The history of Ayton - a Berwickshire village

Ayton Local History Society has published a new book about the village.
Ayton Local History Society has published a new book about the village.

A new book on the history of the village has been published by Ayton Local History society and its official launch takes place next week.

‘The History of Ayton - A Berwickshire Village’ looks at education, the churches, sports activities, shops, businesses and services in 1903 and 1935, as well as paper-making, the ex-service and recreation club and includes old photographs and other snippets.

The society’s previous publication ‘The History of Ayton and other Personal Recollections’ published in 2013, sold out and Ayton resident, Patricia Payne, made a generous donation for more to be published.

However, in recent years the society gathered much more information and it was decided to publish a book which would include some of this new material as well as including the writings of T. Ramsay Turner which were in the earlier version.

Writing about life at Ayton Law, Ramsay Turner explained: “Living as we do in a purely agricultural area it is amazing to realise what changes have taken place in one‘s lifetime in this field of activity. The size of farms in my boyhood days were never reckoned in acres but by the number of pairs of horses so employed and even to this day, having lived all my life in Ayton, I am quite unaware of acreages except by guesswork.”

The cover of the new book, based on a photo from the early 1900s showing the clock tower, was designed by Northern Ireland based artist Jenni Robinson. Jenni grew up in Ayton and her childhood bedroom overlooked the clock tower.

Eight society members took responsibility for individual chapters, some doing a lot of new research using a variety of sources including old copies of the Berwickshire News. Sadly, Patricia Payne died before the book could be published but Ayton Local History Society is extremely grateful for her donation which made it possible.

The book is being launched at Ayton Local History Society’s next meeting on Tuesday, November 27. Priced £8.99, it will be available from Wednesday, November 28, by contacting Bill Black on 018907 81427, emailing billblack1804@gmail.com or calling at Dalgetty House in Ayton High St.