Wednesday, 21 June 2017

A Look Around the Earlston Archives

Valuing the History of our Village
for Future Generations

 Since the start of the Auld Earlston Group in 2012, local people have been generous in  their  donations of photographs, postcards and other documents relating to the village's past.   

So take this look around our collections to date. We use the resources in our slide shows, exhibitions and displays, in answering the steady flow of enquiries and in providing inspiration for the Auld Earlston blog.  


The foundation of Auld Earlston activities with nearly 2000 items in this collection alone,   covering all aspects of life in the village, past and present, including street views, country views, churches, events, entertainment, schools, sports, societies, transport, VIP visits, farming, working lives, wartime and weddings.


Since 2012, Albums have been compiled of reports  in the local newspapers relating to Earlston.

Below are some of the other documents 
in our archive collection

  • The Church in Earlston, 600AD-1992,   a short history by the Rev. John Duncan.
  • Earlston Church Choir Trips, 1908 and 1936 - notes and photographs.
  • Earlston Parish Church Foundation Stone Service, 1891 - service sheet.
  • Earlston Parish Church - photographs of the pewter plate and men working on the building.  
  • Earlston Secession Church Soiree, 1843 - poster.
  • Ercildoune Church - notice on rental of seats. 
  • Press cuttings of ministers and church events, 1940's-50's. 
  • St. John 's Church - list of members, 1948. 
  • Four boxes of slides by Mary Duncan, mainly of church events, 1950's-70's. 

 Church Trip to Yarrow Manse, 1908

  • Christian Whale (1792-1862) and Marion Whale, Gingham Manufacturers - research papers, including a copy of Christian's 29-page will. 
  • David Swanston (1816-1874),  Earlston post-runner - research notes 
  • George Graham, postman - A list of subscribers to a gift  on the occasion of his marriage, 1911.
  • Isabella Wallace (c.1854-1920)  - Earlston's Friend and Benefactor - with a copy of her will, leaving money to the benefit of  the village.  
  • James MacKenzie, (1846-1898), Banker and Man of Many Roles - research notes
  • John Redpath, (1796-1869),  Canadian industrialist  and donor of the village clock - research notes.
  • Mary Mather, postie - press cutting and photographs 
  • Rev. William Crockett (1866-1945) - research papers, magazine articles, press cuttings.
  • Robert Carter (1807-1875), New York bookseller & publisher - biography, obituary & research notes. 
  • Thomas Gray (1796-1884),  known as  Gingham Tam   - research notes
  • Thomas the Rhymer & Mikhail Lermontov - leaflets from Friends of Thomas the Rhymer Group.
Inscription in the biography of Robert Carter, 
presented to Earlston Reading Room by his daughter, in 1892.

"The Southern Reporter" of 3rd September 1868
  • Earlston Civic Week - programmes  from 1973.
  • Masonic Bazaar, 1928  - 9 page programme of patrons, committee and stall holders 
  • Ercildoune Pageant, 1934   - souvenir programme, photograph album, notes and script. 
  • Guild Concert, 1911 - programme 
  • Prime Minister Asquith Visit, 1908 - research notes. 
  • A Welcome Home Dinner for returning serviceman and women, 1920 - programme  
  • What's On in Earlston, 1994 booklet.  
  • Border Common Riding 1952 - press cuttings, when local historian John Weatherly was Lauder Cornet. 
  • Auld Earlston "Remembering Earlston's Railway" Exhibition, Feb. 2016 - photographs, fact sheets, publicity, community liaison, survey, grant applications.
  • Auld Earlston "Earlston At Work and Play" Exhibition, Oct. 2016 - photographs, fact sheets, publicity, survey.

  • An Historical Tour of Earlston, by John D. Smith, 1996
  • Border Warfare - HMSO booklet, 1973, 
  • Chronology of Earlston History, by John Weatherly 
  • Earlston Comet - photocopy of newspaper, 1891 
  • Earlston News - four copies of community newsletter, 1989. 
  • Earlston Examples of Census Returns, Old Parish Records and Kirk Session Records.
  • Framed in time - photographs of Auld Earlston.  In Border Life Magazine: Issue 19, Spring 1999.
  • A3 laminated Ordnance Survey Map of Earlston, 1855. 
            Entry in Earlston Kirk Session Records, 1901.  ( 


  • Histories of the:  Chess Club, Curling Club, Golf Club,  and Horticultural Society.
  • Earlston Reading Room  - history, rules & regulations, minute book 1911-1950, centenary celebration in 1952, correspondence and finance papers, 1962-2002,
  • Two Cinema Programmes from the 1950's-60s.
Minutes of the meeting in 1906, with "20 gentlemen present", to set up Earlston Golf Club.  The Rev. Mr  N.C. Keith  was in the chair, with Mr Geo L. McDonald appointed  clerk. 
Curtain Down on Earlston Amateur Dramatic Society, 1991. 

  • Growing up in the West End, by Sheila  McKay 
  • The Spittal Trip by Train - memories of Inez Polson
  • Memories of Earlston, by Inez Polson - in Border Life Magazine:  Issue 1, May 1996
  • Transcript of talks with Earlston residents,  sharing their memories on growing up in the village. 

  • Opening of Earlston Junior Secondary School, 1962  - programme  
  • Ten boxes of slides by Mary Weatherly, nee Rodger, mainly of the primary school from 1960.   

  • Christmas cards from Earlston to serving soldiers in the First World War. 
  • Darlingfield Air Crash of German bomber, 1943 - research notes
  • Unveiling of the War Memorial, 1921 - research notes. 
  • Ercildoune Recipes and Healthy  Hints,  c.1940

  • Blacksmiths of Earlston, including the Brotherston family, Scott family and many more names   - research notes, fact sheets  and photographs.
  • Earlston entries in Slater's Trade Directory for Berwickshire, 1882 and 1903.
  • Red Lion Hotel - building plans of 1871, property documents 1814-1881,  census returns and photographs. 
  • Three centuries of Earlston Doctors, written by Dr. John Burns
  • Examples of Earlston Gingham

Testament of Blacksmith, Alexander Scott, with a list of 
those who owed his estate money.  (


                  Auld Earlston welcomes all contributions on the village's past  -
Please contact us on  

We are very grateful to Earlston Primary School 
for providing secure storage for our collections.


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