Members enjoyed a Christmas party in the village hall, with entertainment from Mrs Dorricott and Mrs Munro. Competition winners for chocolate truffles – 1, R.Sinton; 2, J. McDonald; 3, J. Butler.


Carol singing

Carol singing at Bowden Village Hall will take place on December 20 at 6.30pm, followed by mulled wine and mince pies.



Members enjoyed a meal out at The Waggon, Kelso. They all brought a wrapped present, which was judged by one of the staff to decide who the winners of the best-wrapped parcels were. The gifts were all distributed after the judging – 1, Mary Thompson; 2, Elizabeth Bruce; 3, Joan Turnbull.


Parish church

The Reverend Elspeth Harley returned after her injury to take the service on Sunday and hopes to return on a regular basis in January. She was loudly applauded by the congregation. The three Advent calendars were lit by young Grace Decoteau, the Bible reading delivered by Jo Lawson, and music played by Andy and Catriona Bird. The collection for Borders Children’s Charity has so far raised £213. The kirk session agreed to donate the watchnight service collection to Shelter. Sunday will see the children and teachers take part in a nativity play.



Winner of the Ruberslaw Church quiz was Mrs R. W. Brodie, Bramble Wood, Cavers. The sum of £100 was raised for church funds.


Parish church

Sunday sees the DIY nativity at 10.15am and the service will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods. The church remains open until 6pm this day for quiet reflection. The Christmas Eve family play – The Grumpy Innkeeper – is at 6.30pm in the church, followed by a watchnight service at 11.15pm. The Praise and

Presents service on Christmas Day is at 10.15am. Bring along a present to show. The service on December 27 at 10.15am will be conducted by members of the worship team.



Members held their Christmas night out at the Carters’ Rest in Jedburgh. The annual Silver Salver award was won jointly by Gail Chandler and Margaret Linton, and third was Christine Tucker.



A New Year’s Day bowling tournament will be held in Kirkhope village hall in aid of the Selkirk-based Scottish H.A.R.T. charity. Entries to Linda (01750 52238) or Eileen (01750 52715).


Camera club

Gala Camera Club was fortunate to secure the services of Stuart Scott, from Blainslie, to judge its monthly competition, entitled “Close Up”, at members’ latest meeting. Stuart was Mammal photographer of the Year in 2014 with a stunning image of a hare and his knowledgable critique was much appreciated by his audience. Prints – 1, Janet Kennedy; 2, Christine Swalwell; 3, Alan Kennedy. Commended – Janet Kennedy, Ford Renton (2), Gordon Swalwell. DPI – 1, Ford Renton; 2, Alan Kennedy; 3, Gordon Swalwell.Commended – Alan Kennedy, Christine Swalwell, Gordon Swalwell, David Usher. Next meeting is on January 6, featuring a quiz hosted by Christine Swalwell.

Scout post

The posting deadline for Galashiels Scout Post is tomorrow (December 18) when Christmas cards will be collected from boxes at The Trophy Guy, Scott Street Convenience Store, Scottish Building Society, Wood Street Shop, Tweedbank Shop, Langlee Spar and Clovenfords Shop. The cost to post a card is 20p for addresses in Galashiels,

Clovenfords and Tweedbank, with proceeds going to Galashiels Scout Group funds.

Pop-up shop

Christmas shoppers in Galashiels can pop in to a pop-up shop and help support their local football club on the last Saturday before Christmas.

Gala Fairydean Rovers has been given the use of the Borders Sport and Leisure premises on the Douglas Bridge Arcade in the town on Saturday, December 19, from 9.30am-12.30pm.

The club has organised a cake and candy stall, a charity book sale, games for children using an indoor football goal and target wall, as well as selling souvenir club merchandise such as hats, scarves and badges that will be ideal for last minute stocking fillers.

The club will also be launching a new Patrons Scheme for the year 2016 and certificates can be purchased on the day.

For further information, contact club secretary Graeme McIver on 07738 615562, email graememciver@btinternet.com or visit gfrfc.co.uk

Trinity church

The Reverend Marion Dodd led worship and Dorothy Howden did same on Sunday. Bill Cheyne read the lessons. The choir opened the service and three girls from the Kidz Jlub lit the third advent candle. The Christingle service on Christmas Eve is at 6pm in the church, with the watchnight carol service (11pm) at Caddonfoot Church. “Who put the X factor into Christmas?” is on December 18 at 7pm in Trinity, which will also host a family service on December 20 (11.15am).

Burns club

Galashiels Burns Club’s annual supper will take place in the Volunteer Hall on January 22. Sheriff Kevin Drummond will propose the “Immortal Memory”, with the toast to “The Lasses” conducted by Hawick-based lawyer Rory Bannerman. Kevin Ryalls, rector at Galashiels Academy, will give the address to “The Land O’ Cakes – Caledonia”. There are two breaks from tradition – members are asked to arrive in the hall between 6.15-6.45pm and be seated to allow the supper to begin at 7pm; and the wreath-laying ceremony to mark the Bard’s birthday is on January 22 at 2pm, instead of the following Saturday morning. Tickets are available from committee members.


Lunch club

The Christmas lunch club gathering was well attended and there was a range of soups to choose from, followed by a plate full of Christmas goodies.


Jedburgh Brass Band will be at Glendouglas Hall on December 21 (7pm) to join locals round the Christmas tree

for a carol service led by the Reverent Marion Dodd.


Book tickets from John Currie.



Gill Harrop, president, welcomed members to the Christmas party with games, and a supper provided by the committee. A special raffle for an apron, created by Rosie McDonald, was won by Brenda Wright. Competition for a hand-made Christmas star – 1, Lesley Abernethy; 2, Joan Little; 3, Sandra White. A presentation of a certificate and floral arrangement was made to Lilian Whellans, to mark her continuous membership of the Heiton institute for over 50 years. The happy evening ended with carol singing.



On December 20 at 11.30am, there will be a service in Innerleithen Church, followed by a similar event at St Ronan’s House (4pm). A Christmas Day service, starting at 11am, will be held in the church.


Bridge club

December 7 – 1, M. Weightman & H. Long; 2, S. Graham & J. Urquhart; 3, D. Palmer & P. Palmer; 4, P. Harris & M. Forsythe; 5, V. Johnstone & M. Miller.


Bridge club

December 10 – match-pointed pairs – N/S – 1, Dominic & Diana Alkin; 2, Bob Stevenson & Lee Leeson; 3, Avril Ronald & Donald Swanson; E/W – 1, Chris Anthony & Margot McVie; 2, Gerry Eglington & Jon Bridger; 3, Jim Rodgers & Bill Elliot.

Thursday Group

The autumn session ended with the Christmas tea. Speaker Alan Dougal used entertaining anecdotes from his life to illustrate the history of the Eyemouth fishing industry. Members will shortly receive their spring syllabus and meetings start on January 14 with film clips selected by Stan Yates – 2pm, Abbey Row Centre.


Kelso North Church guild met last Thursday when Jamie McKenzie and his choir were welcomed by Margaret Aitken. The choir gave a Christmas concert with songs both serious and light-hearted. Members joined in the singing of several carols. Irene Urquhart thanked the choir on behalf of the guild and the committee provided supper to end the evening. A joint meeting of the guild and Women Together will be held on January 7 when Anne Wright speaks about her trip to Romania,



There was a turnout of 26 members in the Eskdale Hotel for the last meeting of 2015. They were welcomed by president Harry Aitken who reminded them that this was the final opportunity to book and pay for the Christmas lunch to be held in the hotel later in the month. He also noted the thanks from the day centre for the club’s contribution to their Christmas lunch. The president then introduced the speaker, fellow member Tom Scott, and his subject was wine. Tom quoted Hugh Johnson, wine writer, that we are in the “Golden age of wine” and explained why it was so expensive. He talked about supermarket wine and said that 98% of it bought in the United Kingdom is consumed within 48 hours. He warned about the problems of online purchase and how he was concerned that independent merchants were being squeezed out of business. Tom went on to note the changes in wine, and how climate change is having the effect of increasing the alcoholic content of some. Jack Rae proposed the vote of thanks.



President Senga Towers welcomed members and visitors, along with speaker Anne Clark, to this month’s meeting. Anne, an ex-president of Lauder SWI, gave a floral art demonstration. She and her daughter, Helen, were thanked for judging the competitions – assorted marzipan sweets – 1, Annette Holton; 2, Wendy Bryson; 3, Sheila Hardie; favourite Christmas tree decoration – 1, Wendy Bryson; 2, Carol Batchelor; 3, Janet Laidlaw. Annette Holton and Sheila Hardie organised the raffle, and Anne donated all her floral arrangements. The president provided supper. An exchange of Christmas gifts also took place. The next meeting is the Scots Night on January 15 in the Lauderdale Hotel at 7.30pm – names to Janette Waldie (01578 722273). Competitions – three pieces of flapjack and a Scottish necklace.


Window contest

The Christmas window competition organised by local Rotarians was won by Henderson’s, awarded a voucher donated by Burt’s Hotel. Runner-up and third were Simply Delicious and FI Essence respectively.


More than 100 adults and children took part in the Melrose Christmas Parade on Saturday. Organised by the town’s Rotary Club, the procession left St Mary’s School, led by Melrose Pipe Band to the square where the enthusiastic crowd took part in carol singing, accompanied by St Boswells Silver Band. Santa then made an appearance and led the children into his grotto in the Corn Exchange where they received presents. The company then enjoyed mulled wine and mince pies.

Parish church

At the children’s giftservice at Melrose, the Giant Advent Calendar made its appearance. The partner church in Malawi had finally, with Melrose financial help, finished building their manse and that a Mission Fund rebate was being sent to a house-building programme in Nepal. December 18 – Melrose PS Christmas service, 9.30am; December 20 – services at Bowden, 9.30am, and Melrose, 11am; “Messiah”, by Waverley Consort at Melrose, 7.30pm.

Eildon Singers

The Christmas concert in the church under James Young, with six instrumentalists and Claire Taylor, soprano soloist, included carols for all and also Geoffrey Bush’s Christmas Cantata, Pergolesi’s Magnificat and Faure’s Pavane, as well as the conductor’s arrangements of Herrick’s Carol and the Israeli ‘Maya Fe’. Refreshments were served at the interval and the audience’s singing was so good that they were invited to come to the weekly practices on a Wednesday evening in The Ormiston.


The newspapers are full of recommendations for Christmas reading. At the Trimontium “bookstore” the new Keppie book on the Antonine Wall has arrived and it is reported that his book on the Roman Remains in Scotland is being republished.



President Mary Pringle welcomed everyone to the December meeting and thanked the old committee for their help during the past year. New committee – president, Mary Pringle; vice-president, Catherine Mabon; secretary, Marie France Taylor; treasurer, Sheila Elliot; press secretary, Janette Stenhouse; magazine rep., Brenda Dixon; tea hostesses, Liz Watson and Marion Dumma; committee – Nancy Anderson, Frances Common, Jenny Flannigan, Linda Nairn, Sandra Redhead. Mary then introduced Gail Watson who gave a demonstration entitled “Flowers for Christmas” and she donated the arrangements to the raffle. An appreciative vote of thanks was given by Helen Cessford. Two quizzes devised by Sheila Elliot were competed for before members enjoyed a festive supper.


There is a joint service in Morebattle Church on Sunday, December 20, at 11.15am when the choirs of Yetholm and Morebattle churches, and the Cool Club, take part in morning worship. Tea/coffee will be served before the service.


There will be a quiz in the Templehall Hotel on Sunday, December 27 (7.30 for 8pm). Teams drawn on the night.


The village hall will host an Auld Year’s Night party (7.30pm to 12.30am). Bring own bottle, party food provided and admission is free (children must be accompanied by an adult). Names with numbers should be added to the list which is in the village shop.


Christmas lights

The Christmas lights switch-on in the village was postponed from Saturday, December 5, due to horrendous weather and concerns about safety. However, Liddesdale Ladies Amenities Group (LLAG) were able to reschedule for the following Monday (December 7) and got things underway at 6pm. Tub Elliot was welcomed by Alice Forster, LLAG chairperson, who welcomed everyone and thanked them for their continued support. Watched by a good crowd, Tub Elliot switched on the lights. Everyone then enjoyed mince pies and shortbread with hot mulled wine, and warm juice for the children. Organisers are grateful to Copshaw Com

Turn to page 34

From page 33

mon Riding committee for providing the sound system and music.



There will be a traditional carol service in Traquair Kirk on December 24 at 7pm.



There will be a service at 10am in the Public Hall on December 20.


On Monday, December 21, there is carol singing round the village, starting at 6pm in Caberston Avenue and Tweedholm Avenue, followed by refreshments at Caberston Cafe at 7pm.



Members enjoyed a talk and demonstration on scarf tying by Caroline from Liberty Star from Selkirk. The competition winners were Jen Scott (first) and Margaret Robinson (second) for the flask of soup. Winner of the favourite brooch – 1, Annie Coltherd; 2, Jean Scott. Cis Darling won the raffle. Betty Fraser cut the institute’s 90th birthday cake which was enjoyed with the evening’s supper. The 90th birthday party and Christmas meal was held at the Philipburn Hotel. The evening finished with a Secret Santa. The next meeting is on January 12 and features a talk on oil rig nursing. Competitions – snow scene Christmas card and two mince pies.



Yetholm school is holding its end-of-term Christmas service in the village church on Friday, December 18. It begins at 10.30am and all are welcome to attend.


A quiz night will be held on Wednesday, December 23 at 8pm in the Plough Hotel. Proceeds of this event will go to Children’s Hospice Association Scotland.

Christmas meal

On your own this Christmas?

Food donated by Lidl, Sainsbury’s and The Factory Shop will be used to provide a Christmas Day meal (2-5pm) in the Youth Hall. There is also music and board games, plus time to have a chat with others.