District News


Coffee morning

A coffee morning will be held in the village hall on Saturday, July 2, from 10am-noon in aid of the Marie Curie charity.


Children’s theatre

Caddonfoot Hall committee’s next children’s interactive theatre is on Friday, July 1, at 2pm when the Grinagog Children’s Theatre company launches “Row Your Boat”, based on a much-loved nursery rhyme. Come along with one or more children aged 3-7 years, for puppets, live music, audience participation and lots of bubbles. Tickets from Clovenfords shop, phone 07527 800301, email jfoth@btinternet.com or pay at the door. Further events, including live music, talks, adult theatre and a ceilidh, are being arranged.


Civic week

Earlston Civic Week kicks off with an event which has returned for the first time in a decade – the darts, dominoes and pool championships, to be held in the Red Lion. The darts are on Thursday, June 30, at 7pm (registration) for a 7.30pm start; pool and dominoes at 1pm on Saturday, July 2, for a 2pm start. There is silverware to be won for each of the events – the annual Red Lion Cup, which will be given pride of place in the pub trophy cabinet. There’s also a runners-up award. Pre-registration is recommended by phoning Craig Roberston on 07999 963295 or the Red Lion (848994). Entry £2 for one event, £5 for all three, and all cash goes to Civic Week funds. Robert T. Leonard tops the bill in the Friday, July 8, cabaret, supported by Chain Gang and Rebel Rouser. Tickets are on sale in the Black Bull.

Strawberry teas

The strawberry tea party for Breast Cancer held in Earlston Rugby Club raised £726. Organisers are grateful to everyone who donated food, raffle prizes and the rugby club for allowing the use of its facilities.

Parish church

The civic week service is on Sunday, July 3, at 10.15am. It will be held in the church and conducted by the Reverend Julie Woods.


Coffee morning

The next coffee morning and sale in aid of hall funds will be held on Saturday, July 2, between 10am-noon in the hall. Anyone with anything to sell should just turn up, take a table and give a small donation to hall funds.


St Peter’s Church

Thursday, June 30 – 10am, communion service, followed by soup/lunch; Saturday, July 2 – Braw Lad’s Breakfast; Sunday, July 3 – 10.30am, family communion, followed by coffee and chat.


Maximising ambition and thinking big are the philosophies of Galashiels Academy in achieving the best outcomes for all students, head teacher Kevin Ryalls told Rotarians. The school is using the Growth Mindsets method which has been successful in business and sports, and is now being used in schools. An example of use of this method in sport is Gala man Gregor Townsend’s success with Glasgow Warriors. The theory is to embrace challenges, persist and see effort as a path to success. In the Academy, effort is praised and technique is seen as being more important than ability. Success in the school is shown by rugby and hockey tours, fashion show and other events which focus on individual skills rather than only academic achievement.

Trinity Church

There was a joint service last Sunday with Caddonfoot Church, and the congregation welcomed Braw Lad Mark Hood, Braw Lass Alex Mundell and their attendants for the Kirkin’ o’ the Braw Lad. The church was full and Elspeth Harley conducted proceedings. The Braw Lad and Lass read lessons, while music was provided by Dorothy Howden. Mark and Alex presented children with books as it was the last day of Sunday School at both churches. At Trinity, Katie and Eve received Bibles as they will be moving on to the Academy after the summer break, and Olivia was also given a Bible. The youngsters from Caddonfoot Youth received books. In return, the children gave the principals ‘good luck’ cards which they had designed and made. The minister then presented the Braw Lad and Lass with Bibles from the Gala Fellowship of Churches. Presentations were also made to the leaders of both Sunday Schools as they are all retiring after many years service. After the service, tea, coffee, sandwiches and cakes were served in the church hall. Thanks go to the ladies who prepared the sandwiches, traybakes etc., and who served teas and coffees.



Members and visitors enjoyed an ‘Evening with the Callant’ last Wednesday. It was well attended and the Callant and his Right and Left-Hand Men, along with the new Herald, proved popular. Members provided supper.


Bridge club

June 21 – 1, Mary Millar and Patsy Gilligan; 2, George Graham and Bob Francombe; 3, Valerie Johnstone and Marion Miller.


President Mairhi Trickett welcomed members to the latest meeting when Charlotte Young gave an illustrated talk on the project she is putting in place to help cancer victims. In the past the solution to serious illnesses like cancer was to take to bed for a few weeks. This has now been found to be counter-productive and the new thinking is that movement can actually help recovery and make the patient feel better. Charlotte, herself a cancer survivor, has undertaken to put “Move More Borders”, in association with Macmillan Cancer Support, into operation, initially in Galashiels and Hawick, with the intention of rolling it out across the Borders. She is looking to recruit volunteers and cancer survivors to assist in running classes. There is no intention to run marathons, but doing something, no matter how little, is better than doing nothing and helps improve patients’ expectations and well-being. All the activites are free of charge and patients will meet others in various locations. Past president Andrew Suddon proposed a vote of thanks.


Church open

Innerleithen Parish Church will be open on Sunday, July 3, from 2-4pm for visitors to see the refurbished church and Runic Shaft.


There will be breakfast at 8.30am, followed by a short service at 9am in the Hall of Friendship on Sunday, July 3.

Race entries

Local entries for the American Cup (800 metres handicap) and New Zealand Trophy (200 metres handicap) must be made to Lesley Gillon (07828 476940) no later than Saturday, July 9). No entries for these events will be accepted on the field on Games Saturday (July 16). Both races are for youths aged nine to under-18 years, are confined to Innerleithen, Walkerburn and Traquair.

Football Fives

Entries for the annual Games Week Football Fives (Saturday, July 9) are now being accepted. To enter, contact Steven Notman on 07792 092118.


Volunteers are required to carry blankets for the collections during the fancy dress parade on Thursday, July 14, and the flower parade on Saturday, July 16. Those willing to help are asked to contact Games committee treasurer Norman Scott on 07514 337659.


Organisers are hoping as many people as possible will decorate their homes to help brighten the town for its most important week of the year. Anyone who wishes to have their house judged for the fancy dress parade must give their name to Stewart Wilson (07912 848009) no later than 8pm on Wednesday, July 13. Shops and businesses will also be judged, with prizes on offer.

Games committee

The final meeting of St Ronan’s Border Games committee before the festival will take place on Wednesday, July 6, at 7pm in the council chambers, Memorial Hall.


St Ronan’s Games Senior Citizens’ Social is open to all retired folk in the district. It will be held on Thursday, July 7, in the Memorial Hall, with doors open at 7pm. Tickets are free of charge and can be collected from the Thrift Shop. Entertainment will be provided by Bill Harvey and Stuart Henry, with dancing to Graham Halliday. A super will be provided and a bar is available.


Bridge club

June 20: N/S – 1, M. Weightman and H. Long; 2, V. Johnstone and M. Miller; 3, J. Urquhart and J. Kyle; E/W – 1, M. Land and D. Canby; 2, R.Oates and S. West; 3, K. Jackson and P. Nichol.


Bridge club

June 22 match-pointed pairs: N/S – 1, Rena Stewart and Annie Mitchell; 2, Lesley Dick and Lynda Douglas; 3, Alex Jeffrey and Vanessa Wilson; E/W – 1, Ian and Eliz Ross; 2, Gerry Eglington and Jon Bridger; 3, Alison Darling and Mary Logan. June 23 – aggregate pairs – N/S – 1, Dorothy Graham and Lynda Douglas; 2, Rena Stewart and Maureen Weightman; 3, John Urquhart and Janet Kyle; E/W – 1, Alison Ireland and Michael Horwood 2, Gerry Eglington and Jon Bridger; 3, Stuart Graham and John Loudon.



President Harry Aitken welcomed 24 members to the latest meeting in the Eskdale Hotel. After club business had been discussed, the president introduced guest speaker David McVittie, who gave an illustrated talk on Old Langholm. He showed a daguerreotype photograph of the town hall, dated 1840, the oldest-known photo of the town, following with old views of streets and buildings that demonstrated Langholm’s development during the latter part of the 19th, early 20th century. The guest finished with a ‘Then and Now’ series of images, describing the changes some club members remember from their early years, even to the people and families who worked in those changes. A vote of thanks was given on behalf of the members by John Scott. Eight members of the club visited the Eskdalemuir seismology and meteorology stations. The first trip was to the seismology station where the hosts, all locals, explained that the station was originally built in the 1960s during the early years of the Cold War for the primary purpose of monitoring for nuclear tests within the Soviet bloc. The detection devices comprise seismic monitors

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and are arranged as two lines of 10 detectors spaced out over 10km. By combining data with other seismographical sites, it was possible to triangulate the exact location of any nuclear tests. The site continues to monitor on behalf of the non-proliferation treaty, but also provides information in relation to earthquake events anywhere on the globe. A vote of thanks to the seismology team was given by the president. The group then retired to the Eskdale Hub where they enjoyed lunch, before proceeding to the meteorological observatory station for what was anticipated would be a presentation on weather reporting. First impressions was amazement at the size and complexity of the station. Originally built in 1904 as a magnetic variation monitoring station, virtually all of the original building facilities still remain in use in their original roles. The host, who had travelled down from the British Geological Institute in Edinburgh, explained that the original station had been located at Kew in London, but the advent of electrical trams caused problems with detection equipment and it was essential to relocate to a location as remote from industrial civilisation as possible – and some 112 years later the observatory location still meets this requirement. The original manning levels had been around 20 employees, along with family members, so a lively community had built up, complete with recreational club and tennis court. With the advent of superior technical equipment, manning levels had now reduced to only two permanent personnel. The host’s father had been based there and he recalled living and playing in the grounds as a small child. The station serves numerous functions, including measurement of geomagnetic field variation, weather parameters, solar radiation, atmospheric pollution and seismological activity. The group were shown into the bunkers where various magnetic sensors were located. It was explained that these detectors were so sensitive that the physical presence within the bunkers was sufficient to produce substantial errors in variation readings. Monitoring of solar radiation provides data for the safe operation of communication and power generation as abnormal sun activity can seriously affect the performance of such systems, both terrestrial and satellite. From there members visited the seismic vault, another bunker, where seismometers were located to monitor earth tremors. Example printouts of recorder readings were shown, including those produced by the crashing of debris from the PanAm-103 disaster. A vote of thanks was given by member George Turner, who had organised the visit.

Hotel award

The Eskdale Hotel has been awarded an Eat Safe Award for its standards of hygiene, cleanliness and food safety. The award promotes excellence in food hygiene in catering businesses and is administered by Dumfries and Galloway Council’s environmental health department, in conjunction with Food Standards Scotland. The hotel is owned by John Galloway and John Noonan.


Border Flower Club

Demonstrator for the June meeting was Mark Crawford and his chosen title was ‘Every Day’s A School Day’. He covered history, biology, English, geography, modern studies and drama with an interesting choice of containers – from an art deco vase to goldfish bowls – used by three members co-opted to make their own designs with foliage flowers, water crystals and lights. Mark’s flowers and foliage were varied and colourful, and his wry sense of humour provided an interesting demonstration. The club’s AGM is on Wednesday, July 6, in the Corn Exchange at 7.30pm.


Apologies to sharp-eyed readers for getting our dates in a muddle last week. The next Old Melrose first-Monday-in-the-month Walk is on July 4. Then its into July and August Sunday afternoons, beginning on July 3 when Ian Brown takes participants round the Trimontium Roman site from 2-4.30pm from the Newstead Millennium Milestone – adults £2.50, pupils/students £1, dogs welcome – contributions go to the Trimontium Trust. Bring your own refreshments. The longer guided every-Thursday Trimontium Walk doubles up in July and August to operate on two days during the week – every Tuesday and Thursday, starting at 1.30pm from the heritage centre/museum in Melrose Square, coming back to the town by about 5.15pm after tea and biscuits in Newstead Village Hall, which is included in the ticket – £4 adults, £1 pupils/students, dogs welcome. The family ticket charge (two adults with however many children) is limited to £10, which also goes to support the trust. Melrose Festival Week saw St Mary’s School on the Route March from Leaderfoot and then into the working tour of the museum. The walkers on referendum day noticed trust members from Manchester had done gardening at the Milestone and Trimontium Stone, where, on the concluding Saturday, the Roman soldier, in his museum kit, shook hands with the Melrosian over the centuries – recognition of the historic link with Europe.

Parish church

After the hurly-burly of last week’s Kirkin’ of the Melrosian, it was back to business at Bowden and Melrose. Activities – Christian Aid fundraising totalled £4,593.71; Trimontium Walk on Thursday, June 30 (1.30-5.30pm), with tea, from the heritage centre; Sunday, July 3 – services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am); 2.30-4.30pm, Melrose in Bloom garden party, Priorwood Orchard; 2-4.30pm, Trimontium Walk from Newstead Milestone.


Poem trophy

The Robert Davidson Cup is presented annually for the best poem written by a Morebattle school pupil. The trophy is in memory of the man commonly known as the Morebattle Poet. This year youngsters were taken on walks in the surrounding countryside and then asked to write a poem about their experiences. Winner was Jasmin Davies McDonald with “Dear Little Creature”, Florrie Abrams and Kym Cessford finishing second and third respectively. All three received book tokens and Kate Paterson, one of the judges, presented the prizes.


The fishing pairs competition was held on Saturday when Jean McNulty and Drew Gibson were the winners.

School sports

School sports winners – senior boys’ champion, Archie Barbour; senior girls’ champion – Iona Bourne; junior boys’ champion, John Tweedie; junior girls’ champion, Jessie Norris.



Scott Wilson has been re-elected chairman of the community council, with Laura Paterson vice-chairman. The new treasurer is Barbara Elborn.



The service on Sunday, July 3, will be at 10.30am.



The next service in Walkerburn Public Hall will be on Sunday, July 17, at 10.30am.


Shepherds’ Show

There will be a committee meeting at 7.30pm on Thursday, June 30, in the Wauchope Hall.

Cheviot Churches

Services during July will be in Morebattle only, at 11.15am, with the exception of Sunday, July 3, which will be held at Linton at 11.15am.


Tickets are on sale in the village shop and from Susan Stewart(01573 420231) for the Robyn Stapleton Concert on Saturday, July 16, at 7.30pm. This concert was a sell-out last year – so book early to avoid disappointment.


An open gardens event takes place on Sunday, July 10, from 1-5.30pm in and around Yetholm. Cream teas are available at £2 and gardens entry is £4.


A tractor run leaves Kirk Yetholm Haugh on Sunday, July 10, at 11am and returns at 2pm – strawberry teas and raffle – proceeds to the Great North Air Ambulance.