From our archives

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1973: TREASURER E. Cranston walked out in disgust from the Town Council meeting in the Burgh Chambers on Tuesday night following discussion on a petition supporting Councillor R. Hamilton on his recent stand on Council matters. the Treasurer said Council proceedings had been lowered to the level of a “Fred Karno production.” He was very worried about the petition, somebody had apparently paid fairly substantial newspaper advertising costs and he wondered if this was some pre-electioneering move by one of the political parties who were interested in the new regional councils.

He said it was also possible that the petition was organised for a genuine reason. But he felt the reasons behind it were deeply rooted. The public did not understand the committee system whereby the Town Council ran its affairs. If the public did not understand the system in operation at present then they were in for a great shock once the regional system took over.

He then put forward a motion that the council revert to the committee system in use before 1969, not because he believed it should be changed, but because he believed the whole matter should be debated in public.

Then the treasurer took the entire company by surprise as he said: “I’ve had this whole thing up to here, and I’ve had it up to the gunnels tonight. Council proceedings have been lowered to the level of a Fred Karno production. I’m sorry Provost, but I’m off.”

Councillor Cranston lifted his papers and stormed from the Chamber, slamming the door behind him.

1983: DOCTOR Ford Simpson concluded his two-year term as president of Hawick RFC in the lesser town hall on Tuesday night, when he “chaired” the club’s annual general meeting. The doctor expressed the pleasure and enjoyment experienced during his term of office and the privilege it had been to serve the Greens.

In a short account of the 1983-83 season, the president reminded the 100 or so members that Hawick had played 32 games, winning 28, losing two, and drawing two. The Border League had been won again, and the Greens were runners-up to Gala in the Schweppes Championship, having beaten the Maroons twice during the season.

In his tribute to officials and players, the Doctor acknowledged the stirling work of the committee; the support of his vice-president, Hugh McLeod; the fine captaincy of Billy Murray; the achievements of Jim Renwick in becoming “the most-capped centre of all time,” and Colin Deans on his selection for the Lions. The successful tour to US was also detailed - the Greens being undefeated in their four games, and making a host of friends by their play and sportsmanship. In the hour-long meeting, finance took up the major part of the time and the reports by Scott Elliot (General) and Eric Grierson (Social), well received as they were, showed that every avenue of fundraising would have to be explored. However for the coming season the club’s subscriptions would be unchanged from last year.

Billy Murray was unanimously supported to lead the team next season with Jim Renwick his Deputy. Hugh McLeod, OBE, was elected president, with former Scotland hooker, Dereak Deans, the vice-president. The retiring team coach, Derrick Grant, retains his place on the selection committee along with E. Broatch, D. Suddon and W. Gray; Ian Barnes (present at the meeting) the new coach will also sit on the selection committee.

1993: DISCTRICT Council rebel, John Rudkin, who was last week stripped of his technical services committee vice-convenorship after labelling the Galalaw Business Park a white elephant, has launched a scathing attack on leading members of the town hall hierarchy.

Mr Rudkin said he was angry at how easily he had been removed from the vice-convenorship. “I was ousted for all the wrong reasons and principally because I’ve been upsetting Councillors Arthur Squair and Grant Till, the Laurel and Hardy of local politics.

He also alleged that two Liberal Democrats, Oliver Angus and Alex Martin, had persuaded their party colleagues, along with Scottish Nationalist, David Paterson, to vote him out and get powerful positions for themselves.

Mr Rudkin claimed that Mr Martin was now in line for his former technical services committee vice-convenorship, while Mr Angus was set to become policy and resources committee vice-convenor following the impending departure to York of Councillor Jamie Batten.

“The whole thing stinks of petty politics,” said Mr Rudkin. “My stance on Galalaw had some people pulling their hair out and was used as an excuse to get me out of a powerful position.

“I speak my mind on local issues and some local councillors decided I was getting too close to the bone.”

2003: THE CAMPAIGN to save further education in the town being transferred to a single site campus in Galashiels has stepped up a gear this week.

Members of the lobby group believe that a lot of information is only now coming to light.

The ‘News’ has learned of imminent cutbacks in staff at the Henderson Building canteen, with two jobs being lost, while second-year hairdressing students were told on the final day of their course that they would be finishing their studies in Galashiels.

The moves have prompted campaigners to call for a government inquiry. A four-page letter has been sent to Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace.

Karen Wilson, who was a student at Borders College for four years sent the letter to Mr Wallace.

She told the ‘News’: “The management at Borders College are only interested in centralisation to suit financial savings and management efficiencies.

“The are not concerned about the most important issue of all – their customers, the students.”