Friday, 23 March 2018

Have you an Interesting Story on Earlston - We Would Like to Hear From You

Our  Auld Earlston blog aims to give its readers a variety of short items, photographs on a theme and longer articles on the village's past.  It  features:
  • Life in all its aspects  in Earlston down the centuries, both at work and at leisure.
  • Profiles of Local People who have made their mark at home and abroad.
  • Personal Memories of more recent times.

We would very much like to include  more items from  readers.
Have you come across an interesting story from the past 
that can be shared with others? 
Contact us at: 


82, 895 page-views have been recorded since the blog was first launched in March 2015.  So in case you missed first time round, here are six more popular posts from the past three years. 

Click on the headline to read  the full article with  images from the Auld Earlston collection and the local press. 

Earlston - the First with an Aerodrome. 
In 1931  local papers (plus The Scotsman) reported that Earlston had become the first place in Berwickshire to have an aerodrome  where
"A large number of Earlstonians were entertained to a succession of thrills by the advent of an aeroplane, the property of Messrs W. Rodger  & Sons which gave several aerial exhibitions at a newly constructed aerodrome at Purveshaugh, Earlston".

Dr. Young (1859-1934) - Serving Earlston for over 50 years
Dr. Young was a colourful character, who was widely remembered for his warm, if sometimes irascible personality. His work was his life and he had few hobbies apart from his horses.  His sudden death in September 1934 received wide tributes

Shopping in Earlston in an Earlier Era
A nostalgic look at Shops in Earlston in the early 20th century, Slater's Directory of Berwickshire for 1903 noted that the population of Earlston was 1677 (as per 1901 census), and shops  in the village included:
6 grocers/spirit dealers/ironmongers

5 tailor/drapers/ clothiers
3 butchers 
3 watchmakers/clockmakers/jeweller
3 dressmakers/milliner 
2 bakers
1 confectioner
1 chemist 
1 fish man & earthenware dealer. 


Sharing Memories of the Spittal Trip 
A colourful account  from the 1920's of the annual trip by train to the seaside at Spittal. 

Two trains in Earlston station
Copyright © A R Edwards and Son,  Selkirk.    (Cathy Chick Collection).   

All Rights Reserved

Isabella Wallace - Earlston's Friend and Benefactor
Two plaques in the village,  at the Mill Meadow Gate and in the gardens in the Square,  give testimony to Isabella Wallace, who in her will left money for the benefit of her local community,  


Earlston on the Dance Floor 
Dances were a regular feature of social life in Earlston in the 20th century  and the local press give many accounts of the events  involving the Bachelors' Ball, Earlston Jazz Band, the Earlston Rhythm Band, an Ankle Competition and a "Spectacular Rumba Competition". An entertaining read!
Taking a break from the dance floor 


Press Cuttings Source - Newspaper Archives Online at 

Monday, 12 March 2018

Looking Back on 3 Years of the Auld Earlston Blog

This month marks three years since the Auld Earlston blog was launched in 2015 - so in  the first of two posts, a look back at some of the most popular topics featured. To read more, click on the titles below. 

A look  at the past   - and the future - for the Earlston Reading Room which dates from 1852.   It was a  symbol of  Victorian self-help and the  desire for education.  The rules and regulations make entertaining reading. 

 The Reading room on the left to next to the Corn Exchange with its belfry tower. 
The photograph pre-dates 1921 when the pump tower on the right was demolished to make way for the war memorial.  

A profile of Christian and Marion Whale, who in the first half of the 19th century had a national reputation as producers  of Earlston ginghams, at a time  when few women showed such enterprising spirit to head successful businesses.  
 Two surviving examples of the Earlston Gingham. 
A photographic account of the history of the railway through Earlston  from its low key opening to its equally  low key closure  over a 100 years later.

 The last train through Earlston Station - July 1965.

An account of the air crash of 1943 when a German bomber came down near the village, killing all four members of the crew.  In 2015 the daughter and grandson  of the pilot made a moving visit to  Earlston to commemorate this war time tragedy.   

The unveiling of a memorial to the German crew

The records  provide us with a unique  social commentary on life in the village at the time. as the church provided help to the poor and needy, but censure to those involved in what was regarded as moral turpitude. 

 As late as 14th October 1901,  a woman was brought before the Kirk Session  to be questioned on her "sin of fornication and having a child out of wedlock"

To mark Civic Week 2016,  parades of the past and photographs of Earlston people having fun! 



Thank you to everyone who has contributed 
 information, photographs and memories to Auld Earlston