Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Z for Zeal, Zest, Zany and Zenith

We have reached the end of this year's A-Z Challenge and here is where my  inspiration ends too, as I cannot come up with anything beginning with Z relating to my theme of the Scottish Borders. 

We've not even a ZOO - the nearest is Edinburgh.  I checked a Touring Guide for Scotland and only one  Z word appears in the index  - ZETLAND - the old word for Shetland and about as far away from the Scottish Borders as you could get in Scotland.
 

A  trawl through Borders census returns might well come across a Zaccharias, or Zachery or Zebediaha Zena, Zelda, Zita, Zillah  or Zoe. 
  
But instead I will conclude by saying that this A-Z Challenge has been a very stimulating  blog prompt to follow and great fun, despite the pressures of posting almost every day. It has been amazing to read how different bloggers have interpreted each letter.  


But one thing is certain - we have all approached the challenge with ZEAL and ZEST We have  ZOOMED in  on our chosen theme, ZIPPED  through the letters, at times been ZANY,   but we have   now  reached  this ZENITH  


Thank you for joining me on this journey through "My Scottish Borders".
Your comments have been much appreciated.


 The triple Eildon Hills  - the most famous view in the Scottish Borders
taken from the village of St. Boswells 
Copyright © 2014 · Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved



A-Z Challenge Preview
A-Z Challenge A - Abbeys,Abbotsford and Armstrong's
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 - Ellio's, 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
A-Z Challenge R - Rivers, Rugby and Rumbledethumps 
A-Z Challenge S - Scott's, Sir Walter and 'Scott's View 
A-Z Challenge T - Turnbull's and Thomas the Rhymer    
A-Z Challenge U - US Presidential Connection, Unusual Sight & Unusual Facts  
A-Z Challenge V  -Valour  Votes and Vital Statistics  
A-Z Challenge W - Wallace, Waterloo, Walks and Woods 
A-Z Challenge X - EXplorer, EXcursions, EXprressions and EXhaustion 
A-Z Challenge Y - Yetholm and a Yarrow Ballad



Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Y is for Yetholm, and a Yarrow Ballad

Welcome to a Look Around 
"My Scottish Borders"

Y is for: 
Yetholm and a Yarrow Ballad 





YETHOLM is actually two villages - Kirk Yetholm and Town Yetholm straddling the Bowmont Water, and nestling in the Cheviot foothills, about 1 mile from the English-Scottish Borders.

 http://en.wikipedia.org


The opening in 1965 of the long distance walk the Pennine Way, helped to make Yetholm more widely known, as it marks the end of this 270 mile national trail along the "backbone of England"  from the Derbyshire Peak District, across the Yorkshire Dales and through Northumberland National Park.   The last stage across the Cheviot Hills into Scotland is the most challenging section - a lonely 27 miles of uninhabited land. The  Border Hotel at Kirk Yetholm marks the official end - a grand opportunity to celebrate with a drink, some food and a bed!  

The YARROW valley in the Scottish Borders could well earn the title of the home of Border ballads,  The 19th century novelist  and poet Sir Walter Scott spent much time there gathering material for his "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders".  Tower Houses across Yarrow  and its neighbour Ettrick Valley  are evidence of a turbulent past of raiding and ‘reiving’ not only across the Scottish - English border, but between warring Border families - as recounted in the ballads.


A lonely road in the Yarrow Valley

"The Dowie Dens of Yarrow"   is one of the best known of the Border Ballads, telling a cruel tale of love and death.  A young man is lured into combat with rival suitors - or in some version the girl's brothers - and killed  by a cowardly sword stroke.  His corpse is flung into the Yarrow Water, until his love rescues his bodyt 

 "Dowie dens" means "doleful glens"  Like many a Border ballad,  ii is a long tale - 20 verses - so here are a few to give you a flavour of the story. 

At Dryhope lived a lady fair
The fairest flower in Yarrow
 And she refused nine noble men
For a servant lad in Gala. 

Her father said that he should fight
The nine lords all tomorrow
And he that should the victor be
Would ge' the Rose of Yarrow. 

They've taen the young man by the heels
 And trailed him like a barrow
And there they flung the comely youth 
In a whirlpool o' Yarrow.  

But she wandred east and, so did she west
And searched the forest thorough
Until she spied her ain true love
Lying deeply drowend in Yarrow. 

She kissed his lips  and combed his head
As oft she'd done before,o;
She laid him on her milk white steed
An bore him, home from Yarrow."

On a less tragic note, English poet William Wordsworth made a number of visits to Yarrow, meeting fellow writers Sir Walter Scott and James Hogg and penned these words

"Should life be dull and spirits low 
T'will soothe us in our sorrow
That earth has something left to show
The  bonny Holmes of Yarrow"

["Holmes"  means meadow land besides water].
 
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yarrow_Water


Follow the final  stage of this A-Z Journey 

through the Scottish Borders

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

A-Z Challenge Preview
A-Z Challenge A - Abbeys,Abbotsford and Armstrong's
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 - Ellio's, 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
A-Z Challenge R - Rivers, Rugby and Rumbledethumps 
A-Z Challenge S - Scott's, Sir Walter and 'Scott's View 
A-Z Challenge T - Turnbull's and Thomas the Rhymer    
A-Z Challenge U - US Presidential Connection, Unusual Sight & Unusual Facts  
A-Z Challenge V  -Valour  Votes and Vital Statistics  
A-Z Challenge W - Wallace, Waterloo, Walks and Woods
A-Z Challenge X - EXplorer, EXcursions, EXprressions and EXhaustion





Monday, 28 April 2014

X for EXplorer, EXcursions, EXpressions & EXhaustion

Welcome to a Look Around 
"My Scottish Borders"

X is for: 
An EXplorer plus EXcursions, EXpressions, EXchanges & EXhaustion!




 EXplorer MUNGO PARK (1771 – 1806), was born near Selkirk in the Scottish Borders, the seventh of thirteen children.  At the age of fourteen, he was apprenticed to local surgeon Thomas Anderson before studying medicine and botany  at Edinburgh University.

Under the auspices of the African Association, he led an expedition to explore the course of the River  Niger - at 2600 miles the third longest river in Africa.   His book Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa became a major success, introducing people to the vast continent.  

In 1804 he set out on a second expedition, but never returned.  It took time for his death to be confirmed, but his papers were eventually recovered and formed the basis of  "The Journal of a Mission to the Interior of Africa", published in 1815.  

This impressive statue unveiled in 1859  stands on Selkirk High Street.  


 


                                    



As we near the end of this year's A-Z challenge, I have enjoyed:
  • EXcursions into  local history and culture
  • EXchanging  information on "My Scottish Borders".
  • EXpressing the pleasure I get from living in such a lovely part of the world.
And finally after all of this - EXhaustion!

Follow the next stage of this
A-Z Journey through "My Scottish Borders"

Y is for: 
Yetholm and a Yarrow Ballad  

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

A-Z Challenge Preview
A-Z Challenge A - Abbeys,Abbotsford and Armstrong's
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 - Ellio's, 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
A-Z Challenge R - Rivers, Rugby and Rumbledethumps 
A-Z Challenge S - Scott's, Sir Walter and 'Scott's View 
A-Z Challenge T - Turnbull's and Thomas the Rhymer  
A-Z Challenge U - US Presidential Connection, Unusual Sight & Unusual Facts  
A-Z Challenge V  -Valour  Votes and Vital Statistics  
A-Z Challenge W - Wallace, Waterloo, Walks and Woods

Sunday, 27 April 2014

W for Wallace, Waterloo, Walks and Woods

Welcome to a Look Around 
"My Scottish Borders"

W is for: 
Wallace, Waterloo, Walks and Woods




 


WILLIAM WALLACE was the Scottish Patriot during the Wars of Independence when he  defeated an English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge and became  Guardian of Scotland until his defeat at the Battle of Falkirk  in 1298. He was captured  In 1305, handed over to Edward I of England  who had him summarily hanged, drawn, and quartered for high treason  

His statue near Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders,  commissioned by the Earl of Buchan, was the first monument to be raised to Wallace in Scotland.  In red sandstone and 21.5 feet high, it was placed on its pedestal  in 1814.






The Duke of WELLINGTON''S victory over Napoleon at The Battle of  WATERLOO  is commemorated in the monument high on the hill at at Penielheugh, near Jedburgh.  A 150 foot tower, it was built between 1817 and 1824 and looks over lush farmland and rolling hills - a notable landmark from many parts of the Scottish Borders. 



The Scottish Borders is WALKING country - not as well known as the Lake District of Yorkshire Dales, but if you want challenging routes or more gentle strolls, this is the place to be, without the crowds you find elsewhere. 

Long Distance Walks across the region include:
  • The Southern Upland Way - a 212 mile coast to coast route across southern Scotland.
  • Border Abbeys Way - a 64 mile circular route linking the four 12th century Borders landmarks.
  • St. Cuthbert's Way -  62 miles  form Melrose to Holy Island  following in the footsteps of the 7th century bishop.
  • John Buchan Way - a 13 mil waymarked route through from Peebles to Broughton in the west of the region,named after the author whose family had strong links  with the area.  
  • Berwickshire Coastal Path   - a 15 mile trail that takes in stunning sea views, dramatic cliffs, small  fishing villages  and St. Abb's Nature Reserve. 
  • Sir Walter Scott Way - 92 miles from  Moffat to Cockburnspath crosses lowland valleys, rollling hills and places steeped in history,  alongside the River Tweed and its tributaries - a land that inspired that inspired this 19th century poet and novelist.  
Forests have their own paths network including Glentress, Yair and CraIk where you can take the trail to the intriguingly named WOLFCLEUCHHEAD WATERFALL  

For the less energetic I recommend a WOODLAND WALK  near my home in Earlston - through Cowdenknowes Wood, whatever the season. 

 Early Spring


June

October - A carpet of autumn leaves with a view of  Leader Water 


 Winter!

Follow the next stage of this
A-Z Journey 
through the Scottish Borders

X is for:
EXplorer. EXcursions. EXpressions and EXhaustion! 

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

A-Z Challenge Preview
A-Z Challenge A - Abbeys,Abbotsford and Armstrong's
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 - Ellio's, 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
A-Z Challenge R - Rivers, Rugby and Rumbledethumps 
A-Z Challenge S - Scott's, Sir Walter and 'Scott's View 
A-Z Challenge T - Turnbull's and Thomas the Rhymer  
A-Z Challenge U - US Presidential Connection, Unusual Sight & Unusual Facts  
A-Z Challenge V  -Valoour  Votes and Vital Statistics  
 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

V is for Valour, Votes and Vital Statistics

Welcome to a Look Around 
"My Scottish Borders"

V is for: 
Valour, Votes for Women
& Vital Statistics 





VALOUR
 War Memorials for men and  women killed in war are a poignant sight in every town and villages across the land and largely date from the First World War.   I have chosen to feature here memorials to valour from the earlier often forgotten conflict of the South African Boer War.  

In  1903, Head of the British Forces, Lord Roberts, unveiled the Boer War Memorial in Wilton Lodge Park, Hawick.  Twenty three men from Hawick and district died in the South African conflict and are named on the memorial. The inscription reads:"Erected by all classes of the Borderland in honour of the men of Hawick and district who fell in south Africa in the Great Boer War of 1899-1902 as a memorial of undying regard.

You do well to keep their memories green;  you do well to cherish the example they set, and to offer the only consolation to their relatives and friends that they have not given their lives in vain - that the object for which they fought has been accomplished." 




Above - a plaque in the  War Memorial Gardens in Kelso to honour Kelso born Sergeant Donald D Farmer who, at the age of 23,  was awarded the VICTORIA CROSS  for action in the Boer War. 
 Sgt. Donald Farmer VC 1st Cameron Highlanders
The Victoria Cross, instituted in the Crimean War,  is the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.  Donald Farmer went onto serve in the First World War and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  He died in 1956 aged 79. 



VOTES FOR WOMEN


A suffragette meeting, at Towerknowe, Hawick in the Scottish Borders, 1909.
Note - the number of men there.
Photograph by permission of Scottish Borders Council Museum & Gallery Service
 from the Hawick Museum Collection.

We tend to associate suffragette marches with London  and the cities, but the scene above   was in the small mill  town of Hawick in the Scottish Borders (population  in 1911 - 16,877,  where women were an integral part of industrial life in the manufacture of tweed and knitwear. 

In February 1909 "The Hawick News" had a headline which read "Suffragette Invasion" - the occasion the campaign for the Border Burghs election. Emmeline Pankhurst, militant suffragette leader  addressed a crowded meeting in  Hawick Town Hall 1909.  A piper marched around the platform  and the audience sang the song "Votes for Women".

Rise, ye men of Border burghs.
Show yourself in your true colours
As you've done in days gone by
Stand by British Liberty
"Votes for Women" loudly defying
Stubborn foes you'll put to rout
Vote  and keep the Liberals out

IAnother largely unknown Borderer (at least in Britain)  is  writer, feminist and social reformer  Catherine Helen Spence (1835-1910), with a simple plaque commemorating her home on Melrose High Street.  





Catherine was the  daughter of Melrose lawyer David Spence, who emigrated with his family to Australia in 1839.  David Spence became  Adelaide's first town clerk.

 
Catherine was the first woman in Australia to stand as a political candidate, the first woman journalist and novelist, a battler for women's suffrage and social reform, and a lifelong campaigner for proportional representation. She played a key role in setting up the children's court system, wrote the first legal studies textbook to be published in Australia, earning the title of "Grand Old Woman of Australia".  She is commemorated in Adelaide by the Spence Archive of her papers and writings and by a statue   The  $5 banknote, celebrating the centenary of the federation of Australia, features her image.  



VITAL STATISTICS   [Source of Information- Scottish Borden Council]
  • The population of the Scottish Borders in 2012 was 123,710 - 2.1% of Scotland's population..  
     
  • There are  24 persons per square kilometre of land.
  • It is approx 52 miles across the region west to east and also north to south. 

  • Galashiels at the heart of the Borders,  population of 14,494,   has recently overtaken Hawick as the largest town. 
  • From Galashiels, ,the nearest city is Edinburgh (32 miles), and to the south into England  - Newcastle (74 miles)  and Carlisle (60 miles).
  • No motorway runs through the Scottish Borders region.
  • There are 1,243,748 sheep in the region.
  • Forestry accounts for  17.1% of the land area.

    My Scottish Borders - Home

    Follow the next stage of this
    A-Z Journey 
    through the Scottish Borders

    W is for:
    Walks, Waterloo and Wallace 

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

    A-Z Challenge Preview
    A-Z Challenge A - Abbeys,Abbotsford and Armstrong's
    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 - Ellio's, 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
    A-Z Challenge R - Rivers, Rugby and Rumbledethumps 
    A-Z Challenge S - Scott's, Sir Walter and 'Scott's View 
    A-Z Challenge T - Turnbull's and Thomas the Rhymer  
    A-Z Challenge U - US Presidential Connection, Unusual Sight & Unusual Facts