History of hall celebrates 125 years

A new history of the Smith Memorial Hall celebrates its colourful people and events, with links from local youth clubs and dances to the Australian gold rush and the Russian Revolution.

Written by local historian John Wood, of St Boswell’s, the history was commissioned by the hall trustees after the village celebrated 125 years of the formal gift of the hall by Violet Smith of Darnick.

In the foreword to the work Violet’s descendant, Keith Smith, said: “Since at least 1892 the Smith Memorial Hall has graced the centre of Darnick. It has provided a venue for many thousands of events for the village and surrounds. Over the intervening years many Darnick residents have both contributed to and enjoyed its use.  Given its long history the hall trustees decided that the hall should be allowed to tell its own story of 125 years. A story that would trace the life of a Border’s village hall and thereby of those who have used it.”

In the document, which is now available to download, John covers the history of the early members of the Smith family and the lives of other characters who have been involved with the hall.  There are also accounts of the hall’s connection to key events and activities which have taken place though the years, including two world wars, royal celebrations and elections, and the many people and key characters who have been part of its colourful life.


  1. Nicholas Howells

    Really enjoyed the history of the hall ! I’d be grateful if any of your contributors have any memories or details of Miss Clark(e) who ran a nursery school in a house next to Darnick Tower. I was there in the mid sixties but given I was only four, my memories are a bit hazy !
    My parents lived in part of Aldie, the big house that gave its name to Aldie Crescent. I know it had been bought and divided up by John “Choppy” Crawford who built the bungalows. I also remember that a Mrs Smith lived in the lower part of the big house and her son John, a solicitor, bought one of the new bungalows – were they related to the famous benefactors of the hall ? Also , any idea where the name Aldie came from ? Both my parents are dead and I live abroad ( although visit friends in Melrose most years ) so very grateful for any background information or even photos.

  2. admin (Post author)

    Hi Nicholas, you might be better posting this on the village Facebook page which has a few followers. It’s https://www.facebook.com/DarnickVillage

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