Greenlaw Festival's new trophy in memory of Wilma

AN extra-special trophy has been introduced to this year's Greenlaw Festival, in memory of the "moving spirit" behind so much that has been for the good of Greenlaw.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 23rd June 2010, 12:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd June 2010, 12:13 pm

The Wilma Moscrop Memorial Trophy has been dedicated to the memory of Wilma, who died in March this year after a prolonged and valiant battle against cancer.

The Trophy will be awarded to the team who gain the most points in the Festival's newest event - the Dodecathon (sometimes spelt doodecacatholon!), or Greenlaw Festival Challenge, which incorporates 12 separate events: the wii fit challenge; the making of hammocks and scarecrows; skipping; football; golf; archery; tennis; bowling; running/walking 3k/5k; fancy dress parade; drawing/painting; amazin raisins (cooking); a tree treasure hunt and finally the making of something which travels - all organised by the various groups and clubs in Greenlaw.

Having started on Saturday, June 12, the competition is now well underway, and will run until Sunday, June 27, the last day of the Festival.

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The winning team will be presented with The Wilma Moscrop Memorial Trophy in memory of Wilma.

As anyone in Greenlaw would know, Wilma was the hands-on moving spirit behind so much that has been for the good of Greenlaw, particularly the football club and the festival itself, and it was thought fitting that there should be something special in her memory.

The trophy itself has a history all of its own - fittingly, one in which Wilma herself played an important part. For the cup is not a new cup, it is an old cup; lost and found; whereby hangs a tale - a tale of two tailors of Greenlaw.

Way back in the thirties, George Happer, whose shop was just up the Duns Road from the corner where Stoddarts the grocer once was (now Fairbairn Court) and James Balmer, who lived and worked along West High Street (now the Mini Market) got together and started the Greenlaw Games.

They were pretty ambitious with professional runners attending their events. George Happer provided the field (which his family later gifted to the community in the 1970s and which is administered by the Community Council) and James Balmer presented a cup, inscribed: "Greenlaw Charity Cup presented by James Balmer".

The Cup is solid sliver, made, it is believed, in Sheffield in 1934/35, and the various winners' names were inscribed on the back over the years.

In 1938/39 they were Marchmont FC who used to play at a level part of the Long Avenue, often against the team from Sisterpath.

In 1941 Gordon FC were the winners. This was wartime as the next two names show: 1942 RAF Charterhall and 14th Lancers (Polish Forces) in 1945 - they were stationed in the Greenlaw Town Hall.

In 1946, after the war, it was Gordon successfully teamed up with Westruther. 1947 the Earlston Rhymmers; 1948 Stow Amateurs; 1949 Leitholm Tigers; 1950 and 51 Milfield; 1952 to Greenlaw 'the Z Men' and 1958 Kelso Ramblers.

But what happened after that is unknown - the cup just rambled away and vanished!

Then, 10 years ago, someone walking along George Street in Edinburgh noticed a fine Silver Cup in a jewellers shop window, with "Greenlaw Charity Cup" engraved on it. Being a public spirited sort of person heor she wrote a letter to the Berwickshire News.

Wilma saw the letter, and anxious to retrieve the Cup for Greenlaw, consulted with Sue and Sandy McLean, who most generously put up the asking price of 175. Wilma and her husband Arthur went up to Edinburgh and bought the cup back, and it has been kept in the McLeans office for safe keeping until a worthy purpose came along.

And the Greenlaw Festival Committee have now identified both a worthy and fitting purpose for the Cup, which is to be mounted on a wooden block encircled by a silver band on which will be engraved the names of all the winners of the Willma Moscrop Greenlaw Festival Challenge.