Social Life

sheriff and honoured in 1971 when he was installed as a Warden of Neidpath, Alex Walker is still involved in virtually every aspect of the town's life.

Douglas Edgar, who died in 1989, was another tireless organiser and worker who was involved in a wide range of local activities, and he earned the unique distinction of being the first Cornet (1950) to be appointed a Warden of Neidpath (1987). John Veitch and Douglas Edgar followed in the splendid tradition of service and leadership that has been the hallmark of ex-Cornets. Renwick Sanderson, too, is another Cornet (1955) who has served Peebles with distinction and his record as a local sportsman is second to none; he played for Peebles Rovers from 1950 and Hibernians (1951-53) and has the unique record of having scored 550 goals.

Peebles took pride, too, in the fine example and inspiration given by James Veitch, who turned to writing in 1949 when the door of his tweed warehouse was closed to him and who, by 1952, had written four novels. His acclaim as a novelist maintained the town's literary heritage and brought credit again to the local name of 'Veitch'.

The town's local institutions have been sustained throughout the years by the enthusiasm and service given by men and women like Mrs Kempsell, who served for sixteen years with the local branch of the Scottish Old Age Pension Association; like Neil Brown, Donald Johnston and T. Yule, who each received in 1969 the long service medal of the Scottish Amateur Band Association for their fifty years' service with the Peebles Silver Band; and like countless others who have been the mainstay of local clubs and activities. The quality of voluntary service shines through the town's tradition of kindness and generosity for local causes and charities and it is to the Peebles lasses that tribute must be paid for their unstinted enthusiasm in support of the numerous annual events with their coffee mornings and other fund-raising activities.

Another Peeblean who was greatly admired was William W. Howitt. Warden of Neidpath in 1976, he was an outstanding Chairman of the Peebles March Riding and Beltane Queen Festival from 1982 to 1984. He had the charisma of his father, Steve Howitt, and was in the same 'Peeblean mould' as Will Kerr - each of them loved and thoroughly entered into the spirit of the Beltane and they were loth to let the enjoyment and sing-song end. Willie Howitt's late evening' gathering' in a local hostelry at the conclusion of the Beltane Week would have pleased the 'worthies' of auld land syne with its spirited renderings of