Smailholm Village Hall
Smailholm Village Hall

Village News


New Speed Limits


In line with many other towns and villages in the Borders, Smailholm now has a 20 mph speed limit in the centre of the village. And we also now have a "buffer" speed limit from beyond the double bends at the west end of the village to the centre. 







The Great Big Christmas Bake for Macmillan was a superb success! Thank you very much to the baking team and also those who bought FAB goodies for Christmas.


The December event made a profit for Macmillan of £383.10 (75% with 25% of the profit, £127.70, being donated to the Hall).

Along with the Macmillan Coffee morning we had in the autumn, donations of £743 were given to the charity in 2020 from The Smailholm Bakers – I can’t help but think our dear chum Pam would have been really proud!


With special thanks to all.


Village Hall Driveway


The village hall has recently had the driveway resurfaced, so there are no more potholes, making it safe for pedestrians and vehicles.

The work was funded largely by a grant from The Roxburgh Federation of Village Halls, arranged by Heather Batsch of The Bridge, and by a donation of materials from Tarmac, which runs the nearby Craighouse quarry, arranged by Graham Kerr. Our thanks go to both of these supporters, and our main contractor, J. D. Kerr of Selkirk.



Kelso Country Churches



Kelso Country Churches has a new Minister, Stephen Manners, and a new website which you can visit here

There are no services in churches at the moment due to the coronavirus, but details of online services can be found on their website.




Great Tapestry of Scotland Exhibition Centre

Welcome Panel


We were very flattered to be asked to contribute to the huge new panel which will go in the entrance hall of the new Exhibition Centre in Galashiels.  That was before we realised just how difficult it is to accurately reproduce the shepherd's plaid, a large chunk of our panel.  However, we've made very good progress and look forward to our shepherd, Fergus, and his dog, Bob, joining a textile worker, a monk, a Border Reiver and a fisherwoman to make up one big panel.  Now work is commencing on the boxes which will surround the whole joined up panel, telling the stories of iconic Border events, wildlife, sports and characters, all to be finished in time for the new centre in Galashiels to open in 2021.


Below is a picture of our finished shepherd.  The panel is about 6ft high and about 3ft wide, and when all five characters are stitched together you will see the Border rivers flowing through it.

The Border Reivers in Cross Stitch - a new village project completed



Some of you will remember that Smailholm Stitchers created two panels of the Great Tapestry of Scotland, the Border Reivers and the Modern Kilt (see Village Ventures).  Our group of twelve included one of the few men involved in the tapestry.  Derrick Jowett’s special  talent  is cross stitch and when we’d finished the tapestry, Derrick had the inspired thought that he could recreate the Border Reivers in cross stitch, with a view to it being a present for his wife initially but ultimately for it to hang on the wall in the village hall, a memento of the village’s involvement with the Great Tapestry.


Derrick was fortunate that another of our group, Sally Scott Aiton, is the owner of a very prestigious cross stitch company, Cobweb Designs ( .  Sally  supplies the National Trust, Historic Scotland and other very famous historic buildings abroad,  such as Versailles in France and the Alhambra and the Prada in Spain, so she was perfectly placed, and – more importantly – willing to use her design skills to translate our Border Reiver panel into a cross stitch chart. Derrick made an excellent start to the project, demonstrating his usual high standard, but ill health forced him to accept that finishing it would be a challenge too far.  So he asked the tapestry group if they would finish the work, and without hesitation everyone said yes!


Cross stitch skills in Smailholm Stitchers were varied, from the very experienced to no experience at all.   However, enough people were in the former category and those who weren’t confined themselves to some of the simpler areas of the work, but everyone from the original tapestry group did a bit.  With Sally project managing it, the panel was completed in April 2018 and framed ready to hang in the village hall, where Derrick had decided it should go. It’s on a smaller scale, the cross stitch version is about 16” square and  the original panel three feet square,  but the replica is extremely authentic in appearance.


This all seemed to call for some sort of a celebration!  Completion coincided with Derrick’s birthday and we’re always up for a party.  So on 29th April, we hung the picture on the hall wall, and, incollusion with Derrick's wife Marjorie,  brought him up  “to see the finished work”.  A bit suspicious at the number of cars outside when he arrived, the ensuing birthday tea (sandwiches with the crusts cut off, scones and homemade jam,lots of lovely cakes)  was a complete surprise!  Attendance from Smailholm Stitchers and Derrick’s friends in the village made for a lovely afternoon.  We’re grateful to Derrick for his wonderful idea, we won’t be here to see it but we hope the Border Reivers will still be hanging in the village hall a hundred years from now!

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