CHURCH: Ale and Teviot United Church is planning a Christmas Eve service in Ancrum village hall at 6.30pm, weather permitting. But the Christmas Day service has been cancelled.


WRI: The December meeting was the Christmas party when members enjoyed playing games. Supper was supplied by everyone and proceedings ended with a Secret Santa. Competition – best-dressed parcel – 1, Hazel Woodsell; 2, Phyllis Thompson; 3, Audrey Bellsworthy.


SERVICE: A watchnight service will be held tomorrow night in Caddonfoot Church at 11pm.


CHURCH: Ale and Teviot United Church is planning a Christmas Eve service in Crailing Kirk at 11.30pm, weather permitting.


MINTO WRI: Arctic weather changed the Christmas meal from being held in the evening in the village hall to lunchtime at the Fox and Hounds in Denholm. President Sheila Marshall provided the entertainment afterwards when she read a piece entitled Whae’s Like Us? and recited the comic poem Cecil. There was also a free raffle. Competition – hand-made Christmas cracker – 1, Ann Forrest; 2, Ann Reid; 3, Pat Jardine; 4, Win Nichol.


PARISH CHURCH: Christmas Eve, watchnight service at 11.30pm; Christmas Day, short service at 10am; Sunday, service of lesson and carols at 10am. An informal service to include communion begins at 10am on January 2. During Advent all offerings in the open plate will be donated to the Borders branch of the Red Cross. The nominating committee has invited the Reverend Julie Woods as sole nominee for the vacancy of Earlston. It is proposed that she will preach in the church at 10am on January 9.

Camera Club: Members enjoyed a variety of images shown by Graham Riddle from Innerleithen before tucking into mince pies and shortbread. Next meeting will be on January 5 at 7.30pm in Earlston Primary School community lounge. This will be a members’ night when they are invited to submit a story in 10 images. Competition – best of British.

Friends: £220 was raised at the coffee morning, boundary sign and leaflet launch held by the Friends of Thomas Group. Winner of the teddy bear in the name the teddy contest was Zac Foggin from Earlston.


PARTY: Last Saturday, despite the uncertain weather, an enthusiastic crowd attended the annual village hall party and threw themselves into a varied programme of games and dances. Supper was served half-way though, during which £42 was raised for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

BOWLS: New Year’s Day bowling competition – open pairs – entries, by noon, to Cara on 01750 52352.


PARTY: The village hall committee is holding a Christmas party on Monday at 7.30pm in the hall. Licenced bar, children welcome with parents.


Camera Club: The club welcomed award- winning wedding and portrait photographer John Parris who gave an insight into his background and the work which has seen him travel all around the world. He illustrated his talk with audiovisual presentations of his wedding photography and portraiture, and kept members entertained with anecdotes about the places he has visited and the people he has photographed. On January 5 members will concentrate on the use of differential focus in a practical night, so they should bring cameras, tripods and items to photograph.

ROTARY CLUB: Christmas starts with the carol service round the tree in Bank Street Gardens at 7.30pm on Christmas Eve. The town band will be playing with Canon Duncan McCosh leading the singing. A collection will be taken for Mary’s Meals which is an international movement to set up school feeding projects in communities where poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education.


CHURCH: Christmas Day family service in Innerleithen Church Hall at 11am (bring along a present to show others).


BLOOD DONORS: At a blood donor session in the town this month, silver awards (25 donations) were made to William Anderson and Steven Ramsay. Lawrence Bunyan collected a bronze award (10). Robert Lindores is to receive a paperweight by post for 75 donations. A total of 194 people attended and 175 donated.There were seven new donors.

MUSICAL DAY: The choir at St John’s Church certainly earned the chocolate coins the rector gave them on Sunday. Arriving in heavy snow, their day began at Milfield Gardens where carols were sung for the residents, followed by a rush to church for the regular sung eucharist, with a rendering of People look East for the anthem. In the afternoon, with the snow still falling, there was a full church for the carol service in association with Jedburgh Rotarians. Leading the congregation in seven hymns, the choir led off with a spirited carol Swing Dong Merrily on High! – a rhythmical setting of a traditional carol, followed by the German Descend from Heaven and John Rutter’s Candlelight Carol. Finally, the chorus from Berlioz’s Infancy of Christ - The Shepherd’s Farewell. The choir, guided and inspired by Ted Ferguson, the organist, now provide regular musical treats for a growing number of people from Jedburgh and beyond. The choir welcomes singers to join their practice every Friday at 6.15pm in church – even if they don’t come on Sunday!


BRIDGE CLUB: December 16 – Millennium Trophy (8) – N/S – 1, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 2, Alison Darling and Mary Logan; 3, Rena Stewart and Jean Henry. E/W – 1, Annie Mitchell and Bob Stevenson; 2, Jim and Mary Stone; 3, Donald Swanson and Avril Ronald.


Concert: P4-7 pupils at the primary school held their Christmas concert for family and friends in the parish church. Each class sang carols and also got the audience to join in, and there were a number of readings. The collection of more than £200 went to the church heating fund.

PANTO: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs attracted large appreciative audiences over five nights in the Buccleuch Centre. Performed by Centre Stage Theatre, a group of young people from the area, the pantomime was directed by Judith Johnson and produced by Chris Jones, with Leona Evans as Snow White.Choreography was by Hannah Cumming with Clare Smeaton music coach and Tricia Little costume supervisor.


CHURCH: Ale and Teviot United Church plans to hold a Christmas Eve service in Lilliesleaf Church at 11.30pm, weather permitting. But the Boxing Day (lessons and carols) service at Lilliesleaf has been cancelled.


CHURCH: Christmas Eve – 6pm, family Christingle service; 11.15pm, Bowden and Melrose watchnight service; Christmas Day – services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am); Boxing Day – Bowden (no service), Melrose (11am).

TRIMONTIUM: The British Archaeological Report No. 519, entitled Roman and Native in the Central Scottish Borders, with an aerial photograph of the snow-covered Eildons on the front cover, has been published. Written by Allan Wilson, a London researcher steeped in the minutiae of every find on every site; illustrated by Alan Braby and Marion O’Neill; and sponsored and financed by the Trimontium Trust, it follows in the footsteps of James Curle whose interest in the things he found a century ago was the key to his writing up of his 450-page 1911 report. It is the most up-to-date narrative and catalogue of its type and will be a bible not only for scholars but also for members of the general public interested in particular sites and finds. Copies are available, discounted to £32.40 + £4 p&p, from Hadrian Books Ltd, 122 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 7BP (tel: 01865 310431) or by email at bar@hadrianbooks.co.uk. Copies of the foreword by Dr John Reid, the order form and a selection of quotable quotes for people who might be interested are available from the trust secretary on 01896 822651 or at secretarytrimontium@btinternet.com


WRI: The Christmas dinner was held at Heatherlie House Hotel. After the meal, president Edith Scott presented the trophy for most points throughout the year to Anne Cochrane; 2, Helen Pearce; 3 (equal) Sheena Galloway and Ella Nairn. Following that there was a visit from Santa and his little elf who had a small gift for everyone. Competition – hand-made Christmas cracker – 1, Dilys Whillans; 2, Anne Cochrane; 3, Edith Scott. The next meeting, on January 11, will be Mini Olympics. Competitions – fancy carrier bag and three oat creams.


Church: A Boxing Day service will be held at Morebattle Church at 11.15am.


FAIR: The school partnership annual Christmas fair realised around £1,500 – well up on last year. The village hall was packed with people and the children, teachers and helpers were kept busy on the various stalls, games and competitions. Highlight of the evening for the youngsters was when Santa arrived to hand out gifts. The money raised is used in various ways for the pupils, such as for transport costs to send them on trips.

LIGHTS: The Christmas lights were switched on in the village with a good crowd in attendance. During the past few years Liddesdale Amenities Group (LLAGs) has raised money for the lights and this time they were better than ever. There was community carol singing then the official switch-on of the lights was carried out by the Reverend Stephen Fulcher and his wife, Christine. LLAGs members handed out mulled wine and Christmas pies.

GIFT: Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont visited the primary school to present a Christmas tree. The MSP was asked by Forestry Commission Scotland to pick a place of his choice, such as a school, club or charity, to donate a Christmas tree to. Mr Lamont also helped some of the children decorate the tree.


SUPPER: Oxnam Burns Supper in aid of Oxnam Kirk and the village hall will be held on February 11. Entertainment will be provided by Ian Landles, Cammie Rudkin, Stuart Anderson and others. Tickets available from Fiona Ralston (01835 840600) or Stems of Jedburgh.

St Boswells

WRI: Newly-elected president Marlyn McCall opened the latest meeting by introducing the speaker for the evening, Gordon Jackson, who gave a talk, illustrated with slides, on his involvment with Jumbulance, a coach specially adapted to take disabled VIPs on holiday Competition – wrapped parcel – 1, Wilma Burns; 2, Rosemary Wilkinson; 3, Jean Templeton. The next meeting is on January 8.


SERVICE: Traquair Kirk will host a traditional carol service at 7pm on Christmas Eve.


SERVICE: Boxing Day family service in Walkerburn village hall at 10.30am.


TREE DAMAGE: To mark the Queen’s coronation in 1953, Yetholm WRl planted a cherry tree in the village playing field. The planting was carried out by the then president, Mrs A. E. Turnbull. Situated near the Step entrance, it thrived over the years, giving a wealth of blossom every spring. But now the weight of snow has broke several branches.

DISCO: There is to be a charity disco for over-18s in the Wauchope Hall on Boxing Day from 7pm. Admission is by donation at the door. On the decks are Mozza and Johnny Morrison.The older generation will also be welcome as Golden Oldies are promised. Proceeds will go to the village primary school.

CHRISTMAS WHIST: This was planned for December 14 and is now turning into a New Year whist. Organisers felt obliged to cancel the planned date because of wintry weather.

ENERGY PROBLEM: Yetholm has no mains gas supply and many householders rely on oil for heating – and they are currently facing major problems. Because of the arctic weather, there is a huge demand and delivery can no longer be guaranteed in the usual couple of days.

FAIR: Judging by the number of cars parked in Main Street, the Christmas fair was a great success. Proceeds went to the village dry bar.