WINTER WARMER: Blainslie Village Hall, Saturday, 8pm-midnight, tickets £7.50, stovies included. Contact 01896 860607 for tickets.


WRI: After the December meeting and Christmas meal were cancelled due to weather, members held their 84th birthday celebration in Quins restaurant, Galashiels. The award for most competition points gained over the past year was won by Mrs Ramsker, who retains the cup; 2, Mrs Crosbie; 3, Mrs Weatherly. The next meeting on February 10 features a talk on antiques. Competition – something old. This is also members’ enrolment night and newcomers are welcome to join.

BURNS SUPPER: The village’s Burns supper will be held next Friday. Tickets are available from Murray Thom or any village committee member.


Weather: The village awoke on December 1 to whiteout conditions and plunging temperatures, with 16 inches of snow and an overnight temperature of -11C. The freezing temperatures continued throughout the month with -15C recorded on the 3rd, 7th and 8th. A thaw set in on the 10th, allowing daytime temperatures to rise to 7C. Towards the end of the month extreme frost returned with -12C recorded on Christmas Day.

CLOSE SHAVE: Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) funds were boosted by £647.10 at a sponsored event held in the Fox and Hounds. It involved Ian Crew, who had not shaved or had a haircut for 12 months, having his hair and beard shaved off for the charity. His father Dougie also had a trim. This concluded the 2010 local fundraising for the charity with a total of £5,263 being raised.

Church: A Ruberslaw Church lunch will be held tomorrow at Denholm Church Hall at noon. Saturday sees a coffee morning being held by Ruberslaw Guild in Denholm Church Hall from 10.30am to noon. Proceeds will go to guild projects. Ruberslaw Church is holding a fair on Denholm Green on May 21 to coincide with the Border Bogie Race.


PARISH CHURCH: Sunday’s services – all age, 9.45am; traditional, 11am. Both will be conducted by the Reverend Marion Dodd.


WRI: The theme this month being show and tell, members were asked to bring something which they hold dear and tell the story behind it. This resulted in a picture, china, shooting medal, charm bracelet and first birthday cards, which took the meeting on a trip down memory lane from Barbara Taylor, Wilma Craig, Claire Thomson, Wilma Morton and Rosemary Scott. A meeting with Gordon Ramsay was described by Christine McLain, while there was a demonstration on how to prepare prize-winning sheep from Pam Cessford. Competition – three decorated cup cakes – 1, Wilma Craig; 2, Christine McLain; 3, Rosemary Scott.


BURNS SUPPER: Tickets are available from Christine (01835 840246) or Linda (01835 862914) for the Burns supper on January 29.


TALK: PC Hamilton will give a talk entitled ‘Wild Animals and the Law in Scotland’ next Thursday at the Winter Interest Evening at 7.30pm in the village hall.

COFFEE MORNING: Hall funds will be boosted at a coffee morning (10am-noon) on February 5. Anyone with anything to sell can just turn up, take a table and give a small donation to the hall.

DINNER: The annual dinner in aid of village hall funds takes place in the hall on March 5. Speakers are Robin Scott and Professor David Purdie, with, it is hoped, a supporting cast of Tommy Knox, Viv Sharpe and Henry Douglas. Tickets from Linda Elmitt on 01750 52257.

Burns Supper: The Macmillan Burns supper will be held on January 29 in Kirkhope Hall. Tickets are available from Marjory Tennant on 01750 62327.


PROBUS CLUB: President John Platt welcomed a large audience for the first talk of 2011. Andrew Brown’s subject was The Night Sky, assisted by an evening sky map and photographs. Many early civilizations, such as the Mayan people of Central America, not only used the night sky for navigation purposes but built cities based on the movement of the stars and planets. He encouraged members to look outside and study the stars at night with or without the aid of telescopes. Next Thursday’s meeting will be the Burns lunch at noon in the George & Abbotsford Hotel, Melrose.

Camera Club: The club competition, Flowers, was judged by John Nairn. Results – beginners – 1, William Waugh; 2, Anne Wood; 3, William Waugh; projected images – 1, Dorothy Ainslie; 2, Christine Swalwell; 3, John Frater; commended – Gordon Swalwell, Christine Swalwell and Richard Lillico; colour prints – 1, Christine Swalwell; 2, Gordon Swalwell; 3, Dorothy Ainslie; commended – Richard Lillico, Ron Bell and Christine Swalwell; black and white prints – 1 and 2, Christine Swalwell; 3, Gordon Swalwell; commended – Ron Bell. The next meeting is on Wednesday, featuring the club competition, Fluid, which will be judged by Neil Scott from the Edinburgh Photographic Society.


WRI: Members enjoyed a travel talk by Cath Lightbody. Competition – holiday photograph: 1, Elspeth Cook; 2, Cathie Johnston. The raffle was won by Ena Lunn. Next meeting is on February 2.


Camera Club: The meeting last Thursday presented an opportunity to catch up on the portrait/people competition which was affected by poor weather conditions. Unfortunately, the judge for the event, David Darling, could not be present, but had previewed the entries and made his choice of winning pictures as follows: projected images – 1, All The Boats Home, Bernie Gajos; 2, Bruce, John Peters; 3, Jimmy, Danny Bowie; mounted prints – 1, Me, Myself, I, Ali Graham; 2, Remembrance Day, John Peters; 3, ‘Hello Sailor’, Mathew Ladds. The overall winning image was ‘All The Boats Home’. Next Thursday’s meeting will be the Silhouettes competition, with Judith Murray as judge.

ROTARY CLUB: President Billy McWatters chaired last week’s meeting when he welcomed two visitors from Selkirk Rotary Club, Jim McPherson and past president Lindsay Henderson. Club member Ron Sutherland stepped into the breach as a last-minute speaker and gave a talk on a holiday he took with his wife Pat in the French Alps. They climbed the Mer de Glace glacier and Ron showed photographs of the mountains and described the geographical significance of the glaciers and the visible effects that global warming is said to been having on them.

PROBUS: The meeting opened with a silent tribute to life member Jack Glendinning who died during the festive holiday. The Reverend Michael Scoular, minister of Trinity and Cavers, was minster at Earlston for 17 years following four years as an army padre attached to the Parachute Regiment, serving in Northern Ireland and Iraq. He has also been a rugby referee. He spoke in a hilarious manner of his experiences in these areas, punctuated with stories. The AGM will be held next Thursday.

Bridge Club: January 10 – 1, P. Gilligan and M. Millar; 2, P. Young and J. Beedle; 3, S. White and J. Urquhart; 4, M. Tuson and R. Witherington; January 12 – 1, H. and M. Ouldcott; 2, P. Gilligan and M. Millar; 3, P. Young and J. Beedle; 4, V. Johnstone and R. Witherington.


BURNS SUPPER: St Mary of Wedale and Heriot Parish Church is holding a Burns supper on Saturday in Stow Town Hall. Tickets are available from Margaret White.


Towford WRI: Sandra Smart, of Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland, outlined the organisation’s aims to improve the quality of life of people affected by chest, heart or stroke issues through research and medical services. Competition – an interesting coaster – 1, Margaret Jeffrey; 2, Frances Armstrong. The next meeting, on February 1, is the family night entitled North Polar Challenge. Competition – a photograph entitled Bygone Days.


SERVICE: Sunday’s service of worship in Innerleithen Church Hall starts at 11.30am.


ROTARY CLUB: At the latest meeting members spent most of the time working on the January 29 grayling fishing competition and eBay shop. Entries have been received from the Scottish, world and European fly-fishing teams who competed in this event last year. Anyone interested in entering should look at the club website. The eBay shop is accepting items for sale and posters will be placed around the town informing potential donors of the process and the contact phone number. The club hopes the eBay shop will provide a regular revenue stream for charitable works. The possibility of producing and selling a 2012 calendar, which could be linked to the club photographic competition, was discussed. Secretary Steve Smith won the club draw.

Laidlaw Memorial Pool: Thanks to the pool users and their fundraising, a dual-lane inflatable has been purchased and will be in the pool for the first time tomorrow (6-8pm), Saturday (11am-noon) and Sunday (1-2pm).

Bridge CLub: January 3 – N/S – 1, J. Tait and I. Weir; 2, A. and R. Stewart; 3, R. Oates and S. West; E/W – 1, I. and O. Whillans; 2, B. and I. Middleton; 3, M. and H. Ouldcott; January 10 – N/S – 1, A. and A. Ireland; 2, J. Tait and I. Weir; 3, D. Cessford and D. Gray; E/W – l, R. Oates and S. West; 2, A. and R. Stewart; 3, B. and I. Middleton.

POOL: The Yetholm Dry Bar pool competition, with a cup, shield and medal to be won, along with Sports Direct vouchers, will start on February 3 with registration and the first round at 7pm in Yetholm Youth Hall. Entry is £1.


BRIDGE CLUB: January 12 – BGB sim. pairs – N/S – 1, Mary and Nigel Lindsay; 2, Alison Ireland and Elinor Green; 3, Bob Stevenson and Annie Mitchell; E/W – 1, Jean McLaren and Colin McGrath; 2 (equal), Dominic and Diana Alkin, Lynda Douglas and Lesley Dick; January 13 – Jan Calchou Cup (8) – N/S – 1, Bob Stevenson and Lee Leeson; 2, Billy Potts and Archie Stewart; 3, Alison and Alastair Ireland; E/W – 1, Diana and Dominic Alkin; 2, Avril Ronald and Donald Swanson; 3, Jean Henry and Myra Thomson.

Thursday Group: Today’s talk by David Scott Aiton is on home composting. Next Thursday sees Christine Henderson on Along the Nile at 2pm, Abbey Row Centre.

MARKET: Kelso Farmers’ Market will be held on Saturday in the Square from 9am-1.30pm.

EMBROIDERERS: The Kelso branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild will meet on Tuesday at 7pm in the Abbey Row Centre when Mary Lock will demonstrate how to make a small decorated bag from ribbon.

POOL: The Yetholm Dry Bar pool competition, with a cup, shield and medal to be won, along with Sports Direct vouchers, will start on February 3 with registration and the first round at 7pm in Yetholm Youth Hall. Entry is £1.

GUILD: At the first meeting of Kelso North and Ednam Guild in 2011, presided over by Mrs Maclean, Robert Pratt entertained. With some humour, he told of his experiences of performing in church choirs and with amateur societies in the West and Kelso. His talk was interspersed with songs from the shows and reminiscences. Mrs Robson accompanied the singing. Mrs Williamson gave the vote of thanks. Next Thursday members will learn about a visit to Oberammergau in Bavaria.

Gymnastics Club: Due to unforeseen circumstances, gymnastics coaching has been cancelled, although it is hoped this will resume at Easter.


Legion party: More than 70 senior citizens enjoyed a party in the Royal British Legion. Most were brought in by the day centre and community centre buses. The volunteer drivers were Kate Turk and John Scott, who were assisted by Mary and Nancy Scott. There was also a free raffle draw. Kenneth Pool was compere for an afternoon of entertainment from the youth dance club and junior band, and Margaret Howe was accompanist for singers Billy Young and Irving Stuart, with Bob McLure doing recitations. Singer Steven Milligan was accompanied on guitar by Ryan Harvey.

Probus: Members held their first meeting of 2011 in the Eskdale Hotel. Jack Terrace, vice-president of Canonbie Probus Club, was a guest. Speaker John Gilbert, a retired RAF squadron leader, gave a talk on the necessity of practising flying at low level. He began by giving a summary of his background and then a short video on the history of the RAF worldwide and some of its aircraft over the years. He said low flying is an essential skill for survival in a hostile environment and training is continually carried out so that pilots and crew are ready for instant deployment. Some areas in the UK are excluded from low flying, such as artillery ranges, airports, large hospitals, nuclear power stations, towns of 10,000 or more population and, due to its constitution, the Isle of Man.

Burns supperS: Ewes WRI and the Rotary club held their suppers on the same night. At Ewes the Immortal Memory was proposed by Bob McLure and the toast to The Lassies by David Pool, Caroline Tullie replying. Piper Richard Henderson led in the haggis and the address was delivered by Grace Brown who also recited Tam O’ Shanter. Kenneth Pool toasted the Bard at the Rotary dinner in the Crown Hotel and the Reverend Scott McCarthy proposed the toast to The Lassies with the reply from Margaret Pool. There were recitations and songs by Alex Pool and Billy Young, with Rotary president Neil Stewart in the chair.


LITERARY SOCIETY: President Rosemary Morrison paid tribute to the contribution made to the society by two long-standing members who died last month – the Reverends Tom Donald and George Thomson. She then introduced the guest speaker, radio and television broadcaster Joyce McMillan who is also the Scotsman’s theatre critic. Ms McMillan told the story of Scottish playwright J. M. Barrie, best known as the creator of Peter Pan. At the peak of his success he was the highest-earning writer in Britain after starting from humble beginnings. The society’s next meeting on Tuesday will continue to focus on writing for the stage when speaker Dr Robert Leach considers the achievements, as a playwright, of folk singer Ewan MacColl.

BRIDGE: Ormiston Bridge Club – January 10 – N/S – 1, J. Gall and J. Chalmers; 2, J. and Q. McLaren; 3, L. Taylor and G. McIvor; 4, M. Baird and S. Davis; E/W – 1, B. and B. Lumley; 2, B. Stevenson and A. Ronald; 3, B. Birch and K. Lindsay; 4, S. Frame and S. Urquhart.

CHURCH: Activities – today, 7.30pm, kirk session open meeting, slide show of visit to Jerusalem and Petra, discussion of 2011 church centenary possibilities; Sunday’s services, 9.30am Bowden and 11am Weirhill; Wednesday, midweek service 11.45am and lunch 12.15pm; February 5, 10am, church coffee morning, Bowden village hall, contributions welcomed.


Guild: The guild dinner was held in the Templehall Hotel last week when president Margaret Lees welcomed 21 members and said grace. After the meal Margaret Lees and June Bell recited poems, and Catherine Mabon sang.

Coffee Morning: The charity coffee morning – this year for the Sick Children’s Hospital, Edinburgh – will be held on January 29 in the institute.

POOL: The Yetholm Dry Bar pool competition, with a cup, shield and medal to be won, along with Sports Direct vouchers, will start on February 3 with registration and the first round at 7pm in Yetholm Youth Hall. Entry is £1.


FLORAL GROUP: Newcastleton Floral Group held its first meeting of the year, with representatives from Scottish Borders Council in attendance, to discuss preparation for the village’s entry to the Britain in Bloom competition which will be judged in August.Two members of the group are to attend a Britain in Bloom seminar in Liverpool at the end of this month.


COUNCIL: Newtown and Eildon Community Council will hold its first meeting of 2011 on Tuesday at 7pm in the Community Wing. There will be a presentation by Scottish Borders Council planners of their ideas for a remodelled village centre and redevelopment of the mart site. This will be an opportunity for village residents to hear what SBC has in mind and put questions to senior planning officials.


COLLECTION: Borders General Hospital’s dyalysis unit and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) have shared £400 – the amount collected at Oxnam’s Christmas Eve service which included a nativity play put on by the Sunday school and directed by Val Hunter.


Friday Group: A meeting of the Friday Group will be held in the village hall tomorrow 10.30am-noon. This group, which meets every fortnight, is for older folk to get together, have a cup of tea and a chat. Dominoes and bingo are also on the agenda. More information from Eleanor on 01573 228276.

St Boswells

WRI: Speaker for this month’s meeting was Keith Farnish who gave a talk on Share and Repair – his ideas on a bartering system where goods and skills can be exchanged. Competitions – wooden ornament – 1, Carol Dawson; 2, Rose Cameron; 3, Mrs Hyde; favourite Christmas present – 1, Marlyn McCall; 2, Wilma Burns; 3, Annie Gair. The 82nd birthday celebration is on February 8.


BURNS SUPPER: St Mary of Wedale and Heriot Parish Church is holding a Burns supper on Saturday in Stow Town Hall. Tickets are available from Margaret White.


WRI: This month’s meeting of Newmill and Teviothead WRI was a trip to the Textile Towerhouse at Drumlanrig Tower in Hawick.With weather forcing the cancellation of both the December meeting and a trip to the Towerhouse in January last year, members were delighted to finally learn about this interesting development. Linda Scott not only gave a talk about the history of the building, but also plans for the future. February will see local historian Ian Landles give a talk/slide show on the history of Teviotdale at Teviothead on the first of the month. Competitions – a local photograph and three cheese scones.


SERVICE: The service at Traquair Kirk on Sunday starts at 10am.


SERVICE: The next service of worship at Walkerburn will be on January 30 in the village hall at 10am.


Romany Ramblers: Meet January 29 at 9am at the Wauchope Hall for a medium walk – Morebattle Circular via Morebattle Hill, Wether Hill, Harrow Law, Howgate, Howman Grange, Grubbit, Jubilee Bridge, Morebattle – 9.05 miles.

POOL: The Yetholm Dry Bar pool competition, with a cup, shield and medal to be won, along with Sports Direct vouchers, will start on February 3 with registration and the first round at 7pm in Yetholm Youth Hall. Entry is £1.

CROSS BORDER CLUB: Members meet next Thursday at 12.15pm in the Wauchope Hall. After lunch there will be a talk by local gardening expert Emma Emmerson on the Woodside Walled Garden. Any member unable to attend or bringing a guest should inform the secretary by Monday.

LUNCH: Today sees another village lunch in the Wauchope Hall noon-2pm. Proceeds will be donated to Yetholm Primary School.

ELECTION TALES: Parliamentary elections in Yetholm are not what they once were. Many in the village will remember the fun of the past – and so does Judy Steel in her recently-published book, Tales from the Tap End. At one time there were a number of political activists in the village who would display Steel X posters on their cars, but change these to Vote Mackintosh on other days when they headed off to Berwickshire for canvassing session. Judy recalls meeting Liberal and Tory supporters outside the polling station on election days swapping details of who had voted and sharing refreshments

BURNS SUPPER: Border Worthies Burns Club’s supper will be held in the Border Hotel on February 5. Anyone interested in attending should contact Judi Elliot or Alastair Tumbull, or any other committee member.

YETHOLM SINFONIA: Yetholm Sinfonia is preparing for its sixth season. It has recently issued its 2011 progamme of concerts and copies, available at various outlets. The season starts on January 29 in Kelso Old Parish Kirk and features Simon McCann on the flute and Christopher Crosby playing the oboe.