In the mid-nineteenth Alexander Jeffrey devoted a long section of his History & Antiquities of Roxburghshire to Yetholm. His transcriptions of relevant medieval documents is still a valuable source, but he also included some interesting personal reminisences. However, probably the first text specifically about Yetholm was produced by John R Watson, boot and shoe maker, Town Yetholm. His pamphlet is undated, but was likely produced 1900-1910. Yetholm had been something of a tourist destination from the early nineteenth century. From that period many houses in Yetholm were rented out to summer visitors and Watson's booklet, as the advert on the final page makes clear, with its refence to comfortable holiday shoes and apartments for rent, was clearly intended for that market. Mr Watson clearly recognised a potential revenue stream when he saw one and, as well as footwear, his shop sold cycle accessories, stationary and postcards - exactly the sort of things many vacationers required.
The title of his booklet - Let Yetholm Flourish - was the motto found on the flag that was paraded around the villages at the start of every Fastern E'en celebration (now sadly lost). The text inside is from a variety of sources. J T Aitken of Glasgow contributes an Introduction and a piece entitled The Solitude of the Cheviots. His Introduction reassuringly points out that 'there are no lack of hotels of good class ... and although there may be an occassional brawl on a Saturday night, yet the Yetholmites do not seem to be any "waur than their neebours"'!
An anonymous writer contributes a piece of the botany of Yetholm haugh, which includes a still-useful list of species. Someone with the initials 'J.R.W' has a piece called Yetholm in April; Town v Country Life which contrasts 'the winding Bowmont flowing on to its destiny, the sun shining clear in the heavens, the lambs skipping about in their playful way' with children huddled away in the dark alleys of our large cities, where the sun is never allowed to penetrate and surrounded with filth, crime and darkness ...' Clearly not much has changed!
There is also a poem by E Elmthirst of Barnsley, presumably a happy holidaymaker, entitled A Sunset from Law.
If you'd view fair Yetholm rightly
You must climb up on the hill,
When the working day is over
And the air is calm and still.
While the bloom upon the May trees
Is a veil of driven snow,
And each little broom and gorse bush
Is with yellow gold aglow ...
Finally, there are also short sections about various points of interest in the area and in this respect Let Yetholm Flourish resembles Yetholm History Society's most recent publication Yetholm Past and Present; A Walking Guide.
Only one copy of John Watson's ephemeral pamphlet is known to exist and a digital copy is held by Yetholm History Society. Some sample pages are shown on the right.