The Thirties and Forties

Close Finish for web

A close finish at Morebattle Games

In 1938 a fancy dress procession attracted a good entry and it was a shame that heavy rain spoiled some of the costumes; One little lad, a sweep, had his black face rather streaked by the weather trying to make a clean sweep’ of him.

It was also a tribute to the keenness of the local people that there were any spectators to cheer them on. Mrs Robertson, Morebattle Tofts, acted as judge of the parade. She had a very difficult task as the dresses were most original.

The Committee for the last year of peace was: J. Fox, G. Patterson, W. Lothian, W. Ovens, D. Ovens, J. Y. Bums, G. Pringle, G. Simpson, W. Whitelaw, R. J. Scott, J. Crawford and W. Naim. Judges were A. Thomson, Colonel Cowan, Rev J. Harkness and Rev A. Thomson. T. G. Young was secretary and handicapper with G. Coulter, Jedburgh, as starter.

Things were to change the following month when war was declared and many of the participants had to leave home to join the forces and serve in various parts of the world. During the War the Sports were carried on by the Home Guard.

In 1945 along with the Welcome Home Committee a fete was arranged at the usual venue-Morebattle Tofts. During the afternoon many fun events were included and pro­vided great amusement for the large crowd. Pony rides were a big attraction for the children and a Baby Show drew a big entry.

The Welcome Home Fund benifited by approximately £130.

In 1946, under the heading of Morebattle Games Resumed a large crowd witness events, the Kelso Chronicle was able to report that “One of the Borderlands most attractive sports meetings was revived on Saturday when Morebattle Games was held for the first time since the war.

“Saturday’s meeting was held in a field at Morebattle Tofts kindly lent to the Games Committee by Mr R. J. Roberton. There can be few more picturesque in the countryside than this Haugh”.

Prior to the commencement of the sports a children’s fancy dress parade was held. During the afternoon Miss Anna Scott’s Dancers, from Hawick, gave a talented display of tap and highland dancing which was greatly enjoyed. Piper Veitch provided the music.

The sports were efficiently run with much credit due to the hard work put in by the secretary Mr T. Young and his committee of W. Whitelaw, J. Pringle, J. Fox, J. Ferguson, G. Patterson, R. Scott, J. Scott, W. Ovens, J. Crawford, W. Lothian, J. Burns, W. Wilson, T. Wilson, R. Hogg, J. Scott, H. Ferguson, J. Manderson and R. Manderson. Mr J. Young was starter and the judges were Dr A. Turnbull, R. Roberton, G. Leadbetter, A. Thomson and J. R. B. Wilson.

In 1947 Mr Hugh Ferguson suggested to the Games Committee that a meeting of the Jethart Callant and Kelso Laddie should take place in Morebattle. This was passed and the ‘Trysting Tree’ was planted in the Institute grounds on 13th July, 1947, by Dickson Robb the Kelso Laddie and Charles McDonald, the Jethart Callant, to commemorate this first meeting. A large following from the two towns was present to witness the event. The Games were responsible for the annual arrangements until the Community Council assumed responsibility in 1981.

1948 saw Morebattle Games become members of the Scottish Games Association which was inaugurated in 1946.

The SGA has made many improvements to the sport, e.g. ‘Runners must compete under their own names’ and SGA delegates are on hand to help committees with any disputes which may arise.

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