THE Ex-Kelso Laddies Club is planning a tribute to Borders poet Will H. Ogilvie.

The organisation is planning on marking the 150th of his birth by erecting a memorial stone at Holefield, near Kelso, where he was born. 

As a young man Ogilvie travelled to Australia, working on sheep farms and rising to prominence as a ‘bush poet’ – someone who depicts the life, scenery and character of the outback – before eventually settling near Ashkirk in the Scottish Borders. 

There he carried on his literary work, and wrote ‘The Land We Love’, a love letter to the Borders, and ‘Ettrick’, which was set to music and is still sung during the Selkirk common riding. 

Now, the Ex-Kelso Laddies Club is asking for money from the Kelso common good fund to install the tribute to Ogilvie, which will overlook Holefield Farmhouse and will include information boards about the poet. 

The total cost of the tribute is expected to be £12,650, towards which the Ex-Laddies Club has raised £1,000 and secured a grant of £2,000 from Charity Begins at Home. 

An application submitted by the secretary of the club, Phil Hume, said: “The Ex-Laddies Club exists to support the Kelso laddie and Kelso civic week and to contribute to the culture and heritage of Kelso and the surrounding area. 

“Events are held to raise funds which are distributed to a wide range of local community groups. 

“Members offer their expertise and manpower to various local organisations within the town. 

“Ogilvie’s poems celebrate the Border countryside and the memorial at Holefield will celebrate his birth in the Kelso area.

“The establishment of the stone will encourage others to visit the site and help promote the poet’s work in local schools.

“By making his work more accessible we hope to contribute significantly to the cultural heritage of the Borders.

“Kelso civic week will celebrate the poet annually by visiting the stone during the Yetholm riding in July.”

Councillors sitting on the Kelso common good fund committee are due to meet tomorrow (Wednesday, September 12) to deliberate on the application.