Corstorphine, Edinburgh, UK

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The Rotary Club of Corstorphine

Zone 17 Rotary District 1020 (previous district No2)

The Rotary Club of Corstorphine[edit]

Club Number[edit]

Club Number 18782

Club Chartered on[edit]

CHARTERED 1st November 1955

The inaugural history of the Rotary Club of Corstorphine[edit]

The inaugural history of the Rotary Club of Corstorphine Document can be downloaded from this link

Formation of the Club[edit]

James Mackenzie, Rotary Club of Edinburgh was the District Extension Officer in 1955 and carried out a considerable amount of work in the formation of the Rotary club of Corstorphine.

The Inaugural meeting and dinner was held in the North British Hotel on the 26th April 1955. The chairman being Archibald Stevenson, J.P. Rotary International Representative and District Chairman No 2. R.I.B.I.

Rotarians from the following clubs who attended on this evening were from:- Leith, Portobello, Kelvin, Musselburgh, Glasgow, Hamilton, Queens Park , Linlithgow & Boness, Motherwell, Grangemouth, Coatbridge & Airdrie, Bathgate, Edinburgh & RC Dundas. (Canada)

The 26 Founder Members of the Rotary Club of Corstorphine at the dinner were:- Reginald Bailey,(not in photograph) Douglas R. Banks, W. Martin Bowden, John Darge Brown, John Brown, Ernest A. Cormack, William James Crawford, David William Denham, John Fairley, Foster Franklin, James Hay Rutherford Henry, Andrew Hogarth, James McNair, Robert Moyes, Alexander Murdoch, George Glennie Mutch, William Newbigging, Robert Pratt, Alexander Duncan Robertson, Charles Maxwell Robertson, David Roddie, James Sharp, Ian Donald Cameron Stephen, Thomas Spencer Taylor, William Ross Willis, James Junior Young.

Inaugural Resolutions were submitted & passed, including the Boundaries of the Interim R.C. Corstorphine, which showed the Green Area which had been ceded by the Rotary Club of Edinburgh, and the extent of the club boundaries shown in red to the West.


The Interim Club Formation[edit]

Afterwards Bert Danskin, Rotary Club of Coatbridge & Airdrie, District Extension Officer, called upon Archibald Stevenson, Rotary Club of Hamilton & Chairman of District No 2. R.I.B.I. to constitute The Interim Rotary Club of Corstorphine. This was seconded by Alex Anderson, Vice President of the Rotary Club of Edinburgh. The following office bearers, who had already been elected by ballot poll were finally confirmed, proposed by William Ross Willis & seconded by James H.R. Henry.

President: Ernest A. Cormack. Vice President: W. Martin Bowden.

Secretary: Alex. D. Robertson. Treasurer: Charles Maxwell Robertson.

Council: James Sharp, George Glennie Mutch, John Darge Brown, John Brown, James Young Junior, John Fairley.

The Rotary Club of Corstorphine Charter Dinner 1st. November 1955.

Presentation of Charter[edit]

The presentation of the Charter took place in the Maybury Road House Corstorphine.

There was an attendance of over one hundred who represented the following clubs:-

Annan, Bathgate, Coatbridge & Airdrie, Dumfries, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Grangemouth, Hamilton, Kelvin, Kilmarnock, Lanark, Leith, Linlithgow & Boness, Motherwell & Wishaw, Musselburgh, Oban, Peebles, Portobello, Prestwick, Stirling, Stranraer and Strathaven, along with four Rotary Foundation Fellows from the United States of America and the twenty six new members of The Rotary Club of Corstorphine.

The Charter was presented by James Hutton, Rotary International Representative and District Chairman No 2 RIBI. And was accepted by Ernest A. Cormack President of the Rotary Club of Corstorphine. The District chairman in his address to the new members stressed the importance of the €œObligations & Duties of Rotary which they would have to bear and also the €œimportance of good attendance.

Welcome into Rotary was then given by the Rev. David Dick, President R.I.B.I and thereafter the Charter Members were introduced by James MacKenzie, Assistant Extension Officer.

The Toast of The Rotary Club of Corstorphine was proposed by Alexander Anderson, President of The Rotary club of Edinburgh and was replied to by President Ernest Cormack who thanked the Rotary Club of Edinburgh for the District they handed over and also for The handsome reading desk.

Founding Members

Back Row (L to R) William Newbigging, Robert Pratt, Robert Moyes, David Roddie, Ian D.C. Stephen, James McNair, Andrew Hogarth, Wm. Ross Willis.
Middle Row (L to R) Alexander Murdoch, Thomas S. Taylor, William J. Crawford, Foster Franklin, David W. Denham, James H.R. Henry, Douglas R. Banks.
Bottom Row (L to R) James Sharp, James Young. Geo. G. Mutch, Chas. Maxwell Robertson, W. Martin Bowden, Ernest. A. Cormack, Alexander Duncan Robertson, John Brown, J. Darge Brown, John Fairley,

Club Founding Members' Biographies[edit]

This record of the Founder Members of The Rotary Club of Corstorphine was made by Rotarian Ian Sutherland during his tenure as Club Historian. Ian joined the Rotary Club of Corstorphine in 1978 and was Club President in 1986 -87. Ian held many posts within the club and retired from Rotary as an Honorary Member 2012.

Founding Members[edit]

Ernest A. CormackErnest was a doctor of medicine who lived and had his surgery at 199 St. John Road (opposite St. Ninian Church now the site of the Old People Housing at the top of Manse Road). He had quite a nice and extensive garden at the back of the house, which reminds me of the time one of my friend daughter was getting married in St. Ninian. Arrangements had been agreed with Dr. Cormack that some of the wedding photographs would be taken in his garden. The Bridal party and photographer repaired to the garden and proceeded to take the photographs; but every time the photographer had the group all lined up a bearded dwarf appeared in the background, much to the disgust of the camera man. The dwarf was none other than Dr. Cormack who unfortunately at that time was suffering from a degenerative disease. He was our founding president and was the inspiration for the very successful KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD in 1958. He retired and resigned from the club in 1980 and unfortunately I never got to know him very well.

William Newbigging Willie was a true country gentleman. He was a Breeder of Land Race pigs, even after he retired he still kept a few pigs as a hobby. One of these called €œChestnut Gracious won him the €œQueens Cup for best livestock entry at the Royal Highland Show. I remember the occasion and to say that he was delighted at this honour is a definite understatement. His piggery was at Broomvale. He undoubtedly loved his pigs but he was also a very keen Rotarian and he was another who liked everything to be just right. I remember on one occasion when I was President of the club being taken aside by Willie after the meeting and him informing me that it was my responsibility as President to ensure that the meeting started on time at 12.45. I do not know why but that day the meeting did not get started until about 12.50. Next week I made sure that I started the meeting on the dot of 12.45 and Willie looking at his watch gave me a quiet nod of acknowledgement! Willie died in January 1995 at the age of 91.

Robert PrattRobert owned the Newsagents and Tobacco shop at 8 Ormiston Terrace. Unusually he did not live in the Village, but stayed in Leith. He died in 1965 at the age of only 57.

Robert MoyesBert was a Plumber who lived and had his business premises in Manse Road. He was not the easiest individual to deal with and I regret to say that he fell out with me over a business transaction, my conscience is clear, but Bob never could forgive me for what he thought was my fault. He resigned in 1982.

David Roddie David had a Fruit and Vegetable retail business at 22 Glasgow Road. He lived in West Granton Road. He resigned in 1959 for €œBusiness Reasons.

Ian Donald Cameron Stephen Ian was a Veterinary Surgeon with premises at 160 St. John Road. He lived at 89 St. John Road. He resigned in 1959 as he emigrated to Australia.

James McNairJames was a Butcher and had his shop at 6 Belgrave Place. I just happen to know that he was a shareholder in Corstorphine Public Hall Company Ltd. He resigned in February 1968 when he left the district.

Andrew Hogarth Andrew was a Hairdresser and had his business premises at 132 St. John Road. He was President in 1967/68. He was an active Rotarian until he had a stroke in 1987. Andrew was well-liked and respected by all in Corstorphine.

William Ross WillisWilliam was with A.B. Fleming & Co. Ltd., who had their factory on the Glasgow Road, just west of the Maybury. They were Ink Manufacturers. He was one of the few Founder Members who did not live in Corstorphine. His home was at Drylaw Crescent. He retired from business and from Rotary in November 1974.

Alexander MurdochAlexander was a Builder and was responsible for the construction of substantial areas of Corstorphine. He had premises at 235A St. John Road and lived in Castle Avenue. He was President in 1964/65. He died in 1972. His son Sandy Murdoch was an active member from 1975 until 2004 but is now deceased.

Thomas Spencer Taylor Tom was the owner of the Lothian Quarry Co. Ltd. who had the quarry at Hillwood, Ratho. I understand that he was a quiet reserved gentleman and a workaholic. He had no hobbies other than his love of travel and visited Spain, Portugal, U.S.A. and Canada and other places throughout the world. He died whilst on holiday in Majorca in October 1971. His son, Spencer, became a member in 1979, but resigned within two years for business reasons.

William James CrawfordWillie was a Dairy Farmer at Redheugh Farm, part of which is now Edinburgh Park. He was President in 1966/67. He resigned when he moved to Haddington. His name, however, lives on in the Club as his Nephew, also Willie Crawford is one of our honorary members.

Foster FranklinFoster was the Minister of the Old Parish Church. The Club records merely state that he retired in 1959.

David William Denham Dave was a joiner/carpenter who lived and operated his business from his home in Broombank Terrace. He was President in 1962/63. I knew Dave quite well as we were both active members of Corstorphine Bowling Club of which he was President in 1978. He was a nice person but everything had to be just right or he was not happy! Unfortunately he had a stroke and lost his speech but could still communicate by sounds and signs. He was well known and respected in both Rotary and Bowling circles.

James Hay Rutherford Henry James was the manager of Reed Corrugated Cases Ltd., Turnhouse Road. Unusually he did not live in Corstorphine. He did not last long in the club as he resigned for business reasons in April 1956.

Douglas R. Banks Dougie had a very successful Hardware and Ironmongery and Electrical and fancy goods business at 219 St. John Road (Now a charity shop). He was an active Rotarian right up to his death in 1984. He loved to organise car rallies and went to a great deal of trouble to make them very enjoyable events. All the clues were printed out in rhyme and on one occasion he successfully disguised as a tramp boiling up his billycan in the woods. The competitors had to find him to get the next clues and several failed to recognise him. He was President in 1958/59 and served in all the main committees. It was Dougie who proposed me for membership and I remember him with a great deal of affection.

James Sharp Jimmy was a likeable rogue. He was in the Motor Trade with premises at 223/5 St. John Road (where the Tom Farmer Tyre Depot is now). He lived at 92 Glasgow Road. He was probably the Founder Member that I knew best of all, as I was doing business with him before I moved from Glasgow to Edinburgh in 1958. He was the Rotarian who got hauled over the coals over the proposal for membership of Ted Warwick. I am sure Jimmy was not in the least worried over the fuss made about this. Nothing worried Jimmy! He died in 1968.

James Young Jr Jimmy owned West Craigs Farm Corstorphine before moving to Meadowfield on Turnhouse Road. I believe he was a keen sportsman in his earlier days especially fond of curling. Early in the 1970 he was confined to a wheelchair because of a spinal complaint, but despite this, he maintained his regular attendance at the club and was still able and willing to actively participate in all our activities, even playing golf in the annual Alex. Walker Cup with a cut down wooden club from his wheelchair. I can see him yet coming in to the car park at the Maybury, yank his wheelchair out of the Land Rover, fit the bits and pieces to it and haul himself out of the vehicle and into the chair. He was the club first to be awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship and no one could have deserved it more. He was undoubtedly an inspiration to all his fellow Rotarians. Jimmy died in March 1994.

George Glennie MutchGeorge owned the Kitchen Craft Co. Ltd., which had premises at the top of Featherhall Avenue. He lived in West Craigs Crescent. He died in 1961.

Charles Maxwell Robertson.Charles was the Manager of the Royal Bank of Scotland, St. John Road. He was also the Treasurer of St. Anne Church and a Justice of the Peace. He lived at Belgrave Gardens, but moved away to Balerno. He was our President in 1959/60. I note that on his death in 1962 a fund was opened to provide a memorial to him so I presume he must have been highly respected.

W. Martin Bowden Martin was a Pharmacist and Optician with a shop at 207 St. John Road. He was always immaculate, a real gentleman of the old school. I had the pleasure of arranging the insurance of his car and he continued to deal through me for years after he retired and moved to the south of England. Each year at renewal I would receive a newsy letter from him. Another remembered with affection.

Alexander Duncan Robertson Alexander was the Managing Director of J H Lamont & Co. Ltd., the Brass Goods Manufacturers who had their premises at Glasgow Road (now McDonald's and the petrol station near PC World). He lived at 68 Glasgow Road. I did not know Alexander but his son who had the same name, but was known as Alistair followed him in Rotary. Alexander died in 1963.

John Brown. John was a Dentist who had his surgery and lived at 36 St. John Road. I recollect having a toothache shortly after I moved to Corstorphine in 1958. John removed the offending tooth, but I never sought his services thereafter! He was President for the year 1960/61. He resigned from Rotary in 1967 at which time I think he retired and moved over to Limekilns, Fife.

John Darge Brown Darge had his Grocery and Provision Shop at 135/7 St. John Road. I remember him as a quiet retiring person which probably explains why he never took on the presidency although he served in almost every other capacity.

John Fairley John was a Painter and Decorator who lived in North Gyle Terrace and operated his business from there. I did not know him at all. The records show that he died in 1960.

Mother Club[edit]

Our mother club is the Rotary Club of Edinburgh. Our daughter club is the Rotary Club of Currie & Balerno. (Chartered 1981)

DG from our Club[edit]

The club to date has supplied one District Governor that being Fred Fisher in 1976 1977

Club Community Projects[edit]

Throughout the years the club strived to bring many Community Projects into fruition, the most notable being over four days in April 1958 was the €œKnow Your Neighbourhood Exhibition this took in such topics as Floodlighting the Old Parish Church, with Agriculture, Churches, Schools, Industry, Antiquities & Historical sections, local Associations, Natural History, Local Sports & Clubs, and public services to name but a few who took part in this event.

The exhibition was opened by The Earl of Verulam, 14th Lord Forrester of Corstorphine and the Lord Provost of The City of Edinburgh Ian Johnson €“ Gilbert. A further exhibition was repeated on the 4th to the 8th April 1967. This giving such importance to the event which has now, since 1960 become the €œCorstorphine Fair as we know it today which is the biggest fair in Edinburgh?

The Rotary Club of Corstorphine was the first to achieve the reversal of the Ambassadorial Scholarship Scheme in order to bring a student from a third world country to study for a year in this country, instead of sending one of ours abroad. In 1992 Dr. Le- Ha Chi from Vietnam came to Scotland to study for a Master of Public Health degree at Glasgow University. Chi is now an eminent and respected specialist in a major hospital in his own country.

Latterly Rotarian David Hull P.P P.H.F. started the Wristband Project which allows parents with small children to write their mobile telephone number on the wristband which is then worn by the child. If the child then becomes separated Police or security staff can contact the parents with the telephone number on the wristband and return the child to them in minutes. This has been tested at The Royal Highland Showground Ingliston, Edinburgh, with an attendance over four days of approximately 165,000 visitors and proved very successful. This idea is now being used at major events by other clubs and Districts throughout Rotary.

The Rotary Club of Corstorphine is also responsible for creating a New Rotary World Record for Rotary District 1020 for €œThe Most Amount of Rotary Clubs to Visit another Rotary Club in the Same District on The same Day. The District 1020 Charity Walk organised by Rotarian Gordon Guthrie P.P. P.H.F. In 2012 & 2013. Twenty-seven Rotary Clubs and one Rotaract club visited forty-six other Rotary clubs by walking the district for fellowship and raised £16,660.00 for "Cash for Kids" and "Calls for Heroes" (RC Carluke). 169 Rotarians, 5 members of Inner Wheel, 2 Rotactors, 2 Ambassadorial Scholars, 64 Friends of Rotary, 7 children and 25 dogs participated by walking 281 miles throughout District 1020.

The club celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a Dinner at the Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh on Friday the 4th November 2005. With President Tom McInally presiding over the event. This is the same hotel where we had the clubs inaugural dinner in 1955 as the North British Hotel and in 1991 it changed its name to the Balmoral Hotel.

Greetings from Rotary International were brought by Gordon McInally I.P.P R.I.B.I, with the Toast to The Rotary Club of Corstorphine, given by Steven Henderson District 1020 Governor. A reply to this was given by President Tom McInally. PP Douglas Geddes RC Corstorphine proposed a Toast to the Guests with the Reply on behalf of the Guests being given by The Rt. Hon. Lord Hardie Q.C.

To date the club have contributed too many International and Local Projects and strive to be good Rotarians with "We're for Communities" probably suiting our 28 members best.

Meeting Place[edit]

The Rotary Club of Corstorphine meets at:-

Murrayfield Hotel
18 Corstorphine Road
Edinburgh EH12 6HN
Tuesday 6pm for 6:15 pm bell.

Online Presence[edit]


With grateful Thanks to:-

Rotarian Ian Sutherland P.P. Retired Club Historian & Honorary Member.

Rotarian Willie Crawford P.P. P.H.F. & Honorary Member.

Rotarian Arthur Barlow. P.P. P.H.F. Club Historian.

Rotarian Lex Hope, for photographs.

Rotarian Alec Stevenson, for Map Details.

Submitted by Rotarian Gordon Guthrie, P.P. P.H.F. R.G.H.F. Rotary Club of Corstorphine.

Categories & Links[edit]

Content Converted from Gordon Guthrie 's Word document --Mahesh 13:20, 7 March 2015 (MST) formatting and spellings--DrO 17:40, 7 March 2015 (EST)