Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.87                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        AUGUST 1968.

Minister: Revd. Tom Calvert, The Old Manse, Langholm. Tel. 256.

Session Clerk: Alexander Hutton, Savings Bank, Market Place, Langholm

Clerk to Board: Mr. E. C. Armstrong, Town Hall, Langholm , Tel. 255

Treasurer: Mr. Donald Lamont, Rosevale Street.

Organist: Mr. A. C. Mallinson, A.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., 72 Henry Street.

Church Officer: Mr. W Elliot, 3 Buccleuch Terrace.

Hall Caretaker: Mr Donaldson, 7 West Street.

Text for August: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12. 1.

With the Olympic Games due to start soon in Mexico, I find “Lessons from the Races” an appropriate subject for my August magazine message, especially remembering that the Greek Games had a religious origin and that the races were run in honour of the gods.

In my address on Common Riding Sunday I spoke of the Lessons St. Paul gained for living the Christian life from attending the Olympic and the Istmian Games. In his first letter to the Corinthians in chapter nine he tells us that every athlete goes into strict training, and this accounted for the fitness of the runners and contestants. In his letter to the Phillipians, chapter three, he tells us about the kind of prize the runners ran to win, and that it was important in the races to keep your eyes on the goal. In this message. I am going to refer to Lessons learned by the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews from attending the Greek Games, as are contained in these words of our text —“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

In these words from the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews we are reminded that the runners in the Olympic Games were watched by a great crowd of spectators.

The great amphitheatre was crowded with spectators who cheered the runners as they pressed on towards their goal. And this suggested to the writer of our text that we have our invisible spectators in those who have now gained their immortality. Indeed these words about the cloud of witnesses were referred to by Dr. Jowett as “the Westminster Abbey of the Bible”, reminding us of the great souls who have passed on but still look on as we run the same race as they ran. In Grant Duffs “Notes from a Diary” he tells of an old priest trudging home through the deep snow after early Mass on the morning of All Saints Day when a man stopped him to ask how many had been at the Service. “Millions, millions,” the priest replied. The priest was thinking of the “great cloud of witnesses”, the tens of thousands of spectators who watch us as we run the race of life. And this thought should remind us that we have much to live up to, that the invisible spectators are being gladdened when they behold us living worthily or saddened when they behold us falling behind in the race of life. Dr. Henry Drummond used to tell a story about an old county cricketer who had lost his sight. He was stone blind and it was the grief of all his days that he could not see his own son play the great game. The son became the crack bat of the school team and used to lead his father to the ground. But beyond hearing the comments of the crowd about his boy’s play, he got small satisfaction from it. One day he suddenly died. The following Saturday an important match was to be played. Other members of the team, who knew the lad’s affection for his father, took it for granted that their best bat would be absent. But to their suprise he was there in his flannels, and presented himself for play. And he batted that day as he had never done before so that his companions were bewildered. At the end of the game the lad asked one of his companions, “How did I play?" “Never better: you out dld yourself. How do you account for it?" “Why. you see." replied the lad, “it was the first time my father ever saw me play.”

Then our text reminds us of the need to cast aside every encumberance in running the race ot life, as those Greek runners had to do.

Those Greek contestants in the races had to undergo ten months strict training, the last month spent in the stadium where they were constantly under the eye of the trainer, so as to be sound in wind and limb. And before commencing the race they had to get rid of any unnecessary clothing or gear that might hinder them. This is the meaning of the words, “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us”.

We read about Sir Ernest Shackleton setting sail in 1914 on the ship Endurance, aiming to make the first land crossing of the great Antarctic Continent. Before leaving, Queen Alexandra handed him a Bible in which she had written on the flyleaf. “May the Lord guide you to do your duty through all the dangers by land and sea. May you see the Works of the Lord and all His Wonders in the deep.” The time was to come when Shackleton tore out and kept that single page, throwing the Bible away. because the voyage on the Endurance failed. in the sense that her crew never set foot on the great land mass of Antarctica, their ship being caught by the ice, frozen in, and finally crushed like a walnut shell after they had all scrambled on to the pack-ice. taking with them what stores and boats they could. They were afloat for 497 days—first on the ship then for months on the ice, and latterly in three boats which they had managed to drag with them. and which brought them safely to that inhospitable rock called Elephant Island. And of the crew of twenty eight men, not one was lost. This despite killer-whales and sea leopards, lack of fresh water and cracking ice-floes. just after abandoning the Endurance and setting foot on the ice Shackleton threw away his Bible. Knowing that many months of hardship lay before them he wanted to show his men that if they were to save themselves they MUST LAY ASIDE EVERYTHING THAT MIGHT HOLD THEM BACK. He believed that other expeditions had perished through carrying too much. So on the ice he laid his precious Bible. a gold cigarette case, and a handful of sovereigns. Then the others added their treasures to the pile. everything they carried that was not absolutely essential. And there they left it all on the ice which would soon b.reak and their abandoned treasures would find their way to the bottom of the sea. And this action was proved to be right as the entire crew were able to come through to safety.

And in the race of life there are things that we must cast aside if we are going to come safely through to the goal, “Let us lay aside every weight." This may not mean outward things such as Shackleton and his men abandoned, but inner weights that are holding us back in the race. Things like fretting over past sins and failures, things which ought long ago to have been forgiven and forgotten. Things like harbouring a spirit of resentment. or carrying a grudge against someone or against life or against God for something that has happened to us. The spirit of jealousy has hindered many in the race of life, And there are outward things good things in themselves like material success or riches which we must not allow to Capture our entire affections. This is what Dr. Johnson was thinking about when he said to David Garrick the actor, after looking over his beautiful home, “David, this is the sort of stuff that makes death terrible.”

One other point which I didn’t find time to make in my "Common Riding sermon, that included in the Olympic Races was a long distance relay race.

In this race they generally ran to cover a distance of up to a hundred miles, the runners carrying .a flaming brand. The runner would go on until he found someone waiting to whom he could hand over the flaming brand who would carry it on the next stage. and so the flaming brand was passed on from runner to runner until the goal was reached.

And this is how the Gospel has come down to us. How it has spread throughout the world down the centuries. It began with our Lord Jesus in Galilee. and He passed the flaming brand to His disciples, and they to others. St. Paul carried the Gospel to Greece and Rome. Then missionaries from Rome in the early days carried the torch to our land. St. Columba and St. Ninian to Scotland. In later years Livingstone and others to Africa. One of the largest relay races ever held was run between New York and Chicago a few years ago. Two thousand boys of the Y.M.C.A. took part in it, and they had to carry a message from the Mayor of New York to the Mayor of Chicago. Over a hundred thousand boys offered to enter the race but only two thousand were wanted and chosen. The first boy on the day of the race left Post Office Square, New York. at 10 a.m. and ran for half a mile and passed on the message to a waiting boy. and so on, and the average time taken to run the half-mile was 2 minutes 38 seconds. They got the message through to the Mayor of Chicago in record time and were duly congratulated. But in the relay of passing on the Gospel there is no limit to the number who take part, nor is there any restriction to age or profession of the runners, It is not limited to ministers and priests and missionaries but everyone who bears the name of Christian is expected to play a part. Indeed some of the best runners in this race are Sunday School teachers iike David Hogg in Blantyre who won David Livingstone for Christ. Anthony Ashley Cooper, the seventh Earl of Shaftesbury. spent his life having laws passed in Parliament based on the teaching of the Bible. and his heart was won for the service of our Lord lesus when he was a young lad, and by the housemaid. Maria Mills. She used to read to him Bible stories and encouraged him to say his prayers while his parents were too busy taking their part in fashionable society to take any religious interest in their growing son.

And notice that the runners in that marathon relay race carried a burning brand which they passed on one to the other.

And that burning brand was never to be allowed to go out. for the race had to go on through the day and night until the goal was reached. And that burning brand represents keenness. And in the race of life we need to keep the torch of keenness always burning. for if it is allowed to burn low or go out the race loses all value and interest. In 1948 when the Olympic Games were held in this country. the burning brand was carried on foot all the way from Mount Olympus in Greece to London. but on the morning the Games were due to start the brand was found to have gone out. What a bad start for the games. Yes, and what a poor start to the race of life if young people let the torch of keenness burn low or go out.

A lad or a girl at school or college or starting a job who lacks keenness will not get very far in life. And it is the same in the Christian life, if a man or woman joins the Church and keeps the torch of keenness ever alight. they will bring others over to the side of Christian worship and service. for keenness is catching. On the other hand, when a Church member allows the torch of keenness to burn low or go out they soon cease to be of any value at all. Nothing does more harm to the cause of the Church than Christians who have allowed the torch of keenness to burn low, for just as keenness is catching. so indifference and coldness in Christ’s service is catching. In St, Andrew’s Church in Lochgelly, in Fife. there is a small sanctuary in one corner of the church where people can gather for prayer, or where small gatherings for worship are sometimes held, and it is very beautifully furnished. And one special thing in this small sanctuary is a lamp which is always kept burning, day and night. As Fife is an old coal-mining place, this lamp which hangs in the sanctuary is an old coal-miner’s lamp which has often been at the coal face. And there it hangs now to remind the members of St. Andrew's Church, Lochgelly. that it is vital to the cause of Christ in the world that every member every runner in the Gospel relay race should keep the burning brand ever burning never let it burn low or go out.


Dear Fellow-Member.

This August issue of the Parish Magazine is being printed this year as a means of reminding all our members and friends of the AUTUMN FAIR to be held in the Buccleuch Park on Saturday. 14th September, and to be opened at 2.30 p.m. by Mr. Hector Monro. M.P. Mr. Maclntosh. convener of the special committee organising the effort. is providing an article for this Magazine in which you will find full details of the activities. I here appeal to everyone to give this effort their full support. It would be a source of great satisfaction if this effort could raise in the region of £1,000 for the Church Fabric Fund which is at present being heavily drawn upon. This is partly due to storm damage last winter in flooding of the boiler-house and the collapse of the wall between the church grounds and Buccleuch Park. We hope in the near future to have the church redecorated, with new carpeting for the gallery. We are going to find it necessary to have the exterior of the church windows fitted with some kind of netting protection as we have suffered considerable damage of broken windows recently by children throwing stones from the river side of the church. Whatever kind of amusement they get from it I cannot tell. except that it is a very costly business replacing these small, finely-cut window panes. And of course the Fabric Fund is drawn upon for the Manse repairs and decoration. and this year the outside walls are being dealt with. woodwork painted. and coal-house are-roofed.

Langholm Common Riding

At the close of the annual ceremonies Provost James Grieve declared: “This is the best Common Riding we have ever held in Langholm," and the vast crowd that filled the Market Square were in entire agreement with him. The weather conditions were perfect and Cornet Cyril Johnstone, with Ex Cornets Colin Barnfather and Ronald Hudson, impressed everyone by their smartness and dignity. Langholm is very fortunate in having well supported and trained Bands. and we must give them the credit for creating the wonderful atmosphere as they play over again the traditional tunes associated with Langholm and the Common Riding.

The Church Service on the previous Sunday was well supported by the town and district. Lessons were read by Cornet Cyril Johnstone, Douglas Anderson. Vice-Chairman of the Common Riding Committee, and John Mackie. representing the Congregational Church. The Rev. Dr. Dinwoodie led the Service in carefully prepared prayers. Mr. Hector Monro, M.P., gave the Service a moving conclusion by being present and handing over to the Cornet a lovely copy of the New English Bible which was suitable inscribed: “With the congratulations and good wishes of Langholm Old Parish Churoh members.” Mr. Mallinson played the hymns with his usual skill and the Singing was much enjoyed.

Primary Sunday School Outing

The Primary Sunday School children held a very happy afternoon outing to Eskdalemuir on Saturday. 29th June. and we are grateful to Miss Mary Dalgliesh for her oganisation and care of the children. Also our thanks to Mr. Cartner of Clerkhill for arranging that the children had the use of Eskdalemuir Public Hall.

Boys’ Brigade Camp

The 1st Langholm Company of the Boys‘ Brigade held their annual camp last week on Hedderwick Hill Farm. near Dunbar. The excellent weather and delightful location of the camp site made this probably one of the best annual camps. Mr. Iim Kyle, the Company Captain, with three of his officers, Ramsay Johnstone. John Wallace and Gavin Graham, gave themselves no rest in looking to the wellbeing of the 34 boys. Mr. Nelson Millar again attended as cook and as well as providing four appetizing meals each day his genial personality and good humour did much to contribute to the happy atmosphere of the camp. Good sea bathing was convenient and the open air swimming bath at Dunbar, some two miles away, was a great attraction, On the Sunday morning the Company attended Belhaven Parish Church where the service was conducted by the minister, the Rev. I. S. McMartin. M.C., M.A.

On Tuesday I visited the camp in my capacity as Company Chaplain, and my wife and family were with me. On Wednesday over 80 parents and friends visited the camp where they were hospitably entertained by Mr. Kyle and his officers and Mr Miller. That evening the Company provided the opposition in a friendly game of soccer against a team from Dunbar Boys’ Brigade. The prize donated by Mr. Miller for the smartest tent on daily inspection was won by Tent No. l under the command of Niall; Weatherstone. Other occupants were Tom Borthwick, Bruce Davidson. Douglas Anderson and Douglas Cameron. Mr. Miller also presented the prizes.

Church Services

I was very sorry to find it necessary to cancel the exchange of pulpits on Sunday. 14th July, with Rev. Hamish Baillie of Fisher Street Presbyterian Church, Carlisle. This was due to finding myself unable to be back in Langholm that weekend. We will arrange an exchange at a later date.

Church Flowers

l take the opportunity of thanking the many donors of flowers throughout the year, and wish to make known that we have three vacant Sundays if anyone should care to help in this way. Names should be given to Mrs. Mary Armstrong, Marlsyde, Riverside, who kindly prepares the annual list of flowers for the Communion Table.

With warm greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.

Sympathy With The Bereaved

We were all greatly saddened by the sudden passing away of Mrs. Margaret Maxwell of Treetops. She was a very gracious lady who delighted in acts of kindliness. She loved her Church and Sunday worship, and I know that her Christian faith and prayer life meant much to her. She loved her home and constantly employed her artistic skill in making her home and garden more beautiful. We find it difiicult to realise that she has gone from us, and feel deeply for our good Elder, James Maxwell, and family in their bereavement. Our deepest and heartfelt sympathy with them at this time.

Also our sincere sympathy with Mr. Tom Borthwick, 25 Caroline Street, in the loss of his wife Mary Helen. And our sympathy with the family who loved their mother so well. Mrs. Borthwick passed away at the wonderful age of 85.

Also our sincere sympathy with Mr. William Scott, 35 Holmwood Drive, in the sudden and sad loss of his Wife Margaret Crone Kilpatrick, and with the family in the loss of their mother.


F. W. O.

July £58 2 6


£15 9 5


August 18 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. E. Calvert, 12 Charlotte Street.

August 25 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Beverley, 58 Caroline Street.

September 1 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Anderson, Mary Street.

Sunday School meets with Morning Service.


Meeting of Autumn Fair Committee in Vestry on Monday, 26th August, at 7.30 p.m.


There are several items of extraordinary expenditure to be met, such as the rebuilding of the Church Hall. drainage of the boiler house and the re-roofing of an outbuilding, at the Manse, and the Congregational Board have formed a Committee charged with the object of a special fund-raising effort to meet the cost of these necessary repairs to the fabric of the Church. Some years ago a very successful Garden Fete was held and it has been decided to hold another event run on similar lines this year.

On Saturday, 14th September, an AUTUMN FAIR will be held in Buccleuch Park, and this by the kind permission of Langholm Town Council. A children’s Fancy Dress Parade, starting from the Town Hall and proceeding to the Park, will herald the opening of the Fair by Mr. Hector Monro, M.P. Besides the usual stalls which will be found at the Fair, a list of which is detailed below, we hope to have one or two other items of interest such as a Car Treasure Hunt, a Barbecue and, if the proper judges can be arranged. possibly a Beauty Contest.

It would be very much appreciated if everyone will give their support in any way they can to this effort. All donations, whether of service, finance or goods, will be gratefully received, and Conveners of stalls can be contacted, as can any member of the Committee. We propose to open the Church Hall on the afternoon of Friday, 13th September, at 2.30 in order that donations may be left there.

Tickets for tea may be purchased from the Teas Convener or any member of the Committee any time from Saturday, 24th August.

Members of Committee

Mrs. Mina Canter, Mrs. Nan Bell, Mr. R. K. Neill, Mr. E. C. Armstrong, Mr. D. Lamont, Mr. David Calvert and Mr. J. Maclntosh.

Conveners of Stalls

Work. Mrs. T, Calvert; produce, Mrs. Geddes; candy, Mrs. Lamont; bottle, Mrs. Carter; cake, Mrs. T. Coulson, flower, Mrs. J. Smith; tombola, Mrs. J. Kyle; parcel, Miss L. McVittie; jewellery, Miss R. Cairns; teas, Mrs. D. I. Anderson. Mile of pennies, Mr, Gavin Graham. Handkerchief girl, Ann Young. Young Wives’ Stall. Youth Club for Games.


July 5 - Conducted by the Rev. Dr. John Kennedy. John Thomas Hogg, 17 Aldery Terrace, Canonbie, to Jeannie Roxburgh Earsman, Tail House, Canonbie.

July 20 - Alistair McMorran Sandilands, Glenzierhead Farm, Canonbie, to Kathleen Jean McKinnell Murray, Tarrasfoot Farm.

August 2 - Thomas Francis Stout, Woodlands, Haile, Egremont, to Kathleen Mary Goodfellow, 8 Buccleuch Terrace, Langholm.

August 3 - Gordon Hugh Reid, 97 Netherhlill Road, Paisley, to Sheila Christine Wood, National Bank House, Langholm.