If you have any items of Darnick news, including information on new people to the village, births & deaths or special celebrations, please contact Jim Gill, who publishes the village’s monthly newsletter, via


Time to resurrect the December dance?

Many folks have fond memories of the Christmas Dance, when villagers enjoyed dancing the night away to a live band in the Smith Memorial Hall. It has been suggested that we could do this again and Saturday December 9th is the proposed date.
The hardest part: Live bands can currently cost up to £750, which isn’t feasible. A DJ is a less costly alternative, with, usually, more options for requests. Information is currently being gathered on local options and their availability. There is limited space for a
ceilidh and so this type of band has not been considered.

  • Would you want to attend a village dance on Saturday December 9th?
  • What are you prepared to pay for a ticket?
  • Are you prepared to purchase advance tickets to guarantee the booking of the band/DJ?
  • Would you prefer band or DJ?
  • Would you be happy with ‘Bring Your Own Bottle’?

Please leave your answers on an answerphone via 01896 820340 or email Ros Anderson:

DVDT AGM – All welcome

The AGM of the Village Trust will be held in the Smith Memorial Hall on Tuesday 12th September commencing at 7.30pm.

The Trust was formed a year ago when the constitution of the Darnick Village Trust was rewritten and expanded to broaden its scope of interest and activity. At the same time, its legal structure was simplified to become a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. (SCIO).

The AGM is an opportunity to report back to members on activity during the year and outline future plans. However the evening is open to any interested residents of Darnick to attend.

Following the conclusion of the business of the AGM, we will hear from our guest speaker, Alex Moffat from the Lavender touch; our chosen charity to support this year. It will be an opportunity to hear about how the organisation provides for cancer sufferers and their carers in the Borders.

We will conclude the evening with an invitation to stay awhile and sample some cheese and wine and perhaps take the opportunity to discuss informally how you might support The Lavender Touch or DVDT in its work in the village.
For further information please contact Dave Potts – Darnick Cottage, Abbotsford Road – 01896 823002.

Rhymers Glen update

On Saturday 19th August, 20 walkers, led by David Langworth from the Melrose Paths Group, visited the recently cleared site at Rhymer’s Glen. A considerable amount of time was spent at the site looking at early replanting and also identifying some of the seven known bridge sites that previously existed across the burn. While a high degree of imagination is required currently to visualise tree growth, it is likely that in only five or six years’ time, the scene will be dramatically improved.
The walk was followed by a useful round table discussion about how a regeneration project for the Glen might go forward.

Key process points were:

  • Form a small sub group (Rhymer’s Glen Project Group)
  • Draft outline project plan/wish list to gain legal commitment from landowners
  • Scoping study to clarify and agree options/objectives
  • Feasibility Study (small grant requirement)
  • Project Plan (large grant requirement)

If you require any further information on this potential project please contact Dave Potts – Darnick Cottage, Abbotsford Road – 01896 823002.


Rhymers Glen restoration project

Continuing our theme and village interest in Thomas the Rhymer, David Langworth from the Melrose Paths Group will lead a walk from the village to Rhymer’s Glen. Following the felling and clearance of trees in this area, replanting is now taking place. Many older residents remember well regular walks around the area that took in the Glen in its glory years. The aim is, over time, to re-create this place as a local beauty spot and once again, incorporate the Glen into the local paths network.

If you are interested in contributing to a discussion, you are invited to come on the walk that will set off from outside the Smith Memorial Hall at 10.00am on Saturday 19th August to walk to the Glen to see the current landscape. The plan is to return to the Hall after the walk and have a round table discussion about future work. If you are able to come, please bring your own packed lunch to have at the Hall, where tea and coffee will be provided. The day will conclude mid-afternoon.

It is likely that most of the restoration work will need to be undertaken by external contractors, but there will still be opportunity for local input from Darnick residents.

New hand rails for Smith Memorial Hall

New handrails at Smith Memorial hall

Left to Right: Derrick Brydon, Elspeth Gill, Jim Gill, Wendy Grant, Margaret Aitken and Anna Tomlinson

A considerate idea to improve access into the Smith Memorial hall provided hall Trustees with an opportunity to celebrate the memory of a popular Darnick resident.

The addition of hand rails to help users manoeuvre the steps inside and outside was suggested by Wendy Grant to the Hall trustees, who quickly installed the internal rails and commissioned wrought iron hand rails which would be in keeping with ironwork on the front door.

At the same time the Trustees received a bequest from the late Jean Anderson’s estate. Jean worked tirelessly for the hall and the community of Darnick throughout most of her 97 years, serving as a Hall Trustee as well as being President of the Women’s Rural and organising various events, such as whist drives in the hall. Jean and her late husband Jock lived for the village. In her later years Jean moved into St. John’s Care Home, Melrose, where she died on 5th February this year (2017).

Taking into account Jean’s role in village life and the hall in particular, the Trustees felt it would be fitting to use some of Jean’s bequest to fund the external hand rails. It was also agreed to dedicate the new wrought iron hand rails to Jean’s memory by inserting her initials ‘JA’ into the railings.

Jean’s sister, Anna Thomlinson, who resides in the family home (since her grandfather bought it in 1832) in Smith’s Road, performed an opening ceremony when a few words of appreciation were said about Jean. A comment from a family member was that Jean would have said that “this was not necessary” but that privately she would be really pleased.

Trees hit by disease in Community Woodland

The Community Woodland has several trees suffering from Ash Die Back, Chalara, which will unfortunately spread through the woodland in the future.  Young ash trees look very poorly and are easy to spot with dead branches and dark lesions on the bark, while older and larger trees are more difficult to diagnose, as looking up into the crown the growth looks quite lush. This is the tree’s reaction to the die back at the tips of the branches, with new growth trying to replace damaged growth. Take a step back and the damaged branches are more easily seen.  Like all diseases scientists are trying to work on new resistant strains of ash trees but in teh emantime, all the volunteers can do is remove the infected trees by felling. Luckily the trees have a maximum age of twenty years, so none are too big for our band of volunteers to cut down and hopefully there may be some trees with built in resistance.

If you think you can help with the removal of the dying trees please come along on any Wednesday afternoon, meeting at the Broomilees Road entrance at 2pm. A bush saw, pruning saw and or loppers would be handy if you have them but not essential. If you’re not cut out for tree felling there are plenty of other tasks to be done!

Community Councillor resigns

Ron Anderson, who has been one of our two District Councillors, has tendered his resignation from Melrose and District
Community Council.  Our remaining Community Councillor is Agnes Waldie, who can be contacted on or phone 01896 823015.  Agnes will take villagers’ concerns to the Melrose & District Community council, but villagers can attend in person.  The next meeting is in the Ormiston Institute on 16th August at 7.30pm.