Nan Lyle MBE

Nan Lyle is a very well known person in Hawick as she achieved a lot in her life. She was born on the 27th of October 1929. She attended Trinity Old School between 1934 to 1941 and she then moved onto the High School between 1941 to 1946.  She used to call Trinity Primary School Try Pringle’s Sausages! Some of her friends were Margaret Gibson, Madge Elliot, Jean Dodds and Margaret Brown. Nan had two brothers. One of them was called Donald Brown and he lives in Wilton Dean.

Her parents were called William Robson and Frances Wylie and Nan’s first home was 17 Trinity Street. They had no pets as there was not enough room! Her first job was at Lizzie Fordyce’s corner shop on Trinity Street at the age of 10 and when she was 13 she did the post and deliveries for Miss Nanna Burnet’s hat and dress shop and Rutherford the jewellers. When she was 14, she went to the Land Army Office from June 1944 to February 1945 and she got 37.5p a week!

When she turned 15 she became a shorthand typist for the Urban Electric Company. She really wanted to be in the Land Army however the office was the closest she got. Nan achieved a lot in her life and was very well known in the community. In 1962 she took on the role of part time Librarian at the County Library branch based at Newmill upon Teviot Village Hall. She left her job in 1957 to have her first child. In 1962, she took on the job of  part time librarian at the County Library Branch at Newmill again.

After that she worked at the British Relay and then moved on to the Henderson Technical College working as a Refectory Assistant in 1975. Nan then moved again to Community Education where she became involved with people over 50. The Crossroads Scheme was her place of work until 1986. Retirement didn’t hold Nan back! She didn’t stop working and along with Lindsay Knox she was a walking guide for Middle Marches. She also did Relief Warden work for the Scottish Youth Hostel Association.

She dedicated a huge amount of time to Scouting in the Borders as did her late husband, Rob. From 1950 to the night of her death, Nan gave so much to the Scouts. She was very committed with all the work she participated in. From the Wolf Cubs, the Scout Post, fundraising by organising jumble sales, daffodil fares, beetle drives, organising uniforms, badges and countless other things, so many parts of Scouting in Hawick had Nan involved in them. She also played a big role in the First Hundred Years of Scouting exhibition which was mounted last year. Nan liked outings and she was a member of the Hawick Scout Fellowship Band. In 1956, Nan gained the Wood Badge which was closely followed by the Medal of Merit in 1970, the Silver Acorn in 1976 and the Bar to the Silver Acorn in 1987.

Later on in 2009 at the opening of the Hundred Years of Scouting Exhibition at Wilton Lodge Museum, Nan was speechless when she was awarded the Silver Wolf which is the highest accolade in Scouting. In 1988, she was awarded an MBE for her Services to the Community and Scouting and she gained a Paul Harris Fellowship which was given to her by the Rotary in 1996.

Nan started her role with the Borders Exploration Group in 1992. In 1993 she went on her first expedition to Lesotho in South Africa. The naming of the Cu Cu which means Nan Lyle MBE PHF Academy in Kiawauthanji Village, Kenya was one of the best moments of her life.

It wasn’t just the Scouts and the Borders Exploration Group that filled up her time. In her younger days she was the first EVER lady captain of the Hawick Cycling Club and n 1953, she became the holder of the Ladies course record which is over 10 miles and this record wasn’t broken for 29 years. She was very pleased to be able to tell everyone that she was the fastest woman in Hawick! Another one of her hobbies was ballroom dancing for which in 1950, her and Rob gained a bronze award.

After her marriage to Rob in 1955, they lived together at Newmill on Teviot where Nan became very involved in the small, local community. She worked tirelessly as a member of the Newmill Hall committee to maintain the local hall. She ran many Halloween and Christmas parties for the local children teaching them to do the proper Hokey Cokey. She was then awarded an Honorary Membership in 2007 for 50 years service! Nan Lyle was also a member of Hawick Archaeological Society and the Camera Club and she thoroughly enjoyed both of them. She also served on the local Sports Initiative.

One of the real delights in Nan’s life was her love of the great outdoors. She completed 9 walks across Scotland with the Great Outdoors Challenge “she was planning to complete her 10th in 2010. Camping with the Scouts, Borders Exploration Group and for family holidays was a real source of enjoyment to her, although her family remember watching matchsticks float through the tent during flooding in the Lake District “Nan though always looked on the bright side. Becoming a Relief Warden with Scottish Youth Hostels Association took her all over the nation and she made many friends. Ocean Bounty gave her much pleasure, sailing around the coast ofScotland, visiting places surrounded by friends

Her children Ruth, Joyce and Andrew were a source of great pride to her as was her grandson David.