodie (01750 52382). Proceeds to Community Woodland Pond Restoration.


The Kirkhope Horticultural Society AGM is on March 25 at 7pm in the village hall.


Hawick PSA Male Voice Choir will entertain in Kirkhope Village Hall on March 14, starting at 7.30pm. Contact Marjory Tennant (01750 62327) for further details. All proceeds to Macmillan Cancer Support, Ettrick Valley Committee.


Studio club

The club is holding an afternoon workshop entitled “Working in Felt” with Janet Armstrong in St Paul’s Church Hall on March 6 from 2pm. Phone 01896 757222 for more details.

Waterway clean-up

Nine people took part in a Gala Waterways Group work party to clear vegetation and rubbish from stretches of the Mill Lade near McDonald’s restaurant on Saturday. Small trees were removed from the walls of the lade to protect the structure from damage. Some of these trees were smothered in Bittersweet Nightshade, much of which was removed. The weed is poisonous and can cause skin irritation. The Gala Waterways Group were assisted by members of Gala Angling Association and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.


Club member Henry Borthwick gave a talk entitled “Soutra Plateau” – land to the west of the A68. He described the historical sites there, including Dere Street, the medieval hospital and friary at Soutra Aisle, a Roman camp, gipsy encampment and the site of a 1945 plane crash. The plateau was crossed on several occasions by Scottish armies during the Wars of Independence. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, March 13, at 10am.


Whist drive

A whist drive will be held on March 10 at 7.30pm.

Lunch club

The lunch club meets on March 12 (11.30am-1.30pm).


Bridge club

February 25 – 1, David Usher and Val Johnstone; 2 (equal), Sam White and John Urquhart, Mike Tuson and Bob Witherington; 4, John and Marian Miller.

Film and video group

The annual informal quiz night, held last week, was compiled by members of the committee. Jim Law and Peter Horne provided sections on general knowledge, while Jean Tait and Bill Neil produced a digital slideshow of well-known faces and interesting places, each requiring appropriate names as answers. The meeting on March 11 will be an evening with Alec Peterson.

Camera club

At the Borders Photographic Exhibition held in Selkirk last Wednesday, Hawick club members Ali Graham and Dennis Laing were among the award winners. Ali gained first place in the colour print and monochrome print sections, second in projected digital landscape and third in flora and fauna sections. He also won the best overall monochrome print title. Dennis collected two highly-commended images awards. In a change to the programme last Thursday, the proposed 10-images-per-member due this week was brought forward.

Bert Lancaster began with a series of projected images of Southend-on-Sea, followed by Anna Lee featuring the Hawick Scouts and Cubs in several fun-packed activities. Next on screen was Bill McDonald’s photographic record of a Hawick group visiting the Scottish Parliament building. Brian Marriott produced a colourful travelogue about the Portuguese colony of Macau in south-east China, while David Fells had been in Alsace, eastern France, capturing a sequence of glass sculptures. Dennis Laing’s selection included a mixture ranging from trains, trees and scenes of Edinburgh. Landscape panoramas was Gordon Gilfether’s contribution, while Ian Bell submitted portraits of rock n’ roll musicians at a music festival. The paintings by John Constable were the inspiration behind Margaret Lancaster’s offering and Mark Hogarth presented a mixture of monochrome images, which included dog-teams pulling three-wheeled “chariots” along forest tracks. Neil Corbett brought the show to a conclusion with a visit to the giant earth sculpture of a reclining woman at Northumberlandia, near Cramlington. The meeting on March 13 is a three-way competition between Kelso, Liddesdale and Hawick at the latter.


Mary Daykin gave a talk on People First Borders, the organisation she heads up. Helping those with learning difficulties, there are five groups in the Borders – one in Hawick. She is also involved with Borders Care Learning Network which offers free training to staff, volunteers, family carers and any interested persons. Rotarians agreed to donate £60 to the high school art department’s exhibition in the ex-Farmfoods shop opposite the Town Hall during the week commencing May 19.



Results – donors and hailers – Mr and Mrs J. Curtis, Golden Wedding, Down by Stewart Ramsay; Mr and Mrs H. Douglas, Golden Wedding, Down by Kris Rowley; Mr and Mrs I. Frizzel, Silver Wedding, Down by Eric Wright; Mr and Mrs S. Runciman, Silver Wedding, Down by Chris Shaw; Mr and Mrs M. McEwan, Down by Jock Johnstone; Community Council, Up by Kevin Rae; Horse and Hounds Inn, Up by Joe Crawford.



St Ronan’s Silver Band are setting out for Perth on March 8 to compete in the Scottish championships. The Borderers will be conducted by Chris Bradley, who made his mark with the band last year with wins at both the Scottish championships and Scottish Challenge Cup contests. St Ronan’s will play the set test piece, Michael Ball’s “Chaucer’s Tunes”.

Coffee morning

The St Ronan’s School PTA coffee morning held last Saturday raised £550.

Countdown club

The club will meet in the parish church hall on March 12 at 10.30am.


Innerleithen Civic Association’s annual meeting will be held in St Ronan’s School community centre on April 22.


The service in Innerleithen Church on March 9 starts at 11.30am.


Historical society

Norrie McLeish spoke about the 1899 and 1903 “disagreements” between Jedforest and Hawick rugby clubs. There were four main seven-a-side sports – Hawick, Galashiels, Melrose and Jedforest. They were named sports as other events such as races and dribbling competitions also took place. In those days each club had its own sevens laws and games were played later in the day as people worked on Saturdays. In 1899, Jed had won three of the sevens finals, with Hawick being the last sports of the series. Jed played Langholm in a semi-final in which the referee was from Langholm. The crowd gave Jed a hard time and the referee seemed to give an undue number of penalties against Jed, finally awarding a hotly-disputed winning try to Langholm. There followed a pitch invasion during which Jed players were “physically abused”. The Jed secretary wrote to his Hawick counterpart, demanding an apology. The Hawick reply was that nobody had seen anything untoward and that the Teries required an apology from Jed for defamation. Hawick sports 1903 – Jed played the hosts in the final, with proceedings going to extra time and then “sudden death”. Jed had the put-in at a scrum just short of the home line when the Hawick club secretary came on for a word with the referee who promptly ended the game “owing to poor light”. Hawick wanted to replay on the following Tuesday, while Jed favoured the Thursday. When Tuesday arrived without any agreement, Hawick decided that their opponents had defaulted by not appearing and awarded themselves the winners’ prize. Once more a flurry of unresolved correspondence between the secretaries, Jed returning the second prize that had been sent to Riverside. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, March 13, at 7.30pm in the Royal British Legion when Peter Hoad’s subject is “Tweed Crossings at Melrose”.


Bridge club

February 26 – Rose Bowl 7 – N/S – 1,s John and Marian Miller; 2, Rena Stewart and Beth Stark; 3, Jean McLaren and Alison Ireland; E/W –1, Stuart Graham and Ian Watson; 2, Lynda Douglas and Lesley Dick; 3, Archie Stewart and Ruth Mackay. February 27 – Millennium Trophy 12 – N/S – 1, Brian Saywood and Evelyn Erskine; 2, Archie Stewart and Miles Browne; 3, Sheila Urquhart and Lee Leeson; E/W – 1, Nancy Porter and Jock Dun; 2, Shirley Armstrong and Moira Ayton; 3, Jean Henry and Myra Thomson.


Abbey Quilters meet in Abbey Row Centre on March 11 at 7pm when Charlie Rutherford will be showing how to make her kimono quilt. Members should remember their mugs. Requirements – piece of patterned wrapping paper (5in x 20in), fabric for kimono (5 x 20) with small print, contrast fabric for kimono tails 2 x (3.75 x 4.5), contrast fabric for sash (2.5 x 1.5), pins, hand-sewing kit and a piece of template plastic or card roughly 5in square. Further information from Rineke Sangster (01573 229414) or Sandra Kinnoch (01835 850324).


The next open meeting of Four Border Abbeys U3 group will be held on Monday, March 10, at 2pm in Kelso Rugby Club – the AGM, followed by a talk on community policing in the Borders.

Parish church

Last Friday members of the men’s group – men@kne – and Women Together met for a quiz night, the winners being a team comprising Jim Colledge, David Dalgleish, Alasdair Hutton, Tom McDonald and Richard Wylie. Saturday’s coffee morning was in aid of the Church of Scotland’s Guild Project. A large congregation celebrated holy communion at Kelso North on Sunday where there was a retiring collection for Noah’s Ark Playgroup. Fair Trade produce was on sale and to mark the conclusion of Fair Trade Fortnight, goods will be on sale this Sunday when there will be services at 9.30am (Ednam) and 11am (Kelso North). Members of Kelso Churches Together meet tomorrow (Friday) at St Andrew’s Church at 7pm to mark the World Day of Prayer. Kelso North and Ednam Guild welcomed visitors from neighbouring churches last Thursday. Miss M. Aitken led the opening devotions and introduced the speaker, David Currie, a social worker with Scottish Borders Council and church elder. He gave an illustrated talk entitled “Facilities for the needs of the Elderly”. The annual business meeting will be held on March 13 in Kelso North Church.

Film club

Kelso Youth Project Film Club is showing “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” tonight (Thursday) at the Tait Hall. Doors open 6.15pm, film starts 6.30pm. Free entrance. For more information on the club email ireid@yetholmtown.plus.com.


The official launch of Kelso Youth Project is on March 8 at 10.30am in Abbey RowCentre. To receive an emailed invitation, contact ireid@yetholmtown.plus.com.



The stated annual meeting will be held in Lauder Church Centre, following a joint service in Lauder Church, on March 23. Channelkirk and Lauder churches raised £350 for the Church of Scotland HIV programme while sharing soup on Souper Sunday (February 23). A programme of Lent studies began on March 5. It continues each Wednesday from 7.30pm up to and including April 9 in the church centre and is led by Dr Claire Guthrie.

Cancer support

The annual business meeting of Macmillan Cancer Support’s Lauderdale branch is in Lauderdale Hotel’s function suite on March 11 at 7.30pm.


Historical association

At the Melrose Historical and Archaeological Association meeting on March 11 at 7.30pm in the Ormiston, Bob Johnstone will present an illustrated lecture based on the biography he has written – “Carving History: the Life and Works of Andrew Currie of Darnick (1812-91)”. He has recorded the long-forgotten but interesting life of his multi-talented great-great-grandfather who was not only a gifted carver of large-scale monuments in stone – such as Mungo Park in Selkirk and the Ettrick Shepherd at St Mary’s Loch – but a cabinet-maker of finely-wrought furniture, an enthusiastic antiquary, an oral historian and a writer who penned colourful stories of life in the Borders of his youth. Copies of Bob’s book will be

Turn to page 28

From page 27

available for signing.

Parish church

Church magazine and FWO offering envelopes available; March 7 – World Day of Prayer service at 2.30pm; March 9 – services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am); 7.30pm, music society, Philip Higham Duo; March 20 – 7pm, arthritis whist; food bank needs jam, marmalade, tinned rice, Smash sachets, UHT milk and tea.


The National Museums’ book by Keppie and Hunter – with 17 local contributions celebrating James Curle’s 1911 report – published in January last year was one of half a dozen archaeological publications nominated as Book of the Year in the Current Archaeology magazine awards. However, it did not make the final cut. The winner was a book on Shakespeare’s London. Melrose Primary is the first school to come on the Leaderfoot-Newstead Route March this year, followed by the museum tour.



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

Coffee morning

A coffee morning will be held in the institute on March 8 at 10.30am in aid of Morebattle in Bloom.

Film club

See Kelso section.


See Kelso section.


Members gather in the institute on March 12 at 7.15pm for a talk on the importance of a defibrillator/first aid with Rod McIntosh of the Scottish HART charity. Competitions – handcrafted red heart and a pomander. This is an open meeting.



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

Coffee morning

There will be a coffee morning in the village hall on March 8 (10am-noon). The event is in aid of hall funds. More information from or donations to Gillian McFadyen (01573 440538).


Cancer support

See Lauder section.

Health and well being

Zumba with Fit Borders starts tomorrow (Friday) in the War Memorial Hall (6-7pm) Contact 07899 792317 for more information.



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



Results from the annual whist drive – gents – 1, Stewart Runciman; 2, Jane Telfer; 3, Sheena Nelson; consolation, Ann Wilson; ladies – 1, Evelyn Clapperton; 2, Hannah Wilson; 3, Sheila Tyldesley; consolation, Yvonne Watson; longest sitters – Nancy Hamilton and Eileen Davidson; hostess prize – Annie Coltherd. The next meeting is on March 11 featuring a demonstration of pudding making. Competitions – small squares of tablet and a paper napkin.


Whist drives

A whist drive will be held in the Youth Hall on March 11 at 7.30pm, with one also scheduled at the same venue for April 8.


At the Yetholm Border Shepherds’ Show AGM, there was a report on the successful event held last October. A new secretary has been appointed – Fiona Veitch is Yetholm born and bred, and has a great depth of local knowledge, both of regular exhibitors and farms in the locality.

Phone problems

After Vodaphone subscribers in the Yetholm area reported being unable to get a signal, the company has acknowledged the fault and has repairs in hand. There was a similar problem a year or so ago. Then one of the village community councillors with contacts in the south helped to resolve matters. but not this time.

Film club

See Kelso section.


See Kelso section.