Thursday, July 24, 2014

Britain Subscription to FindMyPast - Only £49.75 Until 31 July

There's a really good offer from FindMyPast of a half-price 1 year subscription to their British family history records - that's £49.75 instead of £99.50.

There are conditions, of course.
It ends on or before 31 July.
It's only for new subscribers, it may be withdrawn if they meet their sales quota, you'll automatically be resubscribed at the end of the year unless you cancel.

FindMyPast was essential when I researched John Hamilton Hall's family history for Berwick900 earlier this year. I shall be giving a talk  about it in 'Treasure and a Coldstream Lad, John Hamilton Hall' on 22 February 2015 at Melrose.  More details about this and other Borders Family History Society events.

See the subscription offer.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

St Boswells Fair/Gypsy Fair Exhibition - First Day (18 July)

This exhibition is in St Boswells Village Hall.

I'm happy to say that we were busy.

Though it wasn't meant to be open in the morning, people drifted in because the doors were open to receive exhibitors, and we were busy all day.
The organisers counted just under 200 visitors, including as we hoped, lots of gypsies.

Lots of interest in John McKale's books and paintings.




The children's table, where there is a competition in 3 age groups to win book tokens, was often crowded.


3 members of the gypsy Royal Family talked to us, and Davina took the family tree on display home to update it.

I met people who had come from south Yorkshire, Berwick, Glasgow, Fife, as well as various places in the Scottish Borders: Eyemouth, Gordon, Kelso, Lauder, Westruther, West Linton as well as St Boswells.

I was also introduced to Mary Hanson (and her husband, Keith) who has done a lot research into the gypsies and into Napoleonic prisoners of war in the Scottish Borders.

Unfortunately, we are limited by table space in the number of items we can display for sale and as luck would have it, there were a number of things we could have sold had we bought them with us.

Lots of the gypsies were interested in the Hawick Heritage Hub's photographs, some wanted copies, others identified family members.

If you come today (1pm to 7pm) or tomorrow (1pm to 4pm), make sure to fill in a feedback form to win a bunch of carved wooden flowers.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

St Boswells Fair / Gypsy Fair Exhibition in St Boswells Village Hall

There's an exhibition about the almost 400 year old St Boswells Fair, also known as the Gypsy Fair in St Boswells, this weekend.
Opening times are:
  • 1pm to 4pm on Friday, 18th July
  • 1pm to 7pm on Saturday, 19th July
  • 1pm to 4pm on Sunday, 20th July
On Friday, 18th July there's also a coffee morning from 10am to 11.30 am and a community lunch from 12 noon to 1.30pm. Everyone is welcome at these; they take place in St Boswells Church Hall. Approximate map.

St Boswells Village Hall is on the corner of Main St and Jenny Moore's Rd, St Boswells, Roxburghshire, opposite the bus station. Approximate map.

Admission is free. There’s a free colouring competition for children under 12 with book-tokens as prizes.

We’ll have a stand with a display, books to look at and buy and we’ll be on hand to answer questions about family history. 
We would like to hear from you if you’re related to a gypsy family, if you want us to help you trace your family history or if you just want help with a brick wall.

Tom Tokely’s talk begins at 3.30 pm on Saturday,19th July in St Boswells Church Hall and we’ll have copies of The Kirk Yetholm Gypsies by Tom’s late brother, Vic Tokely for sale at £2.75.

There will also be gypsy artwork and miniature vehicles on display.

There will be refreshments available until 4pm each day.

Other exhibits are by the Hawick Heritage Hub, Police, Fire Service, NHS, Citizen's Advice Bureau.

I understand the organisers, St Boswells Community Council, are looking for feedback on the event. Everyone submitting a feedback form has a chance of winning some carved wooden flowers donated by Blackie Lee, the husband of Tina Lee, who tells fortunes.

Don't forget to look on the St Boswells Green at the traditional gypsy caravan and perhaps have your fortune told.