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Issue 172

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January 2020


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I am writing this on the 12th December, and have just returned from the polling station, having cast my vote. The election has been deeply unpleasant, and the behaviour of many leading national politicians unacceptable let’s hope whoever wins we can start to rebuild some integrity and trust in our politics. Our thoughts are with all those affected by the terrible fire at the High School. It could have been much worse, but it is going to affect many families over the coming months. We wish the Council and education authority well as they look to find solutions that safeguard the student’s education.



Issue 172



Peebles Community Trust News


What’s on in January


Peebles Community Centre


Slot Car Racing


The Big Issue this month looks at the menace of climate change, we make no apologies for continuing to highlight this. It is an existential threat to our world, and we all must do our part to try and minimise the damage we are doing before it is too late.

Peebles Community Centre


Audition dates for Midsummer Night’s Dream


Try Haylodge parkrun


We also have an appeal from the Community Council on the growing hooliganism issue in the town. It is a real shame to see, and anybody witnessing it must report it to the Police. If it goes unreported, it means that it is unlogged in statistics, which means the Police are unlikely to invest resources in trying to limit it.

Orchestra for All


Peeblesshire Youth Trust News


Peebles Pensioners Association


This month we have an article on the history of the Chamber Institute, donated to the town in 1857 by one of the towns most famous sons William Chambers, the buildings have a much longer history, and are still at the centre of many events in the town. We have a note calling for people who want to audition for this years Shakespeare at Traquair performance of a Midsummer Nights Dream, so anybody who has always had a burning desire to show the world their Bottom should head down and audition. We look at an initiative to start a new “Slot Racing” club. Many of us had a Scalextric set when we were younger, and the club will give those of us who would love to have another go the chance to join in with likeminded people. We finish by wishing all our readers and advertisers a very happy New Year. Charles

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

Music in Peebles

46 January 2020

Big Screen Entertainment at the Eastgate


Notes on the Chambers Institution


Fitness advice from Lesley Mitchell


The Peebles Garden


Exploring the Past with Peeblesshire Archaeological Society


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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Issue By Steve Dubé It comes to something when Professor David King, the recently retired Chief Scientific Officer to the UK government says he’s scared. As we begin a New Year it’s not just the young who wonder how many more there might be if we carry on the way we are. With any luck, the year ahead will not bring too much trouble for us in Peebles. Maybe only England will get hit by floods this winter and hopefully we won’t have to withstand Typhoon Wotsisname or Tropical Storm Thingummy, and the Cuddy won’t get clogged with thrown-away plastic. Every reputable scientist agrees that we have entered a period of extreme weather events. It’s not just David King or David Attenborough who understand that human activity, particularly the use of fossil fuels and their plastic by-products, has compromised ecological systems. There’s a consensus that things must change, but most of us still want the plane to take the strain when we go on holiday; we want to carry on using our cars, and have push-button heating for our homes. There are many problems. One was exposed in last month’s general election that boiled down to a choice between two men, one widely regarded as a liar and a dangerous charlatan and the other as a dangerous extremist. Is there anyone actually electable who could help us to change our ways? Some don’t care. The aviation firm Honeywell Aerospace expects

the super-rich and multinational companies to buy 8,000 new private jets over the next decade, each burning 40 times as much carbon per passenger as regular commercial flights. The company says 690 new business jets were sold in 2019, a 9% increase on the previous year. And demand is expected to increase over the next decade to around 760 a year – costing buyers a combined total of £193bn. We shrug our shoulders at the money junkies, eagerly hooked to addictions that are never satisfied. Meanwhile, the IMF says the UK spends £26 billion on fossil fuel subsidies. Of that sum, £18m is spent on coal, and since the destruction of the British coal industry most of that goes overseas: the UK now imports 85% of the coal we use. The fossil fuel subsidy is between three and four times that spent on renewables. It’s the highest in Europe and it is money that should be invested in low carbon and renewable technologies, which could power a new and clean economy. Instead it goes to the largest, dirtiest, most carbon intensive and polluting companies in the world. But look! The UK government denies that it pays subsidies for fossil fuels, defining such support as “payments designed to reduce the cost to consumers”. The government says the “financial measures” that do exist “are classified as support without reference to the purpose for which they were first put in place or

their economic or environmental effects. No judgment is therefore made as to whether or not such measures are inefficient or ought to be reformed.” Complacency and disingenuousness, anyone? Meanwhile, a petition calling for the government to convert support for fossil fuels into subsidies for renewable energy and insulation over a one to three-year timeframe was erased because of the general election, and, we’re told, won’t be reopened. The temporary ban on fracking, now extended across the whole UK instead of just Scotland, is a small victory for anyone worried about the unabated scramble for fossil fuels. But it’s not an indeterminate ban, and it’s worth noting that the UK is financing two fracking projects in China and 14 projects to promote oil and gas drilling in India, Myanmar, Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines. These things are done in our name with our money. This kind of thing has got to stop. The impatience and frustration of the Extinction Rebellion activists is a response to the crass careless that sustains and extends the biggest issue of our times and the fact that our human ingenuity is misapplied. Real determination to tackle the crisis is simply lacking or channelled into the appearance of action. The year ahead needs to see progress made towards a real rescue bid for our planet.




VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED Do you enjoy being active within your community? Do you have a few hours to spare one lunchtime per week? We are looking for volunteers who are warm, compassionate, dependable, understanding and trustworthy. If this is something that would interest you, please contact The Food Foundation. Your help can make a huge difference to the lives of isolated older people in the Peebles Community.

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Peebles Community Trust News A New Year seems a good time to look back on the extraordinary achievements of 2019 and to look ahead to our plans for the future. We do so with the backing of some 1300 members, 130 of whom attended our annual general meeting. We’re grateful to have such great community support, which is invaluable to us – and we hear that people outwith the Scottish Borders have begun talking about our work as a fantastic example of what communities can do. The year began with the purchase on 12 January of our first tangible asset, the seven-hectare (17-acre) Eshiels Long Wood alongside the river Tweed in the burgh of Peebles. This is a mature conifer plantation with self-seeded broad-leaf trees that we have started to create into a place where woodland production meets biodiversity. We held three open days during the year for what we now know as Eshiels Community Wood, hosted a visit requested by Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, and have received unsolicited donations of almost £6,000 in support of our plans for this much loved community amenity. The former March Street Mill site continues to take up a lot of time for our seven volunteer directors and two employees. The Scottish government approved our application to register a Community Right to Buy on the 5.5-acre site but the owners, Moorbrook Textile Ltd of Ayr, have launched a legal appeal that is scheduled to be heard in Selkirk Sheriff’s Court early in the New Year. Our argument is that this is the last site in the town of Peebles which could be used to provide things that the town actually needs: a 24-7 supported care facility, enterprise start-up workshops and business space, truly affordable housing and jobs. We also want to protect more than 40 former mill worker allotments in Rosetta Road. Such a development would benefit our community instead of creating more up-market housing that would only increase the strain on local education and health services. A Community Right to Buy (CRtB) costs nothing and does not commit us to buy the site should the owners place it on the open market. But if they do so, PCT would have the right to buy at a price fixed by an independent valuer, and will have eight months to raise the money. The demise of the Ex-Servicemen’s Club prompted

PCT to take swift action to secure a much-loved community facility and we were able to finalise its purchase with the backing of club members in October, securing the home of our much-admired town pipe band. Our second tangible asset is also the base for the Peebles and District Men’s Shed and accommodates the collection point and sorting space of the annual Peebles Peace and Justice Book Sale. It is also a popular venue for a range of activities, not least Saturday coffee mornings. Our immediate plans for the School Brae Hub include upgrading the building to fully disabled access and facilities including a disabled changing space – which would become the only one between Galashiels and Edinburgh. We are also investigating way of making the building energy-efficient. Being a community development trust means that we can access funding from a variety of sources and act as an umbrella for many different groups. We are currently involved with and assisting Peebles Paths Group, Bonnie Peebles and Bonnie Peebles Plus, Cycling Without Age, Peebles Salmon Angling Club, and The Glebe project – a garden therapy initiative for people recovering from physical or mental health problems – as well as the March Street allotment holders association. We are also taking a lease on the former railway weighbridge ticket office in the Edinburgh Road car park – the only remaining link with the railways that transformed Peebles in the 19th century before dismantled in the 20th. This is in support of the new Peebles Railway Heritage Group. Tourism is arguably the town’s 21st century industry and this old railway building could become a heritage centre and perhaps serve as an outreach to a larger attraction in the town centre. And we were so pleased last month to be able to accommodate a wide range of groups displaced by the needs of the High School for space in the town following the fire. We would be happy to speak to others who may be struggling as a result. You may have other ideas for our new community facilities or can think of completely new initiatives that would help make Peebles an even better place to live. If so, please contact our administrative team, Alex and Emma, by emailing admin@peeblescommunity.org or by phoning 07722 808830. Happy New Year!

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What’s on in January?

A full list of events is available on our website www.peebleslife.com. Send details of your events to linda@peebleslife.com.

Sunday 5: 9.30 am **Tweeddale Ramblers. Over the Tops linear. A strenuous walk from Peebles to Innerleithen via Dunslair Heights, Leithen Doors and Lee Pen Summit, returning by service bus. 10.2 miles/16.5 km, ascent 2100 feet/640m. Wednesday 8: 2 - 4 pm    Painting and Drawing Workshop     Peebles Art Group  meets fortnightly  in Peebles Community Centre (Old Drill Hall).  New members welcome . Details from Richard J Digance  0131 574 5586 aartisrjd@aol.com

Thursday 9: 7.30 pm Community Council Meeting in the Old Burgh Chamber. All meetings are open to the public. www. peeblescommunity.org. Thursday 9: 7.30 pm 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 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.

Regular Events Monday The Rotary Club of Peebles meets throughout the year at the Tontine Hotel. For more information regarding Rotary please contact: Jim.Robertson@peeblesrotary.uk 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 Saturday 11 : 10 am – 12 noon Peebles Old Folks’ Treat Committee Coffee Morning - in the School Brae Hub. Usual stalls, - to support the annual Senior Citizens’ Social Evening; plus, Distribution of Tickets for the function, (being held at Peebles Hydro Hotel on 22 January). Applicants for Tickets must be aged 60 years or over and resident in Peebles. Sunday 12: 10 am **Tweeddale Ramblers. Gladhouse Reservoir Circular. A moderate walk around Gladhouse Reservoir, on paths close to water’s edge, sections of minor roads and field tracks. 5.0 miles/8.0 km, ascent negligible. Sunday 12: 10.30 am Tweeddale Quaker Meeting for Worship. Nomad Beat, Cherry Court, 10-11 Cavalry Park, Kingsmeadows Road Peebles EH45 9BU Monday 13: 7 pm Tweeddale Amnesty Group meeting in the Bakehall, St Andrew’s Leckie (Upstairs). All those interested in human rights are warmly welcomed. Tuesday 14: 2 pm Tweeddale University of the Third Age (U3A) meeting is on at St Joseph’s Neighbourhood Hall, Rosetta Road, Peebles. At this meeting Francis Mordant, Manager and Treasurer of the Peeblesshire FoodBank, will give a talk entitled ’The FoodBank-What it does and why it is needed. ‘This is sure to be an interesting talk. Tuesday 14: 7.30 pm Tweeddale Society Talk. The Black Barony, What’s in a Name? Speaker George Futers, Author. The Eastgate Theatre. Check our web site - www.tweeddale-society. org.uk for more information. Wednesday 15: 2.00 – 4.00 pm Tweeddale Textile Group. The January meeting will take the form of a workshop led by two of our members. We will be hand sewing a Japanese Rice Bag. The list of requirements will be emailed to everyone. It will take place as usual in St Joseph’s Community Centre, Rosetta Road, Peebles. Wednesday  15: 7.30 pm Peebles Camera Club.    WAREHOUSE TO WILDLIFE Speakers : Alison and Kevin Lomax. Alison and Kevin take us on a journey to Costa Rica with images of its diverse wildlife and around some of the UK’s largest automated distribution warehouses. In a talk of two halves, they first show a project they did to photograph the inside workings of some of the largest automated distribution warehouses in the UK.  These highly complex buildings offer some great photographic opportunities. In the second half, they describe a specialist wildlife photography trip to Costa Rica. They will show images of hummingbirds and other birds, frogs, snakes and moths and explain the special techniques used to take

some of the images. Although our usual venue is the Community Centre in Walkershaugh, we may have to use another venue if it is still being used by the High School. Please check our Website for the location of this meeting. Thursday 16: 7.30 pm Peeblesshire Archaeological Society - talk by Kirsty Dingwall (Headland Archaeology)   “15,000 Years in the North-East : the Aberdeen Bypass.” Meeting held in Walkershaugh Community Centre, Peebles. Guests/nonmembers welcome (charge of £4). Sunday 19: 9.30 am **Tweeddale Ramblers. Stobo Circular. A moderate walk from Stobo walkers’ car park, along the John Buchan Way, ascending the track behind Easterknowe Farm and skirting Kerr’s Knowe. Descend to Harrowhope ruin, through Stobo Forest, and descend to Stobohope Loch. Return via Stobo Home Farm to village hall, and along old railway embankment. 7.5 miles/12.0 km, ascent 820 feet/250m. Tuesday 21: 7.00 pm Tweeddale Red Squirrel Network. The next meeting will be in the Traquair Arms in Innerleithen. Guests/new members welcome. Wednesday 22:  2 - 4 pm      Peebles Art Group  - see Wed 8 for details Wednesday 22: 6.30 pm Peebles Senior Citizens’ Social Evening (Old Folks’ Treat), - at Peebles Hydro (admission by ticket only). Tickets available on 11 January at Coffee Morning in School Brae Hub. Saturday 25: 10-11am Liberal Demochat — The Park Hotel, Peebles. Do you care about Scotland’s place in the world, climate change and other issues? Meetand chat with other liberally minded folk. Promoted by Ross McKelvie on behalf of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, 4 Clifton Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5DR. Sunday 26: 9.30 am **Tweeddale Ramblers. Dundreich/Northshield Circular. A strenuous walk from Eddleston, past Boreland farm to ascend Brown Dodd onto Dundreich Hill. Descend to Portmore Loch and return via Northshiels Rings and Portmore Estate. 7miles/11 km, ascent 1706 feet/520m. Sunday 26: 10.30 am Tweeddale Quaker Meeting for Worship. Nomad Beat, Cherry Court, 10-11 Cavalry Park, Kingsmeadows Road Peebles EH45 9BU.

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Peebles Community Centre Walkershaugh, Peebles T: 01721 720975

Statement from Alan Duncan, Chairperson of Peebles Community Centre Management Committee As many of you will already know, on Thursday 28 November 2019, a fire broke out at Peebles High School. The fire has caused significant damage and until the facility has been classed as safe for use, it will remain closed - possibly well into January 2020 (or even beyond). As a result, and to enable the 1,300 pupils to continue their education, a number of Live Borders’ venues will be used and this includes the Community Centre/Drill Hall. This will obviously extensively affect existing bookings and activities and accordingly the Management Committee would like to apologise for this disruption in what is an unavoidable situation. We propose to update matters on this front on our Facebook page and via local media outlets where appropriate. In the meantime should anyone require more information relating to any specific groups/activities and progress towards the centre fully reopening, please in the first instance telephone 01721 720975.

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It could have been so much worse.

efforts of fire-fighters, it could have been significantly worse in terms of damage to the school estate.”

The fire that raced through art classroom and the old gymnasium was contained to a single block by the teams of fire crew that tackled the blaze. But more importantly, staff and pupils carried out a copybook evacuation that resulted in no casualties.

Mr Parker also thanked the local community and praised its response: ““During and in the aftermath of this challenging incident, the community of Peebles has also stepped forward to support the emergency services and the school.

“From an emergency planning point of view this was a text-book exercise,” said Scottish Borders Council Convenor David Parker. “And without the magnificent

“During the overnight fire we saw local people providing food, soup and hot drinks to the crews, while a local church opened its doors to pupils and staff and a local

supermarket provided them with food. We have also seen offers of assistance from businesses, including a local hotel which agreed to host Peebles High’s senior dance at short notice.” Apart from the gutted old gymnasium block, there was extensive smoke damage to other parts of the school, but the piecemeal nature of the campus was an important factor in limiting more serious damage. Our photos show the fire in its earliest stages, with students in the designated assembly area.

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Tweeddale Museum & Gallery Hamish MacDonald: The Print Collection

Narrative Arts in Print and Sculpture

runs until Saturday 18 January Hamish studied at Glasgow School of Art between 1963 and 1967. His broad, fluid style and bold palette place him directly within the continuing lineage of the Scottish Colourist tradition whilst his ability to capture the atmosphere and vitality of his subject was enhanced by a confident and mature style. Hamish is now widely regarded as one of Scotland’s most successful contemporary artists. In 2008 his youngest daughter Nicola took over Hamish MacDonald Fine Art Prints, which include Giclée and lithographic prints in various sizes, signed & estate stamped limited editions. The collection also includes luxury scarves and cushions which have been designed by Nicola and are based on her father’s art work. These are also printed and finished in Scotland.

runs until Saturday 1 February Exhibtion by local artist Neil Stewart. Whether wrought in lino print or wood sculpture, each of Neil Stewart’s pieces is born of an experience that sparked an idea which created an object. And all have tales to tell. Some stories are all surface, while other meanings are hidden. The best narratives though, are co-creations between artist and viewer. Neil is running a lino print workshop on Saturday 25 January 2020 from 10:00 – 16:00 at St Andrews Leckie Church Hall, Eastgate, Peebles. Cost £65 all materials included. Booking required. For more information contact Tweeddale Museum on 01721 724820 or tweeddalemuseum@ liveborders1.org.uk liveborders.org.uk/book/ whats-on/lino-print-workshop-with-neilstewart/

Peebles Concert Band Peebles concert band enjoyed a successful Autumn concert at the Eastgate Theatre in November. The band entertained the audience with music from the movies, musicals and some marches too. The band would like to thanks Peebles Burgh youth band for their support on the evening - it’s great to see these young brass players improving with every performance. Musical director Vaughan Fleischfresser was pleased with the performance...…..however he had us straight back into practice to get ready for the Christmas carols we performed for the residents at Dovecot where we were warmly welcomed. 2020 sees the concert Band hosting the joint bands weekend where we will host Leadhills Silver Band, and Lochaber wind band. The weekend will consist of a full weekend of musical practice, culminating in a joint performance on Sunday the 17th May...….. with some socialising in between! Later in May,

we will perform as part of St Ronan’s Silver Band concert in Innerleithen, before our own concert on the 5th June - lots of opportunities to get along and listen to your local concert band! With this in mind, rather than just listening - why not come along and join in? Peebles Concert Band currently has 30+ players of woodwind and brass instruments and is proud to have been twice awarded a Gold certificate at the Scottish Concert Band Festival finals. PCB is a friendly band open to players of wind instruments or percussion of any age and at any stage. We rehearse weekly on a Wednesday and perform several times a year. We are always ready to welcome new or returning players - if interested in joining please email PCB Chair at jenny.haywood@gmail.com or send a message via our Facebook page.

Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com


P. GRANDISON Funeral Director

we really hope you like it f o o 3 March pr Street, Peebles. EH45 8DF.

ert proof

2315 Guide - Scottish Borders 5

Phone 01721 720739 (24hrs.) PLEASE NOTE: We do NOT accept amendments over the telephone

Your advert will be printed in CMYK and will not be an exact match to RGB / specific spot / pantone colours. If we do not receive your authorisation/amendments, we will assume your approval and go to press with the advertisement as shown on this proof, and we cannot be held responsible for any errors that may occur.

Serving Peebles and district since 1923

CENTRAL GAS Established 1982



Paul Crombie - Ex Scottish Gas Technical Training Instructor • MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS TO BOILERS, FIRES & COOKERS


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Now with a locally based engineer Urgent calls only after 9p.m.

Shower, Wet Room, Bathroom Installation and Tiling


Free estimates and advice

TELEPHONE 01968 674710 MOBILE 07774 181431

Peebles: (01721) 722 246 Mobile: 07774 647 657

Email: rwalter.plumbingandheating@virgin.net Unit 1 South Park Industrial Estate Peebles EH45 9ED

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Janice Steven Designs for you We have now moved from 60 High Street, Innerleithen and have settled into our new premises. We look forward to seeing you there.

3 Rowan Court, Cavalry Park Peebles, EH45 9BU

Would YOU know what to do if a colleague, family member or friend had an accident or was unwell? Let us train you in a skill for life Regulated first aid qualifications. Systematic, practical approach to learning. We meet Health & Safety Executive standards for ‘due diligence’. t: 07425 146 853 e: lucy@swift-firstaid.co.uk w: swift-firstaid.co.uk

01721 740332 07732 633 157 Janice@amadi.co.uk Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com


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Slot Car Racing Three generations of a Peebles family are exploring the possibility of establishing a new Borders-wide club activity based on their passion for a motor racing game. John Crawley, his son-in-law Ian MacLeod and grandson Ewan want to know whether there is enough interest in slot car racing, a game that during a trial run in the School Brae Hub last autumn attracted players across a wide age spectrum. That followed a circuit in Wetherspoons that attracted a lot of interest and John is hoping to organise an evening in the new scout hut for cubs and brownies to have a go. “This crosses the divides of age and gender,” said John, a Peebles community councillor and chairman of Peebles Scout Group. “The youngest player we’ve had was a lad aged four with his grandparents, and the oldest was 85. If a person can hold a simple control they are in.”

“Our ultimate ambition is to get hold of premises and construct a track to fit the whole room. It will be a one-off permanent feature and once we get a wee bit of momentum and some names I’m hoping to get sponsorship to keep costs down as must as possible.” John and his family already have a healthy selection of track and cars but if the club gets going they are hoping to expand; slot racing circuits can have as many as eight lanes, with overtaking possibilities, which enables more than one car to occupy a slot at anytime. At present there are a handful of clubs in Scotland, with the nearest at Dunfermline, which relocated from Edinburgh when they lost their home in a school outbuilding. As well as club and inter-club championships there are national, European and World championships, usually raced on 1:24 scale tracks rather than the more commercially available 1:32 scale.

The skill lies in racing a car around a track and making sure that it stays in its slot as it whizzes around the corners. It’s based on the Scalextric brand of slot cars and racing sets which first appeared in the late 1950s.

John says, “It’s a fun thing but it’s always been a pricey toy so you don’t see it around much these days, but this might bring people into Peebles and it could be the start of a local championship.”

“Most people know about it, but few homes have a circuit now because. Like a train set, you need plenty of space or a convenient attic so you don’t have to set it up every time and dismantle it when you’ve finished playing,” said John.

You can find out more on the Peebles Slot Car Racing Club site on social media, or give John a ring on 07770 478324.

Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com


We are Mark and Nicola Lafferty, Independent 1:1 Diet Consultants. We recently picked up an award for 5 years of having our consultancy. Yes folks we have been serving the community of Peebles and surrounding areas for 5 years. In that time we have worked with hundreds of clients and helped them achieve and maintain their weight loss goals. A bit about us, Nicola has a mental health support background and Mark is an Addictions Therapist. Together with the excellent training from The 1:1 Diet, we have combined our skills and take an empathic and person centred approach to working with clients. We realise everyone is different and sometimes losing weight isn’t as straightforward as eat less and move more. We focus on looking into the reasons why you have gained weight in the first place. Then help you work on changing your mindset to effectively lose the excess weight and keep it off.

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No consultation or joining fee! Appointment times and locations that suit you! Private Facebook group support. Appointments available in both our centres in Peebles or Galashiels, or in the comfort of your own home.


T: 07467 950 731 E: markz72z@hotmail.com


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3 Rowan Court, Cavalry Park, Peebles. Please mention Peebles Life when responding to adverts


The Prince Of India RESTAURANT

86 High Street, Peebles, EH45 8SW 01721 724455 Special 3 Course Lunch £7.95 (Mon to Fri) NEW SUNDAY BANQUET MEAL DEAL FOR TWO 3 curries, £13.95 per person


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Outside catering


Meal for 1 - £12.95, 2 - £23.95, 4 - £46.90

Gluten Free dishes available All dishes prepared using fresh produce

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PEEBLES HANDYMAN DIY Repairs Fix-Replace-Tidy-Create Home or Small Business Indoors or Out All odd-jobs considered “Small job? Nae prob!” Fully insured Find out what I can do for you

Contact Graeme 01721 730660 / 07939 137792 graeme@peebleshandyman.co.uk

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northgate@castlewarehouse.com 29 Northgate, Peebles Tel: 01721 720814 • High Street, Penicuik Tel: 01968 673915


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Counselling for

individuals and couples


FOR SPECIALIST MANAGEMENT OF PAIN AND INJURY FROM SPORT AND EXERCISE Room 8, 1 Rowan Court, Cavalry Park, Peebles EH45 9BU 07780 463343 kirsty@tweedvalleyphysiotherapy.com www.tweedvalleyphysiotherapy.com

Specialist counsellors help people experiencing relationship difficulties as well as issues around stress - anxiety depression - family problems - anger trauma - illness - work issues - self-esteem

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Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com


Adult Classes Highland Hustle

Classical Ballet

Line Dancing

Classical Ballet

HIIT Exercise

Beginners Ballet


Pilates (new!)

Burlesque Fitness

Ballet at the Barre

Dance for Fitness

Private Lessons

For class details, times and prices see:


Peebles Community Council Hooliganism in Peebles I am sure that many of you will have either read about increasing levels of hooliganism around the town and anti-social behaviour of all types from graffiti in park shelters to wing mirrors being ripped from cars. Not only is vandalism expensive it is upsetting for people at the receiving end of it. Many town residents have all but given up on calling the police because there is a perception that there are never officers around when they are needed. I have received many calls and emails from people who are becoming increasingly concerned about the state of policing and anti-social behaviour. I am doing what I can to try and ensure that there is an increased police presence around the town, particularly at weekends when this trouble seems to be most prevalent. But we need more help. The Community Council is trying to ensure that your voice is heard and that the police listen to our concerns but it is really important that when you see such behaviour that you report it immediately to the police using 999 if it is urgent enough or 101 when it is less urgent. As a community we have to make sure that the police know what is happening in our town; without figures to back up what the Community Council is saying there is denial of the problem.

However, this worrying rise in anti-social behaviour is not just a police problem. From what I have been told it would appear to be a relatively small group of youngsters who seem to be causing most of the trouble. They are someone’s sons and daughters. So my question to all parents is simply this: “Do you know where your children are and what they are doing?� It is often said that some of these youngsters are bored and that they have nothing to do. But yet, many families that have moved into our lovely town have done so because they are attracted by the community spirit and the level of activities that are available for every member of the family. And far from tarnishing all young people with the same brush, as a community, we do have to try and bring some order to the town. Too many people are starting to become fearful and that is not a good state of affairs for any town, let alone such a lovely place to live as Peebles. Let us hope that we, together, as a community can nip this growing problem in the bud. Please report incidents regardless of how you feel about a police response; the Community Council will continue to hold Police Scotland to account. And parents please try to ensure that your own offspring are not some of those who seem to get enjoyment from causing damage around the town.

Les Turnbull Chairman of the PCC

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Audition dates for

A Midsummer Night’s Dream To celebrate a quarter century of promenade performances we are performing our first ever production and we need you to join us. If you would like to be a member of the cast, a wardrobe mistress (or master) or fancy working back stage we would love to see you at our audition days.  Past, present, and new cast members warmly welcomed to audition – no experience necessary – just a love of live theatre.

Auditions are being held at St Joseph’s Centre, Peebles as follows: Sun 19th Jan. 14.00 – 17.00   Adults (14s and over) Sun 9th  Feb. 14.00 – 16.00   Under 14s   Contact - Tom Hudson (director) 07799074896 Email - contact@shakespeare-at-traquair.co.uk Please note you will need to be available to rehearse weekly and be available for the performances on 27 – 30 May and 3 - 6 June 2020. See our website for further details, photos and videos of our past productions:


• Improve posture • Alleviate back pain • Improve performance • Reduce stress • Individual lessons • Experienced and supportive teacher

Peebles Anna Maria Sobieska MA, PhD, MSTAT 0785 347 3904 alexandertechniqueanna@gmail.com www.alexandertechniqueanna.com

Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com


Luxury new cattery

Set in the tranquil countryside this modern luxury cattery is all your feline friends require for a relaxing stay. Large heated rooms with large separate play area. All rooms look outside and are light and inviting. 24 hr supervision. Family suites available. Gym. Situated in Elsrickle, nr Biggar. 15 mins from Penicuik, 20 Mins from south Edinburgh, 20 mins from Peebles, 15 mins from Lanark. Contact – Jennie Gilchrist Strathbogie Farm, Elsrickle, Biggar, ML12 6QY Tel – 07703535179 or 01899 810223 www.romannopurrfectpalace.co.uk email – info@romannopurrfectpalace.co.uk Please mention Peebles Life when responding to adverts



                      To welcome the new year, we are offering sellers a time-limited discount on fees for estate agency and legal services. Request a free pre-sale valuation in 2020, put your property on the market with Cullen Kilshaw before the end of February and you will receive a ÂŁ200 discount on estate agency and legal fees* - happy new year, happy new home! The festive season is behind us and buyers and sellers are actively making plans for 2020. Whether you have taken the decision to move or are just starting to think about it, get ahead of the competition and speak to Cullen Kilshaw’s local property sales and legal teams as early as possible. At each of our offices we employ local experts who handle both estate agency and legal work. We provide both services under one roof, making it by far the easiest, fastest and most cost- effective way to market and sell your property. One of the first steps in your property journey is to arrange a valuation of your home - at no cost or commitment to you. We have a team of experienced property sales advisers who will carry out the required research and visit your home to conduct your free pre-sale valuation.

They will assess the condition, layout and features of your property and discuss any improvements/alterations you have made to the property since you bought it. Our advisers are local people who know, live and work in the Borders and value hundreds of properties each year for clients. You will be given an estimate of what we think your property is worth in current market conditions and we will recommend a marketing and pricing strategy for your property. With your instruction to proceed and put your property on the market, we will arrange your home report, photography and prepare your property’s particulars and advertising at no upfront cost to you - you pay nothing until your property is sold.

PEEBLES T. 01721 723999 5 Northgate, Peebles, EH45 8RX

Morag Tumber

Jennifer Lau

Visit usRequest online at www.peebleslife.com Thinking of moving? a FREE pre-sale valuation





Walkerburn OFFERS OVER ÂŁ490,000

Integrated estate agency and legal services No obligation, free pre-sale valuation Clear and upfront fees including fixed fee, no upfront costs and dual service offers

Innerleithen OFFERS OVER ÂŁ345,000

Home Report prepared by an independent specialist surveyor Professional interior & exterior photography Professionally designed sales particulars including property floor plans National and local advertising; Rightmove, OntheMarket.com, ESPC, BSPC, Radio Borders, on our website and in local branch windows

Peebles OFFERS OVER ÂŁ250,000

Targeted social media advertising Advertising options in press publications Property matching to active buyers Expert support from your local sales and legal team; marketing, enquiry handling, sales negotiation, conveyancing, weekly updates and the option of accompanied viewings




Cullen Kilshaw work to the highest possible standards as set out and regulated by The Law Society of Scotland. * New Year Offer T&Cs apply. Please ask for details.

Please mention Peebles Life when responding to adverts Thinking of moving? Request a FREE pre-sale valuation and property appraisal, contact Cullen Kilshaw today.


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, 21st January 2020 from 6.00 – 7.00 p.m. Winkston Holiday Accommodation


4 Gold Star Guest House


Quality guest ensuite rooms. Extensive breakfast menu.


Quality 4 star cottages


Holidays lets, family staying & between house accommodation.

Work carried out in Peebles and surrounding area

Small family run business offering special customer care.

T: 01721 723293 M:07547 378598 E: dshjoinery@gmail.com

Free WiFi, secure bike storage, free car parking, on bus route.

www.winkstonholidays.co.uk E: accommodation@winkston.co.uk

T: 01721 721264

Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com

Look forward to a happier and healthier New Year – try Haylodge parkrun Research undertaken by Hallam University has demonstrated the value of running, walking or volunteering at a parkrun. A comprehensive survey showed that after participating at parkrun 91% of respondents reported a sense of personal achievement; 85% reported improved physical health and 79% reported improvements to their happiness. parkrun is a UK based charity supporting over 350,000 people per week who take part in free, volunteer run 5k events in public areas of open space. There are over 650 parkruns in the UK, including one in Haylodge Park Peebles. Haylodge parkrun takes place every Saturday at 9.30 – why not come and join us? • parkrun is free, forever. You register once, print off your barcode and you can take part at Haylodge parkrun or any other parkrun anywhere in the world. • You don’t have to run - we welcome walkers and joggers of all standards. parkrun is inclusive and supportive. It’s a run \ walk not a race. You get a time if want too but you’re only competing against yourself. No-one is ever last. A tailwalker ensures

that everyone gets round the course at a pace that suits them. • You don’t need any kit apart from a pair of outdoor shoes or trainers and some comfortable clothes. • We have participants aged 75 and above. You participate at a pace to suit you. • Families are welcome. Children of 4 and above can take part with an adult. Children over 11 can do it themselves. We welcome babies in buggies and dogs on a lead. • You don’t have to do it every week. We hold a parkrun every week, but you just come along when it suits you. But… I don’t know anybody there – No problem, none of the volunteer team knew each other before we started and we’ve all made new friends. We go for coffee afterwards and everyone is welcome. parkrun is a simple way to improve your health and happiness within your own community. Please come and join us on Saturday 4th January – or any other Saturday that suits you.

More information at www.parkrun.org.uk/haylodge



Haystoun Financial Services offer a wide range of financial services & advice including:

Haystoun Property Services offer a full property management service for landlords of both commercial & residential properties.





We offer a friendly, professional service and the initial consultation is free.

Our charges are clear and transparent. There is a one off marketing set up fee of £300 and 10% of monthly rental income. That's it.

Haystoun Financial Services Ltd is an appointed representative of The Right Mortgage Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Your Home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Some forms of Buy to Let Mortgages are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Get in touch with us to find out how we can help you with your property management needs.

t: 01721 723134 e: info@haystounfinancial.co.uk a: 19D Eastgate, Peebles, EH45 8AD w: www.haystounfinancial.co.uk

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TIME TIME TO TOTIDY TIDY THE GARDEN? GARDEN? THE Pest Control Services Agricultural, Commercial & Domestic Covering All Aspects of Pest Control


Winter tidy ups Odd jobs Landscaping & planning for the Spring

◈ Ants ◈ Crawling Insects ◈ Flying Insects ◈ Mice ◈ Rats ◈ Rabbits ◈ Bird Proofing

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Mob 07841 248498 Tel 01721 723966


For professional help call Trevor Keen on 07795 102273 or Martin McCullough on 07968 064570


Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com


Border Vets would like wish all our clients a Happy New Year and best wishes for the year ahead. As we say goodbye to 2019, and look forward to 2020 with open arms, it is a good chance to look back at some of the highlights from a very busy year for the Border Vets team. At the end of 2019 the Evets out of hours team made the move from our Galashiels branch over to Galedin Vets, to take advantage of the increased space. Our Border Vets Galashiels team are still working away at our lovely practice on Gala Terrace, as we have always been. In 2019 two of our lovely student nurses became fully qualified. Again, we would like to congratulate them in all their hard work and success. We now have 5 qualified veterinary nurses and two final year nursing students, and so will be offering you more nurse clinics across all of the Border Vets practices in 2020. In September 2019, our Selkirk branch won the Border Business Best Veterinary Practice Award. Our team are over the moon at being recognised for all their work with this well-deserved award. We have also been invited through to the Grand Final of the Scottish Business Awards in Glasgow.

Border Vets 75 High Street, Innerleithen 01896 830249 www.bordervets.co.uk

How amazing is that? We are beyond excited to go, meet all the other great contenders, and at the possibility of being recognised as the BEST VETERINARY PRACTICE IN SCOTLAND! We would not have achieved this without the help of all of our lovely clients who nominated us, thank you. We ask once again if you have a moment please vote for us for the Grand Final. Selkirk has also had some renovations over the last few months, and this has given the practice a new lease of life and a much-needed facelift. We hope to be able to offer a number of extra services at the clinic now, including puppy parties. Border Vets are looking forward to all the exciting news and dates for our diaries in 2020. Along with the Grand Final, increased nurse consults, and more in-clinic services, we are also going to be holding our very own dog show in the summer. It’s never too early to start practising the runway walk! Keep your eyes and ears open, for more information on the Border Vets dog show, and all our other exciting events, and lets all have a fabulous 2020. Sarah Laing Receptionist cSQP

Office: Mon, Tues, Fri - 8.30am - 6.30pm. Wed, Thurs - 8.30am - 7pm. Sat 8.30am 1pm. Consultations by appointment

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John Montgomery Upholstery Custom & bespoke upholstery service • Refurbish sofas, dining chairs & more • Sofa repairs - springs & frame • Replace tired, torn or worn seat & back cushions • Cushions made to order - both foam & fibre • Caravans, benches, floor seats, ottomans etc. • Foam cut to size • Wide range of fabrics 7 Meadow Place, Bilston, Midlothian EH25 9RT Telephone 0131 440 4116 · Email montgomerymnt@aol.com www.edinburghupholsterer.co.uk 8

ax limited



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Property maintenance & home improvements

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

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Orchestra for All Ever wanted to play in an orchestra? Learned the basics of reading musical notation and can pick out a tune on an instrument? A new initiative by Peebles Orchestra might be just the thing for you. The band is opening out to give everybody, from beginners upwards, the chance to find out what it’s like to play alongside fellow musicians in an ensemble, rehearse an hour-long programme of music, and perform it in a public concert. “The aim is to give everybody a chance to play in an orchestra,” says Peebles Orchestra chairman Chris Dubé. “Maybe they are unsure of their ability, or nervous of playing in public, or afraid of feeling pressure. We have music notation that’s suitable for different abilities from beginners up to Grades 4 and 5 and a good programme of tunes most people will know and that anyone can play.” There’s music from the Star Wars film, dance music from West Side Story and the theme tune from Mont Python’s Flying Circus as well as parts of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the overture to Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro and Finlandia by Sibelius. “They are all of a suitable standard and they are not too difficult to play,” says Chris, who will be conducting an orchestra that will include some of the ensemble’s regular musicians to give some “backbone” to the performances. “We will take everybody who wants to play and if some of them find a piece is too difficult for them they can just play some of the notes. It’s for everybody and it’s for free.”

Rehearsals will take place in St Joseph’s Neighbourhood Centre on February 12, 19 and 26 from 7.30 to 9.30pm, with a concert at 3pm on Saturday February 29 in the School Brae Hub. “We have been talking to the schools and various local organisations asking them to encourage people of all ages to come along and find out what it’s like to play together in an orchestra. It could be a gateway to the main orchestra, which gives two performances in Peebles every year.” Anyone interested should register on the orchestra website at www.peeblesorchestra. org/orchestraforall. Registration is also free and will enable the organisers to have some idea of numbers. “If you can’t get access to the website, just turn up on the day. We won’t turn anyone away and we will be able to cope, but it’s better to register,” says Chris. Meanwhile Peebles Orchestra has announced the programme for its next performance at 7.30pm on May 16 at Kingsland School: the Clarinet Concerto by Gerald Finzi, Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony and Prometheus Overture, and Donizetti’s Sinfonia for Winds. “There are openings for string players and a few wind musicians in that,” says Chris. “Rehearsals for that start in March.” Three weeks of Orchestra for All rehearsals begin in St Joseph’s Neighbourhood Centre, Rosetta Road on 12 February 12, with the concert at 3pm on Saturday 29 February in the School Brae Hub.

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TETRA ACOUSTICS Clarity in Sound & Vision Sale! Sale! Sale! Sale!

Stock clearance starts 30th Dec Up to 60% off selected items • • •

Hi-Fi Systems & Vinyl sales Televisions & Home Cinema, Projection & Screens

Showroom Open 6days a week Unit 3, Silverbirch Studios, Cavalry Park, Peebles, EH45 9BU Tel. 01721 720936 Mobile. 07928376021 Email info@tetra-acoustics.com Web www.tetra-acoustics.com


Experienced all round  tradesman for friendly,   professional, free advice  and estimates. 


Contact George   on 01721 721264  Visit us online at www.peebleslife.com


Decorative Solutions Ltd PAINTERS & DECORATORS with over 29 years experience Painting, wall papering, ames taping & plaster coving. Private, insurance, maintenance & contract work.

Fully insured Free estimates & free advice

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07811 253 261


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Peeblesshire Youth Trust News

December has been a difficult month for many families in Peebles in the aftermath of the fire at Peebles High School. Our thoughts are with those affected, and we will endeavour to support the local community as best we can. We have continued to work with local children, through our Achieve Your Potential workshops and group activities such as collecting for Peebles and District Round Table alongside Santa and his sleigh. We are very grateful to be the recipient charity of the Peebles Hogmanay Torchlight Procession; funds raised from the event will go towards our Transitions programme for 2020, where we will help to support young people with their move from primary to secondary school. Our vision for the year ahead in 2020, is to continue supporting 10-14 year olds across Tweeddale to build their confidence and self-esteem and to improve emotional wellbeing. Our aim is to nurture, support, engage and encourage these young people to feel valued and reach their aspirations. Our project began in 2009 when a local father asked for help to guide his son through the difficult transition years from primary to secondary. It was felt that a mentor figure in his life would be a perfect way to do this. It was soon realised that this boy couldn’t be the only young person requiring such support, and so PYT was born! There is a two-step approach to the work that PYT and our volunteers do to support our young people:

1. Achieve Your Potential programme

This 7-week programme runs twice a year, delivered by staff and adult volunteers, using activities and challenges linked to the Curriculum for Excellence to help children build confidence in a group setting. Each week has a theme such as forming and expressing opinions, decision-making, friendship, team work etc. The adult volunteers then go on to become one-to-one mentors to the children upon completion of the AYP programme.

2. Mentoring

We work closely with the young people, their families and our volunteers, to suitably match each child with an appropriate mentor to develop a one-to-one mentoring relationship. This mentoring process is a key part of our support to young people. By meeting with their mentee on a monthly basis, our mentors help our children to build resilience, believe in themselves and follow their dreams.

We are always keen to recruit volunteer mentors, so that we can make a difference to the lives of more young people across Tweeddale. 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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DDL Care Services Assisting > Enabling > Improving Independence DDL Care Services is a private professional care company that offers a range of services for adults and older people living in the community.

THE SERVICES WE PROVIDE INCLUDE: • Personal Care • Rehabilitation Support • Palliative Care • Respite Care • Home Assistance • Social Care • Shopping and Domestic • Housing Support DDL Care Services have been awarded a Grade 5 – Very Good across all three areas by the Care Inspectorate: • Quality of Care and Support • Quality of Staffing • Quality of Management and Leadership Please do not hesitate to contact us if you think we could be of assistance to you or a member of your family.

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Peebles Pensioners Association 2019 was a very busy year for Peebles Pensioners Association, concluding in early December with our Christmas Lunch at the Green Tree Hotel, with 67 members in attendance. After a superb lunch, which was enjoyed by all present, Frances Taylor and Robbie Tatler made a very welcome return as they entertained us with Christmas songs. There was some very enthusiastic audience participation, which was so lovely to see! On behalf of the members, I would like to thank Jazz, Yvonne and Andy and the rest of the Green Tree staff, who all look after us so well and a special thanks to Frances and Robbie for the very enjoyable entertainment. We had a very interesting and varied selection of Guest Speakers in 2019, starting in February with a presentation from Cycling Without Age and in March, Bruce Ball gave us a talk on the Borders Railway. In April, we welcomed Heather Ronaldson and Joanna Thomson with their presentation on Western Riding, which has to be the revelation of the year – despite our older demographic, the members were so engaged and interested. In May, Jim Robertson spoke of his time working for the International Red Cross. During the summer, we enjoyed a buffet lunch at the Green Tree in June, a trip to Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in July and then back to the Green Tree is August for our annual afternoon tea. In September, we were joined by Billy Hutton and Heather Jeffrey, with their presentation on the services offered by Border Care and Repair. With the cancellation by the October speaker at short notice, I was very lucky to be offered a film show entitled “Road Trip round Peebles” by John Swanson, which was very much enjoyed by the members. And lastly, in November we were delighted to welcome Fiona Boyd, the children’s author as our guest speaker. I would like to thank each and every one of our Guest Speakers who took time out of their busy lives to come to talk to us – we are grateful to you all!

It is hard to believe that we have just concluded our fourth year in the Burgh Hall, a move, which I am sure all members would say has been the best one that we have made and we are very grateful to Stephen Riley, the caretaker at the Burgh Hall, for his continued help and support over the past year. However, due to the devastating fire at Peebles High School and the need to repurpose the Burgh Hall for the foreseeable future, it is very possible that Peebles Pensioners will be on the move for the third time in 10 years. After careful consideration of all the options, I think it is really important that the members have continuity of meetings rather than suspending them indefinitely. A decision will have to be made in the New Year and this will be intimated to members at our bimonthly coffee mornings in January. I would like to thank the wonderful committee of Enid Crerie, Fran Price and Pauline Silk, who support me in the running of Peebles Pensioners Association and on behalf of the members of I would like to thank the very special “Kitchen Ladies” – Fran Price, Pauline Silk, Doreen Motion and Joyce Scott and those members who have filled in over the past year to ensure that all members are served tea and coffee. Thank you to you all, we couldn’t do this without you. The Christmas lunch concluded my 10th year as Secretary of Peebles Pensioners Association. This continues to be a vibrant, well attended group with an average of 65 members attending each meeting from a membership of over 80. As previously intimated, membership was closed to new members during the summer of 2018 and whilst we are still accepting completed membership application forms, we are operating a waiting list. The first meeting of the New Year (to include a short AGM) will be in February 2020, with full details available in February’s Peebles Life. If you need any information, please contact Laura Scott (Secretary) on 07484 663518 or email: Peeblespensioners@ btinternet.com

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Music in Peebles For Schubert Connoisseurs Music in Peebles welcomes the return of James Gilchrist, tenor, and Anna Tilbrook, piano, to perform Schubert’s “Die schöne Müllerin” - "The Lovely Maid of the Mill”, a song cycle to poems by Wilhelm Müller. This is an afternoon concert on Sunday, 12th January 2020, at 2:30pm in the Eastgate Theatre. Since the story of the cycle is about a young man, the work is most often sung by men. The piano part bears much of the expressive burden of the work, and is only seldom a mere 'accompaniment' to the singer. Written when Schubert was only 26 (with a mere five years of his life remaining), it is considered one of his finest works. It is the first of his two seminal cycles (the other being his later “Winterreise”, which James and Anna performed for Music in Peebles four years ago), and a pinnacle of Lied. It is widely performed and recorded.

halls throughout the world with conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner. In J.S. Bach’s great Passions of St John and St Matthew, James works consistently at the highest level and is recognised as the finest “Evangelist” of his generation. Anna Tilbrook is one of Britain’s most exciting pianists, with a considerable reputation in song recitals and chamber music. She made her debut at the Wigmore Hall in 1999 and has since become a regular performer at Europe’s major concert halls and festivals. Together, these two distinguished musicians, in 2009, embarked on a series of recordings for Orchid records of the Schubert Song Cycles. Their disc of “Die schöne Müllerin” received great critical acclaim and was Editor’s Choice in “Gramophone”, November 2009.

"Des Müllers Blumen" ("The Miller’s Flowers" number 9 in the cycle). The flowers will whisper to her as in a dream: forget me not!" – the Miller indulges in a poetic metaphor between the blue flowers beside the brook and the Maiden's blue eyes. I had a moment of realisation. When I was 9 years old in old Kingsland Primary School we sang to a weekly schools broadcast called “Singing Together in Rhythm and Melody”. This was one of my favourite songs (translated). I loved the tune and the words “Along the brook grew many flowers ...These are my own forgetmenots”. I sang the whole verse to myself, surprised that I remembered it. The deeper meaning had escaped me earlier. Schubert’s music is truly unforgettable. James Gilchrist is a prolific and versatile song recitalist. He enjoys imaginative and varied programming in collaborations with pianist, Anna Tilbrook and others. James’ extensive concert repertoire has seen him perform in major concert


Eastgate Theatre, Peebles

Sunday, 12th January 2020 2:30pm (note time)

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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Drive a great deal with our new Flexible Membership ...For just £277

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Our new flexible membership is for the golfer who enjoys golf but can’t justify time or expense of a full membership. Receive the benefits of being part of Peebles Golf Club in the form of the price you pay per round, the chance to play in competitions and hold a handicap, member discounts and the option to use your points at other courses.

Call 01721 720197 to join today or visit: peeblesgolfclub.com/flexible-membership to find out more Please mention Peebles Life when responding to adverts


Big Screen Entertainment at the Eastgate The Eastgate’s silver screen takes centre stage this month with a rich programme of blockbuster films, drama screened from the National Theatre, opera and ballet from the Royal Opera House, London and an outdoor film festival all between Sunday 5 and Wednesday 29 January. Jolly Christmas fare moves over for the return of Angelina Jolie in Malificent: Mistress of Evil at 2.30pm the 5th. Later in the day Daniel Craig stars in the whodunit Knives Out (5pm), and at 7.30pm Edward Norton stars as Lionel Essrog, a private detective living with Tourettes and aiming to unravel closely guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city. The first of three plays being screened from the National Theatre is All About Eve on Thursday 9 January. Ivo Van Hove’s retelling of this classic stars Gillian Anderson and Lily James in an exploration of why we are fascinated by celebrity and youth. On Wednesday 22 January the second National Theatre drama is Arthur Miller’s blistering drama All My Sons starring Sally Field and Bill Pullman. The third in the National Theatre season is the epic new theatre adaptation of Andrea Levy’s

Orange Prize Winning novel Small Island with a cast of forty actors trace the tangled history of Jamaica and the UK. Small Island is screened on Friday 7 February. All three productions start at 7pm. Sunday 19 January sees a return to blockbusters with Jumanji 2 at 2.30pm, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at 5pm and the much anticipated film of Cats at 7.45pm. The Royal Ballet presents the classic The Sleeping Beauty at 7.15pm on Thursday 16th and on Wednesday 29th at 7.45pm Puccini’s opera of comedy romance and tragedy, La Boheme takes everyone back to Christmas Eve in Paris. Peebles Outdoor Film Festival returns over the weekend of Friday 24 to Sunday 26 January with a jaw dropping selection of adventure films from around the world and personal appearances by local heroes and international adventurers. This year there are also special offers from local outdoor retailers, opportunities to get out and about, and fab food to enjoy all weekend from the Eastgate Café and from Risotto2Go.

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TAIT&MAPP ROOFING & PLASTERING We are now delighted to offer a full plastering service 









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St Peter’s

Episcopal Church Eastgate, Peebles You are welcome to join us at worship – On Sundays


08.30am 5th, 12th, 19th 26th

Holy Communion Matins

11.00am Holy Communion

On Thursdays 10.00am 2nd 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th

No Service Holy Communion


We post news and events on Facebook Search for St Peter’s Church Peebles Contact: Nathaniel Buckingham 07950 706519 or buckingham@kittlegairy.co.uk

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Gala Life 7

Notes on the Chambers Institute By Steve Dubé The most conspicuous and architecturally interesting building in Peebles High Street is the iconic Chambers Institute, named after the Peebles-born Edinburgh publisher William Chambers, who gave it to the people of his home town in 1857. It’s thought that the building originated as a single three-storey tower with a narrow stone staircase. During the 19th century alterations that created the Chambers Institution the lower part of the staircase was discovered intact, along with what looked like a kitchen in the basement. Fragments of the first building are thought to remain in what is now essentially a Baronial building of mid-19th and early 20th century. In a map drawn up by John Mostyn Armstrong in 1775 it is called the “Dean’s House”, and the alley opposite is still called Dean’s Wynd. This confirms the building’s connection with the church, and the wynd and bridge over the Cuddy is the most direct route to the Cross Kirk. A charter of James VI dated 1624 confirms that the building – and other parts of the Cross Kirk property – is owned by the Hay family of Yester, lairds of

Neidpath Castle and its estate. The Hays had secured a first option with the Red Friars of the Cross Kirk on the church and its properties as the Reformation gathered pace in Scotland. The charter confirmed the Hay family as owners of the former Cross Kirk properties after decades of opposition by the Burgh authorities and Stewarts of Traquair. The Hays transformed the building into their town residence. A window lintel bearing the date 1668 shows when John Hay, the 2nd Earl Marquis of Tweeddale, created a home worthy of his status as the King’s Lord High Chancellor of Scotland. Shortly afterwards, Tweeddale discovered that his purse was smaller than his ambitions, and with creditors hammering on his door, he was forced to sell up. In 1686 the entire Neidpath estate was bought by the immensely rich Duke of Queensberry, Lord President of the Privy Council in Scotland and Lord High Treasurer of Scotland – a shrewd businessman who had helped to finance Tweeddale’s improvements. The Duke gave the Neidpath estate to his second eldest son, William Douglas, as a wedding present on his marriage to Lady Jean Hay, Tweeddale’s second daughter, who had been partly brought up at

Neidpath Castle and the Dean’s House, which now became known as the Queensberry Lodging. Douglas, the 1st Earl of March, and his son, the 2nd Earl, lived at Neidpath and the Queensberry Lodging for the rest of their lives. It was a golden era for these historic buildings, but it ended all too soon with the sudden death in 1731 of the 2nd Earl. The estate passed to his six-year-old son who moved to London as soon as he could, leaving the Queensberry Lodging and Neidpath Castle to his two unmarried sisters. The lad would inherit the Queensberry title and untold wealth, which he spent on gambling and Italian opera singers. He became known as the “Star of Piccadilly” and later “Old Q”. He sold the Queensberry Lodging, in 1781, to a surgeon, Dr James Reid, Provost of the Burgh of Peebles Burgh. Reid stood out in the town, an old fashioned dresser, with powdered hair topped by a cocked hat and frills at his wrists, and invariably booted ready for the saddle. He once conducted an operation by the light of a candle stuck in a hole in his hat when dealing with an emergency on a remote farm in the Manor Valley. Dr Reid died in 1803, but his family stayed there for many years, and it was later a private boarding school for boys. Chambers bought it in 1857. Born in a weaver’s house in Biggiesknowe in 1800, Chambers recalled the

pleasure of borrowing books from a circulating library in the town, and presented the Queensberry Lodging as a free gift to his home town “for purposes of social improvement”. He set about altering the building and donated 10,500 books, which were joined by another 2,500 from a small public library in the town. On 3 August 1857, the foundation stone of the Burgh Hall was laid at the top of the gardens that sloped down towards Tweed Green. It created the quadrangle we know today, and the new Chambers Institution was officially opened on 11 August 1859. The ancient Mercat Cross was erected in the quadrangle after being brought from Kingsmeadows House, where it had been kept by a member of the Hay family who prevented it from being smashed and dumped as useless rubbish. Repairs in 1880 cost £1,000 and in 1911 an extension on the west side provided a lending library, reference room, museum room, art gallery and games room, with shops fronting the High Street was built after a grant £10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation – on condition that management was transferred to the town council. It is now run by a “trust” consisting of the six Tweeddale councillors. Above - The Chambers Institute 1869 Left - Queensberry Lodging

Fitness advice from Lesley Mitchell Posture Perfect As we head into 2020 and many of you plan to start a new fitness regime, one of the most important things you should understand is how to maintain a neutral spine before you start. If you have niggles with your back or have bad posture already starting something new e.g. lifting weights, running may accelerate the problem. So what exactly is neutral alignment, and why is it important?

There are three natural curves in a healthy spine, the neck or cervical spine curves slightly inwards, the mid-back or thoracic spine curve slightly outward, and the lower back or lumbar spine curves inward again. Maintaining these curves help to cushion the spine from too much stress and strain, and they result from the muscles, ligaments and tendons that attach to the vertebrae of the spine. Without these supporting structures, the spine would collapse similar to the guide wires that support the mast of a ship. The whole system is made up of the abdominal and muscles of the back. The abdominal muscles provide support by attaching to the ribs and pelvis and indirectly to the lumbar spine; the muscles of the back are arranged in layers with each layer playing an important role in balancing the spine.

An equal balance of strength and flexibility is the key to maintaining a neutral spine position; if there is tightness or a weakness in any part this can cause problems perhaps resulting in pain in the back or elsewhere in the body too. Below is a basic quick check for good alignment of the spine.

1. Weight evenly placed between both feet and about hip width apart 2. Drawing navel gently towards spine at the same time squeezing the bottom gently to keep pelvis sitting level 3. Lengthen the back of the neck as is your heading is floating up to the ceiling, face forward chin lightly in 4. Imagine a big belt or corset round the centre of your body keeping tummy and ribcage drawing in 5. Draw shoulder blades towards each other and slide down the back of body 6. Breathe

Lesley â˜ş

Lesley Mitchell - Pilates, Personal Training, Yoga, Fitness T: 07952 156458


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There are a lot of trees in the world but in some places they are being cut down faster and faster. Along with plastic in the oceans and air pollution, deforestation is only making things worse. If you are going to plant a tree in your garden as part of your response to climate change then here is some help to find a good one. There is no point putting in a forest tree unless you have acres so large oaks, beech trees and field maples are not for the back garden. The longest boundary in your garden will be a guide to the suitable size of the tree.

The Peebles Garden: January

If the longest side is about 25 to 30 feet then choose a small tree like a multi-stem birch or a large Japanese maple like Acer palmatum atropurpureum or A Osakazuki, all of which grow to about 15 feet. Slightly taller at about 20 feet is Amelanchier Ballerina – a good year round choice. Fruit trees are excellent choices because the rootstock determines the height. A medium garden has a boundary between 40 and 50 feet long. Cercidiphyllum japonicum is a beautiful specimen tree; its leaves turn butter yellow in the autumn and smell of burnt sugar. Another good specimen tree is a multi-stemmed Betula jacquemontii with snow white bark; being multi-stemmed limits growth to about 35 feet. You could also choose any hawthorn or rowan or small holly like Ilex J C van Tohl which is self-fertile. In a large garden with a 100 foot long boundary you can plant a big tree but place it sympathetically if your neighbours also enjoy the view. A copper beech or a pin oak (Quercus palustris) will suit that scale but never forget how wide they are. A tree is permanent and should be given the right amount of space to grow into. Imagine it in ten years and don’t plant it where it will block the driveway or overhang the house or push the wall over. Conifers terrify people but some very graceful ones should be considered for their structure and year-round presence. An elegant small conifer, especially for a courtyard, is Cedrus atlantica Glauca Pendula which makes a silver blue arch about 10 feet high. For medium gardens try a Cryptomeria japonica Elegans - a golden pillar to about 26 feet, or Abies koreana, with tiers of dark green branches, decorated with big purple cones. In a large garden Picea breweriana will slowly make 50 foot as will Pinus wallichiana. A six to eight foot tree in a 10 litre pot is a good size. Bare root deciduous trees can be planted in frost-free conditions up to bud break. Container trees are best planted in mid-spring. Trees need well-drained soil, good light and shelter from cold wind. Stake single-stemmed trees to windward and don’t let them dry out for the first two or three summers. Sheila Drummond Portland Garden Design 07905 97185 drummond.sheila@gmail.com


Have you heard?

We’re turning water into gin (and tonic) GIFT HERS O V UC ABLE L I AVA 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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The road ahead!

Exploring the Past with Peeblesshire Archaeological Society We start by wishing our Peebles Life readers all the best for the year ahead! However, as this article was written on General Election polling day, readers will by now already have gained some idea of what might lie in store in 2020 and beyond. Whether the date was auspicious or inauspicious, we will have known the outcome of the poll by Friday December 13th. As a classicist, the Prime Minister will be familiar with augury - the ancient Roman religious practice of interpreting omens from the observed flight of birds, a process known referred to as ‘taking the auspices’ (derived from the Latin word auspex - ‘one who looks at birds’). Depending upon the behaviour of the birds, the interpretation could be auspicious, ie favourable, or inauspicious, ie unfavourable. Interestingly, as a result of political motivation or by means of bribery, Roman augurs could be induced to fabricate the results of the auspices to suit their own ends – elections for example. Those Romans! It is just as well that nothing like that happens nowadays! As noted in the previous issue of Peebles Life, the Peeblesshire Archaeological Society is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Following our successful Conference on the Archaeology of Tweeddale and exhibition in the Tweeddale Museum, we certainly hope that this will continue to be an auspicious year for the society, starting off with our winter/spring programme of interesting and stimulating talks by guest speakers. On Thursday 16 January, our first speaker in the new series will be Kirsty Dingwall (Headland Archaeology) who will be giving a presentation entitled ‘15,000 years in the North-East: the Aberdeen Bypass’. The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (or AWPR) has been one of Scotland’s largest recent infrastructure projects, and not surprisingly this almost 60 kilometre long swathe through the North-East resulted in many significant new archaeological discoveries. Artefacts

and structures found during the archaeological excavations along the route have shed light on land use and settlement in the north east over some 15,000 years, with evidence including very early Mesolithic activity, a Bronze Age cremation complex, prehistoric roundhouses and enigmatic Roman bread ovens! Some of the discoveries have raised more questions than they answer about what we thought we knew about the region. For instance, one very unexpected discovery was the presence of Roman activity at Milltimber, on lower Deeside, likely dating from around 83/84 AD. Ninety bread ovens were uncovered, which were probably constructed by the Roman army at a time of invasion led by the Roman General Agricola. However, no evidence of an associated camp was found, which is unusual for this type of feature. The discovery invites speculation as to why the ovens were at this specific location and what was going on in the area at the time. Kirsty Dingwall joined Headland Archaeology in 2001 and is now a Project Manager with particular expertise in overseeing large-scale linear infrastructure projects and renewable energy projects. Kirsty has worked on numerous sites throughout Scotland, England and Ireland and has been involved in a number of large projects for the company, such as the A4/A5 Road in Northern Ireland, the Forth Replacement Crossing, the Clyde Wind Farm and the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route which will be the topic of her talk to PAS. As usual, the meeting will start at 7.30pm and will be held in the Community Centre, Walkershaugh, Peebles (non-members/guests attending talks, £4). As always, new members will be very welcome. Illustration Excavation of pit containing Neolithic pottery (© Headland Archaeology)



A WARM WELCOME OPEN THIS WINTER www.caddonview.co.uk

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www.caddonview.co.uk 14 Pirn Rd, Innerleithen EH44 6HH 01896 830208

Sudoku 7 4


How to Play


7 5 9 3 2 4 5 1 6 3 9 4 1 2 Daily Sudoku: Thu 12-Dec-2019

very hard

(c) Daily Sudoku Ltd 2019. All rights reserved.

2 8 9 3 1 5 2 1 6 7

Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through to 9, with no repetition. That's all there is to it! You solve the puzzle with reasoning and logic - there’s no maths involved and no adding up. It’s a hard one, email linda@peebleslife.com if you would like the solution.

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Peebles Rugby Club

Happy New Year from everyone at Peebles Rugby Club! As we go to press, the ‘So Stobo’ sponsored Peebles 1stXV sit in fifth place in Tennent’s National League Two, however with only six points covering the top five places, it’s all to play for in the second half of the league campaign. Due to frozen pitches, only two league matches have taken place in the last month, both good wins against Whitecraigs (33-10) and Glasgow Academicals (24-17). Home league fixtures this month include Stewart’s Melville on 18th January while there is also the small matter of the quarter final of National League Cup, away to Lasswade on 25th January. Meanwhile Peebles Reds, the club’s 2ndXV, sit comfortably at the top of Tennent’s East Reserve League Two, following wins against Linlithgow (17-0) and also Forresters, who couldn’t fulfil the fixture. Home fixtures coming up include Kelso on 18th and Linlithgow on 25th January. We reported last month that the youth sides were sitting top of the Mitsubishi Warrior Conference. As we go to press, Peebles still maintains a slender two point lead over Melrose RFC/Earlston High and we just await the last matches being recorded before the official result is announced. Everything has been put into perspective however with the recent sad

events at the High School. It unfortunately looks like a fair bit of rugby kit and equipment has been lost, as well as the loss or damage of changing rooms etc. Not to be kept down however, all youth teams were out representing the school and club the following weekend, with excellent fixtures against North Berwick High School. The under 16’s have also performed well this year and have qualified for the National Under 16 youth Leagues Cup. As we go to press, they are preparing for a trip to Cumbernauld to meet Waysiders/Drumpellier Under 16’s for a place in the quarter finals. 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


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EDINBURGH ROAD, PEEBLES, EH45 8ED 01721 721350 www.harrisonsford.co.uk Model shown is the New Ford Puma ST-Line X 1.0L Ford EcoBoost Hybrid (mHEV) 125PS 6 Speed Fuel Economy mpg (l/100km) Combined 51.4 (5.5) CO2 emissions 96g/km*. *Figures shown are for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which depend upon a number of factors including the accessories fitted (post registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. There is a new test used for fuel consumption and CO2 figures. The CO2 figures shown however are based on the outgoing test cycle and will be used to calculate vehicle tax on first registration.

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Peebles Life January 2020  

Community magazine for Peebles.

Peebles Life January 2020  

Community magazine for Peebles.