PART IV

Caledonian was about to renege on the agreement. However, on 28 June the Bill became the North British (Galashiels and Peebles) Railway Act 1861 (24 & 25 Vie. Sess. 1861), and with that the Caledonian finally gave up the quest for a line into the Border country beyond Peebles.

MANAGEMENT CHANGES
Early in 1860 it became known that the North British was proposing to present a Bill to Parliament for the amalgamation of the Peebles and Jedburgh railway companies with the NB. A guaranteed dividend of 3.5 per cent was offered which would be raised to 4 per cent in perpetuity after three years. Convinced that this was as much as the Peebles Railway could be relied upon to yield, the directors recommended acceptance.

Following the Peebles Railway's statutory half-yearly meeting on 21 April a special meeting considered the Bill before Parliament. The chairman, Sir Graham Montgomery, considered that the North British should and would pay 4½ per cent. George Arbuthnott, for the dissenting shareholders, upheld the retention of the Peebles Railway as an independent company, and in this he was supported by the company's engineer, Thomas Bouch. Provost Stirling on behalf of the town council also opposed the amalgamation, although he personally supported it. Mr Chambers spoke as the only dissenting director. A vote was taken and as the threequarters majority was not obtained the Bill was lost, but the result was the resignation of the chairman, Sir Graham Montgomery and three other directors.

William Chambers of Glenormiston presided over an extra­ordinary general meeting of the railway company in Peebles in January 1861. The North British were by now proposing a 5 per cent guaranteed dividend and certain improvements to the train service in exchange for the lease of the railway which would be operated and maintained by the NB. Moreover the proposal involved the retention of the corporation of the Peebles Railway and its directors. A temporary working agreement would apply for eighteen months with effect from 1 February pending a permanent lease being granted by Parliament. The resolutions were unanimously adopted, and Mr Chambers was applauded for all his efforts on behalf of the shareholders.

It is perhaps worth recording that the Peebles Railway Board had become fairly knowledgeable in the working and management of

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