25 years ago
▼ THE first positive steps towards the reconstruction of Dunbar Parish Church will be taken next week. Work on clearing the inside of the building which was destroyed by fire in January, will start on Monday and is expected to take two weeks to complete. Meanwhile the church has said they’d be interested in hearing from anyone with an opinion on the reconstruction.
▼ ST Abbs fisherman Peter Nisbet landed a whopper of a catch last week. But the 9ft long catch unfortunately didn’t have Peter laughing all the way to the bank...it was a buoy he found floating off the Berwickshire coast. Peter, the skipper of the ‘Favourite’, came on the buoy while fishing off Fast Castle last Thursday. The buoy is believed to have floated out of the deep water dock at Torness Power Station.
▼ PLANS to re-site a block of toilets in Eyemouth have been attacked by the town’s Chamber of Trade. At their annual general meeting, the chamber expressed grave concern at proposals to transfer the public toilets in the Seafront car park to the car park in Harbour Road. A spokesperson for the chamber said the proposals were “a retrograde step in the face of Eyemouth’s chronic lack of car parking spaces, especially since over the border in Berwick, the obvious emphasis is on suitable parking spaces for locals and visitors alike”.
▼ THE heavy snow which fell only on parts of Berwickshire last week blocked some roads and made driving conditions hazardous. Due to the heavy snow and a stranded articulated lorry, the A1107 Coldingham Moor road was blocked for over three hours on Friday. After being opened at 3pm heavy drifting occurred again and the road was closed for a second time and remained closed overnight. Hill areas were particularly badly hit and the Duns to Gifford road just north of Longformacus was still blocked on Sunday.
▼ BORDERS Regional Council, threequarters of the way through an attempt to rationalise the 80 town and country primary schools in the region, dropped the whole project last week with the finishing post in sight. The ruling Independent group on the council steamrolled the decision to abandon the 36 month long project after 33 months by 13 votes to nine. Having decided on the fate of two thirds of primary schools in the region- most have survived the microscopic scrutiny- they decided to stop.
▼ chirnside boxer John Aitken made a remarkable comeback to the ring at the weekend, when, after a four year absence, he travelled to Coatbridge and reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Amateur Boxing Championships. John, who also plays rugby for Duns, fought for the first time in the heavyweight division and was given a very difficult draw against Chuck Nwadilli, a 22 year old American based at the naval base in Dunoon. In a closely fought battle John emerged the winner by a majority decision. This puts him into the semi-finals to be held in the Grosvenor Hotel, Glasgow.
▼ despite a last ditch Conservative effort to chip away at a proposed Region rates increase, they will go up by 5p to 50p in the pound next year. The increase has been on the cards - along with a 5.7p in the pound water rate - since Borders Region’s policy and resources committee approved the proposals last month. Finance director Peter Jeary said that Berwickshire’s rate was likely to be 9.5p in the pound.
t Berwickshire District Council has been given planning permission for the erection of sheltered housing and a warden’s flat in Boston Court, Station Road. Douglas Hope, depute director of planning, said that the houses would be built at the site of the Boston Hall, and a small putting green. Tennis courts at the side of the building would be untouched by the development.
50 years ago
▼ BERWICKSHIRE is pioneering an experiment in snow clearance. Ploughs are out with rubber tips fixed to them. This has enabled them to become deeper set, and they are getting right through to the road itself. The county is the first in Scotland to try out this experiment and the roads, particularly in the east, are providing a good opportunity for the test.
▼ THE Eyemouth Town Council decision not to encourage the British Sub Aqua Club to hold their spear fishing championship off Eyemouth and St Abbs has aroused considerable comment in the Berwickshire town but the council’s action is supported by Eyemouth’s own Sub Aqua Club and St Abbs Trust. The council took the decision because they feel that the spear fishing on such a scale as this would be deterimental to the inshore fishing.
▼ No schoolchildren in Berwickshire will receive exemption from school in 1962 for potato lifting. The principal reason is the increased use of mechanical harvesters in the county. It is interesting to note that more potatoes were lifted by mechanical harvesters in Berwickshire than any other county in Scotland, although the acreage here is less than one sixth of that of Angus and one fifth of that of Perth or Fife.
▼ COLDINGHAM pulling off a shock 4-3 win over Grantshouse, have forced a play-off in their section of the Berwickshire Amateur League Cup. These two sides, and Eyemouth Youth Club all have four points and will play each other for the right to go forward.
▼ Eyemouth Town Council burgh surveyor, Mr J D Cunningham reported that all the temporary houses had now been vacated and the tenants re-housed in the new scheme at Queens Road. The contract for the removal of the prefab houses had been let by the Ministry of Works to a single contractor who was on site removing the houses.
▼ A PARTY of 36 pupils from the Berwickshire High School is booked for the school cruise ship, the M S Devonia for a cruise to the Iberian Peninsula during the first fortnight of the schools’ summer holiday. The ship will sail from Greenock and short stays will be made at Corunna, Lisbon and Vigo.
t DUN Park Bowling Club would like Sunday bowling as it was felt it would encourage new and younger members to take an interest in bowling. It was decided to put the matter in the hands of Duns Town Council.
t FINES totalling £45 were imposed on two Eyemouth skippers at Duns Sheriff Court when they pleaded guilty to fishing within the three mile limit.
t OWING to severe weather conditions the St Abbs fishing fleet did not put out to sea last week.
t IT was decided at a meeting of the executive committee of the Mid and East Berwick Area NFU to go ahead with arrangements for a tour by Border farmers, probably of northern France, to see something of the farms which will be in direct competition with British farms should Britain join the European Common Market.
100 years ago
▼ MR TENNANT, MP for Berwickshire, spoke at length in Parliament on Monday, on the Army Estimates and stated he did not think we have the best rifle the world will ever see. As to mobilisation, he believed the British Army would at the present time be able to mobilise more quickly than at any time in its history. As to ammunition, he believed our supply is today greater than it has ever been before.
▼ THE coal strike is now seriously affecting the Borderland. Lauder line is closed. Berwickshire line from Berwick to St Boswells has only one train each way, greatly to public inconvenience, merchants and dealers attending Duns market having to travel by road, as the only train was 3.30pm. Berwick and Kelso and Berwick and Eyemouth trains are also greatly curtailed.
▼ CHIRNSIDE Paper Mills, which employ 300 hands, stopped work on Monday on account of the coal strike. Mr Hay, Duns Castle, had generously offered to give a guarantee of £200 to enable necessitous inhabitants of Duns to procure supply of fuel and provisions at moderate rate.
▼ TUESDAY was Duns Hiring Market, and being the last in the district it was poorly attended. Wages offered were much the same as given the previous year, only in some instances was the six weeks’ pay deleted from the bargain in view of the benefits to be derived from the forthcoming Insurance Act.
▼ POPULAR favour erred on Saturday when Coldstream met Duns at Home Park in the semi-final of the Border Cup competition. The homesters were below their usual strength, due to different causes, amongst which was the coal strike which owing to the uncertainty of the train service kept Fairley, their clever forward, in Edinburgh. With young players as substitutes the result seemed a foregone conclusion for Duns, but the recruits did extremely well and Coldstream won a hard match by only one goal.
▼ ord Estate, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, of over 1000 acres, and including five farms coal and quarry royalties, and a Tweed salmon fishery is to be sold. This well known estate, is not, as has been stated, owned by Lady Francis Godolphin Osborne, wife of the brother of the Duke of Leeds, and daughter of the late Admiral Brown-Grieve of Ord House. She owns East Ord Estate which is not for sale. The Ord Estate is the property of the Selby Trust; and it is to be sold.
t MR David Veitch, Market Place, Duns, has just introduced, for the purpose of being better able to reach his country customers, a motor delivery van. This is the first vehicle of the nature in the county. It is a 20 horse-power Ford and was supplied by the local agent, Mr A Luke, Murray Street.
t AN interesting gathering took place when some members of Berwick and District Branch of the Independent Labour Party paid a visit to local stonebreakers. For some years past, the wages of the men have been declining, and while they once had 2s 6d per cubic yard of stone broken they have lately been receiving 1s 4d. In order to remedy matters the men in this district formed themselves into a Trade Union, and fixed the price at 2s per cubic yard, which price is paid by the County Council of Northumberland. The private contractors who do the work in this district, have so far refused to give the price asked, and the men may be said to be on strike.