Terri drives home safety first message

PC Terri Ray, left, and Galashiels Rotary Club vice-president Ruth Collin
PC Terri Ray, left, and Galashiels Rotary Club vice-president Ruth Collin

Drivewise is a set of programmes aimed at improving road safety in the Borders by targeting the groups involved in most accidents, PC Terri Ray told Galashiels Rotarians.

All nine of the region’s high schools are supporting the 14 to 17-year-olds module.

Participants are taken to a local disused airfield for a day’s basic vehicle instruction. This follows on from work done by John Cleland who is supplying Volvo demonstrator cars for the project. Evidence from similar schemes elsewhere has shown that this leads to quicker learning and safer driving techniques when they pass their driving tests.

For 17 to 25-year-olds, there is an opportunity to take part in the Institute of Advanced Motorists’ Road Smart programme. More information is available on 0300 303 1134.

Another group is the over-65s, said Terri. There are increasing numbers of older drivers and they may have health problems affecting their driving, including poor eyesight.

Sessions for this group are being arranged across the Borders, lasting 2-3 hours. The aim is to help confidence and explain some modern changes to vehicles.

Over-65s are also being offered a free hour-long driver refresher with a qualified driving instructor. More information on these can be had from Dougie Whitson on 01835 825231.

z The picture shows PC Terri Ray, left, and Galashiels Rotary Club vice-president Ruth Collin.




There will be a coffee morning in Bowden village hall this coming Saturday, May 6, from 10am-noon. Everyone is welcome to attend


Parish church

Duncan Cameron, co-ordinator of Borders Street Pastors, was a guest speaker at the morning service on Sunday. Mr Cameron, a member of the Galashiels group, spoke of their work when people are coming out of nightclubs and how they offer care, help and support. The Pastors were launched last year and patrol the streets every Saturday from approximately 11pm to 3.30am. All are volunteers and earlier this year, a group was started in Hawick. Now it is hoped to recruit volunteers to start a day group, who would attend such events as festivals and rugby sevens. One of the members at the church is a Pastor. The Reverend Elspeth Harley conducted the service, while the Bible reading was delivered by Atholl Innes. Music was played by Andy Bird and Anne Grieve. Bible study resumed this week. This Sunday will see the Sacrament of Holy Communion celebrated – it is also the annual Appeal Sunday which is raising funds for the heating project. Christian Aid Week begins on Sunday, May 14 – and there will be a joint coffee morning in Trinity Church on Saturday, May 20, from 9am-noon.


Christian Aid

Christian Aid Week runs from May 15-20 and there will be a house-to-house collection in Cardrona.



Anne Clark, vice-president, opened the latest meeting, welcomed guest Agnes Ebert. After a few business items were discussed, members enjoyed a few table games, Jenga being the most gripping. Supper was a taste-and-try with all members bringing along their favourite dish. Raffle winners: Christine Laidlaw and Rae Wilkinson. Next meeting, featuring decorating a bag for life with Jan Chetwynd, is on Wednesday, May 10, at 7pm.


A Whist Drive will be held in Cogsmill Hall on Friday, May 12, at 7.30pm.


Parish church

The service at 10.15am on Sunday, May 7, will be conducted by Dr John Burns. The spring concert on Friday, May 19, at 7.30pm will be held in the church and feature Langlee Community Choir. Entry is by donation and all proceeds will go to Christian Aid.


Charity lunch

A charity lunch is to be held on Sunday, May 21 (12.30 for 1pm) in aid of the British Heart Foundation and to raise funds for a defibrillator for the local community. Tickets can be obtained in advance from Christine (01835 840246 or p10caw@aol.com).


Fellowship of Churches

Only one in three children can afford to go to secondary school in Malawi and Malawians are aware that education is one of the most effective ways to escape poverty. So if a farmer growing rice can sell 90kgm at a fair price, then he has sufficient income to send one of his children to school for a year. The Gala Fellowship of Churches decided to make a difference to a young Malawian life and rose to the 90kgm Rice Challenge. Within just one weekend, organisers sold all of the rice from the small-holder farmers of Kilombero in northern Malawi. As there was so much demand for the product, they decided to start another challenge, and ‘eat’ another child into school and out of poverty.

St Peter’s Church

Thursday, May 4 – there will be no service because of council elections; Sunday, May 7 – 9.45am, breakfast; 10.30am, family service; Monday, May 8 – 11am, Oakwood Park communion service; Thursday, May 11 – 10am, communion.

Probus club

Members heard about the work of the Donkey Sanctuary charity when they met last Thursday at the Waverley Castle Hotel. Guest speaker Elma Cunningham, donkey welfare adviser for the south of Scotland, has been involved with the sanctuary for 18 years. When she was a child her father had a donkey to keep his horses company and Elma had her first donkey as a teenager. She has won awards for best in show at the Border Union Show and top prizes at the Royal Highland Show with her donkeys. The sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Dr Elizabeth Svendsen and has its headquarters in Sidmouth, Devon. It is active directly or indirectly in 35 countries, has more than 500 staff and has an annual turnover of £30m. The sanctuary has cared for over 30,000 animals in its time. The sanctuaries are open to the public and disabled children in particular enjoy experiences riding and relating with the animals. The donkeys also visit people in their homes and care homes where they provide an unusual experience. Elma answered many questions from members, some of whom had a special interest from working abroad where donkeys were all around. The next meeting of the club is on Thursday, May 11, when Malcolm Lindsay will talk on the Scottish Wildlife Trust.



A whist drive, including supper, will be held on Monday, May 8, from 7.30pm.

Lunch club

The next lunch club gathering is on Wednesday, May 10 (11.30am-1.30pm). All are welcome.



Vice-president Scott Elliot welcomed members to last week’s meeting to hear retired RAF wing commander Will Roberts, of Cavers, give an illustrated talk on his ascent of 19,341ft-high Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa, in September 2015 which he achieved to raise funds for a charity tackling motor neurone disease which claimed his wife, Ellie, five years before. He was one of a group of 28, which included six family members, and 22 made it to the top, the remainder having to retire suffering from altitude sickness. The party ranged in age from 19 years to Will being the senior member at 71. The cost was £4,100 for each member and the group raised a total of £192,500 of which £11,700 was his sponsorship contribution. It entailed six months of intensive training beforehand and he trained with Teviothead Walking Group, along with solo regular walks to the top of Ruberslaw from his house which he eventually achieved in one hour and five minutes. He is booked to do a similar trek in September this year with most of the same group to Machu Picchu, Peru, again to raise funds for the MND Appeal – donations can be made through www.justgiving.com/fundraising/WillRoberts-MachuPicchu-2017. The Rotary club is holding a coffee morning on Saturday, May 20, from 10am-noon in Trinity Church Hall in aid of East African Famine Appeal and tickets are available from any Rotarian or pay at the door.



The services on Sunday, May 7, are ‘Breakfast Song and a Story’ at 8.30am, and morning worship at 10.30am (with a Traidcraft stall).

Christian Aid

Christian Aid Week runs from May 15-20. There will be a house-to-house collection in Cardona. For the Innerleithen, Walkerburn and Traquair areas, there will be the opportunity to make a donation in Innerleithen Co-op all week. There will be an afternoon tea/coffee with home baking in Innerleithen Church from 2-4pm on Saturday, May 13.


Thursday Group

After 25 years, the Thursday Group reached the end of the road last week. From a peak of 90 in 2008, membership has been dropping year-on-year to 31 in 2017. Meeting weekly from October to April with a speaker at most gatherings, there a huge variety of topics. When a speaker was from a charity, a ‘pot’ was always put out and over the years some £6,770 has been donated. At the final meeting a basket of flowers was presented to Mary Cook, the only founder member, bar secretary Isabel Gordon, who was gifted a silver brooch, pendant, earrings and a copy of the Dictionary of Scottish painters. Also present was Roger Hemming who, as community education officer in 1991, with Liz Brown, had originally mooted the idea to the Keep Fit for the Over 50s group. It was decided to divide the £427 in the group’s account between the St Abbs Lifeboat Appeal, the Lavender Touch, Teenage Cancer Trust and SOBS (Survivors Of Bereavement by Suicide). The occasion ended with wine and cakes, organised by Joyce Roy with the help of Helen Edwards and Fiona Scott. A lunch will be held on Thursday, May 11, at Borders College.


The next meeting of the Four Border Abbeys U3A will be held on Monday, May 8, at 2pm in Kelso Rugby Club when Alisdair Hutton (“the voice of the Tattoo”) will provide some insight into the Edinburgh Tattoo. Members and visitors welcome.

Abbey Quilters

Abbey Quilters will meet on Tuesday, May 9, at 7pm in Abbey Row Centre. Sandra Kinnoch will demonstrate ‘Colonial Knots’. Members should remember their mug and name badge. For further information, contact Rineke Sangster on 01573 229414.

Bridge club

Wednesday, April 26, match-pointed pairs : N/S – 1, Val Johnstone & Mary Millar; 2, Maureen Weightman & Helen Long; 3, Stuart Graham & Alison Darling; E/W: 1, Vanessa Wilson & Lesley Dick; 2, Dominic & Diana Alkin; 3, Jean Henry & Myra Thomson. Thursday, April 27, teams of four: 1, Jean Henry & Myra Thomson, Lynda Douglas & Chris Anthony; 2, Alison Darling & Mary Logan, Annie Mitchell & John Loudon; 3, Val Johnstone & Vanessa Wilson, Brian Saywood & Sheila Urquhart.



Worship will be celebrated by the Rev Rae Clark on Sunday at Channelkirk (10am) and Lauder (11.30am). Christian Aid Week runs from May 14-20 –look out for envelopes coming through your letter box. The guild’s monthly coffee morning which was to have been held on Saturday, May 6, is cancelled and will now take place on Saturday, May 13, in the church centre, from 10 -11.30am. Regarding St Cuthbert’s Walk on Saturday, June 10, further information is available on the church website – www.clchurch.org.uk – and church noticeboard. Registration for this event will close on Saturday, May 13.


The Antonine Wall

There is always a little apprehension before the first Trimontium lecture of the season in case, despite advertising and spreading the word, the attendance may be disappointing. No such fears materialised last Thursday when an audience of 50 heard John Poulter, an engineer by profession, explain his new discoveries about the Antonine Wall. Mr Poulter has lectured in Melrose before about the building of both Hadrian’s Wall (120s AD) and his successor’s Wall (140s AD). After questions and a trailer for John’s forthcoming talk on October 12 on General Wade’s roads, Alan Mills, a Yorkshire member, proposed the vote of thanks which was heartily endorsed. The next lecture is on the “Vagnari excavation” in Italy (Prof. Small) and will be held on Thursday, May 11. Tickets were sold for the Lindsey Davis event on May 18.


On Tuesday, April 25, in flurries of snow and a downpour of rain, nearly 50 pupils from St Peter’s PS in Galashiels did the Leaderfoot-Newstead route march in that slot and the museum experience followed, to complete the trip. Thursday, May 4 – 1.30pm, Trimontium walk from the museum.

Parish church

Sunday, May 7. services – Bowden, 9.30am; Melrose, 10am, family service in hall; 11am, morning worship; foodbank ongoing; church magazine deadline is Monday, May 15.

Spring clean

Melrose Spring Clean is this week – contact 822758 in order to help).

Roxburgh Singers

Bach’s Mass in B Minor was performed on Sunday night in Melrose Parish Church (conductor Marion Dodd) as the ‘second half’ of a joint venture with Berwick Arts Choir, the ‘first half’ having been performed in Berwick (under Catherine Fish) the previous evening. It’s a formidable work, needing formidable numbers viz 36 sopranos, 31 contraltos, 10 tenors, 12 basses, nine instrumentalists and four soloists, including soprano Mhairi Lawson, now based in Galashiels. The thunderously-appreciative audience enjoyed what has been called ‘“a work of monumental scale” and “the pinnacle of sacred choral music”.

Appointment night

Melrose Festival appointment night takes place in the Market Square (if wet, the Corn Exchange) on Friday, May 5, at 7.30pm. Wine and nibbles in the Corn Exchange will follow.

Spring fair

The annual spring fair organised by Holy Trinity Church is being held in the Corn Exchange on Saturday, May 13. It will run from 10am until noon.



Members meet in the institute on Wednesday, May 10, at 7.15pm when Lauren Wilson will give a talk on ‘Midwives Working Abroad’. Competitions – knitted baby hat and a foreign postcard. There is also the lucky syllabus draw.

Coffee morning

A coffee morning will be held in the institute on Saturday, May 13, starting at 10.30am in aid of Blood Bikes.



Guest at the April meeting was Joyce Luby who demonstrated how to make papercraft baskets. President Elaine Thornton-Nicol thanked Joyce for providing the material and for an informative and fun evening. Competition – animal ornament – 1, Janette Corcoran; 2, Elaine Thornton-Nicol; 3, Rosemary Mc Clements.. The next meeting, which is a week later than normal, will be an outing for a meal on Thursday, May 11. Members to be advised time and travel arrangements.


Library cafe

The next library cafe is in the hall on Wednesday, May 10, from 11am-noon.


Coffee morning

Bannerfield Buskers’ coffee morning will be held at Philiphaugh Community Centre on Saturday, May 6 (10.30am-noon). This lottery-funded event will feature the Buskers’ own take on the Battle of Philiphaugh in music and words, as well as a guest appearance from the youngsters of Knowepark-based ukulele band.



The next service in Traquair Kirk will be on Sunday, May 14, at 10am.

Christian Aid

See Innerleithen section.


The next service in Walkerburn Public Hall will be held on Sunday, May 21. The e vent begins at 10am.

Christian Aid

See Innerleithen section.



Yarrowford village hall will be open from 11am until 4pm on Sunday, May 7, for soup, homebaking, tea and coffee.



Yetholm Border Shepherds’ Show Tattie Growing Competition 2017 – buckets and tatties are available on Saturday and Sunday (May 6/7) from 10am until midday outside the village shop – thereafter from Gibson’s Garage.

Cheviot Churches

A congregational meeting and annual general meeting of Cheviot Churches will be held this evening (Thursday) at 7pm in Morebattle Church.


The installation of the 2017 principals will be held on Friday, May 5, at 7pm in the Wauchope Hall.

The Sorries

Folk duo The Sorries will perform in the Wauchope Hall on Saturday, May 6, from 7.30pm. Tickets are available from the village shop.

Craft club

The craft club will meet on Monday, May 8, in Yetholm Church from 2-4pm.

National Theatre

A National Theatre live screening of Jude Law in Obsession will begin at 7pm in the Wauchope Hall on Thursday, May 11. Tickets on sale in shop, or contact Susan Stewart on 01573 420231. There is no interval in this screening suitable for those aged 15+.


A play – Blistered Molly’s – will be performed in the Wauchope Hall on Saturday, May 13, at 7.30pm, with all proceeds going to the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland. Contact Lynsey Burnet for further information.