District news January 23



Sunday will be the Rev Marion Dodd’s final service in Caddonfoot Church after more than two years as Interim Moderator and Locum.

There will be a farewell gathering for Marion in the Clovenfords Hotel at 7pm when members of the congregation will be able to say their farewell and thanks for her huge contribution to the church.

The following Friday, the Rev Elspeth Harley, from Aberdeen, will be inducted to the charge of Caddonfoot, linked with Trinity, at a special service in the Galashiels church at 7pm, followed by a social in the church hall. It is hoped that as many members will attend to welcome their new minister.

The following weekend, February 2, Mrs Harley will be ‘preached in’ at the Sacrament of Holy Communion followed by a Songs of Praise in Caddonfoot in the evening.

Next Sunday (Homeless Sunday), member Mrs Julie Decoteau’s new baby will be baptised and there will also be a retiring collection for the Scottish Churches’ Housing Action.



Andy Simmons who was the head gardener at Balmoral for ten years spoke at the first meeting of the year. He showed slides of the gardens and explained how he produced vegetables and cut flowers in poor soil with frost in July and midges. The winning gingerbread cakes were made by Christine Tucker, Margaret Linton and Annette Fraser and the best garden photos were brought by Margaret Jeary, Christine Tucker and Isobel Henderson.


Parish church

On Sunday, January 26, the service at 10.15am will be conducted by Rev Julie Woods.

Women’s group

The speaker on February 6 is Irene Jones on Riding for the Disabled. The meeting is at 8pm in the church hall. All welcome.

Wednesday club

At our meeting on January 15, our members enjoyed a very entertaining talk by Catherine Robertson about her life in nursing, entitled Call the Midwife. The competition for ‘A demi-tasse’ – 1st Mrs. Jan Pringle, 2nd Mrs. Ray Murray, 3rd Mrs. Alison Stewart. Our next meeting will be on January 29, and the competition will be committee members’ childhood photographs.



The origins of the Braw Lads’ Gathering go back at least to 1599 when the town was granted its charter as a Burgh of Barony with the right to hold festivals and markets, the Rotary Club was told by Gordon Keddie and Johnny Gray. But it wasn’t until November 1929 that the town council held a public meeting to look at the possibility of having a summer festival similar to other Border towns but with its own identity. After a long discussion, an Executive was set up to run the Gathering and it has never looked back!

Braw Lad and Lass, Daniel Whitehead and Lucy Black, gave members an insight into the experience of being Principals – the best experience in their lives! They also found a great welcome and community spirit in the other Border towns over the summer and had the privilege of taking part in the Flodden ride out to mark 500 years since the battle. Another highlight was being asked to take part in the local pantomime. Both Daniel and Lucy were grateful for the support and encouragement they had over the year and are looking forward to their roles over the next two years when they will support their successors.


Whist drive

Glen Douglas had a well attended successful whist drive on Monday. The winners were as follows – Ladies 1st Joan Kyle, 2nd Jenny Blakie, 3rd Janice Palmer. Booby, Cath Turner. Gents 1st Izzy Brown, 2nd Ralph Ramskir, 3rd Angus Cameron. Booby Dorothy Corrie. The bingo was won by Janice Palmer.

The next committee meeting is February 3. The SWRI meeting is February 5.

The next Whist Drive is February 10 and the Lunch Club is on February 12.


Bridge club

Results for January 14: N/S – 1. D. Usher & V. Johnstone; 2. M. Tuson & R. Witherington; 3. J. & M. Miller. E/W – 1. J. & S. Law; 2. H. & M. Ouldcott; 3. K. Auckland & D. King.

Camera club

Last Thursday’s practical meeting consisted of a group of members choosing to venture into the night in pursuit of dramatic street photography led by former club president John Hill. A second group chose to stay within the comfort of the club’s studio for a demonstration of portrait photography by Sandy McVittie and Kenny Baillie with special mention to Norma Graham for agreeing to model so splendidly

The meeting on January 30 is entitled A Year at The Hirsel, with Stephen Whitehorne.


A round of the Rotary district quiz was held last week, when Hawick met Kelso. President Scott Elliot welcomed members and guests Brian Beattie and quiz master Alan MacCreadie. Hawick was represented by Ron Smith, Ron Sutherland, Jim Walker and Gus Neilson, and the Kelso team was vice president Stan Yates, Anne Wright, Gordon Euman and Mick Perry. The contest was very closely fought until the final round when Hawick drew away to win by 22-16. The scorers were Sandy Bannerman and Mick Wright. Last Friday night’s showing of Sunshine over Leith at the Tower Mill was a sell-out and part of the profits are going to the Rotary campaign End Polio Now. The club wish to thank the members of the public who supported the event and the money accrued will be published at a later date.



The Scottish Borders Brass Band Association held the annual Borders Youth Solo, Ensemble and Band Championships on January 18 in Teviot Church, Hawick. There was a good entry and the top three in each solo and small ensemble section qualify to compete in the Scottish Solo and Ensemble finals in Livingston on Saturday, February 1. The adjudicator was John Doyle of Black Dyke Band and the accompanist was Mrs Fiona Dickson.

The results were as follows:


Junior Ensembles:

1. St. Ronan’s Silver

2. Hawick High School

Junior Soloists:

1. Madeline Hume (Hawick High School)

2. Issis French (Gala Youth)

3. Callum Robb (St. Ronan’s Silver)

Intermediate Ensembles:

1. Abbey Brass (Jedforest) 1

2. Abbey Brass (Jedforest) 2

3. Gala Youth

Intermediate Soloists:

1. James Ross (Jedforest)

2. Rachel Doyel (Gala Youth)

3. Harry Marshall (Hawick High School)

Youth Ensembles:

1. Jedforest Instrumental

Youth Soloists:

1. Douglas Couchman (St. Ronan’s Silver)


Preparatory Section

1. Selkirk Junior

2. Galashiels Junior

Novice Section

1. St. Ronan’s Future

Runners-up Abbey Brass (Jedforest) and Galashiels Youth

Development Section

1. Hawick Schools

2. Peebles Development.

Race night

St Ronan’s Silver Band and Innerleithen Opera will be holding a joint race night on Saturday, February 1, in the Union Club. First race at 7pm. Entry costs £3 and there will be a disco after the races. Horses are on sale at £4 from band and opera members and this also covers entry.


The service on Sunday, January 26 will be at 11.30 am.

South Pacific

There will be a chance to buy tickets for Innerleithen Opera’s production of South Pacific(March 31-April 5) on Wednesday, February 19, in the Library Hall, Buccleuch Street, Innerleithen, from 6.30-7.15pm and at the society’s annual coffee morning in the Vale Club on Saturday, February 22, from 10am to noon. If anyone would like to become an honorary member and take advantage of preferential booking with tickets delivered to your door, please contact the secretary on 01896 830577 or email secretary@idaos.org.uk


Bridge results

January 13: N/S – 1.V. Johnstone & M. Miller; 2. R. Oates & H.Long; 3, P. Harris & M. Forsyth

E/W – 1. M. Land & D.Canby; 2. D. Cessford & D. Gray; 3. N.Porter & S.Graham


Thursday Group

The group’s first meeting was an entertaining selection of film clips elected by Stan Yates. Speaker today is Cllr Graham Garvie on the Future of ocal Government. Abbey Row Centre. 2pm. Next week Matilda Mitchell ill give her postponed talk about the Life and Works of Wilhelmena Barns-Graham.

Bridge club

January 15 – Abbey Salver 5. N/S – 1st Val Fairbairn and Jean Bunyan; 2nd Bob Stevenson and Annie Mitchell; 3rd Jim and Mary Stone. E/W – 1st John and Marian Miller; 2nd Mary and Nigel Lindsay; 3rd Archie Stewart and Billy Potts.

January 16 – Calchou Cup 8. N/S – 1st Bob Stevenson and Lee Leeson; 2nd Alison Ireland and Lynda Douglas; 3rd Avril Ronald and Donald Swanson. E/W – 1st John and Marian Miller; 2nd Jean McLaren and Ken Ross; 3rd Miles Browne and John Urquhart.



Lauder S.W.R.I. held their Scotch Night in the LauderdaleHotel on January 17. President Janette Waldie welcomed 40 members and guests then handed over to Ian Brotherston, host for the evening. Ian kept us well entertained with his recitations and songs, followed by Heather Jeffrey’s superb music on the electric organ. Billy Anderson played a lovely selection of Scottish accordian music, then Piper Jake Mirley made his debut with a popular variety of pipe music. Janette Waldie provided vote of thanks and Heather Jeffrey kindly judged the competitions –Rum Truffles: 1st Wendy Bryson, Kilt Pin: 1st Wendy Bryson, 2nd Christine Brandeschi, 3rd Betty Wood.

Next meeting in Lauder Primary School, 7.30pm on Tuesday, February 4 . Competitions: Victoria Sponge and Small Cream Jug.

Herds Supper

This will take place on February 14 in the Lauderdale Hotel. Tickets are priced £25 each and are available from either Derek Taylor on 01578 722349 or Dougie Scott on 01578 718662.



At our last meeting members enjoyed making Christmas Wreaths. Kim supplied the foundations and each member made up their own individual style. Competitions winners: Santa: 1. Sybil, 2. Lesley, 3. Judith. Shortbread: 1.Alison, 2. Sybil, 3. Judith.

Kim presented our long-standing member Jean Wilson with an Honorary President ‘s certificate and badge in recognition for all her work for the institute over the years. Jean first became President 40 years ago and held the office on a regular basis before retiring due to failing health.

Our next meeting is a Burns evening and quiz on February 11th to which all friends are invited.


Fairtrade Town

A small local steering group is now planning to take forward the idea of seeking ‘Fairtrade Town’ status for Melrose and district.

Following an initial meeting and some exploratory work in late 2013 the group feels confident there will be significant support for the initiative.

A brief investigation of local businesses shows that some cafes, bed and breakfast accommodation, supermarkets and at least one local church already stock or use fairtrade products. A more comprehensive survey is plannedto create a more comprehensive picture.

Melrose Primary School’s Primary 7 have ‘Fairtrade’ as a project topic this year and we plan to support and help staff and pupils with their investigation and studies. They are already exploring ideas for a ‘Fairtrade Tuck-shop’ and asking about ‘Fairtrade’ school uniforms. Group member Dave Potts said: “The steering group will be working hard over the next 12 months to secure Fairtrade Town status for Melrose and district. We hope to launch the Melrose group during Fairtrade Fortnight in February.”

The next steering group meeting is on Wednesday, January 29, in the Trinity Centre, adjacent to Holy Trinity Church in Highcross Avenue, Melrose. Anybody with an interest in fairtrade is welcome to attend. Alternatively if you would just like more information please contact: Dave Potts – 01896 823002 or Jenni Young – 01896 822439


It was a damp January morning for the services at Bowden and Melrose. Emily Rose Scott was christened amid family and friends and received a baptismal candle, lit from the church’s Easter candle and signifying new life. The Isaiah reading looked forward to the spreading of God’s ways ‘to all the nations’, and not just the people of Israel. John’s Gospel harked back to John the Baptist and how a couple of his disciples had joined the group round Jesus. Andrew was one and he had brought in his brother Peter.

Were church members too reticent today to invite people in? What would they find? The church had an imperfect history but its contribution to the practical care of and compassion for the needy is acknowledged to be central to the social fabric of our society.

Activities – January 22 – midweek service 11.45am and lunch (£3); January 23 – ‘Historical Jesus’ (also Monday, February 3, 7.30pm); Food Bank donations (dried and tinned foods) welcome weekly; January 26 – Services, Bowden 9.30am Communion, Melrose 11am Morning worship

Old Melrose

Dr Margaret Collin, chairman of the steering committee for the investigation of Old Melrose and its environs (including Trimontium, the Eildons and Dryburgh) gave an illustrated talk on January 16 to Melrose PC Guild on ‘Old Melrose: new developments’. Up to now funds had been raised, with the encouragement of the estate, to carry out a geophysical assessment of the peninsula, which would form the basis of an ongoing study of the results, together with some limited LiDAR evidence, from the air, gathered for a study of flood plains. A great deal of work remains to raise funds to continue the investigation of the marks and circles.

Dr Christopher Bowles of SBC would continue the discussion on May 1 in the Corn Exchange on ‘Old Melrose: from prehistory till now’. The peninsula is such a special place, situated below the cliffs of Scott’s View and almost entirely surrounded by water. Its important role as an early mediaeval monastery from Iona, connected with Aidan, Boisil and Cuthbert, may well be but one chapter in its history.

Ian Skinner will be conducting first-Monday-in-the-month Walks in 2014 from April to October, but starting on Easter Monday (£2 per head, gift aided if possible, children free).



Midlem members enjoyed their 2014 opening meeting with a Beetle Drive, following much laughter the winner was Claudia Forbes Walker, with Gweyn Williamson in second place and Anne Cochrane and Janet Forbes Walker joint 3rd place. The favourite Christmas card was won by Eleanor Scott, with Dilys Wheelans second and Ella Nairn third place.

Next month’s meeting on February 11 will be a talk and presentation on Abbotsford.



The WRI was held on Wednesday night when Sally-Anne Scott from the Village entertained with her Harp playing who is currently studying music at University. She played some of the pieces which she will be playing in her forthcoming Harp exams. This was very much enjoyed by all. Vote of thanks was given by Catherine Mabon who wished her well in her forthcoming music exams.

The competition winners were Cup Cakes – 1st Margaret Blackmore, 2nd Lizzie Thomson, 3rd Helen Cessford. Coaster – 1st Margaret Blackmore, 2nd Helen Cessford, 3rd Marie France Taylor


The Guild was held on Thursday night when members watched the DVD of the 2013 Annual Guild Meeting which was held in Dundee.

Souper Sunday

The Church Service was held in the Institute on Sunday followed with Soup, bread etc. A collection was taken towards HIV/Aids Project.

Coffee Morning

The Charities Coffee Morning will be held on Sat. 25th Jan at 10.30am in the Institute with the proceeds going towards the Morebattle Defibrillator. Usual stalls etc.



Newmill and Teviothead WRI met on January 7 when The Chase, a talk on bogus callers, was given by P.C. Karen McIlroy who told us a few, well chosen, cautionary tales about doorstep and scam telephone callers which prompted sharing of similar experiences from members of the WRI. The talk was very informative as to what to beware of and how to tackle what is obviously a growing problem.

Competitions for the evening were: A copper item won by Julia Templeman. A piece of Christmas Cake won by Jan Little. At the AGM, the syllabus for Newmill and Teviothead WRI gained 4th equal place.

The next meeting will take place on February 4 when the topic will be Rum and Milk – a talk on First Aid given by Alan McGee. The competitions are: A favourite milk jug and three rum truffles.



President Mary Redburn welcomed members to the first WRI meeting of the year on January 9. After a quick business meeting the secretary Elaine Thornton-Nicol introduced the guest for the evening, Angela Cullum from Unique Designs by SPIKE.

Angela brought a large selection of her unique handcrafted bags made from recycled and new fabrics, locally sourced, to show the members. Angela also demonstrated how to make an evening bag and kindly donated it to the raffle. Elaine thanked Angela for making it a very enjoyable evening.

The next meeting will be on February 6 in Newtown Community Wing when new members would be very welcome.



Many thanks to our great tray bake demonstrator Marion Gilchrist. The amount of work that was put into the demonstration was appreciated by our members, as well as the tasting of the goods that had been made. An excellent demonstration. The competition for a savoury scone – 1st Denise Barclay, 2nd Marion Muir, 3rd Anne Wood.



The service will be held in Traquair Kirk on January 26 at 10 am.



The next service in Walkerburn Public Hall will be on Sunday, February 16.


Burn’s supper

At our annual Burns supper fun and laughter was much to the fore. Chairing the evening was Gordon Newlands. Cameron Pate piped in the haggis borne aloft by Alec Telfer. Two Hawick men did the main speeches Andrew Johnstone delivering a light hearted immortal memory and Michael Aitken a man of many talents addressed the haggis, recited a wonderful rendition of Tam O Shanter then sang. Toasting the lassies in jovial fashion was George Jack replying to his toast arousing much hilarity was Ev Craig. Accordionist and singer Stewart Anderson entertained in fine style. Alec Telfer thanked the hall committee, bar staff and local ladies who all helped to make the evening a success and finally Waters the butchers for the haggis neeps and tatties.


Will Ogilvie night

After the successful Will Ogilvie Evenings at Eckford Village Hall the cast are going on tour.Their first port of call will be the Wauchope Hall, on March 15.More details will be given nearer the time but it is hoped to have a Stovie Supper between the poems and DVD scenes.The evening is particularly relevant to Yetholm as there are many scenes of the village and Surrounding Cheviot Hills.


The previous application for planning consent for wind turbines on Yetholm Law did not proceed. Now Yetholm Community Council has to make up its mind on a new application for a turbine at Helenslea.On the one hand there is a possible financial benefit to the community but on the other hand is the environmental effect on a landscape otherwise free from other turbines.

Hill walkers

The Youth Hall has recently been used as a centre for walkers and runners from south of the Border undertaking an endurance exercise. Also on the hills recently was a rescue involving the local mountain rescue group.In the end a helicopter was involved.


The Annual General Meeting of the Yetholm Borders Shepherds’ Show will take place in the Wauchope Hall on February 27. One of the items on the agenda will be the appointment of a new secretary.The hunt for one is now on 
and anyone interested should contact chairman Alan 
Hutcheon by phoning 01665578340.

Another date for the diary is the annual dance.This will take place on March 8.The show last year was a great success so the committee is looking for continuing support for the coming events.