Earlston Market SquareThe Market Square was once the site of regular cattle markets and hiring fairs when farm servants gathered together, hoping to obtain employment for the next 6-12 months.
The building with the Clock Tower was the Corn Exchange, built in 1868 and used for social events in the village. (Now the local pharmacy). The Tower and clock were gifted by John Redpath who emigrated to Canada and made his fortune there.The bell is inscribed with the words "Gift of John Redpath, Montreal to his native town of Earlston, A.D. 1869"
Once a coaching inn, the Red Lion Hotel is the larger building to the right.
The house in between was at one time a shop, but taken down in in the 1930's for the building of a Masonic Hall. Unfortunately the project was beset with problems and came to naught. A road was put through the site in 1951-52, with the building of new housing on the hill to the north of the High Street.
The postcard view can be dated prior to 1920, as it depicts a horse and cart at the village pump well on the right. The well, with a trough for horses and cattle to drink from, was demolished to became the site of the village's War Memorial, unveiled in 1921,
The card was published by A. R. Edwards, Photographer, Selkirk, N.B. [North Briton].
Auld Earlston is very grateful to Mr Edwards' descendant for allowing us to feature this card and she has connributed this short biography.
"Andrew Robert Edwards (1848 -1891) opened his photographic studio at Myrtle Bank, Tower Street Selkirk and had a large daylight studio built on to the establishment. This was used to take family groups and portraits, and when not engaged in the studio, Andrew was out and about ‘Photographing views, Gentlemen’s Seats, Interiors of Churches, Drawing- rooms ,&c.; likewise ,Horses Cattle &c’….....as read his advertisement in the local paper.The business proved very successful. .Postcards and carte-de-visite were popular at this time and Andrew also opened another studio in the Bongate Jedburgh.
Sadly Andrew died in his early forties, and another photographer, a Mr Colledge, was employed to look after the business until Andrew’s eldest son Robert, was old enough to take over.
Following on from Robert, all his three children worked in the family business at some time or another. Bessie, Roberts’s daughter went to London to study photography at ‘Bloomsbury Technical College for Young Ladies’ and witnessed London during the war years of the 1940s. Robert ran the business very successfully until his retirement in the early 1960’s when the business was closed and the studio premises sold.
Nowadays, A R Edwards and Son photos and postcards are eagerly sought by collectors and historians. Many of these lovely sepia, colour tinted and monochrome views have been used to illustrate books and are also to be seen in local museums throughout the Borders and beyond.
Copyright © A R Edwards and Son, Selkirk. (Cathy Chick Collection).
All Rights Reserved
Earlston Market Square Today - Taken Easter Sunday April 2015.
The former Corn Exchange with its clock tower, is easily identified, along with the road now separating it from the Red Lion Hotel to the right. To the left of the Corn Exchange is the former Reading Room & Recreation Room, set up c.1856. Prior to the growth in popular education, such facilities often provided the only significant education service available for working men who sought it. The plinth of the War Memorial can just be seen to the right of the tree.