Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

No.121                       Price 1/8p - with LIFE AND WORK - 8d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        July/August 1971.

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

Session Clerk: Mr. Archibald Findlay, Langholm Lodge. Tel. 453.

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

Treasurer: Mr. Donald Lamont, Royal Bank of Scotland, Langholm. Tel. 430.

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. John Scott, 54 William Street.

Text for July/August - "Remove not the ancient landmark which thy fathers have set". Proverbs 22.28.

This was my text for last year's Common Riding Service when we had the pleasure of congratulating Neil Davidson as Cornet of the Langholm Common Riding. The text is appropriate for such an occasion, for it speaks of concern in keeping the boundaries of common land and common rights. The ancient Hebrews had to contend with the same problem of encroachment upon common rights such as beset the people of our community in earlier days. We read of how Moses and the priests spake unto the people, saying, "cursed be he that removeth his neighbour's landmark".

And I have read of how a custom similar obtained in England, of how at Rogationtide and on Ascension Day there was introduced in about the 8th century a custom of beating the bounds of the parish with willow sticks, to ensure there was no encroachment.

So the ceremony we will witness on Friday, 30th July, with Robert Scott Nixon as Cornet - which in England was called "beating the bounds", and in Scotland called "the common riding", was not unknown to the ancient Hebrews and has found worthy mention in the Holy Scriptures.

I suppose that in our modern Welfare State it wouldn't matter very much if we forgot altogether about the boundaries marking off common land and peat rights, but I would like in this sermon to mention other landmarks set up by our fathers which concern our common inheritance of human rights and privileges - which we will do well to guard and treasure both for ourselves and those who will come after us.

The first of these I would mention is the love of home and native community.

Our fathers, who were great adventurers, many travelling and settling abroad, were ever great lovers of home and native town or glen or cottage. And those who settled abroad were prone to keep looking across the wide seas to the place where they were born with nostalgic emotions. This I know has been true of Langholm people, especially at the time of the annual Common Riding. Still many travel from distant lands to be back in the dear old home place as some will no doubt this year. And they delight to listen to the Bands and the Common Riding songs and music, and those who cannot be here agree that "Though I'm far across the sea, Yet my heart will ever be, Back home in dear old Scotland, With my ain folk".

Love of home and native haunts is a good thing to cultivate for it does something for us to remember home, parents, trusted friends, Sunday School teachers, our early ideals and ambitions and consider what has come of them. Hilaire Belloc was a South countryman, and never felt happy living in what he called the "sodden and unkind Midlands". He claimed that when he returned to Sussex from time to time he used to find healing for his soul. And he used to tell a story of a man who left our country and was roughing it in Colorado, how when the day's work was over he would bring out of his kitbag an old battered mouth organ, and would play over the old songs and hymns he had learnt in his boyhood, and as he did so the tears would roll down his rugged cheeks, for those songs carried him back to former days and friends and to a time when life was simple and unspoilt and full of expectancy of grand days to come. Yes, this deep seated instinct - love of home and past associations has ever had a steadying and guiding influence upon people.

It was the same for Ramsay Macdonald, when he was Prime Minister, and when surrounded by bitter political opponents, he and his wife Margaret would betake themselves to their native haunts of Lossiemouth, and amid the scenes of youthful days he found healing for life's hurts and renewal of spirit and ideals.

The second landmark set up by our fathers I would mention is the love of native land.

Our fathers loved their native land, and it was this love and patriotism that made them serve their land with honest toil, so that the name Scotland came to be revered throughout the world. This was how Robert Burns felt, "that I for dear old Scotland's sake, some useful plan or book could make, or sing a song at least". And the same thought was in the mind of Sir Walter Scott, when standing I believe on the top of Soutra Hill overlooking the Lothians and the kingdom of Fife, he was inspired to write the well known lines, "Breathes there a man with soul so dead, who never to himself has said, this is my own my native land. Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned, as home his footsteps he hath turned, from wandering in a foreign land".

Love of our native land, this is what is lacking among the masses of our people, and why they are ready to sell their country down the river to gain a larger pay-packet for the present whatever may be the prospects for employment in the future.

Thirdly our fathers set up the landmark of setting one day in seven as a day of rest and worship.

I am pleased and proud that the people of Langholm gather for worship on the Sunday before the Common Riding, led by the choice young man of the district as Cornet. And long may this continue, because this habit of Sunday worship of our fathers was the source of all that is best in our national and ccmmunity life. Recall what Robert Burns said about the men and women of his day who worshipped in the Kirk on the Lord's Day. "From scenes like these old Scotia's grandure springs, which makes her loved at home, revered abroad. Princes and Lords are but the breath of Kings, an honest man's the noblest work of God".

Long ago John Ruskin warned our people, "What greater loss can befall a nation than the loss of worship? Then all things go to decay. Genius leaves the temple and haunts the market or senate. Literature becomes frivolous, science cold. The eye of youth is not lighted by hope of other worlds, and age is without honour. Society lives for trifles, and when men die we do not mention them."

Rev. Dr. Hugh Douglas, last year's Moderator of Assembly, tells in his book "Coping with Life" of a visit he paid to Sweden in 1961. He was impressed by the excellent material conditions prevailing, no slums, no unemployment, complete social security with first rate health insurance and hospital services and liberal retirement pensions. But over 90 per cent. of the people, who were nominally members of the State Church rarely ever worship, and only a small proportion as in our own land take an active part in worship and the religious life. And he says that despite all the material advantages they have achieved, they have increasing numbers of young people patients in nerve hospitals, and the moral standards that once prevailed have disappeared. He says he came back to this country with a deepening impression that a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things he possesseth, that man cannot be satisfied with things, that he has a spirit as well as a body. Yes, and the wise man of the Old Testament had seen this happen in his day and this is why he counsels the people of his day, "Remove not the ancient landmark which thy fathers have set", the landmark of keeping one day in seven as a day of rest and worship.

One other landmark set up by our fathers was a sense of vocation and destiny in life.

Our fathers knew full well what they were in this world to fulfil. As children they had to memorise the Scottish Catechism which asked and answered the question, "What is man's chief end?". "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever". With this belief in mind from childhood our fathers sought to glorify God in their daily tasks, living with a sense of vocation and high destiny. The Scottish Catechism finds no place in the education of our young people today, and the consequence is that people are growing up with the belief that "man's chief end is to glorify himself and to enjoy himself forever". And this is why people have lost all sense of vocation in living such as our fathers possessed.

In 1929 there passed away in Edinburgh a great physician called Dr. James Walker Dawson. He was latterly a Professor of Medicine. In one of his published lectures entitled "The Spirit of Work", he tells the story of once when he was a young man he was spending a holiday in the Cairngorms, and of how one day in the deepening twilight he met an old shepherd who was sitting on the hillside, his dog beside him, looking far away now and again on the opposite hillside through a telescope. Dr. Dawson sat down beside him and asked if he had lost some sheep. Yes, he'd lost some sheep - so Dr. Dawson took the telescope from him and searched the hills and finding sight of some sheep he gave a description to the old shepherd which seemed to satisfy him. As he handed back the telescope the old shepherd politely asked him, What might be your occupation? He replied that he was a doctor. "But you will know nothing about sheep" remarked the shepherd. And Dr. Dawson explained he did, that he had once been a shepherd in New Zealand. Then gently and kindly the old shepherd asked him, "And what made you give up that vocation?"

That night Dr. Dawson said, he learned from this old shepherd the greatest lesson of his life, for the old shepherd talked to him about his vocation, not only in looking after sheep, but about how he and his wife had lived in the glen for the past 40 years. She had died that very year and the parting had been painful. He told how they had gone about among the people in the glen in simple ways helping when and where they could. So, concludes Dr. Dawson's lecture on "Spirit of Work", vocation does not belong to doctors alone, that every man and every woman in whatever their daily task can treat it as a vocation as Jesus did when in his earlier years he worked in the carpenter's shop in Nazareth.

These then are four landmarks set up by our fathers which we should keep in mind every Common Riding. The love of home and native community. The love of our native land. See to it that one day out of every seven is observed as a day of rest and worship. And finally, whatever our daily task see it as a divinely appointed vocation, remembering what Plato used to say, "You didn't come into this world by chance, but at this very moment God has need of you".


Dear Fellow-Member,

Coffee Morning and Sponsored Walk

Saturday, 19th June, was for our Old Parish Church a very happy and memorable day. For it all, we are deeply indebted to Miss Barbara Paterson, who when realising we needed to make a special effort to raise a substantial sum to balance the Fabric Fund, proposed giving her home for a Coffee Morning sometime in June. When this offer was discussed by the members of the Congregational Board, there came a further suggestion of a Sponsored Walk on the same day as the Coffee Morning, to be organised by leaders of our youth organisations. Both efforts were organised with a lot of thought and proved not only successful in raising finance but were tremendously enjoyed by all who took part and those who supported by attending.

The Coffee Morning realised the sum of 67, and the people on the Sponsored Walk were given refreshments at Hopsrigg on the return lap of the walk. Our thanks to Miss Barbara Paterson, to ladies of the Guild and gentlemen of the congregation who helped in many ways, using their cars to transport people from Langholm, supervising stalls, treasure hunt, Francis Paterson and Anne Wood for pony rides, and Jim Maxwell for transporting tables and crockery to and from Hopsrigg.

The Sponsored Walk was planned by Ramsay Johnstone and Gavin Graham, and every detail in the planning and supervision was seen to be in the hands of men of experience and calculating minds. Mr. Donald Lamont is also to be specially thanked for the help he gave to the organisers and for control of the financial aspect of the day. Special thanks to the people who manned checkpoints - Gavin Graham and Donald Lamont at Kilngreen, Archie Findlay and James Pattie at Potholm Junction, John Innes and Kitty Douglas at Burnfoot Bridge, Willie Noble and Robert Douglas at Benty Bridge, Denis Male and Leslie Carmichael at Enzieholm Bridge, J. Whitaker at Benty Post Office, Misses Mary Dalgliesh and Jean McVittie at Hopsrigg, and Archie Findlay doing a second checkpoint duty at Craigcleuch. Approximately 80 took part in the walk of 17 miles and it was a great help to have a few adults among them. When all had been checked in at Buccleuch Square it was calculated that the sum raised when collected in by the walkers would be 350. From what I hear many of the sponsors are being extra generous and this sum may well be exceeded. To all who took part in the Coffee Morning and Sponsored Walk I express the sincere thanks of the Kirk Session, Congregational Board and Congregation of the Langholm Old Parish Church.

Events of Special Interest in June

Our hall has been used during the past month for many good purposes. On Monday afternoon of 31st May, Youth Fellowships from Ryton on Tyne made our hall their home while on a visit to Langholm, when two coaches of young people greatly enjoyed their visit to Langholm.

On Tuesday, 8th June, a large party of elderly people from Carlisle were conveyed to Langholm by cars driven by members of the Carlisle Fisher Street Presbyterian Church Men's Club, and the large party was entertained to excellent refreshments by our Langholm Over 60 Club. Mrs. Flint, hostess of the Club also organised entertainment, with Mrs. Meadows leading community singing and Miss Jean Ferguson singing popular songs. Then on Thursday, 17th, young people of the Langholm Academy ran a Coffee Evening and Bring and Buy Stall on behalf of victims of cholera among the refugees entering India from East Pakistan. I understand they raised well over 39, a very creditable work to be undertaken by lads and girls of our community.

On Tuesday, 15th June, 153 senior citizens from Langholm and Eskdale enjoyed an outing to Silloth and a good meal at the Silloth Cafe.

On Saturday, 5th June, a most successful Garden Fete was held at Erkinholme, realising the sum of 570 to help pay for the alterations and furnishing of St. Francis Home, shortly to begin admitting elderly people. The Garden Fete was opened by Dr. George Watt, who spoke of the urgent need of such accommodation as the St. Francis Home would provide for the elderly.

On Tuesday, 22nd June the Over 60 Club held an open evening in our hall when the Dumfries Citadel Songsters of the Salvation Army led a delightful programme of singing. Capt. Roper spoke in very good humoured terms to a large gathering. He has only recently taken over as Captain of the Dumfries branch of the Salvation Army, and he had some interesting experiences to record. Lieut. Macdonald of the Annan Branch of the Salvation Army was also present and sang a lovely song from the Salvation Army hymn book. The visitors were entertained to refreshments by the Over 60 Club.

Congratulations to Miss Lean D. Hyslop

An interesting ceremony took place on Tuesday, 15th June at the Langholm Post Office when Miss Jean Hyslop was presented with the Imperial Service Medal by Mr. Wilkinson, Head Postmaster for Dumfries. In making the presentation Mr. Wilkinson said "On behalf of Her Majesty the Queen he had great pleasure in presenting Miss Hyslop with a well-deserved award". We all take great pleasure in the honour conveyed to Jean and offer our warm congratulations.

Flower Service and Prize Giving

The Flower Service and Prize Giving will have taken place by the time this letter is in your hands, when we hope to have the Junior Choir taking part. This Service marks the end of the present Sunday School session, and will take up again on the first Sunday of September.

The Sunday School outings are fixed for Saturday 26th June for the Seniors and Juniors - and on Saturday, 3rd July for the Beginners and Primary.

Air Training Corps Camp

I will be attending the Air Training Corps Annual Camp from 3rd to 10th July, this year at the Cottesmore R.A.F. Station, near Oakham. This will be the 10th Annual A.T.C. Camp I have attended as Chaplain since my induction to Langholm Old, each camp at a different R.A.F. Station. This year the camp will be attended by cadets from 906 Sqd. Douglas Ewart High School - 1152 1st Dumfriesshire Squadron, and 1705 Squadron Kirkcudbright Academy. My duties consist of conducting a parade Service on the Sunday morning, meeting the lads in groups during the week, visiting them in their barrack accommodation with the duty officer each evening, and being available for any lad for interviews.

On Sunday, 4th July, my place will be taken by Mr. J. MacIntosh, who will conduct the 9.30 a.m. Half-Hour Service and the 11 a.m. Morning Service. Mr. MacIntosh is one of our elders who has previously taken Services in our church with great acceptance. He is shortly to be appointed an official Reader of the Church of Scotland by the Hawick Presbytery, and will then hold status to conduct Divine Services in any of our Churches. My warm thanks and admiration of one of our elders who is able and willing to witness of his faith in this way.

Presbytery of Hawick Meeting in Old Parish Hall

The Presbytery of Hawick meets in our hall on Wednesday, 30th June at 7 p.m . At this meeting the Rev. George B. Urquhart, M.A., minister of Edgerston and South Dean, will be nominated as Moderator to succeed the Rev. Robert McConnel of Roberton and Teviothead. The members of Presbytery will be entertained to refreshments by the ladies of our Guild.

Common Riding Sunday

On Sunday, 25th July, Cornet Robert Nixon accompanied by his Right and Left Hand Men, Ex-Cornets Neil Davidson, and W. Laidlaw, members ot the Common Riding Committee, and the Provost and members of the Langholm Town Council, will attend our church at the 11 a.m. Service. I am inviting the other Churches in Langholm to share in a United Service as in previous years. The Church Service will be preceded by a wreath-laying ceremony at the War Memorial in Buccleuch Park at 10.30 a.m. We hope for a good attendance and all wish Robert Nixon a very happy day on Friday, 30th July, when he will lead the Common Riding carrying the Town Standard.

The Evening Service on Sunday, 25th July, will be attended by members of the Lodge Eskdale Kilwinning No. 107 which I have been asked to conduct this year and this will give me great pleasure.

Boys' Brigade Visit to the Continent

The lads and officers of our First Langholm Company of the Boys' Brigade will visit Montreux, Switzerland, from 1st to 13th August, staying most of the time in the Youth Hostel at Montreux, and spending a few days on organised excursions. We know that they will make a good impression upon all they meet in with for their courtesy and smartness. We all join in wishing them a very happy and memorable visit to the Continent of Europe.

Youth Enterprise

On the evening of Saturday, 19th June, after the Coffee Morning and Sponsored Walk, I gave permission to Jean Graham and Arlene Hogg to run a Discotheque in our hall in aid of the Fabric Fund effort of the day. The sum raised and handed to me by the promoters is 15.39 and I wish to express my thanks for this generous contribution. Unfortunately the evening ended with the intrusion of intoxicated youths, one of the problems we are having to try and cope with in present days. I have made the aim of the whole of my ministry to try and understand and help young people through the difficult years, and hope that the girls who sponsored this effort will help me form a Christian Service Group to help our youth to find opportunity of living to serve the community.

Sympathy With The Bereaved

On 7th June, Alexander Erskine passed away in the Thomas Hope Hospital at the age of 78. Alec served his country well in the First World War, serving from 1908 to 1916 in the 5th Bn. K.O.S.B., and from 1916 to 1919 in the Royal Navy. He rendered 35 years of splendid service as Janitor of our Langholm Academy, and is remembered by hundreds of people now grown up for his kindly understanding of them as children at school. He loved music, the Pipe Band, and is remembered for his Christian character, good humour, and his kindly outlook upon other people. Our deepest sympathy in bereavement with his widow Magdalene Scoon Laidlaw, and his daughters, Jessie, Anne, and Connie.

On 7th June, John A. Dalziel passed away in the Carlisle City General Hospital at the age of 71. John gave 37 years of splendid service in the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, and is remembered for his fine bearing, devotion and diligence to duty, wise understanding with all kinds of people and especially children, and a generous heart while serving in Annan, in Lockerbie in the busy war years, in Clarencefield, and as Police Sgt. here in Langholm. He was devoted and generous to his Church. Our deepest sympathy in bereavement with his widow Catherine Bell, and his devoted daughter Jean.

On 19th June, Mary Elizabeth Irving passed peacefully away in the Thomas Hope Hospital at the age of 86. Her late devoted husband Arthur passed away only two months ago. Mary Irving was loved by neighbours for her kindness and her quiet humour. Our deepest sympathy with her son Tom and Ella his wife - who were so wonderful in caring for their mother in these last months of her weakness in hospital.

Wishing all our Langholm people a happy Common Riding and a happy holiday.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.




F.W.O. £72.29
Ordinary £63.48


F.W.O. £38.13
Ordinary £34.65

June 6 - Peter Ross, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Calvert, 14 Charlotte Street.

June 20 - Morag, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. Hotson, Birnie, Eskdaill Street.

June 20 - Donna Marie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Maxwell, 13 Charles Street.


June 12 - Richard Stuart Riddell, 15 Croft Road, Brampton, to Mary Elizabeth Pattinson, 64 Henry Street.


June 7 - Alexander Erskine, 35 Eskdaill Street. Age 78.

June 7 - John Dalziel, 16 Braehead. Age 71.

June 19 - Mary Elizabeth Irving, 35 Henry Street. Age 86.

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but to all of them that love his appearing".


July 11 - 9.30 a.m. Half-Hour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. Mr. Howard T. Phillips, M.A. Flowers Mrs. Derek Bell, Buccleuch Square.

July 18 - 9.30 a.m. Half-Hour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. T. Calvert, The Manse.

July 25 - Common Riding Sunday, United Services. 10.30 a.m. Wreath-laying on War Memorial by Cornet Nixon. 11 a.m. Common Riding Service attended by Cornet with Right and Left Hand Men, Common Riding Committee, and Provost and members of Town Council. 6 p.m. Evening Service attended by members of Lodge Eskdale Kilwinning. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss Peggy Hotson, 2 Walter Street.

August 1 - 9.30 a.m. Half-Hour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Elizabeth Findlay, Langholm Lodge.

August 8 - 9.30 a.m. Half-Hour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. Mrs. H. T. Phillips, M.A., Ph.D. Flowers, Mrs. T. Beattie, Academy Place.

August 15 - 9.30 a.m. Half-Hour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. E. Calvert, 12 Charlotte Street.

August 22 - 9.30 a.m. Half-Hour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Beverley, 58 Caroline Street.

August 29 - 9 a.m. Half-Hour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. Rev. R. J. Stuart Wallace, M.A. Flowers, Mrs. D. Anderson, Mary Street.

September 5 - 9.30 a.m. Half-Hour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Dalziel, 16 Braehead.


Families with Thalidomide children will spend a week from 24th to 31st July at a Holiday Conference at Carberry Tower. Organised by the Lady Hoare Thalidomide Appeal, this week will provide facilities and entertainment for all members of the family, including outings for the parents and the children.


The Apollo 14 astronauts placed a fireproof packet on the Moon on February 5th this year. The packet contained a microfilmed complete Bible (Revised Standard Version) as well as renderings of Genesis 1.1. in sixteen different languages. On the cover of the packet was imprinted the symbol of the United Bible Societies, the Scriptures circling the globe.