25 years ago
▼ if Westruther School were to be closed, the coherence and credibility of regional council policies would be called into question say the Westruther School Committee. The school committee are at present busy preparing their case for the retention of the village school. The committee describe Westruther as a “success story” and they are proud of the educational standards of the school.
▼ duns Fire Service has been saved thanks to a total of 15 volunteers who put their names forward at a special recruiting drive held in the town on Saturday morning. The fire service at Duns was in danger of closure due to a lack of volunteer firemen and Duns Rotary Club, together with the Lothian and Borders Fire Brigade staged a special recruiting drive in the town on Saturday morning. Divisional Officer E.O Cranston was delighted with the response and said: “This bad spell of weather has illustrated how difficult it would be without a fire service in Duns. When the weather is like this and the town is cut off there is potential danger and loss of life without one.”
▼ an Eyemouth pensioner was pulled to safety from the icy waters of Eyemouth harbour by a local fishing boat skipper on Monday evening. Edward Rennie was walking along Gunsgreen Pier when he fell into the harbour. The MFV Bon Accord was sailing into the harbour when one of the crew saw the man in the water and alerted the rest of the crew. After an unsuccessful attempt to remove Mr Rennie from the water with a lifebelt, Bon Accord’s skipper, John Easingwood, dived in to the water and helped him to the side of the boat. The two men were winched aboard and Mr Rennie was taken to Berwick Infirmary.
▼ volunteers played the role of good samaritans to several hundred motorists who were stranded by the Siberian style weather in Dunbar. As police directed lorries and cars travelling south into the town when the A1 became blocked north of Berwick, members of the WRVS left the warmth of their homes to turn the Corn Exchange into a lodging house. For two days and two nights the ladies provided hot drinks and snacks, blankets and matresses and information about available accomodation to the stranded people. An American family, two Danish seamen and a woman with a premature baby were among the guests on the floor of the Exchange.
▼ thousands of children throughout the Borders missed lessons last week. Rural primary schools were worst hit, with many forced to close. Some remaining open operated with greatly reduced numbers. There were a few cases of teachers sleeping overnight in schools, while others were put up by parents and in one instance by a janitor and his wife.
▼ residents in most towns and villages in Berwickshire found milk, fresh fruit and vegetables in short supply when last week’s heavy snowfalls brought the district to a virtual standstill. This was not the case however with fresh bread and rolls thanks mainly to the efforts of an Eyemouth bakery. For a skeleton staff worked day and night at Martins Border Bakery to make and bake bread rolls and then ensure that orders got through to the firm’s shops and their customers. The firm overcame the often treacherous road conditions by fitting chains to the tyres of their vans and the only place they were unable to deliver to was North Berwick.
▼ andrew Cowan has hit further trouble on the gruelling Paris to Dakar Rally. He is now in ninth position overall as most of the crews are suffering from tiredness and exhaustion with two days of the event still remaining. The ‘flying farmer’ from Whistome has had no major problems but has suffered a series of niggling little faults including punctures, recurring shock absorber failures and braking maladies.
50 years ago
▼A GARAGE two shops, the library, and the Town Hall were broken into in a wave of crime which hit Coldstream early on Wednesday morning. Berwickshire Police are making intensive investigations into the incidents, most of which took place within half a mile on the main street. Small sums of money were stolen from the shops, and considerable damage was caused in the Town Hall. It was the most serious outbreak of theft in the burgh for some years.
t THE golden jubilee this year of Messrs J C Burgon, the well-known firm of wholesale fish merchants, holds a special significance for Miss Jeanie Bridgeford, head of the firm’s clerical department. For her it also marks the completion of 50 years’ service.
t BERWICK Station is to handle the busy Burnmouth fish traffic once Burnmouth Station closes on February 5. Burnmouth, Eyemouth and Ayton will be closed to passengers on that date, but Ayton is to continue to handle freight.
t FOR the first time in many weeks, the Chirnside defence, strong and confident as usual, linked up with their forwards to thrash lowly Coldstream 5-1 in an East of scotland League encounter at Comrades Park on Saturday. Four second half goals took the United to a comfotable win.
t WHEN he spoke at the December meeting of the Merse Agricultural Discussion Society, Mr R J Urquhart said that there was no shortage of facts about the Common Market but it was sometimes difficult to hear them above the grinding of axes and agriculture did indeed have an axe to grind. However, despite the volume of literature that had been published about the subject, nobody really knew what would happen if Britain did join the Common Market. The idea of the plan was to increase industrial and farm production, and raise the standard of living within a certain time limit, this being 1973, in the participating countries.
t MONEY available for disbursement was considered by Coldstream Town Council’s Finance Committee. Dean of Guild, I C Jack, reported that the county council were responsible for the disbursement of a sum of over £25 each year under the Marjoribanks Bequest to the support of the aged and infirm people in Coldstream or its neighbourhood. It was decided to recommend that details be obtained from the county treasurer as to the disbursement.
t THREATS of prosecution if there is any further pollution of the Tweed or its tributaries by sewage effluent from Coldstream have been made by the Tweed River Purification Board to Coldstream Town Council. On Tuesday, members said it was deplorable of the board to do this when the council was endeavouring to improve the situation. A letter from the board stated that they were not satisfied with the burgh’s sewage disposition position in view of the considerable lapse of time during which they had been pressing for action to be taken.
t RENTS of council houses in Duns are to be increased by sums ranging from £8 to £10 per annum. This was agreed to at the monthly meeting of Duns Town Council held last week. The increases were said to be based on economic necessity. The increases will take place as soon as possible.
100 years ago
▼ At present there is agitation concerning better electrical communication for liifesaving purposes along the Berwickshire coast. There is no direct coastline communication between Cockburnspath and St Abbs, and the authorities are appealing to have this link in the chain hooked up to connect the whole coast.
t Large swede turnips have been grown on Cocklaw farm this season, one of them weighed 39lbs., and others two stones and upwards.
t During last year there were 14 children born on Gordon Parish - four males and 10 females., all legitimate. Two children, whose parents reside in the parish, were born outside the parish, so the number added to the population is 16. There were 12 deaths during the year, and, leaving out the age of a child a few months old, the average age of 11 persons is 68 and a half years, while for nine the average is 75.3 years. No fewer than seven old Gordon residents joined the majority during the year. One lady, who was nearly 82, had never been ill during her long life, and never attended by a doctor. There were six marriages during 1911.
t EIGHTEEN healthy, radient boys and girls met once again in the Manse to enjoy the annual Sunday School treat. Tea was quickly served and, as quickly did the comestibles disappear. Crackers were an innovation, and bedecked with their contents, the scholors had quite a festive look. As the evening wore on, what with parlour and other games, interesting and instructive, and songs and recitations from the scholors themselves, some six odd hours seemed to pass in less than no time. Miss Smith, with magic lantern, threw on the screen, among others, such delightful picture stories as Dick Whittington and his Cat, The Fire Brigade, The Life Boat, and The Sweep and White-washer.
t Following the generous custom of her late husband, Mrs David Renton of Chester House, Eyemouth, has this week given a supply of coal to a number of poor people in the town. Such timely generosity is highly appreciated, and is a welcome evidence of Mrs Renton’s continued interest in the town.
t The Registrar of Ayton Parish has been awarded the maximum bonus for the care and accuracy with which the Census returns of the parish were prepared.
t On Monday the line boats put to sea at Eyemouth, but owing to the approaching storm they had all to leave their lines, except one yawl which had very few fish. Since then the most severe storm for some years caused the suspension of fishing until Friday night when 20 boats put out to the herring fish.
t Berwick Rangers 2 Vale of Leithen 0 - The poorer team so far as football was concerned, Berwick Rangers on Saturday managed to take full advantage of their home draw against Vale of Leithen, and after an exciting passage they completed in safety the second stage of their journey towards the Scottish Consolidation Cup.
t Members of Coldtream Working Mens Club met on Tuesday evening to consider the terms on which the Town Council had agreed to let the library and news room to the Working Men’s Club.