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Issue 171 Issue 171

A community magazine serving the residents of Peebles and Cardrona Delivered FREE to every home in the area.

December 2019

ld” or .” W he e U.K 9 t 1 n a i in th s 20 p S d de Spa war i s ry on A nt nati Spa u Co esti xury t s D u e “B Best rld L “ o W 2

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Welcome to the December edition of Peebles Life, as you will notice from the size of the magazine we have an absolutely packed magazine this month! As a result, I do not intend to highlight all the key articles. On the 12th December, we will all be heading to the polls for yet another General Election, it seems like our politics is broken at the moment, and polls suggest frustration and disengagement. We must remember that our right to vote and elect our government is a precious gift, so whoever you support, please use your vote. We have published brief statements from all the candidates. We have highlighted some issues around our local democracy in this month’s Big Issue. Many will be aware of the removal of two rowan trees from the quadrangle of the Chambers Institution. This issue is not so much the removal of the trees, but the lack of consultation. We have reports from many local groups, including the report of the Peebles Community Trust that has recently taken over the exservicemen’s club on behalf of the community. The School Brae Hub is a great asset to the town. We also want to pay a special heartfelt tribute to Katie Hibbert. Katie was a senior youth worker for Tweeddale Youth Action, who tragically died last month. Katie was a very special person, who did so much for vulnerable young people in the town. She will be greatly missed, and we want to send our love to Neil and Phoebe, you are in our thoughts. Finally, can we wish all our readers a very happy Christmas, and lets hope that the world becomes a saner place in 2020! Charles



Peebles Pensioners Association


What's on in December


The Peebles Garden


Fitness Advice from Lesley


Peeblesshire Youth Trust News


Tweeddale Youth Action


Gin, Gin!


Peebles Community Trust


Peebles Community Council


Tweed Valley BID Update


Take a Festive Break at the Eastgate


New Faces at the Glentress


CAB Advice


Peebles Silver Band


Notes on Peebles and its History


General Election 2019


Exploring the Past with Peeblesshire Archaeological Society Christmas Church Services


Tweedgreen Winter Meeting Series


Peebles Community Centre


Music in Peebles


Peebles Rugby Club





Contact Linda about advertising or events. Phone 01896 831011 07595 847335 Email linda@peebleslife.com Post 14 Fawnburn Crescent Cardrona, Peebles, EH45 9LG

Editor - Charles Cormack Advertising - Linda Cormack Editorial - Steve Dubé



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Big Issue


By Steve Dubé In the words of the Woodland Trust: “Bane of witches, diviner of the future and producer of jam, rowan is an elegant tree with a mystical history. Its leaves and berries are a favourite for wildlife in woods and towns alike.” Not anymore it’s not – at least, not in Chambers Institution quadrangle. Scottish Borders Council (SBC) said an agreement had been reached with local groups that the two Rowan trees in the Chambers Institution quadrangle should be cut down. But who were these groups? The request to destroy the trees came from the local branch of the British Legion, which perhaps ironically was wound up at the end of October because of dwindling membership and lack of people willing to take on the roles of office bearers; a case of bowing out with a crash. The Legion said the rowans were a possible safety hazard, and the tree to the right of the war memorial effectively hid the stone image of an Eternal Flame, which symbolises a nation's perpetual gratitude towards its war dead. It could perhaps have been moved to a different, and more prominent, position, but we don’t know whether this was considered. In fact we don’t know what was considered because the Chambers Institution trustees – the six Scottish Borders councillors for Tweeddale (three of whom don’t live in Peebles). The Trust meets in private. When informed of the proposal to fell the trees the Community Council conducted a sort of public consultation through a social media site. This showed a clear majority of local people opposed to felling. Peebles Civic Society inspected the trees and suggested the problem could easily be solved by resetting paving slabs that had been raised slightly by the tree roots. The trees themselves could also be pruned. Neither body supported felling. We contacted SBC’s communications team and asked: “What other organisations or individuals sent in comments? What alternatives to felling the trees were considered? Are they going to be replaced?” The response said nothing we did not know, and failed to answer our questions. There was no mention of local groups agreeing the plan. We asked one of the

trustees, SBC Leader Shona Haslam, for a comment. She referred us to her fellow Peebles councillor Kris Chapman who is chairs the Chambers Institution Trust. We emailed Kris several times and received no reply. Alarmed at the public unrest, the trustees issued a statement. It said nothing new, and still made no mention of the “local groups” that had agreed to what was now being described as “environmental vandalism”. At Peebles Community Council last month, the chairman Les Turnbull, observed that there had indeed been no consultation that he knew of: “We were told what was going to happen, and then we found out that the trees were gone.” Only one Peebles trustee, Robin Tatler, was at the community council meeting to hear what councillors had to say. The others stayed away. Les said the episode illustrated the nature of the Chambers Institution Trust, which meets in isolation, and appears adept at deploying a cold shoulder while less familiar with courteous acknowledgement. Les said something similar happened when the he asked whether the Trust might contribute towards Bonnie Peebles Plus looking after the flower beds in the quadrangle. He said, “I eventually found out that the subject had been discussed, but no one had the decency to get back and tell me.” Silence also greeted Peebles Burgh Silver Band chairman Colin Napier when he complained of conditions in the Burgh Hall ahead of the band’s Christmas concert. “How can we expect to hold concerts when we can't even have a light bulb switched on?” he asked. “It appears the light-switch control panel is permanently locked and unusable on safety grounds.” There’s a reason that a body is called a Trust and its members trustees. They hold and manage the property for the benefit of the owners – in this case, the people of Peebles. It’s a position of trust. It’s been tried before, but perhaps it’s time the Trust again became a group of people from Peebles, in line with the benefactor’s intentions. And meetings should be open to the public.

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Peebles Pensioners Association The last meeting of the autumn session was held on Wednesday, 20 November 2019 when we were delighted to welcome our guest speaker, Fiona Boyd, the author and illustrator of Princess Arebeena and the Crystal Fairies, the first book in the Crystal Fairies series. Fiona spoke of her idyllic early years spend in the Yarrow Valley, the inspiration for her stories, of the setbacks she has had in her life, through to now being in a wheelchair. Despite our older demographic, Fiona had our members absolutely captivated with her storytelling. Many members took the time to come and speak to me after Fiona’s talk, to tell me how much they enjoyed having her at our meeting but also to say how inspirational they found her, a sentiment with which I can wholeheartedly concur. Fiona’s positive mental attitude and her zest for life shone through and I know many of us took a life lesson away from our meeting. I would like to thank Fiona for coming to our meeting and for giving us such an interesting and inspiring




talk, which was enjoyed by us all. Thanks also to Fiona’s husband David who joined in the chat with our members. The November meeting was also the last of the three meeting trial of micro fundraising. Over the period, we have sold home baking, spider plants, handmade Christmas Cards, DVDs and a couple of other donated items, raising just over £130 over the three month trial. Special thank you to all our members who baked, made, bought and donated and to John Swanson for the DVDs of his film show of Peebles. We are now looking forward to our Christmas lunch in December and then a wee rest before our coffee mornings in January 2020 and our first meeting and AGM in February 2020. Laura Scott (Secretary) 07484 663518 / Peeblespensioners@btinternet.com


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What’s on in December?

A full list of events is available on our website www.peebleslife.com. Send details of your events to linda@peebleslife.com. Sunday 1: 9.30am **Tweeddale Ramblers. Earlston Circular. A leisurely walk around Earlston on roads, pavements, grassy paths, and farm and woodland tracks. 4.5 miles/7.3 km, ascent negligible.

Tuesday 3: 7.30pm Music in Peebles, concert in Eastgate Theatre, Peebles – Trio Ecossaise (Piano, Clarinet, Cello) Showcasing Female Composers.

Tuesday 3: 7pm Election hustings. Tweedgreen are hosting an election hustings exploring candidates’ attitude towards, and plans for, the climate emergency.Please come to the Macfarlane Hall, Peebles Parish Church to listen and ask our candidates your questions. This is a very important election and the climate emergency is central to it. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Wednesday 4: 7 pm Scotland Borders Prostate Cancer Support Group meetings ‘Tryst` Chaplaincy Centre, Borders General Hospital. Wednesday 4: 7.30 Peebles Camera Club Christmas Social Evening  We will have fun taking part in a “Where in the World?” Quiz.  We’ll be working in groups to try to guess the location of photographs

Regular Events Monday and Wednesday : 10am - 4pm Peebles and District Men’s Shed are open in our premises within Peebles Community Hub on School Brae. Enter via the main door on School Brae and follow the signs. Membership is free and is open to all from age 18 upwards. There are no set activities. Tell us what you want to do and we will try and accommodate it. Tuesday and Friday : 10am - 12noon Peebles CAN community garden, behind Victoria Park Centre, Kingmeadows Road. All welcome to volunteering sessions, 10-12 Tuesday mornings. Tea and coffee provided. Wednesday : 2 - 4pm Peebles Stroke Group - An invitation to anyone living with stroke to join us for a chance to socialise and chat with others in similar circumstances at Haylodge Day Hospital in the dining room. For more information phone 01721 730233. Monday and Wednesday : 6.50pm for 7pm start Peebles Bridge Club meets throughout the year. We play at Peebles Rugby Club, Eastgate, Peebles. Visitors are most welcome but should contact the secretary first. We run lessons over winter starting in October. Contact Gordon Milne (Secretary) 01721 721167 or peeblesbridgeclub@gmail.com Thursday 7.30pm Peebles Singers - Meet in Dovecot Court. New members made most welcome, especially gentlemen. No auditions and not essential to read music Further information available from Jill 01721 602348. Fortnightly - Friday 2.30-4.30pm The Peeblesshire Twin and Multiple Club are now meeting up fortnightly at Gytes Leisure Centre. The club offers support, advice and an opportunity to socialise with other twin/multiple families. All welcome. Join our FB page for more info or contact Jenna Telford jennareid80@yahoo.com. Saturday : 10am Peebles Local Food Market, Eastgate, High Street. Check Peebles CAN Facebook page for further details. Saturday : 9.30am Haylodge parkrun starts in Hay Lodge Park, Peebles. We will be there every Saturday thereafter (aside from Beltane and possibly the Highland Show). www.parkrun.org.uk/haylodge Weekday evenings and at Weekends Peebles Curling Club plays at Murrayfield Ice Rink from September to March. We extend a warm welcome to new members of all ages, experience and ability. Inexperienced newcomers usually start in the reserves when playing can fit in with your availability. The Club arranges occasional beginner sessions and regular coaching for novices is available through the Edinburgh Curling School. For more information contact Tom Hardie (club secretary): thomashardie@btinternet.com **Tweeddale Ramblers. All walks meet at Kingsmeadows car park unless otherwise stated. For further information please phone Eleanor, 01721 722532, Mobile 07736 369336, or visit www.ramblers.org.uk/tweeddale

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13 from around the world, and Yes, that does include Scotland. We will also be seeing the images from our current club Challenge on the subject of “Alone”. There will of course be Christmas refreshments – a mince pie or two plus more. Community Centre, Walkershaugh. As we will be having a break over the Festive Season, the first meeting in 2020 will be on 15th January.

Thursday 5 Christmas Lights Switch On and Late Night Shopping Night Thursday 5: 6pm - 9pm Switch on to Art this Christmas Peebles High Street, Visit our Gallery stand at the Peebles Christmas Lights Switch On! A chance to buy Neil Stewart’s ‘Narrative Arks’ woodcut prints with colourful cards, scarves and cushions from Hamish MacDonald’s Print Collection. Saturday 7: 10am-2pm Peebles Baptist Church – Christmas Shopper’s Canteen in St Andrews Leckie Church Hall. Coffee and freshly made scones 10-12, Soup and pud 12-2pm, craft stalls with lots of Christmas gift ideas, hot nuts, popcorn, non-alcoholic mulled punch and hot chocolate. Fundraising for the King’s Meadow Project on the south side of Peebles. Saturday 7: 10-11am Liberal Demochat — The Park Hotel, Peebles. Do you care about Scotland’s place in the world, climate change and other issues? Meet and chat with other liberally minded folk. Promoted by Ross McKelvie on behalf of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, 4 Clifton Terrace, EdinburghEH12 5DR. Saturday 7: 10.30am- 12 noon St Peter’s Church coffee morning. Entry £2.00 which includes refreshments. Lots of interesting stalls,crafts and baking. All money raised will go to support the work of the Church. Sunday 8: 9.45am Tweeddale Ramblers. Cardrona Circular. A leisurely walk from Cardrona car park through Nether Horsburgh Plantation, returning via Glen Ormiston and the Tweed Valley Path. 5.0 miles/8.0 km, ascent 390 feet/120m. Sunday 8: 10.30 am Tweeddale Quaker Meeting for Worship. Nomad Beat, Cherry Court, 10-11 Cavalry Park, Kingsmeadows Road Peebles EH45 9BU

Tuesday 10: 7.30pm

Tweeddale Society Talk. Joint meeting with Peebles Archaeological Society. Where are we? - A guide to maritime navigation, speaker James Taylor, retired chief Executive Officer of the Northern Lighthouses. The Eastgate Theatre. Check our web site - www.tweeddale-society.org.uk for more information.

faiths or none. Tea/coffee at 8.15pm. To find out what to expect, visit www.quaker.org.uk or contact Alison Moore, Clerk of Tweeddale Quaker Meeting, 01896 831953 or alison@ petalmoore.net. Friday 13: 7.30pm Peebles Singers Christmas Concert is being held in the MacFarlane Hall tickets available from choir members or at the door. From the proceeds a donation will be given to Nomad Beat. Thursday 13: 7.30 pm Community Council Meeting in the Old Burgh Chamber. All meetings are open to the public. www.peeblescommunity.org. Saturday 14: 10am -12noon Friends of Peebles CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) Christmas Coffee Morning in School Brae Hub (previously Exservicemen’s Club) £1.50 entry, Coffee and biscuits, Raffle with Special Christmas hamper prize plus more, usual stalls, Christmas gift tables, maybe music? Come and join us. Sunday 15: Tweeddale Ramblers. Christmas Lunch, members only. Sunday 15: 2.30pm St Peter’s Church Choir. The choir is holding its annual Christmas concert , 45 minutes of songs for choir and audience participation. Please join us for festive music and refreshments. Tuesday 17: 7.30 pm-9.00 pm Peebles Community Centre, Tweeddale Astronomical Society will be holding its monthly meeting. Our guest speaker this month will be a visiting member of the Airdrie Observatory and Astro Society who will be talking about their observatory and their outreach program. Entry £2 for adults, Accompanied U18’s no charge. Everyone welcome. Wednesday 18: 7pm St Peter’s Church: Blue Christmas service. A time of reflection and companionship for anyone who finds Christmas hard: because of sadness, grief, debt, depression, loneliness, or for any reason.  All welcome. Sunday 24: 10.30 am Tweeddale Quaker Meeting for Worship. Nomad Beat, Cherry Court, 10-11 Cavalry Park, Kingsmeadows Road Peebles EH45 9BU. Friday 27: 1pm - 2.30pm Meet in the courtyard of the Chambers Institution. Join us for a fun midwinter walk. The Daft Days is the medieval Scottish name for the twelve days of Christmas. This guided walk will take us to key points in Peebles where we will discover how people lived and celebrated the winter festivals in the past. We will return to the museum for a taste of old fashioned festive food and drink. £8 prior booking advised.

Thursday 12: 7.30pm Tweeddale Quakers invite you to join them for a mid-week time of stillness at ‘The House’ at Peebles Community Centre (entrance from Tweed Avenue). We welcome those of all

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You may not have many opportunities to do any work in the garden this month but there are a few things that can be done if the weather permits and you have time. Mostly these things should have been done last month but were delayed due to rain. The first thing to do is to finish up any planting of bare root things like hedging whips, deciduous trees and new roses. Try to do these before the ground freezes. If you are caught out it will have to wait for a milder interval or until early March but it is best to get it all done before the end of this month. Open the ground as much as you can and incorporate some good compost and a bit of bone meal where you are planting trees or roses. Hedging whips are best left to get on without too much encouragement. The next thing to do if you have the chance is finish up pruning to restore any old deciduous shrubs or to clean up climbing or rambling roses. To restore an old deciduous shrub take out one-third of the oldest and thickest stems, cutting right down to the ground. Next year you can do the same again and after three seasons you should have a plant entirely furnished with young growth. Rambling roses should be cut right to the ground or to the main framework after flowering. Ramblers flower on new wood made next year just like raspberries and they usually have just one flush of flowers. Climbing roses are a bit more complicated but essentially remove the flowered shoots back to a good bud and tie in if necessary. Reduce wayward shoots to your framework and remove any old dead wood. While you are doing this job you can give a small handful of bone meal to each climber. This is a good time to prune apples and pears but leave cherries and plums until mid-summer to prevent fungal disease. Old apple trees accumulate dead wood and if they have previously been badly pruned often become congested with new growth. Apples flower on one-year old wood so if you have just inherited an old tree don’t be too hard on it or you won’t have anything next year. If you want to reduce height only remove one-third in each winter season pruning. Try to remember this: the dead, the diseased, the damaged, then the crowded and the crossing, then a nice cup of tea. Deciduous hedges like beech can be trimmed now but leave any coniferous hedges until the spring because they don’t tolerate frost on the cut ends very well and will go brown. If this year has been difficult maybe now is a good time to take a breath, enjoy some of the simple things in life and prepare to turn the fresh, white page that is January and begin again. Merry Christmas! Sheila Drummond Portland Garden Design 07905 97185 drummond.sheila@gmail.com

The Peebles Garden: December


Fitness advice from Lesley Mitchell Chilled Christmas It’s that time of year again, whether you love it or hate you still have to survive it. Some people thrive on the hustle and bustle of the festive period and others dread it.

1. Don’t feel pressured into buying lots of presents; one or two appropriate ones may be all that is necessary.

Over the years the Christmas period has become more commercialised, you just need to enter any large shop to be overwhelmed by aisles and aisles of festive bling so it’s no wonder it can become a very stressful time. Also the thought of having to entertain friends and family (some who you may not get on with) can be even more daunting. If you have children the pressure is also on to provide presents that will likely causing a large dent in your bank balance.

3. Try not to overindulge (easier said than done!)

There are also many people who live alone and may not have a lot human contact who dread it also for the loneliness aspect. In both cases this can have a negative impact on your health. So what can you do to help you spring into January rather than crawl?

2. Remember you don’t need to do everything, delegate work to others, just ask for help. 4. You may not be as active as usual, try to do something, even a short walk outdoors, each day. 5. Visit neighbours or relatives you know are lonely; a wee blether is good for everyone. 6. Give away any chocolates etc. if you have too many, you don’t need to eat them all. 7. Try to be organised beforehand it makes for smooth running. 8. Have fun, relax when you can and try not to be too disappointed if things don’t all work out as planned. I hope whatever your circumstances are, you have a Merry Christmas..

Lesley ☺

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Peeblesshire Youth Trust News Alongside our mentoring programme, Peeblesshire Youth Trust organises group activities for the young people that we support, as a way of making new friends, interacting with peers from other primary schools, and expanding horizons by exploring new opportunities. As always, we have had a busy and varied timetable of activities in recent times. We held a fun pizza and quiz night at the Community Hub (was the Ex-Serviceman’s Club) on School Brae in Peebles, which proved to be a great venue for us. We had some fiercely competitive teams, with our young people displaying excellent general knowledge, fuelled by copious amounts of delicious pizza, each with individual toppings made to meet all preferences! We hosted an evening at Newlands Activity Centre (Romanno Bridge) with Andy from Jammin’ Fitness focussing on the “7 Healthy Secrets for Successful Primary Transitions”; Andy showed us how to dance, focus, present to an audience and maximise our time, in our increasingly busy lives. Our young people enjoyed Andy’s high energy workshop, and we could see the growth in confidence to speak in front of a group by the end of the session. December is always a busy month at the Youth Trust; we will have more group activities for our young people including trampolining, which is always fantastic fun and very popular with our young folk. This will be run by local club, PhD FUNdamentals, to whom we are very grateful for giving up their time to allow our children to try

out Olympic sized trampolines with qualified coaches. For many, this will be their first time on such trampolines, and although nerve-racking at first, we anticipate seeing a surge in confidence by the end of the session! We will also be participating in the annual collection for Peebles Round Table, accompanying Santa in his sleigh around the houses of Peebles. Although often bitterly cold(!), we will be well-wrapped up so that we can enjoy sharing some Christmas cheer around town. We will also be continuing with our Achieve Your Potential programme during December and will again be packing and distributing Christmas hampers to local families in need to offer a little peace of mind in the run up to Christmas. As always we are keen to recruit new volunteer mentors, so that

we can make a difference to the lives of more young people across Tweeddale. Our volunteers work one-to-one with local children aged 10-14 years, to help boost confidence and self-esteem in the years around transition to Peebles High School. If you can spare a couple of hours’ a month and would like to find out just how rewarding it can be to mentor a young person, to see them achieve their potential, please contact Sarah at PYT, email ‘info@peeblesshireyouthtrust.org’ or tel 07957 383663. We would be delighted to meet you for a cuppa to tell you more about the work of the Youth Trust, our mentors and our volunteering opportunities.


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Tweeddale Youth Action The past couple of months have been very sad following the sudden and tragic death of Senior Youth Worker, Katie Hibbert. We are all heartbroken and trying to come to terms with our loss and our hearts go out to Katie’s family, friends and all those who held her dear. Katie was an amazing friend, colleague and youth worker. During the past few years that she has worked at Tweeddale Youth Action she has been the driving force behind much of our generic youth work. Her positivity, her warmth, her compassion and her ability to connect with young people has made an enormous difference to vulnerable young people’s lives. Many people have kindly donated to Tweeddale Youth Action to commemorate Katie’s work here. We would like to once again offer our most sincere and grateful thanks for your very kind gestures - the total is now an overwhelming £3000! We are currently in the process of thinking through different ideas and options of how to best put that money into action and how to best continue Katie’s legacy. We will shortly begin recruiting for a Senior Youth Worker to continue Katie’s work but our focus remains on supporting our young people, staff and volunteers and our youth club drop-in sessions remain:

Tuesday 6-8pm, Innerleithen Drop-in S2+ Wednesday 6-8pm, Peebles Craft Punks, all ages Thursday 6-8pm, Innerleithen Drop-in P7-S1 Friday 6-9pm, Peebles Drop-in S1+ Membership and attendance at our drop in sessions is completely free and all young people are welcome to attend. For more information on who we are and what we do, please visit our website www.tweeddaleyouth. co.uk get in touch on 01721 724779 or e-mail info@ tweeddaleyouth.co.uk Donations can also be made to www.totalgiving. co.uk/donate/tweeddale-youth-action-scio

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Gin, Gin! It seems that over the past five years gin has conquered the world. I remember the days when any pub or hotel with more than Gordon’s and Beefeater would be considered exotic, now every pub you walk past boasts massive collections of craft and flavoured gin. Linda, who runs the magazine, is very partial to a gin or three so we were delighted to be invited to the launch of the new Gin School at the Hydro, and the launch of their new range of 4 gins that they distil at the hotel. Depending on how long you have lived in the town, the Hydro has converted the old swimming pool/ Lazells into a gin distillery with the largest Gin School in the UK attached. The project was developed in partnership with Jamie Baxter of Craft Distilling Services. Jamie has worked across the UK and the world on the development of distilleries that have gone on to create some of the finest new spirits in the world. The 1881 Range of Gins uses the natural water sources that is the reason the Peebles Hydro was first

founded in, yes you guessed it, 1881. As well as the four gins, there is also a range of tonics that has been developed to complement the various gins. The star of the show is undoubtedly Felicity, the gleaming 150-litre copper still, named after General Manager Patrick Diack’s daughter. The Gin School itself looks amazing and will give people the chance to distil their own bottle of gin in a micro still. The recipe will be recorded by the team, and if you like it, you will be able to reorder! Packages start at £25.

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We’re turning water into gin (and tonic) GIFT HERS VOUC ABLE AVAIL Scotland’s newest and largest residential gin school is now open at Peebles Hydro! Come along and have a taste, take a tour or make your own bespoke gin.

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Peebles Community Trust


We’ve got used to reading about some of the remarkable successes of Peebles Community Trust in giving the local community a seat at the table when issues arise that affect the future of everyone who lives in the town. News has also reached the ears the Scottish government, and Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing stopped by at PCT’s first material acquisition at the end of October to hear first of the potential benefits of community ownership in a woodland that includes a Special Area of Conservation – the highest level of environmental protection in Europe. Formerly managed by Forestry and Land Scotland’s predecessor, Forest Enterprise Scotland, the seven-hectare site near Peebles was bought by PCT under the Scottish government’s Community Asset Transfer Scheme, which offers local communities the chance to take over and to deliver greater community benefit. Plans for the woodland include gradually removing most of the spruce trees and replacing with broad-leaved specimens,

improving biodiversity and offering education, training and volunteering opportunities. The important Tweed Valley Railway Path alongside the wood will also be secured and maintained. A few days later, PCT celebrated the purchase of the former Ex-Servicemen’s Club with a celebration heralded by a session with the town’s Pipe Band, reunited with their home base since the beginning of the year through an agreement with the club members and the liquidator appointed following its financial collapse. Now named The School Brae Hub, the building is also the home for the 120 members of the Peebles and District Men’s Shed, the sorting office for the annual Peebles Peace Group Book Sale and the town centre office for the PCT itself. “The main hall is what people think of, and there’s only one vacant Saturday coffee morning session left before Christmas, but we have a number of spaces in the building,” said PCT chairman Lawrie Hayworth. PCT now has its main office in the Hub, which is administered

by Alex Wilson and Emma Jones. They can be contacted on admin@peeblescommunity. org or by phoning 07722 808830. Available meeting spaces include: a Committee Room for use after 4 pm, seating to 10 people; the Meeting Space, suitable for 30 people or a cosy 40; and the Snooker hall which has two snooker tables and related equipment in situ. PCT wants to know whether there is enough support locally to retain the snooker equipment or use the space for other purposes. “We already have groups that use the Hub as their home base, but we want to hear from the community in Peebles what else people would like to see being run from here. Please get in touch if you have an idea.” Plans to upgrade the building in the long term aim to produce an efficient self-supporting and sustainable community building equipped with full disabled access and facilities. Work is already underway to map out the way forward.


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PCC Peebles Community Council

It was 4 years ago this month that I made my first tentative steps in moving back to Peebles after over 20 years away. I remember well the day we came up for the first time to view a few properties just after I’d been offered a new job. It was the night of the Christmas Lights switch on - a flying visit on a truly wet, miserable, gloomy day. We’d viewed 2 houses in Peebles and planned to see a property on the outskirts of Edinburgh in the evening. We made it to Eddleston before reconsidering. By the power of the local Facebook groups, we could see the carnage that was happening further up the A703 as snow caused chaos on the roads. That night demonstrated the power of community engagement. There would be many more examples that showed the passion of the Peebles community over the following few months. You may recall the issues exercising the local community 4 years ago: The floods later that December; Kittlegairy 2; Rosetta Caravan Park; The second bridge; the 3G sports pitch. I remember reading or getting involved in many of these constructive (and some not so constructive!) online discussions. One thing Peebles has over any other town I’ve lived in is an open, welcoming, vibrant, vocal and passionate community who care about the town. You care about its past. You care about its people – gutterbluid, stoorifit, people who have no idea what either of those things are, young, old and anywhere in between. You care about its businesses and its customers. You care about its infrastructure and its ability to cope. You care about its future. It’s a community I’ve been a part of for 44 years – even if much of it was from a distance. As I’ve already hinted, the level of engagement the people of Peebles have in the community is clearly evident in the huge number of subscribers to online groups, particularly the local Facebook groups. It was my engagement in

these groups and discussions that nudged me into joining Peebles Community Council 3 and a half years ago - It had been suggested by someone before we’d even got the keys to the house! Community Councils bridge the gap between the community and local authorities and help make public bodies aware of the opinions and needs of the communities they represent. it’s been a fascinating and enlightening experience representing the community locally and nationally on your behalf. This year, I’m wearing a number of different hats on the Community Council. As well as being Vice Chairman, I’m also the Community Council representative on the board of the Community Trust, and Community Council Web and Social Media coordinator. It’s that last hat I want to highlight. The one thing I would say we as a Community Council have struggled with is community engagement – particularly online. We do have a website and Facebook group, but we have historically only used them for minutes, agendas and notifications – we haven’t really tried to use them proactively to seek views and opinions. You might have noticed on Facebook that this has recently changed, as we’ve tried to seek views on items on the Community Council agenda that would really benefit from a wider community input: the children’s cemetery; rowan trees in the quadrangle; the community orchard. Thank you for constructively engaging on these posts – your views have gone on to inform (as far as possible) how we as a Community Council respond and take these matters forward with the relevant bodies. It’s a learning experience for us, but we’re going to be doing an awful lot more of this in the future. We’ve set up a small team of community councillors to manage the Facebook page, and we’ll be posting far more regularly highlighting issues and seeking your

views – please do make your views known! We are obviously aware that the subjects we’ll be raising could be contentious, and that people have different views, so if you want your views to be heard, all we ask is that you please post respectfully, positively and constructively. We will not suppress a viewpoint just because we disagree with it. The website is in the process of being updated, and will form part of the Community Portal at www. peeblescommunity.org alongside the Community Trust and the School Brae Hub. We’ll announce the website launch on the Peebles Community Council Facebook page (@peeblescommunitycouncil) soon. You can also contact us via Facebook Messenger or via Email (secretary@ ccrbpeebles.co.uk) - we will aim to get back to you within 24 hours. The Community Council represents you, the people of Peebles – it’s time for the Community Council to catch up and make it easier for you to engage with us, and for us to engage with you. The more you engage, the better we can represent you. The more we engage, the better represented and informed you will hopefully be!

Scott Rae Vice Chair Peebles Community Council

Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com

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Tweed Valley BID Update By Steve Dubé

Last month’s Big Issue looked at the Tweed Valley Tourism Business Improvement District (BID) initiative to make the area “a world-class activity destination” with a five-year plan to galvanise local enterprises and persuade them to contribute financially towards promoting the amenities, facilities and attractions of the area. The result of a postal ballot of more than one hundred participating businesses was awaited as Peebles Life went to Press. But a speaker at Peeblesshire Archaeological Society’s 25th anniversary public conference last month drew attention to an often over-looked ingredient in the region’s make-up: its culture and heritage. Dr Chris Bowles has been Scottish Borders Council’s archaeologist for the past eleven years and believes there is mileage to be made out of the historic qualities of the Borders. Scotland as a country attracts millions of visitors throughout the year, while the Borders underplays or even ignores its potential to bring them here. Dr Bowles said he was surprised at what he found when he came to the Borders to work: “The Tweed is exceptionally rich but it’s underexploited and it’s largely unknown compared to other Scottish regions. “But it’s full of people who are passionate and knowledgeable and stewards of their heritage and this power should be harnessed and transmitted to the wider world. I knew nothing about it when I came. Now I wonder why the whole world doesn’t know about the Common Ridings and come here to Peebles to see the horses crossing the Tweed.” Dr Bowles said whenever he raised the issue at council level. It was “brushed aside by mountain bikes”. He said: “What we have here should be celebrated outside the Borders. It could be as profitable as mountain biking, but it’s very difficult

to encourage people to do that sort of thing. One of my biggest beefs is we don’t have a strategy and we leave businesses and tourist attractions to do it themselves.” Dr Bowles is leaving his post at SBC in the New Year, but his words are timely in a year that has seen the closure of the tourist information office in the High Street. It’s left the town without a centre for visitors to connect with the locality. Part of its demise was due to the internet effectively reducing its role as a clearing house for visitors to access information about where to stay. But a tourist information centre has a vital role in making people welcome and offering advice about local amenities and events. The BID initiative is a move in the right direction, and Peebles Life wishes it every success. But missing from the launch of the BID in the Eastgate Theatre at the beginning of October was any mention of the area’s heritage and its historic attractions. It was a notable omission. There was room for brand development, promoting festivals, food and drink and the arts, business support, outdoor activities and so on. A tourism business hub and office could go some way towards providing Peebles with a tourist information centre. And some of the proposals, such as waymarking routes and signs to key sites, could also help visitors who come to Tweeddale to get a taste of its history and heritage. This kind of visitor is an important element of tourism in the locality and comes with hard cash to spend on food and drink, the arts and in the shops. If the BID receives the backing it needs locally to put its plans into action, it must develop a strategy for our culture and heritage as well as our festivals and beautiful countryside.

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Last Vinyl Christmas Boy did they get it wrong when the HiFi press reported back in Dec 1989, that it would be the last vinyl Christmas. Who would have thought that 30 years later this ancient technology would have again captured the zeitgeist. With vinyl sales increasing at a rapid rate, is this now the time to dust off those records and find that old turntable in the attic, or possibly buy a new one? As everyone jumps on the commercial benefits behind the vinyl revolution, there are a few words of caution to be headed. Firstly new vinyl is expensive, with most releases costing from £15 and going up to around £30 an LP. That being said an LP is a lovely item and you will be able to appreciate the artwork and all those sleeve notes. Secondly, is that old turntable that hasn’t seen the light of day for many years really up to the job? If it was a fairly expensive model it should still be ok but even so it will require a service as the drive belt will have in all likelihood have perished into some sort of gooey mess, and the stylus(cartridge) will most likely need to be replaced.

Thirdly good turntables are expensive, necessitated by the fact that they are mechanical rather than electronic in operation. Don’t be tempted by the cheap turntables offered at some High St retailers, at best they will sound lousy at worst will damage your records. Instead go to a specialist who will sell you a turntable that will let you really appreciate the fantastic sound of vinyl and also preserve your collection. Prices generally start at around £200 for a basic quality turntable. Finally if the above has not put you off you will enjoy embarking on a journey of musical discovery unburdened by any firmware upgrades or obsolescence. A turntable truly is not just for Christmas but for life. Andrew Muir Tetra Acoustics Limited


Take a Festive Break at the Eastgate As the Big Day approached and the pressure mounts, the Eastgate offers all sorts of opportunities to take a couple of hours out – whether you prefer kids panto, the finest roots music, local laughs and down home music, blockbuster films or a drop in day of family fun – the choice is yours. All of this, and more, is on your doorstep.

usual foot stomping music, new jokes and the return of Bert and Stan who are still busy at Dirtpot Corner.

The young performers of Tweed Theatre Youth perform The Nicest, Newest, Nuttiest Nativity Ever on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 December. This is a version of the Nativity never seen before featuring Dame Nellie Scarlett, a boy band, a donkey and of course the baddie King Herod.

A return to all things sparkly on Saturday 21 December with Festive Fun Day – drop into the Eastgate from 10am for fun workshops, Christmas crafts, carol singing and, and a selected by the audience screening of Home Alone at 11.30am. The same evening enjoy the wonderful singing of Peebles own choir Inchorus, who invite the audience to sing along in the Christmas Choir-aoke.

On Wednesday 11th CUA and Mike Kenny offer a break from the The Darkness, Wizzard, Slade and other earworms when they play a live, double header of cutting edge roots music from either side of the Irish Sea. After the success of their sell out Brexit Horror Show, Downright Homespun Radio Company return with the, now classic, Amerrycana Christmas from Thursday 12th to Saturday 14th. Expect the

On Thursday 19th Fleabag heartthrob Andrew Scott stars on screen, performing in the National Theatre’s production of Noel Coward’s provocative comedy Present Laughter.

December at the Eatsgate culminates in the arrival, at 2.30pm on Sunday 22nd, of the hugely anticipated Frozen II followed, at 5pm by Emma Thompson’s new film Last Christmas. For details on all of these events please see www. eastgatearts.com or telephone box office on 01721 725777.

Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com


Two Rivers Vets provides the highest quality care for all types of pets, horses and farm animals in and around Peebles and Biggar

We are a small friendly independent veterinary practice, with vets, nurses and reception staff who like to take the time to get to know their clients. We aim to treat every animal as if it were one of our own, whether its a much-loved family pet, top-class competition horse or valuable pedigree bull. Our vets provide a full emergency service for registered clients 24 hours a day 365 days a year. • Experienced caring vets • Fully qualified vet nurses • Friendly reception staff • RCVS Practice Standards • Pet Health Club • In-house blood tests • Mobile digital xray • Ultrasound scanning • Home/farm/stable visits • 24 hour emergency service

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We are committed to continual advancement of our professional standards, compassionate care of each individual patient, and sensible, reliable and affordable advice for our clients. E: reception@tworiversvets.co.uk W: www.tworiversvets.co.uk

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HAIR SALON With more than 30 years experience Rowan McTavish is excited to have opened a new hair studio in Peebles. She specialises in all aspects of hairdressing and prides herself on using the most sustainable natural colours and hair products on the market from www.davines.com. Rowan originally trained at Charlie Miller in Edinburgh where she worked for 13 years. She then went on to open her first salon in Amsterdam where she has been for the last 16 years!

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New Faces at the Glentress By Charles Cormack Many readers will know local chef Val Brunton. Val has been a key part of the Peebles culinary scene for over two decades, cooking at a number of the best restaurants in the area, and also contributing a monthly recipe to Peebles Life for the past 14 years.

we were dining early, the restaurant was already nicely busy. It was also clear that they were expecting many more (it transpired that the large tables were reserved for a group of mountain biking journalists up to do the Big Beastie!!)

So as you can imagine we were intrigued to hear that Val had recently taken on the head chef role at the Glentress Hotel, situated next to the entrance to Glentress Forest. We were delighted when an invite arrived for Linda and I to go up to the hotel to have a meal and sample the new menu.

We decided to grab the chance to have a brief chat with Murray before the crowds arrived, it had already been clear to us before visiting that the Glentress was getting a bit of a buzz behind it, we had visited for an excellent Sunday lunch, and a number of friends had been raving about the food, but the key indicator was the car park always seemed busy when we drove past.

The Glentress is a place we know reasonably well, having been for a number of meals over the years, so we were interested in not only finding out what the new menu was like but also what new owners Murray and Alex had planned for the place. We went up one Friday evening, and although

Murray and Alex are self-confessed novices, when it comes to hotel keeping, but they seem to have taken to it like a duck to water. The plan is to create a place that is welcoming to both locals and the ever-growing army of mountain bikers who visit the area every week. The restaurant and bar are welcoming, and the focus is on high-quality local produce and friendly staff. Our meal showcased this drive to highlight excellent local produce, our starters included mixed charcuterie of Tweed Valley smoked venison, salami from Shaws in Innerleithen, and bread from the incomparable Fat Batard (if you have not tried it do, you can get it at the farmers market in Peebles). My main course was an outstanding dish of spiced Cod (from Ross Dougal) with a cauliflower steak, mango sauce and onion bhaji. The passion to support local suppliers extends to the drinks list, with wines from Villeneuve wines, and beers from Tempest at Tweedbank. As expected with Val, the food was superb, and I am sure that her loyal following will soon be beating a path the Glentress’s door. I know we will, it is in staggering distance from Cardrona!

Recipe from Val @ The Glentress Hotel Potato, Fennel and Chestnut Gratin Ingredient


• 500g potatoes – sliced

Slice the vegetable and potatoes very thinly.

• 2 bulbs fennel – sliced

Heat the oil & sauté the veg until the onions go soft.

Add the thyme & garlic.

• 250g chestnuts – crushed

Pour in the cream & stir well.

• 2 handfuls gluten free breadcrumbs

Pour into an ovenproof dish.

Mix the breadcrumbs & parmesan cheese together, sprinkle over the bake.

Put in a hot oven (160C) for 45 minutes

• 1 medium red onion - sliced • 4 cloves garlic • Sprig of thyme

• 20g parmesan cheese - grated • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil • 350g soya cream

Glentress, Peebles, EH45 8NB

01721 720100



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CAFE: From a full Biker’s breakfast and open sandwiches to gourmet burgers and hearty salads, we’ve got something to suit all tastes and dietary requirements…there’s even a wee person’s menu.

RESTAURANT: Take a night off the cooking and spend an evening at the Glentress Hotel. With a wide range of local produce from local suppliers, we’re confident you’ll love eating with us!


Drop off your slip or email us and get entered into a free prize draw, free lunch if you’re the lucky winner.

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HOLIDAY FLAT for friends’ and family visits

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25 Years and still digging The Peebles Archaeology Society marked its 25th birthday by hosting a conference on “The Archaeology of Tweeddale” at the McFarlane Hall on the 19th October. The event was a series of 9 illustrated talks by eminent archaeologists from as far afield as University College Dublin. The event was a sell-out, and I was lucky enough to attend, so I can confirm that well over 100 people packed the hall, with the vast majority staying for the full 9 hours. All the talks were excellent, and you will find an article on page 52 in the magazine examining one in a little more detail.

The Society was formed in 1994 with three goals, to stimulate interest in Tweeddale’s archaeology, the encourage the recording and preservation of local sites, and to promote an awareness of the past. It was clear from the event that it is succeeding in all these areas, and it was great to see that the society was able to “pack the room” with interested locals. We wish the society well for the next 25 years, and look forward to attending the 50th anniversary conference.

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My name is Crystal and I’m an independent Travel Counsellor. I have a passion for travel and love creating personal holiday plans. Whatever you’re looking for from your travel, I can bring your dream trip to life by building it around the things you value most – be that luxury, an exotic destination or value for money. I offer a truly personal service from start to finish, all of which is 100% financially protected. What is ATOL? The Air Travel Organisers’ License (ATOL) is a government run financial protection scheme for holidaymakers regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). In the UK, all travel companies selling package holidays with flights, must hold an ATOL. If the company isn’t registered in the UK, they aren’t legally required to hold an ATOL and you might find you aren’t as covered as you thought. This may apply to companies that operate exclusively online and are registered abroad. When only booking flights with an airline, you are not always protected under ATOL because this does not constitute a package holiday.

I paid for my holiday using my credit card so can I claim through my credit card provider if the company goes bust? If you’ve booked your trip and have paid on your credit card, you might be able to make a claim against your credit card company. Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 applies to goods and services paid for with your credit card and includes online bookings. However, this level of protection won’t help you re-arrange any lost bookings or help you get home if you are stranded abroad.

Doesn’t my travel insurance cover me if the company I’ve booked with goes into administration? Not every travel insurance policy will cover you if a company goes bust, so it’s best to read the small print and check with your travel insurance provider. It’s also worth checking whether the provider will cover you for the whole holiday if you’ve booked your flights, accommodation and car hire separately. As an example, you might find that your travel insurance will cover you if the airline goes into administration but that you can’t claim for a refund on your accommodation or car hire. Having the peace of mind that your holiday is safe no matter what is priceless. When you book with Crystal Roebuck at Travel Counsellors every part of every trip - whether it be the whole holiday, a flight, hotel, car hire or even airport parking - is 100% financially protected. This is not the case with all travel companies. Because my unique Trusted Travel Bond is fully independent, it’s the highest level of protection you could wish for and financially protects every part of every trip, no ifs, no buts, no maybe’s. If you’d like more information about planning your next trip and how it is financially protected, please contact me, Crystal Roebuck at Travel Counsellors where I will be happy to discuss your individual needs in more detail.

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Job Vacancies Garvald West Linton is an established provider of residential and day care services for adults with learning disabilities. Care is provided in five houses and there are eight workshop areas as well as further education and individual therapies. Our work is based on the principles of Rudolf Steiner. We are situated 20 miles south of Edinburgh in beautiful surroundings near West Linton.

Residential Manager Vacancy Main Purpose of Role The Residential Manager takes full responsibility for the delivery and management of the Garvald West Linton Residential Service ensuring that all the residential facilities are functioning at the highest standard in line with current regulations and delivering the expected level of service to all residents which is responsive to their changing needs. Currently we are in the process of looking to develop further options within our residential services to meet higher levels of support needs for individuals accessing our service. The Residential Manager will be registered with the Care Inspectorate as the Registered Manager of the Residential Service. Key Priorities • to provide leadership and support for the House Managers ensuring that GWL meets relevant service standards in the delivery of care to residents. • to have an overview of GWL’s residential provision and ensuring that it meets the needs of the residents and maintains a social therapeutic setting. • to interface and work constructively with the Care Inspectorate and other external bodies ensuring that GWL’s relationships continue to benefit the organisation, the residents and the wider community • to understand and work within the principles of social therapy and to support the cultural life of GWL in the celebration of cultural events Qualifications Essential • Qualifications that meet the SSSC requirements for a Manager Desirable • Qualifications relevant to the field of Social Pedagogy and/or Social Therapy and Curative Education. • Qualifications that demonstrate skill in managing conflict and/or interpersonal relationships. Knowledge and Experience • Experience of managing a residential service preferably within a social therapy setting. • Willingness to support the cultural practice and ethos of GWL. • Significant experience in a similar managerial position within the Health and Social Care sector including supervising and managing staff. • Understanding of the National Care Standards the SSSC and good practice in Adult Protection. • Working knowledge of Health & Safety, risk assessments, environmental health and fire regulations. • Experience of working with adults with learning and/or physical disabilities, autism and challenging behaviour. • Previous experience of recruitment, resolving human resource issues and knowledge of relationship management and conflict resolution. • Prior knowledge of preparing and working to budgets and annual targets. • Knowledge of social pedagogy and its relevance in an adult care setting for people with complex needs

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45 Skills and Abilities • Skilled people manager with the ability to give and receive feedback to improve individual and team performance, and a genuine desire to support others in learning and CPD. • Proven leadership skills with the ability to act as a role model for others. • Strong communicator who can liaise effectively with stakeholders e.g. residents, day service users, parents, staff, health professionals, other care providers, Senior Management Team and Garvald Trustees. • Ability to work within a set budget and provide relevant updates relating to spend etc. • Proven negotiation skills, executed in a similar setting. • Ability to act as a strong member of a team but independently manage GWL’s residential service. • Excellent time management with the ability to meet deadlines. • Computer literacy with knowledge of MS Office packages, email and internet use. • Must hold a full and valid driving licence Personal Attributes • Commitment to embracing and pursuing the principles of social therapy (based on the Rudolf Steiner principles) and their application in a residential setting • Flexible and resilient with the ability to react quickly and appropriately to escalating situations. • Self-awareness and a positive outlook with confidence and belief in own abilities. • Logical approach to problem solving and decision-making. • Confident in ability to work with individuals who exhibit challenging and complex behaviours. Salary £31,500

Full Time/Part Time Care Staff and Nightshift workers. We have both Live In and Live Out positions available. (Attractive salary and benefits, training and career prospects)

Join our team and make a real difference delivering care to the vulnerable adults with learning disability, you don’t need previous experience, as full training and support will be provided. Values and Attributes You must be; • able to treat our service users with dignity and respect • able to uphold their rights as individuals • honest and trustworthy • reliable and dependable Skills and Abilities You must be able to; • communicate well • recognise and respond to the needs of others • work as part of a team • be flexible in approach • maintain good sense of humour

For more information visit www.garvaldwestlinton.org.uk. Full Job Descriptions can be provided upon request via info@garvaldwestlinton.org.uk

Garvald West Linton, Garvald House, Dolphinton, West Linton, EH46 7HJ Tel: (01968) 682211 Fax: (01968) 682611 E mail: info@garvaldwestlinton.org.uk Web: www.garvaldwestlinton.org.uk Please mention Peebles Life when responding to adverts


What is the impact of implementing Universal Tax Credit

That was the question we were asked by our friends at Peeblesshire Foodbank when they asked us to address their recent AGM. As we make the largest number of referrals to them, they felt that we would be in a good position to reflect on the impacts that they are experiencing and share some insights into what we can expect in future. Within Peebles CAB we pooled our experience and looked at the research into social issues undertaken by Citizens Advice Scotland. These are the findings which we shared: Full service Universal Credit was introduced in the Scottish Borders on 13th June, replacing several benefits including Housing benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. This means that all new applications from that date can only be for UC, and that anyone in receipt of those benefits will be changed to UC if they experience a change in circumstances or reach a designated assessment point. Applications for UC should be made online and to do so you need an email address and access to a pc, tablet or smartphone. Once an application is submitted there is a five week wait period before the first payment is received. Locally, the biggest problems we have found are: 1. Clients who cannot manage on the amount of benefits which they receive. 2. Problems when clients who transfer onto UC are faced with deductions for benefit overpayment. 3. People for whom the 5 week wait, without any income, is impossible. The Trussell Trust run a network of foodbanks and have published their findings; In areas where UC has been rolled out for at least a year, food banks in the network have seen 30% increase in demand. This jumps to 40% where UC has been in place for 18 months and 48% with UC for at least 2 years. The Peeblesshire Food Bank have found that in the year from 31/3/18 to 31/3/19 the number of referrals that they received rose by 59%.

2. UC has an impact on in-work poverty – It is calculated using a monthly calendar assessment period, but where people are paid more frequently by their employer there can be a mis-match between payment cycles resulting in their income artificially breaching their UC threshold and resulting in their claim being closed and having to be re-opened. This also causes issues for people with fluctuating income. 3. Online Barriers to maintaining UC claims – The UC claimant must make and fulfil a Claimant Commitment and keep an online journal in which they document their job search activities and receive import messages and requirements from their job coaches. CAS has found that a significant minority of people do not have internet access or digital skills. Those with disabilities, mental or physical health conditions, learning difficulties or poor literacy face disadvantages and barriers to maintaining their claims. We concluded that the Peeblesshire Foodbank is unlikely to see any reduction in demand for their services any time soon, but at Peebles CAB we are so glad to have them there and to know that when we need to refer someone for assistance they will respond. Donations from the public are an essential part of supporting the work we do. With your help we can continue to offer free, confidential advice to make a real difference in the local community. Please consider donating directly to the bureau, through support for our Friends of Peebles CAB group (friendsofbureau@ peeblescab.casonline.org.uk), or while you shop, via Easyfundraising.” Both of our organisations always need your help. If you wish to volunteer or to make a contribution, please contact:

Peebles CAB Chambers Institution WE ARE DESIGNED High Street, Peebles, EH45 8AG TO SELL HOUSES. 01721 721722

Citizens Advice Scotland monitor the issues being flagged by the 59 Bureaux in Scotland and report these as social issues. In the last year they have issued three sets or findings:

1. UC is designed to imitate the world of work by paying people monthly in arrears., including a five week wait, based on the assumption that people have savings or a final salary to support them. In reality people have no money and have a choice between trying to survive for 5 weeks with no income or asking for an advance and facing ongoing reduced payments and hardship until the advance is repaid.

Peeblesshire Foodbank 3, Rowan Court Calvary Park Peebles, EH45 9BU 07413 484174

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Adrian Dunn

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Peebles Silver Band As our picture shows – and may perhaps have been heard many times along Peebles High Street we won a trophy! Peebles Burgh Silver Band returned from the Borders Entertainment Contest in Kelso on Saturday 2nd November proud winners; topping the 4th Section taking victory over the other three bands in that section. (and in equal place with the 3rd Section winners, Langholm Town Band). The contest is held annually in a different venue each year and for the first time was in Kelso at the Kelso North Parish Church. This was in honour of the Contest Compere´, Alasdair Hutton, OBE, who is an Elder of the Church and has introduced each Band and their choice of music in his excellent style for more years than he cares to remember. Each band is asked to perform a selection of music with a maximum playing time of 15 minutes. Our programme commenced with a concert march ‘The Cornish Cavalier’ composed by W. E. Moyle. This was followed by ‘The Water of Tyne’ a traditional slow melody arranged by Philip Harper featuring principal euphonium, Rhona Musgrave, and principal cornet, Phoebe Hibbert. The band then took a calculated risk and played a piece arranged by Derek Broadbent (one of the two adjudicators who has actually

conducted the band in the past). This featured our flugel and horn players, Sophie Ward-Murray, Kevin Smith, Rosie McLeman and Alison Smith playing Lennon & McCartney’s ‘Hey Jude’. The concluding tune was Kalinka arranged by Ray Woodfield which is a Russian folk song from 1860. A varied and entertaining programme that was clearly liked by the adjudicators and audience. The band’s Musical Director, Peter Holmes, commented “This group of players has worked hard over the past few months to put this short programme together whilst also rehearsing for our September concert. I am especially pleased that we have invested in our young players and they continue to repay our faith in them and today did Peebles proud by winning a trophy”.

After the formal Remembrance Service in the Quadrangle the Band are now preparing for their Christmas Concert on Friday 13th December in The Burgh Hall (please note 7.00pm start) where we will be supported by Kingsland School Choir and our very own Youth Band. This is an excellent event and not to be missed. We will hopefully also be playing carols each Saturday in December on the High Street, weather permitting. After the Christmas break, we start all over again with rehearsals for our next contest - the Scottish Championships in Perth in March 2020 where the band hope to build on Saturday’s win and gain promotion to the 3rd Section! If you want to get in touch or learn to play an instrument please email us at secretary. pbsb@gmail.com

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Notes on Peebles and its History By Steve Dubé Dr Tim Clarkson spoke on Old Stones and Lost Kingdoms: Tweeddale in the Early Middle Ages and explored evidence of early rulers and the dawn of Christianity in and around Peebles after the final retreat of the Roman army. Our information about this era comes from poems transmitted verbally and written down in Welsh hundreds of years later. They are difficult to use, and contain not enough reliable information about specific locations. The only other sources are the 6th century monk Gildas from Alt Clut (Strathclyde) and the 8th century English monk Bede. Dr Clarkson said they all show native British leaders setting up their own kingdoms and competing with each other while engaging in long-distance trade with continental Europe. He cited early Welsh texts that tell of two north British kingdoms, Alt Clut and Gododdin, the land of the tribe known to the Romans as Votadini occupying south east Scotland and north-east Northumberland, although we’re not sure how far either extended into the Tweed Valley. We also know of Rhedeg to the west, Aeron, which could be Ayrshire, and Calchfynydd, literally chalk hill or mountain, which could relate to the early name of Kelso – Calchou. The early 6th century Yarrow Stone – just over the old county border in the valley of Yarrow Water, could give us indications about one of these “royal” families.

Found at the beginning of the 19th century, with human bones buried underneath, the Latin inscription is flaked, worn and incomplete. But a translation is said to read: “This is the everlasting memorial. In this place lie the most famous princes Nudus and Dumnogenus. In this tomb lie the two sons of Liberalis.” I found this thought-provoking. The Latin liberalis translates as “generous”, and Nudus is the Latinised form of the Celtic name Nudd. In Welsh, the word “generous” is rendered as hael, and a ruler called Senyllt Hael is named in the early Welsh poem Y Gododdin as presiding over a royal court famed for its liberality. Senyllt and his son, intriguingly called Nudd Hael, appear with Rhydderch Hael, king of Alt Clut (Strathclyde) in the early Welsh triad Three Generous Men of Britain. Dr Clarkson said the use of Latin on this, and other early memorial stones from this area, shows that these early Welsh, or Cumbricspeaking people were tapping into

the Roman language and culture. This inscription shows a high status Christian family living in the vicinity of the Yarrow Valley. By 500AD, with Anglo-Saxons arriving from Germany, Christianity with its Roman and Latinised roots was clearly gaining ground at the expense of home-grown Pagan beliefs and archaeological evidence confirms that priests and bishops were appearing in the Tweed Valley. In July 1998 archaeologists from Peebles and Bigger carried out a rescue operation after a cist – a stone-lined grave – was discovered on the edge of an eroding gravel quarry near Lyne Church. They found another, and later a third. The size of the cists, and their alignment on an east-west axis, showed that they were children’s graves and most likely part of a larger early Christian cemetery. Peebles Archaeological Society subsequently adopted and now maintains the monument as a local visitor attraction, with a display panel interpreting the cists, the

well-defined earthworks of the nearby Roman Fort, and Lyne Kirk itself. These early Christian graves are undated, but Dr Clarkson said one of the earliest and best examples of an early Christian memorial stone comes from Manor Water, and almost certainly marked a grave. The Coninie Stone, marked with a Christian cross and the inscription CONINIE [E]RTIRIE is one of the best and earliest examples in Britain. Conina is a Celtic woman’s name, and she is the earliest named inhabitant of this area. Eritirie could be another personal name, or a descriptive word. The stone is dated from the end of the 6th century and was found in a cairn near St Gordian’s Kirk, where there are remains of buildings and earthworks and a possible enclosure. Tradition says these are remains of a very early church. The Anglo-Saxons converted to Christianity in the 7th century and monasteries were founded at Melrose and Lindisfarne. Dr Clarkson said there may also have been monasteries, or at least early Christian centres, at Stobo and Peebles. The late 7th or early 8th century Neitan Stone, discovered built into a wall in Peebles Old Town in 1967, bears a cross on both sides and the inscription Neitana Sacerdos, Neitan the Priest. This is a Celtic name and strongly suggests an active church in Peebles at that time. The Anglo-Saxons converted to Christianity in the 7th century and in the 7thto 8th centuries all of north British kingdoms except Alt Clut were swept away and incorporated into Anglo-Saxon by Northumbria. Many Britons adopted the early English language and culture but many of the older settlements retain their early Welsh/Cumbric names, which suggests that many people kept their native language.

Examples include Peebles of course – from Cumbric (modern Welsh pebyll, for shielings or encampment, and Cademuir modern Welsh Câd Mawr (great battle). Dr Tim Clarkson’s books include Men of the North; Scotland’s Merlin; The Picts: A History; The Makers of Scotland; and Aethelflaed: Lady of the Mercians. Images: 1. St Gordian’s Cross

If you missed the conference, Dr Clarkson will be the guest speaker in Peebles Civic Society’s Winter Programme at 7.30pm on February 18 at the St Andrew’s Leckie Church Hall, when he will speak on “Britons and Anglo-Saxons in the Tweed Valley, AD 400 to 80”. The event is open to the general public as well as society members, and entry is free of charge.

2.Neitan Stone


Recovery from Stroke or “Brain Attack”

What is a stroke? A stroke is a “Brain Attack”. It is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Most strokes are caused by a blockage however some can be caused by bleeding in or around the brain. The severity of the symptoms depends on the size of the area of the brain affected, and how long the circulation has been interrupted for. A stroke can affect the way your body works as well as how you think, feel and communicate. It commonly affects one side of the body leaving a weak or numb arm and leg.

Neurological Physiotherapy or “Neuro Physio”

It’s vital to know how to spot the warning signs of a stroke in yourself or someone else. Using the FAST test is the best way to do this.

A neuro physio will use the principles of neuroplasticity to guide treatment. The research tells us how we should structure exercise based therapy in terms of intensity, frequency and type of exercise. Therapy will also often involve “hands on” treatment to provide support, tactile guidance and confidence to move more effectively.

A specialist neurological physiotherapist or “neuro physio” is an expert in helping people recover more normal movement and function after neurological injury or disease. They will understand the common problems encountered and the impact that they can have on the life of you and your family. Treatment is focused on maximising the return of movement and encouraging as much independence as possible.

Face: Can the person smile? Has their face

Arms: Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?

Rehabilitation technologies

Speech problems: Can the person speak

Time: If you see any of these three signs, it’s

New technologies are constantly developing that assist in different parts of the rehabilitation process, from body-weight supported treadmills, to Functional Electrical Stimulation devices that use electrical signals to pull the toes up when learning to walk again, to dynamic orthoses that help a weak or tight hand pick things up again. A good neuro physio can guide you regarding what technologies might be best suited.

fallen on one side?

clearly and understand what you say? Is their speech slurred? time to call 999.

(Stroke Association, 2018)

Can you recover from a stroke? People who survive a stroke are often left with longterm problems caused by injury to their brain. Some people need a long period of rehabilitation before they can recover their former independence, while many never fully recover and need support adjusting to living with the effects of their stroke. Recovery can occur in two main ways: In the first few weeks or months after stroke, spontaneous recovery can occur as swelling reduces and the body’s normal healing processes continue. Thereafter further improvement can be explained by neuroplasticity. This is the brains ability to adapt and compensate for damage by establishing new pathways that can help restore function.

Summary •

If you suspect a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and seek immediate medical attention.

If you or someone you know needs help with physical rehabilitation after a stroke, a neuro physio can provide high quality evidenced based treatment.

Rehabilitation technologies can help push the traditional boundaries of rehabilitation.

For further information see: NHS Choices www.nhs.uk/conditions/stroke/ Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland www.chss.org.uk Stroke Association  www.stroke.org.uk Different Strokes  www.differentstrokes.co.uk

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56 Making IT work for you

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Scottish Borders CBT Services Compassionate, positive outcomes

Mental Health Matters Spotlight on……..Depression Perhaps the most debilitating challenge of Depression is the rumination that can keep you locked in cycles of worry, dread and inactivity. Cycles that seem to produce and maintain bone weary exhaustion and fatigue, such that it can be difficult to disentangle what came first and difficult to get through the day when it is fraught with overwhelming emotion or, the opposite, when everything feels flat and empty. Either way, motivation, concentration and self-care can become harder to hold onto, when even the simplest of tasks feels like it’s just too hard. While Severe Clinical Depression requires specialist psychiatric services, there are many other forms of Depression that will affect all of us at some point in our lives, and it’s common to also experience symptoms of Anxiety and Stress, and to experience feelings of shame and guilt. If this resonates with you, my take-away message from this article would be to reach out. The nature of Depression is that it usually makes us want to withdraw, avoid and self-isolate. However, this can serve to further embed those cycles of negative rumination, and with no opportunity for a wider perspective,

can hook us into a downward spiral. It can be difficult to pull out of Depression on your own and we need others to be alongside us on the journey. Turn towards people; towards connection. It doesn’t need to be anything too scary! The smallest first step is a good place to start – and that might look like making contact for online support, visiting your G.P or letting a friend or family member know that all is not well. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is the most researched of the talking therapies for Depression and recent developments in the field have brought added benefits that enable us to clear the filters of Depression, by developing flexibility in the way we relate to the negative, difficult thoughts we have and by learning to live in the present moment rather than a ruminated past or a feared future. The filter of Depression can be likened to looking at life through a murky contact lens. The thought of being in the present moment might at first glance look like having to sit in the murk...not altogether appealing! However, even when the present moment is painful, it can be where we find peace and relief, by learning to focus attention on what is actually

happening right here, right now in the moment you are living in, rather than focusing upon difficult thoughts. For example right now you are reading these words, sitting or standing, in a physical body that is full of senses that you are using in this moment. Your feet are on the ground, you can feel the air temperature on your skin and your lungs are breathing - by really tuning into your senses, you can learn to divert attention from negative thoughts. It’s possible to start the process of unhooking from the negative thoughts of our minds, and through learning self-compassion it becomes easier to make contact with the present moment and to gain a broader perspective on our struggles. Present moment awareness is Mindfulness in action and provides a space in which to clear the mental traffic so that we are not so caught up in worry and the evaluations of our experiences. Do reach out to seek support (there are many resources online for Depression) especially if you are experiencing thoughts of harm to yourself and give yourself an opportunity to receive help.

If you would like a chat about how Psychological Therapy could help you, please get in touch:

www.suzannethurstonpsychologicaltherapies.co.uk E: scottishborderscbtservices@gmail.com T: 07811 978124 Suite 4, 2 Rowan Court, Cavalry Park, Peebles, EH45 9BU

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Nick Chisholm

Scottish Labour Party

I have lived and worked in Dumfries and Galloway for most of my professional life as a Director for the Annan Fishery Board and River Annan Trust and latterly moved to the local authority to deliver heritage projects with communities.  I have decided to stand for parliament because I fundamentally believe that we have been getting let down by both the Edinburgh and Westminster governments. The Tory fixation with Austerity and the Nationalists willingness to impose the Tory Austerity onto Scotland has left our services in a dire straight. The inability of the Tory party to negotiate across the parties on Brexit and the SNP fixation on independence has created division and rancour across our country. We need a fundamental change in the way we do politics. We need to start putting people and local communities first. We need to invest in our public sector to ensure that services can be delivered safely and efficiently. We need to create opportunities for our young people to stay and feel they have to leave to follow their dreams. The Labour party policies will do this. In our area the Green Industrial Revolution and Free super-fast broadband initiatives, in particular, are very exciting. We have the ability, in this area, not just to be carbon neutral but to be carbon negative. At the same time with the increased connectivity that the Broadband will bring we can create real, well-paid jobs that will allow our children to stay and flourish in our communities.

John Ferry Scottish Liberal Democrats We can elect a Peebles MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale I moved to Peebles with my family in 2013. My children attend the local schools. I love this town and this valley and want to see it thrive. A vote for me at the general election is a vote for a true local champion. I have a clear vision to improve our local economy. We need a fully fleshed out strategy for expanding our tourism sector, and greater support for local small businesses – especially the reform of business rates, which can be crippling. Not all of these matters sit at Westminster, but a Peebles MP standing up for your interests will have the clout to make change happen, whether it needs to come at the UK, Scottish or local level. The Scottish Liberal Democrats’ top line policy initiatives are to stop Brexit and stop a second Indyref. We can then create the stable conditions needed to address the real challenges we face, such as tackling the climate emergency and improving living standards. Farmers in this area should not have to face the possibility of sudden enormous trade tariffs battering their businesses. That is a real possibility if we get another Conservative government. And any vote for the Nationalists (or Labour, who will assist them) is a vote to potentially see a hard border with England in the 2020s. Queues of lorries on the M74 and A68? No thanks. Only a vote for the Liberal Democrats can stop this chaos. Give me your vote, and help us build a brighter future.

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DUMFRIESSHIRE, CLYDESDALE & TWEEDDALE Amanda Burgauer Scottish National Party It’s Time For Change I’ve been a campaigner for rural Scotland for more than a decade. Our rural businesses and communities cannot afford the economic shock that Brexit will deliver, and I will not stand on the sidelines while our rural economy is decimated without speaking up. That’s why I’m a candidate in this election. Brexit will profoundly affect all of us, but research says this constituency will be particularly badly hit. Our constituency voted to remain, yet the MP who has been representing us has u-turned and pivoted time and again behind party lines. This election is about escaping Brexit and preventing a hard right majority Conservative government. It’s also about place. This is my home constituency. I live in Elvanfoot and I have personal and professional connections with almost every town and village in this constituency. The rural economy and infrastructure are my areas of professional expertise, so addressing the structural challenges of rurality will be a top priority for me. Why? Because this place really matters to me. Mr Mundell has had 14 years to make a difference to our local businesses, communities and people. I can’t see any evidence of him having made much difference at all. My promise to you is that I will - I will always put our constituency first, no matter what. If you want to prevent a hard Brexit and a march to the right, with all the worrying consequences that will bring, please lend me your vote in this election.

David Mundell Scottish Conservative and Unionist Standing firm against second independence vote IN THIS constituency, the election is a tight race between me and Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP candidate.  I have been very grateful to Liberal Democrat and Labour voters in Peebles and Cardrona for lending me their votes in recent elections to ensure this constituency did not elect an SNP MP, whose sole focus would be another independence referendum and breaking up our United Kingdom.  That was never more important than in 2015 when I beat the SNP by only 798 votes.  Your votes made the difference in getting me elected then and that’s why I am again asking Liberal Democrat and Labour inclined voters locally to lend me their vote and ensure we are not plunged into the division and upheaval of another independence referendum next year.  Even though local people voted overwhelmingly to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom in what we were told at the time was a ‘once in a generation’ referendum in 2014, Nicola Sturgeon is determined to hold another independence referendum next year.  And, to the shock and dismay of many unionist Labour voters locally, Jeremy Corbyn has said he will let her. Only the Conservatives can be trusted to say no to another referendum.  So, if you don’t want to see that second referendum, no matter how, you have voted in the past, you need to vote for me this time.  As the last two General Elections have shown, I am the only candidate in this constituency who beat the SNP. A vote for any other party risks letting Nicola Sturgeon’s candidate in!

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Peebles Life is an A5 magazine which has been running for over 14 years. A lot of advertisers advertise every month – because the magazine works and generates business for them.

Price. Peebles Life is the most cost effective way to reach the residents of Peebles and Cardrona.

It is truly local. All advertisers operate in or close to the area.

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Peebles Life is published and distributed monthly, on or around the last weekend of the month.

It is delivered to over 5200 homes in and around Peebles and Cardrona.

An electronic copy of the magazine can be viewed on the Peebles Life website www.peebleslife.com.

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Exploring the Past with Peeblesshire Archaeological Society

“Where are we? – A timely voyage round navigation” The Tweeddale Society & Peeblesshire Archaeological Society Joint Lecture Tuesday 10th December will mark the occasion of the annual joint meeting of the Tweeddale Society and the Peeblesshire Archaeological Society. This year the speaker will be James Taylor, OBE, FRIN, who will present a talk entitled “Where are we? – A timely voyage round navigation”. In his talk, James will take a brief look at historical means of navigation, and then via lighthouses will introduce us to modern navigation to show how we all – not just mariners or navigators but all of society – have become massively dependent on satellite navigation systems and how it all depends upon Time. James is a mariner and submariner, with four seagoing commands – three submarines and one frigate – in his thirty years of naval service. He is also a qualified Master in the Merchant Service.  Thirteen years as Chief Executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board gave way to non-executive roles, as a Board member/Director of Scottish Ballet and as Chair of the Scottish Pensions Policy Agency. Last year he completed a 3-year term of office as President of the Royal Institute of Navigation, a learned society and a professional body; he currently is a delegate to the International Maritime Organisation, representing all the Institutes of Navigation internationally. James is currently Chair of Eddleston and District Community Council and he and his wife, Elizabeth, live in the Meldons. The joint meeting of the two societies is now customarily designated as the occasion of the Halkett Hendrie Memorial Lecture, which perpetuates the memory of that distinguished member of the Tweeddale Society. J Halkett Hendrie was a farmer at Mossfennan to the west of Broughton – and an enthusiastic and informed

amateur archaeologist. The staff of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland drew on his local knowledge in course of their survey work in Peeblesshire during the 1950s and 1960s. Back then, landlubberly field archaeologists would have depended on their OS maps, theodolites and prismatic compasses to record the locations of their sites. Nowadays, we have all become accustomed to digital mapping and handheld GPS as indispensable recording tools. Just as in many other walks of life, precise geographical location is critically important in the field of archaeology and we greatly look forward to hearing the fascinating story that lies behind the development of the sophisticated global navigation techniques that we so take for granted today! As this is the joint meeting of the two societies, please note that the talk will be held in the Peebles Eastgate Theatre. The lecture will start at 7.30pm. Members of the Tweeddale Society and the Peeblesshire Archaeological Society admitted free; non-members may purchase tickets from the box office at the Eastgate Theatre (tel 01721 725777 or see www.eastgatearts.com)

A PAS Christmas Puzzler! Latitude: 36° 03.4780’ S Longitude: 136° 42.3250’ E. Where on earth are we? The first reader of Peebles Life to identify this lighthouse correctly wins a book prize!

Entries by 10 December to: trevor.cowie@btopenworld. Please mention Peebles Life when responding to adverts


Serenata Concerts Dates for the winter season of Serenata Concerts are now out and already numbers of talented local musicians are signing up to perform. Serenata is a forum where instrumentalists and singers from the community play to a small, sympathetic audience at the series of Sunday afternoon concerts. The series started on Sunday November 24th when the programme featured talented, young, Peebles Flautist, Kimberley Archibald playing a selection of pieces by C.P.E. Bach, Piazzola, Telemann and Prokofiev accompanied by Caroline Adam on piano.

welcome, and music can be from the classics to folk, world music or jazz. Play or sing solo or get a group together – practice is more meaningful when preparing for a performance, and Serenata offers just that opportunity. Of course, the performers need an audience and anyone who enjoys music should come along. It is always fun and often there is a delightful surprise in store! What better for a winter afternoon, rounded off with afternoon tea from the Eastgate CafÊ! Serenata Concerts are on Sundays December 22nd, February 2nd, March 1st, and March 29th. The concerts are in the Eastgate Studio starting at 2.30 p.m. and entry is by donation at the door. Anyone interested in playing should contact Claire Garnett on 01721 74256 rc.garnett@btopenworld.com or Caroline Adam at the Eastgate. 01721 725785 generalmanager@eastgatearts.com

In forthcoming concerts, we can look forward to hearing clarinet and violin solos, also a clarinet quartet and a string quartet, young recorder players, solo singers, a special choir and a lively jazz group. There is always room for more musicians of any age to sign up - any standard is

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We offer a professional and cost effective service without losing the personal touch. Our services include completion of Self Assessment Tax Returns, Business Accounts, Payroll and VAT Returns. We offer a collection and drop off service for information if required. If you are looking for a friendly, approachable tax adviser please contact Morag on 07936426005 or email morag@mthtax.co.uk A Member of the Association of Taxation Technicians

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Probus Club news At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Probus Club of Innerleithen, Walkerburn and Traquair, held on Tuesday, 29 October 2019, a change was made to the club’s constitution to provide women with the opportunity to become full members of the organisation, whereas up until now they have been able to attend meetings only as guests. With this forward looking change in mind, it is perhaps an appropriate time to consider the overall purpose of the club. As outlined in the constitution this is ‘to provide regular meetings for retired people who would appreciate and value in their retirement the opportunity for social contact with others in similar circumstances.’ Meetings are held in the Union Club at Innerleithen, from October to April, with a programme of wide ranging talks provided on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. The club attracts a high standard of speaker and in recent years the subjects covered have included Mary Queen of Scots, the history of the Tontine Hotel, a conversation with Lord Smith, Scotland’s role in the slave trade, life on the island of St Helena, the work of Poppy Scotland and women pilots in World War Two. Talks generally last about 45 minutes. There are also interest groups for walkers and for those who enjoy indoor bowling, in addition to social events such as the Christmas Lunch and

the Burns Supper. The season ends with a visit to a place of interest in early May. In previous years we have been welcomed to the Ford and Etal Estate by Lord Joicey, travelled by train and tram to lunch and a guided tour of the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh and faced some bracing Scottish spring weather at the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies. Shorter trips are also offered from time to time; these have included a behind the scenes view of the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh followed by a matinee performance of a play, while an interesting glimpse into the operation of modern technology was provided by a visit to the liquid egg plant run by The Smashing Egg Company at the Millennium Farm situated between Peebles and Penicuik. On the mornings when meetings are held, the doors of the Union Club are open at 9.45 prior to the start of proceedings at 10.30, to give members the chance to meet up and enjoy each other’s company- and a cup of tea or coffee- before the talk. The Probus Club of Innerleithen, Walkerburn and Traquair is always pleased to welcome to the group like minded, retired people who live in Peeblesshire. Further information about joining the club can be obtained by contacting the Club Secretary at probus.sec@gmail.com 01896 830166.


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Peebles Baptist Church We normally meet in Peebles Community Centre (the “Drill Hall”) in Walker’s Haugh, but please check our website before you come! Saturday 7


Christmas Shoppers’ Canteen, in the Leckie Memorial Church Hall. Coffee and scones, soup and pud. Craft stalls with lots of Christmas gift ideas by local shops and crafters. Plus outside there will be hot nuts, popcorn, non-alcoholic mulled punch, and hot chocolate!

Sunday 22


All-age nativity service

Christmas Day


Christmas Day family celebration

Saturday 28

Community Christmas Meal - everyone welcome! St Joseph’s Community Centre - time to be confirmed. Please check our website or call us for details or to book your place.

Sunday 29

Worship Service


For more information, please visit our website at www.peeblesbaptistchurch.org, or call Ian Gray on 07881 518854.

Peebles Evangelical Church

Tweed Brae, Peebles, EH45 8AX Everyone is welcome at Peebles Evangelical Church Christmas Services Sunday 15

11.30am Nativity Service The children of Sunday Club will perform a Nativity Musical. If you enjoy seeing children on a stage please come along. This is a particularly family friendly service. (Enter from Walkershaugh)

Sunday 22

11.30am Christmas Family Service (Enter from Tweed Brae)

Christmas Eve


Christmas Eve Carol Service Led by church music group Followed by coffee and mince pies. (Enter from Tweed Brae)

Christmas Day


Christmas Day Service. This is an informal family friendly service. Children should bring a gift to show. (Enter from Tweed Brae)

For more information, please visit our website pecweb.org.uk.

St Joseph’s, 17 Rosetta Road, Peebles and St James’, High Street, Innerleithen

Christmas Eve

9pm Vigil Mass of Christmas, St Joseph’s, Peebles

Christmas Day 9.30am Christmas Day Mass, St Joseph’s, Peebles 11.30am Christmas Day Mass, St James’s, Innerleithen For more information, please visit our website stjosephschurch.org.uk.

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SERVICES Saturday 21


Peebles Churches Together Community Carol Singing, outside the Tontine Hotel.

St Peter’s Church Eastgate, Peebles Sunday 1 8.30am Holy Communion 11am Holy Communion Sunday 8 8.30am Matins 11am Holy Communion Sunday 15 8.30am  Holy Communion 11am Holy Communion Sunday 22 8.30am  Holy Communion 11am Holy Communion Christmas Eve 4pm Crib Service 11.30pm Holy Communion Christmas Day


Sunday 29

10.30am   Holy Communion

Thursdays 5, 12 and 19 

10.00am    Holy Communion

Holy Communion

For more information, please visit our website www.stpeterspeebles.org.uk.

St. Andrews Leckie Church Lyne & Manor Christmas Eve 6pm            Family Service in the Leckie Memorial Church 6.30pm       All-age Service of Lessons & Carols in Manor Church   Christmas Day 10am           Family Service in the Leckie Memorial Church 11am           Family Service in Manor Church   For more information, please visit our website at standrewsleckie.co.uk or phone the office on 01721 723121.

Peebles Old Parish Church High St, Peebles EH45 8SW Sunday 22


Christmas Eve

11.30pm Watchnight Service – Very Rev Dr Finlay Macdonald

Christmas Day

10 am     Christmas Morning Service – Rev Jim Cutler

Nine Lessons and Carols – Rev Pamela Strachan

For more information, please visit our website www.topcop.org.uk.

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Winter Meetings Series Tweedgreen, the local sustainability group, welcomes you to our winter meeting series. Come along, learn, talk,  generate ideas and enjoy!

Climate Justice, January 23rd at 7.30 Emeritus Professor of Ethics at Edinburgh University, Michael Northcott, will address climate justice. Global heating is changing the climate of the Earth at a pace few scientists anticipated but there is huge lack of urgency in the responses of governments, public agencies and private businesses. Climate justice is about the deep injustice which means those who have most responsibility for producing climate changing gases are least likely to suffer injury from its effects since the wealthy nations with long records of fossil fuel pollution have infrastructure and resources to adapt while those who have had least role in causing it - residents of developing countries with historically low carbon emissions - are most at risk of harm from extreme weather and their governments often lack the resources to mitigate it. Professor Northcott is the  author of a number of books on climate and environmental justice including A Moral Climate: The Ethics of Global Warming (DLT 2007), A Political Theology of Climate Change (SPCK 2014) and Place, Ecology and the Sacred (Bloomsbury 2016).

Sustainable housing, February 20th at 7.30 If we  need to have new housing developments  they should be attractive, sustainable and affordable. Come along to an evening of inspiration, with some great talks from people who are making it happen! We’ll hear from Neil Sutherland, director of MAKAR  Limited, Inverness on designing whole neighbourhoods with Scottish wood, from Ross Weddle of Future Homes, Newcastle on community-led housing for older people, and more! We’ll be  inviting members of the SBC planning team, hearing about the new Planning Act and sharing experiences to make our town (even more) special.

Sustainable fashion, March 19th at 7.30pm Join us for an evening discovering the challenges and opportunities of sustainable fashion with textile and fashion students students and staff from  Heriot Watt university in Galashiels. And we hope that they will be joined on the catwalk by students from Peebles High School. Try your hand at upcycling or refresh your wardrobe by ‘swishing’. If you have any good-quality clothes or accessories that no longer ‘spark joy’, please drop them off at the EG on Wednesday 18 or Thursday 19 or bring them with you on the night, and then browse others’ donations while enjoying a drink from the bar. Items will be reasonably priced, with profits going to charity.  

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Peebles Community Centre Walkershaugh, Peebles T: 01721 720975 The calendar for December is as follows:Frequency Daily









Schools Out - Please call 07575 857585 or email admin@schoolsoutpeebles. com for more details. Sporty Kids

9:30am - 11:15am and 1pm - 2:45pm

Mum & Baby Yoga

10am - 11:15am

Youth Club

6pm - 7:30pm


6:30pm - 8pm

English for Speakers of Other Languages Class

6:30pm - 9:30pm


7:30pm - 9:30pm

Sporty Kids

9:30am - 10:15am

Open Doors Computer Drop-In

10am - 12 noon

Walking Hockey

1:30pm - 2:30pm

Red Button Art Club - for P1s - P7s

4pm - 5pm

Dog Training

7pm - 9pm

Carpet Bowling

7pm - 9pm

Over 60s Badminton

2pm - 4pm

Art Group

7pm - 9pm

Kirklands Badminton

7:30pm - 9:30pm

Art Club

10am - 12 noon

Walking Netball

11:30am - 12:30pm

Over 60s Badminton

1:30pm - 3:30pm

Spanish Classes

7pm - 9pm

Sporty Kids

9:10am - 9:55am and 10am -10:45am

Art Group

9:30am - 11:30am

Gentle Exercise Class

11:15am - 12 noon

Lunch Club

12 noon - 1pm

Social Activities (incl: New Age Curling, Bowling, Table Tennis, and ‘Gentle’ Walking Football)

12:30pm - 2:30pm

Fun French

1pm - 2:15pm

Over 50s Walking Football

2:30pm - 4pm


6pm - 7pm

Peebles Baptist Church

11am - 1pm

Art Group

Tues 10:30am 12:30pm

Art Group

Wed 2pm - 4pm

Camera Club

Wed 7pm - 9pm

CraftBox - free craft class for Senior Citizens'

Fri 2:30pm - 4pm

Peebles Archaeological Society The Mary Allen Social Group Monthly

Astronomical Group Peebles Bee Keepers Club Meet & Make - free craft class for people living with dementia

For specific dates call 01721 720975

Group Focus The Mary Allen Social Group

The Mary Allen Social Group is for ladies over the age of 60, who meet on the first Monday of a month from September to May, in the small lounge of the Community Centre (AKA the Drill Hall) from 2pm – 4pm. There is either a guest speaker or entertainment and then a chance to have a chat over a cup of tea/ coffee and tea bread. The group also has a Christmas party and/or lunch and a special end of session day.  The Community Bus is available for members who need picked up and dropped off.  This is a great way to make new friends and a warm welcome awaits existing and new members. If you need further information, please contact Wilma on 721465 or Janette on 722528. --------------------------------------------------

For further information on any of the above or any activity, please pop into the centre or phone 01721 720975. Also now find our official presence on Facebook - just search Peebles Community Centre to find our group pages easily.


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Peebles Life

Advertising starts at only ÂŁ36 For information contact Linda on 01896 831011 or linda@peebleslife.com Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com


Music in Peebles Trio Ecossaise

Showcasing Female Composers Music in Peebles presents the all female Trio Ecossaise playing a concert programme of all female composers in the Eastgate Theatre on 3rd December at 7.30pm. TRIO ECOSSAISE are Jennifer Brown, clarinet, Harriet Davidson, cello, Claire Haslin, piano, three of Scotland’s finest chamber musicians, who have been playing together for 15 years, whilst following their own busy musical careers, teaching, accompanying, and solo performing. Jennifer has a special interest in community music, and has presented workshops in schools, nurseries and hospitals - most recently as part of Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s ReConnect project, making music with people living with dementia. Harriet works regularly with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s education department ‘Connect’, delivering outreach programmes in schools, hospitals and prisons. Claire is the official accompanist for Glasgow University’s music department and tutors, and accompanies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior School and the Music School of Douglas Academy. On the morning of 3rd December they hold a workshop in Halyrude School, Peebles, in the afternoon they perform for Peebles Care Home on Tweed Green - all this before the evening concert.

her home state of Vermont. Clara Schumann’s bi-centenary year, 2019, has seen a revival of interest in her music. A child prodigy, she performed on the piano throughout Europe and Britain for over 60 years. In 1878, Schumann was appointed the first piano teacher of the new Dr. Hoch’s Konservatorium in Frankfurt a post which she held until 1892, and contributed greatly to the improvement of modern piano playing technique. Most of her composing happened in her younger life. Her Trio in G minor, has been called “probably” the “masterpiece” among her compositions.

Concert Programme: Louise Farrenc 6)

Trio in E flat, Op.44

Gwyneth Walker Craftsbury Trio



Clara Schumann Trio in G minor, Op.17 (1846) The Composers Louise Farrenc was a highly respected musician, teacher and composer in 19th century France. In 1842 she was appointed Professor of Piano at the Paris Conservatoire, the only female in that century to hold that prestigious post. She composed in several genres, but chamber music is generally regarded as her best work. Gwyneth Walker is a prolific contemporary composer, living and working in USA, with over 350 works to her name. Her 1990 ‘Craftsbury Trio’ , commissioned by the Craftsbury Chamber Players in celebration of its 25th season, is an affectionate homage to a small town in


Eastgate Theatre, Peebles Tuesday 3rd December 2019 7.30pm

Trio Ecossaise Ticket Prices

box office Eastgate Theatre, Peebles www.eastgatearts.com 01721 725777 Adult £15, Concessions £7 (ask at Box office) Full-time Students up to age 25 and school pupils FREE, but book your reserved seat

For information about concerts www.musicinpeebles.org.uk

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Quick wins for winter Change Works in Peebles is helping householders across Tweeddale stay warm this winter and save some money on energy bills, with free advice and resources. The simple measures we can take will give the quickest and cheapest results, here are our top quick wins for winter:

Dodge the draughts Thermal lined, floor length curtains will cut down draughts and heat loss through your windows, make sure you have a draught excluder fitted to external doors and letterbox and don’t forget to close your curtains earlier as the nights drawn in.

Service your boiler and radiators Servicing your boiler will keep it working efficiently and minimise the chance of a breakdown just when you need your heating the most. If have cold spots on your radiators it is a sign that they need bleeding. It is simpler than you think!

Sort your problem-attic Do you have the recommended 270mm of loft insulation? Along with draughtproofing, insulating your attic is a simple and effective action you can take and will make a big difference to how warm your home is.

Here to help: Change Works in Peebles are offering eligible households in Tweeddale free resources to help address these areas, from draught proofing materials to radiator keys and there will even be a chance to win a free loft insulation install or top up. Drop into the hub on Peebles High Street or contact peebles@changeworks.org.uk / 01721 722810 to find out more.


Tweeddale Councillors Bell and Anderson

Councillor Stuart Bell Tel. 0300 100 0220 stuart.bell@scotborders.gov.uk

Councillor Heather Anderson Tel. 0300 100 0220 heather.anderson@scotborders.gov.uk

will hold an Advice Surgery

In COSTA Coffee Shop, High Street, Peebles On Tuesday, 17th December 2019 from 6.00 – 7.00 p.m.

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For information contact Linda

on 01896 831011 or linda@peebleslife.com

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Peebles Rugby Club As we approach the midpoint of the Tennent’s National League One season, ‘So Stobo’ sponsored Peebles 1stXV have experienced a real mix of results over the last month. Losses against Newton Stewart (22-28), Kirkcaldy (29-31) and Preston Lodge (17-27), were sandwiched between wins against the top two teams in the league – GHK (21-15) and, up until then unbeaten Dumfries (22-18). Home fixtures coming up in the next month include Gordonians (30th Nov) and Hamilton (14th Dec). Peebles Reds maintain their top spot in Tennent’s East Reserve League Two following a full card of fixtures. A loss to Kelso (14-19) and a draw with Lasswade (22-22) were more than made up for with three wins against Gala A (13-5), Preston Lodge (50-12) and top of the league Watsonians (31-24). Only one home fixture arranged for the reds in December, when they host Forresters on the 7th. The Peebles youth sides have now completed their Conference fixtures and find themselves on top of the Mitsubishi Warrior Conference. However, nearest

challengers Earlston/Melrose and Hawick both have a round of fixtures in hand so the race for the Conference winner’s flag is wide open. Matches are now being arranged against other school/ club combinations throughout the east of Scotland and exact details will appear on the club website or in the Peeblesshire news on a weekly basis. The ‘Piranhas’ continue to offer the primary school aged boys and girls of the area a great introduction to the game of rugby and its values. You’ll find the older agegroups on Sundays at Hay Lodge Park, from 10am, while the winter months sees the younger agegroups train indoor at the High School Sports Centre. Should you wish information on particular agegroups, please get in touch. As ever, the Club is open to anyone – player, supporter, volunteer, spectator, family member. Information on club membership can be found on the club’s website, or by emailing membership@ peeblesrfc.org. Alternatively, please contact myself on any of the routes below for further details on the club.

George Blair Peebles RFC Development Officer Tel – 07801 791253 Email – youthrugby@peeblesrfc.org Web – www.peeblesrfc.org Twitter - @PeeblesRugbyDev Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com


P. GRANDISON Funeral Director 3 March Street, Peebles. EH45 8DF. Phone 01721 720739 (24hrs.) Serving Peebles and district since 1923 Peebles Hogmanay Torchlight Procession 2019 The Peebles Hogmanay Torchlight Procession is back again for 2019! This Hogmanay, a magical parade of fire will shimmer its way through the beautiful streets of Peebles, bringing warmth and fun to the cold winter night. Carry a torch for charity* and join us for a special start to the Hogmanay celebrations – it’s perfect for families, friends, couples, visitors – everyone! The procession promises a spectacular start to everyone’s Hogmanay celebrations with its magical parade, live music and local food and drink. To take part you can buy your voucher for your torch in advance on the website www.peeblestorchlight.com. You will then exchange this for your torch between 3pm and 6pm, at the Change Works on Peebles High Street, on 31st December prior to the procession assembling at 6.00pm ready for a 6.30pm departure. The procession will then depart on a route through Peebles bringing sparkle to the town on a dark winter night. We look forward to celebrating Hogmanay with you! *For 2019 the Peebles Torchlight Hogmanay Procession is delighted to announce that it will support the Peebleshire Youth Trust

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Index of Advertisers


Abigail's Cleaning Services

18 Glentress Hotel

41 Peeblesshire Trout Fishing

Ablesweep Chimney Sweep & Oil Service Engineer

14 GS Chapman Vehicle Body Repairs

27 Peeblesshire Windows


Ace Carpet Cleaning

39 Harrisons Ford Centre

80 Prince of India



65 Haystoun Financial Servies

Armac Vet Group

9 RA Walter Plumbing & Heating Engineer

4 Head to Toe

AT Blinds

55 High Street Opticians

Atticus Interior Design


9 Holiday Flat, Peebles


19 Red Circle Locksmith


18 Remax


42 Rogersons Footwear


Biology Tuition

14 Interior Solutions

69 Saffron Restaurant


Blackwood & Smith

47 James Fleming Plastering & Roughcasting

22 Scottish Borders CBT Services



79 Joanna Thompson Jewellery

51 Shire Chimney Services


Border Buses

49 John Montgomery Upholstery

14 Silicone Sealant


Border Canopy Company

50 K & R Painting and Decorating

71 Sitooerie at Caddon View


Border Vets

32 K2 Roofing

34 ST Hair Design


63 Stobo Castle Health Spa


56 Tait & Mapp Roofing and Plastering



5 Keith Brown Joinery

Cameron Carpet Company

18 Lothian & Borders Environmental

Central Gas Heating Engineer

50 Maglin Domestic Appliance Repair

Christmas Trees from Impact Landscapes

6 Maxtonlee Holistics

5 Tetra Acoustics


8 The Vapour Shop


Colin Wilson IT ServicesÂ

56 McTavish Hair Stylist

38 Tontine Hotel

Councillors Bell & Anderson

75 Med-Ecosse

11 Tweed Financial Services

Crystal Roebuck - Travel Counsellor

43 Mr Maintenance

D & M Williams Scrap Metal Uplifts

22 mth tax limited

DDL Care Services

5 38

4 Tweed Valley Physiotherapy

4 Neuro Physio Scotland


62 Tweed-line Taxis


55 Tweeddale Kitchens


Decorative Solutions Ltd

21 Ozkan's Grill

34 Tweedside Antiques & Collectables

Designs for You

42 P Grandison Funeral Director

77 Two Rivers Vets


Drum Kit Tuition

55 Peebles Carpets

71 Ventrolla Sash Window Specialists


10 Xanadu Beauty Clinic

10 34

DSH Joinery

8 Peebles Dry Cleaning & Laundry Services

Dustbusters of Penicuik

75 Peebles Handyman

65 Yellow Cab Co

Forsyths of Peebles

29 Peebles Hydro Gin


Garvald West Linton Job Vacancies

44 Peebles Web Design



Useful Numbers - all in one place Police to report a crime


BT Faultline

0800 800151

Citizens Advice Bureau

Scottish Power - Power Loss 0800 0299290 NHS 24

08454 242424 Locksmith

Gas - Emergency

01835 824000

0800 111999

Scottish Borders Council

Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com

01721 721722 01721 721374


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F o rd O p t i o n s Pe rso n a l Co n t ract Pu rc h ase exa m p le fo r a N ew M o n d eo Ti ta n i u m E d i t i o n H E V 2 .0 1 87 ps H y b r i d 5 d r E state Au to

_______________________________ 38 monthly payments £322.53 _______________________________ Duration of agreement (months) 39 _______________________________ Cash price £27,695.00 _______________________________ Deposit allowance £1,000.00 _______________________________ Customer deposit £1,995.00 _______________________________ Amount of Credit £24,700.00 _______________________________ Optional final payment £12,444.00 _______________________________

_______________________________ Mileage per annum 6,000 _______________________________ Excess mileage charge 8.0p per mile _______________________________ Rate of interest (per annum) 0% _______________________________ Total charge for credit £0.00 _______________________________ Total amount payable £27,695.00 _______________________________ _______________________________ Representative APR 0% _______________________________

mpg (l/100km) combined 47.1 (6.0) CO2 combined : 113 g/km

Harrisons Ford Centre

Dalkeith Ford Centre

Cupar Ford Centre

01721 721350 www.harrisonsford.co.uk

0131 660 2226 www.dalkeithford.co.uk

01334 650650 www.cuparford.co.uk

87 Edinburgh Road, Peebles, EH45 8ED

15 Old Dalkeith Road, Dalkeith, EH22 1JL

Eden Valley Business Park, Cupar, Fife, KY15 4RB

Model shown is a Ford Mondeo Hybrid Estate Titanium Edition 2.0Ti VCT 187PS Hybrid Electric Vehicle 6 Speed Auto with optional 17” Lower CO2 Alloy Wheels, Panorama Sunroof, Privacy Glass, Bi-LED Headlamps and Power Tailgate. Fuel Economy mpg (l/100km) Combined 48.7 (5.8) CO2 emissions 103g/km*.

Images shown for illustration purposes only. At the end of the Ford Options Agreement there are 3 options. (i) Renew: Part Exchange the vehicle, where equity is avaiable. (ii) Retain: Pay the optional final payment to own the vehicle or (iii) Return the vehicle. Further charges may be made subject to the condition of the vehicle. Finance subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. Applicants must be over 18 or over. Guarantees may be required. “Ford Options” is a form of finance agreement provided by Ford Credit, PO Box 149, Watford WD17 1FJ. We may receive a commission for any introduction to this finance company. We are licenced credit brokers, written details are available on request. All offers are subject to availablity and change without further notice. Prices correct at time of print. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the purpose of insurance mediation activity. Offers end 30th November 2019.

Profile for Linda Cormack

Peebles Life December 2019  

Community magazine for Peebles.

Peebles Life December 2019  

Community magazine for Peebles.