Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.99                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        JULY 1969.

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.

These are the words of Nehemiah, one of the finest and most inspiring figures of the Old Testament. He was a Jew who held a high position in the Court of Persia, as Kings cupbearer. As he lived in the latter days of the Jewish exile which had now continued over 60 years, it is quite likely that he had never seen his ancestral native city of Jerusalem, but like every other Jew he had been brought up to love the ancient city because of its sacred associations with his own race.

Then one day he heard of the terrible distress in far off Jerusalem, and his heart was deeply moved. One of his friends had been to Jerusalem and on returning gave Nehemiah a pathetic account of the devastated state of the old city, and the affliction the people were enduring, and this filled his heart with grief and made him feel he must do something about it. And so he made an urgent appeal to the King whom he served, to be given leave of absence in order to return to Jerusalem and lend a hand in doing something to restore the city to its former prosperity and security.

As the Kings cupbearer, an officer of State, he was evidently very popular with the King, and his request was readily granted. The King also gave him every help to set out on the journey well supplied and supported, and some months later he arrived after a long and tedious journey.

Years earlier two other Jewish patriots, Zerubbel and Ezra had returned from exile and started rebuilding the ruined city, but they had been hindered in the work by a spirit of pessimism. Then came Nehemiah secretly by night, and rode round the devastated city, saw its broken down walls, and the remains of its once glorious buildings, its gates burned by brigands, its fountains dry and everywhere heaps of debris. And as he looked on the scene he was filled with rage as well as grief, just as a Londoner did when looking on the ruins after a terrible night of bombing in the last war. And a burning passion came into Nehemiah’s heart to see the work of rebuilding and recovery started at once. The very next day he called for an assembly ot the people and in addressing them said: “Ye see the distress we are in how Jerusalem liest in waste, come let us build up the walls of Jerusalem, that there be no more reproach." This was the challenge the young patriot flung at the people, and they made reply: “Let us rise up and build, so they built the wall, for the people had a mind to work." And under Neherniah’s leadership the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt, the Temple restored, and later a great Service of Re-dedication was held to mark the beginning of this grand work.

Where-in lay the secret of the great response to Nehemiah’s call to rebuild the ruined city

The people saw the terrible state of the city, and being reminded of its former glory, how it had once been called “the city of a great king”, the place where the name of Jehovah was honoured, there came into their hearts a determination to labour together to rebuild the ruined city. It was much the same in this country of ours in 1940 when threated with Nazi invasion. The voice of Nehemiah was heard in Winston Churchill, calling our people to a great and worthy task, of defending and preserving our land from the horrors of the Nazi monster, and in those days our people stood together, determined at whatever cost to preserve our British way of life, and the cause of all freedom loving people.

This sense of the challenge of a great task has inspired with courage and endurance many another to set themselves to fulfil a worthy pa-rt in their day and generation. When the country is threatened with disaster, when the Church is declining in its hold over the people and in its resources, we need men of the calibre of Nehemiah to stand forth among the pessimists and cynics, and see no cause for des- pair but a challenge to rebuild. And I believe that much of the confusion and strife among the workers in industry in our land today is to be blamed on that want of sense of living for a great cause as we knew in l94O. And it is the same in the life of the Christian Church. Our weakness today in the Church and in the Christian life is the lack of a sense of greatness in the work we stand for as Christians. And why should this be? Why should we speak in faltering terms, and act as though We needed to apologise about the part we are playing in supporting the Christian Church in this land and in the world? For as Bernard Manning once reminded us, “If you were to take the power of Christ out of the story of Western civilization, you take away the very soul out of the noblest and most successful effort that has ever been made ‘for the good of mankind”. Professor John Foster of Glasgow University, some time ago published a book entitled, “What are the Churches doing?”, and in some thirty chapters he recounts the story of what the Christian Church has done in the world, and then goes on to point out that in no time in history has the Church faced greater opportunities, and that the various branches of the Church were never more active in the world than they are today. If only people would get to know all that the Church has done down through the ages, how it has tamed the barbarian, given us our civilisation, our architecture, our spiritual life, and if people were half more concious of what the Church is doing today, take only our Church of Scotland in this land, particularly in its thought and care for youth, the aged, and our settlers abroad, then I feel sure they would be more inclined to feel as the Iews felt as they listened to Nehemiah, that this is the greatest cause in all -the world and we must give ourselves to support it with mind and hand and heart. “We are doing a great work” said Nehemiah. And every unbeliever, the agnostic and the atheist knows well that the Christian Church is doing a great work, there is no doubt that the one thing this world needs to resolve its problems and heal its festering wounds, and set mankind on a sure path to a glorious destiny, is“ to accept the mastership and the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Look for a moment at the kind of people who responded to Nehemiah’s challenge to rebuild the walls of the ruined city.

It was not only the professional builders, though I am sure they did their due part in directing the work. But we read that among ‘them were people of all kinds of occupations, priests, chemists, choirmen, goldsmiths all joined to build, and one man’s daughters were so fired with the appeal that they took a share in the building too. And this is how the real work of the Church is ‘done, not only by priests and ministers but by every member playing a part, for the Church is not a building but the people, and goes forward only when each member realises this and plays a due part.

The secret of Nehemiah’s strength lay in his faith that the task undertaken for the good of the people and nation was God’s work, and that He will see it through.

When Sanballet and Tobiah and Gesham the Arabian scorned and laughed at the work of rebuilding the walls, Nehemiah makes the reply, “The God of heaven will prosper us, and we His servants will arise and build.” And knowing that the great task of rebuilding the city walls and its Temple was for God’s glory and the restoration of the race that was to give to the world God’s Messiah, the people had a mind to work, knowing they were going forth not on their own errands but God’s errand, and that His purposes cannot tail. And what we do to maintain our Church and further its witness is God’s work, and we have our Lord’s own promise, “I will build my Church. and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”.

A word about Nehemialfs prayer life.

Nehemiah was a man of prayer, but his way of praying was very practical. When the enemies of the cause of rebuilding were seeking to hinder the work, he says, “We made our prayer unto the God of heaven, and we set a watch against the enemy day and night". His was not the way of praying by with- drawing from the world to some sacred spot and waiting in prayer for God to work. His way was to go forth into the midst of the evils of the world and make war upon God’s enemies, to hold a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other. Praying by working, not upon our knees but standing forth to the work we want done in God’s name.

Dear Fellow-Member,

I begin my letter for Iuly/August by wishing all who will go on holiday during the next two months, safe travel and good weather.

Visit to Langholm of Rev. James A. Beverley, B.D.

In my letter in the May, 1962, Parish Magazine, I referred to ]im Beverley, well known to the residents of Langholm, entering the ministry of the Presbyterian Church of U.S.A. Jim’s mother, Mrs. Agnes Beverley, a member of the Old Parish and well known in the community lives at 58 Caroline Street. Jim, after serving with the United States Armed Forces, decided to seek admission to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church, and on 28th May, 1962, graduated in Divinity.B.D., in Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas. On 10th June he was ordained and inducted minister of Faith Presbyterian Church, Brownsville, Texas. On that occasion by resolution of the Kirk Session of Langholm Old Parish Church a telegram of greeting and congratulation was sent to him in the name of our parish and congregation. He is now in his second charge, minister of Saint Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas. It was with great delight that I learned that Jim with wife and family are to visit Langholm, his home town, in July. I have his consent to publish that he will conduct the Services in the Old Parish Church at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, 13th July, and that on the following Sunday he will give the sermon at the Common Riding Service. I hope he may also be here long enough to accept an invitation to conduct the Services on Sunday, 27th July. We look forward to his visit and seeing him in the pulpit of the church he attended as a boy, and meeting his family. Mrs. Agnes Beverley must be very proud of all her son Jim has achieved, and all our people share that pride with her.

Langholm Common Riding United Service

The Service on Sunday, 20th Iiuly will be attended by Cornet William Laidlaw, with Right and Left Hand men, Common Riding Committee, and Provost and Mrs. Grieve, with members and officers of the Langholm Town Council. There will be a Wreath laying ceremony at the War Memorial at 10.30 a.m., and the Kirkinlg of the Cornet at 1la.m. This will be a United Service of Old Parish, Erskine and Congregational churches, and Lessons will be read by the Cornet and the Chairman of the Common Riding Committee. On the same day the Evening Service in our church will be attended by members of the Lodge Eskdale Kilwinninig.

Early Half-Hour Service

The Service at 9.30 a.m. lasting half an hour, when people are invited to attend in working or travelling clothes, has proved to be meeting a real need. The attendances have been surprisingly good. Without in any way detracting from the attendance at the lla.m. Service. The idea for holding this early Service was first put forward to the Kirk Session by Mr. A. M. Hutton, our Session Clerk, and I am very pleased his proposal received the support of the whole Kirk Session. Of course I have been greatly helped in making it meet a local need by Niall Weatherstone and Douglas Cameron, two young men who recently joined our church and have proved of the greatest value to the minister. They have helped me in selecting the kind of hymns they know will be heartily sung, and by singing together a folk song or spiritual at each Service. I have also been helped by Mrs. Burnett, Jim Hunter, Mrs. Barker and David Murray, in leading the praise on the piano. The success of this shorter and in some ways different form of Service has given me the impression that we need to rethink the structure of our forms amid times of Church Services to meet presentday needs.

The early 9.30 a.m. Half-Hour Service on Sunday, 13th July "will be conducted by Niall Weatherstone and Douglas Cameron, as I am away that weekend attending the A.T.C. Camp at Finningley R.A.F. Station, near Doncasiter.

On 24th August, the Evening Service will be a Service of Biblical Siong, to be rendered by Mrs. Hazel Cowan, whom you have known well in her past visits as Hazel Farms. This will be at the 6 p.m. Evening Service, and will be Biblical Song by Anton Dvorak, English Version by Astra Desmond, prepared directly from original Czech. It contains “Clouds and Darkness” based on Psalm 97 “Thou O Lord art my hiding place” based on Psalm 119 “Hear my prayer O God” based on Psalm 55 “The Lord is my Shepherd” based on Psalm 23 and “I will sing a new song unto Thee”, based on Psalm 144. In addition Hazel will render a folk song.

Retirement of Rev. Andrew Farms, Canonbie and Longtown

Rev. Andrew Farms retires as minister of Canonbie and Longtown as from Monday, 30th June. As Interim Moderator I will conduct the Services on Sunday, 6th July at Canonbie at 12.15 p.m. and Longtown at 6.30 p.m. when I will intimate the vacancy. On Saturday, 28th June at a Social Evening in Canonbie Public Hall, presentations were made to Mr. and Mrs. Farms, and warm tributes paid to their long and devoted ministry, 39 years in Canonbie and l4 with Longtown linked as additional charge.

Presbytery of Hawick

The Presbytery of Hawick met in our Old Parish Hall on Wednesday, 25th June, when a large attendance of ministers and elders were given sumptuous refreshments by the ladies of our Guild. For this I wish to express my very best thanks. At this meeting the Rev. Robert Lockhart, of St. Margaret's and Wilton South, Hawick, was nominated as Moderator to succeed me in that office. He will take over from me at the October meeting. It was also resolved that commencing October the Presbytery meetings will be held in the evening, at 7.30 p.m. in Hawick Old Parish Session Room. This will be for a trial period of one year. Up to the present the meetings have been held at 2 p.m. in the afternoon.

The reason for this change of time is to encourage young elders at work during the day, to accept nomination as Presbytery elders. At this meeting I extended the Presbytery’s warm thanks and appreciation to Mr. James Maxwell, for the painstaking work he does for the Presbytery as Presbytery Fabric Convener. Mr. Maxwell is our Old Parish Presbytery elder.

Volunteers to Keep Church Grounds

I am very much encouraged at the present time by a number of people coming forward offering their services to the church. Three young men who joined as members at last Communion, Denis Barker, Michael Bell and Anthony Fisher, have undertaken to keep the church grounds, and have already got down to the job. The Board agreed to sell the old barrel type grass mower, which was forever getting buckled owing to small stones thrown up into the grass and they have purchased a new ATCO for the work. Many thanks to Denis, Michael and Anthony for a service we all tremendously appreciate.

Hall Keeper resigns after many years Faithful Service Mr. and Mrs. Robert Donaldson have served us well as hall keepers, and "have kept the premises spotless and given themselves to the work with dervotion. On behalf of the congregation of the Old Parish, all regular users of the hall, the Women’s Guild, the Young Wives Fellowship, the Boys’ Brigade, the Badminton Club, and the Over 60 Club, I express very best thanks for the obliging manner in which they have sought to meet all demands. We are now looking for a married couple if possible to undertake this work. Particulars of duties and pay» ment can be obtained from Mr. Edward C. Armstrong, Town Clerk, who is Clerk to the Board. or from myself.

Decoration of Church

We greatly appreciate the action of Mr. Tony Irving in carrying through the church decoration withing a few days, and involving us in only one Sunday in the hall. This was possible by bringing a larger number of workers on the job. I want specially to thank Mrs. Betty Elliot, and the ladies and young men who worked like trojans on Tuesday afternoon and evening scrubbing and washing out the huge church. It cheered me tremendously to find such a splendid response to my appeal for washing out the church before the Academy speech and prize giving Service. I also wish to thank our elder William Smith for coming at some inconvenience to take up and relay the aisle carpets.

Bequest to Old Parish Church

The late Miss Ellen Wilson Thomson», 5 Meikleholm, who passed away in the Thomas Hope Hospital on 6th May, 1969 at the age of 81, bequested to her Church which she dearly loved the sum of £10. In her life time she always sought to make some contribution whenever possible, as she said it was the way she had been brought up. You may recall that after her passing I noted in the Parish Magazine that Miss Thomson began her working life as a cook in the Thomas Hope Hospital, in hard days when the reward was meagre and the working hours long.

News of Rev. Dr. Tom and Mrs. Borthwick

Rev. Dr. Tom Borthwick was born at Hopsrigg Farm in 1885, and on his father's retirement to Langholm Tom became a member of the Old Parish Church. He worked as a youth in the offices of Stevenson and Johnstone and as the result of a decision he made at a Mission Meeting in the then Eskdale Temperance Hotel, vowed he would become a minister. He graduated in Medicine in Edinburgh, and in 1911 went out to China as a medical missionary. It was in China that he met his wife. The story of his life in China from 1911 until imprisoned by the Japanese in the last War, and retirement in 1945, reads like the life of David Livingstone. On his retirement and return to Scotland after the war, he happened to meet an old friend in Edinburgh, the late Principal G. S. Duncan. who asked Tom what he was going to do with his retirement. Well, he replied, he had always wanted to be a minister, but it was rather late in the day now to go to Divinity Classes. Principal Duncan saw to it that Tom was offered a special course at New College, Edinburgh, after which he was able to fulfil his early wish and became minister of Ardwell Sandhead, ‘near Stranraer. Later he and Mrs. Borthwick retired to Clitheroe to live near their married daughter. A week ago I had a letter from Tom now in his 84th year, telling me that owing to illness he and his wile have been advised to seek admission to an Eventide Home. He would have loved to eome to Langholm but unfortunately Greenbank does not have accommodation for a couple to offer. They have, I am glad to say, been alloted a room in Pilgrim House, Netherby Road, Edinburgh. We send them warim greetings, and I will take the first opportunity of calling on them to let them know they are warmly remembered by their old friends in Eskdale.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

Margaret Paterson, formerly of 6 Eskdaill Street, passed away at Dumfries on 28th May at the age of 88. The widow of the late Mungo Paterson of Claygate. Our sympathy with relatives.

Walter Boyd Milligan of l4 Mary Street, passed away in the Thomas Hope Hospital on 29th May at the age of 64. Our sincere sympathy with his widow Agnes Bell and their two sons John and George.

John Hogg of 3 George Street, passed away in the Thomas Hope Hospital on 3lst May at the age of 91. Our deepest sympathy with his family, Margaret, Tom and Alec.

Robert Jardine Notman of 67 Caroline Street, passed away on 2nd June at the age of 87. Our deepest sympathy with his four daughters and one son, Martha, Mary, Agnes, Margaret and Tom.

Margaret Agnes Iohnstone, formerly of Glenelg, Walter Street, and widow of the late George Iohnstone, passed away at Ring‘wood, Hants., at the age of 90 years. Our sincere sympathy with the relatives.

Here I would like to pay special tribute to the nursing and devoted care given to so many of our elderly people by the matron and staff of the Thomas Hope Hospital.

With my warm greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.

F.W.O. June 1968 £99 10 3 1969 £88 12 9

Ordinary 1968 £32 13 1 1969 £44 11 8

Flower Service and Prize Giving

On Sunday, 22nd June, there was a large attendance when the children brought gifts. These were received by Gavin Graham and Ian Roebuck and later distributed among the sick, older people and to the Thomas Hope Hospital and Greenbank Eventide Home. Lessons were read by Helen Stroud, Anne Young, Ross Elliot, and Maureen Currie. The Primary sang “God is always near me”, and the Sunday Scool sang ~the 23rd Psalm to Bro. James’ Air. At the close of the Service Mr. John Scott, Sunday School Superintendent, called out the names of prize winners and these were handed over by the minister. Intimating that this service would mark the end of the present Sunday School session, the minister thanked the teachers for their faithful service. Sunday School outings took place, for the senior children to Whitley Bay on Saturday, 21st June, and was very much enjoyed. For the primary children to Eskdalemuir on Saturday, 28th May, when Miss Mary Dalgliesh, Primary Leader, was well Supported by the teachers and a happy afternoon was enjoyed.


The Boys Brigade annual camp will take place at the end of July and will be held at Crail in Fife. The boys leave Langholm on Saturday, 26th July and return on Saturday; 2nd August. Parents and friends visiting day will be Wednesday, 30th July, when a coach will leave David Street at 8.15 a.m. Parents and friends wishing to visit the camp and travel by this coach are asked to hand in their names as soon as possible to Mrs. Madge Kyle, at the shop, 36 High Street.


July l3 9.30 a.m. Niall Weatherstone and Douglas Cameron. ll a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. James Beverley, B.D., Flowers, Mrs. Derek Bell, Buccleuch Square.

July 20, 9.30 a.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. 10.30 a.m. Wreath-laying at War Memorial. 11 a.m. Common Riding Service when Rev. James Beverley, B.D., will give the address. 6 p.m. Service attended by members of Lodge Eskdale Kilwinning. Rev. Dr. Dinwoodie. Flowers, Mrs. P. Hotson, 2 Walter Street.

July 27, 9.30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers,

August 3, 9.30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers,

August l0, 9.3O a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Torn Calvert. Flowers,

August l7, 9.3O a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. E. Calvert, 12 Charlotte Street.

August 24, 9.30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers Mrs. Beverley, 58 Caroline Street.

August 3l, 9.3O a.m. 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. D. I. Anderson, Mary St.

September 7, 9.30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Sunday School commences new session meeting with the 11 a.m. Morning Service. Flowers Mrs. Dalziel, 16 Braehead.


June 8, Andrew William Thomas, son of Mr. and Mrs. Archibald Findlay, Langholm Lodge.

June 7, Robert Grieve, 1 Rosevale Place, to Avril Margaret Smith, 29 Charles Street New.

June l4, Walter James Bell, 9 Bracken Close, St. Ann’s Hill, Carlisle, to Violet Borthwick, 17 Henry Street.


May 28, Margaret Paterson formerly of 6 Eskdaill Street. Age 88.

May 29, Walter Boyd Milligan, 14 Mary St. Age 64.

May 3l, John Hogg, 3 George Street. Age 91.

June 2, Robert Jardine Notman, 67 Caroline Street. Age 87.

May 30, Margaret Agnes Johnstone, formerly of Glenelg, Walter Street. Ashes interred at Langholm on 14th June. Age 90.

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

Ecclesiastes 12. 7.