Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.65                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       JULY/AUGUST, 1966.

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

Session Clerk: Mr. John Tyman,M.A. LL.B., Barbank, Langholm. Tel. 223

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

Treasurer: Mr. Robert Black, 35 Eskdaill 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 July-August, "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water." Psalms 1. 3.

Dear Fellow Member,

My message for July/August is contained in the sermon I preached on Sunday morning, June 12, about a good man's life being like a tree planted by the rivers of water. The writer of the first Psalm contrasts the life of a good man with the ungodly. He likens the outcome of the life of the ungodly man to worthless chaff which the wind scattereth in every direction. But the good. man's life to a tree planted by rivers of water. The psalmist lived in the near East, in a land where an upright flourishing tree was a rare sight. In a country like ours, trees are common and we set little by them, but if only one or two trees existed in the land we would travel far to behold them and stand before them in admiration and wonder.

The psalmist says a good man's life is like a tree, a tree standing erect and in full leaf, a thing o{ beauty.

In front of the Old Manse where I have the privilege of living is a sycamore tree which a veneer cutting firm was lately anxious to purchase. My reply was that the tree when in full leaf has a beauty that money cannot buy. The psalmist says the life of a good man or woman has a beauty like that, for goodness is one of the most beautiful things in the world. I do not mean goody goody people but that kind of goodness that is characterised by graciousness, humility and kindness. "Beautiful faces are those that wear, whole souled honesty printed there. Beautiful lips are those that speak, words that are gracious, kind and meek. Beautiful hands are those that do, work that is earnest kind and true".

In his book about his mother, My Lady of Chimney Corner, Alexander Irving says his mother's life was the most beautiful life he ever knew. He says she had the most beautiful face in Antrim. It was a haggard wrinkled face, but every mark and line was the outcome of toil and care to help her neighbours who lived under the most desperate conditions of poverty.

Then the psalmist goes on to say the good man's life is like a tree planted.

Now a tree that has been planted is vastly different from a tree that has grown from a chance seed blown by the wind. A tree that grows up by chance as often as not is growing in thin soil and often above rocks. It may flourish for a time but will be easy meat for a raging gale. But a tree that has been planted has been placed in selected soil and has had its roots laid out in the direction of the prevailing winds. In Thomas Hardy's Woodlanders he tells of Giles Winterbourne planting young fir trees on a cold winter morning. And he says "his fingers had a gentle conjuring touch in spreading the roots of each tree in the proper direction for growth. He puts most of the roots towards the South West", for he said, "in forty years time when some great gale is blowing from that direction, the trees will require the strongest holdfast on that side to stand against it and not to fall".

And one thing we can all be certain of in life is that storms will come and we will be tested. If our life is like a tree that has grown up in thin soil it has little chance of withstanding the storms. Everything depends upon life having deep roots reaching down into the things that keep us steady and calm in times of testing. I have read recently'about the greatest storm ever known in this country. It was in the year 1703, the year the parish of Langholm was formed. It was like one of those disastrous cyclones which sometimes hit the West Indies or Florida, which on that occasion swept over the whole of Britain. Even the Queen had to hide for shelter in a cellar of St. James' Palace in London. A country vicar living near Oxford saw a spout of wind, or a pillar of air whirling along, which snapped a great oak tree as if it had been a match. An elm lree which it passed over was left standing, but twisted round as if it were made of string. About 400 windmills were blown down that night. Abour 150 ships were lost at sea or in harbour, having their masts snapped off like twigs. Nobody knows for sure, but, perhaps 8,000 sailors were drowned that night. Some people wakened in the morning to find the roof over their heads had gone during the night.

Often in the business of daily living storms like that sweep down on men and women, I mean unexpected sorrows, disappointments, bereavements, and unless the tree of life is firmly planted we will be left desolate and despairing.

But the psalmist goes on to say the life of a good man is like a tree planted by rivers of water, bringing forth his fruit in his season.

This reference to a tree is to the date palm, one of most important and valuable trees in eastern regions. Though it is a tree that will grow almost anywhere it never bears fruit uniess planted within reach of water, and so whenever possible is planted by rivers of water. But many of the rivers in the East are flowing underground, and the Arabs have a geninus of planting their trees by rivers that cannot be seen. I have seen.such a river when serving as a Chaplain to H.M. Forbes in Cyrenaica. At a place called Lethe a few miles south o{ Benghazi. There you may descend 120 feet below ground and see this underground river flowing some forty feet deep and flowing for another fifty miles to its outlet in the Blue Lagoon, a bathing pool on the coast. And so it is in the life of the spirit, the life of faith. We cannot see God, but we can draw upon "the river of God which is full of water" (Psalm 65. 9) by prayer, by worship in God's House, and by meditation upon His word. In this way we can let our roots down and draw upon great unseen powers which are available all the time to men and women of faith. This was the secret of the wonderful cheer and composure of Dr. Edward Wilson who perished in the Antartic with Captain Scott. Captain Scott left record, that in those last moments as they awaited the end freezing to death in their tent, that Edward Wilson kept them all in sanity by his calm and good cheer. Dr. Edward Wilson was born in Cheltenham of quaker stock and was brought up to cultivate a life of prayer and to meditate upon God's word, morning and evening. And it was from this source, this hidden river of God, that he was able to stand the test of life's storms. He left behind him a letter to his wife in which he said, "don't be unhappy, we are playing a part in a great scheme arranged by God himself. We will meet again and there will be many things we can do together".

A tree has sometimes been known to display remarkable intelligence. Like the famous Hampton Court Vine, about 180 years old, the noblest vine in the world. It never prdduced a cluster of fruit until, it was discovered, it had sent its roots some four hundred yards in the direction of the Thames and began to draw upon its waters. And men and women who reach out unto God by prayer and worship, and who keep hope for the future of the world by strivinging with others to build up the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, are displaying a like intelligence to a tree.

A life which like a tree is planted by rivers of water cannot help bringing beauty and health and enrichrnent to all around.

Such a life receives from hidden sources to overflowing and others around all unconsciously receive the benefit. When Jacob before his death was blessing his sons, this is what he said of Joseph. "Joseph is a fruitfui bough, even a fruitful bough, by a well, whose branches run over the wall"

Another point, a tree planted by rivers of water bringeth forth his fruit, his leaf shall not wither.

The saddest thing about life for so many people is that the things they have set their heart upon begin to lose their taste, they do not bring the saitisfactions they expected they would, they wither with the passing of the years. The psalmist says that for the good man or woman, life keeps its freshness down the years, that as the years pass the leaves remain fresh and do not wither. How different it is for those who despise goodness, who scoff and mock at the commandments of God, whose lives are never seriously harnessed to any serious purpose in living, who are concerned oniy in getting what they call "a good time". The time comes all too soon when the novelty of things wears off and the leaves wither.

It was like this for the famous fiction writer Anatole France. He lived for pleasure alone but in age he writes, "I cannot remember that I have had a single happy day in my life, except perhaps when I was" a little child". And Byron who threw away restraint to the winds and went his own heedless way in life, confessed on his 36th birthday, 'My days are in the yellow leaf. The flowers and fruits of love are gone. The worm, the canker and the grief, are mine alone"


How different the testimony of men and women who have found the source of their chief delights in the law of the Lord, whose lives have been planted in Christian experience, and who have sought to bless others. George MacDonald wrote a letter to a younger man, telling what his faith and religion had meant to him, how it had helped him keep his youthful spirit. "I gather from your last letter that you are now 50 years of age. I am nearly 20 years your senior, nor far from 70 now, but if I do not in allthings, I do in essential things feel younger than when I was a child. Certainly I am happier and more hopeful". And Sir William Mulock, a former Chief Justice of Canada felt much the same. After living a grand life of faith and Christian service he was given a banquet in honour of his ninetieth birthday. An old man, grey in the service of truth, he stood up and spoke words that thrilled the whole Christian world "The shadows of evening lengthen about me", he said, "but morning is in my heart".

We are living in days when the world needs more than ever it did good men and women. For they beautify the world, and like great trees hold the soil of society together. And they not only bear fruit which enriches their own generation but generations yet unborn. The story is told of General Allenby who commanded the campaign to free Palestine from the Turks in the First World War. One day sitting with some of his officers on a small hill in the desert one of the officers asked, what is it that this land most needs? General Allenby replied in one word, "Trees". This is what the world desperately needs today. trees. I mean good men and women who will be like trees planted by rivers of water. Take them away and. what have you got left? A century ago a famous, American preacher, Henry Ward Beecher concluded the Morning Service in his Church in Brookiyn with this prayer, "We pray for our land. Let us not be left unrich in manhood. Destroy our ships, destroy our dwellings but grant that poverty may never come upon the manhood of this nation. raise up nobler men, men who will scorn bribes, men who will not be devoured by selfishness, men that shall fear God and love man.

Another great American doctor and author of the last century, Oliver Wendell Holmes, had the same thought in mind when he wrote:

"God give us men. A time like this demands I Great hearts, strong minds, true faith, and willing hands.

Men whom the lust of office does not kill;

Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;

Men who possess opinions and a will;

Men who have honour;

Men who will not lie."

Church Services for July/August

The Kirk Session has wisely decided this year not to,drop the Evening Services except for two Sundays when we unite with Erskine Church in August. the feeling of the members of the Kirk Session was that oo no occasion should the doors of the Old Parish Church be ciosed on Sundays, and that while the number attending an Evening service may sometimes be small,ln worship it is not numbers that matter. Our Lord's promise is that "Wherever two or three are gathered together in My name there am I in ihe midst." We did however decide to keep the Evening Service well within the hour, and vary its nature whenever possible. On Sunday, 1Oth July the Evening Service will be attended by the young Wives Fellowship, when members of The Fellowship will sing two selected hymns, read the Lessons, and choose the congregational singing. On Sunday, 21st August the Over 60 Club will attend, read the Lessons and sing special items of praise. During August we will as on previous years unite with Erskine, the first two Sundays, 7th and l4th, in the Erskjne Church; and the last two Sundays, 21st and 28th ln the Old Parish.

Common Riding Service

On Sunday, 24th July rhe Morning Service will be a United Service of Erskine and Congregational Churches with Old Parish in the Old Parish, and attended by Cornet Ronald Hudson wiih his Right and Left Hand Men, the Common Riding Committee, the Provost and Members and Officers "of the Langholm Town Council. This Service will be preceeded by a short wreath laying ceremony at the'War Memorial at 10,15 a.m.

The Evening Service on 24th July will be attended by members of the Lodge Eskdale Kilwinning No. 107, when the Rev. George Watson, B.D., Wilton Church, Hawick will be the visiting preacher. At the same hour I will conduct the Evening Service in the Erskine Church.

Air Training Corps Summer Camp

As Hon. Chaplain to the A.T.C. I have undertaken to attend as Wing Chaplain at the Summer Camp at West Raynham, near Kings Lynn, for the period 15th to 22nd July. This means I will be absent from my pulpit on Sunday, 17th July, and I have asked Mr. John Tyman, M.A. LL.B.; to conduct both the Morning and Evening Services that day. Mr. Tyman is in almost constant demand for Sunday Services, particularly in Hawick where there are at present three vacant charges.

Annual Sunday Schoolflower and Prize Giving Service

The Service began with the children entering church during singing of the first hymn, when I led the procession with Elizabeth Rae and Kathryn Elliot on either hand. Gifts of flowers and fruit etc. were handed over by the children to two of our young elders, who are also Sunday School Teachers, Douglas Anderson and John Scott. Later the gifts were distributed among people fur sickness or elderly. The Lessons were clearly read by Morris Graham, Sally Hill, Jacqueline Fletcher, and Douglas Anderson. The children sang, the lovely hymns, God is always near me, If I come to Jesus, and God who made the earth. In calling upon Mr. William Stuart to help in handing our the prizes I took opportunity of thanking him for his splendid service as Sundav School Superintendent, and thanked the teachers for their good services week after week throughout the year. Prizes were awarded to the following:

Perfect Attendance, Moira Bell Helen Murray, Carol Johnstone, Sally Hill, Doreen Irving.

Regular Attendance Joan Hislop, Jacqueline Fletcher, Keith Borthwick, Geoffrey Ireland, Martin Borthwick, David Erskine, Raymohd Hyslop, Dorward Nawrocki, Kenneth Hill, Robert Hotson Richard Erskine.

Primary, Janice Anderson, Anne Borthwick, Alison Fletcher, Elizabeth Johnstone, Janice Laidlaw, Penny Liggins, Vivienne Richardson, Hugh Calvert, Derek Copeland, Roger Irving, Brian Wilson, Raymond Pace.

Summer Outings

The Sunday School held two very happy outings, for the Primary children on Sarurday, 11th June to Allonby. Weather was good and a very happy day was spent by the sea. The teachers under leadership of Miss Mary Dalgliesh, were most kind in seeing the children were safe and enjoying the outing. The Junior and Senior Departments travelled to Prestwick on Saturday, 18th June, and while the weather was disappointing a very happy day was spent visiting the Airport and enjoying the coach drive through the lovely countryside.

The Young Wives Fellowship greatly enjoyed an evening outing to dinner at Dinwoodie Lodge, near Lockerbie on Wednesday, 15th June.

The Women's Guild outing to Dumfermline and St. Andrews was reported in the last parish magazine, and since then a second outing for the afternoon was held on Wednesday, 22nd June, when over forty filled the coach.The party visited Thornhill as guests of the Thornhill Morton Church Guild, and were under the leadership of Mrs. Henderson, wife of the minister of Thornhill, taken on for a visit of Drumlanrig Castle, Durisdeer with its Kirk and its Marbles, and back to Thornhill when they were given a splendid high tea, and later taken through Morton Chrurch by Rev. John Henderson. The party returned via Ruthwell and visited the church, when Mrs. Bone, wife of the Ruthwell minister, explained the story of the runic cross which now stands within the parish church. The ladies regard this as one of the best outings ever and are full of praise for the kind welcome and hospitality given by Mrs. Henderson and her Guild at Thornhill. Thanks were expressed by Mrs. Carter, president of our Guild, and will be conveyed by letter. The Guild is deeply indebted to the secretary, Mrs. Wood, who made all the arrangements for the two outings this year.

Youth Club Barbecue

The Youth Club enjoyed a grand evening at Boreland when they joined with youth from Lockerbie, Gretna and Boreland in a barbecue. The roast and carving was conducted by Mr. William Geddes of Upper Mumbie, assisted by Mr. James Wilson of Tundergarth Mains, and Mr. Alex Hutton, our Session Clerk, Mr. and Mrs. John Scott and others. Over a hundred enjoyed the meal and dancing.

Langhoim Academy Speech Day and Prize Giving

The children of the Academy attended the Old Parish Church on Friday, 24th June, when the Rector Mr. James Pattie, gave an interesting report on past session and prospects for the future. Provost Grieve presided and spoke extremely well to the young congregation, encouraging them to have pride in their town and district. The prizes were presented by Mr. Hector Monro, Member of Parliament for Dumfriesshire, whose address was eagerly listened to and made a very good impression. He spoke as a Christian man setting forth the Christian way of life as the best.

Good Holidays and a Good Common Riding

I conclude my letter by, wishing you all good weather and safe travel, who go away for holidays, and that the Common Riding may be a very happy, day for Ronald Hudson, and for all lovers of Langholm.

With warm greetings.

Yours sincerely.




Collections for June 1966

F.W.O £85 0 6

Ordinary £24 14 5

Refund Tax on Covenant £10 10 8

Annual Envelopes £ 10 0

Donations £2 10 0

Donation, Womens Guild £240 0 0


At a recent meeting of the Congregational Board it was unanimously resolved to accept an offer by Messrs Telfords amounting to £870 for the rewiring of the Church. The existing wiring is now in an almost dangerous state, and the work will be carried out as early as practicable. The opportunity is also being taken to replace the present lights with more efficient modern units, and, when the scheme is finished, the Church will be much better illuminated. The price quoted by Messrs Telfords includes the cost of the new lights.

Our new elder, Mr. T. Coulson, has been appointed Convener of the Fabric Committee.


July 10 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. R. Johnstone, 14 Elizabeth Street. The Evening, Service attended by young Wives Fellowship when members will take part in leading the Service.

July 17 11 a.m. and 6p.m,. Mr. John Tyman, M.A.,LL.B. Flowers, Mrs, paterson, The Cottage, Terrona.

July 24 11 a.m. Common Riding United Service. Flowers, Miss P. Hotson, 2 Walter Street. Rev. Tom Calvert, Rev. Dr. Dinwoodie, Rev. Beatrice D. Bonnar, B.D. Ceremony of wreath laying at War Memorial at 10.15 a.m. 6 p.m.Masonic Service attended by Lodge Eskdale Kilwinning No. 107, with Rev. George Watson, B.D., Wilton Church, Hawick, as, preacher. 6 p.m. Evening Service in Erskine Church, Rev, Tom Calvert.

July 31 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert Flowers, Mrs. T. Calvert, The Manse.

August 7 11 a.m. United Service in Erskine Church. Rev. Dr.Dinwoodie.

August 14 11 a.m. United Service in Erskine Church. Rev. Dr. Dinwoodie.

August 21 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert United Services in Old parish. Flowers, Mrs. E. Calvert, 12 Charlotte Street. The Evening Service will be attended by members of the Over 60 Club, who will read lessons and sing special items.

August 28 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rey. Tom Calvert. United Services in Old Parish. Flowers, Mrs. Beverley, 39 Henry Street.

September 4 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. D. I. Anderson, 65 Caroline Street. Sunday School takes up on Sunday, 11th September.


June 12 Gillian Elizabeth, daughter of Mr and Mrs. James Wright, c/o Mrs Devlin, 54 Holmwood Drive.

June 11 John Hogg, 25 Lovers Lane, Longtown, and Marion McNeill, 88 Henry Street. June.18 In Glasgow, James Baird Graham, 2 Eskdaill Street, and Florence Marie Clark, Sandy Flats, Caldercuilt Road. Glasgow. July 2 In Canonbie parish Church, Georqe Burriss Cowan, Gilnockie, and Hazel Farms, The Manse Canonbie.

June 9 Thomas Elliot, c/o Mrs. Corrie, Townhead. June 24 Funeral of Miss Isabella Maxwell, 14 Braehead. "The dust returneth to the.,dust, and the spirit unto God who gave it." Ecclesiastes 12. 7.


The Sunday School will commence the new session on Sunday. 11th September, meeting with the morning Service, and children leaving for classes after children's hymn.

The Kirk Session will meet on Wednesday, l4th September. at 7.30 p.m. followed by a meetig of the Congregational Board at 8.30 p.m.