Bring Along Night
14th January 2009


The second half of the club’s winter programme began recently with the ever-popular Bring Along Night when members are invited to bring items to show and tell. Murray Dickson opened proceedings with information sent by e-mail to clarify a question raised by Nancy Noble at this same event two years previous on the location of Faldonside Castle. The castle has been found marked on a 1523 map of the area. Murray also showed an old book he had discovered entitled ‘Englishmen of Letters’ which surprisingly included an entry on Robert Burns. He also had a Woolworth’s pic ‘n’ mix bag to be added to the club’s collection now that Woolworths stores have all closed.

Sheila Dobson then spoke on a recent exhibition held in Old Gala House on Archie Cochrane grandson of Archibald Cochrane of Abbotshill. Archie gained a 1st class degree in medicine from Cambridge and his interest was always in study and research of diseases. In 1960 he was invited to establish the Epidemiology Centre in Wales and after his death in 1988 the Cochrane Foundation was set up which continues to do research. Some items from the club’s collection had been used in the exhibition to illustrate the Cochrane family background of textiles and these items included a drawing hook, cone of wool, heddles, shuttles with pirn inside, metal reed gauge, clippers, teasels, and tenter hooks were shown to the audience.

John Rogerson then showed a collection of glass slides including the coronation arch designed by Mr Goodsir for the coronation celebrations of Edward VII in 1902, Walker’s newsagent window 1896, interior of Ladhope Church, opening of Park St Bridge circa 1920, Buckholm Tower early 1900s and the Ellwyn Fairy Glen.

Bob McKendrick showed a book by Robert Hall ‘Origin and History of Ladhope Church’ and amused the audience with an entry from the book regarding a meeting where the erratic conduct of the vestry chimney was discussed. The meeting decided that there must be a defect in the chimney and the builder must be summoned. Old Mr Rankin however posed the question ‘whan was the lum last soopit?’ A little common sense and 14 years of soot was removed from the offending chimney.

Alex McCue then showed beautifully embroidered WWI cards including a Xmas card, and one sent from France, silk flags and badges and a box of printed cards depicting all the countries which fought as allies. Alex also recommended a visit to Barter Books at Alnwick where he had purchased a 1912 book of views of Abbotsford, which he kindly donated to the club along with a pocket guide for Melrose and Abbotsford purchased on e Bay.

Nancy Noble then told us of events which had been proposed for the town but never happened and included a cemetery at Netherbarns, and an alternative war memorial. She read from a book of verse by Thomas Kennedy illustrated by George Hope Tait describing life in Galashiels.

Helen Elliott giving an example of the enquiries which come through the club’s website showed a photograph of a medal purchased in Australia. The purchaser wished to know something of the history of the medal. Helen was able to find in the old Border Telegraph newspapers the presentation of the medal by Mrs Scott wife of Major Scott of Gala in 1864 to Thomas Mitchell for good conduct.

Gordon Taylor then showed a photograph from the 1939 Border Telegraph of Rev Louis Carrick Phillips former minister of Ladhope Church. By strange coincidence 20 years ago Gordon had purchased Rev Phillips medal in Edinburgh. This medal had been awarded in WWI for his work in the YWCA huts behind the front line.

Norman Houldsworth rounded off the evening with an excellent report from a log of the 1913 British Bowling Team held in the club’s collection. This most detailed log is in the club’s collection due to Mr Jagger and Mr Hunter both from the town who were part of the Scottish contingency in this British Team. Mr Jagger captained the side. The team travelled by steamer from Liverpool to Montreal. The audience were entertained with much detail of the tour including the list of clothing requirements of panama hat and evening dress and little motif badges to distribute as gifts.  The team were welcomed by local dignitaries on arrival in each location and receptions were held. They were entertained by native Canadian Indians who presented Mr Jagger with an Indian headdress photographs of which were thereafter displayed in the club rooms in Gala. They played tournaments at night under floodlights and in Ottowa stayed in a hotel where nearly every bedroom had a wash hand basin and bath. They visited Niagara Falls where a private steam launch was laid on for pleasure. This excellent log was well worth the reading.


Reported by HME