What's New;


Oral History Project;


We have recently embarked on an Oral History Project to record the memories of Duns and surrounding area as it was and to build an archive of local social history.

The project is being led by Society member, Lesley Grey who has considerable experience on this particular field and has already spoken with and recorded the memories of several local persons.

We are looking for memories of childhood, school days, working and playing in Duns or indeed the Borders to build a picture which will allow future generations to know more about how we lived. As well as stories and the history of the town we are also seeking to capture local accents and speech patterns.

If you might be interested in taking part please contact Lesley (tel. 01361 883070 or any Committee member. A volunteer will visit your home or another quiet place of your choice and will record  a short chat with you on your memories and experiences. All is quite informal and shouldn't take more than about half an hour. 

A summary will be made of the recording which will be typed up. You will receive a C.D. of the recording and a copy will also be stored in the Society archives and can then be assessed for educational and research purposes. The project is part of a movement to record oral history on all Scottish communities.

Please note that if you feel later at any point that you would prefer not to share the memories recorded, for whatever reason, the recorded version can be edited accordingly or indeed completely deleted.




A list of various publications which can be purchased through the Society has been included in the Membership Page


Photo Albums;


There are a number of photo albums which might be of interest. Have a look at Twizel Castle, Cumledge Mill and the 1948 floods and our visit to Greenlaw in 2012.


More photographs;


Because of alterations within the Library Building in which they are situated  resulting in pressure on storage space Museum Services have very kindly donated a large box of former exhibition photographs to the Society. These relate in large part to the Summer Festival Week in the 1950s and 1960s of which we already have quite a number of images. However some we don't and also most have notes of names and dates which is very helpful. There are also some very interestingly images from R.A.F. Charterhall and relating to Jim Clark. We are much indebted.



A new Local Hero;


Ask anyone who invented television and the answer will inevitably be John Logie Baird. However at the first meeting of our new session our speaker, Dr. Paul Watson from Lincolnshire, who has been carrying out sponsored research into the matter, propounded the theory very persuasively that the honour must go not to Baird but to local man Alan Archibald Campbell-Swinton. It has to be conceded that nowadays few have even heard of Campbell-Swinton but now surely time to promote the case.

For further information see



Following the A.G.M. in April the Society office-bearers were confirmed as follows;

Chairman, Betty Snow.
Vice Chairman, Kenneth McLean.
Secretary, Ronald Morrison
Treasurer, Tom Simpson
Committee Members, Catherine Feeney, Murray Henderson, Masrianne Morrison, Donald Ritchie.

New Publication

  We are very pleased tobe able to announe tthe lauach  of our new publication 'The Soldiers Remember - a history of Southfield Auxiliary Military Hospital Duns'. This will be in Room 2 of Southfield Community Centre, Station Road on Saturday 30th. June at 2 p.m. The launch will be by Mr Alick Hay of Duns Castle.

 There was recently donated to the Society a collection of papers relating to the Speedy family of Reedlyloch Farm, Edrom. These have lain dormant in an attic for nearly 100 years. Among the papers are records kept by Miss May Speedy who was a voluntary nurse at Southfield Military Hospital (now Southfield Community centre) during the First Word War.

Whether of her own initiative or whether as part of the healing process Nurse Speedy had the soldiers record their wartime experiences, usually including life in the trenches, the injuries they had sustained, how they were coping and their hopes for the future.

If they preferred not to write of their experiences they were invited to write a poem, draw a cartoon or simply send  a greeting. As such an absolutely unique record. We have also sought to enhance by background research on the soldiers and on the hospital itself.

We are very grateful indeed to Blackhill Windfarm Community Fund for a very handsome grant which will enable us to publish.

The book, price £10 (plus U.K. postage £1.87) can be purchased by contacting the Society Secretary, Ronald Morrison - dunsehistory@aol.com.


During the course of 2016 the Society was very much involved in events to mark the 750th. anniversary of the birth of John Duns Scotus. The philosopher, beatified by Pope Paul 11 in 1993, was born in Duns probably in the year 1266, a cairn near the gates to Duns Castle marking the believed site.

The Festival was officially opened in September by the Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh and various events followed inluding a fine and exceptionally well attended talk  by the acclaimed Scotus’ authority Professor, Alexander Broadie, and attended by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland.

There followed all sorts of different events including a highly acclaimed performance by Duns Players of a play especially written for the occasion entitled ‘You Dunce?'. the showing of an award winning film on Duns Scotus, concerts in the Parish Church and in the Episcopal Church, two historic walks and a textile workshop.

  The highlight of the Festival was probably a Study Day at which six distinguished speakers including from the United States, Germany and Belgium as well as from Great Britain delivered papers.


The Society was also very much involved directly in hosting two talks, one by Professor J.L.H Thomas on the Portraiture of Duns Scotus, and the second by Dr. D.H. Caldwell looking at life in Berwickshire during Scotus’ lifetime

For a report on a talk delivered to the Society on Duns Scotus by the late Father Henry see.


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