District News



Fairtrade was the theme of the Reverend Elspeth Harley’s address to the congregation on the first Sunday in Lent morning service. She also brought along Fairtrade goods to show in her address to the children.

It was announced that Fairtrade Easter eggs were available and could be ordered via session clerk Anne Grieve. The lessons were read by Bill Birch. For Lent, CY is following Christian Aid’s “Count Your Blessings” project with a home-baking sale after the service on March 30. An Alpha course is starting in Clovenfords and leaflets are available at the church.


Soup kitchen

The United Parish Church held its February soup kitchen and table-top sale in the village hall, raising £337. A tombola stall helped boost the tally. There was an excellent response to the clothes collection in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance.


Parish church

Holy communion will be celebrated on March 16 at 10.15am, the service being conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods. Lent worship services continue each Wednesday at 7pm in the church. The church AGM will be held after the service on March 23.


Members enjoyed a demonstration and tasting of cup cakes and traybakes by Marion Pate, of Maid by Marion, at their latest meeting. Competitions – Berwickshire Loaf – 1, Edith Cockburn; 2, Heather Smith; best use of 100g of DK wool – 1, Barbara Greer; 2, Edith Cockburn; bottle of juice – 1, Kay Brownlie; 2, Heather Smith. The next meeting on March 20 at 7.30pm in Hanover Lounge features “Auld Earlston”, with Sheila Mackay and Anne Brotherstone. Competitions – hand-made card for a new baby and most items in a small matchbox (Bluebell size and please list items). Visitors welcome.

Camera club

Former club member and local freelance and landscape photographer Brian Sutherland entertained last week with a presentation of some of his images. He gave members tips on various aspects of photography before giving a short demonstration of quick editing techniques. He then judged the competition which was entitled “Weather” – print – 1, Stephen Morris; 2 and 3, Adam Drummond; digital – 1, Allan Drummond, 2, Adam Drummond, 3, Linsey Anderson.



There are still tables available for the table-top sale on March 22 (10am-noon) in the village hall – contact Christine (01835 840246).


The hall committee meets on March 27 (7.30pm).



Members will meet in the village hall at 7.30pm on March 19 for a talk on Fairtrade. Competitions – traybake (three pieces made with Fairtrade ingredients) and an elephant ornament. February competition results – cheese straws – 1, Dorothy Small; 2, Christine Sinclair; piece of pottery – 1, Christine Davidson; 2, Jean Stewart.



The next meeting of The Three Brethren (U3A) will take place on March 17 at 2pm in Lucy Sanderson Hall, Tweed Crescent. The topic is Amnesty International and features a talk by Moira Walsh, chair of the organisation’s Borders group.


The Santander branch in Galashiels has money to give to local charities, Rotarians learned. The Santander Foundation was set up to help communities and grants of up to £5,000 to fund something specific, for example, salaries, equipment or materials, are available for registered charities. Recently, grants have been given to the Special Care Baby Unit at BGH and the Borders support group of Headway. Charities can apply on a form available at the branch in Channel Street. Claire Robertson, branch manager, spoke to the club, giving the background to the company which has 25 million customers and employs 24,000 people around the world.

Clef Club

Gala Clef Club’s new season began with a programme opened by Robert Fraser (violin), Margaret Dick (piano) and Gillian Rotherham (cello), who performed Mozart’s Piano Trio K564 in G. Robert also teamed up with Miriam Scarlett on piano to perform Sonata Op 5 No 9 in G minor by Jean Baptiste Senaille. Julia Noble, accompanied by Kenneth Hall, performed three songs from Broadway musicals. Kenneth then accompanied Dorothea Hall on treble recorder to perform Sonata No 1 in A minor by Jean-Baptiste Loeillet of Ghent and the Chaconne in F by Henry Purcell. Margaret Lang (piano) continued the Baroque mood with three short pieces for piano – Bach’s Invention No 1 in C, “To A Wild Rose” by Edward McDowell and the month of April from Tchaikovsky’s “The Seasons”. Robert spoke of the difference a bit of light classical music can make to the lives of the very elderly and their families, and appealed for volunteers to form a “concert party” to tour nursing homes in the area. Kenneth then made an appeal for pianists and singers, particularly male singers, to form an ensemble to sing Brahms’ Liebeslieder waltzes and hoped that the pieces could be performed before the end of the season. April 26 is “Bring a friend night” – contact Elizabeth Fraser (01896 752375) or http://onlineborders.org.uk/community/galaclefclub for more information on this and other club matters.



The rural celebrated its 64th birthday on March 5. There were visitors from Ancrum, Minto, Bedrule, Edgerston and Eckford. Competition – visitors –1, Mrs Dorricott; 2, Janice Palmer; Glendouglas – 1, Cathy Johnson; 2, Cath Turner.


Art club

Members enjoyed a talk on the versatility of acrylics by local artist Win Nicols, followed by a question-and-answer session, last Thursday evening. She was presented with an orchid plant by the club’s vice-president, Sheila Marshall. The next club outing will be a visit to the J. D. Ferguson Exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art on May 8. Members wanting to go should contact the committee via phone numbers on their membership syllabus card.

Gaelic in the Borders

Gaelic song takes centre stage at Heart of Hawick on March 22 when a star-studded Gaelic Showcase will be headlined by singers Christine Primrose and Gillebrìde MacMillan. Tickets are available from the venue box office (01450 360688) or at the door.


Speakers Gordon Gilfeather and Eric Scotland gave an illustrated talk on “Hawick – past and present”. They came into possession of old photographs of the town and decided to update them by taking the same images today, showing many changes which had taken place, especially around the railway station and the Waverley Line. The pair made them into two DVDs, with music and commentary, and sold them to the public, with profits going to local charities.

Camera club

In a change to the syllabus programme last Thursday, a group of members engaged in practical work in the studio, with a session about still life or table-top photography. Meanwhile, in the upstairs cinema, a second group reviewed a selection of monochrome prints of Hawick, which were produced by David Hughes in the traditional darkroom method. Bert Lancaster also displayed some of his travelogue slideshows – digital sequences photographed in various locations around Europe, Scandinavia and South Africa. The meeting on March 20 will be the Print and Projected Image of the Year competition, with Ian Fullerton judging. On March 23, the Borders Digital Challenge will be held at Hawick High School, doors opening at 2pm.


March 4 – Easter Pairs – 1, John and Marian Miller; 2, Patsy Gilligan and Mary Millar; 3, Sam White and John Urquhart; 4, Bob Francombe and Val McPherson.


Towford WRI

Wendy Underhill gave a demonstration of Iris Folding, a paper-crafting technique from Holland, at the latest meeting. Everyone was able to make a card using this technique. Competition – individual pasta dish – 1, Frances Armstrong; 2, Jean Douglas.



At Heiton Hall AGM, five new committee members and an additional three co-opted members were elected. Regular social events are to be held, such as games evenings etc. A craft fair will be held on March 16. Tickets for a race night on April 4 are available from Gordon Little (01573 450267).



The service on March 16 starts at 11.30am.



March 3 – N/S – 1, H.Long and M. Weightman; 2, V. Johnstone and M. Miller; 3, R. Stewart and T. Davidson; E/W –1, M. and H. Ouldcott; 2, D. and P. Palmer; 3, N. Porter and S. Graham.


Thursday Group

Members heard a talk from BGH chaplain David Thaw about his recent visit to Zambia. Today (Thursday), John Hennessey will speak about a visit to Cambodia at 2pm in the Abbey Row Centre. Next week Dr James Mitchell presents the life of Eric Liddell.


March 5 – Abbey Salver 8 – N/S – 1, Val Johnstone and Mary Millar; 2, Bob Stevenson and Annie Mitchell; 3, John and Marian Miller; E/W – 1, Ian and Elizabeth Ross; 2, Brian Saywood and Ken Ross; 3, Elinor Green and Caroline Sutherland. March 6 – Calchou Cup 11 – N/S – 1, Bob Stevenson and Lee Leeson; 2, Jean McLaren and Ken Ross; 3, Michael Horwood and Lynda Douglas; E/W –1, Jean Henry and Myra Thomson; 2, John and Marian Miller; 3, Russell Watt and Jon Bridger.

Parish church

Open days are being held at Kelso North to allow the congregation and wider community to view proposals for the Bowmont Street Project. The plans will be on view, along with a guided tour of the premises, tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday, from 10am-4pm, and on Sunday (2-4pm). March 16 services – Ednam (9.30am) and Kelso North (11am), where Lexie Di Salvo Ross and Calum Darrie Scott will be baptised. The next film night at Kelso North is tomorrow (Friday), with a screening of “Sunshine on Leith”, with showings of “I Am Breathing” and “Philomena” planned for March 21 and 28. Tickets are still on sale for the Seder Meal and Ceilidh at Kelso Rugby Club on April 11. There was a good turnout at the rugby club for the Shrove Tuesday pancake party, organised by Kelso Churches Together (KCT). Lent study sessions for the next five weeks have now begun – Tuesdays at 2pm in St Mary’s Church, with a repeat on Thursdays at 7pm at Kelso North. The food bank, under the auspices of KCT, continues to be busy. Donations of non-perishable food can be handed into participating churches and Kelso North church office in Bowmont Street. At present there are ample supplies of pasta, soup, baked beans, tea and coffee. However, there are shortages of tinned fish, tinned tomatoes, tinned fruit, pasta sauces, tinned/instant potatoes and jars of jam. The service operates from the pillar room/basement of Kelso North Church.


Diamond wedding

Townfoot couple Scott and Mary Armstrong have celebrated their diamond wedding, marking the occasion with a get-together of family and friends in the Royal British Legion clubrooms. Depute Lord Lieutenant David Stevenson presented the couple with a card containing a message of congratulations from the Queen. Scott and Mary (Jackson) were married in the parish church, holding their reception in the bride’s mother’s house before honeymooning in Suffolk. Scott was in the RAF at the time of the marriage, while Mary worked at Neill’s Mill. Scott later started work at the Post Office. They have six children and 16 grandchildren.


An auction of art in the Buccleuch Centre, to raise money towards building a new care home in the town and for local good causes, realised £1,800. Paintings and photographs were donated and the Reverend Scott McCarthy was auctioneer. Alan Weatherstone produced the catalogues.


President Jack Rae welcomed 25 members to the latest meeting in the Eskdale Hotel before discussing club business, including arrangements of local visits and the proposal to visit Southport Flower Show in August. He then introduced Grace Brown who gave a talk on 40 years in local government – 1960-2000. She first came to Langholm in 1954, when her father started his duties as station master. The family moved from Belses station in Roxburghshire by train. Her first job was with solicitors Stevenson & Johnstone, where she started work in January 1955, before moving to the town hall five years later, serving with three local authorities. She spoke of her part in arranging the visit by the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong.


Langholm Academy pupil Rebecca Hall finished runner-up in the Springboard FutureChef competition at City of Glasgow College. She was accompanied by her mentor, Stephen Myers of Smiths Hotel at Gretna, along with her mother, Jackie. Rebecca recently won the Rotary District 1020 young chef final at Livingston and takes part in the Scottish final on Saturday, March 15, in Glasgow.



Madcap humour is promised by Lauder Amateur Dramatic Society (LADS) in its latest production which runs from March 19-22 in the Public Hall. There is also wine and cheese as the evening progresses. Tickets from Premier Shop.

Historical society

John Rogerson will give an illustrated talk entitled “From Moffat to Peebles” on March 19 at 7.30pm in Lauder Youth Trust Hall. Further details from Joan Stevens (01578 722559).


Members last week enjoyed a performance of Galashiels Opera’s “Half a Sixpence”. The next meeting is on April 22 at 7.30pm in the primary school when vet Andy Armitage will give a talk. Competitions – Lemon Drizzle Cake and an animal ornament. President Janette Waldie (01578 722273) will be pleased to receive any home baking, sandwiches, etc. for the Tour de Lauder on April 26.



Sandra Kinnoch spoke to members about Project Linus and showed some of the blankets and quilts that have been donated for babies, children and teenagers across the Borders. More than 550 quilts had been given out last year. Competition – sewn or knitted blanket or quilt – 1, Valerie Mayo; 2, Jean Roden; 3, Sheila Lanza. Raffle winners – Barbara Lothian, Janet Mitchell and Marjorie Lawrie. The next meeting – a cookery demonstration from Sainsbury’s – is on April 10 at 7.15 pm.


Blood donors

A total of 91 volunteers offered to give blood and 81 donations were given at a blood-donor session in Melrose on February 26. There were nine new donors.


Church magazine and WFO envelopes available; March 16 – services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am); March 20 – whist in aid of Arthritis Research (names to Ishbel Gordon asap); food bank donations welcome, especially jam, marmalade and tinned rice.


Three schools turned up on three days in one week for the Leaderfoot-Newstead Route March and Melrose Museum Tour. The schools – Melrose, Mayfield (Dalkeith) and Chirnside – tested Trimontium staff to the full, the Dalkeith youngsters coming for the first time – and with a double class. The elements almost routed the Roman army last Friday when it took three people to hold the banner – even horizontally –in the teeth of a gale and keep marching on to the Melrose bazaar. Roman costumes for a school assembly is the latest request to the quartermaster.

Literary society

At last week’s meeting, Allan Massie, writer and broadcaster, spoke about John Buchan’s historical novels. Buchan’s favourite book, and arguably his finest, is “Witch Wood” – a rollicking tale set in 17th-century Scotland – Covenanters, black magic in the woods of Upper Tweeddale, and the young and idealistic minister who finds himself at the centre of a deadly spiral. On April 1, the society will hold a short AGM, followed by a social and literary evening, when members will be invited to read a favourite poem or passage on the subject of “Spring”.


Coffee morning

Morebattle In Bloom coffee morning, held on Saturday, raised £425.


Last Thursday night members

Turn to page 28

From page 27

took part in Hymns of Praise with a sketch performed by Mary, Helen and Catherine, and readings from Margaret Lees, Olive and June. Arrangements were made for the guild coffee morning to be held on March 29 at 10.30am in the institute.


The Robert Davidson AGM will be held on March 22 at 10am in Otterburn House.



The village hall was the venue for a Scottish Crookmakers’ Association workshop. To enable those attending to get a good view when watching the various demonstrators, only the first 60 applicants were accepted, many having travelled considerable distance. Demonstrators were Drew Oliver (Sorbietrees), Arthur Dent (Doune, Ayrshire), Dane Love (Cumnock), Martin Trinder (Dumfries) and Philip Roskell (Moffat). Joe Peart, from Kershopefoot, had a stall with stick-making materials. He is opening a shop in Langholm in the summer. Most of those who attended took along sticks for a competition which was judged by Charlie Grant from Kelso.

Senior citizens

The village welfare group treated senior citizens to afternoon tea in the hall. Entertainment was provided by four Hawick High School students – Daniel Nixon, who is from the village; Kate Sempleton (violin and viola); local Finlay Skelton (keyboard solo); and villager Ewan Kennedy (saxophone). The teenagers played a mixture of classic, modern and Scottish music. Raffle winners –Margaret Service, Mary Adamson, Kay Hurst, Sheila Elliot, Neil Nixon, Betty Cowan, Beatrice Scott, Margaret Grieve, John Holliday and Paul Davidson. The village support for the group is so generous that it is able to keep the social car running and also provide two bus trips for the over-60s each year. 



Oxnam Water Ladies (OWLS) held their first meeting of the new season on March 4, four new ladies joining the group. Members were entertained by Sir Johnny Scott reminiscing about his time spent with Clarissa Dickson Wright while their BBC “country pursuits” films were being made. The May meeting will take the form of a concert by Oxnam Valley Voices in aid of the Riding for the Disabled Association (Border group) and the local MS Society branch. It is on May 6 at 7.30pm in the village hall. Tickets from Elspeth Currie (01835 869924) and Dot Heard (01896 755690). April’s

meeting will feature a talk by Sheena Hird, entitled “Ethiopian Adventure”.



At the March 19 meeting, Jules Rieley will give a crafts demonstration. Competition – a keyring.


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


Antiquarian society

The next meeting will be held on March 19 at 7.30pm in Selkirk Parish Church Hall when Trevor Cowie presents “Magic Metals: Glimpses into High Society in the Bronze Age Borders”.



At the March meeting, Dr Annabelle Howell, consultant in palliative medicine at BGH, gave a talk on the history, design and building of the Margaret Kerr Unit” She spoke movingly on the care, not only to patients, but also their families, which is provided in the unit. Dr Howell then took part in a discussion with her audience. Competition – trinket box – 1, Avril Purves; 2, Lynn Anderson; 3, Dawn Steel; hand-made card – 1, Avril Purves; 2, Dawn Steel; 3, Gaynor Taylor. The raffle was won by Elizabeth Topp.



The next service in Traquair Kirk will be on March 23 at 10am.


Show dance

The Border Shepherds’ Show Dance in the Wauchope Hall was a sell-out.


Volunteers are needed to train in CPR and use of the village defibrillator – contact Barbara Paul (01573420582).

History society

Elizabeth Watson gave a talk about the life of Lady Margaret Douglas, from her birth at Harbottle Castle through years of danger and conflict, including a spell in the Tower of London, to her success in seeing her son, Lord Darnley, marry Mary Queen of Scots, thus achieving her final position as grandmother of the future King James I and VI.