Traditions kept up on Denholm green

Scrambling for the 2nd Ba' at Denholm
Scrambling for the 2nd Ba' at Denholm

Denholm’s annual ba’ games took place on a chilly Monday evening, with the snowstorm dubbed the Beast from the East knocking firmly on the door.

Those conditions didn’t stop the many keen players from getting down and dirty on the village green, however.

The Denholm ba’ has changed over the years. It used to be the single men of the village taking on the role of the uppies against the married doonies, but the sides are now made up much like they are in Jedburgh, with up or doon status being decided upon where in the village players were born relative to the Leyden Monument.

Kicking off matters on Monday were Denholm couple Mary and Bill Routledge, celebrating their diamond wedding by sponsoring a ba’.

Mary said: “I’m not really bothered who wins this, as we live about the middle.”

Their ba’ was won in quick and decisive manner by uppie Robbie Linton, who got clear and his legs took him the half-mile out of the village towards Hawick to the bridge at the Honeyburn.

The doonies’ task is to take it to the bungalow, or the “Gang”, on the outskirts on the Jedburgh road, it being the only game in the Borders where the doonies take the ba’ uphill.

We tried to get the final results of the eight ba’s contested but have been unable to contact organisers, so we’ll bring you them next week.