District News



Ancrum Under-5s group is hosting a children’s ceilidh on April 18 (Good Friday). Running from 10-11.30am in the village hall, youngsters aged 3-7 must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available from Ancrum Pantry. Call Nicola (07939 177511) for more details.


Whist drive

The village hall will host a whist drive and dominoes on April 7 at 7.30pm.


Coffee morning

The Bowden and Melrose Parish Church coffee morning will be held in the village hall this Saturday (10am-noon), with proceeds going to charities in Bethlehem and Malawi.


Parish church

Roy Owen conducted Sunday’s morning service and lessons were read by Fay Brydon. Foodbank items can be left in the vestibule. Copies of the Easter newsletter, including church services, will be distributed soon.


Theatre company

Darnick Village Trust hosted The Rocket Theatre Company from Manchester last Friday evening when they performed Oscar Wilde’s “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime” in The Smith Memorial Hall. Martin Harris and Chris Bridgman – with help from audience members – played all the parts. The arts department of Scottish Borders Council contributed a small grant enable the theatre company to perform in the village.


Coffee morning

The village hall committee is holding a coffee morning on Saturday (10am-noon).


Wednesday club

Members last week enjoyed a talk on the history of Dingleton Hospital by Louise Keir of NHS Borders. Competition – dog brooch – 1, Grace Forsyth; 2, Connie Seaton; 3, Kay Brownlie. The next meeting is on April 9. Competition – small teapot.

Parish church

Messy Church on April 5 in the church hall starts at 10am – anyone interested should contact Julie on 01896 849236. The April 6 service at 10.15am will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods. Lent worship services continue on Wednesdays at 7pm in the church.

Social club

A social club for older and isolated people in the Earlston area meets at Hanover House from 11am-2pm every Thursday for a hot lunch, activities and entertainment. Anyone interested is welcome to drop in or phone 01835 862565.


Coffee morning

The next fundraising coffee morning and sale in aid of village hall funds takes place on April 5 (10am-noon). Anyone with anything to sell is welcome to come along, take a table and give a small donation to hall funds.


Lunch club

Lapwing Lunch Club meets every Tuesday to provide a nourishing meal for pensioners in the Galashiels area. New members and volunteers welcome. Transport can be arranged. For more, information, phone 01835 862565.

Volunteers plea

The Galashiels British Heart Foundation Scotland shop is looking for volunteers – even for just half-a-day a month – to fill roles from driving, selling clothes, shoes and accessories, to window dressing and working behind the till. More information is available from 0800 915 1111 and http://www.bhf.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer.aspx.

Spring clean

Galashiels and Langlee Community Council is having its spring clean on April 5 (10am-noon), meeting in the overspill car park behind Carpet Right and Currys (Comely Bank Mill Retail Park). Litter pickers and gloves provided. For more information, contact Rick Kenney on 01896 755275, 07801 793349 or rickkenney@btinternet.com.

Probus club

The AGM and lunch was held in the Kingsknowes Hotel last Thursday, with 40 members attending. The event was opened by president Sandy Frame who then handed over to the new incumbent, Bob McKendrick. Frank Sharp was elected vice-president. The treasurer reported a healthy financial situation and it was decided that annual subscriptions should remain at £12. Members were given an outline of the varied programme of 14 talks proposed for 2014-2015. With regard to the club’s constitution, it was proposed that references to “businessmen” be changed to “business persons”. This was carried unanimously. The club welcomes all professional and business persons who are retired or semi-retired. The next meeting will be in the Kingsknowes Hotel on April 10 at 10am when Jake Harvey’s talk is entitled “Stone”.


Lunch club

The next lunch club gathering is on April 9 (11.30am-1.30pm).


A whist drive will be held on April 14 (7.30pm).


Bridge club

March 18 – N/S – 1, M. Tuson and R. Witherington; 2, D. Usher and V. Johnstone; 3, K. Auckland and D. King; E/W – 1, J. and M. Miller; 2, V. Mcpherson and R. Francombe; 3, L. and T. Witten. An enjoyable President’s Charity Night was held on March 25 when £100 was raised for Children’s Hospice Association Scotland.

Camera club

Painter and illustrator Laura Blackwood presented a talk at the meeting last Thursday. As well as a range of her prints on show, she also displayed her book, “A Celebration of Nature”, which was five years in the making. There will be a coffee morning at Trinity Church hall on April 5 – helpers are requested to be there by 9am.

Film and video group

Jim Law and Bill Neil presented a selection of films they have produced over the past few years at the latest meeting. Jim started with “Journey Into The Past”, a holiday trip to New Zealand in 1998 which featured several vintage means of travel he experienced – steam trains, electric trams, a steam ship and a Tiger Moth biplane. His second film was an excursion on another steam train, this time on the West Highland railway. The third production was originally made in 1968 by Bill and a group of fellow workers from Peter Scott & Co.– “Ad Lib”, an attempt at a Monty Python-type comedy. The final film was a joint Jim and Bill effort – “Hawick Knitwear”, featuring manufacturing processes. Sunday afternoon saw the 51st annual Borders Inter-Club Competition taking place in the Croft Road clubrooms, with Carlisle Camcorder Club competing against the hosts for the Waverley Shield trophy. The visitors triumphed with David Robinson’s “Ocean Road” taking pole position, followed by Scott Renwick of Hawick with “Eastbourne ‘95”. April 8 is the date of the AGM.


Hawick Rotary Club quiz team travelled to Annan and defeated Newton Stewart 29-13 in round three of the plate in the district competition. The team was Ron Smith, Ron Sutherland, Jim Walker and Gus Neilson. Quizmaster was Alan McCreadie. Last Thursday night several members went to Langholm and took part in the annual cross-border games competition involving the hosts, Lockerbie, Brampton and Longtown, as well as the Teries. Andrew Suddon won the domino tournament, while Robin Mason and Jim Walker finished runners-up in the carpet bowls.


Towford WRI

Visitors from Broomlands, Heiton, Morebattle and Yetholm were welcomed last week to a cookery demonstration by Sheila Clyne. Competition – bowl of bulbs – visitors, Helen Cavers (Broomlands); Towford, Frances Armstrong. A contest to identify different “Macs or Mcs” provided much head scratching – and groaning when the answers were announced. Margaret Hornsby compiled the competition. Helen Moffat, representing Roxburghshire federation, also attended, giving everyone an opportunity to hear about current thinking within the WRI and to answer any questions.



The service on April 6 at 10.30am will be followed by a light lunch in the hall.


Historical society

Peter Hoad, from Gattonside, gave a talk on his research into Tweed river crossings around Melrose. Many of the older bridges and fords have disappeared as the Tweed changed its course over the centuries. The building of Melrose Abbey and the practical outlook of its Cistercian monks saw the need for crossings to transport produce. For a long time a ferry was the most important way to cross the Tweed and, after the dissolution of the abbey, a dispute broke out between two ambitious local families, the Ormistons and the Pringles, over who should control the ferry, along with valuable fishing rights. As agricultural activity increased, more bridges were built, one of which was the suspension bridge, built in 1826, which allowed Gattonside residents access to Melrose and southern markets. The next meeting is on April 10 at 7.30pm in the British Legion. The AGM will be followed by three short talks – Chris Veitch on “The town hall”, Norrie McLeish on “The Jedburgh Post” and Ken Hogg on “Jedburgh Pennants”.

Memorial pool

Crash swimming courses will run from April 7- 11 and 14-18 – 9-9.30am, beginners; 9.30-10am, intermediate. Contact the pool on 01835 863430 for further information.

Meeting room

The McDonald Dryburgh Room, Millfield Gardens, Canongate, will be open to the public on April 5 (9am-1pm). The building has been taken over by the Ex-Callants’ Association and turned into a meeting room for community groups. Members of the association will be on hand to answer questions and take bookings for the facility.

Bridge club

March 24 – N/S – 1, A. and R. Stewart; 2, V. Johnstone and M. Miller; 3, A. Ireland and M. Miller; E/W – 1, S. Graham and N. Porter; 2, I. Whillans and D. Harris-Burland; 3, H. Long and M. Weightman.

Lunch club

Jedburgh Lunch Club will be held every Thursday to provide a nourishing meal for local pensioners. New members and volunteers welcome. Transport can be arranged. For more information, phone 01835 862565.


Thursday Group

Dr James Mitchell spoke about the life of Eric Liddell, Olympic gold medallist and missionary, whose mother came from Paxton. Today, Jonathan Parsons talks about the life and works of Rudyard Kipling at 2pm in Abbey Row Centre. Next week members of the Smailholm Stitchers will describe their contribution to the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

Abbey Quilters

The next meeting is on April 8 at 7pm in Abbey Row Centre when Vicki Mitchell will be giving a talk. For further information, contact Sandra Kinnoch on 01835 850324.

Bridge club

March 26 – social and prizegiving – Abbey Salver – 1 (equal), John Miller and Marian Miller; 3 (equal), Annie Mitchell and Bob Stevenson; Calchou Cup – 1 (equal), John Miller and Marian Miller; 3, Archie Stewart; Millennium Trophy – 1 (equal), Diana Alkin and Dominic Alkin; 3 (equal), Jock Dun and Nancy Porter; Rose Bowl – 1, Annie Mitchell and Bob Stevenson; 2, John Miller and Marian Miller; 3, Ian Watson and Stuart Graham; Stewart Trophy – 1 (equal), John Miller and Marian Miller; 3, Val Johnstone. March 27 – match-pointed pairs – N/S – 1, Bob Stevenson and Lee Leeson; 2, Alison Darling and Mary Logan; 3, Jean McLaren and Ken Ross; E/W – 1, Georgina Hall and Ian Watson; 2, Lynda Douglas and Michael Horwood; 3, Archie Stewart and Annie Mitchell.


Kelso North film nights will resume in the autumn. A coffee morning was held last Saturday by the Guides in the Upper Hall – Margaret Jack won the prize for correctly guessing the minister’s weight. The Northern Cross Pilgrims arrive in Kelso on April 16. As in previous years, they will be provided with hospitality in the form of hot baths, showers and an evening meal by members of the congregation before bunking down in the Upper Hall and then setting off for Holy Island, arriving there on Good Friday. Foodbank items can be handed into the church office in Bowmont Street. Sunday sees the normal pattern of services – Ednam at 9.30am and Kelso at 11am.


Common riding

The public meeting and election of the 2014 Cornet will take place on May 9 at the Buccleuch Centre. That was agreed at the Common Riding committee meeting in the Crown Hotel last week.

Arrangements were made for voting papers to be taken to the hospital and Greenbank Court. Andrew Jeffrey will act as vote count representative and Alistair Scott is to again be approached to be enumerator in the event of a vote. Cornet nominations have to be in the secretary’s office by noon on May 2. Chairman Roger Maxwell informed members that he had been approached for the Cornet to take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay in conjunction with the Commonwealth Games, and the committee were in agreement. Tom Stothart of the library trust had requested that the large framed flag stored in the upstairs library be removed. It was agreed that the flag was beyond repair and, given the size of the frame, it would be better to place it in a box and store it.

Bill Telfer informed the committee by letter that a drum had been found and it was possible that it was the original one of Bauldy Beattie. He requested £500 towards the cost of restoration, but the committee agreed that unless there was unequivocal proof of authenticity, they were not in a position to assist.


Guest speaker Andrew Powell’s talk was entitled “The Story of the Keg” – his 43 years in the brewing industry, his father having been head brewer for John Smith’s. He told of his rise from work study to draught packaging manager in charge of three million kegs containing some 150 million litres of beer. He went though the history of the design and manufacture of the keg, detailing why it is the perfect vessel for the storage and transport of beer, and why the traditional cask has short comings. Andrew spoke of his career move into the keg repair side of the industry before becoming a consultant, informing the company that 50 per cent of the cost of a pint is duty.

Senior citizens

Rugby club president Michael Bell welcomed senior citizen members to a buffet lunch in the clubrooms prior to the match against Hawick Linden. Among the former players attending were a number from the championship side of 1958/59 – Christie Elliot, Zander Turnbull, Joe Donaldson, John Smith and Dougie Anderson, who is the oldest surviving member of that team.



Aileen Orr gave an entertaining talk about the book she has written about Wojtek, a brown bear adopted as a mascot by the Polish army in Persia during the Second World War. After this Wojtek came to Winfield Camp in the Borders before moving on to Edinburgh Zoo. Competitions – best toy bear, Lesley Fitchett; best knitted teddy, Sheila Shaw. The next meeting is on Wednesday, April 16 (not the 19th as printed in the syllabus), which is a hospitality evening and the entertainment will be provided by One Accord.



The next meeting – a cookery demonstration by Sainsbury’s – is on April 10 at 7.15 pm. This is an open gathering and anyone is welcome.


Border Flower Club
Val Guest from Darlington was demonstrator for the March meeting and her chosen title was “Tantalising Textures”. There were superb designs using hand-made textured containers as well as a selection of texture foliage and flowers. Examples included a tower made from kindling and a circular base of hessian and a wicker basket. The next meeting is in the Corn Exchange at 7.30pm on April 9 when the demonstrator will be Audrey Buchan from Montrose – her chosen title, “Festival Fun”.

War talk

Tonight (Thursday) at 7.30pm in the Corn Exchange, Dr J. Reid presents The British War.

Coffee morning

An Arthritis Research UK coffee morning will be held in the Corn Exchange from 10am on Saturday.


April 6 – services at 9.30am (Bowden) and 11am (Melrose).


Eddleston in Peeblesshire and Kelso’s Broomlands were the latest schools to undertake the Leaderfoot-Newstead Route March and Melrose Museum tour. Dr Dennis Cowan, from the British Sundials Society, came to Newstead to record and photograph the lately-recognised fifth sundial from the 1890 list, which leaves just one still to be found. The information boards on the two observation platforms on the closed road to Leaderfoot are to be removed for renovation. Dr John Reid, chairman of the trust, will deliver the opening celebrity lecture of the spring season at 7.30pm in the Corn Exchange tonight (Thursday). His subject is Bellum Britannicum – the war that presumably brought about the building of Hadrian’s Wall.



The Guild AGM is in the institute today at 7.30pm. The guild coffee morning was held on Saturday when £605 was raised for guild and church funds. Winner of the treasure hunt was Trish Gentry; basket of vegetables, Gail Gibson; guess the number of nuts in a jar, Isaac Girvan; pot of plants, Clive Horlock.


Members meet in the institute on April 9 at 7.15pm for a cookery demonstration. Competi

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tions – three custard creams and a favourite apron. The rural will also be running a sales table for WRI funds.


Easter services will be held on – Friday, April 4 – joint school assembly at Linton Kirk, 1.15pm; Sunday, April 13 – Palm Sunday walk from Hownam to Yetholm, with worship en route; Thursday, April 17 – Maundy Thursday communion at Linton Church, 7pm; Friday, April 18 – Good Friday vigil at Hoselaw Chapel, 2-5pm; Saturday, April 19 – Retreat to Holy Island – names to Linda Fleming; Sunday, April 20 – 8am, Hoselaw Chapel, Easter breakfast; 10am, Yetholm Church, Easter all-age service; 11.15am, Morebattle Church, Easter communion.

Coffee morning

The village hall coffee morning will be held in the premises on Saturday, April 12, from 10.30am.



At the March meeting, members enjoyed an evening of games, chat and refreshments as the scheduled demonstrator was unable to attend. Competition – pin cushion – 1, Lorna Dickson; 2, Janette Corcoran; 3, Cath Park. The next meeting is on April 3 in Newtown Community Wing when members will welcome other WRI branches to a guest evening.


Easter fun

Oxnam church is hosting children’s entertainment on April 16 from 2pm. Tickets on the door or in advance from Annie Ralston.


Tea dance

A tea dance is being held on April 14 and fortnightly thereafter in the Ex-Servicemen’s Club, School Brae, from 2-4pm. Everyone welcome, from beginners to experienced, or just to watch and listen. Transport can be provided. For more information, phone 01835 862565.

st boswells

Coffee morning

The 1st St Boswells Guides are holding a coffee morning (10am-1pm) on Saturday, April 5, at the church hall.



Walkerburn Park will host a service on Easter Day (April 20) at 8.30am, followed by breakfast at the Caberston Cafe at 9am.



Members were given a talk and demonstration by Suzi Walker on pudding-making, with a focus on presentation and new twists to favourite puddings. The raffle was won by Ena Mitchell. Competitions – napkin – 1, Evelyn Horsburgh; 2, Norma Stuart; tablet – 1, Jean Scott; 2, Ellen Galt. The next meeting is on April 8 and features a talk on Linus Quilts. Competitions – a cruet set and knitted/crochet (6in square).



Roddy Murray, of Yetholm, who published his first book a few months ago, has written a further novel, entitled “George Milne – Cat Detective”. Copies can be purchased at the village shop.


There will be a Youth Hall whist drive (plus supper) on Tuesday, April 8, starting at 7.30pm.


Venchen Haugh is being used as a lambing field and dog walkers are being asked to take care, ensuring their pets are on leads until the end of May.

Caravan park

The village caravan park opened for the season last weekend.


From Monday, April 7, the shop will remain open until 7pm every weekday.


The annual general meeting of Wauchope Hall takes place at 7pm on Monday, April 14, in the hall. Everyone is welcome, particularly those who use the premises.