Successful Projects

Dunse History Society

Year Completed: 

The Soldiers Remember

A History of southfield Auxiliary Military Hospital, Duns This book, published by Dunse History Society, describes in considerable detail the work of the southfield Auxiliary Military Hospital run by The Red cross for the convalescence of wounded soldiers during WW1.

It describes the early history of southfield House (now a community centre), its selection as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers and the background to Southfield and other Berwickshire Red cross Auxiliary Hospitals within the nationalframework for treating wounded soldiers. The book was published in July 201g with the help of a generous grant of f1800 from the Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund to supplement design and printing costs'

The book is based on papers kindly donated to the Dunse History Society, by Mrs Judy Murray of Currie. The papers relate to the Speedy family who lived in Berwickshire, and in particular to the diaries and records of Margaret Mary (May) Speedy, the youngest of their three daughters. May Speedy worked as a V.A.D. Nurse at Southfield during wW1. Nurse Speedy left accounts of her time at Southfield in two diaries in which she had her patients write down their army experiences. These accounts, of which there are 78, are transcribed exactly as they appear in the diaries. ln addition, Nurse speedy obtained a number of photographs which have been used to illustrate the book together with diary entries that she herself made of her day to day activities. Together with considerable additiona! information gathered from local and national records, the book provides a detailed and intimate account of life of recovering soldiers in a military convalescent hospital.

The importance of this book reflects the fact that after the War the great majority of hospital and medical records were destroyed. Only a representative selection, less thanZYo, were preserved. The Southfield records, whose existence was until recently not widely known, is therefore not only an important record of life in Berwickshire during a major conflict, it is also a document of national importance in the records of The Great War.

500 copies of the book, which runs to 160 pages, were printed and it is being sold at a cost of f 10. The total cost of publication was f2786 and to date about 150 copies have been sold with sales income at about f500 with the book account still in deficit.

An article was written for The Borders Family History Magazine and 3 reviews, from The QARANC Nursing Association, Robert Dunn and The Long Long Trail, are also attached.

We are most grateful to The Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund for the grant towards the publication. Any proceeds from the sale of the book once costs have been covered will be used to support the work of the Dunse History Society in various ways, including: preservation of local Berwickshire records, public lectures, exhibitions, restoration of the town bell.

Dunse History Society, january 2019

Friends of BHS Learning Centre

Year Completed: 
Friends of Berwickshire High School Learning Centre             
Drascombe Sailability Longboat
The £4500 grant awarded by Black hill Community Hill enabled the purchase of the sailabilty boat. It was the final piece in the jigsaw after several years fundraising to achieve the £20,000 purchase price for boat and trailer.
The timing of this was fortuitous in that the purchase preceded an almost 20% rise in the present cost of the boat. Amongst those involved there is has been a feeling of “value for money.” along with the excitement of having a craft that can deliver on the educational and social aims of the project.
During the sailing season of 2018 young people found the boat a joy to sail.
Adult volunteers were trained in the the sailing skills required for working with children and adults with additional needs. The boat has proved to be very stable. The 2 masts and 3 sails that form the “ketch rig” is very manageable.  It allows both for a rapid reduction of sail should the wind pick up but conversely power can be gradually increased providing part of what is the excitement of sailing. The boat can be rowed can be rowed by 6 people at one time. This has proved a great way of mixing the more and less able.
A variety of local areas were successfully trialled for sailing with young people. This may be useful in the future should there not be easy access to the Whiteadder Reservoir as Scottish Borders Council decided not to fund the Whiteadder Sailing Base.
The non-opening of the base probably impacted on how quickly the project got up to speed. However we are now on track and as the boat should have a life of at least 30 years we are confident that the long term aims of the project are on course and those involved with the project are looking forward to the 2019 sailing season.
We would like to express our gratitude to Blackhill Community Fund towards the purchase of what is undoubtedly a beautiful boat with its significant social and educational benefits.
Andy Wishart


Duns Golf Club

Year Completed: 

The grant you so kindly awarded the Duns Golf Club was put to good use by refurbishing the clubhouse furniture which really has given it a better look.  We are very happy to say we have had so many great comments on this,  however there is still loads we need to do but Rome was not built in a day. Please see attached a few photo's of the goods your kind grant purchased.

If you are free you should pop down for lunch we have a wonderful new caterer that has taken on the franchise she is brilliant and the place is getting busier each week.

Once again thank you.

Kind Regards

Kirsty Inkpen (Duns Golf Club)


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M-Pulsive Parents

Year Completed: 

Dancers rock the world !!

Dancers from Jedburgh, Kelso, Duns and Melrose all performed together on an international stage in Glasgow last weekend.

Hip hop dancers from M-Pulsive Dance School based in Kelso qualified for the international dance competition last year and were delighted to perform at the Clyde Auditorium last weekend.

The teams have fundraised for this trip for the past 6 months, each of the dancers and their families would like to thank all our sponsors particularly Blackhill Windfarm and Duns Rotary for supporting the 6 Berwickshire based dancers.

Dance School Principal , Michelle Douglas said that both the competition squads have worked incredibly hard over the past year and showcased their work exceptionally well. Although we did not reach the finals the opportunity to dance on a world class stage, to experience such amazing performances and take part in some very technical and great fun workshops has inspired and motivated all of us for the year ahead.

UDO (United Dance Organisation) is a highly prestigious dance organisation attracting competitors from countries as far away as Japan and Australia, so M-Pulsive were honoured to be representing the East Of Scotland .

The funding that we received from Blackhill Windfarm and Duns Rotary, allowed the Berwickshire Dancers to travel by coach with the rest of their teams mates, attend the UDO World Dance competition , stay overnight in a hotel and a small contribution towards costumes for the event

Coach Contribution £180.00

Hotel Contribution £600.00

Competition Attendance £560.00

Many Thanks again for your support and allowing our children this amazing opportunity .

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Duns & District Parishes

Year Completed: 

Funds Received - £2,000.00

Duns & District Parishes received £2,000 in June 2017.  These funds were used to replace the flood lights outside the church.  Work had already been carried out to repair the external fabric of the church, which left the flood lighting all that was left to be done. 

This work has ensured that the Church remains a prominent feature in Duns.  

Verbal report received at our AGM August 2017