District News


Camera group

Members appreciated Jim Ross’ interesting and helpful talk on ambient light. The next session is on February 22 and features Lloyd Smith, who will give a presentation on producing videos with a digital camera. Visitors welcome.


The February meeting welcomed Lorna Balfour who spoke about her travels in Latin America, illustrated with slides. She then judged the competition – jar of marmalade – 1, Gill McIntosh; 2, Ann Stewart; 3, Sarah Gant. The next meeting is on March 9 with a hands-on demonstration by Beadelicious in Kelso.



For the February meeting, members were introduced to some gentle exercise. The members thoroughly enjoyed the session. There was great hilarity at times and, hopefully, no aches and pains the next day. The competition was won by Elizabeth Drummond; second, Val Douglas; third, Jeanette Farquhar.


Parish church

The Street Pastors scheme is to be launched in Galashiels next month, and in Caddonfoot Parish Church on Sunday, the Reverend Elspeth Harley and session clerk Anne Grieve portrayed a presentation of their work aimed at being on hand to help young people when nightclubs shut their doors. The Bible reading was delivered by Atholl Innes and Fay Brydon read the prayers. Music was led by Margaret Blyth and Mrs Grieve, and tea/coffee, under the auspices of John and Irene Bruce, was served after the service. Subscriptions (£24) are now due for Life & Work and can be paid to Joyce Brown before the end of this month. Bible study began last Wednesday at the manse when members discussed the following Sunday’s readings. There will be a congregational board meeting on February 25 at 7.30pm.



Kirsty Dunlop was speaker at the meeting last Wednesday night. She spoke about her role as one of the Deputy Lord Lieutenants for Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale, as well as an insight into how she went to a small country school, boarding school, college, then into farming. Caroline Tullie, Roxburgh federation chairperson, gave members an update on the AGM at Jedburgh and presented Mary McTaggart, president, with the trophy for the best syllabus. After supper, more business items were discussed. Mary thanked Rea and Morag for the supper.Competition winners – rock buns – Shona Morison, Christine Laidlaw, Liz Calcroft; fridge magnet – Mary McTaggart, Shona Morison, Chrissie Brain.


Lyne Valley will be playing at the last dance of the season on February 26 at 8pm.


February 29 in Cogsmill Hall at 7.30pm.


Lunch club

Earlston Thursday Lunch Club is run independently by a group of local volunteers who provide lunch, social activities and entertainment each week for around 30 members – all over 60 years of age. Members are grateful to Earlston Community Council for a grant to enable a bingo machine to be purchased for use at the weekly meetings.

Parish church

The February 21 service at 10.15am will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods. As it is the third Sunday in the month, there will be the usual monthly communion service at the close of worship. The magazine committee meets in the manse on February 22 at 7.30pm for the proof reading. The spring coffee morning will be held on March 5 from 10am-noon in the church hall. Donations received for the cake and candy and raffle stalls (no alcohol) from 9am on the day.

Wednesday club

The latest meeting was opened by hostess Mrs A. Penman who welcomed Andy and his team from Galashiels fire station who delivered an interesting talk on their work as firefighters, as well as speaking about safety in the home. They also answered questions put to them by members. Competition – a candle – 1, Ms K. Brownlie; 2, Mrs R. Murray; 3, Mrs W. Moffat. The next meeting will be on February 24. Competition – “Hummel Ornament”.



At the February meeting Sheilagh Brown gave an informative talk about her experiences as a veterinary surgeon working with MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) and later with the Animal and Plant Health Agency. In addition, Mrs Brown breeds Skyro horses and spoke enthusiastically about them. Maggie Greenwood served tea. Competitions – horse picture – 1, M. Anderson; 2, J. Dun; 3, R. Wilkes; something made with oats – 1, R. Wilkes; 2, M. Anderson; 3, M. Greenwood. On March 9 Jill Evans will demonstrate breadmaking in Edgerston Hall at 2pm. Visitors welcome.



Stephen Fox, from Alzheimers Scotland, gave a light-hearted, entertaining, yet informative talk on dementia awareness to this month’s meeting. The next gathering is on March 9 when Alma Dowle leads a drawing class.



Oliver Eade spoke about “Around the World in 60 Minutes” at last Thursday’s meeting. He is a retired Borders General Hospital physician consultant and now a writer of more than 100 novels, short stories and plays, as well as a photographer. He showed hundreds of pictures from 20 countries. He has family, relatives or friends in almost every one. Starting with Edinburgh, he said cities are wonderful places for photographs because of interesting characters and impressive buildings. And he carried this on through Dublin and London, where he said a man with a camera has to be careful in case he is mistaken for a terrorist and Paris, where it is probably now the same. In Spain he was fascinated by the flamenco dancers and then on to Switzerland, Italy, where he had to be out early morning in Venice and Florence to get photographs not be dominated by thousands of tourists. Turkey, Russia, including St Petersburg, and then China, where he has a strong affinity as his wife is Chinese with an extensive family there. Oliver then took his audience to Thailand, Japan, Manilla in the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, where he had a brush with an alligator, Hawaii, Texas, Mexico, New York, Vermont, where he had worked for some time, and then back to Melrose with images of the Borders. The next meeting of the club is on February 25 at Kingsknowes Hotel when Dave Potts speaks on “Fair Trade”.

Studio club

Galashiels Studio Club has organised an afternoon session with Barbara Farquhar – “Textures: from paper to bondaweb” – in St Paul’s Church Hall, Scott Street, on February 25. The event runs from 2.15pm until approx. 4pm. Members free/visitors £4. Enquiries to 01896 820023.



Whist drive results – ladies – 1, Sandra Jeffrey; 2, Christine Ballantyne; 3, Hannah Wilson; booby, Jean Rae; gents – 1, Selby Wilson; 2, Cath Turner; 3, Ella Young; booby, Ralph Ramskir; bingo, Jean Rae; sweep, Ray Buchanan, Rita, Christine Ballantine.

Lunch club

The Burns supper was enjoyed by all who attended. A good meal and entertainment

helped the evening go with a swing.


Bridge club

February 9 – N/S – 1, John & Marian Miller; 2, Mike Tuson & Bob Witherington; E/W – 1, Bob Francombe & George Graham; 2, Richard von Slicher & Sam White.


President Alex Bell opened his first meeting introducing the Reverend Douglas Nicol to give a presentation on “Memories of the General Assembly”.Now minister of Hobkirk, Southdean with Ruberslaw, he has attended for more than 40 years and served committees in numerous capacities. He made it clear how diverse the activities of the Church of Scotland are, as well as the many changes he had been involved in and witnessed. Robert Scott gave a vote of thanks.



Twenty members performed gentle fitness exercises, led by Lynn Young, who also spoke about the British Heart Foundation and National Heart Month (February every year). Lynn was asked to judge the competition entries for a sporting photograph – 1, Gill Harrop; 2, Ann Bacon; 3, Elizabeth Cuthbert.


Towford SWI

A member for more than half a century, Margaret Jeffrey has died following a short illness. She was at the centre of the community of Hownam and Kale Water all her life. The rural formed part of her many interests, whether it was as tea hostess or selling raffle tickets. She continued to attend SWI meetings, despite failing health. Her last was the Christmas dinner.


Countdown Club

There will be no further meetings during February. The next gatherings will be on the second and fourth Wednesdays (March 9 and 23) following the usual pattern, with the final meeting of the session on April 13 (all at 10.30am) in Innerleithen Church Hall of Friendship.

Coffee morning

There will be a chance to buy tickets for Innerleithen Opera’s production of Oliver! (March 28 March-April 2) at the society’s annual coffee morning in the Vale Club on February 20 (10am-noon).


Bridge club

February 8 – N/S – 1, V. Johnstone & M. Miller; 2, R. Oates & S. West; 3, M. Purdie & O. Whillans; E/W – 1, M. & H. Ouldcott; 2, D. Cessford & D. Gray; 3, M. Allan & T. Davidson.


Thursday Group

Margaret Jeary used the 1851 census; newspapers; births, marriages and deaths registers; and other records to describe how Kelso folk lived, worked and died in the middle of the 18th century. Today, Keith Hanson has called his talk about the life of James “Paraffin” Young “Fracking: So What’s New?” – Abbey Row Centre, 2pm. February 25 sees Dr John Reid, chairman of the Trimontium Trust, speaks on “Burnswark: a Battle Rediscovered”. Visitors welcome.

Coffee morning

The Kelso branch of the British Heart Foundation will be holding a coffee morning and table-top sale in Kelso North Parish Church hall on February 20 from 10am-noon.

Bridge club

February 10 – Rose Bowl – N/S – 1, Alex Jeffrey & Vanessa Wilson; 2, Dominic & Diana Alkin; 3, Jean Henry & Myra Thomson; E/W – 1, Lynda Douglas & Lesley Dick; 2, Joyce Thomson & Helenor Pratt; 3, Annie Mitchell & Bob Stevenson. February 11 – Millennium Trophy – N/S – 1, John Loudon & Annie Mitchell; 2, Bob Stevenson & Lee Leeson; 3, Jean McLaren & Ken Ross; E/W – 1, Lynda Douglas & Vanessa Wilson; 2, Colin McGrath & Beth Thompson; 3, Margot McVie & Edith Hogg.


Kelso North and Ednam Guild met last Thursday in Kelso North Church. Margaret Aitken, co-ordinator, opened the meeting with a hymn, reading and prayer. Elaine Hutchison spoke about her work over 19 years with the Africa Inland Mission. Her presentation covered Lesotho, Madagascar and Mozambique. The next meeting will be on February 25 when there will be a talk about Guide Dogs for the Blind. Visitors welcome.


Kelso Stitchers will meet on February 23 at 7pm in Abbey Row Centre. Gail Watson, from Border Blooms, is giving a talk/demonstration entitled “The Road to Chelsea”. Visitors welcome (£3). For further information, contact Rineke Sangster on 01573 229414.

Free lunch

Cheviot Youth is running a free lunch with musical entertainment on February 23 at 12.30pm at The Planet (next door to the Border ice rink), Kelso, to celebrate the end of its second Budget, Shop, Store and Cook (BSSC) project. To book a table, email Ian at ianrendallreid@cheviotyouth.co.uk or ring/text him on 07958 277766.


New appointment

The new head teacher of the academy, primary and Canonbie primary cluster has officially taken up the post. Lindsay Brown, who has been acting head since the start of December, was previously principal teacher of English and modern languages at Annan Academy for eight years.


The local branch of the British Heart Foundation held a sale at the pop-up shop, raising £464. There was bric-a-brac and baking.



Sewing machines were whirring away at the February meeting. Federation president Irene McFadzen gave a demonstration and then had members making tote bags. The colourful results delighted the ladies. Competition winners – sewn spectacle cases – Jean Rodin, Diana Murray and Edith Scott; best brass ornament – Margaret Oliver, Marjorie Lawrie and Jean Rodin. Raffle winners – Valerie Mayo, Evelyn Douglas and Janet Mitchell.


Literary society

At the next meeting on February 23, there will be a talk by Philip Hutton on “John Ruskin – what, why and who he?” Philip, who lives in Peebles, is perhaps best known as a painter, but he is also a teacher of art history and has a long-standing interest in the work of Ruskin, art critic and social reformer. His talk will give a view of the writer’s purposes and achievements, contrast his contemporary readership with recent growth of Ruskin studies and give a re-evaluation of aspects of his personal life. The other focus will be on Ruskin’s book, “Modern Painters”. The meeting starts at 7.30pm upstairs in the Ormiston Institute. Non-members welcome (£3 admission fee). Further information from Peter Hoad, secretary, at peterhoad@aol.com.

Parish church

Despite the Lenten snow, the theme at the Bowden and Melrose services was “journeys”. Bowden coffee morning raised over £340 for the special projects. February 18 – guild, 2.30pm, Henry Borthwick. February 21 – church magazine deadline; services at 9.30am (Bowden) and 11am (Melrose) with the Very Reverend D. Arnott. February 24 – midweek service and lunch.


It seemed a good idea at the time (and proved right in the past) – opening the museum for the schools’ long weekend. But two days’ snow proved discouraging for visitors (so far). Work goes on apace behind the scenes in preparation for the opening at Easter, including recruiting half-day supervisors, by arrangement, to make the public welcome and updating them at the pre-season staff coffee morning. A recent meeting confirmed moral support from Historic Environment Scotland and National Museums en route to a business plan for an extension being put to the Heritage Lottery Fund and a fundraising drive to secure a proportion of match funding if Melrose was fortunate enough to be awarded a capital grant for a building that would be

Turn to page 40

From page 39

worthy of its place in the heritage of Scotland.


Ettrick and Lauderdale JAC is holding its first variety concert on February 20 at the Corn Exchange. The club has been practising since September and it’s a sell-out crowd of 260.



Gail Watson, from Border Blooms, Kelso, gave a demonstration at the February meeting. Self-taught Gail has been in her shop for four years, working from a shed for three years before that. Members gleaned many tips from her – e.g. with tulips the water should be changed every day, and the neck of the tulip should not be pierced. Always cut everything at an angle, and you don’t always need a lot – of flowers for an arrangement. Gail said artificial flowers were popular among brides who like them to be preserved for years to come. She hopes to show again this year at Chelsea flower show. A vote of thanks was proposed by president Irene Cotter. Competitions – floral art – 1, Helen Pearce; 2, Dilys Wheelans; 3, Gweyn Williamson; three chocolate chip cookies – 1, Margot Hastie; 2, Dilys Wheelans; 3, Margaret Rutter. The next meeting is on March 8 when Christine Wright will demonstrate her decoupage eggs. Competitions – small clootie dumpling and a decorated egg.



President Mary Pringle welcomed everyone to the February meeting in the institute and then introduced Trevor Black and his talk, entitled “Cash in the Attic”. A few members had brought along articles of interest to be valued and he gave an insight into those, along with a quiz he had devised, guessing the prices of the articles he had brought. The winner of the quiz was Janette Stenhouse. Brenda Dixon gave the vote of thanks. Competitions – limerick – 1, Grace Cessford; 2, Nancy Anderson; 3, Margaret Blackmore; bracelet – 1, Angela Cook; 2, Nancy Anderson; 3, Brenda Herdman.

Coffee morning

Morebattle Games annual coffee morning was opened by John Mabon who informed those attending that the games began in 1894 and he asked if anyone had any photographs to help compile an archive of Morebattle Games. Approximately £340 was raised. Competition winners – guess the number of sweets, Sheena Murray; plant, Anne Brown; lucky number for box of sweets, Nathan and Marcus Cook; 50/50 draw, Craig Brown/Tamara Cook. Games Queen Kym Cessford drew the raffle.


Morebattle Institute AGM is on February 23 at 7pm in the institute.


Monday Club

At 2pm on February 22 in St Joseph’s Church hall, Amanda Richard will demonstrate gentle chair exercises.

st boswells

Gaelic in the Borders

An illustrated talk (in English) by artist Mary Morrison, entitled “Sea, Music, Mapping”, will be held on February 26 in St Boswells (Lesser) Hall, starting at 7.45pm. This is an open meeting talk.



Aladdin, performed last Friday and Saturday night, realised £595 for hall funds.


A bingo night is being held in the Wauchope Hall at 7pm tonight (Thursday). Proceeds to Yetholm school.


Members meet on February 23 at 2.30pm in Yetholm Church for a talk on The Samaritans.


Community councillors meet on February 23 at 7pm in the Youth Hall. There will be a discussion at the beginning of the meeting about Yetholm Community Trust. All Welcome


Yetholm Shepherds’ Show AGM is on February 25 at 7.30pm in the Wauchope Hall.