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The first Post War Games in 1946 were held at Riverside Park, the home ground of Jedforest Rugby Football Club. Although a greater distance from the town centre than Lothian Park, the benefits this new venue offered, could justify the change of meeting place. A long sought after circuit track to accommodate middle and long distance running could be marked out there. Jedburgh was now in the traffic age, and car parking could be provided at Riverside, for which, natural boundaries prohibited this at Lothian Park, with the river on one side, the A68 trunk road on another and the fairground occupying the haugh at Abbey Bridge, the main entrance to the park itself. Not only was Riverside helpful for car parking, but its situation on the north side of town was in very close proximity to the railway station, providing rail commuters with easy access.

from the Jedburgh Gazette of 18th July 1946

Games Day Comes Round Again

In accordance with old custom, the cannon was brought out of its hiding place to be loaded up again. Punctually on the stroke of six Jethart Games sprang to life, when president Mr Walter Hope set off the first post-war big bang and the Jedforest Instrumental Band set off on its round. During the preceding week the weather had taken a distinct turn for the better, after a most unsummer like summer up to that time. The Fancy dress parade took place on Thursday evening, and on Friday night, July 12th was held the now time-honoured 'Nicht Afore the Morn,' Re-union Concert which attracted a bumper house in the Public Hall. On Saturday the sun was shining, to continue through most of the day. The only rain shower came as the spectators were making their way home from Riverside at about 5.30 pm.

  Q. Coffee from Africa is pipped inches from home by D. Roberts of Walkerburn, far right, in the final of the Jedforest Handicap Sprint held for the first time at Riverside Park in 1946.

After the firing of the cannon, and the race around the town won by John Hope of Jedburgh, the proceedings began during the early part of the morning with a Games Swimming Gala, organised by Mr John Walker and held at the Laidlaw Memorial Baths, opposite Lothian Park. Such an event had been held on several occasions before the war, and served to fill up rather a blank pperiod in the days proceedings. Winner of the two lengths girls race was Frances McAlister and the two lengths boys race was won by A. Lightbody. The outstanding feature here was an exhibition of diving by Mr Douglas Weightman, whose six years in the army have done nothing to mar his skills in this function of swimming. During the morning programme at Riverside Park, some excellent running was done by the youngsters. W. James put up a meritorious performance by winning the Challenge cup from scratch, and the Youths Border Counties 100 yards Handicap for lads under 17 years of age. By far, the most colourful act of the day was Q. Coffee, an Edinburgh medical student from Africa who became a real 'Glamour Boy' with the crowd. He won the 100 yards scratch race, and came a very close second to D. Roberts of Walkerburn, in the 120 yards Jedforest Sprint Handicap. Although the crowd thought the African star had won, Roberts touched the tape inches ahead of Coffee, who had already bested the winner in the first tie, and was running at evens in the final. It was alleged, our Mr Coffee had stated that, shoud he win the Jedforest Sprint event, he would donate all his winnings to charity. Another event which as in former years, created great interest was "The Auld Man's Race." While the turnout was disappointing, with only four veterans facing the starter all were real triers, with Adam Telfer (A. Jerdonfield) the clear winner. In the Border Counties Half Mile Handicap, A. Turnbull of Jedburgh, a well built lad who played a few games for the Jedforest rugby team in the early part of last season, surprised many by the stylish way he won this race. P. Kenny from Wishaw, a pre-war performer at the Games recorded a splendid "double" by winning the scratch mile from A. Robertson of Stobswood. Kenny had his second win in the Dunion 2 mile Handicap from the 55 yard mark to beat the scratch man, T. Alwell from Kilburnie in a close finish. Alwell, however, had previously demonstrated his ability in The Edinburgh and Leith Plate Half Mile Handicap which he won off scratch in convincing style from F. Flynn of Niddrie, who ran off 90 yards. There were three heats in the always popular Merchant's Half Mile Handicap, an event that attracted 26 runners. The ultimate winner was J. Kitchener from Gorebridge running from 50 yards, who, as winner of the third heat made no mistake in a finely run final. G. S. Fairgrieve of Stow was in a class by himself in the field events, capturing all three firsts in the jumps. J. Tait of Yetholm beat all comers in the all weight wrestling competition. In the most strenuously contested event of the day, the Quoiting Handicap in the charge of 'Tam' Armstrong which as not decided until after 5 0' clock, the winner was R. Murdoch of Roxburgh. Jedforest Instrumental Band, under the conductorship of Mr John Hewie, and the Boys Brigade Pipe band in the charge of Pipe Major R. Walker rendered selections during the day. In the afternoon, Miss Anna Scott's troupe of dancers, including a number of her Jedburgh pupils, gave a delightful exhibition of their talents. Mr J. McCraw's loud speaker apparatus was a great success in announcing the various events and winners, being a great improvement from the old megaphone days. After an accounts audit, a public meeting was held, and the bank report showed that the Games now held £403-14shillings and 3pence.


from the Jedburgh Gazette of 17th July 1947

Record Games Turnout concludes First Callant's Festival

After the first 'Jethart Callant's Festival' got under way, record followed record during the sports celebrations in 1947 and, favoured with a day of brilliant sunshine, the 94th anniversary of Jedburgh Border Games, which are now the premier summer professional meeting in Scotland, attracted a record crowd to Riverside Park. A brilliant double was recorded by local man John Clements, who won the £60 Jedforest 120 Yards Handicap, and the Jedburgh Handicap of 200 Yards.

Although the Jethart Callants Club had continued for some years before the war, Jedburgh had never been able to boast a Festival Principal, or a Border Common Riding like the other local towns of Selkirk, Hawick and Galashiels, until now. This year witnessed the first official Jethart Callants Festival. A Games Festival Committee was formed during the early part of the year to organise the presentation of a pageant and to co-operate with the Jedburgh Border Games Committee over the responsibilities and timing of events for this concept. Charlie McDonald, a North British Rayon Mill worker was invested as Jethart Callant, supported by Right Hand man, Andrew Stewart, and Left Hand man, Gideon Yellowlees. Tom Dryburgh, Jethart's 1936 Fancy Dress Callant was assigned as Herald to lead the future, formal cavalcade. The Festival celebrations were carried out during the second week of July, and were contained within the week prior to Jedburgh Border Games, allowing the Games to conclude the festivities on Saturday 12th July. Record followed record during the festival celebrations, and favoured with a day of brilliant sunshine the 94th anniversary of Jedburgh Border Games, which had by now become the premier summer professional meeting in Scotland, attracted a record crowd to Riverside Park. During the afternoon proceedings, Charlie McDonald accompanied by his Right and Left Hand men and Herald entered the arena to the strains of "The Callants March" played by the massed bands of the Boys Brigade Pipe Band and the Jedforest Instrumental Band. The Big Four were introduced by Provost Moncur, after which "Jetharts Here" led by A. Clarkson was lustily sung with the large crowd joining in the chorus. In the Callants 100 Yards Handicap Race, Charlie was a most popular winner, breasting the tape inches in front of Andrew, with Giddie coming in a good third.
A very fine performance, was that of John Clements, a local man, who landed a "double" by winning the Jedforest Handicap Sprint and the Jedburgh Handicap of 200 yards. It had been many years since a local success such as this had been witnessed. Mention should also be made of the running of another young prospect, in Johnny Blaikie (J. Scott) who also figured in the Sprint final. The Merchants Half Mile Handicap was a splendid win for H. Cook from Methil running from 10 yards in a time of 2mins 2.69 secs. from J. James of Blackburn off 35 yards, in second position and third man J. McIntyre from Leven who also ran from 35 yards. The Edinburgh and Leith Plate 1 Mile Handicap finished with a brilliant win for scratch man J. Usher of Lochgelly, over P. G. Burns from Dalkeith who ran off 80 yards to take second prize and J. Robson of Hawick in third place, running from the 95 yards mark. The Dunion Handicap of 2 Miles favoured G. Marshall from Kirkintilloch as the winner from a handicap start of 170 yards. P. G. Burns of Dalkeith as second from a 150 yards start closely followed home by third man J. Dixon of Morebattle running from 180 yards. The running leap first prize went to J. Fairgrieve from Stow with a winning leap of 19ft 7ins. over J. McIntosh of Lochgelly and W. Edgar of Hawick. The High Jump result was shared by Fairgrieve of Stow and E. Samson from British Honduras with a winning jump height of 5ft 7ins. It was rather unfortunate that a splendid afternoon's sport was marred by an accident to E. Samson, the British Honduras athlete who broke his right arm while competing in the High jump. The Two Mile Bicycle Handicap was won by J. Bryce of Lanark riding off the 90 yards mark, while scratch man J. Fraser from Hawick took second prize. Miss Winnie Haig's dancing troupe from Galashiels, augmented by her Jedburgh pupils added much to the afternoons enjoyment with their delightful exhibitions. Record dances were also held in the Public Hall on the evenings of Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Festival week and added much to the gaiety of the occasion. Over 5000 persons passed the turnstiles in 1947 and over £481 was drawn at gates and car park, over £100 more than last year. A record Games indeed!


from the Jedburgh Gazette of 15th July 1948

Fine Afternoon's Sport at Riverside

As Jedburgh Border Games concluded the second Jethart Callant's Festival week, once again, a 'double' was recorded by local lad Adam Elliot, the wing three-quarter for Jedforest Rugby Football Club. What an ovation the popular Riverside Park favourite received after his great triumph! Also, local youth, George Wilson carries off a hat-trick along with the Lt. Col Jackson and W. K Neilson Challenge Cup. This year's Games were the best seen for many, many years and the turnout of competitors was an all time record.

1948 Jethart Callant, Jimmy Oliver fires the first cannon in Market Place at the stroke of 6.00 am on Games morning to start the proceedings of Jedburgh Border Games. The cannon is placed on the spot of Jedburgh's original Market Cross.  

At a Committee meeting held earlier in the year, new office bearers were elected and George Douglas was installed as President. A feature of the Games held in 1948 at Riverside Park through the courtesy of Jedforest R.F.C. was the double success of Adam Elliot (E. Adams) the Jedforest rugby wing-threequarter who won the 100 yards Handicap Confined to Border Counties in the forenoon and went on to win the £60 Jedforest 120 Yards Handicap Sprint in the afternoon. It was a wonderful performance from the Jed lad, who in his first year of professional running was fastest up in the heats and cross ties. He appeared to be none too well away in the final, but when all seemed lost halfway down the "strings", Addie came away with a terrific finishing burst, to breast the tape a foot in front of R. Trebor of Selkirk after a thrilling race in the excellent time of 11.8 seconds, which was a shade slower than his earlier ties, both of which he ran in 11.7 secs. Another notable performance, was that of W. Edgar, the 45 year old Hawick "evergreen" who won the 200 yards Jedburgh Handicap. Wull also ran second to Adam Elliot in the Confined 100 yards, and in addition, he also reached the final in the "Big Sprint". This tall physically fit athlete remarked that he had won the Jedforest Handicap 24 years ago to the day, and that he had competed at Jethart Games for 27 years. "A'm pleased wi' masel' the day" said Wull and certainly looked very happy as he went merrily on his way. Another local youth who deserves mention is George Wilson, who, after winning the Race Round the Town in the early morning, won the high jump for boys under sixteen and completed a very fine hat-trick by winning the Youths (under 17 years) 100 Yards Handicap from the scratch mark. In addition to the usual prize, the winner of this race becomes the proud holder for one year of the Challenge cup presented jointly by Lt. Col. E. D. Jackson, Glendouglas and Mr W. K. Neilson, Lintalee. Another race that caught the imagination of the local crowd in the forenoon was 'The Auld Man's Race' over 60 Yards. Eight triers came forward and after a desparate 'neck and neck,' tussle, W. Adams of Jedburgh from 12½ yards got home by inches from S. John who ran from 11 yards. R. Anderson of Hawick running from a 60 yards start came in first to win the Border Counties 100 Yards Handicap from A. Murray of Oxton and G. Hutchinson from St Boswells. The One Mile Scratch Event was won by J. Biggar from Hassendean with A. Horsburgh of Musselburgh taking second place and A. Renton of Leith in third. W. Spence from Blyth was a popular winner of the 100 Yards Scratch Race, with J. Urquhart and D. Hogg, both from Edinburgh taking second and third place respectively. The High Jump event was won by George Davidson of Thornyhaugh who achieved a spectacular 5ft 10ins best over G. Fairgrieve from Stow. A. Currie from Hawick secured the Merchant's Half Mile Handicap first prize from a start of 45 yards in a time of 1 min. 59.4 secs. from T. Watson of Edinburgh who started at 65 yards. During the afternoon, Jimmy Oliver, an Allars Mill employee and 1948 Jethart Callant, along with his Right and Left Hand men entered the arena to the accompaniment of loud cheers in preparation for their singular attempt of athletic prowess on the sports field. In a popular if easy win for the Callant, Jimmy's task was undoubledly made easier when Tom Dryburgh, the Herald, in an attempt to give him every opportunity to win, decided to "stand down".

There was a record crowd at the 6.00 am cannon firing ceremony at the Cross on Games morning 1949. Linking up with the Festival, Callant Gideon Yellowlees, an electrician with a retail outlet in High Street, fired the opening shot. As usual, the band paraded the streets playing popular airs, returning to Market Place, where Councillor Clarkson led community singing of Jethart and Scottish songs.


High jump first prize winner, George Davidson of Thorny haugh clears the bar with a spectacular ground record of 6ft 0½ins at the 1949 Border Games. George also won the 200 Yards Jedburgh Handicap event at this years meeting.

The last shot was the signal for the Race Round the Town which was won by A. Turnbull, Forthill Avenue. at Riverside, there was a record turnout of competitors, and the running, cycling, jumping and wrestling was of a high standard. W. Spence of Blyth was a notable absentee on this occasion, but in G. Taylor from Douglas, he had a notable deputy. The Douglas lad won the "scratch" 100 in fine style from another Powderhall winner, J. Urquart of Edinburgh. In the final of the Jedforest Handicap Sprint, he just failed by inches to overhaul the winner, D. Robson of Brechin after an all-out effort. During the afternoon, Giddie Yellowlees along with his three principal attendants entered the arena in preparation for the Callant's Race and received a warm welcome from the crowd. With respect to the race itself, Giddie, apparently sensing danger halfway down the track, wheeled round and stopped the 'field' ordering them back to the starting point. As soon as their backs were turned, he restarted the race and set off for the winning post, romping home, an easy but popular winner, and the crowd loved it all.

Barney Ewell's great performance in 1950, by creating a new British all-comers record for the 120 yards in 11 and 6/16ths seconds was highlight of the finest professional athletic gathering ever held by the Jedburgh Border Games Committe. Their enterprise in securing Barney Ewell and Walter Spence of Blyth, the British Champion to compete at this years event was rewarded by a record gate of 6000 spectators, drawing a total of £697/8/6 a sum of £258 more than the previous year.

Barney Ewell the American Olympic Champion pictured at Riverside Park shortly after creating a new British all-comers record of 11 and 6/16th secs. in the 1950 Jedforest Handicap Sprint

Never has finer running been seen in Scotland, and while the "Flying American" was the star, Walter Spence was also on brilliant form. Indeed it can be said that the British Champion ran faster during the heats for the Jedforest Handicap Sprint, than he has ever done before in this country. Ewell's great test came in the final, when giving away starts up to 18 yards. He finished through the tape inches in front of E. Sampson from British Honduras who was off the 10 yard mark in the record time of 11.375 seconds which represents 6½ yards inside evens. No wonder the crowd gasped! In the 100 yards Invitation Sprint Handicap, which followed later in the programme, Ewell was off scratch and Spence off 1½ yards. As expected this was a thrilling race culminating in a popular win for Walter Spence who beat the American by a foot in the devastating time of 9 and 8½/16ths seconds. The wee Blyth runner received an ovation from the crowd when the result of his fine performance was annonced. A slight following wind which rose during the running of the Special "100" however, robbed the World Champion of having his time in this event, which represented 4½ yards inside evens. Competition was also very keen in the distance races especially the always popular half mile handicap which was won by R. Rogerson from Penrith. W. Temple of Galashiels carried off the first prize in the Dunion 2 mile Handicap after a great tussle with L. M. Marchant of Kingston, the scratch man. This win completed a "double" for the Gala runner, as he had previously won the Confined to the Borders Half Mile Handicap in the forenoon. Another outstanding feature of the Games was the wrestling events, which attracted a large entry of the worlds best wrestlers, including champions and ex-champions. W. Todd from Bootle, the 9½ stone World Champion upheld his prestige by winning in this class, while J. Dunglison of Carlisle, another notable wrestler was a good winner of the All-weight class. Callant Robert Rutherford, who worked with Charles Irvine, seed merchants in Jedburgh, outpaced all opposition in the Callant's Race.

The Jethart Callant, John (Jock) Hume, a baker from the town, had the honour of firing the first shot at the traditional cannon firing ceremony at 6.00 am on Games morning 1951, and a considerable cheer arose from early morning crowd as he stepped forward to perform this duty. The joy bells pealing from the town steeple, mingled with the strains of the music from Jedforest Instrumental Band who paraded the streets of the town before returning to the Market Place for a programme of community singing of Scots and Jethart songs, culminating with 'Jetharts Here'. A noteable feature of the excellent day's sport at Riverside Park during this particular year were the wrestling events, which attracted the cream of the world's professional Cumberland Style Wrestling. Jedburgh Border Games had been honoured once again, to stage the 12 stone World Championship Final for Cumberland Style Wrestling. A fine entry of 30 took place in this notable event, the winner of which was W. F. Messer from Gilsland, Carlisle a former winner of the title in 1948. He had a tenacious opponent in D. Robinson from South Africa in the final which required four matches, watched with tense excitement before messer gained the decision. W. F. Robinson, South Africa, a brother of D. Robinson was a most impressive winner of the All-weights class. He and his brother had come over from South Africa, especially for the World Campionship events. He had entered the All-weights Championship which was due to take place back in Cumbria in a few days time. In the track events, the three Australian Star Sprinters, F. Banner, Eric Cummings and Brian Bevan all faailed to qualify in the first round ties of the Jedforest Handicap. Credit must be given to Banner for his great effort in the S pecial Invitation Handicap off 120 yards. When doing close on 5 yards inside evens, he just failed to overhaul J. Urquart, Edinburgh a former Powderhall winner, to whom he was conceding 7 yards. F. Frank, the veteran Galashiels sprinter won the £100 Jedforest Handicap Sprint, while the winner of the £50 Half Mile Handicap was G. Brunton from Hawick who marked from 50 yards. It was pleasing to see several promising young Jed runners figuring in the prize list, notably, Tom Dobson off 40 yards who displayed a never-say-die spirit to win the Youths Half Mile Handicap from W. Douglas, Gateshaw, the scratch man. Fraser Shiel deserves mention for his "double" in the Youths Sprints. A fast laddie in the making, is Fraser! Oor popular wee Callant, Jock Hume showed the opposition a clean pair of heels in the Callants Race.

Despite the early hour, there was what appeared to be a record crowd in Market Place to witness the time honoured cannon firing ceremony in 1952. It was a bright if somewhat chilly morning, and the sunshine was creeping slowly down the house walls and brightening the gaily coloured bunting hanging in all directions. Some may have anxiously checked the weather from the Town Hall where the all-night Callant's Ball was in progress, others would be peeping from behind their curtains to see if it was raining. Callant Jimmy Sinton, a bus driver from Jedburgh, ex-callant Rutherford and herald Drummond Thomson were back markers for the Race round the Town, wearing a grim do-or-die look, with other contestants distributed over the landscape between the Bow and Market Place. So finely had the handcapping been adjusted that the Rev. G. E. Martineau was conceding an inch of a start to Tom Dryburgh. The presence among the contenders, of Provost Campbell, the Kelso Laddie, and the Melrosian almost brought the event into the international class. After some dramatic disqualifications the ultimate winner was S. Johnstone, Jedburgh. Some excellent running was witnessed at Riverside Park where competitors were forward in large numbers from variious parts of Scotland and the North of England. Many were undoubtedly present to see the running of John Dawson (J. Franklin) Jedburgh's latest Powderhall winner of only the week before, who appeared in the Invitation Race, the Sprint and the 200 yards Handicap. In a brilliant final of the Jedforest Handicap Sprint, F. Liddle from Winlanton won a hot race by the narrowest of margins from J. Campbell of Portobello. After suffering a pull of 6 yards for his Edinburgh success, Dawson, although making a tremendous effort, failed to overhaul R. Allan of Peebles in the ninth heat. Another fine race was the Special Invitation Race of 120 yards, which was won by J. Berwick from Ashington who just held off the strong challenge of the fast finishing Jed lad John Dawson who was conceding 2 yards to Berwick. The winner's time was 11.43 secs. which indicated that Dawson's time was 1 yard 8 inches faster than that of his Powderhall effort. The wrestling was again of a very high standard, and the main event, of the 12 stone class was won by the World's Reigning 12 stone Champion D. Mercer of Carlisle who won his title at last year when the Championship Contest was held at Jedburgh.Mercer became the holder of the Wallace Challenge Cup for the first time, which was donated to Jedburgh Border Games by Mr S. Wallace of California USA with instructions that the cup is to be presented to 12 stone wrestling and would belong to whoever became the holder for three successive years.

The 1953 Centenary Dinner Menu with a picture of President George Douglas on front and guest signatories on the reverse. The dinner was Tomato soup, Roast beef, croquette potatoes and salad, with a choice of Pineapple souffle or Trifle and cream, finishing with biscuits cheese and coffee.  

No efforts were spared this year by Jedburgh Border Games Committee to make their 1953 Centenary Meeting a memorable one. First class runners came forward and a splendid afternoons sport was offered. A ' Games Centennial Flag' was presented to the Committee by Jethart Callant's Club, and was run up for the first time. Jethart's seventh Callant, John Waugh, a textile worker with Edwin Collins Woollen Mill, had completed his duties on Friday. Games morning dawned bright and clear after Friday night's rain. Despite the early hour, there was a large crowd in Market Place to witness the cannon firing ceremony, including many callants and lasses who had danced the night through at the Callant's Ball which had followed the Jedburgh Border Games Centenary dinner, held in The Town Hall. After Games morning's usual traditional opening ceremony in Market Place, the events moved to Laidlaw Memorial Baths, carrying on what has now become an old tradition inaugurated by the late Mr John Walker, Bathsmaster. Mr R. Cameron held a small impromptu Swimming Gala to fill in the gap until the morning events were due to begin at Riverside Park. The final of the Jedforest Handicap Sprint of 120 yards, which carried a first prize of £150 and a gold medal was the highlight of the Centenary Meeting held at Riverside Park. Local interest in the destination of this record prize was nobly maintained by the great hearted young Jed runner Fraser Shiels, who had won his heat and his tie in brilliant style. Strangely enough, Shiels who was running off 10½ yards, N. Oliver from Walker off 11 yards and J. Campbell, Portobello off 8½ yards returned the same time of 11.20 seconds in the cross ties with R. Patterson from Workington touching 11.18 A close result was therefore anticipated. In the final, the 19 year old Jedburgh lad was leading halfway, but just failed to hold off the stronger built Walker runner who came in to breast the tape inches in front of Shiels in a thrilling finish of a great race. The Jed lad , however, put up a fine show and was among the first to congratulate N. Oliver, the winner on his success. The Sprint attracted a record entry of 178, including 60 runners from the English side of the Border. Walter Spence, the british Sprint Champion who led the English challenge and back marked off 2 yards, made a great effort to win his heat but just failed to overhaul J. McLean of Selkirk to whom he was conceding 10½ yards. The wee Blyth runner, however, made amends in the scratch "100", which he won in the fine time of 9.88 seconds. Following the lunchtime interval, the President of Jethart Callant's Club hoisted the Games Centenary flag up the flagpole of the Riverside Pavillion, gifted by the Callant's Club to mark this notable occasion. Record fields were the order of the day in all events, and the crowd which
  After a larger than life display, Fraser Sheils, Jethart's great hope in the Centennial Jedforest Sprint Handicap was edged out of winning the big prize by inches.

was up on last years figures witnessed what was an outstanding day's sport. Another fine race was the Half Mile Handicap for which the first prize was £50 and a gold medal. This event was won by J. Foster from Prestonpans off 45 yards in the fine time of 1 minute and 50 seconds. Other notable performers were W. Howe, Monteith who carried off the first prize of £25 and gold medal for the One Mile Handicap, H. Meikle of Livingston who proved a convincing winner of the Dunion Two Mile prize of £10 and J. Urquart, Edinburgh, a former Powderhall Handicap winner, who won the Border Counties 100 yards Sprint from the scratch mark. J. Reid of Jedburgh also registered a good "double" in the Youths Sprints, while local lad John Bathgate landed a "treble". The wrestling was also of a high standard, with the Wallace Challenge Cup for the 12 stone event going to J. Hall of Harbottle whose opponent in the final was J. Potts from Wooler. Jedforest Instrumental Band and The Boys Brigade Pipe band were in attendance, while the Lynella Dancing Troupe from Duns added much to the enjoyment of the day.

Despite the threat of rain there was a crowd of over 5000, an increase on the Centennial Event, at Riverside Park on Saturday 11th July 1954. Callant George Miller, a North British Rayon Mill employee, fired the first cannonade in Market Place and this year's Games were under way. Interest was centred on the first appearance in Scotland of the 19 year old coloured Australian sprinter, Wally McArthur, who plays Rugby League Football for Rochhdale Hornets. Apart from a fine heat win in the 200 yards Handicap, he did little of note. One felt that perhaps he was too harshly handicapped in the big Sprint in which he was asked to give British Sprint Champion Walter Spence of Blyth 1½ yards. McArthur had his first clash with Spence in the 100 yards Scratch Race. He looked a winner thirty yards from the tape, but Spence put in a terrific finish to win a thrilling race from R. Patterson, Workington with McArthur coming in third. Spence was in top form and recorded the finest performance of the day when he won his cross-tie in the Jedforest Sprint Handicap in the fst time of 11.32 seconds, over four yards inside evens. The little Blyth runner, however, stood no chance with J. Dodds, a 23 year old Newcastle district electrician in the final. This young sprinter, competing for the first time at Jedburgh Games, won comfortably by a good yard from W. Millin, Edinburgh in the fine time of 11.17 seconds. All over, the standard was up to that usually associated with Jethart Games and there was a record turn out of runners in all events. Over fifty competitors faced the starter in the £80 Half Mile Handicap, which was cleverly won by W. McIntyre of Tranent. In the One Mile Handicap, A. Wells, Bathgate off a mark of 145 yards raced home an easy winner from Hodgins of Hawick the Scottish Half Mile champion. Outstanding performer in the confined events was J. Ferguson, a speedy Jed youngster, who landed a fine "hat-trick" of wins in the Youth's Sprint events. Riverside is justly admired indeed. A prominent London sports writer expressed the view on Saturday, that as a setting for an athletics contest, it is second to none in the country.

The Meeting in 1955 will long be remembered in sporting annals as "Jetharts Broiling Games". Never has there been such weather on the day, for a great number of years. Offering the biggest prize money in the country for a one day professional athletic gathering, it was not surprising that record entries were received for all the principal events. Jethart Callant Gordon Richardson, an electrician employed by North British Rayon Company had the honour of firing the first cannonade. The firing of the fourth shot was the signal for the start of the Round the Town Race, in which there were many amusing incidents before local lad Rob Barr raced home an easy winner in front of A. Turnbull, Jedburgh. At Riverside Park, the outstanding feature of the Games was the continued success of North of England runners in the chief event of the programme. In a turn out of 130 runners for the Jedforest Handicap Sprint of 120 yards, which was run-off in 28 heats, 17 of the heat winners came from the English side of the border. The first prize of £150 and a gold medal was won by W. Thomson, a lanky 21 year old sprinter from Pegswood, at present in the army. Thomson's win was the fourth recorded in this big handicap in successive years by north of England entrants. British Sprint Champion W. Spence from Blyth, one of 60 north of England runners present, also competed in the final, qualifying for this by being one of the fastest losers in the cross ties. In the 100 yards Invitation Handicap, the gallant little Blyth runner ran a good race from the scratch mark to romp home a comfortable winner once again this particular year from the Australian, Wally McArthur to whom he was conceding ½ yard. Other notable performances were those of W. Harvey, Bathgate, a whole hearted middle distance runner who won the £75 Merchants Half Mile Handicap after a thrilling race, and W. Whittaker of Bonchester, first man home in the £40 One Mile Handicap. Scottish One Mile Champion Michael Glen from Bathgate ran a great race from scratch to win the Dunion £25 Two Mile Handicap. Worthy of mention from a local point of view is schoolboy, J. Steede, who recorded a "hat-trick" of wins in the boy's events.

Now recognised as the biggest one day meeting of its kind in Great Britain, Jedburgh Border Games attracted record entries for all the principal events in another full programme of foot racing and other pedestrian events in the summer of 1956. After heavy early morning
Five stalwarts from Bill Matheson's stable of the mid fifties. From the back, Johnny Blaikie, the 1957 Jedforest Sprint winner, W. Matheson (trainer) Sandy Oliver, John Bathgate and brother Dickie Barhgate holding trophy, and Bill Byres (B Whitaker) at front right  

rain, there was fortunately a distinct improvement in the weather for the annual meeting held at Riverside Park. Conditions were dull, but dry overhead. The track, though rain sodden had been prepared for the Games by Riverside groundsman J. Wilson, and looked a perfect picture. Interest was centred on the Jedforest Handicap Sprint of 120 yards, won by North of England runners for the past four years in succession. They were forward again in large numbers this year when 52 of their 80 strong entry turned out and won no fewer than 15 of the 29 heats. Holding such a strong hand, it appeared that the big Jed Prize and gold medal would again go over the border. However, the English invaders almost sufferred a total eclipse in the cross-ties which were all won by Scots runners, with the exception of the last one which went to British Sprint Champion W. Spence of Blyth. Another Englishman, J. Douglas, Gosforth ran in the final by being the fastest loser in the ties. Neither Spence nor Douglas were in the hunt during the final, and the run of North of England victories was halted by 34 year old welder, R. Watson of Lothianburn, who won a thrilling race by inches from J. Laurie, Selkirk in a time of 11.61 secs. Spence who finished fourth is a great favourite with the Riverside crowd, and was loudly cheered when winning his heat and cross-tie. Local hope, Johnny Blaikie (J Scott), just failed to hold off J. Douglas, Gosforth in the fastest heat of the twenty nine. Spence, the Blyth champion, who held pride of place off 2½ yards in the handicap, gallantly won the 100 yards Invitation Handicap from scratch in 10.4 secs. H. Russell of Walker was second and Fraser Sheils from Jedburgh, third in this event. All over the standard of running was well up to Jed's best. Most meritous feat of the day was that of Michael Glen, Bathgate the One Mile Champion and winner of the Dunion 2 Mile Handicap from scratch for the second year in succession. Glen's time of 9 minutes 25.3 secs. was the best he has recorded over the distance this year, and since it was run on a heavy grassy track, it was exceptionally good. Another notable winner was A. Currie from Hawick who held off a strong finishing challenge by B. Kirkpatrick, Cockermouth to win the Merchant's Half Mile Handicap withits first prize of £50. Currie who was off 70 yards, also won the event back in 1948. In the other big prize money handicap, the £40 One Mile event, D. McKinnon, the Methil distance runner, ran a fine and judicious race to overhaul R. Crozier of Hawick. In the boys events, the Bathgate brothers, John and Dick were first prize winners, as was John Steede of Jedburgh. wrestling was again one of the outsatanding features of the afternoon. J. Dungliston, Carlisle won the All Weights Class and has been a frequent winner of this class at Jed Games in the past. The Wallace Challenge Cup for the under 12 Stones Class was carried off on this occasion by P. Hunter of Gillsland, while J. Hogg of Burthwaite completed a Hat-trick of English wrestling success by winning the under 10 Stones Class. Jethart Callant, Sandy Walker, who worked in his brother's haulage business in The Friars, had the honour of firing the first shot from the cannon during the morning events, and the Race Round the Town was proclaimed a dead heat between Rob Barr, last years winner and Andy Turnbull last years runner up.

A large crowd including many exiles returning home for the Festival and Games witnessed Callant Wilson Renilson fire the first cannon at the stroke of 6.00 am on the Saturday Games morning of 1957. The Jedforest Instrumental Band paraded the streets of the town and returned to Market Place to take place in the, now, traditional community singing interlude which was again enthusiastically led by Mr Andrew Clarkson. In the long history of Jethart Games there could not have been a more popular winner of the 120 yards Jedforest Handicap Sprint, than Johnny Blaikie (J Scott), who was accorded a great ovation when he won this event at the 104th Anniversary meeting. Johnny who is 32 years old and is employed with the Forestry Commission, capped a long association with the Border tracks by winning the £250 and gold medal first prize. A most consistent and tenacious runner, this Jedburgh sprinter has always been a real trier and few will ever forget his never-say-die effort in this year's final. Running from a mark of 13 yards, Blaikie convincingly won his heat in 11.58 secs. He returned an improved time of 11.41 seconds in his cross-tie and in the final, he rose to the occasion by beating D. Storey of Tranent by 12 inches to whom he was conceding a yard in the final in the fast time of 11.32 seconds. During the past season or two, Blaikie who has done most of his training at Riverside Park, has been looked after by Mr W. Mathieson of Hartrigge Road, who deserves some recognition for turning out his man in such fine condition.
  Rob Barr coming in to claim the Half Mile Handicap and £65 with a lead of almost 40 yards. Rob's triumphant win and style won him the gold medal for the athlete who gave the most meritous performance during the 1957 Games.

An equally popular Jed winner was Rob Barr, one of the most stylish half milers seen for many a day. This young Jed runner who was off the 50 yards mark, comfortably won his heat in 1 minute and 54 seconds for the £65 Half Mile Handicap, and later went on to thrill the crowd with a superb display in the final which he won by some 40 yards from a fellow Borderer H. Gray of Duns. On this showing it is questionable if there is a better middle distance runner in Scotland than young Barr, and Mr Andrew Robson, Bountrees, his trainer, deserves great credit in making him the fine runner he undoubtedly is. It was this outstanding feat in winning the Half Mile Handicap that won for young Barr the gold medal gifted by the four Jedburgh judges, for the athlete giving the most meritous performance at the meeting. Among other Jedburgh lads to do well was 1952 Powderhall winner, John Dawson (J Franklin), who overhauled his field to win the Border Counties 100 yards Handicap off 1½ yards and was just pipped by Walkerburn sprinter G. Adam in the Invitation 120 yards. Dawson, a verstile athlete , however, did land a double by winning the cricket ball throwing competition. In the 100 yards Youths Handicap, Dick Bathgate won from Sandy Oliver with Dick's brother John coming in a close third.

The 1958 Jedburgh Border Games at Riverside Park was well up to the high standard of previous meetings and there were many exciting and close finishes during the day. The heavy rain in the morning no doubt affected the attendance and it was later learned that the number through the turnstiles was down by approximately 500. Nevertheless, there was a good number of spectators when the first cannon was fired by Hamish Younger, a plumber employed with Charters in Jedburgh, and this year's Jethart Callant. Johnny Blaikie, the Jedforest Sprint Handicap winner from last year, won his heat in the Confined 100 yards and came third in the final. This was a good performance from this local consistent runner, especially his return to the track so soon after a recent operation. Rob Barr, off 2 yards was another local heat winner in this event, but failed to get a place in the final. The afternoon session started in much improved weather conditions. The first event, a married ladies race raised a laugh when two barefoot dames sprawled on the ground half way down the lanes due to the slippery turf. A large number of spectators were in the ground to see the One Mile British Championship in which only three runners turned out to challenge Michael Glen of Bathgate, the holder. Glen ran a well judged race and won comfortably in 4 minutes and 20.4 seconds. There were 25 heats in the Jedforest Sprint Handicap and in most of them there was a good turn out of runners. In the cross-ties G. B. McLean from Annitsford returned the fastes time of 11.25 secs and in the final did the same time to win a splendid race by about 2 yards. McLean a 24 year old grocer, who works in the Co-operative store at Long Framlington, had been doing special training for six weeks with the Jedforest Sprint in view. McLean was trained by Mr J. G. Haskin and a large part of the diet during his training consisted of steak and eggs. His fellow workers in the grocery did his work for him on Saturdays and after winning the race, he said that could not have won but for their help. There was some good running in the Merchants Half Mile Handicap, which was won by J. Stewart, Armadale by inches from J. Brotherston of Gordon. R. Barr, the British Champion, running from scratch in the first heat, caught the field after the two laps, but had taken too much out of himself to provide the finish, and was unable to hold S. Messnger from Dearham in the run in. In the 100 yards Invitation Handicap, G. Adams, Walkerburn breasted home in front of G. Evans, Blyth. Fraser Sheils of Jedburgh came in third. There was an English monopoly in the cycling and wrestling. W. Weightman, the Penrith cyclist, winning both the one mile and two miles events. P. Hunter from Gilsland and J. E. Dunglinson of Brunstock took the wrestling honours. Hunter, for the third year running won the Wallace Challenge Cup for the 12 stone and under Class and so the trophy now becomes his own property. The gold medal for the most meritous performance was awarded by the judges to Billy Moody, Jedburgh, a convincing winner of three youths sprint events during the course of the day.

The 106th Jedburgh Border Games were favoured with excellent weather and there was competition in 1959 to match the elements.
Andrew Robson, trainer of Half Mile British Champion Rob Barr, pictured with Jedburgh's great hope for the sixties, Billy Moody with youth's cup and gold medal.  

The track at Riverside Park looked in fine condition and to complete the picture, there was an attendance of over 4000, twenty five per cent up on last year. One hundred and ninety two runners had entered for the principal event of the day, the 120 yards Jedforest Handicap Sprint, and the winner was J. T. McAnany, one of the twelve runners entered from Blyth. He got the verdict by inches from R. Cairns of Hawick in as close a chase as has ever been seen at Riverside. McAnany is 20 years of age, and is presently doing his National Service in the RAF. The £200 first prize and a gold medal was by far the biggest break of his career. Another gold medal and £65 went to the winner of the Half Mile Merchants Handicap, T. Higginson of Newtongrange and another half miler, J. Tinnion of Dearham put up the most meritous performance of the day, and was awarded the third annual gold medal by the judges. Tinnion displayed an excellent performance from 15 yards in his heat for the Merchants Handicap. Rob Barr could not coax any serious opposition in the 880 yards scratch race, and won as he liked from T. Brotherstone of Gordon, in a field of four. The joint British Half Mile Champion's time was slow but he had the race in his pocket half way round the last lap. The One Mile and Two Mile Handicaps were also won by Scots runners, which evened up matters after English victories in the sprints. It was all one way traffic in the wrestling, however, since all twelve prizes in the three Classes of wrestling went south, including the William Hall Memorial Challenge Cup which was won by the popular wrestler at Riverside, P. Hunter of Gilsland. W. Moody retained the Under 17 Challenge Cup without any real trouble, but later in the day found a very speedy youngster in C. Murrell of Blyth, too fast for him in the under 18 year old's handicap. The Jethart Callant in 1959 was John (Tosh) Donald, a baker from Jedburgh.


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