Shirley steps down from Samaritans' chair

BOWDENCamera groupMembers next meet at 7.30pm on Monday, October 24. The session will take the form of a question night, and a panel will discuss problems and provide answers. Members should bring cameras, manuals and laptops, if possible. Visitors welcome.SWILast Wednesday night saw members joined by Gareth Hughes to help them master The Big Draw. They had various items to depict, including a sewing machine, cotton reels, plants and candles. Gareth gave helpful tips and encouragement. The competition was won by Ann Stewart. Next month sees the AGM, followed by a DIY cocktail-making session.

Thursday, 20th October 2016, 12:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 4:49 pm
After three years as chair of Border Samaritans, Shirley Barrett receives a bouquet as thanks for her work from her successor, Lynne Hume.

Parish church

The Rev Elspeth Harley conducted the service on Sunday when Catriona Bird read the Bible lesson. Music was played by Margaret Blyth and Anne Grieve. The annual sale of work will be held on Saturday in the Volunteer Hall, Galashiels, from 10am- noon. Refreshment tickets are priced at £2.50. The congregational board meets in the church on Thursday, October 27, at 7pm. Shoesboxes have been collected to be distributed by the Blythswood charity for the people of Albania, Romania and other countries, and must be handed in by the of the month. A joint (with Trinity) kirk session/congregational board social will be held on Friday, November 4. Bible study participants continue to meet regularly in the church, with more members attending the Wednesday meetings.


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Cogsmill Hall old-time Scottish country dances restart on Friday, October 28, at 8pm – new members welcome. Phone Mary (01450 373722) or Christine (01450 372921) for more information. Cogsmill Hall is about five miles from Hawick on the B6399 Newcastleton road.


Camera club

Professional photographer James Christie entertained and inspired members at their latest meeting, when he talked about his background in the industry and the incredible range of work he has undertaken. As well as working for publications and clients around the world, James also provides photographic and historic tours around Edinburgh. Judging the competition – Urban/Industrial Landscape – James selected the following top three in each category. Print: 1, Adam Drummond; 2, Curtis Welsh; 3, Alistair Forsyth. Digital: 1, Allan Drummond; 2, Alistair Forsyth; 3, Peter Moore.

Community plan

Earlston Community Council has spent the last few months working towards the creation of a volunteer community council steering group, which is now up and running, and has begun the work to have an Earlston Community Action Plan (CAP) in place by next summer. Scottish Borders Council has helped by hosting two meetings to explain how the process work, what the community needs to do and possible funding routes that may be available to source an external and independent consultant. The steering group will then take the lead role in helping community councillors gather as many of the views and hopes of local people as possible – but they make no decisions. Every step of the way will be decided by and based on residents’ input. The aim of the project is that a CAP is fully developed and then helps create positive improvements for the area. More information about the project and community council is available by turning up at meetings on the third Thursday of the month in Earlston primary school at 7pm.

Parish church

On Sunday, October 23, the service at 10.15am will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Rennick. The Blythswood shoeboxes should be returned by Sunday, November 6 – they can be returned to the church, the manse, Ruth Scoular at 13 Station Brae or Border Chainsaw and Lawnmower Services, Unit 4, Station Road Industrial Estate. The harvest service and lunch raised £950 for Mary’s Meals.



Vice-president Joan Stafford-Badger chaired this month’s meeting in the hall. Julene, from the Hawick Heritage Hub, spoke about the resources available there and related many fascinating stories from the archives. Following tea served by M. Hogg and A. Steede, business was discussed. Members remembered with sadness the death of Joyce Fortune who had been a valued office bearer at Edgerston for many years. E. Grierson won the raffle. Competitions – something old – 1, M. Hogg; 2, J. Stafford-Badger; leaf collage – 1, E. Grierson; 2, M. Greenwood; 3, M.Anderson. The AGM will be held on Wednesday, November 9, at 2pm, following a pot-luck lunch served at 1pm in the hall.


Pop-up shop

The pop-up shop run in Selkirk by the Ettrick Valley committee of the Macmillan cancer charity raised £1,138 over the two days. Winner of the hamper was Gordon Edgar.


Interesting talk

Kirkhope Hall will host a talk entitled ‘A taste of China’, by Linda Jackson and Barbara Harrison, on Thursday, October 27 at 7.30pm.


Members held their AGM on Wednesday, October 12. Mike Elmitt and Sandy Cumming performed the count for committee and office bearers. President Isla Young continues in post, along with vice-president Marion McNeill, treasurer Jean Guthrie and secretary Joyce Black. Louise Robson was officially welcomed as a member, although she has been attending meetings for several months. Membership fees are due – annual, £20; visitor, £3 per night. The next meeting is on Wednesday, November 9, when Pat Douglas is doing ‘Christmas Crafts’. Members’ competitions – home-made Christmas decoration (Mrs McGowan Trophy) and favourite apron.

Crafts and gifts

The village hall is hosting crafts and gifts from Basanti India on Sunday, October 23 (2-5pm). There will be afternoon teas and a raffle.


Men’s Night

A Men’s Night, including a curry meal, will be held on Thursday, November 3, at 6.30pm in Galashiels Baptist Church. A vegetarian alternative will be available. Guest speaker is local GP Rodger Glenfield who will talk on ‘Ten days as a medic working in the Amazon Rainforest in Peru’. Tickets, which include the meal, are £8.50, or £12 for two. For further details and tickets, contact Kenneth Hall on 01896 850496 or [email protected]


Jack Clark, chairman of Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce, was guest speaker last Thursday. He was accompanied by Bruce Simpson, the chamber’s communications director. Jack is well known as former MD of John Swan and Sons. Bruce has had several senior roles over 40 years in travel and tourism in Scotland and beyond. The Borders chamber is the smallest of 24 in Scotland. This region, with a population of around 114,000, has around 5,000 businesses, 92% of which have less than four employees and the majority are in agriculture or tourism. The chamber is in regular contact with local MPs, MSPs, MEPs and Scottish Borders Council, representing the views of business. Jack said one of the most recent subjects is the question of the business rates review – a major concern for enterprises as the present charges are based on rental values at their height in 2008 before the recession. The chamber has been involved with the Border Business Awards and this comes to a climax this year with the annual awards dinner which is being held at Springwood Park, Kelso, on Friday, November 11. The vote of thanks to Jack and Bruce was given by Colin Hart. The next meeting of the club is on Thursday, October 20, and is the annual outing which this year is to Glenkinchie Distillery. Then on Thursday, October 27, there is the biennial visit to Hawick Probus Club. On November 10, members meet at the Waverley Castle Hotel when guest speaker will be Aileen Orr to talk about Vojtek the Bear.

Inner Wheel

Members of the Inner Wheel Club of Galashiels were in attendance at Hawick when Stuart Marshall, chairman of Hawick Flood Group Community Volunteers, welcomed local residents and a wide variety of organisations and individuals who gave generously by public subscription to support the group. In doing so, they have made possible the purchase of vital equipment and a hut (HQ) for the volunteers. The Inner Wheel Club of Galashiels, through its donation, is proud to be associated with the work that is being done by the flood group. Club president Gwen Croan and past district chairman Vi Romanis stated that the hut looked fantastic and will prove a great asset should it ever be needed. It’s very presence will give the community some reassurance from any future threat from flooding.

Camera club

Members were left star- struck last Wednesday night after club member Ford Renton’s talk on ‘Astro Photography – the gear and the settings’. Ford, a retired master mariner, has always had an interest in the night sky. The camera settings and practical demonstrations contained within the talk will give novice and experienced photographers sound information to improve and enhance their images of the night sky. On October 26, there will be a fun competition night. Members should submit one unmounted print of the theme of ‘Blue’ and a one DPI on the theme ‘The blue hour’. The blue hour is when the sun is about 4-6 degree below the horizon just before sunrise or just after sunset. The sky colours should be predominately blue. Prints and DPIs will be scored by attending members. The author of the winning image has the honour of picking the themes for next year’s competition and also receives a small prize.

St Peter’s Church

Thursday, October 20, 10am, holy communion. Saturday, October 22, 12.30pm, soup ‘n’ pud lunch, Sunday, October 23, 9.30am, Sunday Squad, followed by juice and toast; 10.30am, sung eucharist, followed by coffee and chat. Tuesday, October 25, 5.50-7pm, Messy Church; 7.30pm, vestry meeting.

Trinity church

The Rev Elspeth Harley conducted the service on Sunday, Dorothy Howden led the music and Marette Hose read the Bible lessons. Bill Cheyne, session clerk, appealed for people to help with the stewarding of funerals as many of the people who are on the list are no longer able. Those interested were asked to speak to George Rae. Volunteers are also required to help with the Christmas tree festival which is being held in Trinity on November 26 and 27. This event is being organised by the Galashiels Fellowship of Churches and if anyone would like more information about this they should speak to Trinity’s representative, Shelagh Martin. Caddonfoot Church is holding its annual sale on Saturday, October 22, in the Volunteer Hall between 10am and noon.



Results from the whist drive held on Monday last week – ladies – 1, Robert Elwood; 2, Chrissy Patterson; 3, Linda May; booby, Sandra Jeffrey; gents – 1, Christine Gibson; 2, Dorothy Corrie; 3, June Lyall; booby, John Currie. Bingo was won by Rose Cameron.

Lunch club

The latest lunch club gathering last Wednesday was once again successful, with a wide range of soup being served.


A harvest supper will be held on Friday, October 21, at 7.30pm. Tickets – Cath Turner (01835 840215) or email [email protected]


Bridge club

October 11 – 1, George Graham & Bob Francombe; 2, Morag & Fraser Beaton; 3, Mary Millar & Patsy Gilligan.



A large turnout of members enjoyed a hands-on papercraft session led by Joyce Luby from Duns. The competition, for a photo frame made that evening, was won by Gill Harrop; 2, Margaret Laidlaw; 3, Joan Little. The AGM was held and a new committee elected. Members also re-elected Gill Harrop and Doreen Havis as president and vice-president respectively.



The service in Innerleithen Church on Sunday, October 23, begins at 11.30am.

Countdown Club

Innerleithen Countdown Club will meet on Wednesday, October 26, in the parish church Hall of Friendship at 10.30am.


Thursday Group

Isobel King gave an overview of the wide range of conditions under the arthritis and rheumatism umbrella, and the world of Arthritis Research UK. Today, Oliver Eade wears his photographer’s hat with “Around the World in 50 Minutes” – 2pm, Abbey Row Centre. Next week sees Scottish Borders Council’s recycling team with ‘Reduce-Reuse-Recycle’. For more information and a syllabus, phone 01573 224753.

Bridge club

October 12 – Rose Bowl – N/S – 1, Jean McLaren and Alison Ireland; 2, Lesley Dick and Lynda Douglas; 3, Val Johnstone and Mary Millar; E/W – 1, Gerry Eglington and Jon Bridger; 2, Annie Mitchell and Bob Stevenson; 3, Brian Saywood and Ken Ross. October 13 – Calchou Cup – N/S – 1, Val Johnstone and Vanessa Wilson; 2, Rena Stewart and Maureen Weightman; 3, Jean McLaren and Ken Ross; E/W – 1, Brian Saywood and Lesley Dick; 2, Gerry Eglington and Jon Bridger; 3, Jean Henry and Myra Thomson.


Kelso Stitchers will be meeting on Tuesday, October 25, at 7pm in Abbey Row Centre when Eve Studd, from Cornhill Crafts, will be giving a talk entitled ‘Natural Dyes’. Members are reminded to bring their mugs. Visitors welcome. For further information, contact Rineke Sangster 01573 229414.


Kelso farmers’ market will be held in The Square on Saturday, October 22 (9.30am-1.30pm).


Special award

Local retained firefighter Geoff Maxwell, who is a joiner to trade, was presented with the St Andrew’s Medal by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in the Grand Hall at Edinburgh Castle, in recognition of an exceptional act of bravery. The medal is the highest award given in Scotland and was presented to Geoff for rescuing a drowning girl from the River Esk at Longtown. He was working at a house near the river when he heard shouts and saw a young girl and her father struggling in the fastmoving water. He jumped in and managed to get the girl to the surface and back to the shore. Rescuers failed to find the father and his body was brought ashore the next day. Geoff received a recommendation from Cumbria Constabulary last June and the Brave Hearts medal.

Co-op donations

Voluntary projects in the town have benefited from fundraising by the Co-operative food store. Money is raised by the shop annually for charitable projects and organisations in the community, and gave donations to the first three choices of the staff. Store manager Scott Burns and assistant manager Lauren Lupton presented £50 to Kate Borthwick of Langholm Area Fundraisers, which raises money for good causes in the town. Ramsay Johnstone of the Young Riders’ Club received £50 and £150 went to Ian Macgregor of the Buccleuch Park project.

Hospital name

Members of the public are being asked to say whether they want the health service to retain the name of Dumfries and Galloway Infirmary for the new hospital being built near Dumfries, due to open is December 2017. Dumfries and Galloway health board members discussed whether the name should be kept and, as a result, a public survey has been launched. Staff representative groups had expressed a preference to transfer the name Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary to the new development.


Coffee morning

South Garden tenants are holding a fundraising coffee morning, with cake and candy stall, plus tombola, in the lounge at South Garden, Crofts Road, on Friday, October 28, from 10am-noon.



Speakers at this month’s meeting were fire brigade representatives who talked about prevention and safety. Competitions – favourite plant – 1, Val Mayo; 2, Marjorie Mabon; 3, Evelyn Douglas; traybakes – 1, Eileen Macfarlane; 2, Margaret Inglis; 3, Marjorie Lawrie. Speaker at the next meeting is Carol Lawson. Her subject? – sweet making. Competitions – 4oz of treacle toffee and a Halloween mask (any craft).


Fairtrade Group

Melrose and District Fairtrade Group will shortly hear the outcome of its bid to renew Fairtrade Town status. The group is required to show the Fairtrade Foundation how it has developed its campaign over the past 12 months, and to present plans for the coming year. Group secretary Dave Potts said: “We are cautiously optimistic that we will be successful as our team has worked hard during the past year to continue raising awareness about the benefits Fairtrade brings to farmers and producers in developing countries.” Future plans for the group include supporting the forthcoming Traidcraft Christmas sale, staged at the town’s parish church hall. This event is an opportunity to view and purchase Fairtrade products, including many individual craft and Christmas items, hand-made by small worker co-operatives from around the world. Jenni Young, who has organised this sale for the past 20 years, said: “This is a real opportunity for people in Melrose and the wider Borders who may not yet have seen the range, quality and value that Fairtrade products have. The premium from the sale of Fairtrade goods provides a range of support to Fairtrade workers and their communities. This can include help with product development, design and marketing.” The sale is on Friday, November 4 (3-7pm) and Saturday, November 5 (10am-1pm).

Literary society

At the next meeting on Tuesday, October 25, there will be a talk by David McClay on Sir Walter Scott as a reviewer. David is the curator of the John Murray Archive at the National Library of Scotland and been involved with the exhibition on the same theme which is currently on display at Abbotsford. The talk will cover Sir Walter’s writing on authors such as Mary Shelley, Jane Austen and Lord Byron, as well as a very critical (anonymous) review of his own work. Up-to-date information about the society is available on its website ( Meetings are at 7.30pm, upstairs in the Ormiston Institute. Non-members are welcome, for an admission fee of £3.

Parish church

It is hoped the Christian Aid collection for Malawi will reach £1,000. Sunday, October 23, services – Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am). The shoebox appeal deadline is Sunday, November 6.


“If you want to see the remains of Roman siegeworks today, you have to go to Israel,” said Dr John Reid at his lecture last Thursday. He has been excavating at Burnswark, near Ecclefechan, over two years and building up a case for regarding the two Roman camps on either side of the hill as the signs of a real siege. Israeli archaeologists accompanied him and his party on a tour of a number of Roman siege sites in that country – and images and videos were shown. Dr Reid is in constant demand to speak at conferences and to write up his findings. The archaeological establishment takes a deal of convincing when something new is proposed, but he has hard evidence on his side. The third lecture of the series is on Thursday, October 27, when Professor Ian Armit, of Bradford, talks about the intriguing report on the hillfort of Broxmouth, near Dunbar, an inherited settlement for 800 years.



Ian Cruickshanks, from Kirriemuir, will play at the old-time dance to be held in the village hall on Friday, November 4 (7.30-11.30pm) – bar, tea, raffle, bring your own supper.



President Mary Pringle welcomed everyone to the October meeting, then introduced Diane Mackay who demonstrated supper dishes – members enjoyed tasting the four she created. Sheila Elliot proposed the vote of thanks. Competitions – sweet, using chocolate – 1, Mary Pringle; 2, Nancy Anderson; trinket box – 1, Marion Currie; 2, Marie France Taylor; 3, Nancy Anderson. Business was then discussed and arrangements made for the Group K Rally which will be held in Morebattle Village Hall on Wednesday, October 26, at 7.15pm, with an evening of entertainment with the Oxnam Singers, plus supper.

Cheviot churches

Harvest services – Sunday, October 23 – 10am, communion, Yetholm; Sunday, October 30 – 11.15am, all ages. Lunch to follow in Morebattle Institute. Retiral offerings at harvest services and proceeds from the lunch will be for Christian Aid’s Malawi Appeal.

Sponsored walk

Jeanie McNulty is grateful to all who walked, sponsored and donated raffle prizes for the sponsored walk. The sum of £6,520 was raised for Borders Cancer Unit.



A large crowd gathered in the village hall for the Liddesdale Heritage Association annual auction. The Association dependd on the auction as its main source of income and around £1,500 was raised from the event. Viewing started at 10am and soup and barley fadge was available from noon, and there was also a raffle. The auction got under way at 1pm and Nick Woodmass, helped by cashiers Rosie and Loraine, brought down the hammer on hundreds of lots of bric-a-brac, household goods, paintings, photographs, furniture, books, tools and many other items. The committee are grateful to the many volunteers who help out.


Pop-up shop

The pop-up shop run in Selkirk by the Ettrick Valley committee of the Macmillan cancer charity raised the gratifying sum of £1,138 over the two days. The winner of the hamper was Gordon Edgar.


Gaelic film

Gaelic in the Borders has organised a film night featuring the story of Dr Alex MacLeod, of North Uist, founder of the air ambulance service. Introduced by former Selkirk GP John Gillies, a talk will be in English, with the film in Gaelic, but with subtitles. The event is in the village hall on Friday, October 21, 7.45pm.

Christmas fair

St Boswells Nursery, Playgroup and Toddlers’ Christmas fair charity fundraiser will be held on Saturday, December 3, in the village hall from 10am-noon.



On Saturday, October 29, in the village hall at 7.30pm, The Boyds will be performing numbers by The Beatles, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, CS&N, Sting, Simon and Garfunkel, Eric Clapton and many more. Tickets – 01573 470707; bring your own bottle.



The service in Traquair Kirk on Sunday, October 23, will be at 10am.



There will be a communion service in Walkerburn Public Hall on Sunday, October 30, at 10am.


Coffee morning

A coffee morning held in the hall raised £1,051.26 for Macmillan Cancer Care.



Members meet on Tuesday, October 25, at 2.30pm in the church when the Reverend Marion Dodds will give a talk on ‘The Joy of Hymns’. New members welcome.


Community councillors meet at 7pm on Tuesday, October 25, in the Youth Hall.

Flu clinic

A flu clinic will be held at Yetholm surgery on Wednesday, October 26, from 9.30-11.30am.