Callants Club launches appeal to safeguard songs and poems

Bernie Armstrong

Bernie Armstrong

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AN appeal has gone out to find old songs and poems about Hawick which can then be shown off to the world.

The project by the Callants Club is aimed at collecting and collating as many pieces pertaining to Hawick and the Borders as possible to put on their web site.

Callants Club Council member Bernie Armstrong told the Hawick News: “Although there isn’t a comprehensive publication there are plenty of books of old poems and songs. We felt that, rather than create another book, it would be better if they were made available to everyone through the internet.”

And Mr Armstrong, who raised the idea during his Toast to Art and Literature at this year’s Callants Club dinner, is confident that, as well as the well-known traditional offerings, others will also be uncovered.

He said: “The idea behind it is so that these songs are never lost. There must be hundreds, if not thousands of songs and poems out there that must be lying in drawers or people’s cupboards gathering dust that have maybe never seen the light of day.

“We’re particularly interested in stuff that has never gone to print.”

However, the club is not asking for new songs and poems to be written to add to the collection.

Mr Armstrong added: “We’re not starting a poetry competition or anything like that.”

The Callants Club was formed in 1904 with one of the main objectives to foster and protect local art and literature.

And Mr Armstrong admitted the club’s latest initiative was helping to bring that goal into the 21st century.

“The internet is the future. It’s a ringside seat to the whole world,” he said.

“You could be in Outer Mongolia wondering what’s going on in Hawick and all you have to do is sit down at to a computer and you can find out.

“We’re hoping that, once we’re up and running, exiled Teries logging on might also have songs or poems that they could contribute.”

The club is also looking for volunteers to help go through old copies of the Hawick News, Hawick Express and Hawick Advertiser at the library looking for previously published songs and poems.

Mr Armstrong added: “It’s a Pandora’s Box, something that could be endless.”

Anyone who could help should email hawickinsongandpoetry@hotmail.co.uk. Or alternatively telephone Mr Armstrong on 97884267614, David Nuttall on 07801924160 or Tom Holmes on 07831660452