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Gala Life

A local magazine with directory of trades and businesses - 12,000 copies delivered FREE to every home and business in Galashiels, Tweedbank, Melrose, Clovenfords, Darnick, Dingleton, Newstead and Gattonside.

December 2019

Message Contents from the Team Welcome to the December edition of Gala Life. We have a fantastic array of Christmas, including lunch, dinner and suppers, concerts and festivals, films and church services. So much to do! After all this you are going to need a wee sit down and cuppa with a sudoko. In our regular features Sheila Drummond looks at last minute jobs in the garden, Alan Clinch takes a look at what is forecast to be popular in 2020 for fitness. Willie goes back and looks at gaming consoles over the years, and what to look for if buying a new machine soon. I got to read lots of great books for this year’s Christmas Books recommendations. Think I came off best! We have contributions also from three of the candidates standing in the upcoming General Election. We stay neutral here at Gala Life, but please make sure you vote – it always counts. We welcome several new advertisers this month, and together with all our current advertisers and contributors make this your Gala Life Magazine – so remember and tell them where you saw them, it will make their day. For 2019 – thank you all for being with us. Both Willie and I wish you a lovely Christmas and a very special 2020.

Features WIN Christmas Books Christmas services

5 32 58

Regulars Garden Border Vets Fitness Computer Gala Rugby

18 42 20 57 60

Community Diary Get Out Politics Churches

4 6 24 40

Useful Numbers




Advertising Debbie - 07545299491 Art & Eds Willie - 07906375953

Deadline for January Edition - 8th December Gala Life is delivered to every home and business in the Galashiels, Tweedbank, Darnick, Dingleton, Melrose, Newstead and Gattonside areas. Copies are also left at various ‘pick-up’ points around the area allowing visitors the opportunity to join us. Please Re-Cycle ... Eventually!

Gala Life Ltd 57 Glen Crescent Peebles EH45 9BS Office - 01721 720129 Sales - Debbie: 07545 299491 Artwork - Willie: 07906375953

Community Events & What's On in Galashiels See the Get Out section for details 1st December


Tearfund Scotland Christmas Concert

2nd December


The Filling Station - Corn Exchange

3rd - 7th December


Beauty And The Beast - Volunteer Hall

3rd December


Melrose Literary Society - Ormiston Institute

5th December


Christmas Shopping Night - Teviot Smokery , Kelso

5th December


Greener Borders Winter Talks - Marmions Place, The Wynd

6th December


Councillor Euan Jardine Advice Surgery - Born in the Borders Cafe

6th December


Rolling Hills Folk Club - Smith Memorial Hall,

7th December


Christmas Fayre - Triest House, Bridge Street, Galashiels

7th December


Gala Waterways Work Party

7th December


Scottish Borders Versus Arthritis - Selkirk Community Shed

7th - 8th December


Festive Family Fair - Abbotsford

7th December


Community Cafe - Galashiels Baptist Church

7th December


Melrose Music Society - Melrose Parish Church Hall

7th December


Galashiels Town Band Christmas Concert - MacArts Centre

9th December


Councillor Andy Anderson Advice Surgery - Cloudhouse Cafe

10th December


Melrose Historical & Archaeological Association

12th December


Christmas Shopping Event - Abbotsford

12th December


Scottish Wildlife Trust - Langlee Centre

13th December


Mulled Wine Evening - Lindean Village Hall

14th December


Gala Clef Club - Lucy Sanderson Hall

15th December


Carol Service - Abbotsford

15th December


Eildon Singers 40th Anniversary Christmas Concert

16th December


The Three Brethren U3A - Gala Rugby Club

20th December


Councillor Andy Anderson Advice Surgery - Tesco

20th December


Rolling Hills Folk Club - Smith Memorial Hall

21st December


Soup 'n' Pud Lunch - St Peter's Episcopal Church

27th December


Rolling Hills Folk Club - Smith Memorial Hall

29th December


Christmas In Toy Town - Volunteer Hall, Galashiels

21st March 2020


Hospital Staff Reunion Lunch - Kingsknowes Hotel

Entries in our Get Out section and Diary are free to non profit, non commercial, groups and clubs. Just tell us by sending your entry to, or 01721 720129 by 12th of the preceding month and we will tell everyone else. 4 Gala Life

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Sunday 1st December - Tearfund Scotland Christmas Concert - Old Parish & St Paul’s Church 7.30pm. with the New Scottish Hymns Band leading the celebrations on the official beginning of the Advent Season. Come all ye faithful and join us for an evening of festive cheer with beautiful acoustic carols and original songs. see page 44 for tickets and information. Monday 2nd December - The Filling Station - Corn Exchange, Melrose - 7.30pm. See Page 54. Tuesday 3rd to Saturday 7th December - Right Angle Theatre Company Pantomime - Beauty And The Beast - Volunteer Hall, Galashiels - 7.00pm. See page 13 for details and tickets. Tuesday 3rd December - Melrose Literary Society - Ormiston Institute - 7.30pm. Talk by Dr Carole Jones (University of Edinburgh) on 'Scottish women's fiction'. Admission £4 at door. Information from Peter Hoad, 01896 823852. Thursday 5th December - Christmas Shopping Night - Teviot Smokery , Kelso - 6.00pm to 8.30pm. See page 11 for details. Thursday 5th December - Greener Borders Winter Talks - Marmions Place, The Wynd, Melrose 7.00pm. Eco-Congregations - Getting Ready for Winter. All welcome. refreshments. Friday 6th December - Councillor Euan Jardine Advice Surgery - Born in the Borders Cafe, Galashiels Interchange - 10.00am to 12noon. All welcome. Friday 6th December - Rolling Hills Folk Club - Smith Memorial Hall, Darnick - 7.30pm. 'Fisher Lassies' have entertained audiences from Newcastleton to the Edinburgh Fringe and all live in the Borders. Beautiful harmonies and interesting material will be a key feature. £7/£6 concessions. Under 18s and Young Scot card -free. BYOB or enjoy Fairtrade tea or coffee or fruit teas. All ages welcome. 07986 644661 for more information. Saturday 7th December - Christmas Fayre - Triest House, Bridge Street, Galashiels - 10.00am to 2.00pm. Come and Join in the fun! We have lots of stalls, fun activities for the kids, young and old and lots more. See page 34 for details. Saturday 7th December - Gala Waterways Work Party - Skinworks Cauld, Low Buckholmside - 10.00am - 12noon. Meet behind B&Q. Brush cutting, vegetation clearance and litter clearing. Bags, pickers, and gloves provided. Stout footwear recommended. For further information contact Liz Jardine. 01896664739. Saturday 7th December - Scottish Borders Versus Arthritis - Selkirk Community Shed, Goslawdales, Selkirk - 11.00am to 12.30pm. Hazel Muir will be taking a session on Tai Chi for arthritis. For more information contact the secretary on, or leave a message on 01896 754041. Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December - Festive Family Fair - Abbotsford, Melrose - 11.00am to 3.00pm. See page 34 for details. Saturday 7th December - Community Cafe - Galashiels Baptist Church - 12noon to 2.00pm. Serving delicious home made soup and pudding. No charge - voluntary donations only in support of TWAM (Tools with a Mission) this month. Saturday 7th December - Melrose Music Society - Melrose Parish Church Hall - 7.30pm. Scozzesione of Scotland’s finest Male Vocal Ensembles- will perform Operatic favourites and songs from nearer home. Tickets £15, will be on sale at the door: schoolchildren will be admitted free if accompanied by an adult . Saturday 7th December - Galashiels Town Band Christmas Concert - MacArts Centre - 7.30pm. What could be better than Christmas Carols and other festive favourites played by the local brass band? £7 (£5 concessions, primary age free). Come along and join the festive cheer! Continued on page 10

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Christmas Day This year, our chefs will prepare and serve a mouthwatering Christmas Day Carvery Lunch.

Here`s a small teaser of the menu just to tempt your taste buds…


Pan Seared Scallops, Cock-A-Leekie Soup


Roast Scottish Borders Beef, Succulent Roast Turkey and Honey Glazed Gammon


Simply delicious locally made Christmas Pudding, Chefs very own Chocolate Fondant

Adult: £65.00 Child: £35.00

(Child 12yrs and under)

More details, including full menu and timings, can be found on our website.

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Monday 9th December - Councillor Andy Anderson Advice Surgery - Cloudhouse Cafe, Stow 11.00am to 12noon. Everyone welcome. Tuesday 10th December - Melrose Historical & Archaeological Association - Ormiston rooms, Melrose - 7.30pm. Scottish Routes to Flodden 1513'. An illustrated talk presented by Dr.David Caldwell. Followed by tea / coffee and Christmas treats. Free to Members, £3 to visitors. Thursday 12 December - Christmas Shopping Event - Abbotsford, Melrose - 4.00pm to 7.00pm. See page 34 for details. Thursday 12th December - Scottish Wildlife Trust - Langlee Centre - 7.30pm. Alison Smith will give a talk entitled “ Me and my videos” and Chris Rose will tell us about “Svalbard”. Please feel free to give a donation. Friday 13th December - Mulled Wine Evening - Lindean Village Hall - 6.00pm to 8.00pm. Come along and wind down after the election by having a glass or two, listen to some live music, and enjoy convivial company. All welcome, proceeds towards hall funds, a great way to relax before the start of the hectic festive season! Saturday 14th December - Gala Clef Club - Lucy Sanderson Hall, Tweed Terrace, Galashiels 7.30pm. For more information contact Dorothea on 01896 750496, visit our website at or Like Gala Clef Club on Facebook. Sunday 15th December - Carol Service - Abbotsford, Melrose - 2.00pm. See page 34 for details. Sunday 15th December - Eildon Singers 40th Anniversary Christmas Concert - Melrose Parish Church - 7:30pm. Tickets £8. Includes refreshments in the interval. Contact Margery Inglis 01750 21085. Monday 16th December - The Three Brethren U3A - Gala Rugby Club, Netherdale - 2.00pm. Brian Barry collects milk bottle tops - tons of them. Some amusing anecdotes about this curious hobby! Refreshments. New members welcome. More information at Friday 20th December - Councillor Andy Anderson Advice Surgery - Tesco, Galashiels - 11.00am to 12noon. Everyone welcome. Friday 20th December - Rolling Hills Folk Club - Smith Memorial Hall, Darnick - 7.30pm. Christmas Party. Please bring festive food for sharing and BYOB or enjoy Fairtrade tea or coffee or fruit teas. All ages welcome. Phone 07986 644661 for more information. Saturday 21st December - Soup 'n' Pud Lunch - St Peter's Episcopal Church, Galashiels - 12.30pm to 2.00pm. All welcome, bring a friend. Friday 27 December - Rolling Hills Folk Club - Smith Memorial Hall, Darnick - 7.30pm. Popular and world-famous Archie Fisher makes a very welcome return to Darnick for a post-festive treat. Early booking is advised on 07986 644661. Tickets £10. BYOB. All ages welcome. Sunday 29th December - Christmas In Toy Town - Volunteer Hall, Galashiels - 1.00pm. See page 7 for tickets and more information.

Circle Dancing - Third Friday of the month, 2.00pm to 4.00pm, Old Parish and St Paul’s Church Hall, Galashiels. A lovely mix of traditional and new dances and music from around the world. Each dance is shown and taught by dance leader so no experience necessary. The dances are mostly done in a circle so no partner is required. Some of the dances are gentle and reflective, some a little more lively. Come and join us for fun, movement, conversation, meeting new friends. Further information contact:- Kate 07523 466657. 10 Gala Life

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Langlee Community Choir - Mondays at 7.00pm in Langlee Community Centre, Galashiels. The choir always welcomes new singers of any age or ability.  If you are a shy singer, the choir will bring out your confidence.  No pressure, no auditions, just good fun.  Keep watching out in Gala Life or listen to local radio for upcoming performances.  To book the choir or for any other information, please visit One Acchord Ladies A Cappella Chorus - invites you to join us most Wednesdays 7.30pm - 9.30pm, plus one Saturday 12.30pm - 4.30pm in the Community Hall, Newtown St Boswells TD6 0QX. For more information contact or 07710699619. Gala Water Singers – Tuesdays 6.15pm for Junior Choir, then 7 for 7.15 start-9 pm for Community Choir. Fountainhall School TD1 2SY. The Community Choir of the Gala Water Valley where everyone, from anywhere, who wants to sing is welcome. You don’t need to be able to read music or to have sung before and there are no auditions. Come along and join others who sing weekly, purely for enjoyment. No charge for your first 2 weeks so you can have a commitment-free try-out. Just turn up or for more information ring John 01578 730289. The Eildon Singers - Meet every Wednesday, starting 29th August, in the Ormiston Institute, The Square, Melrose, from 7.15pm till 9.30pm. Mixed voice choir. New members very welcome. Contact Margery Inglis, Secretary, 01750 21085. Just Singing - We meet on the fourth Sunday of the month at 3 – 5pm in the Trinity Centre, High Cross Avenue, Melrose, to sing songs of peace and justice. We welcome new singers and those who think they can’t sing. There is no need to read music as all songs are taught by ear. Contact Phoenix Singers Melrose - New session runs Mondays from 14th October until the end of November. Excerpts from G&S Iolanthe and Oklahoma. Come along for a few weeks with no commitment to try us out. Corn Exchange, Melrose 7:30pm. For more info contact 07768925083. Gala Clef Club - Saturdays, monthly September to April, 7.30pm - 9.30pm in the Lucy Sanderson Hall, Galashiels. A performance space for anyone who enjoys Classical music and performing short pieces to a friendly audience of fellow musicians. If you play an instrument or sing, or have a violin tucked away in the attic, we want to meet you!  Come along and meet people, form ensembles and start making music. All ages, standards and genres of music welcome. Piano and keyboard provided.  For more information contact Dorothea on 01896 750496, visit our website at or Like Gala Clef Club on Facebook. Pipe Band: The Galashiels Ex-Service Pipe Band, Wednesday nights, 7pm at The Royal British Legion Club, Park Street, Galashiels. Experienced players and beginners most welcome to join. Please contact the secretary, Scott Mitchell on The Galashiels Town Band - Mondays - Gala Beginners Band 4.30pm, Gala Junior Band 5.00pm 6.00pm, Tuesdays, 6.30pm Gala Youth Band and 7.45pm Gala Town Band. Band Hall, 6A Roxburgh Street, Gala. Open to experienced and inexperienced players of all ages. Instruments can be supplied, so go give it a try. For more info please contact Scottish Country Dancing - Tuesdays, 7.00pm - 9.00pm in Old and St Paul's Church Hall. All welcome. Further info 01896822354 or 01578730591. Study Exercises in Dance and Movement - Wednesday mornings 10.15am - 11.45am in The William Hill Room, Ormiston Institute, Melrose. A Course of talks on Dance History: the roots and progressions, validated by the International Dance Council (UNESCO). £1.50 per week with refreshments. Urszula Borowskah (member of UNESCO Paris)

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Begin your festive planning now & Quote "Gala Life" to enter our prize draw 01896 820319 / Westend House, High Street, Melrose 14 Gala Life


MAKE YOUR PRE-LOVED CLOTHES REALLY COUNT Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s shops in the Borders are bursting with style and volunteering opportunities. The charity has been expanding its presence in the Borders with Discount shops located in Galashiels and Hawick and Boutique shops in Melrose and Kelso. The Galashiels Discount shop based at Park Street boasts a fabulous selection of affordable fashion to suit everyone. The rails are filled with pre-loved items that can be found in-store from as little as 99p. Hazel Miller, Shop Manager said, “The local community have been so supportive since we opened our doors two years ago. We want to say a massive thank you to all our staff, volunteers and customers for all their help. With you on


our side we can make a difference to the lives of people living with chest, heart and stroke conditions in your local area. “We are desperately looking for donations of ladies and gent’s winter clothing along with handbags, shoes and homeware to help fill our shelves. “We are also looking for some new volunteers to join our team. The valuable time and support that our volunteers give us is incredible and we would be really keen to welcome some new recruits!” So whether you are looking for a bargain or want more information about volunteering pop in-store or call Hazel on Tel: 01896 755005. If you are in Melrose, please drop by the fabulous Boutique at 1 High Street and browse through the shop for that special one-of-a-kind label or stylish outfit at affordable prices.

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Gala Gazelles Netball - Gala Academy, Thursdays during term time, 8.00pm - 9.00pm. Further information from 07813937646. Gala Windbags - We are a charitable group affiliated to chest heart and stroke Scotland with meetings every Thursday 1.30 to 3.30pm in Lucy Sanderson Hall Galashiels. Contact details are Wilma Turnbull phone 01896 753493. G.Ex.(Gentle Exercise) Langlee - for all ages and abilities, Wednesdays at 10.30am. Fun class set to great music. £3 plus free refreshment. Information about the class can be obtained by phoning Denise on 07713357450. Heartfulness Meditation Classes - every Tuesday at 8pm in the Yoga Mill, Galashiels. A beautifully simple, heart-centred meditation practice suitable for those aged over 18. Free. Please ring Sarah for more details, and to register, on 07784740179. Al-Anon Family Groups - Every Wednesday at 8.00pm, St Peter's Church, Parsonage Road, Galashiels. Many people are affected by the excessive drinking of someone close to them. Find understanding, help and support in Al-Anon Family Groups. For further information call 07709948205 or visit for meetings in Selkirk and Hawick. The Inner Wheel - Third Tuesday of the month, 7.00pm in the Focus Centre, Livingstone Place. Anyone interested in joining us your very welcome to come along. Borders Philatelic Society - (Gala Stamp Club) welcomes new members who have an interest in Postal History, Stamps or Postcards at any level. We are a small friendly club meeting fortnightly on Monday nights, 7.30 until 9pm in the Church Hall, Old Parish & St. Pauls in Scott Crescent Galashiels. Please contact John Brown on 01721 723759 or Email him at for further information, or just turn up! This seasons 2019 dates are: November 4 & 18. The 2020 dates are:- February 3 &17, March 2, 16 & 30. Galashiels Camera Club - Wednesdays, 7.30pm. Interested in photography? Beginner or expert, why not pop along to Gala Camera Club, you will be made very welcome. We meet almost every Wednesday from September to April in the red room at Langlee community Centre. Check our website for details Galashiels Studio Club is for people who enjoy all forms of art. We meet from October to March every year, in Old Gala House, at 7.30 pm until approx. 9.30 pm. Members can attend workshops, talks, and visits. Find out more by visiting our Facebook page! Tel 01896 820023 or email: Gala Chess Club - meeting every Tuesday evening at the Focus Centre, Galashiels between 7.00pm and 9.00pm. All levels welcome. Facebook - gala chess club. ‘Heart for Art’ - Trinity Church Hall, High St, Galashiels every Wednesday afternoon, 1.30pm to 3.30pm. This is a Church of Scotland project which seeks to bring creativity and connection to those living with dementia in Scotland. Come along to our free art classes (with a carer if you wish) where staff of experienced professional artists and volunteers have enhanced dementia training. For more information look on facebook @CrossReachHeartForArt or email: Scottish Borders Prostate Cancer Support Group.   The group meets on the first Wednesday of the month, at the `Tryst`, Chaplaincy Centre, B.G.H. At 7.00pm when all men with this disease will be made most welcome.

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The Gala Garden December 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 18 Gala Life

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 397185

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FITNESS with Alan Clinch

What are the likely fitness trends for 2020? Every year the American College of Sports Medicine produces a list of the top predictions for what’s likely to happen in the world of fitness over the coming year. It’s worth noting that it’s not only the ACSM who do this – organisations all over the world do it, partly to try and prepare people, partly to try and sell equipment, and partly to remind us why we exercise in the first place. So, here are the ACSM’s thoughts on next year….. 1. Wearable technology - This includes things like fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and specialist equipment equipped with GPS which will not only log your workout but tell you where you went as well – if paired with an App it’ll even compare your sessions, workouts, walks or swims with everything you did in the past. It tops the list for the second year, and for the fourth time in five years. Safe to say it’s with us to stay! 2. HIIT – I’ve written about this one before, but essentially high intensity interval training programmes usually involve short bursts of high intensity bouts of exercise followed by a short period of rest or active recovery.  3. Group Training/Fitness – Basically exercise classes that most people will recognise, such as high impact aerobics, spin classes or Zumba type workouts. Convenient as you just turn up and take part – have always been popular, but now making a comeback 4. Training with Free Weights - free weights, barbells, kettlebells, dumbells, and medicine ball exercises. It’s particularly important to learn the correct technique before undertaking this kind of training.

5. Personal Training - this includes fitness testing and goal setting in a one-to-one situation. Exercise programmes relate to the individual's needs and goals. It could take place in fitness clubs, at home, or increasingly online. 6. Exercise is Medicine – this is a global health initiative which is trying to standardise assessment and the promotion of physical activity across the world – whilst it may be a useful initiative, I’m not sure it’s an exercise trend in the general sense of the word. 7. Body Weight Training – again a subject which I’ve written about in the past. Sometimes known as Calisthenics, the weight of the body is the tool, used for a combination of resistance, balance, co-ordination and core movements in different positions. It requires little to no equipment, so is a cheap and functional exercise solution.  8. Fitness Programmes for Older Adults – we’re all getting older (sadly), and the recent revisions to the Physical Activity Guidelines (see October article) highlight the need for older adults to be as physically active as possible. 9. Health/Wellness Coaching – This area has been growing in importance for the last 10 years. Like personal training, it uses a one-toone (or small group) approach, focusing on individuals’ values, needs, vision, and personal goals 10. Employing Certified Fitness Professionals – there is increasing recognition that using qualified trainers is the sensible and safe option. Always check the qualifications and reputation of the people who you train with.

Here are some other ideas from other organisations: 20 Gala Life

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Tom Miers Councillor - Leaderdale & Melrose, Conservative This council’s administration - a coalition between Conservatives and independents - is focussed on helping town centres to thrive in the Borders. It’s one of our top priorities. There are huge changes afoot in the retail market which are the main driver behind changes on the high street. People are shopping more on-line, or travelling to big retail centres in the cities. We can’t buck the market, but there are things that we can do to encourage the market to deliver different types of activity in town centres. There is still huge potential for our high streets - but less in shopping for essentials, and more in leisure activities, social activities and specialist shopping. For example, any commercial activity that involves seeing other people needs a hub area where people can meet. A High Street is perfect bars and cafés, tattooists and nail bars, barbers, art galleries, dog groomers, hotels and shops that need some kind of personal service such as good quality butchers, delicatessens or gift shops. As people have more disposable income (in part because shopping for household goods on line is cheaper) they are more inclined to spend money and time buying goods and services that in reality are partly a form of entertainment. We’re doing what we can to help this shift take place: changing the planning rules to make it easier to change the use of town centre buildings, and directing investment from a range of sources into various schemes to make town centres more attractive places not just for visitors but for people to set up business in. One of the features of the modern economy is that people choose to work in attractive locations. Places like Hawick and Galashiels need most help and focus in these respects, but we also need to anticipate change, rather than just react to it. So the focus has to be across the board in places like Melrose, Earlston and Lauder too. That’s why I think the recent decision to allow a shop, hotel and café on the roundabout on the edge of Tweedbank was a mistake. It will draw retail and leisure business away from town centres. Meanwhile the numbers of jobs it creates will be, in net terms, zero or negative because it uses land that was earmarked for offices and its revenues will be taken away from elsewhere in the Borders. It shows how hard it is to retain strategic focus in the face of determined vested interests. Policy makers of all kinds in the Borders need to ensure that decisions on particular sites or issues fit the bigger picture - of making the Borders an attractive place across the board for all investors, businesses, residents and visitors. Merry Christmas! I hope you find time to spend some of it in our lovely town centres!

Euan Jardine Councillor - Galashiels & District Conservative If you have been reading this column from the start you might recall, I talked about Esports a few months ago. Esports is a competitive form of video gaming. Something, I believe the Scottish Borders was falling behind on, so working with Jonathan Lourie from Live Borders we put together a plan to bring Esports to the borders. Through some great work from Jonathan and others at Live Borders we launched an Esports tournament in Hawick recently. It was great to see engagement from players and audience. As we are trying to push activity through gaming we gave the winner a gym membership. There were a Continued on page 26 24 Gala Life

SEND NICOLA STURGEON A MESSAGE This election is really important for the Scottish Borders and it is likely to be close again. Nicola Sturgeon is demanding another referendum next year, ignoring her promise that the independence referendum was a once in a lifetime vote. Speaking to so many of you on the doorsteps, it is clear that the Scottish Borders wants to move on from endless constitutional debate and does not want another divisive referendum on breaking up Britain. This election is a clear choice between myself or Nicola Sturgeon’s candidate whose number one priority is another independence referendum. As your MP I have a strong track record of working hard for the Borders, always putting local people before party politics. I’ve held more than 350 local advice surgeries since 2017 and helped thousands of residents with local and national issues. With the Liberal Democrats and Labour too far behind, many people who want to send Nicola Sturgeon a message are lending me their vote at this election. We should be focusing on the things that matter to people, like improving our high streets and local schools and hospitals. Help me to send Nicola Sturgeon a message that the Borders wants to move on from division.


SNP 36.6%

Con 36%

The LibDems and Labour are too weak to take on the SNP



Labour 4.9%

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk result, 2015

VOTE JOHN LAMONT Scottish Conservative and Unionist Promoted and published by H. Johnston on behalf of J. Lamont, both of Campaign HQ, Lower Langbrae, Main Street, St Boswells TD6 OAP

lot of lessons to be learned from the first one but lots gained from it as well. I would encourage any gamer to start thinking about competitive competition and how we can start to bringing together traditional sport and Esports to make sure everyone benefits. One game that really does push activity is Pokemon Go. This is a game that my nephew introduced me to during the summer. Ever since then I have been trying hard because I ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’ but what really makes this game different is you are awarded for movement, specifically walking. Just two weeks ago I walked 50km in a week just so I could take advantage of some of the bonuses available. You are also rewarded for being social and communicating with others. Something I discovered when I walked into a local sandwich shop in Galashiels and the young lady behind the desk referenced the fact, I was playing the game and invited me to join the Galashiels discord. Which helps to link players for situations like raid battles where you can get rare Pokemon etc. So as you can see games aren’t all bad and just like everything else in life. As long as done in moderation they can bring some real positive effects into your life. I will be holding an advice surgery on Friday 6th December 10-12 noon at Born in the Borders Café, Galashiels Transport Interchange. Email -

Phone - 0330 100 0220

Twitter - @votejardine

Facebook - @VoteEuanJardine

Andy Anderson Councillor - Galashiels & District SNP Well, here we are in December with yet another general election. I doubt that any result there will provide much Christmas cheer. It seems over the last couple of years we have had nothing but polls of one type or another. Fatigue has set in and I think few people either believe or trust in promises made at Westminster. The Brexit deadline came and went and no-one was found dead in a ditch… although I am not sure that was an election promise… There is a lot of doom and gloom in the mainstream media so I decided to look at a few ‘cheering’ statistics for Scotland (of which there are many). I was not surprised to see that whisky from Scotland is the single largest contributor to the UK’s balance of trade in goods, creating £5 billion annually for the UK economy. That is also great news for the distilleries in the Borders. However, if your tipple is gin you might like to know that it is estimated that 70-80% of UK-produced gin comes from Scotland, and the Borders is contributing to that. It might also surprise you to find out that some of the most popular brands are actually made in Scotland, along many of the specialized and flavoured ones. Perhaps gin should be considered our other national drink? I know many people that already think that… Galashiels is gearing up for Christmas and the Galashiels Christmas Lights Committee have pulled together a fantastic day of fun on Saturday 30th November, including a Christmas Market in Bank Street Gardens, that I hope that many readers will have attended and enjoyed. I am looking forward to the great switch-on of the new lights. This is the culmination of a lot of fundraising and hard work, and everyone involved deserves praise for a fantastic effort on behalf of the town. As part of the preparations for this teams from Gala Men’s Shed Volunteer Centre Borders and 2 teams from volunteers from Aberlour and Sustain Borders competed on Friday 29th to build and modify 10 Garden Sheds for this event. I was invited to participate as part of the Men’s Shed Team – I am not sure if I am more of a handicap than a help, but happily accepted.  I would like to wish everyone well for the festive season, but especially the volunteers and third sector workers in our community who do so much good all year round, often with little recognition 26 Gala Life

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of the great things they do. 0300 100 0220; Mobile: 07811 976952 E-mail: Facebook: Twitter: @AndyA4Gala

Pantomime Season Once More Around The Corner Rehearsals are now in progress for the Right Angle Theatre Company’s annual pantomime which this year will once more run for five nights in the Volunteer Hall Galashiels. The pantomime will open on Tuesday 3rd December and will have nightly performances right through until Saturday. After the huge success of last year, the company have this year decided to perform a new traditional pantomime with “Beauty and the Beast” being the popular choice. The role of Director will once again be in the capable hands of long serving Musical Director Derek Calder; Derek will continue in this role as well which will keep him very busy. Derek shall be assisted in the role as Director by Julie Smith with Gordon Keddie acting once again as Producer. The choreography will again be in the very capable hands of Stuart Mitchell. As always the musical numbers are a good mix of new and old songs with one or two sing along numbers making sure the audiences will leave with the music ringing in their ears. The pantomime itself has as in previous years been written by Alan Frayne whose writing always includes many humorous lines. Tickets will go on sale to general public early in November. After the sell-out shows of last year everyone is recommended to purchase their tickets as soon as they become available. There is once again a cast of almost fifty with a huge range in the age groups Involved. The Principal roles are as follows; Belle: Aimee Richardson, Whitney: Tracy Borthwick, Britney: Emma Wilson, Alphonse: Scott Robertson, Madame Fifi: Jodie Millar, Jacques: Billy Rooney, Gustave: Craig Douglas, Prince Danton: Sam Johnstone, Marcel: Stuart Mitchell, Monique: Amanda Blacklock, Monsieur Le Fou: Julie Smith, Flora: Rachel Falconer, Belladonna: Amy Welsh.

What Matters’ Drop in Community Hub Every Thursday between 1-4pm at Hope Central, 1 Overhaugh Street Galashiels. The community Hub is a place where you can meet people from community groups, voluntary organisations, people from the council such as social workers and occupational therapists from across the Scottish Borders all in one place. They can help you get information and quickly give you advice to help you remain in your own home and get involved in the community – They can help you find the support you need to stay independent such as equipment, transport or help at home – They provide advice for carers, if appropriate. in your own home – They can provide information about what is happening in your local area and where you could meet new people – and provide information about Volunteering opportunities. 28 Gala Life

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So why not drop into the ‘What Matter’s hub on a Thursday afternoon in Hope Central, Galashiels and see how they can help you – it doesn’t matter what age you are they are there to help you – it may surprise you what help is available and along with a friendly chat you can also enjoy a cuppa while you do!

Lavender Touch Christmas Shop The Lavender Touch is a charity supporting those living with cancer in the Scottish Borders. Thanks to local businessman Phil Macari, we have been given a fantastic opportunity to raise funds. A free shop in Galashiels— Sorella (2 Channel Street, opposite Macari’s café) for the months of November and December and we intend to run it as a Christmas Shop. For this we are relying on public support. Are you be able to donate, or source from others, any of the following: Good as new toys/games/books for children. Party clothes for children or adults – long dresses, glitzy tops, bags, shoes, costume jewellery, Christmas decorations, Home made Christmas cakes, puddings, mincemeat, chutneys and preserves, Bric-a-brac such as nice wine glasses, items to dress a table, vases, ornaments, candles, photo frames, items you would be happy to receive as a gift, crafts, Knitted items like baby clothes, gloves, scarves, hats. Items can be dropped at our unit at Tweedbank Craft Centre on Mondays and Thursdays between 11am and 2pm, at the shop from 10am to 4pm or we would be happy to arrange collection. Of course we will be very happy to see you in the shop as a customer too.

MAROON'D At Gala Innovative Plans Announced for Gala Sports & Music Festival 2020 Netherdale, home of Gala Rugby, will play host to an innovative multi-sport community event involving over 1200 participants on Saturday 18 April 2020. Showcasing rugby at every level from primary school age through to under-14s, under-16s, under-18s, senior and ladies sections, the ‘Maroon’d at Gala’ event will bring together players from every corner of Scotland in addition to Newcastle and Gosforth. Taking place alongside football and running events and culminating in the final of the famous Gala 7s, it will be an inclusive celebration of sport. Gala RFC President Ian Dalgleish, said: “We’ve worked hard in recent years to keep our 7s relevant and we’re confident that our plans for 2020, bringing together a range of sports under one umbrella, will really re-energise the event. “Gala Rugby has a proud sporting history and many of our club players have gone on to earn international caps. What’s exciting about this concept is that the players’ journey – from primary 30 Gala Life

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Whether you are looking to give as a gift, or just hoping for some peace and quite to curl up and enjoy a good read, Christmas is a great time for new books. Here's what's on my reading list and not a recipe book in sight!

The Body - Bill Bryson In a book subtitled “A Guide for Occupants”, Bryson explores how the human body functions and how it heals itself.. 'We spend our whole lives in one body and yet most of us have practically no idea how it works and what goes on inside it. The idea of the book is simply to try to understand the extraordinary contraption that is us.' Bill Bryson sets off to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up. A wonderful successor to A Short History of Nearly Everything, this new book is an instant classic. It will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again. 'What I learned is that we are infinitely more complex and wondrous, and often more mysterious, than I had ever suspected. There really is no story more amazing than the story of us.' Bill Bryson. 'A directory of wonders.' – The Guardian

Lee Child - Blue Moon - Jack Reacher 24

David Baldacci Redemption This is the latest memory man thriller in David Baldacci's bestselling series. FBI consultant Amos Decker discovers that he may have made a fatal mistake when he was a rookie homicide detective. Back in his home town, he's now compelled to discover the truth . . . Decker has returned to Burlington, Ohio, for a special reason. It would have been his daughter Molly's fourteenth birthday. Molly was brutally murdered four years ago in their home, along with his beloved wife, Cassie, and his brother-in-law. But then Decker is tracked down by a man he'll never forget: Meryl Hawkins, his first homicide arrest more than twelve years ago. Hawkins has been in prison serving a life sentence but was recently released due to a terminal illness. Decker now finds himself questioning what had seemed watertight evidence at the time - maybe he'd been a bit too keen to get that conviction? Could Hawkins really be innocent, as he's always claimed? If so, the killer is still out there - with a possible connection to a new crime. As the body count rises, Decker and his former partner Mary Lancaster dig deeper, it looks as though there's a lot more to what they thought was a closed case.

I am saving this for my Christmas treat. 'This is one of his best' - The Times. Jack Reacher is back in a brand new white-knuckle read from Lee Child. It's a random universe, but once in a blue moon things turn out just right. In a nameless city, two rival criminal gangs are competing for control. But they hadn't counted on Jack Reacher arriving on their patch. Reacher is trained to notice things. He's on a Greyhound bus, watching an elderly man sleeping in his seat, with a fat envelope of cash hanging out of his pocket. Another passenger is watching too ... hoping to get rich quick. As the mugger makes his move, Reacher steps in. The old man is grateful, yet he turns down Reacher's offer to help him home. He's vulnerable, scared, and clearly in big, big trouble. What hold could the gangs have on the old guy? Will Reacher be in time to stop bad things happening? The odds are better with Reacher involved. That's for damn sure. Can’t wait. Don't tell me what happens!

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David Walliams - The Beast of Buckingham Palace Just released. Don't miss the book that all little bookworms are eager to get their hands on; a brand new venture into epic fantasy adventure. Set one hundred years in the future, in the year 2120, London has fallen into ruins, and a griffin - the King of Beasts - threatens the safety of Buckingham Palace. Twelve year old Prince Alfred is sickly and has never even left the palace. But when his mother is dragged away to the Tower of London, Alfred may have no choice but to head out on a quest to save her, and face the King of Beasts in battle... Filled with gorgeous illustrations by Tony Ross, this best-loved children's writer and illustrator take us on a magical journey into a fantastical future realm that both children and parents will adore, along with Walliams' brilliant trademark heroes and villains, this richly imaginative story is sure to captivate readers.

Adam Kay - Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas

Michael Connolly - The Night Fire A judge murdered in a city park, Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, defends the man accused. A homeless person burned alive, Detective Renee Ballard catches the case on the LAPD's notorious graveyard shift. An unsolved homicide from a lifetime ago, Harry Bosch is left a missing case file by his mentor who passed away. He was the man who taught Bosch that everybody counts, or nobody counts. Why did he keep the case all these years? To find the truth - or bury it? In LA crime never sleeps, but in Ballard, Bosch and Haller: the fire always burns. Will it light the way - or leave their lives in ashes? This book has been eagerly anticipated. It includes all our favourites, the Lincoln Lawyer, Bosch and now Rennee Ballard. Back when Harry Bosch was just a rookie homicide detective, he had an inspiring mentor who taught him to take the work personally and light the fire of relentlessness for every case. Now that mentor, John Jack Thompson, is dead, but after his funeral his widow hands Bosch a murder book that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD 20 years before -- the unsolved killing of a troubled young man in an alley used for drug deals. Bosch brings the murder book to RenĂŠe Ballard and asks her to help him find what about the case lit Thompson's fire all those years ago. That will be their starting point. A great read for Connelly fans.

A short gift book of festive hospital diaries from the author of million-copy bestseller 'This is Going to Hurt'. Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat . . . but 1.4 million NHS staff are heading off to work. In this perfect present for anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious, horrifying and sometimes heartbreaking peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime. Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year. 'The perfect surgical stocking-filler' The Times. My son read the first novel out loud because he couldn’t stop laughing. No.2 is ready this yule time and it will be in his stocking ! Gala Life 33

Entertainment for December 7th Dec


14th Dec

Bobby Hunter

21st Dec

David John

28th Dec

Tizer Chiefs

31st Dec

Kal Duo (NY Eve 9.30 - 12.30)

1st Jan

Dynamix (Afternoon 1 - 5) Red Hot Rhythm (Eve 9.30 - 12.30) Music 9.30pm - 12.30am

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Join us for

Party Night THURS Nov 28th 4 - 8pm

Sample Sale

Beautiful, colourful knitwear and accessories at special prices Open November & December: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm Sat: 10am - 3pm

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age groups through to seniors – will be brought to life and will hopefully inspire our future stars.” In addition to the showpiece sporting event, there will be live bands, street food, themed drinks areas and fun zones. Plans are also underway to hold a Sportsman’s Dinner on the Friday night (17 April). “It’s going to be a great weekend with something for everyone,” says Dalgleish. “Netherdale is the perfect host venue with eight rugby pitches sitting alongside a 3G pitch at Gala Fairydean Rovers and the Heriot-Watt/Borders College campus which is a real centre of excellence with fantastic facilities. By working together - something we’ve not done to this extent before - we can really maximise what we have to offer. “We’ve already received a hugely positive response from the local community and we expect that excitement to build as further details are announced in the coming weeks and months.” For more information contact: Katy Barden (on behalf of Gala Rugby) M: 0777 352 9336.

Gala Opera With only a few rehearsal evenings left before we break up on the 4th December for the Christmas and New Year break, everything is now in full swing! Singing, dancing, acting are all progressing well and the show is shaping up to be a fabulous one. The last few weeks have been full of perfecting some of the best loved songs in musical theatre, mastering some brilliant choreography as we tap our way through some great dance numbers and setting some hilarious scenes aboard SS American. Lots of hard work but also great fun as we approach a well earned rest! We return to rehearsal in early January and then it is full steam ahead til the SS American sets sail from the Volunteer Hall on 2nd March 2020. Details in January of how to make sure you get your tickets, our annual coffee morning on 15th February and how the show is shaping up ready for opening night. All the best for the festive season and we hope to see you all in March as we embark on what’s guaranteed to be a fun filled journey across the Atlantic!

Central Borders Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) Christmas can be a worrying and stressful time particularly for parents. Marketing of the latest toys, games and gadgets seems to start earlier every year. Children have very little concept of the cost of the “must have” toy and we as parents and grandparents don’t want to disappoint. Here is a list of our Top 10 tips: 1.

Plan Early, budget and keep expectations realistic


Don’t’ forget your everyday bills - they still have to be paid


Don’t bank on an overdraft - talk to your bank first


Keep things simple - don’t risk taking out new credit if you can’t afford to pay outright


Shop around for the best deal


Do your own credit checks - compare terms, % rates and conditions


Buy safe and be safe- stay away from unauthorised dealers and lenders


Be organised make sure you pay on time or it will cost you more Continued on page 40

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Read the small print - hidden extras can cost you later

10. Start planning and saving for next Christmas - and learn from this year’s mistakes. Contact us: e-mail Phone: 01896 753889 111 High Street Galashiels

Scottish Borders Versus Arthritis What was going on by the lifts in Borders General Hospital on Thursday morning? Scottish Borders Versus Arthritis had a stand to raise the profile of the new charity Versus Arthritis (a coming together of Arthritis Research UK and Arthritis Care) and to raise funds for vital research into arthritic conditions – £311 was raised during the course of the day – thanks to all those who supported the sale. However, on a larger scale, Dr Ruth Richmond – Consultant Rheumatologist – was on hand, representing the charity, to receive a cheque from Liz Brodie of Darnick. Earlier in the year Liz had undertaken a sponsored walk of 500 miles along the Pilgrims Way to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compestella in Northern Spain. The total sponsorship was £6,711.21 – a testament to Liz’s perseverance and the generosity of people throughout the Borders and beyond who have donated to this total. Joining in the celebrations were members of the Branch with two of the Rheumatology nurses Photo of cheque presentation taken by Dr Margaret Collin – Margaret Edwards, Joanna Smith, Isobel King, Dr Ruth Richmond, Helen Pearce, Susan Campbell, Liz Brodie, Pat Matthew and Ellen Haldane.

Caddonfoot Parish Church Homelessness Sunday, the Sacrament of Holy Communion and Remembrance Day were each marked at Caddonfoot Parish Church in the past month. Away from the church, the Kirk’s Coffee and Crafts morning was held in the Volunteer Hall, Galashiels, with more Craft sellers than in previous years. All monies raised were for church funds. On Remembrance Sunday, wreaths were laid by the Royal British Legion and various organisations while Mrs Fay Brydon read the names from Clovenfords and District who sacrificed their lives in world wars. There was a collection after the service for the Earl Haig Fund. Members have also returned shoe boxes for the Blythswood Show Box appeal. Various members of the congregation take part in the Readings and also Prayers as well as door duty and serving teas and coffee after each service. The future of the church is expected to become clearer with the Link with Stow and Heriot churches a step nearer and Melrose and Peebles Presbytery making a crucial decision ahead of Christmas for churches across the Borders. 40 Gala Life

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A Christmas calendar with superb photographs and a message from our minister, the Rev Elspeth Harley, is one of the attractions for the festive season…ideal presents for the 25th. Bible Study has proved extremely popular and new members are encouraged to attend on Wednesday evenings while the weekly coffee mornings are also very successful. Pupils from Clovenfords Primary School attended a service in the church with transport funded by the Kirk Session. Just a reminder, too, to keep your disused stamps for Atholl Innes, who hands them over to raise funds for the Eden Valley Hospice at Brampton. Thanks to everyone from the church, Trinity in Galashiels, and others who have donated stamps so far – keep them coming. Church services are held each Sunday at 9.45 a.m. and conducted by the Rev Elspeth Harley, who is due to retire next year. On one Sunday, the Rev Tom Foley, from Skirling and former Locum to Upper Tweed, conducted the service while our minister was preaching in Glasgow and on another Sunday, Session Clerk Mrs Ann Grieve led worship.

Old Parish & St Paul’s Church Scott Crescent, Galashiels TD1 3JU

St John’s Church Hawthorn Road, Langlee TD1 2JZ We are two linked churches who want to be God glorifying and Christ exalting in our worship. The Word of God is faithfully preached and therefore we would like to invite everyone to come and listen to God speaking to us through His Word. Sunday Services in December: For all our Christmas Services, please see page 59. 9.45am St John’s 11.30am Old & St Paul’s 6.30pm Old & St Paul’s (except 1st. See below for Tear Fund Concert) There are children’s and youth groups during the morning services. Prayer Meetings in December: Sunday 1st at 5pm in Old & St Paul’s Tuesday 3rd, 10th, 17th at 7.30pm in St John’s Other groups and activities St John’s Bible Studies - House groups on Wednesday evenings. Galashiels Food Bank – Team involved in distribution. Girls Brigade - Mondays Explorers (P1–P3) 6pm – 7.15pm Juniors (P4–P7) 7pm – 8.30pm Brigaders (S1–S6) 6pm – 8.30pm Last Monday of the month 6pm – 7.30pm for all sections

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Old & St Paul’s Bible Studies - House group on Tuesday mornings. Boys Brigade – Friday evenings Anchor Boys 6pm – 7pm Juniors 7pm – 8.30pm Company Section 7.15pm – 10pm Guild – Wednesday 11th December at 2.15pm. Lunch Club - Thursdays 12.30pm. Phone 01578 730591 for information on cost etc. Music Makers - Thursdays 7.30pm. Badminton - Wednesdays 10am. For further information Interim Moderator: Rev Dr David Donaldson. e-mail: phone: 0781 7479 866. Locum: Rev Neil Combe. E-mail: phone: 01896 755869. websites:

Tearfund Scotland Christmas Concert is coming to Old Parish & St Paul’s Church on Sunday 1st December, starting at 7:30pm, with the New Scottish Hymns Band leading the celebrations on the official beginning of the Advent Season. Come all ye faithful and join us for an evening of festive cheer with beautiful acoustic carols and original songs. Tickets (£6) can be purchased either locally from Jim Tennant text on 07855423833 or by going online at

St Peter’s Episcopal Church, Galashiels We are a friendly welcoming people and you are warmly invited to join us for any of our services. Church Diary December - See page 58 for our Christmas Services Sun 1st 9.45am Family breakfast 10.30am Advent Family Service Thurs 5th 10.00am Communion Sun 8th 10.30am Service of Baptism and Confirmation with Rt Rev John Armes, Bishop of Edinburgh, followed by bring and share lunch 6.00pm Healing service Thurs 12th Church is a Polling Station for General Election Sun 15th 9.30am Sunday Squad 10.30am Holy Communion, Rev Simon Cake Thurs 19th 10.00am Communion Fri 20th 7.00pm Carols @ Tesco with Gala Fellowship of Churches Sat 21st 12.30 -2.00 Soup ‘n’ Pud lunch Sun 22nd 10.30am Nativity service 6.30pm Service of Lessons & Carols Continued on page 48

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Tues 24th Wed 25th Sun 29th Sun 5th Jan

6.00pm Christingle service 8.00pm Christmas Eve Communion, Rev Duncan McCosh 10.30am Christmas Family service 10.30am Communion service 9.45am Family breakfast

10.30am Family Service

Priest Rev Simon Cake 01896 668898 or 07710 523856 Hall Bookings Elizabeth Watret 01750 23207 or 07780 009355 Caretaker Phil Todd 07787 729639. Facebook St Peter’s Sunday Squad

Galashiels Baptist Church We are a friendly welcoming church situated in Victoria Street Galashiels. Sundays we meet at 10.30am for morning worship, we enjoy both contemporary and traditional songs/hymns. Crèche facilities are available and Sunday Club for primary age Children. Tea and coffee are served after the service with a fellowship lunch on the 2nd Sunday of every month, apart from July and August. In the evening, 6.00-8.00pm there is a Youth Club for P7 upwards when they enjoy a variety of games - snooker, table tennis and board games. (not during school holidays) First Monday of each month. 2-3.00pm Prayer and Pud for Ladies. Tuesdays at 12.30pm there is a Lunch Club for the elderly. Enjoy a 3 course lunch followed by tea/ coffee. Cost is £5. There are occasional outings throughout the year. First Tuesday of each month at 11.45 am a service in the church for LAPWinG Lunch Club folk, but all welcome. Tea/coffee from 11.30am. Tuesdays and Thursdays a Parent and Toddler group meets from 10 – 11.15am. This is a great opportunity to meet new people and for children to enjoy play with others. Tuesday Prayer meeting 7.00 - 8.15pm.   Wednesdays at 2pm a craft group meets in the small lounge. The group meets all through the year, and accompanied children and grandchildren are very welcome. Painting and crafting materials available. Enjoy a cup of tea and a chat whilst you do your knitting, sewing, crocheting, or painting. Saturday 7th December, 12 - 2pm. Community Cafe at Galashiels Baptist Church serving delicious home made soup and pudding. No charge - voluntary donations only in support of TWAM (Tools with a Mission) this month.

Hope Church Hope Church will now meet at two different venues on a Sunday; 10.30am at Tweedbank Community Centre 4.00pm at Hope Central, Galashiels Please note the first Sunday of each month there will not be a church gathering at either venue as we will be meeting in our smaller community groups throughout the Borders. The aim of our services are always to glorify God and to tell others of the Hope that Jesus came to the world to give.

Continued on page 50

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Gala Life 49

We know it can be a bit daunting coming into a church for the first time, but be assured we have a great team that will welcome you, and if you like, someone will sit with you throughout the service. Here’s some of what to expect; We love to worship God through song and we have a great band with a contemporary sound, you can join in if you like or simply just listen. We love to look at God’s Word, the bible, and someone speaks for about 30 minutes. We relate God’s Word so it’s relevant to your week, and not something we just listen to and forget about! We offer prayer to anyone who feels they need some support, life can be hard and it’s encouraging to have someone support you through those times. During church we provide Hope Babies, Hope Kids and Hope Youth - you can confidently leave your children in an adjoining room with our great children’s team. Everyone is PVG checked and have undertaken Child Protection Training. To finish you can stay and enjoy good coffee and doughnuts and get to know others a little better. You are invited! We’d love to meet you so please join with us any Sunday. Hope Central This is our community drop in where our team will give you a warm welcome and a good cup of coffee! We are hear to listen, care and help. Hope Central will have reduced opening hours during July and August. Hope Central 1-3 Overhaugh Street, Galashiels TD1 1DL e: t: 07377 717705 w:

Trinity Church Galashiels Minister: Reverend Elspeth Harley Tel. 01896 758485 Session Clerk, Ed Martin - 752252 or Mercy Daniels - Office - 752967 or email Office hours: Friday 09.30am - 3.00pm. Website: Here at Trinity w e are looking forward to Christmas and to enjoying the various Christmas services. In the meantime, during November we celebrated the Sacrament of Holy Communion and we held a moving remembrance service with Andy Brockie laying a wreath after the service at the War Memorial in Gala on behalf of the church. On Saturday 16th November there was a Big Quiz in the church hall which was open to everyone and the money was raised for Tearfund. On Sunday 16th we welcomed members of the Albany Church for the deaf to our service and there was also a display in the vestibule of some of the wonderful and colourful paintings produced by the people who attend the “Heart for Art” sessions on Wednesday afternoons. The guild raised £200 for church funds at their coffee morning on Saturday 9th. The Guild- Tuesday 10th December Christmas Party with entertainment by Steve Erickson. Please see page 59 for our Christmas Services. From everyone here at Trinity have a very happy Christmas and best wishes for a joyous and healthy 2020. Continued on page 52 50 Gala Life

This Month’s Tricky Sudoko 1



How to play............

8 4




2 9

7 6


7 7




3 4




1 9

Fill the grid so that every row, column and every 3 x 3 box contains the numbers 1 through to 9 with no repetition. That’s all there is to it! Use reasoning and logic to solve the puzzle - there’s no maths or adding up. Look carefully for what numbers can go where and with a little practice it will get easier!

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Our Lady and St Andrews Catholic Church Stirling Street, Galashiels, TD1 1BY Linked with St Cuthbert's, Melrose, High Cross Avenue, TD6 9SQ and Our Lady & St Joseph's, Selkirk, High Street, TD7 4JX A warm welcome awaits you at our three churches spread across three beautiful Border towns. Join us for Sunday Mass at 6pm in Selkirk (Saturday evening), 9.15am in Melrose and 11am in Galashiels. The churches in Galashiels and Melrose are open during the day for quite prayer and reflection and Mass is celebrated on Mondays at 10am in Selkirk and Wednesday to Saturday at 10am in Galashiels. Confessions are heard in Galashiels on Saturday mornings from 10.30am to 11am, in Selkirk on Saturday evenings from 5.15pm to 5.45pm, and in Melrose at 9am on Sundays. Each Saturday in Galashiels there is the opportunity to pray before the Exposed Blessed Sacrament from 10.30m to 11am, concluding with Benediction - a beautiful way to spend Saturday morning before getting your messages or jumping on the train! Please see page 59 for our Christmas Services. We look forward to seeing you at one of our churches soon.

Bethel Rock Gateway Church Focus Centre, Livingstone Place, Gala. TD1 1DQ. There are eight prophecies made about Jesus in the Old Testament that were impossible for Him to have controlled Place of birth; time of birth; manner of birth; betrayal by Judas; people's reactions to him; manner of death; piercing on the cross; and his burial. The Old Testament prophet Micah foretold his birth in Bethlehem "But you, Bethlehem ... are only a small village ... yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you". (Micah 5:2) Micah lived about 700 years before Jesus, and got his birthplace right! A "download" from God? Come to church to realise your full potential. Every Sunday. 11am. Focus Centre. Douglas & Kathy Renton, Pastors. Mobile 07815 682 027

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, High Cross Avenue, Melrose Services at Holy Trinity take a number of formats, some less formal than others, so there is truly something for everyone, from the peaceful oasis of a TaizĂŠ Service to the more formal atmosphere of a traditional Communion or Sung Eucharist Service. Whether you're a first time visitor, or a regular member of the congregation, all are welcome. Fr Philip can often be heard on Radio 4 and BBC Scotland's 'Thought for the Day'. He makes services interesting, enlightening, and often humorous as he draws on his own life experience, family life, and relationship with Jesus to illustrate the topic of the day. As well as worship, the church is fulfilling its aim to build a strong culture of musical excellence 52 Gala Life

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under the direction of Chris Achenbach, resident organist and Musical Director of The Borders BigBand and Langlee Community Choir. The church organ is an engineering marvel in that it is a virtual organ, and congregations often sit at the end of services to hear every last note. The church is host to many musical concerts throughout the year, and a music festival in May. All Sundays: 8.30 a.m. Holy Communion Worship Service 11.00 a.m. First Sunday Service, or Sung Eucharist Worship Service First Sunday: 6.30 p.m. Choral Evensong Third Sunday: 6.30 p.m. Parish Evensong First Tuesday: 2.30 p.m. Holy Communion afternoon service. Wednesdays: 10.30 a.m. Mid-week Worship Service - Trinity Centre Last Wednesday of each month - 7.00 p.m. Taizé Service. A brief interlude of gentle readings, silence, and Christian chants in the peaceful atmosphere of the church. Fridays: 8.30 a.m. Morning Prayer in the Side Chapel.

Bowden & Melrose Church of Scotland We have two places of worship with services in both each Sunday – 9.30am at Bowden Kirk and 11.00am at Melrose Parish Church. At 10.00 a.m. on the first Sunday of each month we hold a Family Service in Melrose Parish Church Hall. It lasts half an hour and is a less formal style of worship. Everyone is welcome to attend these services.

Heart and Soul The weekly Heart and Soul class for patients who had been through the heart rehabilitation programme meets each Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Chaplaincy Centre at the Borders General Hospital. These are classes of light exercise and relaxation with general chat a real therapy and tonic for the members from Galashiels, Lauder and Hawick etc – and nothing at all strenuous. Cost is a mere £1. December sees our annual Christmas lunch in the Kingsknowe Hotel followed by the agm on the same week after our class at which officials for the year will be elected. The meetings are enjoyable occasions and good for your health.

The Filling Station The Filling Station normally meets for regular Monday evening ‘celebration’ meetings held in the Corn Exchange Melrose, every month on the first Monday starting at 7.30pm and we have seen Christian’s from communities across the Scottish Borders grow in depth, numbers and fellowship. The Filling Station offers high quality speakers and teachers, contemporary sung worship and powerful, accessible prayer ministry. Our meetings are designed to be overtly spiritual but presented in a manner that those outside the church would feel comfortable. Our meetings aim to be short, sharp and focused in character. We find many 54 Gala Life

Continued on page 56


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Visit our website and Facebook page 723 628 for further information and picture gallery.

tion and picture gallery

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people meet God through these meetings and faith is built up. We welcome Christians from all backgrounds, denominations and non, Christian leaders, those seeking to understand what the Christian faith is all about, and those just inquisitive. The Filling Station meets on December 2nd at 7.30pm at the Corn Exchange, Melrose with Josh Oldfield as our guest speaker. This month we welcome Josh Oldfield as our guest speaker. Josh is a young man who lives in Edinburgh and recently got married to his wife Kathryn. Josh works with Wycliffe Bible Translators raising awareness around the UK of the ongoing worldwide need for Bible translation. He’s been a member of Kings Church Edinburgh for the past 5 years and we look forward to what he has to share with us from his experience. Also, Phil and Naomi will be leading our worship along with testimony this month and there will be the opportunity to access prayer ministry and enjoy fellowship with other Christians from across the borders. So spread the word and join us at the Filing Station. Remember Monday December 2nd at 7.30pm at the Corn Exchange, Melrose.

Entries in our Community Pages and Get Out section are free to non profit groups Send your entry for our Community/Get Out pages to Or call Willie on 01721720129 by 12th of the month. Any included event will also appear in our Diary. Editors decision is final.

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Willie’s Wonky Computer Factory My first experience of computer gaming was on a ZX Spectrum in 1983. Games took forever to load from a screechy cassette player and with no ‘Save’ facility I never really got past level 3 in anything. Interesting enough, 37 years later, even though discontinued in 1992, the ZX still has a devout following with over 40 new games released this year.

Desktops are now on the decline and in an age of miniaturisation seem incredibly large and bulky at home, but laptops are on the up and with the right spec can support everything thrown at it, even virtual reality. So, what do you look for in a gaming laptop?

Developers had to produce games capable of playing seamlessly on the consul they were intended for. PC programmers however pushed the limits, usually requiring an update of memory and video card, which for most was just too much time and money, particularly with the arrival of the likes of the Dreamcast, then of course the Playstation and X-Box that later supported Blu-ray. I remember upgrading to a Playstation 3 as it was cheaper than buying a stand alone Blu-ray player at the time.

• Size: The larger the laptop the more capable it is of holding high end components. Look for 17 - 18”

• Get a good GPU: Most games are graphics card dependent, and you can’t upgrade these in laptops. A good GPU will ensure On the arrival of the Commodore Amiga in your laptop plays games at high settings for 1985, we were introduced to the idea of playing a few years. The Nvidia 10 series is made for games on a home PC, however at nearly £1,000 gaming, consider the GeForce GTX 1060. (£3000 in today’s money), there were not many takers. Games were difficult to configure and • Get a good CPU: You want the laptop to keep hard to control from a keyboard. Windows up, so Intel Core i7 should be first choice. 95 changed that slightly, but compared to a • Consider upgrading later: Many, though dedicated consul, where you put the disc in and not all, gaming laptops let you upgrade it just played, first time, every time - from the your RAM and storage. Aim for 16Gb RAM comfort of your couch on a big TV screen, rather and a Solid State Drive (SSD) for starters. than upstairs in the spare bedroom, or crammed • Pick resolution or speed: The fastest 144Hz into a cupboard under the stairs - there was displays only come at 1920 x 1080 resolution really no competition. right now, don’t accept less, but a 4K screen The arrival of Sonic on the Sega Mega Drive in will be slower. Avoid touch screens, they are 1990 changed peoples lives and sleep patterns. too glossy. The first conversation of the day at work was • Get a good keyboard: You don’t want to play no longer what you watched on TV the night your games on something mushy or stiff. If before, but what level of the game you reached, possible look for one that is programmable. followed by the debate on Sega v’s Nintendo.

Meanwhile PCs got faster, cheaper and more reliable, the use of a keyboard provided far greater control and a much more immersive experience, particularly in games that required extensive menus, like the fantasy and strategy genres. Gaming became a serious business and a bit more grown up on a PC.

• Batter Life: Don’t worry about battery life, you are not going to get top performance unless it’s plugged in. If you are a serious gamer spend as much as you can afford, check webs, gaming forums and specialised shops for serious advice. Check out Alienware (Dell) and Asus Republic of Gamers as a starting benchmark. And remember - If you just want to play Candy Crush, or World of Warcraft, you don’t need a gaming laptop. Something with an on-board video card will suffice, so save your money. Happy Christmas, enjoy your new rig, but don't forget to get some sleep. Willie Gala Life 57

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Gala Rugby Club On The Up Following on from our last article, Gala have had a decent run, and have continued to improve as the weeks go on. A trip away to Heriots resulted in tries for Daniel Nicholson, Ross Cooke, Marius Tamosaitis and Lachlan Johnston, 2 of which were converted by Cooke. This was a solid performance but not good enough up against a very strong Heriots who won 24-53. The following weekend we met Watsonians at home and the result could not have been any closer at 21-21! Rex Jeffrey, Ross Cooke and Fergus Johnston all scoring tries, and Cooke converting them all. Gala’s next task was to face Kelso in the Scottish Cup. This was a home tie which attracted a decent crowd. Tries came from Ruairi Howarth, Fergus Johnston, Ross Cooke and Jack Easson, 2 of which were converted by Cooke, and one of them converted by our No 8 and Captain Euan Dods. Ross Cooke also added 3 penalties to our winning score of 35-12. Next up in our run of home ties was Boroughmuir. Gala put on a really solid performance and won 36-14. Fergus Johnston (2), Rex Jeffrey (2), John Watson and Euan Dods all scored tries, 3 of which were converted by Ruairi Howarth. Our regular kicker Ross Cooke missed this match as he was away playing National rugby for Poland. At the time of writing, our most recent game was against Ayr, also at Netherdale. Another solid performance saw a win 36-17. Fergus Johnston (2), Ruairi Howarth (2) and Liam Scott all scored tries. 4 of which were converted by Ross Cooke, who also added a penalty. Bookings are now filling up for pre-match Hospitality, and there is limited availability left. If you would like a table then please contact Claire in the office to get more information. Our Friday Lunch Club continues on a monthly basis throughout the playing season, and is proving to be popular. The next one is Friday 6th December with guest speaker Robin Galbraith. Tickets are £30 and can be booked by contacting Tommy Turnbull on 01896 662881, or by contacting the Club Office. We have spaces left at our Christmas Party Night on Saturday 7th December. Cost is £27.50 per person which includes a 3-course meal and Disco. For more information please contact Claire on or 01896 755145. Our Sporting Memories sessions run in conjunction with Scottish Borders Council, Live Borders and Alzheimers Scotland have broken up for Christmas and New Year, and will be back in 2020. We hope to revamp them a little, and provide entertainment at each session. Keep an eye out for details in the following months. Come on the Maroons!

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Dryburgh Abbey


Mike TV


Apollo Blinds


DW Noble


MT Maintenance






New Business


Beauty & the Beast

Fencing & Hedges


NS24 Bookkeeping


Border Canopy Company

13,28 23



Oven Wizard


Border Laundry Service




Pavilion Cinema


Border Vets


Food Train Volunteers


Pet Crematorium


Borders College


Gala Garden




British Legion


Gala Rugby Club




Buglass Gas Services


Gala Squash Club


SB v Arthritis


Calum Kerr


Gemma Paxton


School Bell Tuition


Cash for Kids


Ground Care Engineering


Scotts Abbotsford


Chris Sinton Painter




Ship Inn


Christmas Books


History Hive


Shire Chimney


Christmas Fayre


House of Hearing


Sitooterie Cafe


Christmas in Toy Town


James Graham Roofing




Christmas Post Dates


Jenny Marr




Christmas Services


John Lamont


Teviot Smokery




Jonnie Jones Plumber






K 2 Roofing


Tri Fitness


Citizens Advice Bureau


Keith Penny Décor




Councillor Andy Anderson




Walk It


Councillor Euan Jardine


Little Knitting Fairy


Willie's Wonky Computer


Councillor Harry Scott


Mackenzie Plumbing




Councillor Tom Miers




Winter Summer Spring & Fall


Craig T Mitchell Art


Maxwell Roofing


Woody Pest Control


Crème De La Crème


Mike Leitch Landscape


Helpful Numbers to Hand Gala Police Station Scottish Power Gas Emergency BGH Social Work Emergency

01896 752222 08452727999 0800 111999 01896 826000 01896 752111

Scot Borders Council Citizens Advice Bureau BorderLine NHS 24 Victim Support

0300 100 1800 01896 753889 0800 0274466 111 01896 751212

Whilst every care is taken in preparing this magazine to ensure accuracy, the publishers cannot be held responsible for loss, damage or omission caused by an error in an advert. Artwork is accepted on the condition that it is legal and copyright free and that the advert is fair and accurate. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of claims made by the advertisers or the views expressed by contributors, nor do the publishers necessarily share such views. We reserve the right to refuse articles and advertisements. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Profile for Pitlochry Life

Gala Life December 2019  

A local magazine with directory of trades and businesses - 12,000 copies delivered FREE to every home and business in Galashiels, Tweedbank,...

Gala Life December 2019  

A local magazine with directory of trades and businesses - 12,000 copies delivered FREE to every home and business in Galashiels, Tweedbank,...