District news


WRI: An extraordinary general meeting, called by Roxburghshire federation officials to discuss the future of Bedrule WRI, was held last Wednesday. In the chair was federation president Helen Cessford, and also in attendance were Helen Moffat, federation secretary, and Liz Jackson, central councillor. Members agreed that Bedrule WRI should continue and office bearers for 2011 were elected – president, Molly Marshall; vice-president, Liz Ramsay; secretary, Sally Steel; treasurer, Oliver Hogg. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm in the village hall. Visitors and new members are welcome. The next meeting, on February 16, will take the form of a Burns supper.


WRI: A talk and slide show by Janice Whiteford, from Earlston, about her trip with the Vine Trust sailing up the Amazon was the highlight of this month’s meeting. Janice is a nurse and she – along with other volunteer doctors, dentists and nurses – gave medical and dental help to the families who live there. After supper she judged the competitions – first aid tip – 1, Elizabeth Bruce; 2, Janet Small; 3, Barbara Mclean; ship ornament – 1, Elizabeth Bruce; 2, Phyllis Thomson.


breakfast: Four Minto residents – Syd and Helen Barratt, and Eleanor and Anthony Bell – enjoyed a full cooked breakfast at Hassendean B&B. This was the result of their bid at the Auction of Promises held in September last year to raise funds for the Denholm church roof. Anyone who would like to make a donation to the roof fund should contact the Reverend Douglas Nicol on 01450 870268 or use the Get in Touch facility on the church website.

LOTTERY: Lottery funding of £4,300 has been awarded to Denholm Repertory Group for portable staging which will be available for use in community events. Contact Alan Dowler-Smith on 01450 860311 for further details.

BOYS’ BRIGADE: The Boys’ Brigade in Denholm now boasts a membership of 19 who meet on a Monday night in the church hall. For further information about the group, contact the Reverend Douglas Nicol on 01450 870268 or email daon@lineone.net.

PIG RACING: A pig racing social evening will be held in Hobkirk on March 26 to raise funds for the church roof. Local businesses will be able to sponsor a pig.

CHURCH: The Church of Scotland communications group encompassing Hobkirk and Southdean with Ruberslaw met last Thursday. Each parish has a representative who gathers information on local events and feeds it into the parish news magazines. The representatives are Alan Dowler-Smith (Bedrule), Nancy Smith (Denholm), Janet Griffiths (Bonchester Bridge and Hobkirk), Christine Rodger (Minto) and Steven Smith (Southdean and Chesters).


Camera Club: Earlston hosted a digital image battle between clubs from Kelso, Galashiels and itself. Bert Lancaster from Hawick was judge and Galashiels emerged victorious with Earlston second and Kelso third. A Kelso member had the best image in the show. Next meeting is on Wednesday when Curtis Welsh will show images left to the club by the late George Crooks. Members of the public (£2 admission) welcome at 7.30pm. Competition for members – Past and Present.

WRI: Members enjoyed a four-corners meeting when tatting, crochet, knitting and ragrug making were tried out. Competitions – shortbread – 1, K. Brownlee; 2, l. Riddell; handwritten verse of a poem by Robert Burns – 1, H. Smith; 2, B. Paton. The next meeting on February 17 will feature a talk on osteoporosis. Competitions – an adult’s knitted hat and a bowl of bulbs.

WEDNESDAY CLUB: Members held their first meeting of the season by running a quiz. Competition – pincushion – winners were Mrs Quant, Mrs Penman and Mrs Forsyth. The club will be holding its weather-cancelled Christmas lunch at the Lauderdale Hotel on Wednesday. The bus leaves the Square at 12.30pm.

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

WOMEN’s GROUP: Next Thursday local fashion designer Karen Reid from BIB Design will give a talk and display of some of her works in the church hall at 8pm.


WRI: Member Chris Robertson showed different techniques used to make various types of greetings cards. Her audience were able to buy cards afterwards and the money from sales is going towards the £500 needed to support a children’s day centre in Ghana.The silver plate for 2010 was won by Margaret Linton. Gail Chandler was runner-up, followed jointly by Alma Elliot and Isobel Henderson. The best Christmas tree decorations were brought by Margaret Linton, Joyce Eaves and Jean Kinghorn, and the hand-made Valentine card competition resulted in – 1, Jean Kinghorn; 2, Gail Chandler; 3 (equal), Joyce Eaves and Isobel Henderson.


WRI: Christine Wylie gave a talk and demonstration on reflexology, using Jean Browne as the model, at this month’s meeting. The 2010 points cup was awarded to Evelyn Grierson. Competitions – decorated bottle – 1, Jackie Dun; 2, Jean Browne; 3, Maggie Greenwood; unusual Christmas present – 1, Evelyn Grierson; 2, Mary Upton; 3, Maggie Greenwood. The birthday lunch will be held at the Glenbank Hotel on February 5.

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


FAIR: Ednam primary school PTA is holding a postponed Christmas fair, auction, raffles and tombola at the village hall tomorrow at 1pm before the school concert.


Camera Club: Members enjoyed the hospitality of Earlston Camera club who hosted a three-way slide battle, with Galashiels and Kelso visitors. The competition was judged by Bert Lancaster from Hawick Camera Club. Results – Galashiels 250 points, Earlston 238 and Kelso 228. This was the Kelso club’s first venture into inter-club competition and they were rewarded by having the only image to score a perfect 20 points. The next meeting at Langlee on Wednesday will be a photoshop workshop.

Studio Club: The club began the new term with a workshop on acrylics led by member John Adams. John had prepared a still life and led the members through the composition and painting of it step by step. Today’s meeting in Old Gala House at 7.30pm will feature a workshop on pastel painting.


Camera Club: At the meeting last Thursday Ron Sutherland, teacher of geography at Selkirk High School, presented an illustrated account of the Borders Exploration Group’s 2010 expedition to Chile.The group is a non-profit making organisation run by a group of volunteer adults for the benefit of young people between the ages 16 and 25 with the aim of furthering their education and broadening horizons. The purpose of the trip was also to assist the host nation to recover from damage caused by an earthquake. Next Thursday’s meeting will be the sequence competition with Jean Tait as judge.

Film and Video Group: Due to a power cut affecting the clubrooms, the annual Scottish Night was held in David Peacock’s home, which is situated above the club.Although it was a tight squeeze with a dozen or so members, the film, The West Highland Line, went ahead as planned followed by an Burns supper which had been prepared by several members in their homes beforehand. Tuesday’s meeting will be a programme of films from the Scottish Association of Moviemakers.

Bridge Club: January 17 – 1, S. White and J. Urquhart; 2, M. Tuson and R. Witherington; 3, R. Goldie and M. McLeod; 4, P. Gilligan and M. Millar. January 19 – 1, D. Usher and I. Wyze; 2, P. Young and J. Beedle; 3, H. and M. Ouldcott; 4, V. Johnstone and P. Learmonth.

ROTARY CLUB: Last week’s meeting was chaired by president Billy McWatters. Haggis, neeps and tatties were served and Paul Harris Fellow Jock Thorburn gave a recitation of the Robert Burns poem, A man’s a man for a’ that.The president and secretary Ian Smith recently attended the Rotary district AGM at Livingston.


OPERA TICKETS: Tickets for Innerleithen and District Amateur Operatic Society’s production of My Fair Lady (March 28-April 2) will be on sale on February 16 in the Library Hall, Buccleuch Street, from 6.30-7.15pm. The society’s annual coffee morning is on February 19 in the Vale Club, Leithen Crescent, 10am-noon, and opera tickets will be available.


Bridge Club: January 17 – N/S – 1, A. and R. Stewart; 2, O. Whillans and M. Purdie; 3, B. and I. Middleton; E/W – 1, I. Whillans and B. Miller; 2, R. Oates and S. West; 3, M. Allen and T. Davidson.

ROTARY CLUB: Martin Johnson, a semi-retired farmer who lives in Lanton, spoke about the charity FARM-Africa at the latest meeting.It grew out of the famine which devastated Ethiopia in 1984 and operates a number of schemes designed to help increase food production in a part of the world where 80 per cent of the population depend directly on some form of agriculture for their survival. Tony Rae gave the vote of thanks.

GUILD: The annual supper evening at Queen’s Court was held last Wednesday when Ian Anderson and his son, Jamie, provided the musical entertainment. June Anderson accompanied the community singing and Lorraine Hume contributed a couple of readings. Mrs Sharratt was presented with flowers to mark her 90th birthday.

PROBUS: Tim Douglas – raconteur, wit and farmer who has been writing poetry since he was a youth – delivered recitations at the latest meeting.

HAND BA: Grammar school head boy Luke Fulcher will throw up the hand ba’ at noon on Wednesday from the Mercat Cross. The hand ba’ will be played on February 10, with the candlemass ba’ (boys) at noon and the fasterns een (men) at 2pm.

COUNCIL: Community councillors have voiced concern over the state of many local roads following the recent severe weather. They are particularly worried about sections of the A68 trunk road which were only resurfaced in the autumn. It is already badly worn with the section between Bonjedward and Cleekimin described as particularly hazardous, especially for motorcyclists. Other recently laid sections both north and south of the town are also showing signs of wear. It was agreed to contact Transport Scotland, the agency responsible for Scotland’s trunk roads network, urging it to take action on the issue. Councillors have backed plans to transform an outbuilding at Boundary Bank into ancillary accommodation. The long-running saga of the derelict building at 31 High Street is continuing, but there have been positive steps. Planning committee members at Scottish Borders Council have agreed to a “development brief” for the site. It would see the demolition of the crumbling building with a replacement built in a style which is suitable for the town’s conservation area. There may be retail provision on the ground floor, with the possibility of affordable housing for rent also being provided. Community council chairman Richard Gordon welcomed the development brief, but underlined the need for Scottish Borders Council to take every measure possible to ensure the owners of the dilapidated building meet the costs already incurred by the local authority in making the building safe. The community council was told that a compulsory purchase order might yet have to be made for the site. The Sponsor a Light scheme aimed at raising funds for the town’s Christmas lights saw almost £400 collected.

Dry Bar: See Yetholm news.


Friends of Kelso Library: The Friends were treated to an entertaining talk last Wednesday when Ian Corse, former managing director of Pitkin Publications, gave an insight into the publication of tourist guides and how they developed during his time with the company. He also brought along a selection of booklets, ranging from a guide to Buckingham Palace to a booklet on the Loch Ness Monster. The next talk will be on Wednesday at 2.30pm when Ronnie Price will present Man-made Magic.

BRIDGE CLUB: January 19 – Rose Bowl (5) – N/S – 1, Rena Stewart and Beth Stark; 2, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 3, Val Fairbairn and Jean Bunyan; E/W – 1, Sheena McPherson and Sheila Urquhart; 2, Brian Saywood and Ken Ross; 3, Pam and David Palmer; January 20 – Millennium Trophy (9) – N/S – 1, David and Pam Palmer; 2, Dominic and Diana Alkin; 3, Bob Stevenson and Lee Leeson; E/W – 1, Donald Swanson and Avril Ronald; 2 (equal), James Duncan and Ged McIvor, Annie Mitchell and Jeanette Chalmers.

Rangers fans: The bus for the semi-final against Motherwell on Sunday leaves The Square at 9.30am, calling at Shotts for pre-match entertainment. Tickets available from Jim (01573 226240).

Thursday Group: Having been born in a Japanese concentration camp in China where her father and grandfather worked, Jean McDermid described a recent visit where she found her name carved on a commemorative wall. Today, Christine Henderson takes members along the Nile and next Thursday Keith Robeson talks about countryside access – 2pm, Abbey Row Centre.

Dry Bar: See Yetholm news.


Accordion club: There was no guest band for the January meeting in the Royal British Legion clubrooms, but there was the usual good turnout of regular musicians from both sides of the border. Compere Adam Grant introduced accordion players Newbie Park, Les Hurst, Peter McCormock and David Bell, all from Carlisle. Also present from over the border were Billy Bell (Penrith) and Jim Lawrie (Gilsland). Ian Wood from Hexham played the fiddle and Ian Wilson from Crawford was on piano. Among the local musicians on accordion were Robin and Deryn Waitt from Claygate (Bon Accords), Stuart Adamson of Newcastleton and Roger Dobson from the town, along with Billy Little on the mouth organ.

Burns Supper: Ewes WRI held its Burns supper in the hall and there was good support from the town. President Claire Phillips chaired the event and the haggis was piped in by Richard Henderson and carried aloft by Clare Latimer. The address to the haggis was given by Grace Brown and later in the evening she recited Tam o’ Shanter. A meal was served up by the WRI committee and the president said the Selkirk Grace. A stirring Immortal Memory was proposed by Bob McLure and a humorous toast to The Lassies given by David Pool, with Caroline Tullie from Teviothead responding. Songs during the evening were from Roddy Innes and mother and son Jackie and Nicky Henderson. A vote of thanks to the speakers and entertainers was given by Susie Grant and the evening ended with the company singing Auld Lang Syne.

DANCE: Eskdale sports centre hall was the venue for the Eskdale farmers’ dance attended by well over 200 people. Music for dancing was provided by The Strangers from Selkirk, along with accordionist Buzzy Wilson.

Rotary: Members, along with partners and friends, gathered for the Burns supper in the Crown Hotel. President Neil Stewart, chairman for the evening, said the Selkirk Grace. The haggis was carried aloft by Robbie Trussler who was led into the hall by piper Gilbert Gillanders. The address to the haggis was delivered by Alex Pool, while the Immortal Memory – which was to have been proposed by David McVittie, but due to work commitments he had to pull out – saw Kenneth Pool stepping in to read the speech. The toast to The Lassies was given by Scott McCarthy and Margaret Pool replied. Alex Pool recited Tam O’ Shanter and Holy Wullie’s Prayer was in the hands of Billy Young, and both also sang for the company. A vote of thanks to the speakers and entertainers was given by junior vice-president Mark Phillips and the evening ended with the company singing Auld Lang Syne.

Coffee morning: The mini and midi rugby section held a coffee morning in the day centre which raised £800 for funds. It was opened by rugby captain Colin Jardine.


SALE: A table-top sale and coffee morning will be held in Lauder Public Hall on Saturday, 10am-1.30pm. Call 01578 718848 to book a table.


WRI: President Kate Grieve welcomed everyone, including a new member, and introduced speaker Douglas Hogg, an artist from Gordon who gave an insight into his work with glass. Supper and a raffle concluded the evening. Competitions – a finger of Christmas cake – 1, Kate Grieve; 2, Helen Donald; 3, Anna Cove and Etta Fairley; glass ornament – 1, Kate Grieve; 2, Etta Faieley; 3, Anna Cove.


Ormiston Bridge Club: January 17 – N/S – 1, D. and M. Swanson; 2, J. and B. Duncan; 3, A. Merry and D. Usher; 4, M. Baird and M. Wright; E/W – 1, J. Russell and J. Dun; 2, S. Frame and S. Urquhart; 3, M. and H. Dooley; 4, B. Birch and K. Lindsay. January 24 – N/S – 1 (equal), A. Merry and D. Usher, M. and H. Dooley; 3 (equal), J. Russell and J. Dun, J. and Q. McLaren; E/W – 1, J. and B. Duncan; 2, S. Frame and S. Urquhart; 3, B. and L. Lumley; 4, E. Renton and R. Garrett.

BLOOD DONORS: Awards were made to – silver (25 donations) – Allan Richardson, Jayne Stewart and Shirley Hume; bronze (10) – Kathleen McDonald, Sheila-Mary Carruthers and David Sloan.

HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION: David Connolly, the archaeologist who was working at Melrose Abbey when the casket containing the “heart” of Robert the Bruce was found, told members last week of the impact the Romans had north of the border and what can be seen today. His talk was illustrated by slides he had taken of his work in Scotland and elsewhere.The vote of thanks was given by Donald Gordon. The next meeting will be on February 15 at 7.30pm in the Ormiston Lounge when Fenton Robb from Duns will speak on David Hume.

CHURCH: On the Weirhill on Sunday morning Freya Sandra Henderson was christened and received a baptismal candle, lit from the Church’s Easter candle. Activities – today, guild at Priorwood Court with Tweed Quartet; tomorrow, Melrose PS Scottish afternoon, 1.15-2.45pm, book through Joyce (01896 823339) to help with school catering; Sunday’s services, Bowden 9.30am and Melrose 11am; February 5, Bowden Church coffee morning, 10am-noon, donations requested; Fresh Start Borders helps homeless families – anyone who would like to help should phone 01835 870767 or e mail jane@freshstartborders.org.uk or speak to Joyce.

TRIMONTIUM: The museum received a phone call: “Have you something to do with the Trimontium museum? I have two swords in my car ... this is a bad line ... click.” It sounded like the start of a novel, but it turned out not to be the stuff of fiction for there in the museum’s blacksmith’s shop, courtesy of the caretaker, the donor-by-phone had indeed left not only two replica swords, but a copy of a legionary helmet as well. One Spanish-type sword needed leather straps only, for the scabbard; the other a Pompeian-type with clawed, redball-topped bone handle with sunken medallion, the same as used by Russell Crowe in the film Gladiator, lacked a scabbard. One of the Trimontium Walk guides has volunteered to take Sunday afternoon walks in July and August round the Roman site only, starting at the east end of Newstead at the Millennium Milestone at 2pm and finishing back there at 4pm. He thinks local people might be interested who are working and unable to take the full Trimontium Walk on Thursdays from April to October (or Tuesdays also in July and August).


WRI: The January meeting was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. The next meeting on February 8 will feature a talk from Dr Donald Francis, chiropractor. Competitions – Selkirk Bannock and photograph of a Border church.


WRI: President Sheila Marshall welcomed members and visitors to the January meeting. The speaker was Andrew Haddon, a native of Denholm, whose subject was family history. He talked about an ancestor of his, Dr John Haddon, who sailed from Liverpool to North America in 1882. His travels took him to such diverse places as a hospital, prisons and the Niagara Falls. His journey continued to Hawaii (then known as the Sandwick Islands) where he visited a leper colony. Dr Haddon’s next port of call was New Zealand before moving on to Australia. During his trip he kept a diary which was published by the Hawick Express. Competition – pre-1950 family photograph – 1, Pat Jardine; 2, Sheena Graham; 3, Jean Amos; 4, Sheila Marshall.


WRI: president Marie France Taylor welcomed Mrs Jeary who gave a talk on the book, From Kelso to Kalamazoo. Eileen Woodward gave the vote of thanks. Competitions – humorous Christmas card – 1, Marie France Taylor; 2, Jean Fleming; 3, Angela Cook; New year’s resolution – 1, Janette Stenhouse; 2, Eileen Woodward; 3, Marie France Taylor.

Coffee Morning: A coffee morning will be held on Saturday in the institute from 10.30am in aid of Edinburgh Sick Children’s Hospital.

Guild: Next Thursday’s meeting is a members’ night – exploring our theme through music.

Dry Bar: See Yetholm news.


WRI: President Alice Telford welcomed members and visitors to the first meeting of 2011 when cookery demonstrator Muriel Pate made starters which her audience sampled and were given recipes for. Competition – flask of soup – 1, Alice Telford; 2, Anne Wood; 3, Agnes Bell. The next meeting is on February 16.


Monday Club: Hugh Tasker will talk about Mongolia at next week’s meeting which starts at 2pm.


Youth Club: There will be a public meeting to discuss the formation of a new Stow youth club in the primary school on February 9 at 7pm.


CROSS-BORDER CLUB: Members meet today at 12.15pm in the Wauchope Hall for lunch and a talk by local gardening expert Emma Emmerson. Her subject will be The Woodside Walled Garden.

DVD: A DVD is being put together by Dorothy Sharpe, of Crossing Cottage, Kilham, featuring Yetholm in days gone by. Memories of people living in the village prior to 1960 are particularly welcome. lnterviews and filming are under way. Anyone who would like to contribute should get in touch with Dorothy or any member of Yetholm History Society.

BOWMONT THEATRE: The village drama group is hoping to put on a play during the June festival week or in the week preceding it. Barbara Paul has agreed to produce the Scots comedy, We’lI go no more a Reiving, by James Scotland. A meeting to discuss this will be held in The Plough Hotel on Tuesday at 7.30pm.

HISTORY SOCIETY: Tuesday’s meeting at 7.30pm in the Youth Hall features Barbara Mellor who will be giving a talk on A Woman of the French Resistance. Visitors welcome.

PLOUGH QUIZ NIGHTS: These have restarted after a holiday break. The first one raised money for Yetholm Floral Gateway Group and others will be held on Wednesday and February 16, and March 2, 16 and 30. Funds raised go to local organisations or charity.

BURNS SUPPER: There is still time to apply to attend the Border Worthies Burns Supper in the Border Hotel on February 5. Contact Judi Elliot or Alastair Turnbull.

KEEP FIT: Women’s keep-fit sessions start in the Wauchope Hall today, 2.30-3.30pm.

Dry Bar: There are three places left for young people aged 10-14 on the film-making course on February 14 and 15. Email ireid@yetholmtown.plus.com.