Aladin in 1986 performed in Duns
Aladin in 1986 performed in Duns

25 years ago

▼THE Border Region’s Education committee have overturned the recommendation of its primary education sub-committee and have voted in favour of the retention of Westruther School. The 27 schools looked at by the committee last week comprised the last slice of the primary schools in the Borders to have their future reviewed. Councillor Michaelle Burns-Greig made an impassioned plea for Westruther to be saved and she was supported by fellow Berwickshire councillor James Johnston who described the decision to put the future of Westruther out to consultation as “a head case decision.”

▼ A TOTAL of 7,700 miles and 22 days after setting off from Paris on New Year’s Day, Whitsome farmer Andrew Cowan arrived safely in Dakar at the end of the gruelling Paris to Darkar Rally, probably the toughest motor sport event in the world. Andrew, driving the Sonauto Mitsubishi Pajero, said after Thursday’s finish that he was “disappointed” with his eighth car placing. “The car is in immaculate condition and has been remarkably reliable,” he said.

▼ the Educational Institute of Scotland members who voted ‘yes’ to the compromise agreement on teachers’ pay and conditions totalled 83 per cent of their 500 or so membership, the highest affirmative vote in Scotland- according to figures published at the beginning of the week. The percentage of members voting together altogether was 95, again one of the highest in Scotland. On Tuesday, Director of Education, James McLean, said the Region, in conjunction with headmasters and the unions were now getting down to discussions about the future.

▼ A MYSTERIOUS bang or explosion type noise heard by residents in Eyemouth on Tuesday evening is baffling. Police eqnuiries have failed to determine what the noise was or where it originated. The local coastguard also heard the noise but was unable to help. Enquiries were also made with the Gas Board, SSEB, Air Traffic Control and the seismology department of the Weather Centre at Eskdale, all with a negative result.

▼ DUNS Community Council have been accused of being biased against Berwickshire District Council’s Boston Court Sheltered Housing Scheme. The accusation was made by Councillor Gilbert Millican at last week’s meeting of the District Council. Councillor Millican said that various points raised in a recent questionnaire circulated to all homes in Duns by the community council were clearly biased against the scheme.

▼ with most people just getting over the winter blues what everyone needed was a huge helping of fun and laughter. That is just what the large audience got when the Duns and District Operatic Society when they staged their pantomime ‘Aladdin’ last week. The rearranged date for the panto failed to affect the audience and it was a case of ‘full house’ on both nights at Berwickshire High School.

▼ WILLIAM Kirk of Chirnside has been riding bikes since he was only three years old. Now that he’s 12 though it’s not pedal cycles which hold his attention, but powerful motorbikes, capable of speeds up to 80mph. William has just completed his first full season as a competitive motocross rider, making the semi-finals of the British Championships at his first attempt.

50 years ago

▼ A RESCUE at Eyemouth during the Herring Queen celebrations in July was recalled last week when Peter Craig was presented with the Royal Humane Society’s commendation by Provost Mrs J Jackson. On Saturday, July 15 Walker Inglis, who was on board the Lindfar slipped, lost his balance and fell into the sea when the boat lurched in a heavy swell on leaving Eyemouth harbour. Mr Craig and Mr Veitch (who was to be presented with his award on his return from whaling) plunged in to his rescue.

t BERWICKSHIRE Carpet Bowling Association individual championship match was played in the Drill Hall, Duns, on Saturday, when there was the usual large number of entries, 152 in all. Ten years ago, the challenge cup competed for, was won by W Watson, of Westruther, and on Saturday he regained the cup.

t ROADS blocked, houses cut off and fields flooded - such was the trail of havoc which the swollen river Tweed created as its muddy waters swirled towards its mouth at Berwick last week. Acres of low lying land in the Tweed valley were inundated. The Coldstream/Cornhill area was one of the worst affected.

t TO pre-treat the water from the Watch Water Scheme by sedimentation will cost in the region of £55,000. This was revealed at a meeting of the Landward Committee on Public Health.

t the Berwickshire County Orchestra has recently formed its own vocal group. Ten people met in Berwickshire High School Music Room, invited by the orchestra, for the purpose of forming the new group. All the members are experienced singers, and there were no sight reading problems.

t THE official opening of Swinton Village Hall took place on Friday night. The hall has been re-decorated and equipped with a modern kitchen and gent’s cloakroom.

t DUNS and District Scooter Club - the Black and White Adders - held a dinner dance in the White Swan Hotel, Duns, on Friday, when over 90 people had a very enjoyable evening.

t IN his annual report for 1960, Dr R S Hardie, Berwickshire medical officer states: “No reasonable person now doubts that there is some casual connection, whether simple or complex, between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer. No action is to be taken meantime on a suggestion that school teachers in Berwickshire might do something to impress on young children the danger to health from smoking.” It had been suggested that some sort of action to impress upon young children the dangers to health from smoking might be taken through the schools with the co-operation of members of the teaching staff. After discussion by the sub committee, during which considerable doubts were expressed as to the efficiency of such an approach, it was decided to take no further action on the suggestion at this stage.

t FOOTBALl - In their first home appearance of the year, Coldstream put up an impressive display against Selkirk and there was no doubt that the influx of new blood did them a lot of good - they won 2-0.

t A JURY at an Edinburgh inquiry last week returned a verdict of death by food poisoning on a 17 year old girl from Lincolnshire. After eloping to Scotland she took ill on the train and was taken off the train at Berwick and rushed to the infirmary, before being transferred to hospital in Edinburgh where she died.

100 years ago

▼ St Abbs Motor Lifeboat Branch, which closes the year with a credit balance of over £40, has agreed to bring under the Institution’s notice the need for improvement in the communication on Berwickshire coast. A telephone between St Abbs and Co’path is suggested.

t The Horticutural Society annual general meeting was held in the Town Hall on Saturday. The treasurer, Mr P Knowles, submitted statement of accounts, showing the society to be in flourishing condition. Office bearers were elected. The show was fixed for August 31, The society is fortunate in being drawn in the ballot for prizes by Dobbie and Co.

t The Poultry, Pigeon and Cage Bird Society at Chirnside held a successful dance on Friday evening. Between 30 and 40 couples took part, to the lively music of Mr Andrew Johnston’s band.

t THe mansion house and property of Peelwalls, near Ayton, have been aquired by Mr Henry D Bell of St Colme’s, St Andrews, from the Trustees of the late Mr John Allan.

t There have been complaints to Eyemouth Town Council about the turning out at ten o’clock at night of the few lamps which the town possesses.

t Farmers on Dunglass Estate got permission to shoot over the coverts, and very good sport they had on Thursday and Friday.

▼ Mr J Little, who is leaving Stainrigg after a residence of 10 years, has generously presented the Reading Room with a very fine full-size billiard table. The present accommodation of the Room is too small to admit the table, and means will require to be taken soon to bring Leitholm level with other villages in possessing a hall - a matter which has been “in the air” recently. From Mrs Little has come for use in the school a beautiful piano. These gifts are very much appreciated, and fittingly demonstrate the good relationship that has always existed between Stainrigg and the village.

▼ Large quantities of wreckage have been washed up on Berwick Coast between Burnmouth and Holy Island during the weekend. These include several lifebelts marked “Wilson Line”, three life bouys bearing “Genoa Hull”, one lifebelt with the name “Venus of Flensburg,” as well as several unmarked lifebelts, a ships locker and a number of hatches. The Genoa is owned by the Wilson Line and yesterday was reported as missing. She left Blyth for Riga on January 15, and would thus be in the North Seaduring the recent terrible weather.

t Hounds met on Sunday at The Hirsel. There was a large company, with a large contingent of Berwickshire and North Northumberland Hunts. Cent was catchy. Found a brace in Castlaw whip cover. Striking the line of one going North, he crossed over Castlaw, going at a good pace over Georgfield and Skaithmuir, they lost him at Miln graden. Found another at Haigsfield, but going was very heavy, and he saved his bush in Fernierig woods.

t Under the auspices of the Coldingham Young Men’s Guild, Burns’ anniversary was celebrated in the Public Hall.

▼ An excellent company met in the Plough at Leitholm to celebrate the “Immortal Memory.” Supper was provided by Mr Robinson, and under the genial chairmanship of Mr W Aitken, A lengthy programme of toasts and songs was gone through. The “Immortal Memory” was ably proposed by Mr C Curry.