PART III: 1950 - 1990

Quoiting Club closed down in 1950 due to a lack of interest, despite having been provided with a new ground at the Gytes Park. There is still a strong curling interest in the town though now mostly on indoor rinks. Perhaps the most notable change is the greatly increased participation in rugby and the number of local XVs that the town can now field. A fuller account of the activities of the local associations and sporting clubs over the years will be found in Chapters 17 and 18.

The quality of Peebles life in the 'leisure society' of the 1980s is well reflected in the activities of the Arts Festival which brings together various Border crafts from violin-making to wood-carving, spinning and knitting to calligraphy. The Hobbies Exhibition shows the interest being taken in embroidery, lace-making, stained-glass, photography, book-binding, painting, wood-turning and fly-tying, not to mention activities of the Tweed Theatre, the Floral Art Club, the Camera Club and other societies.

In the 1930s and forties the level of local crime, perhaps more aptly referred to as 'misdemeanour', could be judged from the annual figures produced for Peeblesshire giving the number of persons locked-up overnight in police cells; and over the years these ranged from between fifty-four to eighty-two persons each year - about one person per week. In the 1920s many householders did not feel the need to lock their front doors but it became prudent to do so as time went by and today many houses have installed burglar alarms. Local newspaper reports during recent decades show a regular pattern of occurrences involving the occasional house burglary and the more frequent petty disturbance as well as the almost inevitable range of traffic offences and car break-ins. The incident level is neither a matter for satisfaction nor for too great a concern when compared with other towns.

A matter of concern over the years for households in Peebles, as elsewhere in the country, has been the acceleration in the cost-of­living. However, it was not just prices that drastically changed but also shopping habits, with self-service shops taking over from the traditional grocers. J. L. Renwick & Sons in the Old Town, founded in 1899, was one of the first to adapt to self-service when it became the Centra Licensed Grocers. The Centra organisation consisted of a large number of grocers who owned their own shops but acted together to purchase their requirements in bulk and thereby with low self-service overheads the shoppers were able to buy at keener prices.