Cornhill Social History


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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 by 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the sub-postmistress, have been replaced by modern bungalows.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

Car is 1946 Humber Hawk so photo taken after that

Same view as above but taken further to the west

Same view as above but taken slightly later

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Cornhill Shop

Photo April 2019 taken by descendants of the Jeffrey family

The shop is thought to have been started by Nicholas and Isabella Jeffrey as a grocers shop around 1900?
In the 1940s it was run by their daughters Martha and Agnes who lived at St. Helen's View.
Until 2002, it was run by Elspeth Bell when Morag Pitman and daughters Lynda and Julie took over.
Please let us know if you have further information

Reported in the Berwick Advertiser, 23rd May 2007.

Cornhill seems to be going through a transition period at the moment, the hotel being refurbished and new houses being built - and not to be outdone the owners of Cornhill Shop are only too happy to go along with the change.

In 2002, the owner Elspeth Bell decided to take her well-earned retirement after 20 years running the store. Morag Pitman and daughters Linda Waite and Julie Jones took over in the February of that year and the shop proved to be just as popular as it had always been with the locals. Now, they have decided the time is right for a major revamp of the store.

“We have always been a small newsagents, catering for the local townsfolk of Cornhill. We acted as newsagent, grocery, off licence and post office” said Julie. “Of course, it is important that we continue to provide these services for the people of the village, but now we hope to offer a lot more on top of these things.”

As well as the store getting a complete make-over, there will also be a modern style coffee shop with hot and cold snacks on offer. Julie said: “We‘ll be selling food like muffins and doughnuts, as well as paninis and sandwiches. We’re hoping this will make the store even more popular than it already is. As well as being able to do a general shop, you can take the weight off your feet and have a chat and a coffee before you head home.”

The expansion has meant an increase in staff and there could yet be more job opportunities in the future. “We’ve already taken on a couple of new staff members and, depending on how things go, there also could be a couple of new vacancies in the near future,” said Julie. In addition to this, opening hours on Sundays are now going to be slightly extended. Julie explained: “We’ve always been open from 6.30 am - 5.30 pm. Monday - Saturday, with the shop closing at 1 pm on a Sunday. Now however, the shop will be staying open until 4.00 pm on a Sunday to accommodate people who want to use the coffee shop.” Julie sees this venture as a symbol of the expansion of Cornhill. The village is seeing a number of new businesses setting up here, as well as more established businesses that are having a revamp. This is a very exciting time for the village. The whole of Cornhill just seems to be taking off. It really is the place to be,” she said.

Morag, Lynda and Julie see the revamp as being the start of a long-term investment. “We all see our futures here. We’re planning on this as being the next 25 years of our lives, and we hope the people of Cornhill take to the place as much as we think they will,” said Julie.

Local produce is also very important to the owners, and this is a point that will be stressed even more so when they re-open for business. “It seems that these days Borderers are taking more pride and interest in their area. Local products are becoming increasingly popular and we’ll certainly be stocking a lot of it here,” she said, adding: “We’ve always had local products, but they used to be a little harder to find. Now we want them to be at the forefront.”

Reported in the Berwick Advertiser, 23rd May 2019.
Cornhill Village Shop, Café and Post Office was among the regional winners in the 2019 Countryside Alliance Awards
Lynda Waite and Julie Jones, owners of Cornhill Village Shop thanked the Countryside Alliance for this amazing award and they looked forward to meeting all the other finalists in the House of Lords in London in June. They also thanked their amazing staff without whom they would not have been able to achieve such an accolade, and also thanked their wonderful customers.
The awards, known as the Rural Oscars are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through our small, hard-working businesses. The judges said, “This family-run business is focussed on serving this remote rural community with great local produce, a warm welcome for all and a most caring regard for the elderly. Big supporters of community events and keen fund-raisers for Macmillan Cancer, raising over £100,000, they are the hub of this community and are what a great village shop is all about.”

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Front House

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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Main Street, looking west

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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