The Galashiels Local History Society.
Established 1948 Charity No SC034141
Prominent Dates in Galashiels History
Based on notes compiled by T. S. Purves.
1617 Church built at Old Cemetery. Church Street
1636 Gala Aisle built
1656 Waulkmill Head
built in Bank Street on site Earlier mill dated 1581
1666 Galashiels Manufacturer Corporation Founded
1744 Aimers mentioned as engineers.
1780 Wilderbank Mill, Wilderhaugh. Geo Mercer
1792 Mid Mill built (Adam Cochrane) on site of older mill
1793 Oldest part of Ladhope
1798 Botany Mill. Roxburgh Street built
1802 Waulkmill Head built on site of earlier mills 1581 & 1656
Mill built by David Thomson.
1804 Nether Mill, Huddersfield St. built (The Baron) Wm Brown
1804 Old Parish Church built in Church
St. Now Church Square
Deanbank Mill, Hall St built - Spinning Mill - Hugh Sanderson
1818 Galabank Mill, built - R.Lees
Mill, built - Geo Paterson.
1823 Gala Curling Club formed.
1826 Gala Mill (Wakefield) built - R & A Sanderson.
Tweels first called
1829 Botany Mill built on site of mill built 1798
1830 First London order for Shepherds Check
1831 Population 2209
gas in houses
1834 Heather Mixture copied from Buckholm Mill 1834
Town Band formed.
1841/42 Population 5823.
Abbots Mill built - A.
Sanderson and John Sibbald an Edinburgh merchant.
Baptist Church Stirling Street opened.
1844 East U.F. Church (St Ninian’s later
Trinity) built in High Street.Sanderson & Murray - Skin Works - Wool manufacturers, Roxburgh Street.
Ladhope Mill built - Wm.
Sanderson, on site of older mill (1793)
1846 Buckholm Mill built - James Sanderson.
Floods - Bridge at Victoria Place (Market St)
damaged, rendered unfit for vehicles.
1848 Much destitution through dull trade in town.
Agitation = Chartist Movement
cart goes round the town.
First market started (removed from top of Bank St).
"Border Watch" newspaper printed in old town by James
Brown, became "Border Advertiser".
First street gas lamps.
Bridge over Gala at Victoria Place (Market St.) repaired.
1849 Burgh was
North British Railway opened, (Bowland to Newtown, St Boswells in February.
Dread of Cholera in the town.
Railway to Hawick
opened 1st November.
1850 Became a police burgh.
First commissioners of police elected.
Chief Magistrate William Rutherford.
Superintendent Mr James McBain & 2 constables.
Horticultural Society formed.
Sunderland Hall sale of furniture. New mansion to
be built - 1-2-1850.
1851 Census - Population 5925.
Tweed Mill - built by P & R Sanderson.
Steam power introduced at Tweed Mill.
Episcopal temporary chapel St. Mary’s, built at Wilderhaugh.Houses built on Selkirk Road in last few years.
A number of villas erected
last one almost completed by Mr.Paterson 25 Sept 1851
Victoria Buildings (date unknown) mentioned 1852.
1852 Comleybank Mill built.
1853 Railway to Selkirk opened.
Gala Cricket Club formed. Ground at the Public Park gifted by Hugh Scott as cricket grounds. Later
a bowling green was added.
Victoria Mill, Market Street built by William Roberts.
R. C. small chapel built - extended later.
1854 St Peter’s Episcopal Church. Built, Abbotsford Road.1855 Roman Catholic Chapel opens in Market Street.
Record" newspaper printed by Adam Dunbar.
Sanderson & Murray skinworks move to Low Buckholmside.
April 6th Selkirk branch railway
1857 Two banks opened.
Electric telegraph extended to Galashiels.
Netherdale Mill built. J. & W. Cochrane.
Mill – Currie, McDougal & Scott.1858 Savings Bank started.
First Town Clerk Mr Hugh Lees died. His successor Mr Robert Stewart.
Gas works removed from Paton Street to Galafoot.
Victoria Dyeworks opened in Paton Street – John Brownlee.Gala Bowling Club - Ground
1859 Netherdale Mill built.
Laird of Gala born in Edinburgh.
Galashiels Gymnastic Games (Mossilee).
A reading room was
Buckholm Mill bought by James Brown. Dam 28ft fall drives 2 Leffel turbines.
First volunteers - Gala Forest Rifles. Blue
St Peters school built.
1860 Volunteer Company formed. Major Captain Scott of Galashiels.
Peebles Railway started.
Poorhouse (now Eildon View Home) built (Rox. Ber. Sel. Peebles shares)
Town Hall. - Foundation stone laid with full Masonic honours.
Corn Exchange. - Foundation stone laid with full Masonic honours.
Gala Angling Society formed.
"Dunbar’s Register" newspaper first
issued.Ornithological Society formed.
1861 Population 6497
A museum started in Bridge Street.
Galashiels Academy Private School. Thomas
1862 Bank of Scotland built in Channel Street. (New street line).
Market Square formed. Major Scott of Gala gifted.
Wilderbank Mill demolished. New mill built - Wm.Brown.
1863 "Border Beacon" newspaper first published.
1866 Gas Works removed from Paton Street to Galafoot.
Wheatlands Mill built - Arthur Dickson & Sons.
Tweed Place built.
(Now Duke Street renamed when Tweed Crescent was built).
Old Town Cross restored.
Mid Mill extended. Valley Mill
Disastrous fire at
New bridge in Market Street over Gala, replacing stone bridge (built 1841).
Railway Peebles line opened 18th June 1866.
1867 Queen Victoria passes town by railway.
Hospital built at Eastlands.
Burgh Court House & Police Station built in Albert Place.
Ladhope School opened in King Street.
South UP. Church built.
Tweed Place Mill built by James Mitchell.
Museum in Bridge Street closed.
1868 Town illuminated on a grand scale and a precession for the Wedding of Prince of Wales.Galashiels becomes a Parliamentary Burgh.
15 councillors elected. Councillors elect Provost John Hall and 4 Baillies in 10/12/68.
East U.P. Church enlarged. New frontage built.
1869 Kingsknowes mansion built. C. I. Cockrane.
Glenmayne built by John Murray for £20,000.
1870 Stirling Street Baptist Church rebuilt,
enlarged and opened.
Plumtree Dye Works built.
Academy opened at Croft Street.
1871 Strike at Abbots Mill by weavers 14 March 1871
1872 Sir Walter Scott centenary of his birth.
School board started.
Victoria St Baptist Church opened
1873 West Parish Church (St
R.C. Church enlarged.
1874 Public Library opened Lawyers Brae at a cost of £2100.
Volunteer Hall built.
1875 First house built in new ground of Gala Policies in Galapark.
Masonic Hall, St John Street built.
St Johns Church,
St John Street built - Cost £5500.
Burgh School opened. Thomas Bain headmaster.
1876 Municipal Extension Act receives Royal Accent.
Town divided into 5 wards. Number of voters 1859 includes 321 females who could only vote in municipal elections.
Bridge over the
railway built at the station, level crossing closed.
New Gala House in Gala Policies.
Glendinning Terrace School built.
U.P. Church manse built in Abbotsford Rd
First sod cut at Caddon Gala Water Works 5 Jan. Provest Hall.
Gala Rugby Football Club -
Iron bridge built at Plumtree Hall.
1879 R.C. School built.
Caddon water reaches town - Cost of scheme £53,000.
bridge (foot) erected at Sime Place (replaces wooden one).
Hunters Bridge (iron) at Skin Works erected.
Morrisons Warehouse Market
Street (Andersons Chambers).
Railway bridges Torwoodlee, Bowshank etc (Wooden replaced by steel).
1880 "Border Counties Magazine"
published by Thomas Litster.
Old Tolbooth demolished.
Old Gala House bought by Andrew Herbertson renamed Beechwood.
Gala Water Bicycle
1881 Population 15,320
Water cart first used to lay the dust.
St Paul’s Church opened.First telephone was introduced
at Sanderson & Murrays office to works Roxburgh Street to Wilderhaugh.
"Scottish Border Record" published by John McQueen edited
by James Wilson.
Cricket Club moved from Public Park to Mossilee.
1882 1881/82 Gala Public Park gifted by John Scott of Gala.
Gala Tennis Club (Langhaugh).
Gala Dyeworks built Bristol Terrace.
1884 First mill to be lit by electricity Buckholm, installation
by Edison & Co New York.
Buckholm Mill weaving sheds built on ground of Kilnknowe Haugh.
Iron bridge built across River Gala.
First Golf Club formed Ladhope Estate.
1885 The Gutter Bluid Supper 16th Jan. in Town Hall.
Ladhope U.F. Church (St Andrews) Sime
Bridge St built.
Waverley Coop Store building in Channel Street opened.
Bristol Mill built (spinning) Robert Dobson & Co.
National telephone in Galashiels.
Galashiels Golf Club opens.
1886 A.L.Brown elected liberal candidate. Served until 1890.
exchange opened. Telephone linked to Selkirk.
Channel Street new buildings.
1888 26th May. 30ft extension to the library at rear.
Galashiels Coop building High St. built.
1889 New Ladhope bridge opened.
Telephone extended to Hawick, Peebles & Edinburgh.
chain gifted to the town.Extension of large reading room to library.
1890 Estimated population 18613
Provost’s robes gifted.Schulze
warehouse, Park Street built.
Gibson Lumgair remove from Deanbank Mill to new mill at Selkirk.
1891 Census of population 17252.
bridge built Wilderhaugh for worker to go to Comley Bank mill.
First water cart.
Association football Vale of Gala – 1891.1892 John
Murray one of the founders of Sanderson & Murray Ltd skinworks died.
1893 Low’s warehouse Station Brae builtCottage Hospital opened.
1894 Post Office built in Channel Street.
Cottage Hospital Tweed Road built.
First steam roller.
Roxburgh Street School
1895 Douglas Hotel built.
Waverley Hotel & William Broads building erected. Great Street improvements.
introduced brought from Comley Mill
Parochial Board becomes the Parish Council.
Torwoodlee golf course formed.
1896 "Galashiels Telegraph"
now Border Telegraph published by Alex. Walker & Son.
Iron bridge built Wilderhaugh to replace wooden one to Comleybank Mill.
1897 First motor car seen in Galashiels (20 Apr).
Conservative Club built High Street.
1898 First motor car bought by H.S.Murray,
"Halls" History of Galashiels published.
1899 Victoria Park acquired. Park opened 1901.
1901 Population (census) 13595.
Celebrations - Finish of Boer War. Bonfire in Market Square.
9 Aug - Coronation celebration Edward VII.
of Robert Sanderson, Knowepark, leaving 6 sons. - He built Tweed Mill firm P & R Sanderson.
July 27th - Visit of Buffalo Bill’s
Wild West Circus. Victoria Park.Isolation hospital on Meigle Hill opened.
1905 Victoria Mill (built 1853 Roberts) Market St burned
1906 Demolition of property known as "The Castle" High Buckholmside.
"Abbotsview S.C.W.S. Convalescent Home opened.
railings, walls and drinking fountain erected in Bank Street 1907 - 08.
1908 12/12/08 First sod cut at Sewage Works – Galafoot.Refuse
destructor Paton Street opened in October.
1909 4 Sept 1909 Technical College opened by Lord Reay in Market Street.
Old Corn Mill
demolished Corn Mill Square. Replaced by new Corn Mill Green Street (David Kinross).
1910 16/12/10 Academy opened Melrose Road. Oaklea
St. Johns Church Hall St. John Street opened 17 October.
Market Street - bridge over the River Gala widened new railings
and coping erected Nov 1910.
New toilet (gents) foot of Bank Street. Erected.
Census of school children in Galashiels schools 3432.
1911 Drainage & Sewage Works opened at Galafoot.
6/11/11 Pavilion Theatre & Cinema opened.
16 July - Langhaugh Mill - Currie
McDougal & Scotts mill burned down.
13 Nov New Kings temperance hotel opened.
Pillars at Bank Street Brae erected - Roundtree
Brggde1912 1/10/12 - New rugby field at Netherdale.
Combats Corner Market Street. Widened, and rebuilt.
Ladhope golf course presented
by Hugh Roberts.
Sewage work and drainage work completed £71000.
New pavilion at Ladhope golf course.
1913 Census of school children
in Galashiels schools 3349.
3/6/13 Corn Mill Square (fountain) & Burns statue unveiled.
Library alterations, new door etc. Opened
19th May 1914.
Corn Mill House demolished 19th April.
Combats corner boardings removed 1st May.
1914 20/1/14 Drill Hall Paton Street
August 1914 War declared against Germany.
Building of Playhouse started on the site of the old jail. Work ceased when war
1914/15 Gift of Public Baths and Wilder Park by Anderson Dickson of Westwood. Opened Sept 1915.
1915 28 April Electricity
Power Station opened.
James Sanderson, Woodlands died 28th August 1915 age 71 great grandson of Hugh Sanderson original owner of Botany
Mill. James Sanderson aquired Comleybank Mill in 1880.
Anonymous donor Corn Mill Square scheme.
1916 Landslide - Railway embankment
at Ladhope tunnel 14/12/16.
Galashiels Amateur Swimming Club.
1918 Peace declared 11th Nov 1918.
Visit of "Julian" the tank savings
campaign October 1918.
Aeroplane lands Kilnknowe 24/10/18.
National Savings Week April 1918. Model of submarine on site in Corn Mill
Harry S. Murray one time director of Sanderson and Murray died at Glenmayne.
1919 Peace picnic in Ladhope golf course (display
Building of Playhouse resumed.
1920 Council buy Town Hall from private company.
Gala Amateur Opera "The Mikado".
Horse drinking fountain removed from Market Square.
Streets tar macadamed.
its peak this year 274,442 passenger tickets sold (value £41781) Goods revenue £42376.
Council purchase Town Hall from private company.
1921 First motor bus service Gala to Selkirk (Brook & Amos).
Dennis motor fire engine bought by council.
Branch of Clydesdale
Bank opened High Street.
First council houses built Forest Gardens. Total 40 houses. June (12 ready).
1922 Road improvement Low Road
to Netherdale. Trees removed & road widened 6ft.
1923 Disastrous fire skin works Low Buckholmside (Sanderson & Murray).
wall and railing at Goodsirs & Kirkcroft Park, Albert Place.
First hand petrol pump at Adam Purves & Son.
1924 Park Street
Sanderson infectious diseases hospital built. Opened 23/9/24.
First motor ambulance 18/11/24 for infectious diseases.
3rd December - royal visit. War Memorial corner stone laid by Prince of Wales.
1925 War Memorial unveiled by Earl Haig.
Bank High Street. Rebuilt.
Street improvement Damside Corner with Market Street.
Co-op creamery Edinburgh Road opened 26/6/26
Building set back. New frontage built.
1927 1 Jan 1927 new burgh buildings, police station and fire station opened.
through road at St Johns Church.
1928 James Sanderson, Hawthorns, died. Money to erect cottage homes £30000 left in will.Outbreak
of typhoid fever - 127 cases.
Gladstone joiners frontage in Channel Street rebuilt with houses and shops.
Disastrous fire, Laidlaw
& Fairgrieves mill August 1928.
St Pauls Memorial Church Halls opened 26th October.
Tweed Place name changed to Duke Street.
Church reopened after reconstruction.
1930 First Braw Lads Gathering.
Damside garage Adam Purves & Son rebuilt to new street level
in Paton Street.
"Talkies" introduced to Playhouse 9th June. All British sound equipment.
Cottage Hospital new nurses home opened.
1932 Sir Walter Scott monument unveiled in Bank Street.
New club house opened at Torwoodlee.
1933 Street improved Schulz’s property
Channel Street - 1000th shop in the UK.Boots chemist, Timpson shoe shop & Woolworths built.
Opening Sanderson Cottage Homes (by
the Duchess of Dalkeith).
Knowpark Hospital opened for chronic sick.
First electric petrol pump. Adam Purves & Son
strikes Galashiels. 3 of the largest mills close. Botany, Netherdale and Tweed mills.
Silk factory started in part of Wakefield Mill.
1934 Burgh School reopened after reconstruction.
Old Town School closed.
1935 Motor ambulance presented to the town by ambulance committee
from funds gathered by public subscription.
Knowpark Home opened 19th June 1935 - Selkirkshire County Council (hospital).
and Mid Mill close.
1936 Adam Purves & Son Ltd built new motor showroom in Market Street. Street widened.
The South U.P. Church
and Trinity Church combine to make St Cuthbert’s Church.Glendinning Terrace school built.
1937 Demolition of old station bridge starts.
Footbridge erected Glenfield to Low Road.
1938 Station bridge over the railway rebuilt. Opened June 1938.
Conscription of men 21 year
old for army etc.
Station new roof and platforms, also new entrance. General updating of buildings Nov 1938.Buckholm Mill (west side)
conversion by home office to gas mask depot. 3,000,000 gas masks stored.
New fire engine (Dennis) purchased by T. Council.
Road school opened, November 1938.
Reconstruction and addition to Cottage Hospital, Cost £25000.
1939 Poland invaded. War declared.
Black out. Fire watch.
Call up "TA". Volunteer Hall recruiting centre.
Scott Park opened July 1939.
Boleside, Glenmayne Haugh lease
to the town.
South U.P. St Cuthberts (later St Aiden’s) church hall built March 1939.Gift of Woodlands to Church of Scotland.
new houses, Church Street & Glebe Place.
1940 Evacuation of France, Dunkirk.
1941 Battle of Britain.
1942 Serious fire at Wheatlands
Mill. Arthur Dickson & Co move to Comleybank Mill.
1943 18th March 1943 Ex Provost Hayward died.
1944 Invasion of Normandy.
2nd world war finishes. Celebrations.
1946 Braw Lads Gathering restarts.
Netherdale Mill opened as Industrial Estate. Marmion Property
1947 Royal visit - King George VI and Queen Elisabeth. Prince Philip and Princess Elisabeth, just engaged, sign their name together
for the first time. Princess Margaret.
War memorial bronze tablets with name of the fallen in 1939-45 war erected. Unveiled by General
Sir Philip Christieson.
1948 Summer floods, great havoc:
Buckholm Mill bridge washed away. Netherdale Haugh flooded.
of Waulkmill Head Mill Bank Street - Built 1802.
1950 Council acquire land at Wester Langlee 1950/51.
Albert Place further alterations
to the Burgh Chambers.
1951 Railway - Selkirk line. Passenger service closed.
Electric lighting in streets new housing areas.
Electric lighting in streets replaces gas.
"Netherby" Church of Scotland Eventide Home opened.
Bridge (foot) from Langlee to Netherdale, crossing railway and river. (Concrete bridge of unusual design).
1955 Balmoral school opened.
Water pipe duplicated from Knowesdean to Kilnknowe. Additional storage water tank at Kilnknowe.
Housing survey total 4300 houses,
1956 New cemetery at Heatheryett formed.
1957 Ladhope School closed.
1958 Wester Langlee School opened.
/ Paton St all brought up to same level.
1961 Sewage works rebuilt 1961/64
New stand erected at new field. Gala Rugby Club.
- Peebles line closed 5 Feb 1962.
BEPI (Electronics) Ltd starts in Galabank Mill.
1963 Church Square housing first section completed.
Clean Air Act. Smokeless zone introduced.
Town Council buy Volunteer Hall.
1964 Railway to Selkirk, closed. 2/11/64 last goods.
Academy in Gala Policies opened 23/9/64 by Queen Elisabeth the Queen Mother.
Work completed on rebuilt sewage works.
erected for Gala Fairydean.
Galavale silk works closed.
1965 Bus station erected in Stirling Street.
New slaughter house (abattoir)
New Scottish College of Textiles opened.
Adam Purves & Son Ltd large extention Damside.
1966 Queen Elisabeth opens Further
College of Education Melrose Road.
Galashiels Town Council presented to Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at the Fountain.
over Gala Water to bus station.
New filter station at Kilnknowe.
1967 Development work commenced housing north side of Langlee.
1968 Market Square laid out and statue unveiled.
Large extension at Wester Langlee School.
St Margarets R.C. School
1969 Closure of the Waverley Line railway 6 Jan 1969.
(Last train from Edinburgh Sunday 5th January)
16th July New police
station Bridge Street. opened.
Town Hall demolished - car park formed.
Bridge Mill (Peter Andersons) sold to Post Office Telephones
Extension to new Academy opened by Willie Ross.
1971 March 26th Princess Alexandria opens new Sprague factory and
Focus Club. Lunch at new college halls of residence.
Easter Langlee School opened.
1973 Refuse disposal pulverisation plant at Easter
Langlee opened. Old incinerator closed.
Extention to Scottish College of Textiles opened.
1974 Council commenced building 150 houses
Further work commenced at sewage works.
1975 Last Town Council meeting 5th March. Town Council disbanded. Ettrick &
Lauderdale district set up.
Still about 720 houses below tolerable standard. Total housing stock 5200.
1976 President Braw Lads Gathering
1st year T.S.Purves
Private housing started at Ladhope Estate.
1977 President Braw Lads Gathering 2nd year T.S.Purves
Church converted to sports centre.
Further improvements at Glendinning Terrrace School.
1978 President Braw Lads Gathering 3rd year
July 4th Ina & T.S.Purves presented to Queen at Old Gala House marquee.
1979 New housing Kilnknowe (council).
New housing Haliburton Place (Flats).
21st March. Prince of Wales opens bottle bank while en route to open Exacta Circuits extension
Buckholmside skinworks closed.
1981 Haliburton Place & Croft Street treatment area, housing brought up to modern standard.
Fountain tunnels strengthened at A7.
Old station yard landscaped, Currie Road to Glenfield.
New squash courts at Abbotsford Road.
Private housing at Parsonage Road.
1982 First shop opened at Tweedbank.
Kirkcare, Corn Mill Court, opened - sheltered housing.
units. 12 opened at station yard.
1983 Waverley Old Folks Home opened at Elm Row, Scott Park. - Official opening 25th November 1983
Galashiels Health Centre, Market Street. Official opened 29/4/83.
Valley Mill - Opened as super market Pricefighter
Co-op (later Tesco). Large car parking facilities.
Private housing Croft Street / Douglas Place.
Victoria dye works demolished. New
(3) factory units built in its place.
New traffic control islands at Corn Mill Court.
"Woodlands" opened as
Extention of B.E.P.I. factory Galabank Mill, Wilder Park.
"Galashiels" a modern history published, November.
New public baths
at Livingstone Place opened 10 December.
New building for Students Union opened Scottish College of Textiles.
Private housing Kingsknowe
Cuddy Green Inn opened.
Pavilion (sports) opened at Tweedbank.
Border Circuits Ltd., printed circuit manufacturer, opens in
1984 12th Jan 10a Hayward Block and Lucy Sanderson cottages brought up to date by grant.
Official opening new public swimming
pool by Princess Ann.
Road widening Windyknowe Road and Woodside Place.
New shops opened Channel Street: Jackie Lunns, Cavendish-Woodhouse,
Carricks Jumpers (Geo Richardson), Health Food, Walker Browns.
Shop closed; Templetons, Crawford Bakers, T.Broom Postboy. Bank St.
Hamblins. Market St. Adam Purves (Cycles). Opened Country Kitchens, Freshwater (Flowers), Bell Fruit. Woolshop sold. Red Gauntlet
Opened Bank St. Cover to Cover, Haddow wine shop (Formerly Tandem)
Old Town Cross shaft replaced
New private Housing
Abbots Place, Kingsknowes Drive.
Further private housing Ladhope Estate.
Halliburton treatment area developed (council)
at Galafoot and aproach roads.
Further work at sewage works - new stores.
New bungalows at Woodland ground (4).
Old West Church demolished
for private housing.
Adam Purves and Son showroom let to Comet.
Adam Purves & Son Ltd showroom property in Green Street and Damside
sold, also houses workshop, Paton Street filling station.
Joe Park & Shiels Green Street sold.
Hotel and Shops complex planned.
October - Link housing at Tweedbank opened and further factories.
Indoor bowling rink opened Tweedbank. All round year running track
opened. BMK cycle track opened.
31st October Adam Purves & Son Ltd remove to Wilderhaugh, Workshop, Showroom & Stores (Frews
British Legion sheltered housing.
Barron Close repaved with tar macadam.
Abbotsview demolished. New Housing planned.
Shops. Pentland Property, Cullen Property open. Market Square, Victoria Wines. Overhaugh St Frozen Foods.
Old Public Baths, Wilderhaugh
Heavy flooding - Wilderhaugh, Netherdale.
2015 Borders Railway arrives ar=t Tweedbank from Edinburgh.