St Abbs Golf Courses

The first mention I have found of plans for a golf course at St Abbs appeared in an article, ‘Coldingham and its Neighbourhood’ discussing the development of St Abbs and its potential for tourism.

The village of Coldingham Shore is at present in a peculiar position, having neither church, prison, nor public house, and of course there is entire freedom from the restraint of fashionable watering places. It may also be pointed out that a capital golfing course could be made along the top of the cliffs around St Abbs Head, thus forming additional attraction for visitors.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 14 May 1889

A course was certainly open by August 1893.

The Northfield Club has an excellent course on the North Side of Coldingham Loch, and the game is much patronised by the numerous visitors at present in the district, as well as by local members. Occasional foursome matches are played with the members of the Ayton Club.

The proprietor of Northfield, Sir Andrew Usher, is a famous old Bruntsfield golfer, and took the laying-out of the round into his own hands. In the work he allowed his zeal as a golfer to outrun his regard for the antiquarian, and the St Abbs course is probably unique in that an ancient British camp [section missing?]

Through the kindness of the Laird suitable ground has been secured at a convenient distance from both Coldingham and St Abbs, and nine holes have been laid out. The picturesque scene of action lies on the lofty plateau near the famous Head. After going past the bird-haunted cliff the path descends towards the diminutive but temporary clubhouse.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, 15 August May 1893. Original article not available. Transcription from Forgotten Greens website.

A brief description appears in a golfing annual in 1898.

A pleasant little green where no one need complain of lack of ozone. The green is a 9 hole one, laid out on Mr Nisbet’s land of Northfield, and the golfer can study the traces of camps, presumably Roman.

GGA 1898
Ordnance Survey Map showing location of Golf Course in 1908

By 1908 the course had fallen into disuse.

Although the club had been in existence for more than 20 years, it was in a bad state with only two members.

The Club Minute Book, 1908, via Forgotten Greens website.

The owner wrote that he wished to transfer the golf course from the Loch Hills to the Bell Hill. (1909)

1909, via Forgotten Greens website.

Ben Sayers, North Berwick, a green keeper came to advise on a course layout. With a club committee he visited the Co’Loan, the Bell Hill, and lands at Bogan Green and Westerside. He considered that the Loch Hills was superior and could be made better still. Public meetings at Coldingham and St Abbs endorsed this.

1910, via Forgotten Greens website.

The Trustees rejected the continuation of golf being played on the Loch Hills, but they would lay out a course from the Whiteheugh, over Parvesbank to a point opposite the site of St Abbs Nunnery, returning by Harelaw Cove and Parvesbank. The Club were to maintain the course, and have the lease of it for 10 years. 225 shares of 10 shillings were issued [Coldingham 142, St Abbs 83] guaranteeing the maintenance of the course and the erection of a clubhouse. The layout of the course was supervised by David Grant of North Berwick. Construction started in mid April and his employment was terminated at the end of June. The course was opened in July but as the season had been very dry its condition was unsatisfactory.

1911, via Forgotten Greens website.

In 1911 the new golf course was built.

St Abbs New Golf Course. Landlord’s Generous Offer. Berwickshire Holiday Resorts to Boom.

Coldingham and St Abbs have in late years come greatly to the front as health resorts, appealing to the more intellectual and artistic class of city-dwellers. They have owed this almost entirely to their remarkable natural attractions, but so keen is the competition between health resorts in these days, that a golf course has become almost a ‘sine qua non’. Hitherto, almost unknown outside the limits of the parish, there has been a Coldingham Golf Club, with a nine hole course away among the Loch Hills, very difficult of access, and patronised only by a few enthusiasts. The club was founded nearly quarter of a century ago by the late Sir Andrew Usher. Dr McDougall is President, and the Revs H Lamont (Coldingham) and John Cooper (St Abbs), Joint Secretaries.

It has been, increasingly felt that better provision should made for the visitors and residents, and a few months ago a Committee was appointed to go into the whole question of a new course. This Committee started off in a practical manner by getting a number of people to act as guarantors by taking up shares of 10s each, and in this way a sum of £160 was guaranteed. The Committee comprised: Revs H M Lamont, J T Dean, and J Cooper, Dr McDougall, Dr Calder, Dr Sim (of Edinburgh and Castle Rock, St Abbs), Mr A Tait (Treasurer), Mr T Robertson, Mr William Craig (St Abbs), Mr Hugh Aitchison (St Abbs), Mr Gibson (St Abbs), Robert Nesbit, (St Abbs), Mr A Chisholm, and Mr J French.

Last week came the very welcome announcement that Mr Burn Murdoch, of St Abbs and Edinburgh (the well-known Scottish artist), and Mrs Burn Murdoch, had promised to lay down a course for the Club gratis on St Abbs Head. Under these circumstances the question next arose as to whether the guarantors would continue their guarantee, not to provide a course, but to ensure the maintenance of the course thus generously provided, until such time as it became sufficiently popular to pay its own way. To ascertain their views a meeting was held in the Coldingham Hall on Friday evening, when Dr McDougall presided over a large attendance.

The New Course Described.

The new course, the making of which is to start forthwith under the skilled direction of the North Berwick professional, Mr Grant, is situated on St Abbs Head to the seaward side of a line drawn across from Petticowick Haven and the artificial loch. It is to be of 9 holes, and about a mile and three quarters in extent. The first tee, 7 minutes walk from the main road, is to be on Whiteheugh. Thence the course goes across Purvesbank, and due north to a quarter of a mile from Petticowick. Then the line turns south-east by the lighthouse keeper’s garden nearly to the Cauldron, from there to another hole near Burnmouth Harbour, and so back to Whiteheugh. It provides some excellent sporting features, with some splendid golfing turf, and a good supply of natural bunkers in hills and bits of rough.

Meeting of Guarantors.

The Chairman said that so many guarantors had promised sums ranging from £1 to £5, and that meeting had been summoned to secure that, that in spite of the altered circumstances, those sums would be paid. The total amount guaranteed was £160, and as the estimated cost of maintenance was £70 a year, it was absolutely necessary that they should have evey pound of the money that had been subscribed.

Rev Mr Lamont gave an account of the meeting which the deputation had had with the Usher Trustees in Edinburgh. Dr Sim, Mr Cooper, and myself (he said) went into Edinburgh, and had an interview with the Northfield Trustees, and they laid before us their proposals in a very clear manner indeed. First of all they let us clearly understand that it was the wish of the Trustees that golf should cease on the Loch Hills, and for that they gave us their reasons, which were sufficiently good reasons. They proposed a new course to begin from Whiteheugh, near St Abbs, and go in a north line to within ¼ mile of Petticowick, coming back close to the Lighthouse, and with one of the greens at Burnmouth Harbour. They told us it was the wish of Mr and Mrs Burn Murdoch to lay out the course for us — (applause) — and also to make a drive to the first tee, that will bring it within 7 minutes’ walk of the road, that is to say, they are going to make the bye-way by Northfield Mansion House wall driveable. For their part, they would wish a guarantee that this course will kept up. They mean to make it a first-class course, and naturally expect that we should do our part to keep it in good order. The rent of the course is to be £10, and we all pretty well know they will have to pay a fairly large sum annually in compensation to the farmer. They are willing to give us a lease of 10 years, and they introduced that remark by reminding us that they were laying out the course, and were not sinking any money on it, so that the lease is to be 10 years, with a break at 5 years, and a provision that if notice to quit comes from them at that break, the site value of any clubhouse we erect on the course will be made good. Although that part of the course known as Purvesbank will not be playable this year, they hope to have temporary course ready this season, and they will ask no rent this season — (applause) — so that the lease will begin in May 1912. After this statement the deputation said that for themselves they quite approved of the proposals that had been made. We said we considered the proposals very satisfactory and extremely generous, but that we would have to refer the matter to the Committee that had been looking after it. Your Committee met on Monday night, and we were unanimously of the opinion that we should accept these proposals as being so very satisfactory and so very generous. — (applause) — On Monday afternoon Mr Tait, Mr Dean, Mr Cooper and myself went over the course. We walked over it from hole to hole, and it was our opinion that it will make a very good course indeed, an excellent sporting course. Of course, it will not be perfect, because no course is perfect. When golfers come and play on it, you will hear them finding fault with it, because golfers do find fault with every course, but do not listen to them and think we have accepted a course that is not a good one. Only this afternoon I saw the professional who is to have charge of the laying out of the course, and he is of opinion that it will make a very good course indeed. That is the history of the matter, and as your Chairman has reminded you, we want to know the feelings of the guarantors. You have very kindly guaranteed a sum of about £160, and now we realise that circumstances have been considerably altered by what has happened since you gave that guarantee. We no longer ask for a guarantee to lay out a course; that is going to be done for us. We are not asking you for money to make road to a course, because this course is perfectly accessible; nor for money to erect a large golf house, because that is not necessary. But we feel we are incurring considerable responsibility in going on with this course. We shall have some financial difficulties to contend with. One arises from the fact that the course will be a little difficult keep up, because it is so very hilly. We shall probably require a good many implements — rollers, cutters, etc., and now and again we shall have to get horse for cutting the field known Purvesbank; and it is expected of us that we should have a man all the year round, and not only for six months, because such a man employed for the whole year would naturally take more interest in the course and keep it in better order. That will all amount, on a rough calculation, to not less than £70 a year. It will take some little time before the course becomes well known and therefore popular and well patronised; and therefore we feel as a Committee that we should have this guarantee, and would urge upon you the advisaibility of continuing this guarantee. You have been kind enough to promise it, and we hope the altered circumstances will make no difference, but that on the other hand, that the great generosity of Mr and Mrs Burn Murdoch will be an additional incentive to you to continue your generosity. I think that the best acknowledgment we, as a community, can make to Mr and Mrs Burn Murdoch for their great generosity is to continue the guarantee. I repeat that I think these proposals are extremely satisfactory and of a most generous kind, and we are deeply indebted to them for their kindness. — (Applause).

He concluded by reading a letter from Mr Usher, who stated he was sure Mr and Mrs Burn Murdoch would very pleased to hear that the proposals were agreed to.

The Chairman said there was to be a meeting St Abbs the following night, and St Abbs was thoroughly in sympathy with them, and enthusiastic with regard to the new golf course; and he had no doubt it would do a very great deal to improve both the villages, and to increase the number of their summer visitors. — (Applause).

Mr Cairns asked what was to be the charge for resident players.

Rev Mr Cooper, St Abbs, said that was a matter which would have to come up later on. The present golf club was pretty nearly defunct, and they would have to get a new club and new office-bearers. It had been suggested that the charge on visitors be 10s a month, but that too would have to be decided later. Mr Lamont said it would also have to be considered whether the guarantors, their households, and their visitors, should have special terms. It would seem reasonable that they should receive some golfing benefit. Rev Dean said he thought that question might very well be postponed until they got the club set agoing. The question for that meeting was whether they were prepared to continue their guarantee, and accept the terms of the Usher Trustees, instead of those terms which were laid before them when they were induced to give their guarantees. As one of the guarantors, he was prepared to move that they as guarantors accept the very generous terms proposed by the Usher Trustees, and pledge themselves to continue their guarantee in the new circumstances. Mr Chirnside seconded. Mr Moffett [said] — l think it should included that we thank the Trustees for the very generous terms they have given us. Mr Dean agreed to include that, and the motion was unanimously passed. Mr Cooper pointed out that as the work was going to start at once, they would need to get some money in soon to remove the small golfhouse from the old course and put it along at the end of the new course as a shelter in case of rain. They must get things in as good a shape as possible for the opening of the season, because they wanted to make a good show to visitors who came. The Chairman [said] — Then the Club must be well boomed.

Mr Dean said that now the matter of the course had been settled, it might be thought that the present Committee had come to the end of their tether, but he would move that in the meantime the whole matter be left to the present Committee with power to collect money, and hand it over to the Treasurer, Mr Tait. The Chairman, amid applause, set the example by paying over his £5; and it was agreed to call up one half of the guarantee within one month, and the remainder three months hence.

At the close of the meeting, Mr Lamont read a letter he had received from Mr Burn Murdoch, stating that Mr Grant, golf professional, North Berwick, who was to lay out the course, would start almost at once; and he added he had seen Mr Grant, who was to begin on Monday.

A meeting was held at St Abbs the following night, with a similar result.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 21 March 1911

Despite a good start the Golf Club was still under-funded.


Within recent years the villages of St Abbs and Coldingham have been attracting visitors in increasing numbers by the beauty of their surroundings, their dry and bracing climate, and their many other natural advantages as holiday resorts. But they have hitherto suffered a great drawback through the lack of a golf course, which, to many, is a necessity for a thoroughly enjoyable and beneficial holiday. The desire to develop the full holiday resources of the neighbourhood has led a local Committee to form a Golf Club, and take steps to acquire a Course. Through the generosity of W G Burn Murdoch, Esq., of St Abbs, and Mrs Burn Murdoch, a 9-hole Course, picturesquely situated, has been already laid out, which in the opinion of experts, will, through time, develop into an admirable sporting Course. It starts at the back of the White Heugh, about 10 minutes walk from St Abbs, and stretches for a mile and a half along undulating ground in the direction of the Head and Pettycowick. To enable the Club to take over the Course and maintain it in the meantime, a sum of £82 has been raised locally. This sum is, however, inadequate to enable the Club to carry out their intentions, which include the erection a commodious Club-house at no distant date. For these purpose it is proposed to hold a Bazaar in 1913 and to aim at raising a sum not less than £500.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 19 November 1912

A Bazaar to raise funds for the Course was held on the 6th and 7th of August 1913 at Coldingham School. The Bazaar included luncheons, teas, refreshments, concerts and entertainments, as well as a variety of stalls. One of the associated fundraising methods was the production of a booklet, entitled ‘Golf Bazaar Guide to the District’. The cover price was considered fairly high for its 42 pages, but the booklet contained an introduction from the Scottish Minister, Rev Lauchlan Maclean Watt, a poem by Will Ogilvie, an article on ‘Coldingham and Coldingham Folks’ by Rev J T Dean, an article on local flora by Rev J J M L Aiken, a further natural history article by Rev W McConachie, and an article by Miss Eva Blantyre Simpson, on places which can be easily reached by motor from Coldingham, and finally Mr S Raleigh Simpson wrote an piece on ‘The Golf Course’. This was reproduced in the Berwickshire News in the following long article about the Golf Bazaar. You will notice that large parts of this article are copied almost verbatim from the 1911 article about the course.

Mr Mansfield Hunter who opened the Golf Bazaar in August 1913



Coldingham and St Abbs have in late years come greatly to the front as health resorts, appealing to the more intellectual and artistic class of city-dwellers, and this summer, as at Berwick and Eyemouth, the number of visitors been a record. They have owed their popularity almost entirely to their remarkable natural attractions, but so keen is competition between health resorts in these days, that a course has become almost ‘sine qua non’. Up to two years ago, almost unknown outside the limits of the parish, there was a Coldingham Golf Club with a 9-hole course away among the Loch Hills, very difficult of access, and patronised only by a few enthusiasts. The Club was founded nearly 30 years ago by the late Sir Andrew Usher. The late Dr McDougall was President, and the Reverends H Lamont (Coldingham) and John Cooper (then of St Abbs), Secretaries. It was increasingly felt that better provision should be made for the visitors and residents, and early in 1911 a Committee was appointed to go into the whole question of a new course. This Committee started off in a practical manner by getting a number of people to act as guarantors, by taking up shares of 10s each, and in this way sum of £160 was guaranteed. The Committee comprised — Revs H M Lamont, J T Dean, and J Cooper, the late Dr Dougall, Dr Calder, Dr Sym (of Edinburgh and Castle Rock, St Abbs); Mr A. Tait (Treasurer), Mr T Robertson, Mr William Craig (St Abbs), Mr Hugh Aitchison (St Abbs), the late Mr Gibson (St Abbs), Mr Robert Nesbit (St Abbs), Mr A Chisholm, and Mr J French.

In March 1911 came the very welcome announcement that Mr Burn Murdoch, of St Abbs and Edinburgh (the well-known Scottish artist), and Mrs Burn Murdoch, had promised to lay down a course for the Club gratis on St Abbs Head. The rent asked was only £10 per annum, a lease for 10 years was granted, and the total cost of maintaining the new course was estimated at £70 per annum. The new Course, Provided by Mr and Mrs Burn Murdoch, was laid down by Mr Grant, the well-known North Berwick professional in 1911, but as part of the Course was not playable that year no rent was charged till May 1912. The new course began from Whiteheugh, near St Abbs, and went a north line to within quarter of a mile of Petticowick, coming back close to the Lighthouse, and with one of the greens at Burnmouth Harbour. Last summer the course was well patronised by visitors and residents, and expert golfers who have played over it declare that when a few improvements are made, it will become, with play, one of the best sporting 9-hole courses in Scotland. Certainly it would be difficult to find any situated in more romantic, beautiful and healthy surroundings.

It was to make these improvements, some of which are detailed below, and to provide an up-to-date and well-equipped Clubhouse, that a two days’ Bazaar was held last week at COLDINGHAM SCHOOL.

It was opened the first day by Mr Mansfield Hunter, whose performance of that duty, — it was, he said, the first occasion in which he had opened a Bazaar — was especially appropriate in that he is a keen and brilliant golfer, was Captain of Oxford University Golf Club in 1900, and holds the coveted Gold Medal of the Royal and Ancient Club. It interesting to note that it was largely through golf that he became Candidate for Berwickshire, first through friendships which he made with politicians on the East Lothian Golf Courses, and then through personal encouragement, which received from that fine golfer and all-round sportsman, the late Mr Alfred Lyttleton.

The Course Described

Raleigh Simpson, Edinburgh, brother of Miss S B Simpson, Bonardub, thus describes the Golf Course in the Golf Bazaar Guide to the District.

“The opening stroke tests the player at the very outset of the round. With face turned towards St Abbs he finds himself confronted by a steep hill, beyond which the first green awaits his arrival with indifference. . . Even the unfortunate player who has fared ignobly at the start, may drive from the second tee in expectation of better things. His optimistic view may be strengthened by the fact that this time the land goes downhill, and the green is within accessible range. . . At the third and longest hole, the pilgrim’s progress takes an inland turn. Here the ground is rather unsatisfactory, being bare and strewn with stones. . . The 9th hole, which runs in a parallel direction on the homeward route, has the same drawbacks. Meanwhile a local rule, which takes account of the frailty of mankind and of man’s weapons of wood and iron, allows the ball to be teed without penalty at any place in this ill-starred field. Patience, however, and drastic dealing with the stones, will find their reward. At the next hole the turf improves greatly, forming part of the old soil which has clothed the summit for centuries. It would be advantageous to cut the grass for a space in front of the putting-green, as the ball off an approach is apt to alight heavily upon the soft ground. Although shorter and less steep than the first hole, the fifth partakes somewhat of its character. Woe betide the player whose ball flies past the mark into a deep valley beyond! Apart from a mild gulley, which should crossed with the drive, the road winds uphill to the sixth hole, lying on a very ticklish slope, and easily overshot. . . To the next tee the direction is downhill. The green lies within easy reach, if one does not attempt to look at the ball and the loch on the right simultaneously. The next hole, the eighth in number, is the best. With rough country on both aides and only a narrow strip of good turf in the middle way, the player has to drive with accuracy, if he covets peace of mind. Nevertheless, it might not be a mistake to bring the teeing stance slightly forward. This change would scarcely affect the approach, which is a sporting one to an invisible green on a table-land. . . Before he plays his last stroke, the present scribe may allowed to set forth a suggestion and hope. The suggestion, humbly offered, is that certain of the putting-greens, for example the third, should be enlarged and that the wires surrounding them should have a wider circumference, and also that the posts should be less substantial. Even the sweetness of the saintly Ebba or the strength of the resolute Arnaldus might hardly be proof against the shock of seeing a ball rudely thrust aside by one of those too, too solid pegs. The hope is that the Bazaar will meet with the success which the laudable effort to supply funds for a new club-house deserves.”

The present officials of the Coldingham and St Abbs Golf Club are — Dr Sym, President; Rev H M Lamont and Mr T C Dickson, Joint Secretaries; Rev Hugh Shields, St Abbs, Treasurer; Rev J T Dean, Dr Calder, Messrs James French, Thomas Robertson, A Chisholm, Coldingham, and William Craig, St Abbs.


The Bazaar was held under the patronage of Lord and Lady Reay, Carolside, Earlston; Lord Binning, Mellerstain; Hon. Lady Miller, Manderston; Hon. Lady Elizabeth Home, Bonkyl Lodge; Lord Dunglass, Springhill, Coldstream; Sir G. Houstoun Boswall, Blackadder; Hon. Adam Watson, Edinburgh; W. G. Burn Murdoch, Esq., and Mrs Burn Murdoch, of St Abbs; Mrs Fitzroy Bell, Temple Hall; Mrs Denholm, Press Castle; Mrs Liddell Grainger, Ayton Castle; Mrs Hogg, Castle Yale, Berwick: Mrs Milne Home, of Wedderburn; Miss Milne Home, Paxton Cottage; Mrs Kinnear, Houndwood House; Mrs John Lang, Edinburgh; Mrs Torrance, Edinburgh; Mr David Askew, Castle Hills; Mr Archibald Baird, Coveyheugli; Mr H. D. Bell, Peelwalls; Mr B. C. Brown, Sea Neuk; Mr W. D. Budge, St. Abbs Head; Col. E. E. Carr, Spittal House; Mr F. W. Carter, Edinburgh; Mr Reginald Collie, Stoneshiel Hall; Mr C. L. Stirling Cookson, Renton House; Rev. John Cooper, Glasgow; J. F. Cormack, Lockerbie; Mr Thos. Dunn, Selkirk; Mr G. J. Gibson, Netherbyres; Mr Andrew Glegg, The Maines; Mr F. S. Hay, Duns Castle; Col. Milne Homo, Paxton House; Col. Hope, Cowdenknowes; Mr T. Mansfield Hunter, Duns; Mr A. H. Mitchell Lines, Whitehall; Mr William Laidlaw, Hillside: Mr A. S. Logan, Castle; Mr Joseph Mack, Berry bank; Mr A. Wallace McGregor, Edinburgh; Rev. Archibald Maclnren, Glasgow; Mr J. Hally Meikle, M.D., Edinburgh; Mr J. Campbell Noble, R.S.A., Edinburgh; Mr C. R. Nute, St. Abbs Head; Mr R. C. Campbell Renton, Mordington; Mr R. Renton, Orpington, Kent; Dr C. W. Saleeby, M.D., London; Mr R. R. Simpson, Edinburgh; Mr R. Simson, Edinburgh: Mr Alexander Smith, Prendergnest; Mr J. L. Campbell Swinton, Kimmerghame. Dr W. G. Sym, M.D., Edinburgh; Mr J. P. Sym, Edinburgh; Mr Edward A. Tait, Glasgow; Mr H. J. Tennant, M.P. for Berwickshire; Mr A. ‘Thomson, Galashiels; Mr D. Milne Watson, London.

The Committee were — Mrs Dean, Mrs Dickson, Mrs Lamont, (Mrs Nisbet), Miss Calder, (Miss Cowe), Miss Gibson; Miss Black, The Warden, Coldingham, Secretary.

Work Stall, No. I — Mrs Fitzroy Bell, Temple Hall; Miss Black, The Warden; Assistants — Misses Mack, Berrybank; Misses Frederick, Edinburgh.

Work Stall, No. 2—Mrs Cormack, Dunlaverock; Mrs Romanes, Buskin Brae; Mrs Shields, St Abbs Manse; Mrs Sinclair, Newcastle; (Miss Cowe, Anchorage); Assistants — (Misses Cormack; Miss Davidson, the Hill; Miss Mitchell; Miss Romanes, Buskin Brae.

Work Stall, No. 3 — Mrs Dean, Coldingham U.F. Manse; Assistants — Mrs Butler, Brierybank; Miss Buchan, Coldingham; Miss Cormack, Coldingham; Miss A. Wilson, St Abbs; Miss J. Wilson, St Abbs.

Work Stall, No. 4 — Mrs Lamout, Coldingham Manse; (Mrs Hogg); Miss Fender, the Law; Assistants — Mrs Duncan, Coldingham; Mrs Jenkins, Coldingham; Miss Barrie, Coldingham.

Guide Book Stall — (Mrs A. Chisholm, Coldingham); Assistant — Miss Miller, Coldingham.

China, Basket, and Toy Stall — Mrs Sym, The Rock, St Abbs; Miss Calder, Kirkhill; Assistants — Misses Calder, Kirkhill.

Flower Stall — Mrs Denholm, Press Castle; Assistants — Misses Denholm.

Provision Stall — Mrs Cairns, Whitecross; (Mrs Nisbet, St Abbs); Miss J. Calder, Kirkhill; Assistants — (Mrs Aitchison, St. Abbs; Misses Cairns, Whitecross; (Miss Nisbet, Miss A. Nisbet, St Abbs).

Sweet Stall — Misses Douglas, Coldingham; Assistants — Misses Clark, the Rest, St Abbs; Miss Gilchrist, Bogan Green.

Tobacco Stall — Mr F. Blanc, Architect, Edinburgh.

Refreshment Stall — Mrs Dickson, St Abbs Schoolhouse; Assistants — (Miss Tait, Pollockshields; Mrs Alexander Hood, Mrs T. Wilson, St Abbs; Miss L. Buchan, Coldingham; Miss Crighton, St. Abbs; Miss Duncan, Coldingham; Miss Gibson and Miss Munro, St Abbs; Miss Rae, Bellevue; Miss Rae, Brae House; Miss Wilson, Miss G. Wilson.

Receivers of Work — Mrs A. D. M. Black, Musselburgh; Mrs Brown, Coldingham; Mrs Brown, Auchencrow, Mrs Burrill, London; Mrs Carter, Edinburgh; Mrs Collie, Reston; Mrs Cooper, Glasgow; Mrs Craig, St Abbs; Mrs A. Dean Coldingham; Mrs J. Edington, Coldingham; Mrs Glegg, Chirnside; Mrs Gray, Coldingham; Mrs Johnstone, Duns; Mrs Maclagan, Edinburgh; Mrs McLellan, Coldingham; Mrs Moffett, Coldingham; Mrs Nesbitt, Edinburgh; Mrs T. Robertson, Seacross, Coldingham; Mrs Saleeby, Winchmore Hill, N; Mrs Smith, Ayton; Mrs Wilson. Edinburgh; Miss Allan, Duns; Miss Davidson, Coldingham; Miss Duncan, Cold Ingham; Miss Renton, Coldingham; Miss A. Robertson, Coldingham. Whose names are given in brackets were prevented by various considerations from being present at the Bazaar, for which, however, they had done not a little


The Schools, where the Bazaar was held, were gaily decorated for the occasion, with flags and bunting; and on the whole were a much more suitable place for the purpose than the Hall. Three classrooms were occupied by the stalls, while a large marquee was erected in the playground for refreshments. The decorations of the stalls and the arrangement of the goods reflected great credit on the taste of the ladies who presided. As Coldingham was once a great centre for hand-loom weaving, it was in keeping with local traditions that articles of that description, though no longer woven on hand looms, should be a strong feature of the bazaar. The four large work stalls were all heavily laden with varied assortment of goods of such a character to please both those of aesthetic leanings and those more practical people who devote their money solely to what is useful. One noted specially a strong water colour ‘Sands Bay, Coldingham’, by the talented Scottish artist Mr Campbell Noble; a pleasing picture of ‘Fishing Boats leaving Eyemouth’ by Mr Arthur Dean; and a handsome table, made by Mr T. Chisholm, and fitted with brass Calabar trays. Mr Campbell Noble’s picture, priced at £10, sold to Mr Cormack, Trinity, Edinburgh. Mrs Lamont’s stall had a popular 1 shilling section. Mrs Dean’s stall topped the first day’s takings with over £50. Mrs Fitzroy Bell’s stall made special feature of fancy goods; and Work Stall No. 2 was well patronised for its charming selection.

A very commendable innovation was the publication of a Golf Bazaar Guidebook to the District, which was sold at one stall and met with considerable success. This guide-book was reviewed our columns last week, and as its literary quality is remarkably high for that class of publication it deserves a very large circulation. It should help to bring many more visitors to the place and to the Golf Course. In format it is very neat and on the khaki cover it is interesting to note, the artist — Mr James Richardson, F.S.A., Edinburgh — has worked in the ancient seal of Coldingham Priory, and Runes from old Celtic stone found at Coldingham some 20 years ago, and now to be seen in the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries in Edinburgh. One of the contributors to the Guide is Jean Lang (Mrs John Lang), sister-in-law of the late Mr Andrew Lang, and collaborator with him in some of his lighter works. The late Andrew Lang was frequently the guest of the late Mr Fitzroy Bell, at Temple Hall, Coldingham.

A charming stall was that in one of the side class-rooms devoted to China, Baskets and Toys. Sceptical though one might be of the articles in the ‘penny box’ having ever seen China, there were here many fine examples of genuine ‘blue’, and a very handsome cabinet which was sold to Lady Reay of Carolside. In the same room was a well-stocked provision stall. For gentlemen, a tobacco stall was added to the original scheme, and here Mr F. Blanc did capital trade. The sweet stall was another very popular attraction, and the specialities from the Misses Clark’s School of Cookery in Glasgow were very quickly bought up. Over £20 was taken at this stall on the first day.

For beauty the Flower Stall took the palm. It was presided over by Mrs Denholm of Press Castle, and had been stocked almost entirely from the beautiful gardens there. Choice peaches, strawberries and rasps were quickly sold; and side by side with sweet-peas and other garden flowers, were artificial flowers, cast in the useful form of garlands for ladies’ hats.

Whatever might said of the prices of some of the fancy goods, the tariff in the Refreshment Department was remarkably moderate; and Miss Dickson and her numerous assistants wore kept very busy serving luncheons and teas. Here gramaphone selections were kindly provided by Mr Brown, Sea Neuk.

Dr Calder, Scout Master of Coldingham Scouts, was in charge of the Parcels Stall, his assistants being Scouts E. Duncan. G. Chisholm, J. Wood. R. Alexander and J. Alexander, who thus ‘did a good turn’.

The Opening Ceremony.

There was large gathering of the public at the opening ceremony, visitors who are staying at Coldingham and St Abbs attending in large numbers, while many came from a considerable distance. Among those present at the opening ceremony and in the course of the afternoon were:— Mr Mansfield Hunter; Lady Reay, Carolside; Sir George Watt, C.I.E., St Abbs; Mrs Burn Murdoch, West Loch; Miss E. B. Simpson, Bonardub; Mrs John Lang, Edinburgh; Mrs St. Clair Cunningham, Dunbar; Mr and Misses Campbell Renton, Mordington; Mr Denholm, Press Castle; Miss Logan and Mrs Batters, Ferneycastle; Miss Cormack, Elderbank, Coldingham; Mrs and Misses Liddell-Grainger. Ayton Castle; Rev. H. M. Lamont, Coldingham; Rev. J. T. Dean, Coldingham; Rev. Hugh Shields, St. Abbs: Rev. J. J. M. L. Aiken and Miss Aiken, Ayton; Rev. Mr McKay, Glencarse; Dr Sym, Edinburgh; Mr and Mrs A. Smith. Prenderguest; Mrs Morrison, North Berwick; Misses Morrison, Alton; Mrs Bell, Templehall; Miss Caverhill, Reston, Mr James Richardson, F.S.A., Edinburgh; Dr Calder and Miss F. Calder, Kirkhill; Mr and Mrs Tait and Misses Tait (4), Edinburgh; Mr Laidlaw, jr., Mrs Laidlaw, and Miss Laidlaw, Hillside, Duns; Miss Wcatherhead, Preston; Misses Baird, Coveyheugh; Mr and Mrs Brown and family. Sea Neuk; Mr Duncan and Miss Duncan, Coldingham; Miss Agnes Duncan, Edinburgh; Mrs H. D. Bell, Peelwalls; Mrs Edington and P. Edington, Helensville, Coldingham; and Mrs Prentice, Wheat Sheaf, Reston; Mrs Elliot, Cairacross; Miss Brown, Northburn, Eyemouth; Miss Greenfield, Reston; Miss Davidson, the Hill, Coldingham; Mrs Collie, Stoneshiel; Mrs Morrison, Northfield; Miss Thomson, Miss Watson, Mr A. Lumsdaine, and Mr Eric Brown, St Abbs Haven; Misses Sanderson, Greenhead; Rev. Hugh Fleming, Mordington; Mrs Reid, Foulden Manse; Rev. Mr Bain, Kingussie, Mrs Bain, Miss Bain and Miss Shields, St Abbs Manse; Mrs Aitchison, Reston; Mr A. Chisholm, Coldingham; T. Chisholm, Coldingham; Mrs Robert and Miss Daisy Calder, Tweedmouth; Mr and Mrs Sinclair, Newcastle; Miss Jessie Robertson, Coldingham; Miss Annabell Robertson, Coldingham; Miss Mary Edington, Coldingham: Miss Mitchell, Buskin Brae; Mrs Cormack, St Abbs; Capt. Cowen, Blythe Bank, Coldingham; Mr Robert Duncan, Coldingham; and Mrs and Mrs Howgate and family, Leeds, etc.

As President of the Golf Club, Dr Sym, Edinburgh (the well-known eye specialist, who has a house in Coldingham), occupied the chair; and in a pawky speech he introduced Mr Mansfield Hunter who opened the Bazaar. Dr Sym said — I should first of all explain to those who not exactly know the position of affairs, how it comes about that we require to have a Bazaar to aid the Golf Club. We had some years ago a golf course here which a number of us were very anxious to have improved. It presented two difficulties. In the first place it was difficult to find and in the second place it was very much overgrown with whins, and required good deal done to it to make it a suitable course available for all visitors. When we approached the proprietors, they said that the land was the best they had in the neighbourhood for the particular purpose for which they wanted it, and they could not improve away the things we wanted improved away, because those were the very things they wished to keep as cover for game. So they very kindly offered to lay down and make ready another course in the neighbourhood in place of that one. They have been most kind and most generous about it, and they gave us the course all ready, and at a very moderate rent. Of course, if you let anything to anyone, you want a little security; and therefore we are obliged to erect on the course a Club-house, and the purpose of this Bazaar is to raise funds, partly for the erection of a Clubhouse as security for our rent, and partly to make it a really good course. It is well said that the best thing for a course is to get it played upon, but in order that people may be encouraged to play upon it, we must have it made as good possible in the first place; then we will get people to play over it, and that will make it better. In these days when every place we go to in the summer has a golf course, I don’t see why we should be behind the rest of the world. And the rest of the world is looking to us — (laughter and applause) — and we want to be in the forefront. It is not merely a question for visitors; and that is why I am here ‘cocked up’ on this platform — I am neither a visitor nor an inhabitant, but both. (Laughter). It is a splendid thing for visitors to have something to do, after he has had a dip in the sea and played in the sand with his children, an old man like me — (laughter) — wants something to do, and there is nothing like a golf course. Then it is also a question for the inhabitants. They have a weekly half-holiday, and is anything better for one to do on a half-holiday than to play golf? I know of nothing better, and I am sure Mr Mansfield Hunter knows of nothing better, nor does anyone else.

I must just draw your attention to the fact that this is only one of the rooms devoted to the Bazaar; there are two others, and it would be a pity if any of you spent all your money in one room before knowing that there were others — (laughter). It would also be a pity if you went away hungry — (laughter) — so I advise you to keep something in your pocket for the Refreshment Room.

When I was told that I had to introduce Mr Mansfield Hunter to you, I did what every sensible man would do, I went to a publication called ‘Who’s Who’, which tells you all about everybody, and I looked up Mr Mansfield Hunter, but he wasn’t in it. The reason was obvious, it was an antiquated ‘Who’s Who’. In an up-to-date one I expect he has a whole page to himself, because he is a very distinguished man in the golfing world, quite apart from other matters. There is another reason why I want to say a good word for Mr Mansfield Hunter. It is a good thing for young men to make their own living, and Mr Mansfield Hunter is very keen to make £400 a year in a particular way — (laughter). We have nothing to do here with the method in which he makes it, or the particular views he promulgates — still £400 a year always comes in handy — (laughter) — and it is a good thing to encourage a young man to make £400 a year by honest means — (laughter).

Mr Mansfield Hunter in opening the Bazaar, said — I have listened with peculiar interest to the remarks which have fallen from your Chairman, because I find myself in an atmosphere and amid suroundings with which I am unfamiliar. I have never opened a Bazaar before, and I don’t think that during the whole of my life I have ever been inside more than half-a-dozen. I am always very nervous about going to Bazaars, because I have always found there were a lot of very charming ladies selling very beautiful pieces of work, and their object was that what money I had in pocket should transferred to the coffers of the Bazaar before I was let away. However, I am here very gladly and very willingly to assist them in the work of removing money from your pockets and my own. Some time ago was asked by a rather eccentric friend to recommend to him a nice quiet seaside resort without a golf course. The only place I could think of was Coldingham and St Abbs. I little knew that within a year I should be assisting in depriving Coldingham and St Abbs of that proud distinction. But I do so gladly because I am a keen golfer myself, and I believe it is a good game for anyone to play. I don’t know whether I was asked to open this Bazaar as having some reputation as a golfer, or because I am desirous of adding £400 to my income in a particular way, as your Chairman put it. (Laughter.) I shall say nothing more about politics, except that if I had not been a golfer I don’t think I should have been opening this Bazaar today, and certainly would not have been Prospective Unionist Candidate for Berwickshire. I learned to play golf as a boy at North Berwick, and I formed friendships on the Golf Courses of East Lothian which I should be very sorry ever to be broken. During those days I met certain politicians on the golf course, and it was only owing to the encouragement received from one of them, whose death occurred a little time ago — the late Mr Alfred Lyttleton — that I am Prospective Unionist Candidate for Berwickshire. Without detaining you longer, ladies and gentlemen, I will say that I hope that whatever money is in your pockets will the very shortly be transferred into the coffers of the Bazaar. I hope this Bazaar will be very beneficial to the Golf Club, and very substantially profitable, just as I feel sure that the Golf Club will be a lasting and substantial benefit to the townships of Coldingham and St Abbs. I have much pleasure in declaring this Bazaar open. (Applause.) Rev. J. T. Dean, in moving a vote of thanks to Mr Mansfield Hunter, said — I think the speech we have just heard is all that such a speech should be. The speaker is evidently an enthusiast in the object for which this Bazaar is intended, and I sure that if he can spare leisure from more serious pursuits, we will be glad to have him run down to the course pursuing the flying ball. For a service such as he rendered to us I should present him with the the freedom of the city, but we have no city to present him the freedom of, so perhaps we will name a bunker after him. (Laughter.) The speech was to the point in that it aimed at getting you all to disgorge all the money you can possibly do. It was also commendably brief, and am sure I shall consulting your pleasure if I follow his good example. (Applause).

Mr Hunter, in reply, said — l have driven my first tee shot at the Bazaar opening, and I hope when I come down to play at Coldingham and St Abbs Course, I shall drive a better one. (Applause.)


Coldingham has long enjoyed a good reputation in Berwickshire as a musical centre, and the concerts held on Wednesday and Thursday evenings were of high merit. The artistes were — (Miss Tait, St Abbs; Miss Clark, the Rest; Mr Brown, Sea Neuk; Mrs Robert Calder, Tweedmouth, and Miss Daisy Calder; Miss Mitchell, Buskin, and Miss Romanes; Misses Denholm, Press Castle; Mr and Mrs Scott, Ayton; Mr McDonald, jr., Swinton Manse; Miss Somerville, Coldingham; the Misses Taylor; Miss Plummer, Press Castle; Miss Prentice, London. The accompanists were Mrs Scott, Ayton; Miss Daisy Calder, and Mrs Romanes. Mr A. Chisholm was the organiser of the concerts, and is be congratulated on their success.

The Result

About nine o’clock on Wednesday evening, the Treasurer (Rev. Hugh Shields, St. Abbs), announced that the proceeds to that time exceeded £230. The total for the first day was £243.

The Second Day. Distinguished Indian Scientist Re-opens the Sale.

On Thursday 2.30, the Bazaar was re-opened by Sir George Watt, C.I.E., who is staying at the Rock House, St Abbs. Sir George Watt, who lives at Annandale, Lockerbie, is a native of Aberdeenshire. He was educated the Grammar School, Aberdeen, and Aberdeen and Glasgow Universities, and has the degrees of M.B., C.M., and L.L.D.. He filled the Chair of Botany in Calcutta University from 1873 to 1884, and was engaged in agricultural, scientific, and economic research India until 1906. He served on the Burmah-Manipur Commission of 1882 as scientific and medical officer; was Scientific Assistant Secretary to the Supreme Government Secretariat in 1884, and had charge of the India section in Calcutta International Exhibition that year. He was Commissioner for India at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London, of 1885-6. He held the important appointment of Reporter on Economic Products to the Government of India from 1887 to 1903, and Edited ‘The Agricultural Ledger’. In 1894 he was the President of the Pharmacological Section at the Indian Medical Congress, and from then until 1903 had charge of Calcutta Industrial Museum. He received the Daniel Hanbury Gold Medal of Pharmaceutical Society in 1901, and was Honorary Secretary of the Central Indigenous Drugs Committee of India, the same year. He directed the Indian Art Exhibition at Delhi in 1903, and was on special duty in London from 1904 to 1908. He retired from the Indian service in 1906, with the C.I.E.. In 1907-8 he was President of Richmond Athenaeum. His contributions to scientific and economic literature are numerous and cover a very wide field. The principal ones are ‘Dictionary of the Economic Products of India’, ‘Commercial Products of India’, ‘Wild and Cultivated Cotton Plants the World’, ‘Pests and Blights of the Tea Plant’, ‘Indian Art at Delhi in 1903’, ‘Lac and Lac Industries of India’, and several botanical works. Botany, photography, shooting and fishing are his chief hobbies. He is a member of many learned societies, including the Royal Society and the Linnean Society; Officier d’Academic Francaise; and a J.P. of Dumfries.

It was unfortunate for the attendance of County people in the east of Berwickshire that the second day of the Bazaar should have clashed with the County Show at Duns. There were, however, a good number of visitors during the day. To the opening ceremony Sir George Watt brought a party, including Lady Watt and Miss Watt and Mrs Mair, Miss MacLachlan, Mr and Mrs Black, and Mrs Begg and Miss Begg (the widow and daughter of Indian missionary). Among others present were Revs. H. M. Lamont, J. T. Dean, Hugh Shields, and Mr Bain (Kingussie); Mr James Greig, Renton, and Mrs Greig; Mr and Mrs Collie, Stoneshiel; Mrs Calder and Miss Daisy Calder, Tweedmouth; Dr Sym, Edinburgh; Mr Barrie, Coldingham; Mrs Robertson, Sea Cross; Mrs Romanes, Buskin, and Miss Romanes; Mr and Mrs Brown, Sea-Neuk; Mrs Sinclair, Newcastle; Mrs Wilson, Rock House; Mrs Edington, Helensville; Mr Archer, Bolton; Dunkley, Coldingham; Mr A. Chisholm, Coldingham; Mr J. M. Scott, Ayton; Mr T. C. Dickson. St. Abbs, etc.

Golf in Local History

Rev. H. M. Lamont, who presided, said — The work of today begins with £243 to the good (applause) and that position has been reached not through the large attendance yesterday, because to tell the truth, the attendance fell a little short of expectation — but through the keenness of the sellers and the eagerness of the buyers. I am not surprised at that keenness and that eagerness, because from what I have seen and have heard, the goods, a large amount of which are still to be sold, are very well worth taking the trouble see, very well worth while spending some money to buy. (Applause). The speakers yesterday gave those who patronised the Bazaar most excellent advice, namely to spend all they had in their pockets, but keeping in reserve a shilling or two for the refreshment stall outside. I am sure that those of you who were here yesterday, and did what was recommended will agree with me that never was better advice given or taken.

Would you allow me just for a minute or two to give you little bit of local history. It is now 30 years ago since the late Sir Andrew Usher, who took a very warm and practical history in the affairs of St Abbs, laid out a 9-hole golf course on the Loch Hills. For 25 years there was play on that course. There was, to begin with, a small flourishing Club composed chiefly of visitors, who came here year after year, but as time passed on, these visitors one by one ceased to come the district, with the result that that the little Club was reduced to one, who some years ago passed away, but whose memory for many reasons will always respected and is still respected in this district. I refer to the late Mr Davidson [sic, perhaps should be Dawson], of the Hill. When I came here I joined the Golf Club, and I used to say, and it was a substantially accurate statement, that Mr Dawson [sic, perhaps should be Davidson] was the President, Secretary, and the Treasurer of the club, and I was the member. (Laughter.) Many a competition, many a club meeting the two of us had the Loch Hills, and it was a rather melancholy moment for me when the President said that he felt longer able to play golf and must ask me to take over the books of the Club. I did so, but did not feel at all disposed to move myself to be the President of the Club. I thought the time had come when local interest in golf should be stimulated, and accordingly I took steps to call a public meeting. Both at St Abbs and Coldingham we had meetings. Mr and Mrs Burn Murdoch kindly stepped into our negotiations and said that they thought it was in the interests of all concerned that a new course should be laid out, more accessible to both parishes, as this old course was about two miles from both Coldingham and St Abbs. With great kindness and generosity, they laid out this course, and the duty has been laid upon this community to improve that course, and to maintain it. That explains the object of our bazaar. We have got a lease of the course, and we hope to make it in a year or two a thoroughly good course with a nice club-house. (Applause).

I have now the great pleasure of introducing you Sir George Watt, and in doing so I would like to acknowledge the kindness and the willingness to help which prompted him to come here this afternoon. We are very delighted to see Sir George and Lady Watt with us today. It was less than a week since Sir George came to St Abbs and already we find him in the position of taking a leading part in promoting this local interest. (Applause). It would take a very long time indeed to give you even short account of his long and distinguished career. It a few years ago since he retired from the Indian service after many years of honourable work. He is a great authority many subjects, and has written work in nine volumes on the Economic Products of India. (Applause). He is also a great authority on the blights and pests which affect a plant in which the ladies, and a great many men too, take a great deal of interest, the tea plant. He is a keen sportsman who handles both the rod and the gun. I don’t know if handles the golf clubs, but if he has not been captured yet by the charms of golf, I hope he will make a beginning on our little golf course. I am sure if he begins he will find he will play quite easily and quite readily, because as the caddy once said to the Professor, “It tak’s a man o’ brains to play gowf.” (Laughter). With these few words, I have very much pleasure in welcoming Sir George and Lady Watt this afternoon, and expressing the hope that they will feel as much at home in St Abbs and among St Abbs people as Sir George feels at home in the domain of literature, science and art. (Applause).

The Value of a Hobby

(The remainder of this article required editing)

Sir George Watt, in opening the sale, said— When I was asked to com© here and assist in opening this second day’s bazaar, I replied to your worthy pastor that I was very bad making polite little speeches. I thought that would have sufficed, and that I should let off, but I was not, and I give him the apology for shortcomings. Mr and Mrs Cormack kindly sent two little books on St. Abbs and and from them I learned much of the history of Coldinghiam as to convince that it was well worthy of the name it once bore of Coldinghamshire.” I think it can boast closer connection with the royalty of Scotland than any locality I know. It had roval princess the Abbess its son of the house of Stuart its Prior. one time Coldingham had to conquered by the Danes and still later Oliver Cromwell. These facts are sufficient to attract any one who, has interest in the study of history. The Priory itself I have not yet examined, but Mr Lam out has kindly offemi to take through it, and I sure I shall enjoy very much the inspection of what remains of’the ancient buildings and also the present buildings. I have devoted some tamo to the study of archaeology in connection with India, and it is subject of very great interest. Thus Coldiugham has a second interest in its archaeolagy. Then your district is extremely rich botanically, and will well repay a visit anyone who has a fancy for that branch of scientific research. have not visited the Moor yet, but I told that it is exceptionally good. In Aoology it is rich too like most coast towns. My little grandchildren have been bringing in pailfuls of seaweeds, and trying who can get the greatest number, and I have already noticed a great many species, and many extremely interesting ones. Insects and other forms of life are well represented, so that altogether for anyone who studies Zoology it is r excellent field. It should also be ideal place for the photographer. itself amid fields and gardens.and is surrounded streams, and has many other delightful features -which the professional or amateur photographer would naturally revel among; and Jst. Abbs is just to like a country where the hills have been thrown at random into the sea. It wild, (rooky, hold and beautiful, with the sea brought into dose proximity with the Silurian rocks, so that the scenery provides plenty of fine subjects for the camera. Now those are a large number of interests. I believe that the man or the woman who has hobby will get through life with all its cares and troubles and • anxieties much more easilv and much more happily than the .person who simply keeps his or her nose to the grindstone, and has hobby, pastime pursuit fall hack upon. am very strongly convinced of that truth, and if were the Director of Insurance Company, I should strike out the question ‘’Are you a total abstainer,and the absurd question “Is there any insanity in your family, and some the other questions which they ask, and I should put the question ‘Have you hobby, and if what it”—because believe the man or woman with hobbv has a well balanced mind, and -will live longer and ‘better work ‘than those who stick in one groove, and are “anti’’ this and “anti’’ half dozen things. (‘Laughter.) Sir George then referred to the work the Indian service, which, said, was often looked upon in a peculiar manner and criticised if those who were engaged it could neither manage their own affairs nor the land which tliev were helping govern. “We have very hard work,’’ he said. “Many you may shake your heads and say you read of nothing but parties and entertainments and gymkhanas, but I assure vou life there is very hard and we have very- heavy work. Of course we have times of relaxation, and have games of our own. One of those games is golf, and there are Gelf Clubs in different parte India. I have never played golf there, but I was a member halfa-dozen. clubs, and used and watch the golfers and have a whiskv and soda with them—-for are not total abstainers in India, but we are temperate. A Bishop of Calcutta once started a Society of those who would bmd themselves only to drink meal hours, and there are great many like that in India, very rarely see a drunk man; can’t say that about this country! Altogether, there is a great deal more drinkino- here than m India. I must not detain you by stories ot India, because I know you ere’veryanxious buy, and the ladies are very anxious sell. I hope that Mr Lament took the precaution send out the public crier to notify- ill beggars purse-clippers and thieves to be absent from this sale, that can devote all our attention the business of buying and selling. There is a rule in golf—l believe it is said the first m!e—“ Keep your eye the ball.” I have been over your course at St. Abbs, and I may say it a surprising course. I have, of course, no experience in golf, but when I strike ball here I seem be sending it into another world I know I have great deal of trouble in finding it, and very often I don’t find it. (Laughter). It is a good rule keep your eye the ball, and I hope the ladies here will make it their rule “keep their eyes the sale” and see no one leaves without their pockets being emptied. (Laughter.) I have much pleasure in declaring your Baaaar reopened and wishing it every success. (Applause.) Mr Dickson. St. Abbs School house, proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Sir George Watt for performing the duty- of re-opening their Bazaar so willingly and in a speech instructive and interesting. (Applause.)

Coldingham Bazaar Result.

St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Club Bazaar (reported on page 5) realised almost £150 the second day, making the total proceeds £390. A correspondent writes — The attendance both days was small, but business proceeded briskly among those present, and at the close of the second day, the success exceeded all expectation. This was due not merely to the generosity of those who visited the bazaar, but also to the enthusiasm displayed the stall-holders.

The following additional particulars reached us yesterday :—

Guide Book — Mrs Burn Murdoch, Mrs John Lang and Mr W. Douglas sent handsome contributions towards defraying the cost of printing the Bazaar Guide Book.

Refreshment Stall Marquees — One of these was kindly lent by Mrs Denholm of Press; the other was provided by Messrs Renton, Berwick.

The following should added the list of stall-holders and assistants —

Work Stall No. 3 (Mrs Dean’s) — Assistant — Miss Miller.

Work Stall No. 4. (Mrs Lamont’s) — Mrs Dunkley; Assistants — Mrs French, Miss A. Robertson, Miss A. Duncan.

Sweet Stall — Assistant, Miss Tait.

Guide Book — Stall-holders, Miss M. Edington and Miss M. Allan; Assistants — Miss H. Edington and Miss Duncan.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 12 August 1913

The map below is reproduced from the Golf Bazaar booket of 1913 by persons unknown, and has been overlaid onto a satellite image by Peter Nesbit.

St Abbs Golf Course via Forgotten Greens website - edited by Peter Nisbet
St Abbs Golf Course via Forgotten Greens website – edited by Peter Nisbet

The net takings from the Bazaar and its associated events and activities, including a supplementary sale of left over goods amounted to £416.0.4½d.

The Club managed to install a Starter’s Hut. This photo shows the hut in situ.

Golf Hut in use at St Abbs. Photo from Golfs Missing Links website and credited to Jim Martin. Original source unknown.

The Golf Club continued with fair success until May 1914, when the season began with the first of a monthly series of competitions.


The first monthly medal competition was played over the course last Saturday. There was a strong wind blowing, and scoring in consequence ruled high. The medal, which was presented Dr Sym, President of the Club, was won by the Secretary, Rev H M Lamont. Scores:— Rev H M Lamont, 101; Mr R C Brown, 105; Mr J Duncan, 112; Mr J Edington, 119; Dr W C Sym, 134; Mr C McCallum, 125; Mr J French, 132; Mr C Barrington, 133; Mr J C Brown, 135; Mr T Chisholm, 138; Mr W D F Sym, 141.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 05 May 1914

At first the onset of War did little to change the Golf Club, and the competitions continued unabated.


Monthly medal has been won Mr C McCallum, with a score of 100 less 5 handicap — 95. Playing round with Mr James French, William Nisbet, the professional, did the round of 9 holes in 35, which is a record.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 17 November 1914

This was the first mention I have found of the professional golf player and greenkeeper, William Nisbet. He was the son of William Brown Nisbet a gardener, who lived at 7 Lorne Lane, North Berwick. William had two older sisters, Janet Baillie and Isabella Nisbet. The 1911 census shows that he worked as a gardener, like his father, which must have stood him in good stead when caring for the greens.

In 1915, the greenkeeper William Nisbet submitted his resignation as he intended to enlist. It was agreed that he should regain his position on his demobilisation.

Minutes, 1915, via Forgotten Greens website.

William was medically examined at Coldingham on 5th March 1915. He was 23 years and 8 months old, 5 ft 9½ in tall, with very good physical development, and was pronounced fit for service. He enlisted in Haddington on 29th March 1915 and joined the Territorial Force of the Royal Scots (Lothian) Regiment, 1st/8th Battalion, Service Numbers 1708 and 325505. William went out to the front in France on 25th June 1915, surprisingly quickly for a young Private with no previous military experience. At that time the Battalion was attached to the 22nd Brigade, 7th Division as a Pioneer Battalion, providing labour for digging roads, trenches and shelters, but also relieving the infantry as required. On 19th August 1915 they transferred to 51st (Highland) Division, still acting as a Pioneer Battalion. William’s record was unblemished except for one small incident when he fell out of ranks withouth permission in September 1916 and was confined to barracks for three days as punishment. In 1917 the Battalion was allocated to the 12th and 4th divisions.

William was dangerously wounded on 2nd March 1917. He was taken to the Field Ambulance with a fractured left fibia, a gunshot wound to his left knee, fractures to both bones in his left forearm, a wound to his right hand, and concussion. He was moved to No.42 Casualty Clearing Station, France, on the same day. Tragically he died of his wounds at the Clearing Station on 4th March 1917. He was only 25 years old. He was buried at Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension plot I. G. 49.


Intimation has been received by Mr W W B Nesbit, 7 Lorne Lane, Leith [North Berwick], that his son, Pte. W Nesbit, Royal Scots, has died in hospital from wounds received while in action. Previous to outbreak of war, deceased was green keeper on St Abbs Golf Course.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 20 March 1917

William’s possessions were returned to his father. There were 1 disc, letters, photos, cards, 1 wallet, 1 purse, 2 cap badges, 1 set numerals, 1 set collar badges, 1 diary, 1 knife, a 9 carat gold ring, a silver coin and a 50 cent note (damaged). He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

That same year part of the Golf Course had been requisitioned.

The Royal Garrison Artillery commandeered the clubhouse, the tool-shed, and part of the course.

Minutes, 1917, via Forgotten Greens website.

The Royal Garrison Artillery left the Course in January 1919.

R.G.A. Detachment which has been stationed on St Abbs golf course for past 2 years, has now been withdrawn from the district. The portion of the course in the immediate neighbourhood of the gun-emplacement presents a view on a small scale of a battle-scarred area with its wire entanglements, trenches, and dugouts.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 28 January 1919

The following month saw the removal of the R.G.A. huts.

The huts on St Abbs Golf Course lately occupied by a detachment of R.G.A. are now in course of being taken down for removal by a squad of Royal Engineers. We hear the Airmen at Meteorological Statiom are to flit soon. Our best for all the boys.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 18 February 1919

The damage was such that compensation was sought from the War Reparations Commission.

Discussions took place with the War Reparations Commission, regarding compensation for the commandeered facilities. Ben Sayers estimated that it would cost £510 to make the course playable once more. After protracted negotiation, the club reluctantly agreed to accept the Military’s final offer of £167.5.6d. Ben Sayers re-appraised the task and stated that the course could be put into a reasonable state for £153.10/-.

Minutes, 1919, via Forgotten Greens website.

Undeterred, the Club appointed a new greenkeeper.

The Committee of Management of St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Club have decided to proceed with the restoration the golf course at St Abbs Head, which for some considerable time during the war had been occupied by a detachment of the R. G. Artillery. At a Committee meeting held on 14th inst., Mr J B Keppie, golf professional, North Berwick, was appointed green keeper. He is expected to begin work on the course immediately, and it is hoped that next spring the course will again be in playable condition.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 21 October 1919

Unfortunately this appointment doesn’t seem to have worked out. Weeks later the Committee were looking again.

GREENKEEPER WANTED for St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Course. Applications, stating age, experience, and wage expected, with copy testimonials, to be lodged not later than Wednesday 12th November. — Colin MacCallum, Schoolhouse, St Abbs.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 04 November 1919

The new greenkeeper appointed was Peter Murphy. He worked dilligently to restore the course ready for the next season.

7th annual meeting of St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Club was held in the Clubhouse on Tuesday, Mr James Edington Vice-President, in the chair. Resignation of Dr Sym, President, who has severed his connection with St Abbs, was accepted with regret. Annual subscription for local members was fixed at 10s/6d, juveniles under 18 5s/6d. Following office bearers were appointed:— President Mr James Edington; Vice-President Dr Taylor; Captain Mr James French; Honorary Secretary Rev H M Lamont; Honorary Treasurer Mr Colin MacCallum; Committee Mr William Craig, Mr Edward Duncan, Mr John Duncan, Miss Edington; Rev George McGregor. Under the able management of Mr Peter Murphy, the club’s greenkeeper, the course has been and is now in excellent condition, and will no doubt, in pre-war days, prove a great attraction to visitors. It was decided to hold opening competition soon for a prize kindly presented Dr Taylor Vice-President.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 25 May 1920

In 1922 the Course struck some difficulties with the new landowner Mr Colt.

We are informed that Mr Colt, new proprietor of that part of Northfield Estate on which is St Abbs Golf Course, is not unsympathetic or hostile in his attitude to the Course, as has been publicly stated. He has offered the use of the Course to St Abbs people and visitors free during Summer season.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 14 March 1922

Mr Colt’s assurances were in vain.

ST ABBS AND COLDINHAM GOLF CLUB. Owing to the impossibility of obtaining a renewal of the Lease of the Golf Course, the Club must be wound up. All persons who subscribed to the Guarantee Fund of the Club are requested to communicate with the Secretary, to whom evidence of their having subscribed should be produced; all such Claims to be lodged on or before 28th May 1922.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 25 April 1922

The Club’s equipment and huts were put up for sale in June.


1 Hut, 12 ft x 9 ft, 2 windows, slated roof;

1 Hut, 12 ft x 9 ft, corrugated iron roof, 4 pane window; 7 Golf Club cupboards, with locks and keys, No Backs, fitted all in one piece.

3 Wooden Forms, 6 ft – 7 ft 6 in.

4 Old Wooden Stiles, suitaible for firewood.

1 Shanks Britannia Lawn Mower.

1 Shanks Pennsylvania Lawn Mower

1 Scythe and 2 old Blades.

1 Horse Mower, with spare Blades.

4 Shanks Small Heavy Rollers, Double Cylinder, one slightly cracked.

2 Wooden Soil-Beaters.

1 Wooden Wheelbarrow.

1 Broom.

2 Spades, 1 Shovel, 1 Edging Knife, 1 Tool for cutting holes in greens; 1 Oil-can, 1 Line with steel pins; 2 Scythe-stones; 7 Moletraps, 1 Turf Knife and Board; 9 Metal Sandboxes; 1 Metal Rake; 17 stout Wooden Posts (square); 1 Daisy Grubber; 1 old Heavy Stone Roller; 9 Pairs of Tee Direction Arrows; 9 Pins with Tassels; 9 Metal Pins for golf-holes.

The above, with the exception of the Huts, can be viewed at JOHNSTON’S GARAGE, COLDINGHAM, from TUESDAY, 6th June. The Huts are situated on the Golf Course near St Abbs Head. The Purchaser of the Huts will be responsible for their removal. The key of the Tool-house can be obtained from. Mr McCallum, Schoolhouse, St Abbs.

Offers will be received by the Secretary, Dr F O TAYLOR, Kirkhill, Coldingham, up to 14th June 1922, by which date intending purchasers are requested to make their tenders.

F. O. TAYLOR, Hon. Secretary.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 06 June 1922

The club house is now a beach hut at Coldingham Sands. The present owner Kay Hawthorn told me in 2020: “It was on the St Abbs old golf course and was used as the ‘starters hut’. My Mum Helen’s aunt, Ena Robertson, bought it for £25 at least 70 years ago – a lot then I thought. They transported it on railway sleepers, which the hut still stands on. My mums aunt died at 100 years old, and it was passed down to my mother and now owned by myself and brother Alan. It is still regularly used by our families even though we live in Edinburgh. The original pegs and numbers where they hung their coats are still inside the hut and visible. My aunt renewed the roof eventually, and the windows. My father maintained it for many years. It used to be grey up until around 15 years ago. Original inside, with beams.”

The original Golf Hut is now a beach hut at Coldingham Sands

The Committee must have been feeling somewhat bitter. The following week a little note appeared in the local column of the paper.

Visitors to Coldingham are much disappointed at the refusal by Mr Colt of Northfield to allow golf to be played as formerly on Northfield Golf Course.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 13 June 1922

The club’s affairs were wound up in October. It seemed that Mr Colt was not all bad, because he donated some land for a Football Club.

R S H Colt Esq, of Northfield, has kindly granted use of field for a football pitch to St Abbs Thistle Football Club.

Owing to failure of negotiations for renewal of the lease of St Abbs Golf Course, it was decided wind up the affairs of St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Club. All effects of the Club have now been realised. At a general meeting of the Club held in Coldingham on Monday last, the Honorary Treasurer submitted the balance sheet, duly audited, for the period to the closing of the Club’s accounts, and showing considerable balanca at credit of Club, which balance, it was decided, was to be divided pro rata amongst the subscribers the original Guarantee Fund. Committee of Management arc thus enabled to make payment to the Guarantors at the rate 25s per £.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 03 October 1922

In the 1936 there was the first hint of an appetite to revive the golf club. The Berwickshire News reported this with a single sentence.

It is reported that movement is on foot in St. Abbs secure a golf course near St. Abbs Head.

Berwickshire News and General Advertise, Tuesday 25 February 1936

The first meeting was called in March 1936.

ST ABBS AND A GOLF COURSE. A public meeting, to consider the obtaining of a golf course, was held in the Public Hall on Monday night. Rev T Donaldson Barr presided. A number of Coldingham people were present at the invitation of the St Abbs Ratepayers Association. After a lengthy discussion regarding the possibilites of a golf course at St Abbs Head, a committee was formed consult a practical man concerning the cost of putting the old course in a playing condition. On the call of Mr David Gibson, a vote of thanks was accorded the chairman.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 24 March 1936

ST ABBS AND A GOLF COURSE. A public meeting was held in St Abbs Public Hall on Monday evening to hear report of the committee formed at the last meeting to consult with an expert regarding the cost of making the golf course at St Abbs playable. The chair was occupied by David Gibson, who submitted the expert’s report. After lengthy discussion, it was decided to accept Lord Amulree’s terms for the renting of the course, and to proceed with the reconstruction of the course soon as possible. A committee was formed. On the call of Mr A Nisbet, a vote of thanks was accorded the chairman.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 31 March 1936

That same week there was a decision to create a putting green in the village.

At a meeting of St Abbs Tennis Club committee, held in the ante-room of the Public Hall Thursday evening, it was decided to open a nine-hole putting green on the spare ground at the tennis courts. There will be two lawn tennis courts as usual.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 31 March 1936

The Golf Course work was almost ready to begin.

It is expected that the work of reconstructing St Abbs golf course will be started during the week, so that the course will be open for play before the summer visitors arrive.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 07 April 1936

Work started on 22nd April 1936.

On Wednesday morning a squad of workmen, under the supervision of Mr James Farquaharson, commenced work on the reconstruction of St Abbs golf course. Good progress is being made, and it is hoped to have the course in playing conditions at an early date. At a meeting of Abbs Tennis Club committee, Mr Robert Craig was appointed tennis court and putting green attendant. The following is a list the office-bearers of the newly formed St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Club: President Rev T Donaldson Barr; vice-president David Gibson, St Abbs; secretary Mrs Henry Hunter, St Abbs; treasurer Mr Peter H Nisbet, St Abbs; captain Mr Thomas Walker, Coldingham; other members of the committee — Messrs R Nisbet, St Abbs, William Dean, Coldingham, and R Nisbet jnr., St Abbs.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 28 April 1936

The work was soon completed and a new greenkeeper appointed.

The work reconstructing St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Course is completed, and the course will be officially opened (weather permitting) on Saturday first at 2.30 pm. Mr John Laing has been appointed greenkeeper.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 19 May 1936

After a short delay a new opening date was finalised.

The opening of St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Course, which was arranged for Saturday last, will take place on Wednesday. The course will be opened by the Honorary President of the club, the Rev H M Lamont B D, Priory Manse, Coldingham. The office-bearers and committee of the club are Honorary President Rev H M Lamont B D; President Rev T Donaldson Barr M A; Vice President Mr David Gibson; Secretary Mr Robert Nisbet junior; Treasurer Mr Peter H Nisbet; Captain Thomas Walker; Vice-Captain Mr William Dean; Messrs Robert Nisbet, senior, Henry Hunter, and James Hood.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 26 May 1936

The opening was reported in the Berwickshire News.

Welcome Addition to Amenities of St Abbs and Coldingham. Rev H M Lamont Opens New Golf Course. Attraction for Visitors.

Presiding at the opening of the new golf course near St Abbs Head on Wednesday afternoon, the Rev T D Barr said this was a more important event as regards St Abbs and Coldingham than the sailing of the Queen Mary on her maiden voyage or the running of the Derby, which were taking place that same day.

The Course was opened by the Rev H M Lamont, Honorary President of the St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Club. The opening of the course was a splendid culmination to the proposals taken up by St Abbs Ratepayers’ Association only a few months ago, that a golf course would be a welcome addition to the attractions of St Abbs and Coldingham holiday resorts. When the Association set about exploring this possibility, they took it up in wholehearted fashion. Progress was swift. A lease of land was granted for the purpose by Lord Amulree, of Northfield; workmen proceeded apace with the construction work, and the result was the opening of the course on Wednesday afternoon.

As evidence of the enthusiasm behind the project, a golf club was formed recently with an energetic band of officials. It is designated the St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Club, and there is every likelihood that this popular sport will be taken up most enthusiastically by residents in the two villages. Moreover, and no doubt most important of all, visitors to Coldingham and St Abbs can now indulge in this fascinating sport.

No Course Since 1922. Not since 1922 has St Abbs had a golf course. The new course is constructed at the same place as the former one. It has nine holes, the longest being 580 yards. At Wednesday’s opening ceremony the Rev T D Barr (President the Golf Club and of the Ratepayers’ Association) presided, the ceremony being performed in the presence of a representative attendance. Everybody would know, Mr Barr, remarked, that the Queen Mary would set sail that afternoon, and they would wish her the very best success on her maiden voyage. Also taking place that day, he said, was the Derby, and many people, he was afraid, would be interested it. (Laughter). More important, however, than these two events to the people of St Abbs and Coldingham, would be the opening of the golf course, which would be performed by Mr Lamont in few minutes.

Really One Community. A great deal work, both mental and physical, had been expended on the making the course, which was a really big undertaking. The most serious of all was that they had had so little finance go upon. They were convinced, he said, that a golf course would add considerably to the attractions of St Abbs and Coldingham, which were really one community, as holiday places. With that thought, the project had been explored, and he took the opportunity of expressing great thanks and indebtedness to the committee and to the workers who had made the opening of the course possible. Barr, continuing, said they would welcome the guidance of those connected with the former course and those prominent in the community. He said he now had great pleasure in calling upon Mr Lamont, who was well known and respected among them, to perform the opening ceremony. Mr Lamont expressed thanks to Mr Barr and the committee for giving him an honorary position in the Club and for asking him to perform the ceremony of opening the course. Mr Lamont said he started golfing in this district and had indulged in many a fine game, and he looked forward to enjoying some good games yet. Amid applause, Mr Lamont declared the course open and drove off the first ball. Mr Barr then presented Mr Lamont with a fountain pen as a token of appreciation.

The First Match. The ceremony over, the captain (Mr T Walker) and the vice-president (Mr T Gibson) selected teams for a match, which resulted in the vice-president’s team being well beaten by five matches to one. Details:

Captain – Vice President

1 W Messer – H. Hunter 0

1 T Walker – D Gibson 0

0 G Wood (½) – N WWillins (½) 0

0 D McDougall – J Robertson 1

1 J Robertson – R Nisbet junior 0

1 J Brownlie – W S R Nisbet 0

1 W Dean – P H Nisbet 0

The first pair round the course were T Walker and D Gibson, who had scores of 46 and 56 respectively. The best scores were returned by W Messer (Ayton) and J Robertson (Edinburgh), the former going round in 40, and the latter in 43.

A Keen Sportsman. A keen local sportsman has been appointed greenkeeper, in the person of Mr John Laing, son of and Mrs W Laing, of Sea View, St Abbs. This year he succeeded in winning the individual carpet bowling championship of Berwickshire. A footballer of no mean ability, he is proving a valuable acquisition to Eyemouth Swifts Football Club.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 02 June 1936

The Golf Course saved Robert Aitchison from perishing in a tragic wreck in November 1936.

After an unsuccessfsul season in Lowestoft, the St Abbs motor drifter Isa Wilson arrived home Saturday night. She was at sea during the gale which caused the tragic loss of the Olive Branch with all hands, and had great difficulty in reaching port. But for his being on St Abbs and Coldingham golf course, a young St Abbs fisherman, Robert Aitchison junior, Harbour Terrace, would have been a member of the crew of the ill-fated Peterhead motor drifter Olive Branch. He was asked to sail on the Olive Branch, but declined.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 24 November 1936

The condition of the Course probably suffered from having a sportsman as greenkeeper rather than a groundsman. Peter Murphy was appointed to rectify the situation in 1937.

Peter Murphy has been engaged to condition St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Course. Mr Murphy was greenkeeper on the old course from 1919 to 1922.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 06 April 1937

During the late thirties there was a lively programme of matches and cup competitions, including matches between locals and visitors. Several concerts and a swimming gala were held to raise funds for the club.

The next greenkeeper was Robert Craig, who had been greenkeeper at the putting green. This left a vacancy at the putting green, which was filled by Mr Alex Dickson in May.

St Abbs Golf Club. The annual general meeting of St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Club was held in the anteroom of the Public Hall, on Tuesday … Robert Craig was appointed greenkeeper in place of Mr John Laing, who has resigned to take up another job. Mr Laing was thanked for his work on the course and was wished success in his new work.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 04 April 1939

The last competition was held in July 1939.

ST ABBS CLUB. The final of the Gibson Cup, which was presented to the St Abbs and Coldingham Golf Club by Mr David Gibson, of St Abbs Haven, the president of the club, was played Friday night. The finalists were the Rev G. W. H. Louden, St Abbs Manse, and William Messer, of the Royal Bank, Ayton. A close and exciting match ended on the 19th green with William Messer winner. After the match the cup and runner-up prize were presented by the Rev H. M. Lamont, the honorary president of the club.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 11 July 1939

The cup is still owned by Bill Messer’s son Dougall, and his wife has kindly supplied this photo of it for this website.

The Gibson Cup, copyright Dougall and Margaret Messer

The advent of war did not immediately interrupt the activity at the Course. However, by 1941 more grazing was probably allowed on the course, in line with the recommendations of the Department of Agriculture to put land to useful purpose. Reports of matches and fundraising dwindled to nothing, and it is probable that the Course was abandoned from the middle of 1941.

The final reference I have found to the Course was in 1950, when Eyemouth Golf Club acquired its triple mower. It confirms that the course had closed.

It was intimated that the club [Eyemouth] had recently acquired a triple mower, formerly the property of the old golf club at St Abbs.

Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, Tuesday 21 March 1950

According to Peter Nisbet the club house was used in situ by the Scouts. The flat base where it stood can still be seen by the first tee at a spot known as ‘Rutherford’s Brae’ is just off the cliff path from the village to St Abbs Head. Peter tells me that they pulled the drum of a green roller out of the Mire Loch about ten years ago. He believes the hut may have been moved down from the cliff and is probably the hut rebuilt next to the church. The hut at the church was formerly used by the Sunday School. It is now in dilapidated condition and boarded up.

Probably the former golf hut beside the St Abbs Church.

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