District News


Party time

Despite the adverse weather, there was a good turnout for the village Christmas party in the hall. The company was entertained by Master of Ceremonies Fran Selkirk, together with some special carols from across the world sung by Bruce Ogilvie, and accompanied by David Taylor on the piano. The evening included a quiz won by The Elves and the party was rounded off with community singing.


There is an afternoon talk on December 15 at 2pm by Stan Moscrop who will describe his travels across America.


Santa’s Sleigh

Santa Claus will stop his sleigh at Blainslie Village Hall on December 14 with his friends from Lauderdale Rotary Club at 5.30pm, weather permitting – collection for local charitable causes.



President Mary Johnson welcomed members and proceeded to demonstrate the art of Christmas card making. All the members took part and produced cards ready to post to their loved ones. Aline Gobby gave the vote of thanks. Competitions – decorated candle – 1, Sheila Rutherford; 2, Helen Scott; 3, Jean Welsh; favourite Christmas ornament – 1, Sheena Nelson; 2, Margaret Falconer; 3, Helen Scott. The Christmas dinner evening was discussed, as was the AGM of the Roxburghshire Federation which was held last Saturday. Unfortunately, no one was able to represent Burnfoot at this meeting and apologies were to be sent. The new syllabus was discussed. The first meeting is on January 5 at 7pm when two members, Helen and Sheila, will demonstrate the art of paper folding.


Wartime talk

Last Friday evening, Caddonfoot Hall was filled to capacity with an audience who had travelled from all parts of the Borders to hear Mary Sherrard talk about her work at Bletchley Park, the wartime decoding centre. Former Wren Mary and many servicemen and women, along with civilian specialists, were at the beginning of the computer age using secret machines to decode German wartime messages. The work at Bletchley Park was so secret that it was not until the 1970s that the public began to hear of it. It is estimated that the experts at Bletchley Park shortened the war by almost two years, saving countless lives. What made Mary’s story so special was that at the age of 92 she was able to stand for an hour to deliver her talk. Some of the audience were able to share their much more recent memories of time spent at Bletchley Park.

Parish church

The Reverend Duncan McCosh, retired minister of St Peter’s Episcopal Church in Galashiels, returned to Caddonfoot to conduct morning worship on Sunday. The two Advent calendars were lit by Sheena Birch and the Bible reading delivered by Roddy Beatson. Music was played by Margaret Blyth and Anne Grieve. It was also Gift Sunday when members of the congregation brought financial gifts for the Borders Children’s Charity. There was also a short afternoon communion service. There will be a brief kirk session meeting after the service next Sunday when minister Elspeth Harley will preach. John and Irene Bruce and Joyce Brown used their artistic talents to erect the Christmas tree and decorate the church. Members were asked to save their disused Christmas stamps for the Eden Valley Hospice charity.


Soup kitchen

The United Parish Church realised £249 at its November soup and sweet lunches, and table-top sale in the village hall. There will be no soup kitchen this month, the next fundraiser being in January.



The village hall will host a charity whist on December 28 at 7pm.


Parish church

Saturday is Messy Church in the church hall from 10.30am-1pm. The December 13 service at 10.15am will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods. December 14 – carol service in Hanover at 3pm. December 20 – DIY nativity at 10.15am in the church which will stay open until 6pm for quiet reflection. On Christmas Eve there is a service at 6.30pm for families, with a traditional (watchnight) gathering at 11.15pm. Christmas Day at 10.15am – bring

along a present to show.

Santa’s Sleigh

Santa Claus will be visiting the town square on his sleigh on December 14 with his friends from Lauderdale Rotary Club at 6.15pm, weather permitting – collection for local charitable causes.



Carols in the village hall with Selkirk Silver Band takes place on December 14 (7.15pm). Tickets (£4 adults, £1.50 youngsters) available

from Linda (01750 52257), and includes mince pies and punch at half-time.


Trinity church

The Reverend Duncan McCosh led worship on Sunday, with Dorothy Howden doing the same with music. Children from the Kidz Klub lit the first two candles – it being the second Sunday in Advent. It was also Gift Sunday at Trinity and the children collected the many gifts from the congregation and placed them at the base of the Christmas tree. These gifts will be passed on to the Family Support Service in Galashiels and will go to vulnerable children and their families. The guild Christmas lunch was held on Tuesday.Rehearsals continue for “Who put the X Factor into Christmas?” – an entertaining telling of the Christmas story in words and song. This will be performed by members of the church on December 18 at 7pm in the church. Entry by donation and tea, coffee and mince pies will be served at the interval. The next rehearsal is on December 13 at 2pm.

Scout post

Galashiels Scouts are gearing up for their Christmas card delivery service. The cost to post a card is 20p for addresses in Galashiels, Clovenfords and Tweedbank, with proceeds going to the local Scout group funds. The last posting day is December 18. Scout post boxes are situated at The Trophy Guy, Scott Street Convenience Store, Scottish Building Society, Wood Street Shop,

Tweedbank Shop, Langlee Spar and Clovenfords Shop. Galashiels Scout Group is grateful to these businesses for their support.



The hall AGM was held on November 30. New committee – Matt Tile (chairperson), Catherine Turner (vice-chair), Christine Rodger (treasurer), Nicola Galloway (secretary and minutes), Harry Jeffrey, Wendy Hickson, Mary Beaton,

Ena Lunn, David Kerr and Joan Badger.


The old-time dancing party night is on December 10 (7.30pm) with Jack Borthwick. Bring and share supper.


The community Christmas party is on December 12 – more information from JVCC members.


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

Floral demonstration

A Christmas floral art demonstration, plus hands-on session afterwards, will be held on December 16 (6.30pm). Tea coffee and mince pies.


The SWI Christmas lunch was a great time, with lovely food enjoyed by members.


Bridge club

December 1 – 1, John & Marian Miller; 2, Mike Tuson & Bob Witherington; 3, Mary Millar & Patsy Gilligan.

Callants Club

Hawick Callants Club AGM was held in the Border Club.President Frank Scott was in the chair and approximately 50 members were present. Secretary Brian Tait’s report covered the annual dinner in March, the congratulatory smoker for Cornet Hepburn in May and the reception for the provost and chief guest of the common riding, after the colour bussing in June. The club provided prizes to primary school essay winners and awards, from the David Ferguson Trust, to the winners for geography and special achievement at the high school prizegiving. In common riding week, the club delivered flowers to local homes and hospitals, and organised the shop window competition. Vice-president Bernie Armstrong attended the ANZAC day parade in London in April, on behalf of the club, before running in the London Marathon the following day. In this centenary year of the Gallipoli campaign, members organised a ceremony on July 12 at The Horse. The Club also organised a visit to Gallipoli in July where President Frank Scott lead a group of members, relations and friends to see the battle zones where the allied armies had fought the Turkish army from April to December 1915. Crosses were laid at the known graves of local soldiers. The club is giving a presentation about the Gallipoli visit to the archaeological society on February 2 in the town hall at 7.30pm. The club also presented Gallipoli memorabilia to the museum for its newly-refurbished war room. An information board is being prepared to assist visitors to the town to understand the role of cornet. The Boundary Commission had proposed reducing the number of Hawick councillors from six to four, and the club has been in correspondence with the commission, arguing on several fronts for the status quo to prevail. The club’s website editor, Dave Bogle, has retired – a replacement is being sought. Office bearers and officials elected – secretary, Brian Tait; treasurer, Scott Elliot; chaplain, Reverend Charles Finnie; accompanist, Ian Landles. The three members of the council elected to replace Neil Anderson, Ross Cameron and Jim Peat, who retire by rotation, were Drew Penman, Jamie McHugh and Norman Taylor. They join, ex-Cornet David Blacklock, Norman Leadbetter, Mark Palmer, David Chapman, Malcolm Grant and ex-Cornet Jamie Richardson. President for 2016 is Bernie Armstrong, with David Chapman vice-president. The annual dinner will be held at Hawick Rugby Club on March 4. A DVD presentation of the trip to Gallipoli was then shown.


Macfie Hall

Over the past few years, the Heriot community has been undertaking consultations and inviting architects to bid for the redevelopment of the Macfie Hall to turn it into a community hub fit for the 21st century. As with all big projects, things take time to sort out, funding pots need to be identified and the vision can become less clear to the community. It has therefore been decided to host a coffee morning on December 12 (10.30am) to re-engage villagers with this project.


Towford SWI

News of Rita Park’s death was announced at the Christmas meeting on December 1. She was one of the original ladies who restarted Towford WRI in November 1954 after a break of 15 years due to the war. In November last year – at the 60th birthday party – Rita was able to celebrate being a member for all those 60 years. She was an excellent baker and won many prizes, both at rural and local shows. Although she had been unable to attend meetings this year due to ill health, she always retained an interest in the group’s activities. The Christmas meeting was held at the Carter’s Rest, Jedburgh. After dinner the Ann Douglas Trophy was presented to Francis Armstrong and the Elizabeth Scott Trophy jointly to Jean Douglas and Diana Tweedie. Lucky dip festive presents completed the evening. The January meeting is on the 5th in Hownam Hall at 7.30pm. Competition – prettiest cup and saucer.



The service on Sunday, December 13, will be at 11.30am in Innerleithen Church.



The club has received recognition from Rotary International for being proportionately the largest net financial contributor of all the clubs in Rotary District 1020 (South of Scotland) towards the End Polio Now campaign to eliminate the disease throughout the world. The award will come in the form of a certificate, which will be presented at the District AGM this month. District Governor Andy Ireland visited the club and delivered an inspiring speech, commending local Rotarians’ charitable work. Some club members travelled to Dundee for the three-day district conference. Charities supported at the conference included Parkinson’s UK and Dundee foodbanks. Sales of the Jedburgh Rotary calendar are going well. The club enjoyed a presentation by local man Clive Watson who spoke about his time in the RAF. Members were also given a talk by Steve Turnbull from Heads Together, an organisation which the club supports. This charity helps people who suffer the effects of head injuries. It has a respite caravan at Berwick, which the Rotary club has supported in recent years. This is used by other caring organisations from the Borders and other regions of the UK. Jedburgh’s annual Riverside Rock also gives support. This month members helped with Jedburgh Winter Festival, beginning at 5 pm with Santa’s sleigh riding up the High Street, led by the pipe band. Children were able to visit Santa in the Town Hall, assisted by his elves. The annual Christmas dinner with partners will be at the Carter’s Rest on December 17, with entertainment by accordion player and singer Stuart Anderson of Stow. Members begin 2016 with a visit to the Melrose club to play in the district quiz.


Sue Ryder are having a table-top sale in the town hall on December 18 from 10am-4pm. Tables are available for £10 each. More information – phone 01835 864662 or pop into the Sue Ryder shop, Canongate, and ask for Nikki or Carol-Anne.

Thanksgiving service

Funeral directors A. Oliver & Sons have issued an open invitation to the public in respect of their annual thanksgiving service on December 15 at 6.30pm in the firm’s service room at 43 Bongate. As well as seasonal singing, there will be a time of remembrance and reflection, plus refreshments afterwards.

Bridge club

November 30 – N/S – 1, M. Weightman & H. Long; 2, M. Forsythe & P. Harris; 3, B. & I. Middleton; E/ W – 1, D. & P. Palmer; 2, R. Oates & S. West; 3, M. Allen & T. Davidson.

Lunch club

The Borders Voluntary Older People’s Services weekly lunch club held at the Jed Thistle pavilion goes from strength to strength and, as a result, more volunteers are needed. Anyone interested should telephone Isobel on 07592 006903.


Jedburgh Youth Project Film Club presents Cinderella on Monday, December 14, in the town’s community and arts centre – doors open 6pm, film starts 6.15pm, tuck shop open 6pm. For further information and to get details of the rest of the season’s films, contact Ian at ianrendallreid@cheviotyouth.co.uk or telephone him on 07958 277766.

Historical society

The society’s next meeting is on December 10 at 7.30pm in the British Legion when Norrie McLeish talks about “The ghost that danced at Jethart”. At the last meeting president Chris Veitch spoke about some of “Jedburgh’s Forgotten History”, focusing on buildings, people and incidents that had slipped out of the town’s mainstream history. A number of Jedburgh’s “old timers” contributed to the evening.


Museum friends

Friends of Kelso Museum members had a talk by their chairman, Derek Robeson, who took his audience on a journey around the town from pre-Ice Age to the present with some wonderful shots of Kelso as it is today. In another presentation, Isabel Gordon, who replaced the scheduled speaker, spoke on “Bruce’s Legacy” – the story of the Stuarts from Robert the Bruce to Charles II. The next series of talks begin on March 2 when The Heritage Hub Team and Volunteers will talk about the “Kelso Archives”.

Farmers’ market

A farmers’ market will be held in The Square on December 19 (9.30am-1.30pm).

Thursday Group

Peter Symms spoke about Andreas Scheu, born in Vienna in 1844, whose radical politics caused him to flee to Scotland where became a seminal figure in the Scottish Land and Labour League, a friend of George Bernard Shaw and William Morris. Today features Alan Dougal’s “Fishy Tales” and the Christmas tea – 2pm, Abbey Row Centre. The spring programme opens on January 14.

Bridge club

December 2 – Celtic Sim. Pairs – N/S – 1, Bob Stevenson & Annie Mitchell; 2, Val Fairbairn & Jean Bunyan; 3, Dominic & Diana Alkin. E/W – 1, Lynda Douglas & Lesley Dick; 2, Maureen Weightman & Helen Long; 3, Gerry Eglington & Jon Bridger. December 3 – Teams of Four – 1, Jean Henry & Myra Thomson, Jim Stone & Keith Ackerman; 2, Rena Stewart & Maureen Weightman, Avril Ronald & Donald Swanson; 3, Marion Miller & Chris Anthony, Richard Oates & Sheena West.


Art exhibition

The district art club opened its Christmas exhibition in the Information Hub for the first time, and there was a good turnout. President Jessie

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From page 37

Martin welcomed everyone and those who attended were able to enjoy Christmas cake, mince pies, shortbread and wine or soft drinks. There is a wide variety of paintings on show and for sale.

Beard fundraising

Wull Little, from Bentpath recently grew a beard, then decided he could make money for a good cause if he had it removed. Wull sat on a chair in the High Street and the beard was shaved off by hairdresser Janie Hotson, raising around £230 in sponsorship which is being given to the Thomas Hope Hospital.


Justin Sinclair, head teacher of the Academy and primary, and Canonbie primary, bid farewell to pupils, staff and parents last week. He was presented with a special bottle of whisky and a painting of the view from the Academy art classroom window, which had been done by S3 pupil Luke Bell. Lindsay Brown takes up the post of acting head teacher and Alison Nicol is now acting depute head teacher. Mr Sinclair is moving to be head teacher at Earlston High School.


Meet Santa

Local children will have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus in his grotto at the Lauderdale Hotel on December 12 (10am-4pm) when the Rotary club hosts a Christmas craft sale and art exhibition by Lauder Art Group, plus teas and coffees, tombola and a children’s art competition. Santa will also be making his way around the town on his sleigh over two evenings – December 18 and 19 – with his friends from Lauderdale Rotary Club, weather permitting – collection for local charitable causes.


Historical association

On December 15 at 7.30pm in the upper hall of the Ormiston, Melrose Historical and Archaeological Association will present “Crimes of an Heinous Nature”. Margaret Fox will draw on her extensive research in the High Court of Justiciary Case Papers and Lord Cockburn’s “Circuit Journeys” to illuminate the past in a unique way by looking into the darker side of life across the Borders during the 18th and 19th centuries. Following the lecture tea/coffee/soft drinks, mince pies, shortbread and other Christmas treats will be served in the William Hill Room. All welcome. Members free – £3 for visitors.

Christmas parade

Melrose Christmas Parade, organised by local Rotarians, is on December 12. It assembles at the old petrol station at 5.30pm to be led off by Melrose Pipe Band and heads to The Square where St Boswells Silver Band will entertain with carols. Santa Claus will welcome children to his grotto in the Corn Exchange where mulled wine, juice and mince pies will be served. The Rotary Club of Melrose Christmas draw will be made during the evening. Old and young are encouraged to dress up as their favourite characters.

Parish church

December 11 – 10am, St Mary’s School service; December 12 – 10am, Newstead coffee morning; December 13 – services at Bowden, 9.30am; Melrose, 10am (gift service), 11am morning worship; 7.30pm, Eildon Singers Christmas concert; December 16 – midweek service and Christmas lunch.


Planning for the possible museum extension goes on apace. A preliminary meeting was held last week in Edinburgh with a representative of the Heritage Lottery Fund to ensure that the trust was working along the right lines and not, out of misplaced modesty, hiding the international status of the site which James Curle had excavated in 1905-10, Richmond in 1947 and Bradford in 1989-98, the completion of the as yet unwritten report of which might also be a bonus and a catalyst for future development, if it could be included in the proposed scheme. A Heritage Corridor from Abbotsford to Tweedbank, Melrose, Newstead, Old Melrose and the Monteath Mausoleum above Lilliardsedge might well be a growing asset to the Borders.


Coffee morning

The coffee morning for CLIC Sargent raised £640. Winner of the teddy bear was Jenny Thomson and the chocolates were won by Marian Currie.


Morebattle School held a coffee morning on Friday when over £700 was raised.


Members held their annual social night with dinner at the Templehall Hotel. Various business items were discussed. The church choir was due to sing at the annual church service of lessons and carols in Jedburgh on Sunday, but this was cancelled due to the roads being closed by flooding.


Carol singing round the Christmas tree was held on Sunday night and the tree lights were switched on by Kym Cessford, Games Queen. Refreshments were held in the institute and the collection for Queens House raised more than £70.



A festive feel – members wearing Christmas jumpers, hats with flashing lights and the venue decorated with lights – was generated at the December meeting in Teviothead Hall. Members sampled mulled wine and settled down to be entertained. Pat Douglas introduced Hilary Bell and her choir, SIN (Safety In Numbers), who sang for the gathering, with members joining in. Caroline Tullie, proposing the vote of thanks, said it was the first time the rural had an all-female choir and audience. Competitions – doggie stocking – 1, Muriel Baptie; 2, Jan Cheytwyn; 3, Larraine Lord (these, along with others, were donated to Beagle Welfare).Liqueur – 1, Kirstie Duncan; 2, Jan Cheytwyn; 3, Jan Little. The January 5 meeting will start at 7pm, when Maria Termaat gives a talk on witchcraft (remember mugs). Competitions – slice of Christmas cake and a cat ornament. There will be a gathering in the hall on December 20 (2pm) to which all are invited.


Santa’s Sleigh

Santa Claus will make his way around the village on his sleigh on Tuesday, December 15, with his friends from Lauderdale Rotary Club, 5.30 start, weather permitting – collection for local charitable causes.



Rehearsals are in full swing for the Association of Selkirk Clubs and Societies pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk which will be performed in the Victoria Halls on December 28 (7.15pm) and 29 (2pm and 7.15pm). Tickets are available from the Scott’s Selkirk shop in Market Place Square, priced £8 and £4.



A Christmas food fair will be held on December 13 (10am-3pm) in Southdean Hall.



See Newmill section.



There will be a service at 10am in Traquair Kirk on December 13.



The next service in Walkerburn Public Hall will be on Sunday, December 20, at 10am.



Christmas bingo will be held in the Youth Hall at 7pm on December 11.


Yetholm Village Choir members perform their Christmas concert at Ancrum church on Sunday, December 13, at 7.30pm. A retiring collection will be taken.


Members will meet on Tuesdsay, December 15, at 2.30pm in Yetholm church when Bea Nicholson will take them on “A Journey Through Scotland”. New members are always welcome.