Duns leek show, 1986.
Duns leek show, 1986.

25 years ago

▼ plans to develop Eyemouth Harbour would lead to the town’s tourist industry suffering. This was claimed last week by Councillor Fiona Sutherland when Berwickshire District Council discussed a request by Eyemouth Harbour Trust for support in request of proposals for the development of the harbour. The Harbour Trust have proposed a £10m redevelopment scheme, which would improve landing facilities at the port, where the harbour is at present inadequate for the bigger fishing vessels and restricting industrial development in the area.

▼ land at Boston Hall/Duns Park in Duns is to be zoned for sheltered housing. The proposal has caused considerable controversy in the Berwickshire town. “The thing has been going on and on,” commented Convenor Tom Hunter at a meeting of the Regional Council on Tuesday. “Somebody is trying to stir up a hornets nest when all of the hornets have gone home,” added Councillor John Scott. The secretary of Duns Community Council has twice written to the Regional Council saying that the community council has not officially withdrawn its objection to the scheme.

▼ THE racing pigeon owned by Joe Lovel and named after his seven year old daughter Stephany, has just won the Scottish Mid-Week Specialist Club’s Young Bird National. The race was from Dorchester and Stephany’s Lad was clocked in by Joe at 8.59am on the morning after the pigeons had been liberated. Joe, of Lammerview, Chirnside, is a member of the Chirnside & District Homing Society and the win is the best he’s had so far. He will be presented with the National Trophy at a prize-giving in Tranent before the end of the year.

▼ ‘bonjour Mademeoiselle’ was the greeting which an 18 year old Berwickshire girl received at the end of a recent swim. However, the swim wasn’t a dip in the Meditteranean during a holiday on the French Riviera, it was across the channel, which Vicki Wright and a group of fellow students completed in a relay. Vicki, from Buskin Farm, Coldingham, and fellow students at Fettes College, started the swim at Shakespeare Beach, near Dover. Each member of the team swam for an hour and Vicki encountered no problems during her time in the water.

▼ berwickshire District Council have rejected a recommendation that they should implement a ban on having goldfish as prizes at fairgrounds on council property. The recommendation was made by the council’s Environmental Services Committee following a request from the Borders Animal Welfare Association asking the council to put a ban on the practice of giving live animals as prizes. However, Councillor John Aitchison proposed that a ban should not be imposed, and this was seconded by Councillor Bill Smith. A vote taken went 5-3 in favour of the Environmental Services Committee’s recommendation being rejected.

▼ ONe member of Duns Amateur Swimming Club was in particularly outstanding form at the recent Border Freestyle Championships in Galashiels. Stuart Mercer won the men’s 100m sprint for the fifth time in succession. The sprint event is regarded as the ‘blue riband’ of Borders Swimming and dates back to 1927. However, it was Stuart’s time of 54.8 seconds that left spectators astonished. He broke the championship record which had stood for over 30 years and was set by the former Gala swimmer Douglas Welch who competed in the 1947 and 1951 Olympic games.

50 years ago

▼ THE major improvements to Chirnside Bridge and its approaches, which has been under consideration by Berwickshire County Council since before the 1939-45 war, will not be due to be started until 1964-5.

t DUNS and District Scooter Club held its first event since its formation. This was in the form of a treasure hunt which took competitors over much of Berwickshire.

t BERWICKSHIRE County Roads Committee are to go ahead with their plan to provide the ‘much-needed’ car park at St Abbs, although the original scheme drawn up by the surveyor will be restricted because of the refusal by the harbour trustees to allow parking on their land. The revised scheme, estimated to cost in the region of £620, will go before the finance committee and is expected to be ready for next summer.

t GREENLAW Bowling Club held their annual East v West match when, despite gale force winds, a very enjoyable game ended in a win for the East by 20 shots.

t HEWIE, the two year old budgie who disappeared from his home in Tweedmouth a fortnight ago, is back in his cage again after an adventure which took him to Hutton. The budgie flew out of the back door from its home at Mount Road, Tweedmouth, and after flying around the garden for a while he disappeared. His owner inserted at advert in the Berwickshire Advertiser and eight days later Hewie was brought home by Mr Watson of Hutton. His sister had found the very bedraggled little blue bird at the bottom of her garden at Hutton. Fortunately he had survived one of the worst storms to hit the Borders for many years.

t successive defeats in two sports car races for international racing star Jim Clark were highlights of the autumn meeting at Charterhall on Sunday. A big crowd turned up in the sunshine to see a meeting which had provided both thrills and spills.

t COLDSTREAM Football Club showed a continuance of their recent improvement when they deservedly won the points against the Strollers at Home Park on Saturday. They would have won more convincingly but for the fact that they wasted a number of easy opportunities.

t Berwick Police escorted two lorries through the town on Wednesday. The lorries, which were carrying a valuable load south, were brought into the town by Berwickshire Police then handed over, as a safety precaution, to a local patrol. While the drivers lunched in Berwick, the lorries remained at the police station then continued on the journey south.

t AT a meeting of the schools and staffing sub-committee of the Berwickshire Education committee, on Tuesday Mr R D Birch, the director of education, reported on staffing in the authority’s schools. Mr Birch said that the position in primary school was satisfactory but in the secondary schools there was quite a number of vacancies. In particular the position of home-craft teachers was serious. As far as the Berwickshire High School was concerned, Mrs Birch said that unless a suitable appointment could be made to the department, then there was a real danger of the collapse in the teaching of this subject.

100 years ago

▼ Damaged estimated at between £400 and £500 was done by a fire which broke out on Tuesday afternoon at the farm of Chalkielaw, about one mile from Duns on the Manderston estate. Chalkielaw, which is tenanted by Mr Alexander Bell, is a large holding, and the compact steading standing on a slight eminence presents to the roadway an imposing ivy-covered broadside. The steading has been built in the form of a square, one side of which comprises the stables and coach house, and another the threshing mill, hen house and wash house. It was in the last named part of the building that the outbreak occurred, shortly before noon on Tuesday. It is supposed that the flames originated among some loose straw outside the threshing mill, and, fanned by a stiff breeze, they quickly spread to the building, where they were soon blazing furiously. When the outbreak was discovered, it had already got a firm hold, and with the elements to favour work of devastation, and no water to speak of within a less distance than half a mile, it seemed from the first that the building was doomed.

▼ An amateur art exhibition was recently held by Hon Lady Miller at Manderston. Exhibits were sent in by most of the best amateur workers in the country. Miss Jockel, masonic art needlework society, Edinburgh, judged the work, and prizes given by Lady Miller were awarded the winners in the various classes. The exhibits were displayed in the ball-room at Manderston and during the few days the exhibition lasted many of the exhibitors and County people paid a visit of inspection.

t Potato lifting has commenced on several farms in the Greenlaw district and in a few days lifting will be general.

▼ The King has been pleased, on the recommendation of the Secretary for Scotland, to approve the following appointment: Mr A D Wood to be Secretary to the General Board of Lunacy for Scotland, in succession to Mr T W L Spence, who retires on 27th December. Mr Wood, who is a Berwickshire man, being a native of Gordon, is a Justice of the Peace for the City of Edinburgh, and has for a good many years been secretary of the Scottish Liberal Association. He has conducted the business of that body in a very efficient manner, and has earned for himself the confidence of members of his Party by the soundness of his judgement on all matters connected with the administration of Scottish electioneering.

▼ Biddle’s Circus visited Coldstream on Monday last, when one performance was given in the evening and was well patronised. It then visited Chirnside on Saturday, and gave two performances in Waterloo field.

▼ Anniversary and Harvest thanksgiving services were held in the Roger Memorial United Free Church, Coldstream, on Saturday, 1st October. The Church was most tastefully decorated with flowers, fruit and vegetables for the occasion. The preacher, Rev W Mackintosh Mackay, BD, of Sherbrooke Church, Glasgow, delivered eloquent addresses at both the morning and evening services. The attendances were large.

▼ THE sum collected in the Parish of Westruther this year in aid of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary amounts to £8 7s 6d.

▼ THe low state of the water is proving a serious matter for those anglers who have rented beats on the Tweed for salmon fishing this autumn, and as the prospects of a flood are yet remote the outlook is most unpromising. In the lower reaches of the river only an occasional small fish is being got, but there are any number of sea trout and salmon waiting to ascend if only there was sufficient volume of water to fetch them up.