Gourock Jolly Beggars

Burns Club

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Brief History
On 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 Primary School.

Club Characters
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 Future
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 very secure.
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 tommy@gourockjollybeggars.co.uk

Office Bearers
President Ian Robertson, Vice President John McMaster, Secretary Arthur Boyle, Honorary Treasurer William Tomlinson,

Honorary President:
Donald Campbell

Honorary Vice Presidents:
Arthur Boyle, Norman Mcphie.

Honorary Life Members:
T.Stewart, D. Bryce.
Tommy Stewart, David Bryce, Roderick Boyle, Richard Bruce, David Carr, Hugh McIntyre,
Ivor Gibson,

Arthur Boyle
2 Castle Mansions,
PA19 1PE
Tel: 01475 633385