Letters to the editor


No apology for exposing views

I am writing in response to the “Councillor’s extremism ignites storm” article on November 21 concerning my resignation from Foulden, Mordington and Lamberton Community Council, and the subsequent letters it has provoked.

I would like to clarify that I am in no way saying that a Councillor or indeed Chair cannot hold “private political views” but that Gregory Lauder Frost continually expresses these views on the public stage, appearing on national TV, on the Traditional Britain Group website and blogging for that group. His views, therefore, are not private but in the public domain.

In addition, far from the assumption Mr Lauder Frost holds that I am a staunch “Leftie”, it may cause some shock that I voted Conservative at the last General Election, not that it is any of his business.

Had I realised at that point that the Conservative Party harbours the Traditional Britain Group, I would have reconsidered my decision!

I had not been aware that there had been a journalist at the meeting and had never met her before. I had not planned that my resignation would be reported upon, but I do not apologise for exposing extreme political views.

A Google search on Mr Lauder Frost and the Traditional Britain Group provides rather worrying reading.

Alison Hibbert,

Lamins Farm, Foulden.

Sickened to the heart

As a resident of Foulden I have stayed out of the debate about the suitability of Gregory Lauder Frost as chairperson of the Community Council and I intended to remain that way as I felt that Community Council politics didn’t directly affect me.

I now feel I can no longer keep quiet though as the views of this person who represents my community are so extreme and sickening. His Facebook response to the death of Nelson Mandela, ‘Nelson Mandela 1918-2013 Communist, murderer, terrorist and thug, you will not be missed’ sickens me to my heart.

I believe in equality for all and respect for my fellow human beings. This is not some so-called ‘loony leftist’ view but one of basic human decency and social justice.

Louise Sanders,



Scare stories and threats

The ‘NO’ campaign’s response to the Scottish Government’s 670 page White Paper was, sadly, as expected.

We are all getting used to their ridiculous scare stories and threats. Many of us even have a favourite. My favourite is the thought of border guards along the Carter Bar. Truly ridiculous.

They forget that we have seen a lot of this before in 1979 in 1997. A great deal has changed since then. Scotland is a different place. As one of the authors of the “devo plus” proposal and someone who gave evidence to the Calman Commission I know that there is no likelihood of substantial tax, fiscal and welfare powers being devolved to the Scottish Parliament if we vote ‘NO’. Westminster had its chance and all we got was the Scotland Act 2012.

It is time for the ‘NO’ campaign to stop acting like a petulant child.

You may not like the answers being given but at least listen to them. ou may also want to consider answering a few questions too. For example on the UK Government’s plan to hold an EU referendum, the future of the Barnett Formula and further powers for the Scottish Parliament.

For those interested in hearing more about Scottish independence please feel to contact one of the local Borders YES Groups: YES Borders, YES Tweeddale, YES Galashiels, YES Selkirk, YES Kelso and Jedburgh, YES Hawick, YES Berwickshire and YES Tweedbank. More are in the process of being formed. Each group has a Facebook page and is holding a number of events over the next few months.

Even if you are undecided or even intend to vote ‘NO’ you are more than welcome to attend their events.

James Aitken,

Tweedbank, Galashiels.


Total raised over £1,000

Our annual Christmas Concert was held last Sunday night in Duns Parish Church and was once again a wonderful event.

We were absolutely delighted with the turnout – and what a wonderful night of quality entertainment we were served up. The church was packed and if you weren’t there you certainly missed a sparkling night of a showcase of talent from our town and district.

The evening began with a Trumpet Solo fanfare from Barnaby Bevan who gave us ‘Bouree’ by Handel – Wow! What an opening to our evening – well done Barnaby.

Our compere for the evening - Moira Taylor Smith welcomed everyone who had turned out to support this annual venture and hoped they would all enjoy the evening’s entertainment to follow.

She then introduced the first Carol ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ for all to join in accompanied by the Berwickshire High School Brass Band to get the evening of to a great start.

Then we had the wonderful voice of Maddy Cawthorn who gave us a beautiful rendition of ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ accompanied by Cameron Mabon on the piano.

The Duns Primary School were next on with their recorder group playing ‘Jingle Bells’ and then their choir singing ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’ and ‘Shepherd’s Duet’.

Thanks to musical director Vanessa Richards and Cameron Mabon who accompanied them on piano.

Alex Prentice gave a solo performance on her violin and then there were two very entertaining pieces from Duns Brownies. Then came Berwickshire High Guitar Ensemble (Rory Hamilton and Ewan Steady) and the High School Band ‘Quake’.

The penultimate performance came from Bernadette Owtram on the Flute before a rousing finale with Rory Hamilton (Talented lad!) on the bagpipes leading the Brass Band into the finale of Highland Cathedral.

Joyce Blaikie, chair of the Duns Macmillan Committee thanked all who had participated for their invaluable assistance in presenting an evening such as this - all teachers, leaders and most especially all the wonderful performers.

Also to you all once again for turning up in such fantastic numbers and making this a successful evening for us (we had raised £950).

The audience participation was superb as always and what a fantastic start to the Christmas season for us all and a wonderful boost to the Macmillan Funds (thanks to donations received after the show the total has jumped to over £1000!

Many, many thanks to you all.

Thanks also to the committee members and friends who served the ever popular mulled wine and mince pies to all afterwards (and all the preparations before and after!). I hope I haven’t missed anyone out – please forgive me if I have – it is certainly not intentional.

Thank you all very much once again for your support and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Nella Feeney,

Press officer, Duns Macmillan Cancer Support Committee.


Great news for Duns church

On December 5 Duns Parish Church became a Fairtrade Church.

This is great news, meaning that the church is part of a growing number of organisations which are determined to do what they can to make trade fair for some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.

Being able to trade fairly allows the people who grow produce and make goods to earn enough to live, to feed their families and to send their children to school. Without these things people have no chance of improving their situation and working their way out of poverty.

To become a fairtrade church we have made three pledges:

1. To use Fairtrade tea and coffee after services and at all meetings for which we’re responsible.

2. To move forward on using other Fairtrade products such as sugar, biscuits and fruit etc.

3. To promote Fairtrade during Fairtrade Fortnight and during the year through events, worship and other activities whenever possible.

This also means that we’d love to see Fairtrade tea and coffee served at the coffee mornings which are hosted at Duns Parish Church, and at any other event that takes place there.

Scotland is a Fairtrade Nation, Edinburgh is a Fairtrade City, Duns Parish Church is a Fairtrade Church. Isn’t it time we were thinking about making Duns a Fairtrade Town?

Sheila Sim,

On behalf of Duns Parish Church.


Eyemouth Poppy Appeal

On behalf of the Eyemouth Royal British Legion Poppy Team may I say a big thank you to everyone involved with this years Poppy collection.

That’s all the pubs and shops that were good enough to make space on their counter for a poppy box. I must also thank our local schools for their contributions, Ayton, Reston and Eyemouth.

I would also like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteer street collectors who went door to door. Each year your combined efforts add significantly to our total, close to a third of that final figure is because of your collections. Your hard work is very much appreciated.

Thanks also to everyone who helped with this years Poppy coffee morning, all the usual faces that supply the tea & biscuits, as well as those behind the scenes. Thanks to you all.

I would also like to say thanks to everyone who came along to our church service on Remembrance Sunday and who contributed to the collection that kicked off our poppy fund, and to everyone who became part of the Parade and took those few moments at the memorial.

After our memorial service we were once again treated to teas and refreshments at the Dolphin Hotel, and my thanks once again go to Sam and his staff for a wonderful buffet.

While the Poppy collection is only over the space of a few weeks, there are so many people involved that it would be impossible to mention each and every one by name, so again, my sincere apologies if I’ve missed anyone. But I must stress that it is only with the combined efforts of everyone, that the RBL Poppy appeal, which is there “Serving those who serve,” manages to raise what it does, which this year is an amazing £3,456.31p

Finally though, as always, my sincere thanks to the local people themselves for their continued generosity and for their support of the RBL Poppy appeal, without which it would certainly fail.

My thanks to you all.

Keith Fisackerly,

On behalf of Eyemouth RBLS Poppy Team.

nelson mandela

A man like no other

Nelson Mandela, the father of the new South Africa, passed away after a long fight against illness.

He was a man like no other. His journey of defiance in the face of injustice defined the story of apartheid in South Africa. Yet it was his ability to forgive his opponents, and promote peace, which led his nation to democracy and inspired people across the world in their own struggles against racism and inequality.

Words like ‘great’ and ‘hero’ are bounded around all too frequently, but for Mandela he was these and much more.

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Rest in peace.

Hugo Sanders,

Orchard House, Foulden.


Off to ‘get a life’

In reply to Ms Cunningham about my “sarcastic letter”. First off, the gentleman in the original letter made no mention of the staff being cold or that he was complaining on their behalf.

Second, yes I do know what it is like to be cold at work. I spent 46 years as a fish merchant, up to my elbows in icy water in an unheated fish yard, but that was only when I was not standing on frozen fish markets or quaysides. I suggest you watch dawn come up over Peterhead fish market in the middle of January if you want to know what cold is, buying fish or waiting for vessels to land.

At least the supermarket staff had the right to warm clothing being issued and a heated rest room (required by legislation if the work area is below a certain temperature) to get a warm.

Back to the main point of my letter, does a bit of cold cause anywhere near the suffering those Filipinos went through? No. Would I swap my years in the cold with any of them? No.

End of story, I am writing no more letters, I have decided to ”Get a life”. Farewell to all my readers.

David Thorburn,

Gillsland, Eyemouth.

charity darts

Jamie and Alan are tops

May I through your paper thank everyone for coming to the Adam Young Memorial Open Darts competition.

Thanks to everyone for raffle prizes and donations. The total raised for the British Heart Foundation was £507.

Winners were Jamie Bishop and Alan Brown and runners-up were Steven Hood and Drew Scott.

Thanks got to Douglas and his staff at The Tavern for their hospitality.

Irene Aithchison,

Gunsgreen Crescent, Eyemouth.

Coldstream competition

The darts competition for the Margaret Hope Memorial Trophy was held for the third year in the Eildon Centre, Coldstream on October 26.

It was great to see such a big turn out of competitors and also those there to support the event.

Congratulations to Marie Moffat and Jamie Bishop who beat Kay Scobbie and Richard Thirlwell in a close run entertaining final.

A huge thank you must ago to all the businesses who donated prizes for the grand raffle and to all friends who handed in prizes on the night.

The grand total of £400 was realised on the night and will be donated to Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland in Margaret’s memory.

Many thanks again to all involved.

Family of Margaret Hope,

High Street, Coldstream.