25 years ago
▼ work on the electrification of the main east coast railway line reached Scotland this week when the first of the masts which will carry the overhead power wires was planted at Reston. The £310 million scheme will bring the electric train services to the east coast line between Edinburgh and London by 1991, and the first ‘open country’ mast on Scottish soil was planted during a ceremony in the village on Monday by Berwickshire MP Archy Kirkwood, accompanied by Mr Vivian Chadwick, Deputy General Manager of ScotRail.
▼ BERWICKSHIRE District Council’s Finance Committee have agreed that no further financial assistance should be given to the XIII Commonwealth Games. On a budget of £15 million, the Games’ Organising Committee needed in the region of £3.5 million to balance their books, the Finance Committee heard. However, on hearing that over £1,000 had already been donated to the event, they agreed to recommend to the Council that no further contribution should be made.
▼ A PLEA for major changes in the local government setup in the region was rejected by Michael Ancram when he met with members of Borders Regional Council last week. Mr Ancram, Scottish Office Minister for local government was asked by the councillors to consider legislation to alter the Borders 11 year old Regional and District Council set up. The changes being pressed for included the scrapping of one tier of the present system and replacing it with a multi-purpose council. However, Mr Ancram told a press conference that there was no intention by the Government to reorganise again.
▼ THE future of Eyemouth Town Hall is still hanging in the balance. This follows a very small percentage of the town’s population replying to a questionnaire regarding the retention of the hall. It was circulated round every household and local organisation in Eyemouth in an effort to get people’s opinion on the hall, however, out of a poulation of approximately 3,500, 32 people replied. This follows a public meeting to discuss the hall’s future being poorly attended
▼ ANY move to withdraw free school transport for children in the Burnmouth and Ayton area will be strongly opposed, it was revealed last week. Borders Regional Council decided earlier this year that the childeren should continue to get free school transport to Eyemouth High School despite the fact that the two villages lie within the sttatutory distance for school transport. However, at a recent meeting of Ayton Community Council, it has been revealed that there may be a move at the end of the year to withdraw the free transport. If parents were required to pay for their children’s tickets, the cost would be £106 per annum for a child under 16 and £167 for a child over 16.
▼ THERE was a controversial finish to Saturday’s Duns Law Race, the highlight of Duns Amateur Athletic and Cycling Club’s Annual Sports in Duns Park. The six-and-a-half mile event was won by Brian Emmerson of Teviotdale Harriers with his team mate Allan Casson seemingly finishing in second place. However, it was discovered that some of the athletes, including Casson, had taken the wrong route on the Law and were therefore disqualified.
50 years ago
▼ THE worst thunderstorm for many years hit the county on Friday and plunged the district into darkness when the electricity supply failed. The coastal area suffered worst, the storm raging for more than two hours. In Burnmouth, a house was hit by lightning.
t AT a meeting of Landward Committee on public health held at Duns on Friday, it was agreed to get estimates for the supply of water to houses in Harbour Terrace, St Abbs.
t AT a meeting of the General Council of the Scottish Liberal Party held in Edinburgh on Saturday, a resolution by the Berwick and East Lothian Liberal Association regarding salmon fishing was carried unanimously. The resolution declared that the whole question of salmon fihsing, both river-mouth and sea, was in urgent need of reappraisal.
t LADY Caroline Douglas Home, eldest daughter of the Earl and Countess of Home, represented to their home, The Hirsel, Coldstream, on Saturday afternoon for a fete organised by the Berwickshire Unionists.
t INDUSTRY in the county must be preserved and fostered, said Brigadier A H C Swinton, at a meeting of the Landward Committee on Public Health, held in the County Buildings, Duns on Friday. Brigadier Swinton said in the annual report of the Chirnside Paper Mill it was stated that for some time past the flow of the River Whitadder had been diminishing. This resulted in the mill being unable to use its hydro electric plant.
t WHILE salmon fishing about 70 to 80 miles off Eyemouth, Skipper George C Collin, M B Stella Maris caught a tagged plaice in his trawl. The fish was handed over the appropriate authorities and Mr Collins received a letter that stated that the fish was one of the thousands tagged by the Netherlands Fisheries Research to assist the fishing industry by procuring information on a the movement of fish, and rate of growth etc.
t A HOUSE in Gavinton, which had been earmarked for a teacher of housecraft, will now be allocated to an agricultural worker. This was decided at a meeting of the Landward Committee on public health held at Duns on Friday. The house at The Gelebe, had been allocated to the education committee as a house for a teacher in homecraft. The post, however, had been advertised and there had been no replies.
t TWO second half goals by outside-left Johnny Caven gave Chirnside United a well-deserved win over the young Berwick Rangers Reserve side at Shielfield on Saturday. A bus carrying seven of the United players, broke down on the journey from Edinburgh, then had two punctures, which meant that the match did not kick off until almost 4.30pm.
t BERWICK speed boat enthusiasts are perturbed at suggestions that they are the ‘bad boys’ of the River Tweed. Speed boats, operating from Spittal beach out to sea have been a tremendous additional attraction to the amenities of the resort. And fast little boats have also been responsible this summer for towing in craft which have got into difficulties and saving others from the water.
100 years ago
▼ A QUANTITY of sand and whins on the Shamble Braes below St Mary’s Convent was destroyed by fire on Sunday afternoon. The police assisted in getting it out before it spread more than 20 yards. The fire is believed to have been caused by a stray match.
▼ A BLACKBIRD’S nest has been found near Chirnside Station with four young birds. This is surely rare in September.
▼ ABout 11 o’clock on Tuesday, the herring boat Empress (Wm Stevenson, skipper) was returning to port at Eyemouth, and when she was about eight miles off, a strong breeze sprang up with choppy sea, and a sudden gust broke her mast, so that she was rendered helpless but for the time being. The boat Champion (Joseph Dougal, skipper) took her in tow and brought her safely to port. Fortunately there was no one injured.
▼ Queen Mary, who has visited the Borderland and assisted at a Border Bazaar, has accepted a copy of verses composes by Mrs Winram, wife of James Winram, the noted violinist of Edinburgh, who belongs to Coldingham, and who has delighted Berwickshire and Berwick audiences with his rare musical abilities. Mr Winram’s grandfather, who for many years was a well-known Coldingham man, was an original agent of The Berwickshire News, and a frequent correspondent to the county newspaper.
t House Martins to the number of something like 200 were observed on Thursday morning at Chirnside Bridge, assembling ready for emigration. The birds all alighted on the housetop as if to hold a convention, then took to flight in a westerly direction. A few stragglers can still be seen in the area.
t THe annual Flower Service was held in the West U F Church, Coldstream, on Sunday. The church was tastefully decorated with flowers and fruit. Rev D M Joss delivered an appropriate address, and suitable music was rendered by the choir, under Mr Skae, organiser.
t On Sunday Duns Tennis Club held a tournament on the court in the town’s Public Park. The weather was favourable and there was a large turnout of players and friends. Tea was kindly provided by the lady members.
t The opening meeting of the flourishing Border Coursing Club will this season, as last, be held over the preserves of Mrs Burrell of Carham Hall, where hares of the true Border type abound in every direction. The meeting takes place in October and the programme will consist of four stakes, all at £2 10s, for members, and £2 15s each for non-members.
t On Saturday, through the kindness of Mr and Mrs Glegg, of Mains, Chirnside, the members of the Priory Habitation Primrose League (of which Mrs Glegg is Dame President) were entertained to a garden party at Maines. The weather was admirable, with the guests arriving by wagonette from Coldingham shortly before three o’clock.
t THe annual collection in the parish of Swinton for Edinburgh Royal Infirmary amounted to £8 10s which has been remitted by Miss Guthren who has received the thanks of the managers for her valuable services to the Institution.
t A STRANGE mirage followed a heavy rainfall of an hour’s duration early on Friday night over the district between Cockburnspth and Drem. There was a curious spectacle. Volumes of steam rose from the dry and heated land, and, till darkness, set in the fields as far as the eye could see had the appearance of an extensive mirage with all the resemblance of a huge lake surrounded by countless islands and plantations. To those who were travelling by train the sight was the subject of much comment.