District News



At the business meeting, the following office bearers were elected – president, Margaret Taylor; vice-president, Sharon MacKenzie; treasurer, Olive Hogg; secretary, Jean Parkinson. Competitions – most competition points over the past year – Teela Ferguson; fridge magnet – 1, Linda Young; 2, Elaine Turnbull; 3, Teela Ferguson.



Members held their AGM and Gail Chandler was elected president, with Sandra Kinnoch treasurer and Margaret Jeary secretary. This was followed by an evening of Christmas crafts. Supervised by Anette Fraser of Borderland Fabrics, members had fun making a Christmas tree decoration from ribbon and fabric. Competition – bring a toy – 1, Annette Fraser; 2, Margaret Jeary; 3, Margaret Linton.



A meeting to discuss the New Year’s Day bowling tournament (charity event) will be held in Kirkhope Hall on December 2 at 7.30pm.


Festive extravaganza

Galashiels Rotarians, the Chamber of Trade and Gala Events Groups have organised a Christmas Extravaganza for November 28. A festive market will run all day, there will be a family fancy dress competition with Santa coming by train. Later, Langlee Choir will be singing around the Christmas tree in Bank Street, followed by the Christmas lights switch-on and fireworks in Scott Park. The Clelland Trophy for best-dressed Christmas shop window will be judged on November 27 and presented by Santa the following day. Programme: 10am-4pm: Christmas market in Channel Street and Douglas Bridge. 2pm: Music at Douglas Bridge from Riddle Fiddles and the Bogie’s Close Stompers. 3pm: Registration for family fancy dress in Douglas Bridge. 3.30pm: Judging of fancy dress in The Piazza (Channel Street). 4.15pm: Langlee Choir singing in Bank Street Gardens. 5pm: Christmas lights switch-on at the tree in Bank Street, followed by parade to Scott Park. 6pm: Fireworks display in Scott Park.



Monthly whist drive – ladies – 1, Greta Cameron; 2, Catherine Turner; 3, Janet Alexander; booby, Betty Fleming; gents – 1, Dorothy Corrie; 2, Angus Cameron; 3, Roy Buchannan; booby, Marion Thomson.

The bingo was won by Joan Kyle.

Lunch club

The latest monthly lunch club gathering saw all the tables full.


The annual art exhibition was well supported with many painting sold, along with prints, card and pottery.


Members met last Wednesday when a new committee was formed – Mary Beaton, Elspeth Cook, Marlene Farquharson, Catriona Graham, Pat Hammond, Wendy Hickson, Elma Montgomerie, Catherine Turner. The Christmas lunch at the Carters Rest is on December 2 at 1pm.


The fortnightly dance class is on November 26 at 7.30pm, with the Reel Half Hour at 7pm.



Members met at their new venue last week – Thorterdykes Roadhouse – where they previously gathered about 20 years ago. Vice-President Jim Walker chaired the meeting and introduced speaker Alistair Cunningham who runs his tourism business from his home at The Coille, Hawick. Alistair, a retired KOSB officer, started “Clans and Castles” in 2000 when the dot.com phenomena took off. The business is a bespoke, specialist, tour company which arranges holidays in Scotland tailored to individual likes and requests of customers, many from North America who have an avid interest in ancestry and their roots. Of all the “must see” attractions, the most popular is Eilean Donan Castle and the Glenfinnan railway viaduct on the West Highland line to Mallaig, with its connection to the Harry Potter films. Alistair also includes ancestral tourism in the Borders and referred to the Heritage Hub in Hawick. Many questions arose which led to further discussion, after which past president Ron Laidlaw gave the vote of thanks.

Bridge club

November 17 – 1, John & Marian Miller; 2, Rob Goldie & Margaret MacLeod.


Towford SWI

Margaret Rustad talked about the Rural Union, the SWI equivalent in the sparsely-populated regions of Norway. Its aim is to bring together women for friendship, activities and, more recently, a voice for women on political policies. Competitions – knitted hot water bottle cover – 1, Jean Douglas; 2, Mary Towers; Ann Douglas Trophy for a jar of raspberry jam – 1, Frances Armstrong; Elizabeth Scott Trophy for most points from the year’s competitions – 1 (equal), Jean Douglas and Diana Tweedie. The gathering was also the annual business meeting with voting for committee members and office bearers.


Coffee morning

St Ronan’s Border Games will hold a coffee morning on November 28 in the Vale Club from 10am to noon.


A feast of seasonal music is on offer from St Ronan’s Silver Band at a Christmas concert to be held in the Memorial Hall on December 12 at 7.30pm. Under the direction of Chris Bradley, the concert will feature a selection of pieces from the band’s repertoire, including a host of Christmas favourites. The Future Band will also make an appearance in the programme. Tickets cost £6 (£5 for senior citizens/under 16s) and can be obtained from Adam’s Bakery and the Thrift Shop in Innerleithen, Robb’s KeyStore in Peebles, by ringing 01896 831721 or emailing KJBelleville@aol.com. There will be a bar and cake and candy stall available at the concert. Anyone in the Innerleithen area who requires transport should contact Elma on 01896 830577.


The church service on November 29 will be at 11.30am.

The Lion King Kids

St Ronan’s School will present Disney’s The Lion King Kids next month. Both evening performances are sold out, but tickets remain for the show on December 9 at 1.30pm. They are available from the school office between 9am-4pm or ring 01896 830349.


Bridge club

November 16 – N/S – 1, V. Johnstone & M. Miller; 2, D. Cessford & D. Gray; 3, J. Urqhuart & S. Graham; E/W – 1, R. Oates & S. West; 2, M. Allen & T. Davidson; 3, K. Jackson & P. Nichol.

St John’s Church

Members have welcomed an interim priest during the interregnum. The Reverend John Evans had become used to the congregation while filling in for David Daglish at holidays etc. November 27 (7.30pm in the church) sees the concert for Book Week Scotland – “Turning the Elements” – featuring Frances Cooper (voice) and Joanna Nicholson (clarinet). Entry

is free, with donations to defray costs. St John’s AGM is on December 13 at noon in the centre after a light lunch. The dean, the Very Reverend Susan Macdonald, is celebrant and preacher that day. There are vacancies on the vestry committee – nominations forms at the back of the church. With Mr Evans in position, Sunday services at 9am and 10.30am continue, as does the Thursday 10am one which is followed by the study group meeting in the centre to start a four-week course for Advent on the theme of “Making Room”. Messy Church will be holding a Christmas-themed meeting on December 4 for all children to attend, accompanied by an adult,in the Kenmore Hall.


Fair plea

See Yetholm section.

Thursday Group

Members enjoyed the baking grasslands of the Ngoro Ngoro Crater and the Serengeti, looking at the wildlife of east Africa with Malcolm and Elise Ross. Today seees a change of programme – “Chasing the Dragon” (a history of opium) with Isabel Gordon at 2pm in the Abbey Row Centre. Next week Peter Symms speaks about the Scottish Radical, Andreas Scheu.

Horticultural society

Kelso Horticultural Society autumn show trophy/prizewinners – Three Vases of Chrysanthemums, Jimmy Givens; Most Outstanding Exhibit in Classes 2 to 15, George Duncan; Most Points in the Floral Art Section, Paula Grant; Most Outstanding Exhibit in the Floral Art Section,Paula Grant; Most Points in the Pot Plants Section, Andrew Banks; Collection of Vegetables, Eric Craik; Three Pot Leeks, John Soulsby; Three Blanched Leeks, George Scott; Kelso Pottery Onion Pot for the Border Onion Championship, Six Onions, The Kelsae, Jim Williams; Best Exhibit in the Vegetable Section, excluding Collections of Vegetables and Leek & Onion Classes, Ian Simpson; Most Points in the Honey Section, Liz Howell; Caramel Apple Loaf Cake, Janette Stenhouse; Most Points in the Baking Section, Janette Stenhouse; Best Exhibit in the Baking Section, Janette Stenhouse; Most Points in the Industrial Section,Helen Hope; Best Exhibit in the Junior Section – Under 5 Years, Freya Patterson; 5 to 10 years, James Steele; 11 to 16 years, Ewan Donaldson. Best exhibits (cash prize winners) – Chrysanthemum Section, George Duncan; Floral Art Section, Paula Grant; Pot Plants Section, Matthew Fleming; Vegetable Section (excluding Class 65), George Scott; Preserves & Other Produce Section, Julie Fleming; Baking Section, Janette Stenhouse; Handicrafts Section, Jennifer Slafe.


Accordion club

At the latest Accordion and Fiddle Club meeting in the Royal British Legion clubrooms, compere Adam Grant introduced a number of local players who were well supported throughout by Iain Wilson on piano and Robert Willens on drums. Guest artists were the Gary Sutherland Trio from Fife. Gary played piano accordion and his brother Alan was on drums, with Duncan Black on piano. They played music which was ideal for dancing. The club was formed in September 1967. It is getting a good turnout of musicians and is keen to continue meeting monthly, but audience support has been a bit disappointing lately. The next meeting is on December 9 when Seamus O’Sullivan, from Glasgow, is guest.


Local camera club members are currently showing off their talents in the Information Hub. There is a wide variety of photographs in the High Street venue and they are all for sale. The club meets on the first Monday of each month.


New school

Borders MSP Christine Grahame has welcomed news that Langlee will have a new primary school by spring 2017. Work is expected to start early next year after Scottish Borders Council (SBC) gave the £12million plans the go-ahead. SBC had not made financial provision for the replacement of the school until at least 2018, but the Scottish Government’s capital investment arm, the Scottish Future’s Trust, agreed to cover the entire £21million cost of a new high school in Kelso, freeing up the capital to build the new facility at Langlee. A condition of the windfall is that the new school is up and running by April 2017. Ms Grahame said: “A new school for Langlee is long overdue, so this will be a real boost to the whole community. I am delighted that funding from the SNP Government has meant that the school building programme has been brought forward and will be completed by April 2017.” The school will be spread over three floors with 14 classrooms, a nursery, an adjoining special needs centre and a sports hall. There will also be a multi-games area created in the grounds. Ms Grahame added: “The school is in desperate need of being upgraded and this will be a fantastic asset for generations of children, as well as the many local organisations and groups who will use it. A new school always gives a boost to the local community and the staff and children will have a real sense of ownership when the new facility is built. I am very much looking forward to seeing the completed project.”


Historical society

Last week member Malcolm McVittie, who had commanded the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, gave an illustrated talk on the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders at the Battle of Balaklava. This regiment took part in the Crimean War as part of Sir Colin Campbell’s Highland Brigade. In 1881 the 93rd were united with the 91st Argyllshire Highlanders to form the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.


Border Flower Club

Members heard that chairman Elizabeth Forster won a second in the Melting Moments class at the Festive Flower and Food Show at Blackpool. There was a change of demonstrator due to Gill Garrow’s accident. However, Linda Souter came to the rescue with “Reflections” – on a holiday to Australia and New Zealand. First stop was in Dubai, using stainless steel pots with a variety of foliage and all white flowers. Singapore was next and a very large Martini glass held her Singapore Sling with gloriana lilys and a exotic large orchid and, of course, a straw to sip it. Off to Australia and Tasmania with a horizontal design of an English style garden with lots of mixed foliage blue delphiniums and aqua pink roses. Her container for New Zealand was made by the locals from a tree fern stump with its natural bark pattern and the flowers were orange coloured to tone. Linda’s final design was made from dried pleated cordelions, giving shades of brown, with palm leaves and eucalyptus as foliage and proteas, and flowers of terracotta tones. Next meeting is on December 9 in the Corn Exchange at 7.30pm when Pauline Todd from Newton Stewart will present “Magic of Christmas”.

Greener Borders

The John Muir Trust will be presenting a slideshow in the Corn Exchange on December 3 at 8pm. Two parts of wild Europe will be featured – the Pyranees from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, and an exploration of the forest communities of Romania.

Parish church

On the last Sunday of the Christian year (Advent begins next Sunday), Ivy Elizabeth Mathewson was baptised at Bowden amid family and friends. The winter communion service was held at Melrose. At the end of Guild Week, Anne Cochrane read the lessons. November 27 – Arthritis Research cheque presentation, 7pm, rugby club. November 28 – Holy Trinity fair. November 29 – first Sunday in Advent services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am); noon, Christian Aid Christmas cards; 7.30pm, Abbey Consort Concert, Kelso. The Street Pastors guild fundraiser realised £281.


This is the time for the publication of books and booklets for the Christmas market, and archaeology is not to be outdone. Professor Lawrence Keppie, of The Hunterian at Glasgow University and an old friend of the trust, has just produced, for a tenner, the sixth edition of the 150-page Handbook to Scotland’s Roman Frontier (The Antonine Wall). Naturally, Newstead makes an appearance. A trust member came back from a visit to Hadrian’s Wall with a clutch of new leaflets, not only about the Great North Museum in Newcastle, Segedunum at Wallsend and

Arbeia at South Shields, but a double-figure series of “Tales of the Frontier”. These come from a Durham University project on “people, places, past and present” all along the Tyne, covering Newcastle itself, Hexham, Corbridge and “the Tyne Estuary”. Now there’s an idea for “all along the Tweed”.



Fresh from the triumph at the Roxburghshire Federation Show where Minto’s entry on a Hallowe’en theme for the inter-rural competition won the Somerville Trophy (thanks to Sheila Marshall, Jo Hanson, Mary Beck, Pat Jardine and Win Nichol), winning the J Group inter-district trophy left members on a high. Add to that members lifting at least 18 individual places or prizes for the various competitions (ranging from painting, knitting, baking and embroidery) between them and the Novice Cup being won by Margaret Armstrong – and Minto were on a roll. Guests for the latest evening were The Dolly Mixtures, singers from Wilton SWI who kept their audience entertained with poems,

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From page 37

readings and traditional songs. Christine Rogers gave an amusing vote of thanks. Competition – funny holiday photograph – 1, Sheila Marshall; 2, Dee Baxter; 3, Chris Nicol; 4, Margaret Armstrong. The next meeting is the Christmas lunch on December 12 (details from Chris Nicol), followed by a general meeting on January 13.



At the AGM the following office bearers were elected – president, Elaine Thornton-Nicol; vice-president, Nan Ruthven; secretary, Joan McCulloch; treasurer, Morag Sharp. The winner of the cup for most competition points for the year was Janette Corcoran. Runner-up was Mary Redburn with Morag Sharp third. Members then prepared the syllabus for the year ahead. The next meeting will be the Christmas dinner at the Kingsknowes Hotel on December 3.


Library cafe

The Christmas library cafe is on Wednesday, December 2, at 11am, with proceeds going to the MS Society’s Borders branch.


Coffee morning

The senior citizens’ coffee morning realised the sum of £500.



Philiphaugh Community School and Community Centre will co-host a Christmas Fair on November 28 (10am-2pm), featuring cake and candy, crafts, kids’ activities, bouncy castle and Santa’s grotto. Admission is £2 for adults, £1 for children and under-2s go free. Admission includes soup and a roll or tea/coffee and a piece of traybake.

St Boswells

War memorial

Villagers have overwhelmingly voted in favour of the war memorial being relocated. The community council organised a consultation and exhibition of local First and Second World War memorabilia on Armistice Sunday. On display were exhibits ranging from personal items such as medals and photographs to contemporary news reports. Alongside the exhibition a rolling presentation explained the background to the proposal to relocate the village war memorial, and a water colour artist’s impression showed how it would look in its new position. Community councillors were on hand to answer queries and a comments book allowed visitors to make their thoughts known. Although planning permission had already been approved, the community council did not wish to progress the project without a wider mandate. Therefore, anyone eligible to vote within the council area was able to cast their ballot, either on the day or throughout the following week at the village post office. The outcome of the vote was – total number of votes cast, 197; spoiled papers, 2; ineligible papers (not on voters’ roll), 8; against re-location, 45; votes for re-location, 142. Community council chairman Douglas Oliver said: “We really appreciate the level of interest and support shown, and can now take the project forward with confidence. It is a considerable task, but we will press on with the next steps as soon as possible and keep the village informed as things progress. We would like to thank all those who entrusted us with their very precious family mementos, J. D. Smith and the staff at the Heritage Hub for their assistance with background research. Also Tony Grieve, postmaster, who kindly agreed to host the ballot box for the week, and the village hall committee who played a vital part by providing refreshments for visitors throughout the day, raising the excellent sum of £100 towards hall funds.”



The next service in Traquair Kirk will be on Sunday, December 13, at 10am.



The service on Sunday, November 29, will be at 10am in Walkerburn Public Hall.


Fair plea

Cheviot Youth Christmas fair organising committee is looking for donations of DVDs, CDs, jewellery, bottles and raffle prizes for this year’s fair which will be held on Saturday, December 5, in the Youth Hall. These can be handed into Greenbank (next door to the village shop) anytime and The Planet, Kelso (next door to the Border Ice Rink) on Wednesdays and Thursdays (3-5pm). For further information, email ianrendallreid@cheviotyouth.co.uk or telephone 07958 277766.