Coldingham Memories by Gillian Foreman

Memories of Coldingham

My parents were Robert Bolton and Jean Anderson who were married at The Priory in Coldingham in 1937.

My grandparents were James Bolton and Anne Chisholm who both lived in Coldingham next to the police station where my Dad was brought up with his older brother William Bolton and his sister Beatrice Bolton.

My maternal Grand parents were James Anderson and Jane Kay who owned the village shop and lived in Edina House with all their children. I did not know all my aunts and uncles as Jean Anderson was the youngest child and several of them had died before I was born.

James Bolton as the village postman and was a familiar sight cycling around the area on his post bike in all weathers. He was presented with a medal when he retired and he died when I was 8 years old. My mother came to Coldingham while he was ill and helped to nurse him so consequently I went to Coldingham village school for a term which was quite a change from my school in the City.

I remember the Quarry twins who lived at the Anchor pub used to tease me relentlessly but luckily I had several cousins in the school to look after me. By this time my paternal grandparents had moved to live in Barrie House which was next door to The Anchor and overlooked the Cross.

My father Robert began a bakery apprenticeship with Doddy Wood in Coldingham. I believe that Doddies son, Norman was or still is headmaster at the village school. Dad worked there until he set up his own bakery business in Allanton helped by my mother but this was sold when my father signed up to fight in the 2nd WorId War.

My mother worked in the cafe on the beach as this was also owned by the Andersons. The original cafe was at right angles to the one that is there now. I am not sure of the date the other was built and then taken over by Giaccopazzi. My mother worked in the cafe in shifts with her sister Isabel and Margaret and one other lady.

Beatrice Bolton married Peter Thorburn and had a son named Alan. Very sadly Beatrice died from leukaemia a few months after Alan was born so my mother looked after Alan for 2 years until Peter married again. They lived in the house where Norman Wood now lives which is Burnhall. William Bolton had the carpentry and undertakers business in Coldingham so was also well known to all. His daughter Eileen still lives in Eyemouth.

On my mother's side Isabel married Johnnie Walker the butcher who worked originally with his brother Tommy in Coldingham near the Post Office before opening a shop in Eyemouth. His 3 children are still alive with David and Ian living in Eyemouth and Eleanor living in Paisley. Betsy married William Lindsay and lived in a little house at the town foot and I always thought a car would crash in to her house as it stuck out into the road.

Robert Anderson, known as Bob to all ran the Andersons shop taking over completely when Granny Anderson died. Pa Anderson died when I was young and I remember his moustache!! He was a councillor for the Borders and very well thought of. Margaret married the cobbler next door to Andersons after Granny died and then she remarried and went to live in Duns next door to Jim Clark museum.

Robert Bolton moved away from Coldingham when I was a baby and brought the whole family down to Cambridge where he had been briefly stationed during the war. He started up in the bakery business and my Brother James was born and we have all been living down here since then. Mind you, every summer holiday we went back 'home' and people would know me and welcome saying 'it is Robert and Jeans wee lassie back for her holidays'. It was lovely then to know and be related to so many people in Coldingham but now, although I still love visiting I do not know anyone in Coldingham.

I don't know if there is anyone left that remembers Andersons shop but there must be a few.

If you would like more memories please let me know and if anyone remembers the Boltons or the Andersons please email me on

cross Coldingham Cross
bolton Robert, William and Beatrice Bolton

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