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Newstead Scotland

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Information on the village of Newstead in Scotland.

Willie Alchin

Born in Fife in 1902, Willie was brought to the Borders at the age of one. Most of his childhood was spent at Newstead and he was educated at Melrose Grammar School. At the age of twelve, while still at school, he started work as a message boy for William Dick, the Melrose ironmonger.

On leaving school, aged 14, he became an apprentice with Andrew McLaren, a bread and biscuit baker in Melrose. Some years later, he moved to Andrew Tod, the Galashiels baker. Later, he started his own business in Lauder, and opened a shop in Earlston. He retired from business in 1974 having been fifty-eight years in the baking trade.

In retirement, he recorded his memories of growing up in Newstead in two pamphlets: "As I recall" - Childhood memories of Newstead which was printed in 1988, and in "Further recollections" - Life in the Village of Newstead at the turn of the century, published in 1991.

Willie died in Earlston in 1995.

" As I recall" is long out of print, but "Further recollections" is still available from his grandson at the "Tom Davidson Gallery", High Street, Earlston, Berwickshire, TD4 6BU (+44 (0)1896 848898) It is thanks to Tom that we can reproduce some of Willie's wonderful recollections of Newstead, as it was when he was young.

Willie died in 1995.

Willie Alchin Remembers......

Our Dwelling
Our dwelling was a stone built, four room building, with an outhouse and a garden.......

Doctors, Dentists and the Deaconess
There was no National Health Service in those days.......

The Post Office and the General Store
We had a General Store and Post Office at the "tap o' the toon" and two householders sold aerated waters and sweets at the "fit o' the toon".......

St Boswells Fair
One of the "musts" when I was a boy, was a visit to St Boswells Fair, which was held annually on the 18th July.......

Back to: History of Newstead