St Boswells Guides shown a thing or two about fire safety

The 1st St Boswells Guides enjoyed a night with Galashiels firefighters (blue watch) Paul Gibson, Fraser Dickie, Rachel Harris and Eric Wright, who demonstrated some of the equipment they used and spoke about fire safety.
The 1st St Boswells Guides enjoyed a night with Galashiels firefighters (blue watch) Paul Gibson, Fraser Dickie, Rachel Harris and Eric Wright, who demonstrated some of the equipment they used and spoke about fire safety.

The 1st St Boswells Guides enjoyed a night with Galashiels firefighters (blue watch) Paul Gibson, Fraser Dickie, Rachel Harris and Eric Wright.

The local firefighters demonstrated some of the equipment they used and spoke about fire safety.




At the April meetingBowden SWI, Margaret Jeary delivered a talk about the life of women in the 1850s, highlighting the many changes that have occurred since then. Competition results were as follows: An individual chocolate pudding – 1, Karen Fagan; 2, Kathleen Hughes; 3, Ann Stewart. Next month’s meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 10, when members will hear about gardening for wildlife from the RSPB’s Mike Frazer.


Parish church

A special visitor was welcomed on Sunday – Barry Hughes, from Peebles, who conducted the service. Mr Hughes, who is training to join the ministry, is to take up his probationary post at Gilmerton in Edinburgh before getting his own parish. The Bible reading was delivered by Bill Birch, and music played by Margaret Blyth (piano) and Fiona McDougal (flute). Congratulations were offered to Georgie Bird, who completed a charity sky dive and raised more than £600 for the Duke of Edinburgh Award. There will be a Fair Trade stall next Sunday after the service. Bible study resumes on Wednesday, May 3.


Parish church

Tonight (Thursday, April 27) at 7pm, it’s the Faith, Life and Everything talk in the manse. This Sunday, April 30, the service at 10.15am will be conducted by the Reverend Julie Rennick. The spring coffee morning held recently raised £473. A service at Hanover Lounge on May 2 will be conducted by Dr John Burns.


Last Thursday, Earlston SWI celebrated its 80th birthday with a special party in the bowling club. Guests from institutes around the area also came along to join in the celebrations. Some excellent entertainment was provided by local musicians Jockukules. Before supper was served, Earlston members Mrs I. Keddie and Mrs C. Seaton cut the celebratory cake which had been created by the husband of one of the members and decorated by new member Betty Turnbull. Competition results were as follows: Bird ornament visitors – 1, Annie Jones, Mellerstain, 2. Rose Cameron, St Boswells; Earlston members – 1. Susan Donaldson, 2.Edith Cockburn; Three pieces of traybake – 1. Jill Cooper, 2. Barbara Greer. The next meeting will be in Hanover Close and features Caldwell’s Ice Cream.

Wednesday club

Hostess Sheila McKay welcomed members to the latest meeting before introducing Emma Emerson from the Woodside Plant Centre and Birdhouse Tearoom near Ancrum. She delivered a talk on how to encourage wildlife and birds to gardens, also how to get rid of slugs. She also brought some plants and other helpful things for members’ gardens. Competition result: Floral cup and saucer – 1. Mrs O. Moffat, 2. Ms K. Brownlie, 3. Mrs M. Kirk. The next meeting is on May 3 and the competition is for a keyring.

Thursday lunch club

Last week’s meeting had a visit from Careena, a fitness instructor who has a business in Earlston. She gave members some reasonably simple exercises which they all took part in. After lunch they watched the rest of the film on the Borders. On another, earlier, occasion, proceedings began with a game of card bingo, followed by lunch and a DVD by Bill McLaren called ‘Around our Borders’.



Members had a talk entitled ‘Canine Partners’ from Susan Fulton who came with her ‘partner’ – standard poodle Esther. They were told how dogs can be trained to do small tasks which help their owners. Having a canine partner often gives people who are housebound the confidence to go out. Carol Wilson Green won the ‘toy dog’ competition and the ‘dog photo’ was won by Margaret Jeary, with Gail Chandler second and Myra Hope third.


Coffee morning

The next coffee morning and sale in aid of hall funds will be held in the village hall on Saturday, May 6, between 10am and noon. Anyone wishing to sell anything should simply turn up, take a table and give a small donation.


St Peter’s Church

Today (Thursday), a communion service will be held at 10am, then – on Sunday, April 30 – 9.30am, Sunday Squad, followed by juice and toast; 10.30am, sung eucharist. Thursday, May 4 – 10am, communion.


Coffee morning

On Saturday, May 6, from 10am-noon, research into Parkinson’s disease will be boosted at a coffee morning held in the village hall.



At the next meeting on Wednesday, May 3, at 7.30pm, there will be a talk by a speaker from the Red Cross. Competition – an oldfashioned medical remedy.


A whist drive will be held on Monday, May 8, at 7.30pm.

Lunch club

The next gathering is on Wednesday, May 10, from 11.30am-1.30pm.


Bridge club

Tuesday, April 18 – N/S – 1, George Graham & Bob Francombe; 2, Mary Millar & Patsy Gilligan; 3, Valerie Johnstone & Maureen Weightman; E/W – 1, Morag & Fraser Beaton; 2, Sam White & Richard von Slicher; 3, Valerie Macpherson & Inez Wyse. Tuesday, April 25 – Jubilee Cup – 1, Nancy McLure & John Miller; 2, Patsy Gilligan & George Graham; 3, Morag Beaton & Michael Tuson.


There was almost a full attendance at last week’s meeting when president Jim Walker welcomed a visitor, Eddie Reid, Ayr, the guest of Tommy Stevenson. Speaker for the evening was Joan Wilson, Morebattle, who gave a talk on the Schools Countryside Day held each May at Springwood Park, Kelso, organised through the auspices of the Border Union Agricultural Society. She said the event began more than a decade ago for all P5 pupils in the Borders. Rotary clubs are involved in the stewarding at the event, but the biggest task is funding the day and this is what involves Joan all year – but she has had support from Scottish Borders Council, Roxburgh Estates, Fallago Environment Fund and EDF Energy, along with many others. Johnston’s of Elgin has woven the event its own tartan. The day covers all aspects of country life, from husbandry to sheep shearing, road and water safety and the internet. Past president Sandy Bannerman gave the club’s vote of thanks.


Introduction night

The St Ronan’s Standard Bearer for 2017 will be introduced to the public on Friday, May 5, in the Memorial Hall at 8pm. Other introductions taking place on this date are the Standard Bearer’s Lass, Principal Guest the Lady Busser. The town bands will play outside the hall from 7pm, with teas and coffee being served inside from that time. Immediately following the introduction ceremony, the Standard Bearer’s Reel will be danced outside the hall (Leithen Road side) with music by Innerleithen Pipe Band.

Musical showcase

Kids Innerleithen Youth Theatre (KIYT) group will hold a musical showcase of their work on Saturday, May 6, in the Church of Scotland, Leithen Road, at 7pm (doors open 6.30pm).

Ball tickets

The Standard Bearer’s Ball will take place on Saturday, July 8, in the marquee at St Ronan’s School. Tickets will be on sale at 8am on Saturday, May 20, from The Foresters, Wells Brae. They are priced at £35 per person and payment must be made in full on the day. Members of the games committee will be on hand to receive applications at 8am and no applications will be taken before this time. Any left before 8am will be considered following the public sale. Tickets will be distributed following the sale, so applicants should ensure a contact name and address is included. The dress code for attending the ball is – gents – dinner suit or full Highland dress, black tie; ladies – full-length evening dress/ball gown.


St John’s Church

On Sunday, April 30, there will be a combined service at 9.30am, followed by refreshments in the church centre.


Thursday Group

Members were joined by the Friends of Kelso Library and a number of visitors for a talk by the Lady of Traquair, Catherine Maxwell Stuart, and archivist Margaret Fox. Their subject, ‘The Stuarts at Traquair’, was brought alive by portraits, excerpts from letters and family papers to present a staunchly Jacobite Borders family. Today, at the final meeting, Isabel Gordon will talk about the 25-year history of the Thursday Group and a decision will be made on allocation of funds to charity – 2pm, Abbey Row Centre.

Bridge club

Wednesday, April 19 – match-pointed pairs – N/S – 1, Dominic & Diana Alkin; 2, Lesley Dick & Lynda Douglas; 3, Joyce Thomson & Helenor Pratt; E/W – 1, Chris Anthony & Vanessa Wilson; 2, Celia & James Holgate; 3, Gerry Eglington & Jon Bridger. Thursday, April 20 – match-pointed pairs – N/S – 1, Dominic & Diana Alkin; 2, Rena Stewart & Maureen Weightman; 3, Val Johnstone & Vanessa Wilson; E/W – 1, Donald Swanson & Avril Ronald; 2, Janet Kyle & John Urquhart; 3 (equal), Jean Henry & Myra Thomson, Nancy Porter & Miles Browne.


Open day

Langlee primary school is holding an open day on Saturday, May 20, from 10am-1pm. This is an opportunity to visit the school before it is demolished and pupils move into a new building after the summer holidays. There will be a performance from the school choir at the event, plus displays, including old photographs.


Spring clean

The annual spring clean is on Saturday, May 6, starting at the sports pavillion at 2pm – everyone welcome, even if they can only spare half an hour. Accompanied children also welcome. Please bring protective gloves. Organisers are borrowing litter-pick equipment from the council and will recycle as much of the rubbish as they can.


President Sheila Hardie welcomed a large turnout of members and visitors to the April meeting. She then introduced Jessica (Jess) Smith, author and storyteller, who kept her audience entertained with many stories, mentioning that she had written six books – some of which members purchased that evening. Wendy Bryson, hostess for the occasion, gave the vote of thanks. Jess also judged the competitions – home-made bookmark – 1, Helen Lumsden; 2, Mary White; 3, Joan Stevens; fountain pen – 1, Liz Dalgliesh; 2, Christine Riddell; 3, Sheila Hardie. The president thanked Wendy and her helpers for the buffet supper, Annette Holton and Christine Riddell for organising the raffle, and all who donated prizes. The next meeting is the AGM, in Lauder Primary School on Tuesday, May 9, at 7 pm (please note early start time and members should bring their voting papers). The gathering also features floral art, by Anne Clark, and competitions (hand-made flower in any craft and a pretty vase).


Worship will be celebrated by the Reverend Rae Clark on Sunday, April 30, at Channelkirk (10am), Lauder (11.30am) and South Gardens (2.30pm).Walk With St Cuthbert is an opportunity for the Lauderdale community to follow in the footsteps of St Cuthbert from Channelkirk to Melrose on Saturday, June 10. This event has been supported by Oxton Community Council and is open to everyone. There are many options regarding walk length, but registration is essential – 01750 725480/


Border Flower Club

John McDonald from Auchterarder was the demonstrator for the April meeting, his title being “Spring into Flowers”. With varied designs and containers, his presentation ranged from orchid pots with tulips to a garden urn flowing with sunflowers. The transformation of a “Supermarket Mixed Bunch” made everybody sit up and appreciate his skill. The rest of his designs used many different flowers and greenery. The next meeting is on Wednesday, May 3, in Melrose Corn Exchange at 7.30pm when the demonstrator will be club treasurer Julia Louden. Visitors welcome.

Spring clean

Volunteers are wanted to participate in Melrose Annual Spring Clean Week which runs from May 1-7. Routes, tools, gloves and bags are provided. Anyone interested should contact Val Miller on 01896 822758.

Parish church

Thursday, April 27 – 2.30pm, ‘A Musical Afternoon’, guild fundraiser – all invited; Sunday, April 30 – services at Bowden (9.30am) and Melrose (11am); 7.30pm, mass in B Minor (J. S. Bach) Roxburgh Singers/Berwick Arts, under Marion Dodd; soprano Mhairi Lawson, Galashiels, and three Conservatoire young soloists.


The season is whirling on with today’s (Thursday) John Poulter lecture on the Antonine Wall at 7.30pm in the Corn Exchange. On Easter Monday, Ian Skinner guided half a score round Old Melrose on the first of his series of walks, the next being on Monday, May 1, at 1.30pm. A class from Newtown Primary School route-marched from Leaderfoot to Newstead in the dry, snacked in the Melrose museum, worked their way round the cases and artefacts, enjoyed the sword drill and costumes, and were back in school for lunch. A double class from St Peter’s comes this week. The second Trimontium Walk took place last Thursday, with tea in the village hall rounding off the visit. The next one is today (Thursday) at 1.30pm. Friday and Saturday were busy at the museum and the books for sale were delivered for the Lindsey Davis Event on May 18 in the Corn Exchange. Ticket-holders, on production of ticket, may purchase in advance the discounted 2017 ‘The Third Nero’ hardback at £15 and the 2016 paperback at £7.50, from the hon. secretary at the museum. Tickets (£5) for May 18 are still available through the museum (822651).


Badminton dinner

Twelve members of the badminton group enjoyed a meal served by the Templehall Hotel on Monday night. Catherine Mabon proposed a vote of thanks to Marie France Taylor for all her organising during the year.

Kalewater council

Kalewater Community Council has five vacancies – nomination forms are available from Jenny Flannigan (before May 4) and Eric McNulty (after May 4), and must be returned no later than noon on Monday, May 15. The council AGM is on Tuesday, May 16, at 7pm in the institute.



Liz Howieson introduced Janice Routlege to the assembled group. Janice gave a demonstration on how to decorate a Ukrainian sugar egg and then assisted the group with making their own. Some results were better than others, but it was great fun and Janice showed what an art form it can be. She did a lot of preparation for the session and this was much appreciated. Nicky Watson delivered a vote of thanks to Janice who was given a round of applause. Liz Howieson showed the square of tapestry made by Nicky Watson for the federation. She reminded members to order diaries through Betty Rennie. The federation trip is to Linlithgow on Saturday, May 20, and those wishing to go should give their name to Caroline Tullie. Competitions – egg cups – 1, Muriel Baptise; 2, Jan Little; 3, Liz Howieson; fatless sponge – 1 (equal), Liz Howieson and Muriel Baptie. The May meeting is the open night. Proceeds from the sales table will be shared between two local children’s charities. A talk will be given by Isabel Gordon entitled ‘The History of Tea’. Competitions will be for favourite tea pot and tea cosy (any craft). The visitors’ competition is a favourite tea spoon.



Oxnam Water Community Council’s annual general meeting will be held in Oxnam Hall on Thursday, May 11, at 7pm.


School celebration

‘Hot Soup and Hard Work: celebrating 185 years of Yetholm School’ – a talk with slides which will take place at the village school on Tuesday, May 2, at 7.30pm. There will also be an exhibition of photographs showing the history of the school and some of its past pupils. Doors open for viewing the exhibition at 7pm. This exhibition will also be staged in the Mission Hall throughout Festival Week in June. This event is being organised by Yetholm History Society in collaboration with YetholmPrimary school. Current pupils will give presentations on what it is like to attend class nowadays.

Coffee afternoon

A coffee afternoon will be held on Saturday, April 29, at 2-4pm in Yetholm Church in aid of Megan Harvey’s World Challenge to Madagascar.

Tattie growing

Border Shepherds’ Show Tattie Growing Competition – buckets and tatties will be available on Saturday and Sunday, May 6 and 7, from 10am until midday outside the village shop – thereafter from Gibson’s Garage.


A congregational meeting and AGM of Cheviot Churches will be held on Thursday, May 4, at 7pm in Morebattle Church.

Festival 2017

The regular monthly festival planning meeting will take place on Monday, May 1, at 7 30pm in the Youth Hall. The installation of the 2017 principals will be held on Friday, May 5, at 7pm in the Wauchope Hall.

Coffee time

Coffee in Yetholm Church moves to weekly from May 3 (10.30am-noon).

The Sorries

Folk duo The Sorries will perform live in the Wauchope Hall on Saturday, May 6, at 7.30pm.