IT'S been mainly drawers and filing cabinets where Peebles Archaeological Society has been concentrating its recent digs.

But it has been worthwhile, as members have come up with a fitting reminder of the projects undertaken during the group's first quarter of a century.

Last Friday members and guests gathered at the Tweeddale Museum & Gallery for the opening of the new exhibition celebrating 25 years of the Society.

Peebles Archaeological Society was formed in 1994 by local people interested in history and archaeology.

Its aims were to stimulate interest in the region's archaeology and history, to encourage the recording and preservation of features of historical and archaeological interest, and to promote wider awareness of the past.

Over the years, the Society has achieved those aims by arranging an annual programme of talks by invited guest speakers.

They have also organised field trips and visits to archaeological sites and museum exhibitions.

And carried out fieldwork projects and by ‘adopting’ local sites in order to encourage appreciation and awareness of the local heritage.

Welcoming members and guests to the opening, current chairman Trevor Cowie explained: "The aim of the exhibition is to give visitors a flavour of some the main projects and places with which the group has been connected over the last quarter-century.

"Over the years these have included archaeological surveys of the Manor Valley and Eddleston parish, excavations at Campshiel and Shootinglee, both near Traquair, and the adopt-a-monument projects at Lyne and at Harehope Cairn in the Meldon Valley."

Coupled with their forthcoming conference on local archaeology, the exhibition provides an opportunity to show how the work of the society has shed valuable light on the rich archaeological and historical heritage of Tweeddale - from the time of the very early hunters and gatherers in the area until the start of the modern era.

However, Mr Cowie noted that none of this would have been possible without the friendly and ready co-operation and interest of landowners.

He added: "This celebration of our quarter-century has also provided an opportunity to thank the scores of local landowners and farmers the length and breadth of Peeblesshire who have given us permission to access their land in the course of field trips, field surveys and excavations over the years.

"There are too many to thank individually but we are immensely grateful to them all.”

PAS times: Celebrating 25 years of the Peeblesshire Archaeological Society runs at the Tweeddale Museum & Gallery until Saturday, November 30.

Chris Sawers of Live Borders added: “Tweeddale Museum and indirectly the community at large has benefited greatly from the work of Peebles Archaeological Society and its members over the past quarter of a century, ranging from exhibitions, walks and talks and activity days to voluntary work behind the scenes.

"For a relatively small group, Peebles Archaeological Society has regularly punched above its weight – and we hope that it continues to do so for another 25 years.”