Borders singer-songwriters set to get on ball and raise a racket for tennis club fundraiser

Twwo up-and-coming Borders singer-songwriters are about to get on the ball and raise a racket to help pay for improvements to a town’s tennis courts.

By Darin Hutson
Thursday, 5th March 2020, 5:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th March 2020, 5:39 pm
Innerleithen singer-songwriter Tommy Ashby.
Innerleithen singer-songwriter Tommy Ashby.

Members of Peebles Lawn Tennis Club have organised a concert to raise funds to make their courts and clubhouse accessible to the disabled members of the community, and they’ve lined up Tommy Ashby and Magpie Blue to play.

Club secretary Anne McKinnon said: “We would like to make our tennis facility available to wheelchair users.

“Steep steps make it difficult to access the clubhouse or tennis courts, and the existing toilets are unsuitable for people with disabilities.

Peebles singer-songwriter Magpie Blue, alias Millie Hanlon Cole.

“As the clubhouse has succumbed to wood rot, we would like to replace it with a building with appropriate disabled toilet facilities.

“Our plans also include the provision of ramps so that wheelchair users can access the courts from the clubhouse.”

The club’s fundraiser – featuring Ashby and Blue, alias Millie Hanlon Cole – will be held at the town’s Eastgate Theatre on Thursday, March 12, starting at 7.30pm.

Ashby, 32, is from Innerleithen and Blue, 20, is from Peebles.

The former is building up a growing reputation not only as a session musician and songwriter, but also as a performer in his own right.

He’s had his songs played on a range of radio shows, including on Radio 2 by Fearne Cotton, and featured on the soundtracks to TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Riviera, The Innocents and Midnight Texas.

His latest EP, Golden Arrow, was written whilst touring the UK and Europe as a session guitarist on Ed Sheeran’s Divide tour in 2018.

He’s supported the likes of Luke Sital Singh, Big Country, Hilang Child, Allman Brown, Skinny Living, the Xcerts, Tom Speight, Rhodes, Jamie Lawson and Nina Nesbitt.

Ashby has performed locally at Neidpath Castle at Peebles and Glentress in support of the Scottish Association for Mental Health and to a packed crowd in the town’s parish church as part of the 2019 Innerleithen Music Festival.

Blue, a social sciences student at Edinburgh Napier University, released her debut single, Just in Time, in June last year via Seahorse Music.

She has featured on BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth show and recently supported Big Country and the Proclaimers.

Tickets for the pair’s tennis club fund-raiser, costing £12, are available from the Eastgate Theatre’s box office on 01721 725777, or online at