On Saturday 30 September, the REELS team was in Coldstream to take part in two events for the Scottish Borders Heritage Festival. We were based in the Leet Room of Coldstream Community Centre, the former St Cuthbert’s Church. In the afternoon we hosted a drop-in event at which visitors could view our exhibition and share their knowledge of local place-names. A steady stream of people came through the doors, from even before our official opening time of 2pm. Some of them stayed for the full three hours!
We were delighted to hear so many pronunciations of local place-names in our study area, and to gain information about names which don’t appear on modern maps. We will be able to use much of what we learned on the day in our research, and will include phonemic versions of the pronunciations in our place-name volume and database.
In the evening Simon Taylor presented a paper on ‘Place-Names and their Place in the History of Berwickshire’. Many of our afternoon Berwickshire visitors came back to hear this, joined by others from south of the present-day border.
We are extremely grateful to John Elliot, Joan Turnbull, Eleanor Moffat and Martha Andrews, members of the sub-committee of the Coldstream and District Local History Society, which had been set up especially to help us. They did a wonderful job of advertising the events, and encouraging interested and knowledgeable local people to come along. Thank you also to Linda Trickett, former co-ordinator, and Adrian Price, caretaker, of Coldstream Community Centre, for all their help and for making us feel so welcome.