CHAPTER 12

 

Social Life

 

 

Ye may gaun east,
Or you may gaun west,
If on the hunt for treasure;
But Peebles beats the very best,
If ye be oot for pleasure.

 

THESE LINES WERE proudly quoted by Robert W. Jack of Edderston Farm - an enthusiastic supporter of the March Riding and a popular Cornet in 1924 - when he was interviewed on Richard Dimbleby's Down Your Way on the BBC's Light Programme one Sunday afternoon in late January 1951. It was a widely acclaimed radio programme and on this occasion it featured Peebles and the verse referred to had appeared at the top of the West Linton Agricultural Society's Show poster in the early 1900s. 'Clayboddie', in days long past, was famed for his rhyming on the Yarrow Show posters, and the late Fred Dyson, who had been Secretary of the West Linton Show, thought he would go one better so he approached Robert Watson and these lines were written for that purpose.'1

The radio programme was about the life of the town and the surrounding area, and included interviews with Miss Agnes Brunton, a darner in the March Street Mills; William Hunnan, a yarn store foreman at Damdale and Bailie J. P. Duthie, of Lowe, Donald & Co. while J. Walter Buchan, the former Town Clerk, told listeners about the town's traditions and its history, and Miss E. B. Turner, physiotherapist, and W. B. Brown, Secretary and Resident Manager, spoke about  the  Peebles  Hotel  Hydro  which  was  in  the  process of re-establishing itself as one of the leading hotels in the country with the ending of the Food Control Regulations and petrol restrictions. Mr J. Wilson, a champion sheepdog trialist, was also

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