District News



At the March meeting, Allen and Janie Clark gave a talk on the origin of the Selkies Artisan Soap Co. and the procedure involved in producing the soaps. Competitions – fruit smoothie – 1, E. Munro; 2, M. Smail; 3, M. Goodfellow; bowl of bulbs – J. Butler. In April, members made an Easter card by using the method of T-bag folding under the supervision of Wendy Underhill. Competitions – scones – 1, M. Smith; 2, R. Walker; 3, C. Law; best handwriting – 1, E. Little; 2, M. Dorricott; 3, J. Macdonald. The next meeting is on May 14, featuring Police Constable Karen McIlroy. Competitions – baby’s blanket and carrot cake (Fete Cup).



The Reverend Elspeth Harley preached morning service on Sunday in Caddonfoot Church. The lessons were read by Christine Dorward. The Sacrament of Holy Communion is to be held on May 11 at 9.45am. There has been a request for a short communion service (30 minutes), and this will take place in Trinity Church, Galashiels, on the same day at 3pm. Christian Aid Week runs from May 11-17.



The annual general meeting of Crailing, Eckford and Nisbet Community Council is at Lothian Hall on May 21 at 7pm. Charles Johnston, from Scottish Borders Council, will speak about the Local Development Plan, focusing on proposed changes to policies.


Coffee morning

The women’s section of the Royal British Legion Scotland’s Earlston branch is holding a coffee morning in aid of ex-servicemen’s charities in Hanover Court on May 10 (10am-noon).

Plant sale

Earlston Horticultural Society will hold its annual bedding plant sale and coffee morning at Hanover Close, The Square, on May 17. All proceeds go towards supporting the 2014 Earlston Flower Show.

Parish church

The May 11 service will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods, followed by the trustees’ conference in the church hall during the afternoon. Christian Aid Week also begins that day.


Earlston Community Council AGM will be held on May 15 at 7pm in the primary school. The council is able to offer a limited amount of grant funding to community groups within the Earlston, Mellerstain and Redpath area – up to a maximum of £200. Application forms are available from karen.scott1@sky.com. Closing date for applications is June 1.


Inner Wheel

May 20 sees the Inner Wheel Club of Galashiels birthday dinner at the Kingsknowes Hotel. As a celebration of 90 years of Inner Wheel nationally, the club is holding an exhibition in St Peter’s Church Hall on May 10 at 3pm.



The monthly whist drive is on May 12 at 7.30pm.

Lunch club

The monthly lunch club is on May 14 (11.30am-1.30pm).


Equine evening

Hawick Veterinary Practice is holding an equine information evening on May 19 (7pm) at its new premises – 1 Earl Street. Keynote speaker is Patrick Pollock, a European and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons-recognised specialist in equine surgery. Numbers will be limited, so contact the surgery on 01450 372038 to book a place.


Ian Loudon’s talk last week was entitled “Change – what change?”, his reflections on the car trade. A native of Skye, he started work in the motor trade in Glasgow during the 1960s when he was involved with Fords, mainly the Popular and Anglia models. He compared them with the modern car and many members, having owned one of the models he referred to, could only concur on how basic they were. Many questions ensued after which past president Jack Swanston proposed the vote of thanks.



There are still tickets left for the St Ronan’s Band concert on May 10 in the Memorial Hall at 7.30pm. They will be available at the door.

Introduction night

The St Ronan’s Standard Bearer for 2014 will be introduced to the public on May 9 at 8pm in the Memorial Hall. Other introductions taking place are the Standard Bearer’s Lass, Principal Guest and the Lady Busser. The town bands will play outside the hall from 7pm. Following the introduction ceremony, Innerleithen Pipe Band will lead the principals and townsfolk on a short parade, ending up back at the Memorial Hall forecourt where the Standard Bearer’s Reel will be danced.

Craft fair

Innerleithen and District Amateur Operatic Society is holding a craft fair and table-top sale on May 17 (9.30am-12.30pm) in the Memorial Hall.

Coffee morning

St Ronan’s Ex-Standard Bearers’ Association will hold its annual coffee morning on May 24 in the Vale Club (10am-noon).


St Ronan’s Standard Bearer’s Ball will be held on July 12 in the St Ronan’s Marquee. Tickets are on sale on May 31 from 8am at Foresters, Wells Brae. Costing £32.50 each, full payment must be handed in at this time – maximum of 12 tickets per table and dress is strictly formal. Cheques should be made payable to “St Ronan’s Border Games”.

Fun day

Innerleithen Family Fun Day is on June 1, from 1-5pm, in Victoria Park. There will be stalls and other attractions, including a mini fun fair, inflatables, pony rides, face painting, raffles, balloon race, tombola, and cake and candy. Music will be provided by the pipe and silver bands. After the success of last year’s cricket march, this is to be repeated from 10am in the Vale Park – more information from Tom Harrison (01896 833492). There will be a car boot sale and anyone who would like to book a place should call 01896 831721 or email KJBelleville@aol.com. Should any local organisation wish to have a stall at this event, contact Keith on 01896 831721 or email KJBelleville@aol.com.


The May 11 morning service will be at 11.30am in Innerleithen Church, followed by a Christian Aid service in St James RC Church at 6.30pm.


Coffee morning

Scottish Borders Africa Aids Group’s coffee morning in Jedburgh realised in excess of £500. On July 3, there will be a Palm Court Afternoon Tea in Kelso – details from 01573 224753.


Bridge club

April 30 – Celtic Nations Spring Pairs – N/S – 1, Rena Stewart and Beth Stark; 2, John Miller and Marian Miller; 3, Val Johnstone and Mary Millar; E/W – 1, Alison Darling and Mary Logan; 2, Stuart Graham and Ian Watson; 3, Lynda Douglas and Russell Watt. May 1 – aggregate pairs – N/S – 1, Rena Stewart and Val Fairbairn; 2, Alison Ireland and Russell Watt; E/W – 1, Lee Leeson and Bob Stevenson; 2, John Miller and Marian Miller; 3, Shirley Armstrong and Moira Ayton.

Thursday Group

At the last meeting before the summer break, Isabel Gordon reviewed the year with 25 speakers on a wide range of subjects. Nearly £300 had been donated to charity. The subscription for 2014-15 will rise to £7. On July 3, the group is sponsoring a Palm Court Afternoon Tea in aid of Scottish Borders Africa Aids Group, with Robert Fraser (violin) and Margart Dick (piano). For offers to help and more information, phone Isabel on 01573 224753.


The next meeting of Abbey Quilters will take place on May 13 at 7pm in Abbey Row Centre. Discussion is to centre on members’ forthcoming exhibition and there will be ademonstration on what is required for sleeves and labels etc. for exhibits. Further information from Rineke Sansgter (01573 229414) or Sandra Kinnoch (01835 850324).


Kelso Area Paths and Kelso Community Woodland groups are holding their joint AGM at 7 pm on May 28 in the Abbey Row Centre.

Youth project

Kelso Youth Project invites all its adult friends, supporters and volunteers to a get-together on May 14 (7-8.30pm) at its new home at the Ace Centre (next door to the Borders Ice Rink) for a guided tour of the building and to hear about its plans for the summer, the rest of 2014 and 2015. For further information, contact Becki on 07432 525340, email beckikelsoyouthproject@gmail.com or see Facebook page www.facebook.com/kelsoyouthproject. The project still has places on its drumming and animation workshops – book a place via the above contacts.

Nifty 50

Kelso GP Rob Cutting will celebrate turning 50 on Saturday – by cycling 50 miles around the Borders with friends. The birthday challenge has a Tour de France dress code and culminates in a party for invited guests at the doctor’s home afterwards.


The Friends of Kelso Hospital are holding a table-top sale in The Square on May 10 (10am-noon).


The next Four Border Abbeys U3A group open meeting is on May 12 at 2pm in Kelso Rugby Club when David Savory will talk on “The Outer Hebrides – A World Apart”.



The community council has made awards from the Minsca wind farm community benefit fund – golf club junior section, £500; Christmas lights committee, £400; cycling club, day centre, young riders’ club and the town drum restoration fund, £250 each.


The public meeting and election of Cornet will take place in the Buccleuch Centre on May 9. Voting will close at 8pm, and prior to that the Town and Pipe Band will play round the streets. Common riding committee chairman Roger Maxwell will be in charge of the meeting, at which any issues can be brought forward and the new committee announced. He will announce the result from the stage. The new Cornet will have an added engagement this time when he carries the Commonwealth Games Queen’s relay baton in June, on horseback from the monument into the town.


A meeting has been held to discuss holding a festival to celebrate the life and work of Hugh MacDiarmid, who was born in the town. It was organised by Ruth Cockburn.


Primary school

Pupils have spent the first two weeks of the summer term involved in their annual ECO Fortnight. This project has been packed with various activities and tasks. Langlee Primary School is an ECO school and proudly flies its Green Flag. To achieve and maintain the flag, three different elements are required to be studied in-depth every two years. The current elements are – litter, school grounds and health and wellbeing. Youngsters’ views were looked at by the school’s Green Thumbs team and principal teacher Kim Wilson. Together, a plan for the Fortnight was created and activities such as a scavenger hunt, Zumba by FitBorders, a community litter pick-up and a school picnic, which relatives could attend, were held.



Members were given a demonstration on planting hanging baskets and containers by John Chisholm, of Selkirk High School, who also gave tips on choosing plants and how to care for them throughout the summer. He spoke about his work in schools across the Borders and the training programme for teachers. After tea, the AGM took place and the new committee was elected – president, Margaret Milne; vice-president and press secretary, Marjorie Lawrie; secretary, Valerie Mayo; treasurer, Margaret McKinlay; magazine secretary, Barbara Lothian; committee members – Grace Aitchison, Jenny Davies, Maureen Ewart, Margaret Inglis, Diana Murray and Edith Scott. Annual prize winners – Valerie Mayo, Miss McGowan Trophy for most points; 2 (equal), Margaret Inglis and Margaret Milne, who shared the Jess Hope Cup; Grace Aitchison, Miss Hope Trophy for most entries.



Christian Aid Week (May 11-17) – let the office know if you can help with door-to-door collections; May 11 – services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am); 7.30pm, Eildon Singers, “From Denmark to Polynesia”; May 14 – Chinese cookery demonstration in Blainslie village hall at 7.30pm for SBAAG; May 17 – coffee morning in Corn Exchange.


Local history, with the possibility of archaeology in the offing, tends to arouse interest and a splendid audience appeared in the Corn Exchange last Thursday to hear Dr Chris Bowles, of Scottish Borders Council, detail what is known of the background to the peninsula of Old Melrose, which juts into the Tweed below the cliffs of Scott’s View. It is a natural amphitheatre in a river meander with a ridge and a plateau, largely invisible from the surrounding area. Its early mediaeval monastery and association with St Cuthbert are known,but before that it may have been a pagan site, and its nearness to Trimontium would not have escaped the attention of the Romans. As for the future, Dr Bowles showed the latest LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) images of the peninsula taken from an aircraft. The vote of thanks was given by Dr Margaret Collin, leader of the steering committee which hopes to obtain a Heritage Lottery Fund grant for an archaeological investigation in 2015. The chairman for the evening was Ian Skinner, who guides the first-Monday-in-the-month walks round Old Melrose (1.30-3.15pm) from April to October.

Guided tour

Melrose Historical and Archaeological Association has organised a guided tour of Traquair on May 14 at 2pm. Tour guide will be Lady Catherine Maxwell Stuart. A private viewing of a selection of Traquair’s archives has been arranged in the High Gallery and Margaret Fox, archivist, will give a short talk on this unique collection. All are welcome on this trip. Assemble in the Melrose Health Centre car park at 1pm. There will be a charge of £9.60 per person for the guided tour – payable at Traquair on entry. For more information and to join the group, contact Margaret Collin (phone, 01896 820200; email, margaret.collin1@btopenworld.com.) before May 12.



The fly competition will take place on May 16 (6.30-8.30pm), with the draw being held in the Templehall Hotel the previous day (9pm). Names to David Gray before May 15.

Kilt Walk

The taste-and-try cookery demonstration held in the institute in aid of the Kilt Walk raised £350. Anne Redpath organised the event.

Youth project

See Kelso section.


Coffee morning

There was a good turnout for the coffee morning in the village hall run by Liddesdale Ladies’ Ammenities Group (LLAG), and £520 was raised for the local First Responders Group. Fraser McLean, from the First Responders, gave a talk as other members demonstrated resuscitation on dummies. LLAG chairwoman Alice Forster thanked everyone for their support. Cheques, as a result of group fundraisers, were presented, with the First Responders getting £1,000, and the village hall and Polysport £500 each.


Plant sale

Oxton Horticultural Society will hold its annual plant sale and coffee morning on May 17 (10am-noon) at the Memorial Hall.



Selkirk Lifeboat Committee

Turn to page 28

From page 27

held a spring fair in St Joseph’s hall. The event raised £337 for the RNLI. Organisers are grateful to store giant Sainsbury’s for a raffle donation and to all who supported this cause, particularly Viewfield Service Station for sponsoring the “Lucky Lifeboat Station” draw, winners of which will be announced on Saturday, May 31.

Standard Bearer

It’s been a busy past few days for 2014 Standard Bearer Greg MacDougall and his attendants. Last Friday they were in Melrose for the election of the Melrosian, while on Sunday the dancing practices for the Standard Bearer’s Reel began when, along with their partners, Greg and his attendants once again are being tutored by Audrey Craig to give a Strictly Come Dancing-like performance at the ball. Monday night was the first flag practice with the help of Ex-Standard Bearer Brian Rodgerson. And on Tuesday Greg had his casting practice, which is usually held on the Wednesday, along with all the other standard bearers, but due to work commitments Greg will not always be able to attend on a Wednesday, so on these occasions his practice with the burgh flag will be on a Tuesday. Tonight, Greg and his attendants will attend a reception hosted by the community council in the Town Hall.

On song

The Borders branch of Amnesty International has announced the acts that have reached the finals of its protest song-writing competition. The competitors, aged from 11 to 6th-year students, who will perform at the String Jam Club in June 7, are Corin Anderson and Leanne McFadden from Hawick; Erin Highton from Selkirk; Highrise (Tom Beards, James Carvalho, Jonny Paterson and Cameron Young Lee) from Peebles; and Unheard Voices (Lauren Batey, Aaron Lee, Cameron Rendall Reid and Joe Bispham) from Kelso.



The sacrament of holy communion will be celebrated in Heriot (9.45am) and Stow (11.15am) churches on May 11.



The next service in Walkerburn Public Hall will be on May 18 at 10am.



Members enjoyed a talk by Sandra Kinoch on the work carried out by the charitable Linus Quilts project. The raffle was won by Norma Stuart and Jean Scott was hostess for the evening. Competitions – knitted 6in square – 1, Annie Coltherd; 2, Hannah Young; cruet set – 1, Isabel Brown; 2, Cis Darling. The next meeting is a talk on gardening by Ema Emmerson, of Woodside, Ancrum, to be held on May 13. Competitions – six daffodils and the largest button.


Village lunch

The next village lunch will be held on May 15 at noon in the Wauchope Hall, with proceeds going to the Floral Gateway organisation. Everyone welcome.

Bird life

Village twitchers were excited about a large black bird being sighted fishing on Romany Marsh. Those in the know identified it as a cormorant, generally considered a sea bird, so it was quite unusual for the visitor to have made its way, presumably from the Berwick area, to the local man-made loch.


David Hutchinson, chairman of Yetholm Community Council, has stood down from that position. He has also retired as chairman of the village festival committee.At the installation ceremony for the 2014 Bari Gadgi and Manushi, the Reverend Robin McHaffiie thanked David for his efforts and warm applause followed. Stepping into both positions is Susan Stewart. She was on holiday last week, but sent messages of support for this year’s festival and principals.Standing in for her on the night was Robin, assisted as compere by Jonathon Dixon.

Community council

At the recent AGM, it was reported that all vacancies for councillors have been filled, with one exception. Procedures to fill that post will appear on village noticeboards .

Youth project

See Kelso section.