Cornhill Social History


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Main Street
Collingwood Arms
Hotel Lands
Village Hall
Old Vicarage
The Old Mill
Cramond Hill Farm
The Bird Cage

Main Street

Photo c.1906, reproduced in the book 'Old Coldstream and Cornhill' by John Griffiths
published by Stenlake Publishing

From left to right: St. Helen’s View with Cornhill Village shop, run by Nicholas Jeffrey,
Church View and next door, Carlowrie. The latter used to be the Police House occupied by Constable William Crisp.
The distant cottages, including the former Post Office, managed in 1906 my Miss Ann Reid,
the sub-postmistress, have been replaced by modern bungalows.
Front House, middle right, on the east side of the Learmouth-Mindrum road has been demolished.

Similar view taken 19th June 2019

Same view as above but taken further to the west

Same view as above but taken slightly later

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View down Main Street to the east, c. 1910, with Front House
on the east corner of the minor road to Learmouth and Mindrum

Similar view taken 19th June 2019

Front House, pre 1950?. The Beveridge family lived on the right.
The part on the left was occupied by the Fair family and Mrs. Richardson lived in the T-shaped piece behind.
The toilets for the building were at the back. The gardens went down to the south to Tor Cottage
Several Cornhill residents remember The Beehive pub in Front House at one time

Similar view taken 19th June 2019 - Front House demolished

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View down Main Street to the east; Collingwood Arms on left

Similar view taken 19th June 2019

The snow of February 2001

View of Main Street looking west.
The horse and trap are coming out of the Learmouth-Mindrum Road.
Marshall’s can be seen on the far corner of Main Street and Knowe Head.

Similar view taken 19th June 2019

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The Collingwood Arms

The Collingwood Arms takes its name from the local merchant family which owned it up until 1955. There are strong ties with Northumberland’s 19th Century naval hero, Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, who served under Nelson around the time the hotel was built. In fact the hotel’s fifteen bedrooms take their names from the 15 ships in Collingwood’s division at the Battle of Trafalgar.
In 2007, the Collingwood Arms Hotel received a 21st century makeover. Award-winning architects collaborated with historians and local craftsmen who worked inside and out, to refurbish and re-instate period details, restoring this Grade II Listed Georgian building to its glorious best.

Photos of the Collingwood Arms Hotel

Similar view taken 19th June 2019

The remains of a WW1 shell can be seen to the right of the roundabout
The railings and shell were removed for the war effort.

Similar view taken 19th June 2019

The colourful sign depicts Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collngwood

Similar view taken 19th June 2019

Beer mat - date?

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Hotel Lands

At one time Jean Hutchison was the tenant of the Hotel Lands Farm Steading which once stood behind the Collingwood Arms (pictures here). She farmed from her cottage, also called ‘Hotel Lands,’ to the east of the The Old School on Knowe Head

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The Village Hall

The old Cornhill village hall was erected at the end of WW1. It was known as The Hut.
In 1957 a meeting was held in The Hut to discuss the building of a new hall. A village hall committee was formed at the beginning of 1958. Money was raised for the new hall by dances, whist drives, garden fetes, special efforts and donations.

The following are the only photos currently available, taken before the new hall was built.

The Hut can be seen in the background.
It was on the site of the cottages currently to the east of the present village hall

The family is standing in front of Church View cottage
which was on the site of the new village hall - 1950s
left to right - Mrs. Allan, Mr. Allan, their son Adam (chairman of the new village hall committee)
with Margaret and Max, the boxer

Traction engine on the land behind the present village hall - view to the south.

The new Village Hall was opened on 1st September 1961
The following photos and text were taken from newspaper cuttings:

The new Village Hall. Villagers met one third of the cost of over £6,000,
a third came from the Ministry of Education and a third from the Northumberland Education Committee
The site was given by Col. Collingwood and the architect was Mr Douglas Cunningham
whose father had been the schoolmaster in Cornhill for many years
Before the Hon. Mrs. Taylor turned the key in the door to officially open the hall,
she and Col. Collingwood were presented with chocolates and cigarettes by
13 year-old Betty Ford and 11 year-old Brian Thompson

Platform party after the opening ceremony
From left: The Rev.W.E. Hicks, vicar of Cornhill. Lt. Col. J.H.F. Collingwood, Miss Betty Ford,
Mr. G.H. Dalton, chairman of the hall committee, Master Brian Thompson, The Hon. Mrs. S. Taylor, the opener,
Mr. C.P. Reid, representative of the Ministry of Education, Mr. C.L. Mellowes. Director of Education

The Hon. Mrs. Taylor, C.P. Reid (HM Inspector of Schools) and C.L. Mellowes
reading congratulatory telegrams

Rev. Hicks of Horndean, J.F. Collingwood and G. Dalton at the opening ceremony

Over 200 villagers attended the ceremony.

Invitation to the opening of the Village Hall

A Concert in the new hall followed the opening ceremony

Jimmy Mitchell‘s Band at the opening of the Village Hall
from left to right - Alan Mitchell (accordian), Ian Wilson (drums), Roy Garland (fiddle),
Unknown (bass), Jimmy Mitchell (accordian), Ian Mathewson (piano)

Other artists in the concert:
Tommy Cunningham & Joey,
Mrs. Mounsey and John Ridpeath (songs)
Alex Elliot (guitar)
Marilyn and Doreen Anderson (piano duet)
Mrs Anderson (pianist)
Miss Elder's concert party - Misses May and June Liddle (duets)
Joyce Wilson, Prudence Beveridge, Ann Corless, Mary McGregor,
Bruce Wilkie (recitations)

Unfortunately, the concert had to be stopped halfway through because of loss of electricity caused by the storm.
Emergency lighting was erected with the assistance of Mr. T. Maxwell and the concert continued.
Afterwards 240 people joined in the dancing.

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The Old Vicarage

Photo taken around 1900 - 1910.
It was sent to the present owner by Jocelyn Carr.
Her great-grandfather was the rector, Rev Canon William Lyall Holland

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The Old Mill

Restored Cornhill Mill, June 7th 2001 photo by Joe Payne for the Berwick Advertiser

Cornhill Mill was fed by water from a pound about 250 yards away on the Campfield Road. The water of the Mill Burn was partly canalised and carried in a short aqueduct to the over-shot wheel, thence to Duddo Water and the Tweed.
In the 1920s and 30s, the mill no longer ground corn but drove a turbine making electricity for Cornhill House, the residence of Captain J.C. Collingwood, some 100 yards away. With the arrival of electricity in the village in the late 1930s, this use ceased. The old buildings are now gone and the pound, once the haunt of water-fowl, is dry with trees growing in it.

In 2001, when the Mill had been renovated and enlarged, it was reported in the Berwick Advertiser that villagers were unhappy that the old wheel had been removed and appeared to be lost. It had been made by local craftsmen. However, the then-owner of the property said that the wheel had been left for many years half-buried, overgrown and in a very dilapidated condition. A local child was trapped in it and had to be rescued by the Fire Brigade. No-one was able to trace its whereabouts.

Cornhill Mill, a poem by William Johnston, Buckie House
There's an ancient mill now in mouldering decay,
West of Cornhill, at the foot of the brae;
Where a family named Coultert for eighty odd years
Held fast to that homestead through sunshine and tears.

One pictures times when the Mill wheel revolved,
Here, many one's worries of grinding were solved;
Here the man of the Mill would work hard for gain,
For this, his payment for bruising the grain.

The workhorse in cart with waistcoated men,
The present A. Coultert a wee laddie then;
And Millie such happenings can scarcely recall,
The machine has supplanted the horse and the stall.

The Mill brae, then the bend, with the bridge at the end
Where the Deddo in Tweed her effort expend;
Here the Church looks down from its loftier height,
Within her precincts sleep a former world's might.

The Coulterts have gone to the village near by,
To something that's modern, I think, with a sigh;
There's nothing can quench the yearnings of age,
Like the rapture of childhood looking back on youth's page.

I am sure they will often return to the scene,
Where the blossoms of youth are by memory kept green;
And long may look on that cherished abode,
Enquire in their Church and there worship God.

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Cramond Hill Farm

Cramond Hill Farm, once the home of the Maxwell family
The Farm is reputed to have been built on the site of a former monastery.
There was a dovecote in the grounds.
Please send us more information

Oil painting of Cramond Hill Farm by Neil H. McQueen, 1973

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The Bird Cage

This used to be the working men’s club

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