The Princess and the Goblin

In January 2018, Northumberland Theatre Company will bring George MacDonald’s classic tale of The Princess and the Goblin to Duns Volunteer Hall.

Princess Irene is to be the bride of the goblin king’s son — but unfortunately he hasn’t actually asked her yet. The adventure unfolds around the goblin’s attempts to steal away the princess and her success in avoiding them, with a lot of help from Curdie, the miner’s son, and her mysterious great-great-grandmother, who no-one else can see … It’s a story about growing up, making friends and the importance of family, with song, dance and some fun along the way, told in NTC’s fast-paced, physical style. (Age guideline 5+). 

The performance starts at 6.30pm on Friday 19 January. Ticket prices are £10 adult, £8 child, and £32 family (2×2) — tickets available soon.

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November films at the Volunteer Hall

Duns Community Cinema will present two new films at the Volunteer Hall on Friday 17 November:

5.30pm  The Lego Ninjago Movie
A new comedy martial arts film from Warner Animation Group. The story focuses on Lloyd Garmadon, a teenage ninja, as he attempts to accept the truth about his villainous father, while a new threat emerges to endanger his homeland. The epic showdown will test the team of modern-day ninjas who must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their true power. Run time 101 minutes (U).

8.00pm  Goodbye Christopher Robin
Biopic about the relationship between the author AA Milne and his son, who inspired the Winnie the Pooh stories. The family are swept up in the international success of the books after the First World War. But with the eyes of the world on Christopher Robin, what will the cost be to the family? The cast includes Domhnall Gleeson and Margot Robbie. Run time 107 minutes (PG).

Adults £6, Children £5 (free for 3 years & under), Family £20 (two adults & two children). Tickets at the door or in advance from 01361 884 935 or

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Christmas Market

The popular Christmas Market will return to the Volunteer Hall on Wednesday 15 November, from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Over 30 stalls will present crafts and seasonal gifts: handmade jewellery, scarves, bags, purses; cards and photos; floral wreaths, candles, Christmas decorations; Aloe vera products; sweaters, hand knitted goods, quilts, felting; home baking, jams and chutneys; artisan chocolate, tablet and fudge.

African fusion street food will be available from Edinburgh-based Knights Kitchen. Café open all day. Free entry. Organised by A Heart for Duns.

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Community Lunch / New Age Curling

The next Community Lunch at the Volunteer Hall will be on Wednesday 1 November, from 12.00–1.00pm (last serving). Soup and pudding followed by tea/coffee and biscuits, £5 per person. Play area for toddlers. Transport can be arranged if needed. To book please call A Heart for Duns on 01361 884 935.

From 1.30pm, all are welcome to explore new age curling: very like the original but adapted for indoor spaces rather than ice. There will also be a demonstration from The Eyemouth Pirates Boccia group. Boccia is a Paralympic sport closely related to bowls, played by competitors with a physical or learning disability from a sitting position.

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AHFD Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of A Heart for Duns will take place this Wednesday 25 October, from 7.45pm.

The AGM is a chance for AHFD members to meet the trustees, to hear about events over the past year, and to share some thoughts and ideas on proposals for the coming years.

There will also be an update on finances and on purchasing the Volunteer Hall, and we’re hoping to show some images highlighting key activities and plans for the site, and some photos from the year.

The AGM is a constitutional process and we need to make sure we have a good turnout to make the process valid, so trustees are keen to have a good representation of members. There is a prior booking on Wednesday evening, so access will be from 7.30pm and refreshments will be available from then.

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Duns Community Planting Event

Jeanna Swan, Lord-Lieutenant of Berwickshire, will officially open the community planting area and polytunnel at the Volunteer Hall today. The event will run from 2.00–4.00pm on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October, with a produce ‘swap shop’ (bring along your excess vegetables, fruit, jam and pickles), gardening demonstrations and children’s activities. Enjoy stovies made using our own grown potatoes and onions! Tea/coffee will also be provided. Find out how you can enjoy working in the Community Garden, producing plants for your own garden or for display around our town. £2 entry at the ‘gate’.

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October films at the Volunteer Hall

Duns Community Cinema will present two new films at the Volunteer Hall on Friday 13 October:

5.30pm  The Jungle Bunch
In their first big screen adventure, the Jungle Bunch’s tiger striped Kung Fu penguin leader Maurice and his comrades — a goldfish, tarsier and gorilla — fight to protect the jungle from a gang of silly baboons led by Igor the evil koala. Run time 97 minutes (U).

8.00pm  Victoria & Abdul
The extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria’s reign. When Abdul Karim, a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favour with the Queen herself. As she questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity. Stars Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Olivia Williams, Simon Callow, Eddie Izzard and Michael Gambon. Run time 96 minutes (PG).

Adults £6, Children £5 (free for 3 years & under), Family £20 (two adults & two children). Tickets at the door or in advance from 01361 884 935 or


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Scottish Land Fund cash secures future of Duns Volunteer Hall

The future of a thriving community hub in Duns has been secured, thanks to Scottish Land Fund cash announced today.

A Heart for Duns manages the town’s Volunteer Hall on behalf of the community and has leased the building since 2014. Now, thanks to a Scottish Land Fund grant of £206,000, the group will be able to purchase the building, which will empower local people to be involved in its future development.

Welcoming the news, Derek Janes, Convenor of A Heart for Duns, said: “The trustees are very excited by the investment from the Scottish Land Fund into the community of Duns and district. We are delighted at the level of support we have received from community groups, strategic partners and funders, and we look forward to the next stages of development that will follow once we own the venue. Working with the community, we plan to transform this key asset for the town, making it even more fit for purpose, energy efficient, equipped with digital technologies, and with more flexible performance and work spaces. There’s a lot of work ahead but this grant gives us a solid base on which to build.”

Announcing the funding, John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said: “I am delighted to see another enterprising community take control of its own future with Scottish Land Fund assistance. When considering this project for funding, the committee was very impressed with the community consultation that has brought A Heart for Duns to this point. It is clear from the popularity of the building that there is a great desire to continue developing and enhancing the hall’s facilities and in doing so ensuring that it remains a thriving community hub for people now and in the future.”

Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham, said: “I warmly welcome this award from the Scottish Land Fund for Duns. It shows that there are a number of routes open to local groups who want to realise the potential of key community facilities – in this case, a leasing arrangement allowed the group to manage the facility, build their capacity to take on the challenges, and then put together a successful application for support to buy outright. It shows that groups who are already involved with assets at some level can still go on and achieve outright ownership if they wish.”

Ailsa Raeburn, Head of Community Assets for HIE, said: “More and more communities are taking control of their future by purchasing land and assets that matter to them. A Heart for Duns now has a great opportunity to take the hall and create a place where the real spirit of their community can flourish.”

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Beer & Food Festival 27 August

The Beer & Food Festival will return to Duns Volunteer Hall this Sunday, 27 August, from 1.00–7.00pm. See the Provisional programme.

This popular family event brings together live music throughout the day, beers and cider, street food, and cookery demonstrations.

The 17 or so beers on tap are from Allendale, Born in the Borders, Broughton, Campbell’s, Kelburn, Knops and Tempest. Food stalls include African street food (from Knights Kitchen in Edinburgh) and a selection of the award-winning Mr C’s handcrafted pies.

The bands are David Faill ( finger-style blues trio: acoustic guitar, electric guitar and harmonica), the Kazmiranda Jam Band (jamming with a bluesy, jazzy, souly feel) and The Killer Cats (a mix of 50s rock n roll, fronted by Robbie Reay on vocals). 

Organised by A Heart for Duns and supported by the Black Bull Hotel and Fish & Fine Foods.

Admission £2 (children under 16 free).  

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A Heart for Duns appoints Development Manager

A Heart for Duns, which manages the town’s Volunteer Hall on behalf of the community, has appointed Lindsay Wood as its first full-time Development Manager. This new post was advertised in April and is funded for three years by the Big Lottery Fund. Mr Wood has a range of experience and qualifications in project management and economic development.

Derek Janes, Convenor of A Heart for Duns, said: “We are very pleased that Lindsay has been able to join us, particularly at this time: the charity has recently become a Development Trust and we are looking to buy the Volunteer Hall from its owner, the Ministry of Defence. The experience Lindsay brings to the role — including over 25 years working with the principal economic development agencies in the Borders and as an active volunteer in many local groups — should prove invaluable as we develop a business plan for the sustainable future of the Hall.”

Lindsay Wood said: “A Heart for Duns is a dynamic institution and I look forward to working with the trustees, volunteers and staff, as well as the Hall users and community members and groups. I think the power of an organised community linked to the right motivation can enable a small group of enthusiastic people to change their world.”

Contact Lindsay Wood at the Volunteer Hall on 01361 884 935 or

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