News 75 September 2023

Newsletter 75 100 Word Competition winner

Wilson’s News 74. September 2023
Memorial Literary Dinner.
Newsletter 74 contents:
1. Wilson Memorial Dinner. October 2nd
2. 100 word Tale competition. Judging in progress.

** 1. The Wilson Memorial Dinner.

The J.M. Wilson Memorial Literary Dinner will take place at The Maltings, Berwick, at 7:00 p.m on October 2nd, the anniversary of his death.

The 2023 J.M. Wilson “Beans & Bacon” Memorial Dinner. is open for bookings, though space is limited, and many places have been booked already. A vegetarian option will be available.
Payment preferred via Bank Transfer or by cash/cheque on the evening.
Please note that in view of the limited places, ‘no-shows’ will be charged.
You may reserve a place by email to (
Fuller details are on the website – click here for information (
tickets are available in the shop by clicking here (
The Menu and programme is here, ( and are also linked from the website pages.

The programme features Chris Adriaanse reading one of Wilson’s own Tales entitled The Festival, about Tweedmouth Feast. It was originally published as the lead Tale in edition 38 on 25th July 1835.

The shortlist and winner of the 100 Word Tale competition, which was originated at these dinners will also be announced and read.

Why Beans & Bacon?
For those who don’t know, Wilson was a poet, and wrote, amongst other material, a humorous poem called ‘Beans & Bacon. The Tale of Toby Toothpick’ which describes the tribulations of an impoverished young man, reduced to a tramp, who picks up a scrap of folded paper that turns out to be a £20 note. Making the most of his good luck, he books into the first Inn he finds and orders himself a large plate of beans and bacon, accompanied by a generous quantity of ale.
All does not go well… Though there is a happy ending.
You may care to read it, and our commentary, in volume 5.
At the dinner, the poem is read as a precursor to our own ‘Beans & Bacon’ dinner. Chefs to date have risen to the challenge and produced delicious versions which Toby wouldn’t recognise..

The full poem and companion item are on the website here (

Monday 2nd October -Maltings Cafe, Berwick on Tweed.
Doors open at 7:00 pm.
The cost is £32 per head. A Vegetarian option will be available.
2. 100 Words Competition.
This now annual competition was made into a prize competition open to all last year, and attracted entries from across the globe. This year’s competition closed on September 2nd, again with entries from round the world.
2023 entrants have been included in this newsletter, but you may unsubscribe from further mail using the optional at the bottom of the mail (there will be no effect on the judging!)
The addition of a stricture calling for a Tale which ‘could have been used by Wilson’ seems to have reduced the quantity slightly, but improved the quality, and it is especially pleasing to see many local entrants from the Borders beside the dozens from other continents.

Judging is now taking place, long listed authors will be advised by email, and the eventual shortlist and winner will be read and announced at the dinner.

Watch this space!

– Here is a 2022 shortlisted entry, by Jackie Latham

Tom and Dick

Dick was the best window cleaner in Northumberland, so thorough, took his time with every window. The only thing that puzzled me was that he always came after dark.

Then last month he said he couldn’t use the ladder any more so was switching to a Reach and Wash system, so did I know that he could attach a camera to the pole to make sure he got into every nook and cranny?

I said I did. I kinda regretted that though when he was had up for being a peeping tom. But my windows were so very, very clean.


We’re delighted to help the cause of local and independent bookshops. Even more so when they stock Wilson’s Tales.
Now available from these high street locations;

Slightly Foxed, Bridge Street, Berwick. :
Berwick Heritage Centre, Walkergate, Berwick : (
Greives, Church St , Berwick :
Main Street Trading, Main Street, St Boswells :
The Reading Room, The Square, Melrose :
The Village Shop, Cornhill-0n Tweed. :

and if you missed last year and Volume 7, you may purchase them both together at a reduced price, but only on our website.
goto to purchase, or any of the booksellers above

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Our mailing address is:
Wilsons Tales of the Borders
Mill Farm
Berwick Upon Tweed., Northumberland TD15 2HP
United Kingdom

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