District News


Village hall

An appeal to save Ashkirk Village Hall has provoked a positive reaction from local residents, and David Dalglish and John Hislop have been recruited to the hall committee. Also, a number of volunteers have signed up to help with maintenance and administration. Several new initiatives are under way, including regular Tuesday afternoon speakers – the first was David Spence who, after 37 years with West Yorkshire police, gave a talk entitled “Police Photography and Forensic Imaging.” On Tuesday, December 1, Bruce Ogilvie spoke on “Local History in the 1830s”. A creative/craft group has been launched and this meets on Monday, December 7 (2-4pm). Saturday, December 5, sees a “Christmas-Get-Together” from 4.30-6.30pm. It is an opportunity to meet friends and new residents, enjoy refreshments, a quiz and community singing.


Wartime talk

At a meeting of Caddonfoot Hall committee, arrangements were finalised for the talk on Friday, December 4, by Mary Sherrard, a former Wren who served at Bletchley Park, the government’s top secret decoding centre during the Second World War. The meeting, in Caddonfoot Hall, has been scheduled for 7pm for 7.30pm. Tickets for the gathering are available for £3 at the door.

Parish church

Interin moderator Marion Dodd again returned to the church on Sunday to conduct morning service, the first in Advent, when the candle was lit by Hannah Birch. Just over an hour later, the Reverend Elspeth Harley conducted her first service (in Trinity) since her accident and will preach in Caddonfoot later this month. The Bible reading was delivered by Catriona Bird, and music was played by Margaret Blyth and Anne Grieve. A possible Christmas present is a book written by member, the Reverend Jack Kellet, “It’s Yersel’, ya Bugger”, and tells of the life and ministry of himself, whom he describes as an “outrageous minister”. The congregation sang “Happy Birthday” to Alex Bird. Next Sunday sees the Christmas Gift Service when members are invited to bring a financial donation to the Borders Children’s Charity and Gift Aid envelopes are available in the vestibule. There will also be a short afternoon communion service in the church at 3pm. Transport can be arranged. Members were saddened to hear of the death of Vera Lawson.


New jobs

Eight new jobs have been created by the opening of a new Co-operative food store in Earlston today (Thursday). The store and petrol filling station on the site of a former car showroom in Melrose Road replaces the Co-operative food’s former outlet in the town. The new premises represents a £400,000 investment by the store giant.

Parish church

This Sunday’s service at 10.15am will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods and there will be a “Time to Remember” service in the afternoon at 2.30pm for those

who have been bereaved or find this time of year difficult. Messy Church is on December 12 in the church hall from 10.30am to 1pm. Thanks to all who donated filled shoeboxes for the Blythswood Appeal – 86 boxes were sent this year.

Women’s group

Christmas meal at Rhymers Tower Coffee Shop at 7pm on December 4 – Secret Santa gift to the value of £3-£5 is optional.

Wednesday Club

Mrs Penman welcomed members to the latest gathering before introducing Mr and Mrs Caldwell, from Innerleithen, who delivered a talk on the history of Caldwell’s ice cream. Audience members were then each given a bowl of ice cream. The club coffee morning raised £382. Competition – pair of earrings – 1, Mrs G. Forsyth; 2, Mrs W. Henderson; 3, Mrs C. Seaton. The next meeting is the Christmas party/lunch at the Buccleuch Arms. The bus will leave at noon on December 9. The club meets again on January 13. Competition – First World War memento.



The AGM was held in November and the committee is as follows – president, Rosemary Wilkes; vice-president, Joan Badger; secretary, Evelyn Grierson; press and minutes, Marion Anderson; treasurer, Mary Upton. Competition – “People from the Past” – 1, Joan Badger; 2, Evelyn Grierson; 3 Marion Anderson. Edgerston SWI’s 88th birthday lunch is being held on December 9.


A Christmas quiz night will be held in Edgerston Village Hall on December 11 (7 for 7.30pm). Entry – £3 per head; teams of four can made up on the evening. First prize, per team, £20. Phone Christine on 01835 840246 for further information.


Coffee morning

The next coffee morning and sale is a special extended

Christmas one on December 5 in the village hall. The morning will run from 10am-1pm and includes a programme for

youngsters, starting at 10.30am, with a visit from a famous Christmas personality at around 11.30am. Anyone wishing to take a sales table needs to contact George on 52243 before the 5th.


Carols with Selkirk Silver Band – village hall, December 14, 7.15pm. Tickets from Linda (52257). Mince pies and punch will be served at the interval.



Members and guests will attend a buffet supper and musical entertainment on the occasion of the rural’s 90th birthday in the village hall on December 9 at 7.30pm. November’s competitions – taste and try – 1, Margaret White; 2, Agnes Mathison; pretty plate – 1, Irene Scott; 2, Dorothy Small.



The film, “This Changes Everything”, will be shown at the McArts Centre, Bridge Street, on December 5 at 6pm. It may change some members of the audience’s views on the way they look at the planet. There will be tea and cake, plus time to chat afterwards. This event is linked to the Paris Climate Conference.

Camera club

Club members Steve Currie and Alan Kennedy gave a talk to fellow members. “The journey to obtain Royal Photographic Society Distinctions” charted how they achieved the high standard of work demanded by the RPS. Their dedication and stress-filled path resulted in their respective awards which, they hope have aspired others to follow in their footsteps. Libby Smith, from Carluke, was last week’s guest and she spoke on “Before and After”, which related to Photoshop. Judging by the number of questions members asked her, it certainly was a thought-provoking session.

Clef club

The Christmas meeting is on December 5 at 7.30pm in the Lucy Sanderson Hall, Tweed Terrace. Mulled wine, mince pies and festive music, provided by talented local musicians, is on offer. Featured are Schubert by the Intrepid String Quartet and music from Lis Dooner’s Syrinx Flutes. Contact 0778 0378590 for more information or visit www.onlineborders.org.uk/community/galaclefclub .

Probus club

Fifty-five members met last Thursday, welcoming Professor Chris Harvie as guest speaker to talk on “Scott the Man”. Ex-MSP Professor Harvie is the author of several books on Sir Walter Scott and he gave a wide-ranging discourse on Sir Walter’s life. He said Scott could write 6,000 words a day. His novels were interwoven with history and contemporary politics, and his work changed the way Scotland was seen by the world which still pertains to this day. The professor claimed that Scott virtually started tourism to Scotland via his writings. His influence was international and he still has many followers in Russia and Germany. The next meeting of the club is on December 10 at the Kingsknowes Hotel when Lady Stewartby will talk on John Buchan.


Lunch club

Christmas Lunch Club is on December 9 (11.30am-1.30pm).


Old Time Dancing Party Night with Jock Borthwick (bring and share supper) 0n December 10 (7.30pm).


Bridge club

November 24 – 1, Mary Millar and Patsy Gilligan; 2, Bob Francombe & George Graham; 3, John & Marian Miller.

Film and video group

Following a change to the syllabus programme, a selection of films made by members of the Scottish Association of Moviemakers (SAM) were screened to members. A total of five titles were shown, covering a wide range of categories, including comedy, documentary and drama. The first short film, “Aunt Agnes”, by club XDL from the Motherwell area, was a humorous tale about a long-suffering woman who received gossip-fuelled phone calls from a talkative aunt. Sean Groat, of Edinburgh, produced a documentary, “Backyard Battles”, about the variety of birds which scramble and fight for a place on his garden bird table and nut holders. “Benjy” was Hugh Trevor’s documentary about a lobster fisherman working from the fishing area around North Berwick. Perth Film Makers produced a drama entitled “Chicanery” about a woman in a loveless marriage who, after divorce proceedings, was swindled out of a legacy. “Cumbria Past and Present” – a documentary by Tony Grant – provided spectacular aerial views of the Lake District from cockpit of an autogyro. The next meeting on December 8 will be a continuation of these prize-winning films from SAM.



The Scottish Rotary National Grayling Fishing Competition will be held on December 5 on the River Teviot. This event was started by Jedburgh Rotarians to raise money for the families of a fishing village devastated by the 2004 tsunami. It has now become an annual event to raise funds for similar good causes. Entry forms are available at www.jedburghrotary.co.uk or by phoning Ian Davis on 01835 850788. Entry fee is £10.

Bridge club

November 23 – N/S – 1, M. Weightman & H. Long; 2, R. Oates & S. West; 3 (equal), V. Johnstone & M. Miller, M.Forsythe & P. Harris, M. Allen & I. Weir. E/W – 1, D. & P. Palmer; 2, D. Cessford & D. Gray; 3 (equal), M. Ouldcott & H. Ouldcott, K. Jackson & P. Nichol.


Music Makers

Last Friday, Kelso Music Makers enjoyed an end-of-year evening of music, creating a variety of acoustic styles – classical, traditional and contemporary. Among the items played were a short Marcello sonata for flute and guitar; three traditional Irish reels on flute, mandolin and guitar; two lesser-known piano songs; a duet for viola and piano from an Aberdeenshire composer; fiddle solo and two contemporary songs with guitar. The next gathering is in Abbey Row on January 5. Visitors welcome – for more inf0rmation, contact 01575 224920.


The guild of Kelso North Church met last week in the church. Margaret Aitken, co-ordinator, opened the meeting with a reading and a prayer. Speaker for the evening was John Hennessey, who gave a presentation of his holiday in Morocco, where he joined a group walking in the Atlas Mountains. The guild enjoyed his many pictures of the spectacular scenery and his commentary. The group spent a week camping and climbing, and also visited villages en route. He was thanked by Peggy Donaldson. The meeting ended with items of business and a hymn. The next meeting is the Christmas social which will be held in Kelso North Church at 7.30pm on Thursday, December 10.

Bridge club

November 25 – Abbey Salver 4 – N/S – 1, Dominic & Diana Alkin; 2, Maureen Weightman & Helen Long; 3, Bob Stevenson & Annie Mitchell; E/W – 1, Brian Saywood & Ken Ross; 2, Mary Stone & Chris Anthony; 3, Ian & Eliz Ross. November 26 – Calchou Cup – N/S – 1, Dominic & Diana Alkin; 2, Rena Stewart & Maureen Weightman; 3, Jean McLaren & Ken Ross; E/W – 1, Donald Swanson & Avril Ronald; 2, James Tweddle & Allison Long; 3, Gerry Eglington & Jon Bridger.


See Yetholm section.

Thursday Group

In a change to last week’s programme, Isabel Gordon spoke about the history of opium. This week, Peter Symms speaks about Andreas Scheu,

the forgotten figure of Scottish radical politics – 2pm, Abbey Row Centre. Next week the speaker at the Christmas tea will be Alan Dougal with “Fishy Tales”.


Kelso Angling Association’s AGM will be held in the British Legion on December 9 at 7.30pm.


Abbey Quilters meet on December 8 at 7pm in Abbey Row Centre. This is the Christmas meeting for which members need to bring 1 Fat Quarter, wrapped; also ribbon, approximately two metres of 10mm wide to make little Christmas trees. For further information, contact Rineke Sangster on 01573 229414.



A good turnout of 27 members were welcomed by president Harry Aitken to the latest meeting in the Eskdale Hotel, along with guest David Barns. After apologies were noted, club business took place and members were asked to return their Christmas lunch menu choices, along with the money, as soon as possible. The president spoke about laying the wreath at the war memorial as part of the Remembrance Day service. He noted that five other club members had performed a similar role at the ceremony on behalf of other organisations from the town. David Gillies from Annan, a former financial services expert, gave a short history of taxation from biblical times, and who could raise taxes in various periods, what could be taxed, and that was just about everything from windows, hence the expression daylight robbery, to dogs. There were tales from his early days working in Carlisle P.O. and nights on overtime spent working in the TV detector van. He covered the introduction of income tax in its various forms, rates and idiosyncrasies. Bill Braithwaite gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the members.



Lauderdale library’s AGM will be held in the premises at 7pm on December 3.


Lauder Christmas Lights’ switch-on and torchlight parade will take place on December 12 – assemble at the Lauderdale Hotel from 5.30pm where Fahrenheit Disco will be playing. A fireworks display is scheduled for 6pm. At 6.15pm, Santa and his Elves, led by the Christmas Pipers, will head the procession to the town hall. The Reverend Rae Clark will welcome everybody, and the music and singing will be led by Lauderdale Scouts and Fahrenheit Disco. There are merry-go-round rides available for smaller children. Mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas goodies will be on sale, and the church open for a display of “nativity scenes in a box” created by Lauder residents. The switch-on will take place at 7pm, performed by Edward Maitland Carew. The evening ends with the Christmas pipers on the Town Hall steps. Flaming torches and battery candles will be on sale prior to the event from

various outlets around the burgh. Accompanying adults will have the option to walk at the front of the procession with children carrying candles. No flaming torches will be allowed at the front.



Thursday night saw president Norman Melrose welcome a large number of friends and guests to the annual open night in the Kings Arms Hotel. Guest speaker was Keith Robeson, senior countryside ranger, who his audience on a whistle-stop tour of the Borders and the many walking opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Among the guests was Simon Wallace of Borders Pet Rescue who received a cheque for the work of his centre. Rotarian Eileen Frame proposed the vote of thanks. Preparations are being made for the Melrose Christmas Parade on December 12 and Rotarians visited

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From page 37

the primary school to encourage pupils to take part in the event and poster competition.



A pre-Christmas arts and crafts fete was held in Morebattle Village Hall in aid of the St Cuthbert’s Coffee Stop (Morebattle) CIC when approximately £500 was raised.


See Yetholm section.


The village school is holding a coffee morning on December 4 (9-11am).

Coffee morning

A coffee morning in aid of the CLIC Sargent cancer charity for children and young people will be held on December 5 at 10.30am in the institute.


Carols around the tree will be held on December 6 at 6.30pm in the institute grounds, along with the switching on of the lights which will be carried out by Games Queen Cessford. Refreshments will follow in the institute.


Morebattle SWI is holding a demonstration of Christmas flowers with Gail Watson at the December meeting in the institute on December 9 at 7.15pm.


Coffee morning

Liddesdale Ladies’ Ammenities Group (LLAG) held a coffee morning in the village hall and raised £594, which included several generous donations. Everyone enjoyed tea or coffee, with mince pies and shortbread, and bought generously from the sales tables of home baking, plants and bric-a-brac. Numerous donations were received for the sales table and raffle. The Christmas hamper raffle was won by Jenny Harkness. The Christmas lights will be switched on by Tub Elliot in Douglas Square on December 5 at 5pm. LLAG will be serving mulled wine, juice, mince pies and shortbread to thank everyone for their continued support.



Thirty members and friends met at The Woll for the annual dinner. Mary Irving gave her report for the year – a good year for Newmill and Teviothead, gaining the trophy for most points for the institute with over 25 members at the federation show at Kelso. Individual members also did well, notably Jan Little gaining the Courtney Clare Memorial Cup and Anderson Salver. The new committee was introduced – president, Liz Howieson; vice-president, Sheila McLaren; treasurer, Betty Rennie; secretary, Gill Francombe; press/points, Alison Barker; points, Muriel Baptie; committee – Larraine Lord, Pat Douglas, Jan Cheytwyn, Sheila Purdie. Membership remains at £18 and visitors pay £3. Meetings in 2016 will start at 7pm and members should bring their own mugs. Points prizes for 2015 – 1, Muriel Baptie (24); 2, Mary Irving (12); 3 (equal), Julia Templeman and Caroline Tullie.



Emma Emmerson joined the latest meeting and gave an interesting talk on her work at Woodside Walled Gardens. Many of the hardy plants are grown at their own local nursery, run by her husband, Stephen. Throughout the year, Woodside runs a variety of workshops and events. Emma gave tips and advice on what to do in the garden at this time of year and brought along containers potted up with seasonal plants. Competition for an evening bag – 1, Agnes Bell; 2, Lynne Kellet; 3, Sylvia Thomson. The next meeting will be the Christmas dinner at Barlogan on December 9 . Competition is for a wrapped gift. Bus leaves Oxton at 6.45pm.



At the group’s latest meeting, tribute was paid to those lost in the Paris disasters with an appropriate reading in French, but with translations. Thereafter, members learned (or were reminded) of the history of the humble potato, which was the evening’s theme, before hearing readings from various poets and authors, including Seamus Heaney, Spike Milligan, Flann O’Brien and a member. A short Irish comedy then tested the readers’ accents – much to everyone’s enjoyment. The group will welcome all to its December 10 meeting in the village hall’s Upper Room from 7.30-9.30pm when the theme will be “Festive Monsters”.


The Barn at Greenend Farm (off the A68 a mile south of St Boswells) will be the venue for Borders CLIC Sargent’s carols and nativity on December 9 at 6pm. Staged by pupils of St Mary’s School, Melrose, under director Kirsty McRae, this will be the second time the cancer charity has invited children to sing carols with the animals – a real donkey, including this year a foal, kings on ponies, sheep, goats, hens and any other animals the audience wishes to bring along. St Mary’s choir will sing four carols, and there will be audience carols as well. Tickets available at the door.



Gala Water Singers’ “Christmas – and all that Jazz” concert will be performed on December 6 at 3pm in Stow Church. In addition, the usual legendary nibbles are included. Tickets – Stow Shop (01578 730289) or on the door.



See Newmill section.



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


Festive fair

The village hall’s fundraising Christmas fair is on December 4 at 7pm.



The community council is hoping to produce a calendar of Yetholm and surrounding area for 2017. All photographs submitted will be judged and prizes awarded later in the year. Competition open to all ages – more details will follow.


There was a good response to the panto meeting last week, and rehearsals will start on January 6 at 7.15pm in Wauchope Hall. Anyone interested, but were unable to attend the meeting, should contact Alistair Turnbull or Susan Stewart.


“School – I Mind O’ That” presentation today (Thursday) in Wauchope Hall at 9.15am, followed by a school coffee morning at 10am, with proceeds going to children’s charity Plan UK.


The annual double bill of films will take place on Saturday, December 5, at 2pm in the Wauchope Hall with Shaun The Sheep, followed, at 7pm, by The Second Best Marigold Hotel. Doors open 30 minutes before each performance. Entry – child, £2.50; adult, £5.

Festive event

The village store and coffee shop holds their Christmas event on December 9 (1-4pm). Various offers available. Coffee and mince pie for £1.


Monthly coffee morning on December 9 in the church from 10.30am-noon.


This will take place in the Plough Hotel on December 9 at 8pm – proceeds to Yetholm school.


There will be a Christmas bingo night in the Youth Hall on Friday, December 11, at 7pm. Proceeds to Wauchope Hall.


Last week’s craft fair in the Border Hotel raised £345 for the community council which will go towards next year’s Bonfire Night and other events in 2016.


Cheviot Youth’s Christmas fair is on Saturday, December 5, in Yetholm Youth Hall from 10.30am. Donations are needed for the raffle and they can be brought to the venue the previous day between 4pm and 6pm, or after 9am on the Saturday. Money raised goes towards activities for children and young people of Yetholm, Morebattle and Kelso. For further information, email Ian at ireid@yetholmtown.plus.com or telephone him on 07958 277766.