Monday, 31 March 2014

R for Rugby, Rivers & Rumbledethumps

Welcome to a Look Around 
"My Scottish Borders"

R is for: 
RIVERS, RUGBY & RUMBLEDETHUMPS




River Tweed near Dryburgh Abbey











The Scottish Borders is a land of RIVERS, with the 97 mile long River Tweed rising in Tweedsmuir in the west of the region and winding its way through the towns of Peebles, Innerleithen, Melrose, Kelso and Coldstream to flow into the North Sea at  Berwick-upon-Tweed on the east coast.   

The Tweed  is one  of Scotland's prime trout and salmon rivers and its many tributaries include the Teviot, Ettrick, Leader, Whiteadder and Blackadder. 


Leader Water at Earlston  where I now live 
 
 River Teviot at Hawick where I used to live



A wintry Slitrig Water  at Hawick


 Jed Water at Jedburgh where I used to work 



RUGBY is the pride and passion of the Scottish Borders and the game of Rugby Sevens originated in Melrose in 1893.

Known as the "Voice of Rugby",  Borderer Bill McLaren (1923-2010) was born and brought up in Hawick.  He became a PE teacher and journalist, whose own rugby playing career had been halted by serious illness.   But he achieved fame as a radio and TV commentator, known throughout the rugby world at home and abroad.  He was greatly respected for his distinctive tongue, his skill with words, his unbiased commentating,  his knowledge and meticulous preparation, compiling detailed anecdotes and notes on players, matches, and teams.   His archive is now housed at the Heritage Hub in Hawick.   Memorial busts to Bill McLaren have been unveiled in both Hawick and at Murrayfield, Scotland's international rugby ground in Edinburgh,.
RUMBLEDETHUMPS  is a traditional dish from the Scottish Borders made of potato, cabbage and onion - similar to the English buble & squeak and the Irish colcannon.  

Shredded onion and cabbage are lightly sauteed in butter and potatoes are added, mashed with butter, salt and pepper.  The mixed ingredients can then be topped with cheddar chees and baked  until golden brown.  




Scottish Borders in Scotland.svg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Borders
Follow the next stage of this A-Z Journey 
through the Scottish Borders

S is for:
Scotts, Sir Walter and Scott's View

Do take a look at earlier  posts in "My Scottish Borders"






A-Z Challenge Preview
A-Z Challenge A - Abbeys,Abbotsford and Armstrongs
A-Z Challenge B - Border Reivers, Border Ballads and Blackmail
A-Z Challenge C - Common Ridings and Carter Bar 
A-Z Challenge D - Dryburgh Abbey,  Duns Scotus and The Douglas Tragedy 
A-Z Challenge E - Elliots, Earlston, Enigma Hero and Eyemouth Tart 
A-Z Challenge F - Flodden, Fletcher and Flowers of the Forest  
A-Z Challenge G - A Green & Pleasant Land and Galashiels 
A-Z Challenge H - Hermitage Castle and Hawick  
A-Z Challenge I - Inspirational Land  of James Hogg & Will Ogilvie
A-Z Challenge J - Jedburgh, Jedthart Justice & Jethart Snails 
A-Z Challenge K - Kalaidoscope, Kelso and Kinmont Willie   
A-Z Challenge L - The Fair Lilliard and Leaderfoot Viaduct
A-Z Challenge M - Muckle Mou'ed Meg and Melrose 
A-Z Challenge N - Newark Castle and Nature  
A-Z Challenge O - Oxford Connections - Sir James Murray & Mary Somerville 
A-Z Challenge P - Pele Towers and Princely Connections  
A-Z Challenge Q - Queen of Scots and Queen of Elfland

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Sepia Saturday - Water, Water Everywhere.

Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history  and personal memories through photographs 
Until recently, I lived in Hawick, the largest town in the Scottish Borders.  In the 1970's the River Teviot flooded and my husband, a teacher, took these photographs around the High School which to the delight of many children was closed for a few days. 

Thirty years later the river flooded again with much more serious damage and distress in the town - unoftunateley I cannot find the photographs of that occasion!   











This was the scene in in Wilton Lodge Park




The same bridge and river on a much more peaceful day

Click HERE to see other bloggers' watery tales



Copyright © 2014 · Susan and Neil  Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved


Saturday, 22 March 2014

52 Ancestors: 11 - Postman Bob - My Great Uncle (1881-1970)

52ancestorsAmy at No Story Too Small has come up with a new challenge for 2014 - to write a post  each week on a specific ancestor.  


 

Bob is the uniformed figure standing by the wagonette in Poulton Square.

My great uncle Bob was a postman, the third son of James Danson and Maria Rawcliffe of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, near the famous seaside resort of Blackpool.    According to the family bible, Bob was born on 3rd June 1881, and most probably named after his maternal grandfather Robert Rawcliffe.  I


interest in recording family births must have palled after the fourth son Albert (who died in infancy),   as there was no further note of William, another Albert, Tom, Frank, George and only daughter Jennie. 

Like many of his brothers, Bob married late in life  - his wife Annie Grimshaw from Manchester, with www.findmypast.co.uk recording the wedding in 1932 when Bob must have been around 51 years of age.   

I was pleased to see  that the British Postal Service Appointment Books had been made available on www.ancestry.co.uk.    It is always fascinating to see an original record relating to an ancestor, but  to be honest they gave little information besides recording his name and appointment in  1907 in Preston as a Rural Postman with a further entry showing  his appointment  as postman in Blackpool in May 1925.  

His daughter Irene  presents a much more colourful picture of his work and recollects that:

"He went a long way on his bicycle from Poulton over Shard Bridge [where his grandfather Henry Danson had been a toll keeper] to deliver the post over Wyre.  He had a little hut at Presall where he had to wait until it was time to do the collections and then ride all the way back to Poulton.

In later years he worked from Blackpool General Post Office where his round was North Promenade and the Cliffs - very windy, but it seems the hotel people looked after him with cups of tea now and again. 

He was told at the oubreak of the First World War when his five brothers were joining the army, that he had a bad heart.   But work must have kept him fit, as he lived to be 89 years old and died in 1970."


Great Uncle Bob in 1929 at the wedding of his only sister Jennie.
Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved


Friday, 21 March 2014

Sepia Saturday - Remembering Famous Men


Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history through photographs

Statues, monuments and plaques are a natural focus for my camera, so this prompt, showing a statue of Thomas Jefferson, was right up my street.    The presidential theme is continued in this selection from Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders, with a look also at some  leaders of men and sporting heroes.



This statue of Abraham Lincoln is  thought to be the only monument to the American Civil War outside the USA.  It   was erected in the Old Carlton Burial Ground. Edinburgh in 1898 in memory of the Scottish soldiers who fought  in the American Civil War on the side of the Union.   It features a freed slave and   one of Lincoln’s famous quotations "To preserve the jewel of liberty in the framework of freedom". A bronze shield bears the old US flag, and is wreathed in thistles to the left, and cotton to the right to signify the two countries. 



 President Franklin D. Roosevelt's maternal ancestors are  remembered in this plaque at the Murray Aisle in the Old Kirkyard, Selkirk in the Scottish Borders.  Roosevelt's mother was a Murray with Border connections.   

The plaque also pays tribute to Scottish patriot William Wallace.

 ##
This statue of the Duke of Wellington, victor against Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815  show him on his favourite horse Copenhagen. The statue was erected in 1852,   outside the building that houses  the National Records of Scotland at the east end of Edinburgh's Princes Street.

This  atmospheric photograph was taken at mid day in August as rain clouds loomed.  The obelisk dominates the Old Calton Burial Ground in Edinburgh   and commemorates Scotland's Political Martyrs. 

The five Political Martyrs were early campaigners for  universal suffrage  and were charged with treason and sedition for writing and publishing pamphlets on parliamentary reform and for corresponding with the French (at the time of the French Revolution) and with the rebel group United Irishmen in Ireland.

Thomas Muir, their leader, has since been described as the "Founder of Scottish Democracy"  He grew up  near Glasgow and  became an advocate at the young age of 22,  quickly acquiring a reputation as a man of principle.    In 1792 with  William Skirving, a Fife farmer, he founded the Scottish Association of the Friends of the People to campaign for parliamentary reform.   Over 150 delegates representing 150 societies from 35 towns and villages attended  the first convention,.

But  in the aftermath of the American and French Revolutions, Muir's activities. which included a visit to France,  were  increasingly regarded as a threat to public order.  The five men were accused of sedition in a series of trials, found guilty and transported  on the convict ship "Surprise" for the 13,000 mile journey to the penal colony at Botany Bay, Australia.

The ideals of the Political Martyrs lived on and the Reform Act of 1832 marked the first step towards universal suffrage.The men were pardoned in 1839 with the foundation stone of the 90 foot obelisk laid  on 21 August 1844, when  3,000 people gathered for the occasion.
F








From war and politics to three sporting heroes commemorated in  Hawick, in the Scottish Borders.




Motorcycle Racing Champion, Jimmy Guthrie (1897-1937( was called "Hawick's Racing Legend.  He was born in the town and achieved success after success, holding many world records and European championships.  His last race was at the German Grand Prix where he was killed on 8th August 1937.  The train carrying his body to the German frontier had a military escort and his funeral in Hawick was attended by thousands with a three mile  long cortege.  Public subscription resulted in a statue being erected in 1939 at Wilton Lodge Park, near to the Museum, where  an exhibition commemorates his life. 


Hizzy - Steve Hislop (1962-2003), born near Hawick  was a Scottish motorcycle racer, winning the Isle of Man TT eleven times, the British 250cc Championship and British Superbike Championship.  He died in a  helicopter crash near Hawick in 2003.  Every year motor cyclists gather for an annual run though the Borders,  visiting places connected with the biking legend.  This statue was unveiled in 2005 in Wilton Lodge Park, near his own biking hero - Jimmy Guthrie (above) - both rmembered in exhibitions at Hawick Museum.  


Known as the "Voice of Rugby", Bill McLaren (1923-2010) was born and brought up in Hawick.  He became a PE teacher and journalist, whose own rugby playing career had been halted by serious illness.   But he acchieved fame as a radio and TV commentator, known throughout the rugby world at home and abroad.  He was greatly respected for his distinctive tongue, his skill with words, his unbiased commentating,  his knowledge and meticulous preparation, compiling detailed anecdotes and notes on players, matches, and teams.   His archive is now housed at the Heritage Hub in Hawick.   Memorial busts to Bill McLaren have been unveiled in both Hawick and at Murrayfield, Scotland's international rugby ground in Edinburgh,.

Click HERE to find other Sepia Saturday contributions on this week's theme

Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved