Wednesday 25th January 1883 approximately thirty people sat down
to enjoy a Burn's Anniversary dinner in the upstairs dining room
in the Victoria Hotel Shore Street, Gourock. This group of people
were the founder members of the newly formed Gourock Jolly Beggars
Burns Club.The exact history of the club is unclear as the first
minute book has been lost and our oldest surviving minute was taken
in 1905. As for the first dinner we know Mr McMillan, owner of the
Victoria Hotel, was present and provided the meal for this dinner
and several to follow.
After this period the dinner was held in many places including.
· Masonic Halls John Street
· Queens Hotel
· The Albert Hotel
· McKay's Tearoom
· Columba Temperance Hotel
· Criterion Halls
It was not until 1943 that a permanent home was found at THE BAY
HOTEL and every dinner, from 1943 to 1988, its year of closure.
We then moved to Castle Levanne Hotel till its closure. The dinner
is now held in the Gourock Bowling Club and is most appealing. Since
its earliest years The Club has sponsored a Burn's competition initially
for the pupils of Eastern School and continues to this day in Gourock
There have been many notable figures as members over the years including
Provost James Adam (our first chairman) Provosts Steel and Leith
and practically every provost of Gourock. Robert (Bob) Smith was
President then Secretary of the club for almost 43 years and was
well known for his renderings of Tam O' Shanter, Holly Willie's
Prayer and was known to have penned a few himself. Ian Shearer Past
President was well renowned for his efforts in fund raising raffles.
Daniel McMorland (Auld Dan) was Past President and treasurer since
1964, and an active club member since 1948.
The club would not been in as healthy position as it is today without
the efforts of the above mentioned.
The club continues to go from strength to strength and still carries
out the school competitions. The annual dinners attract over one
hundred guests. The future of the club is healthy and hopefully
I would ask anyone who views these
pages, if they have any information about Gourock Jolly Beggars
would they be kind enough to e-mail me at
President Ian Robertson, Vice President John McMaster, Secretary
Arthur Boyle, Honorary Treasurer William Tomlinson,
Arthur Boyle, Norman Mcphie.
T.Stewart, D. Bryce.
Tommy Stewart, David Bryce, Roderick Boyle, Richard Bruce, David Carr,
2 Castle Mansions,
Tel: 01475 633385