Coldstream Guards set off in cycle run to Pirbright. May 1986.
Coldstream Guards set off in cycle run to Pirbright. May 1986.

25 years ago

▼ IN the proverbial carve up at the first meeting of the new Borders Regional Council on Friday, the knife was firmly in the hand of the Independents, who claimed chairmanship of all but one of the committees. But it wasn’t all plain sailing. Nan Burnett had to fight for her position as chair of the social work committee in a 15-8 battle against Councillor Rory Hamilton, and Bill Douglas won the chairmanship of the building control committee against Councillor Neil Thomson, by the same margin.

t PEEL Hospital near Galashiels and The Knoll in Duns are at the centre of controversy which could lead to thousands of ancillary workers in Scotland taking strike action. A Scottish spokesman on health matters for the National Union of Public Employees, Mr George Anderson, warned this week that 34,000 of his union’s members, plus hospital workers who were in the Transport and General Workers Union, Confederation of Health Service Employees and General Municipal Boilermakers and Allied Trades Union, would be asked to strike if cleaning services at Peel are contracted out later this year.

t FOR the vast majority of people in Berwickshire, next month’s World Cup in Mexico will mean a few late nights in front of the TV equipped with a couple of cans of beer. For a group of Eyemouth men, however, the football bonanza will mean an experience of a lifetime. Seven football fanatics from the fishing port are flying out to Mexico to watch Scotland’s bid for World Cup glory, with the first two of Eyemouth’s own Tartan Army starting their long journey next week. Barry Dougal and Mo Collin leave Heathrow on Tuesday on a trip which will see them over the other side of the Atlantic for just under two months.

t A ST Abbs fisherman has just missed out on breaking the port record for landings at Aberdeen. Jim Vanko, one time whaler, and now skipper/owner of the motor fishing vessel Auriga, landed 726 cases, mainly codling at the northern port last week. The 80ft vessel grossed £40,016 from her trip to the Norwegian sector and was just £475 short of the port record for a seine netter which was set in April 1984.

t THE Tweed River Purification Board have warned Border farmers that they are going to get tough on incidents of silage effluent leakage following the worst year on record for river pollution. Speaking at last week’s meeting of the Borders NFU at St Boswells, Ian Currie, director of the board, said that after taking a relaxed view on what was happening, the board were now tightening their control. Alan Virtue, inspector, said that 83 farms in 75 per cent of the board’s area, and 30 per cent of all silos visited, were allowing effluent to flow into water courses.

t TRISH Calder from East Blanerne, near Chirnside, is probably best known for training racehorses, but at the weekend she also proved that she is a first class athlete. In Sunday’s Coquetdale half marathon in north Northumberland, Trish was the first lady home in a tremendous time of just 1 hour, 20 minutes and 43 seconds. Trish (33) has already achieved some notable finishes in some of the country’s top marathons. Sunday’s event attracted a record entry of 450 runners.

t RITA McNeil is the toast of the bowling fraternity in Berwickshire this week after becoming the first woman in the district to be chosen to play for Scotland. A member of Eyemouth Bowling Club, Rita was selected to represent her country in this year’s home international series in Cardiff following a trial at Priorscroft Bowling Green last week. Chirnside’s Bob Virtue and George Simpson of Eyemouth have played for the Scottish men’s side, but Rita is the first woman bowler in Berwickshire to gain full international recognition.

50 years ago

▼ BERWICKSHIRE would give its support if a Border Industrial Development Association was formed. But the members of any new association would have to be prepared to work hard and not sit back and expect things to be done for them.

t DELAYS in the completion of Coldstream Bridge repair work have been causing concern to ratepayers and when they met last week the Town Council heard the reasons as to why the work had taken so long. It is now anticipated that the work will be finished by mid-summer. A member of the Tweed Bridges Trust said the original idea had been to complete strengthening work by January. However, they had come forward with proposals for widening the carriageway and making cantilever footpaths. There had been a delay while they “haggled” over a grant, and a further delay while they awaited the Royal Fine Art Commission representatives.

t THE River Whiteadder is still proving a great attraction for anglers and on Saturday between the Chirnside paper mill and the Bluestone Ford stretch, almost 60 anglers were out.

t BERWICKSHIRE football teams have enjoyed another good season from a playing point of view, and this season the limelight falls on the Duns ‘Dingers’. One of the oldest established clubs in the Borders, Duns were able to field a regular eleven each week and this contributed greatly to their success.

t OFFICIALS of Duns Football Club’s winners of two cups - the Scottish (South) Qualifying Cup and the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup - reported a successful playing and financial season at the annual general meeting on Thursday.

t AFTER crashing his car on a practice run, Jim Clark, the Berwickshire racing driver came out the following day to drive in top form in the Monte Carlo Grand Prix on Sunday. He was one of only nine drivers to complete the race. Three or four pit stops ruined his chances of finsihing in the top four, but for all that he gained some fine lap times, and did well to finish.

t PROSPECTIVE tenants of council houses are to be asked whether they are prepared to accept a prefabricated house. This was reported to a meeting of Coldstream Town Council. The housing committee had considered the housing list presented to them. Deletions were made where known circumstances had changed, but no request was received from the applicants authorising delition.Other applicants are also to be asked if they will accept prefabricated houses, built soon after the war when the housing position was acute.

t WORK on the new Henderson Park at Coldstream has been proceeding steadily and it will be opened officially on May 15. The park, with its new rose bushes and lawns, will be opened in time for the Whitsun holidaymakers.

t THE first tournament organised by Chirnside Tennis Club drew 12 couples in a doubles event on Tuesday evening. In the final the brothers A and S Gordon defeated Valerie Steel and Allan Mitchell by six games to four.

100 years ago

▼ Unfortunately the festivities at Ladykirk in connection with the Coronation have had to be postponed until June 23. On that day service will be held in the Parish Church at 1 o’clock, and during the afternoon Hon Mrs Askew Robertson will entertain the inhabitants of the Parish, besides a large number from Norham and other places.

▼ On Tuesday afternoon an outbreak of fire occurred at Warlawbank, Reston, tenanted by Mr Wood. The fire seems to have originated in the riding stable, the roof of which was quickly enveloped in flames. Strenuous efforts were made to prevent the fire from spreading to the adjoining buildings, and this was accompanied tearing down a large part of the roof. It was, however, hopeless to try to save the buildings already attacked, including the stables, harness room and turnip shed, and these were completely gutted, involving a loss believed to be considerable. How the fire originated is unknown.

▼ During last week one outbreak of anthrax occurred in Berwickshire one animal being attacked.

▼ THE telephone system is to be introduced into Eyemouth in the course of the next few weeks, and on Thursday the Town Council went over the ground in the village upon which it is suggested the poles should be erected.

▼ During the past winter there has been conducted in Duns, under the auspices of the Red Cross Society, a series of ambulance lecturers with a view of qualifying those ladies and gentlemen in the town and district who were willing to join Voluntary Aid Detachments.

▼ After a period of delay, the Eyemouth Rifle Club will, it is hoped, be soon in operation. To meet requirements a couple of ordinance survey maps showing the site of the proposed range have been forwarded to headquarters, and it is expected that the site will be inspected in a short time.

▼ Mr Tom Speedy, the renowned naturalist, was in Cockburnspath on Saturday. He is a Berwickshire man, hailing from Ladykirk.

▼ Lambing in the hill district is practically over at Greenlaw, and taken all in all has been one of the best for some years. The weather has been very favourable. Lambs have cropped well. In some cases there has been loss amongst the ewes, although generally speaking the death rate amongst ewes and lambs has been low. There is plenty of pasture and the lambs are thriving in the fine, genial weather.

t Early on Wednesday morning, while the Eyemouth boat Olive was fishing off the Northumberland coast, she was run into by Grimsby trawler Nubia and sustained such severe damage that she had to be towed into port. The collision took place in calm and clear weather, and for a time the crew were apprehensive that their fishing craft would founder. Assistance was offered by the local boat Isabella Colven, which came alongside, but it was declined. The trawler Nubia eventually took the damaged boat in tow, and brought her into harbour for repairs, where the damage was ascertained to be of a serious nature.