Bari Gadgi & Bari Manushi Installed
Scottish National Trail - Plaque Unveiled
3/5/2013 - Yetholm's lead man and woman were
installed on a blustery and rainy Friday evening - the 2013 Bari
Gadgi is Anders Cameron and the Bari Manushi is Stephanie Cockburn.
Yetholm's newly commissioned flag, which features a gipsy cob
on a background of the Yetholm colours and which was designed
by local artist Janet Canning, was also displayed for the first
time. On Friday morning the new flag was hoisted by Tom Tokely
on Town Yetholm green - a flag will now also be purchased for
Kirk Yetholm in time for festival week, 6th - 15th June. The inclement
weather forced the traditional ceremony into the Wauchope Hall,
but Community Council chairman David Hutchinson commented that
- 'the hall was packed. It was a really good night'. Representatives
from Kelso, Duns, Coldstream and Berwick were in attendance
Stephanie Cockburn is 22 and 'has lived in Yetholm since
I can remember'. She went to Yetholm Primary School and then moved
to Kelso High School. In 2008 she moved to Aberdeen and spent
three years working for oil companies. In 2011 she moved to Sussex
- along with her two horses - where she took up a financial role
in a utilities company, Morrison Utility Services. 'It was a shock
to be asked to be Bari manushi, but also a great privilege and
I look forward to representing the village to the best of my ability.
I have taken part in the Stob Stanes ride-out for many years,
but this time I am especially looking forward to leading the cavalcade'.
Left: Stephanie receiving her sash from retiring Bari Manushi
is 20 and lived in Yetholm from the age of three. He went to Yetholm
Primary School and then to Kelso High School. He is currently
an apprentice electrical engineer with Scotmas in Kelso. He is
a keen rugby player. 'It was a massive honour being asked to represent
my village as Bari Gadgi - I hope to do everybody proud and that
everybody has an amazing time throughout all the events'. Unlike
Stephanie, he hasn't riden a horse since he was a child and admits
to being a little nervous at the thought of the Stobs Stanes ride-out!
Right: Anders being presented with his sash.
Scottish National Trail - the really important
|The sky may have been
grey, but that didn't dampen anyone's spirits at the unveiling of
the Scottish National Trail plaque outside the Border Hotel in Kirk
Yetholm on Saturday 9th February. The event was opened by Community
Council chariman David Hutchinson. He was followed by Richard Else,
co-author of Scotland End to End and the producer of a film about
the trail. Finally Cameron McNeish addressed the crowd and introduced
youngster Logan Edgar from Kirk Yetholm, who actually unveiled the
plaque. Drinks and food followed in the warmth of the Border Hotel.
Cameron McNeish models a stylish green
woolly hat ...
Community Council chairman David Hutchinson
opens the event.
Richard Else (in a trendy red woolly hat), co-author of Scotland
End to End, addresses the crowd.
Logan Edgar, from Kirk Yetholm, unveils
The Plaque - Kirk yetholm to Cape Wrath
- 470 miles.
David Hutchinson (without woolly hat)
& Cameron McNeish enjoy of a celebratory dram of something.
Hutchinson's speech of welcome: Good morning to you all and a particular
welcome to Cameron McNeish - in fact a 'welcome back' to Cameron
as he was very much here when he was researching for his book 'Scotland
End to End' and filming for the two television programmes which
so many of us have enjoyed and appreciated - particularly, of course,
the Yetholm section and the hills looking their best in that beautiful
sunshine and snow.
The importance of this walk for Yetholm is not
to be underestimated. As a village we have benefited greatly over
the years from the establishment of the St. Cuthbert's Way and
in earlier years from being the End of the Pennine Way. This walk
however is quite different from both of these - yes, it is long
distance as is the Pennine Way but it is much more varied and
in its later stages much more dramatic. The St. Cuthbert's Way,
though also varied, is of a gentler and shorter nature. Vitally,
Yetholm is at the end, the middle or the start of all these walks.
So we are indeed indebted to you Cameron for having
the inspiration to conceive of this National Trail and the energy,
perseverance and vitality to bring it to fruition. Just before
I hand over to Cameron I am sure that he will be pleased to know
that his delightful book - co-authored by the way with Richard
Else - has an error on page 29. Not I might add, an error at the
time it was written! At the bottom of page 29 Cameron states that
having being well fed (at the Border Hotel of course!) he wanders
out of Kirk Yetholm, past the Youth Hostel which had not yet opened
for the summer season - and which "has since closed down
permanently." I am sure that Cameron will be as delighted
as we all are that, thanks to Simon Neal of the Friends of Nature
the Yetholm Youth Hostel is alive and well. It's season restarts
on March 15th and the House of Nature's European members -as well
as those of the UK - will I am sure be intrigued and indeed lured
by the challenge, variety and excitement of this brainchild of
So, Ladies and Gentlemen with the reminder
that the most generous hospitality of the Border Hotel awaits
us all in a few minutes and for which I thank them wholeheartedly,
I hand you over firstly to Richard Else and then to Cameron who
'will do the deed'.
|The Scottish National Trail may have been officially
launched last October, but on Saturday 9th February the trail's
creator, Cameron McNeish, will be coming to Kirk Yetholm to unveil
a plaque marking the start of the route. The event will take place
at 11.30 at the Border Hotel, where the plaque will be located.
All are welcome.
For those who weren't invited to attend the launch of the trail
by Alex Salmond in Edinburgh you can see a video report of the event
- see if you can spot the chairman of Yetholm's Community
Council hobnobbing with the great and the good!
New National Trail
||Scotlands longest walking route, the 470-mile
Gore-Tex Scottish National Trail, will be officially opened by the
First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond MSP, on October 30th at
the Water of Leith Visitor Centre, Slateford, Edinburgh at 1pm.
The trail forms Scotlands first ever end-to-end walking route
through Scotland, from Kirk Yetholm (the northern terminus of the
Pennine Way) to Cape Wrath, the most north-western point on the
British mainland, and has been compiled by author and broadcaster
Cameron McNeish, who has also co-authored a book about the route
called Scotland End to End (below). Meandering through some
of Scotlands most beautiful and rugged landscapes, the route
follows many existing trails and rights of way and in doing so creates
a long distance walking route that compares with the best in the
|The route as created falls naturally into four
sections, the Borders to Edinburgh, Edinburgh to Milngavie (north
of Glasgow), Milngavie to Kingussie in the Cairngorms and, finally
Kingussie to Cape Wrath in the far north. Hopefully the new route
will bring intrepid visitors to Yetholm - though how many will complete
the 470 mile trek remains to be seen! Cameron has also produced
two hour-long documentaries about the new route, which will be broadcast
round about Christmas. Exact dates not fixed yet but well
let you know as soon as the BBC tell us.
Border Shepherd's Show 2012
|Yetholm's Border Shepherd's Show attracted one
of its largest crowds ever on a sunny 6th October. Ashkirk's Jock
and Scott Davies took the overall championship with a North Country
Cheviot Gimmer. The Scottish Champion of Champions stickmaker is
also judged at Yetholm and the top ticket went to Stephen Bell of
Barrow-on-Humber. Show secretary Sarah Little said "We are
very pleased with how the day went, the weather was fantastic and
the attendance was one of the biggest we've had. The classes were
very well supported and the standard was excellent."
||She added - "There was a tremendous show of
sheep and in the industrial tent there were 21 gingerbreads for
the judge! There was a huge show of photographs." Children's
classes provided fun for yougsters, along with afternoon games.
Other entertainment included music from a steel band, dog agility,
quoits, the College Vallety Hounds (left) and a vintage vehicle
display & parade.
|Hopefully the sun will shine on next year's show
- the 150th!
For more photographs of the show - click HERE.
Friends of Nature House Birthday Party
||Sunday 16th September - Neighbours
and well-wishers gathered in the newly opened Friends of Nature
House to celebrate 70 years of offering accomodation to hikers in
Kirk Yetholm - and to look forward to another era in the hostel's
history. A new National Trail from Kirk Yetholm to Cape Wrath is
to be opened on 30th October, so our village's prominence in the
world of long distance hiking will be underlined. Hopefully the
new trail will bring extra business to the much-loved hostel. Details
about the new trail can be found here.
|Guests were welcomed by the new warden, Simon Neal
(far right) before tucking in to party food and taking the opportunity
to look around the hostel. Local MP Michael Moore was due to launch
the event, but business in Edinburgh prevented him from attending.
Instead our very own David Hutchinson (right), chairman of the Community
Council, gave a celebratory speech, which can be read below.
Youth Hostel Official Opening
When something functions well for years and years we nearly always
fall into the habit of - well just taking it for granted. When
we are young we don't think about walking and running - we just
do it - until of course something goes wrong and we can no longer
This is rather like we felt here in Yetholm when we heard at the
end of last year that this Youth Hostel was closing: impossible!
- it's always been part of us. Yetholm without a Youth Hostel
would be like an amputation.
Well, we scrabbled around for doctors and surgeons
and it seemed to be a terminal case. Thankfully however, it wasn't
- thanks to 'Dr' Simon Neal and the Friends of Nature House who
came to the rescue and amputation was avoided.
As a village community we cannot express sufficiently
our thanks to Simon for his immense belief in the Youth Hostel
movement and the untiring effort that he has made to bring this
Hostel back to life. These days Yetholm has to look to its assets
to survive and our best asset is our location amidst some of the
finest hill scenery in Britain - not great mountains, but hills
that are eminently walkable yet still challenging and with a solitude
and beauty all of their own.
Add to that, the fact that we are the terminus
of that great national Walk -the Pennine Way - we are the halfway
point of the St. Cuthbert's Way Walk and from October 30 the starting
point of a new national walk - the Gore-Tex National Trail - which
ends at Cape Wrath. What a place this is to be!! I am sure that
all these walkers need us - and we of course need them: they are
to a large extent our future.
So this is an inspirational day and on behalf
of Yetholm Community Council and all the people of Yetholm we
wish this Youth Hostel every success. We bestow on Simon our heartfelt
gratitude for his energy, enthusiasm and foresight and we look
to the future with optimism and indeed excitement for what we
can achieve together.
Kirk Yetholm 'Friends of Nature House'
|Everyone in Yetholm was shocked when SYHA announced
the closure of Kirk Yetholm's iconic youth hostel. Fortunately for
us, others quickly recognised that SYHA were making a mistake and
on the 10th of August it re-opened as a Friends of Nature House.
Ten people stayed there on the first night and since then there
have been an average of two people staying each night. This year
the house will be closing at the end of September and it is planned
to then re-open next year in March. The House functions in the same
way as a Youth Hostel, and membership of Friends of Nature /SYHA/YHA
entitles visitors to a reduction.
||The House is managed by Simon Neal, who also manages
two hostels in England. He has plans to install heating so that
in future years groups will be able to use the House during the
winter months. Hopefully next year visitor numbers will increase
- and perhaps even exceed visitor numbers during the period of SYHA
management. For those who would like to find out more about Friends
of Nature and Simon's plans, then there is a Hostel 70th Birthday
Party on Sunday 16th September from 12 noon onwards. For more information
about this event - click here.
Yetholm Yew Tree Allotments - Grand Opening
||Friday 3rd August saw the official opening of the
new sheds and water storage system at Yetholm Yew Tree Allotments.
For years allotment holders have been paying exorbitant rates for
their water - now the allotments will be self-sufficient. The new
facilities were opened by Ann Little, who for many years administered
the allotments, and local councillor Alec Nichol. Both are shown
on the left, with John Thomson and Stan Brown, both of whom played
a large part in planning and building the new sheds and water collection
system. After the ribbons had been cut everyone enjoyed a barbeque
(below - Stuart MacDonald weilding the sausage fork).
Kelso-Yetholm Ride 2012
|July 21st. We were again lucky with the weather
when, on the final day of Kelso Civic Week, the traditional cavalcade
of horses made their way from Kelso to Yetholm ... and back again.
Crowds gathered on the Haugh, under sunny blue skies, to welcome
the Kelso Laddie as he led the procession across the Bowmont (right).
Accompanied by Yetholm's Bari Gadgi and Bari Manushi (below), he
made his way Kirk Yetholm and was presented with a Yetholm jagger.
Later everyone returned to Town Yetholm to enjoy a picnic on the
green, rounded off with the principals dancing a reel in front of
the Plough Hotel (below right).
The Stob Stanes Rideout 2012
||It may have been a week of mixed weather, but the
day of the rideout saw Yetholm basking in summer sunshine. A strong
turnout of riders enjoyed a spectacular journey through the nearby
cheviot hills, before returning to Kirk Yetholm for the 'Welcome
Home' speech. This year's speech was given by Mrs Carol Butler.
The sound system was rather dodgy - so, for those who missed bits
of it, the full speech is given below.
Stob Stanes Rideout
'Welcome Back' Speech
Bari Gadgi , Bari Manushi, visiting Principals,
on behalf of our villages and Parish, it gives me very great pleasure
indeed to welcome you back from your Stob Stanes Rideout this
evening . We do hope that you and your entourage have enjoyed
the experience on such a lovely evening ,the views must have been
You have ridden in the footsteps of countless folks over the centuries,
from earliest times when ancient civilizations populated the many
hill forts much in evidence today . Roman Legions marched along
Dere Street to their camp at Chew Green just over the hills from
Stob Stanes. St. Cuthbert was reputed to have passed very close
to those very Stones on his way to Lindesfarne, and where almost
daily many pilgrims continue to make this historical journey .
You have been within sight and sound of Scotland's greatest tragedy
at Flodden Field, where next year the 500th Anniversary of the
battle will be commemorated.
These old drove roads you have ridden along bear
witness to the countless stocksmen and shepherds, who drove their
beasts over the Border to market, and whose descendants still
manage their hefted flocks to this day, now on quad bikes with
collies on board . The Cheviots have seen much reaving and many
skirmishes over the centuries. During 2nd World War did those
doomed planes fly over the Stob Stanes to their lonely graves
on these Cheviot hills ? I rather think some of them did. The
military are a real presence and you have been within hearing
distance of the guns that boom from Otterburn Firing Range, and
the jets that scream above and sometimes below, a sobering reminder
of a world that is embroiled in conflict .
In spite of the Cheviots turbulent history they
attract many hill walkers from all walks of life, to enjoy the
spectacular ever changing landscape, and the solitude of a day
outby. Wainwright's famous Pennine Way passes very close to those
ancient stones ,a walk to be recommended, but beware the weather
can change in an instant on the hill tops. You are the 30th Bari
Gadgi and Bari Manushi to undertake this Stob Stanes Rideout,
and now you also, have became part of the rich tapestry of these
wonderful hills ;tell your story to your grandchildren, and enjoy
the rest of your week. Thank you!
|Monday 4th June saw a packed day of celebrations
in Yetholm, with fun and games on Kirk Yetholm green in the afternoon
followed by a party and beacon in Town Yetholm in the evening.
Installation of Bari Gadgi & Bari Manushi 2012
4.5.2012. On an unseasonably cold Friday evening crowds gathered
outside the Plough Hotel on Town Yetholm green to find out the
identities of this years' Bari Gadgi and Bari Manushi. Community
Council chairman David Hutchinson led the proceedings: 'Our June
Festival is indicative of that vibrant and enthusiastic community
that is respected and admired across the Border towns. I am sure
that this year will be no exception as we give once again our
wholehearted support and encouragement to our new Principals and
also to all the varied events and activities that the week brings.
In doing so we provide the cement that makes our village
the fine place that it is.
As always we hope that the sun will shine but we will
even if the
sun does not!'
It was then revealed that the principals this year are Kenneth
Kelly and Zoe Keddie. There were speeches from previous principals
and the sashes were handed over from last years' office holders,
Daniel and Kim. Everyone was then invited for drinks - and to
find some warmth - in the Wauchope Hall.
||Zoe Keddie (left) is 22 years old and has lived
in the village of Town Yetholm since she was a little girl. She
went to school at St Marys, Melrose and Longridge Towers,
Berwickshire. Since leaving school she has trained as a hairdresser
and has worked at the Plough Hotel, Town Yetholm.
Kenneth Kelly (far left) is also Yetholm born and bred. He works
for Olivers Transport. He is married to Becky and has 2 children,
Michael and Grace. In his spare time he likes to spend time with
his family and their ponies and to help with the Mini Rugby team
that Michael plays for.