Clubs within the Club

Our Club is no different to many in that several smaller informal clubs exist within the main club. Golf is a good example of the practice – St Andrews has half a dozen clubhouses adjacent to the course, and Edinburgh Public courses, including the Braids, have a number of clubs with their own clubhouse. We don’t quite extend to extra clubhouses, but the ‘Clubs within the Club’ vary from the some-sixty year existence of the Geriatric Group (with well over a hundred members over the years) to the Tuesday Tennis players with a squad of six or so.

Click on any of the options shown below, to reveal an account of the ‘Clubs’ and a slideshow in each case.

The Geriatrics – circa 1960 doubles squash and tennis

The Racketball squad – circa 1985

The Ladies tennis Group – more information required, but these ladies have been keeping the tennis courts busy in the evening – well done

The Tuesday tennis Group – A distinguished small group of gentlemen players

The Fitzwilliam tourists – nearly fifty years of exchange visits – perhaps our most regular overseas fixture

BMLC – information coming soon, but we would like to note that this distinguished group are among the principal supporters of the ESC 50:50 Club, and we thank them very much for this.

Sunday school – Thirty years of a couple of pints at 6pm on a Sunday, with optional evensong. Original members were Dougie Urquhart, Ivor Davie, Brian Suddaby, Morton Auld and Duncan Currie. Alastair Allanach became a semi-indentured member in May 2009, having been an interloper for a few years. Julie ran a half-marathon in Ivor’s memory in 2014, and rather poor photomontage of the last four in the list can be seen here.

The Geriatrics

This group was founded by Bill Nimmo around 1960 (according to a history by George .Preston Esq). Bill ran the twice-weekly games, doubles (hardball) squash in the ‘Winter’ (strictly defined by the clock-change) and tennis in the Summer. The organisational baton was passed to Colin Crole in the mid-1980’s, and finally to Charlie Laing in 2004. Other whipper-snappers (including the editor) filled in occasionally, but these three individuals (known as ‘the Leader’ or sometimes ‘The Fuhrer’ ) were the masterminds. The group is still struggling along as of today, with tennis surviving, but doubles squash sadly diminishing. The ultra-modern Padel tennis option has been seen (sometimes grudgingly) in operation. We’ve awarded them a short slideshow, but just before that, if you would like to see some of them in action (Courtesy of STV), click here

..and as additional treat, we’ve provided a file of assorted invites, programmes and menus for a variety of the last 20 years of the Geriatrics black-tie dinner. These zany documents, created almost entirely by George Preston, were eagerly awaited each year by the assembled throng. Click here to view the PDF For those slightly more intelligent Geriatrics, an amalgam document of histories has been created, including one stained with finest burgundy, and a ‘report card’ of members skills, proclivities and other unmentionables – view that document here

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The Racketball Squad

This bunch of players started around the mid 1990’s, and are still going strong today. A key feature of the group is the annual near-Christmas dinner, held in a wide variety of locations over the years, sometimes in restaurants, sometimes in private houses, and sometimes a combination. Restaurants have included Chez Jules, Café Rouge, La Bruschetta and Karen’s Unicorn (nothing but the the best…) Organisation of games, which are on Mondays and Fridays, have been undertaken by a variety of players, the most recent of which is Colin Cruikshank (to whom good wishes for a speedy recovery from the editor). At the 2018 dinner at the club, a handout listed the players and social venues over the years, a (dreadful) kitsch Poem (a tribute to the individuals in the squad) was delivered, but also fortunately a memorable rendition was given by Glyn cave of his tribute to the Club – ESC – Extra Special Community‘. You can also listen to Glyn reading the poem.

The slide show will hopefully give a flavour of the troupe, which may tend the viewer to believe that the social side is predominant. Click on any image to enable a full-page size slideshow.

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Ladies Tennis

This group (according to Sandy Eden) started sometime around the year 2000, and great numbers , often 3 doubles are seen delivering quality tennis on cold nights. There are occasional male incursions, Jim McIvor, Ken Brown and Scott McDermott being promoted to Honorary Lady status on a few occasions

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The Tuesday tennis group

This small but perfectly formed group have been playing for many years. Matches have been convened far afield, e.g. in France as shown below, also near Loch Fyne. Supersubs are always welcome, even JJ partakes occasionally. The group ‘break bread’ usually twice a year at the Club, curry being the medium, and they are kind enough to welcome the odd visitor, as your editor can confirm. The editor awaits a photo the great Ulsterman, Chris Kempston.

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The Fitzwilliam tourists

The Club has been operating a reciprocal fixture and social events with the Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club of Dublin since around the late 1970’s, always coinciding with the International Rugby fixture, where match tickets were normally ‘arranged’ for all those who wished to attend. Your Editor recollects travelling to the 1984 match in Dublin from the Orient, and enjoying Scotland’s first triple crown since 1938.

The Cardiac Cup, engraved 2010 – 2017

While a trophy does exist, and a relatively serious match played, the objective is to enjoy the weekend. In the old days in Edinburgh, we chartered a 15 seater bus which conveyed both teams round the fleshpots of Leith and Edinburgh, while the Dublin event simply toured the river-front and the Temple Bar areas. Indeed, the Fitzwilliam Club is so palatial (it has a serious swimming pool and indoor tennis courts aside all the normal racquet sports) that simply staying there was always a wonderful experience.

Until around 20 years ago, players hosted each other, and many lifelong friendships were made. From our perspective, the event probably peaked in social terms around 25 years ago, when, at the club, the piano was manhandled from the west end of the building into the dining room, and the thirty odd revellers (home players WAGS were always welcome) sang and danced the night away to the accompaniment of a couple of expert piano players in the group. Golf matches also featured in the trips, with Luffness, Murrayfield and Bruntsfield in Edinburgh, Royal Dublin and Luttrellstown in Dublin being the regular haunts, A few photographs endure over the years, which these days is being well supported by an able band of youngsters who rigorously follow the tradition.

An account and players list of the forty years of the event is course of construction, and simply requires a bit of attention from a couple of individuals. Watch this space…

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