Carrick Sports Clubís 30th anniversary celebrations were a real
mix of nostalgia, comedy and good music.
first night was when all founder members were invited to an evening of
memories which began with club secretary Bill McCubbin welcoming everyone
and taking them down memory lane back to when the club first started.
was the 20th of June 1975 when the year Carrick Speakers' Social Club was
opened and it has been open every single day since,Ē he opened and
ď1975 was a year of uncertainty and change. In June that year that
inflation was at 25% and North Sea oil came on stream; the Suez Canal had
just re-opened after 8 years; the war in Vietnam had just ended; we had
voted yes in a referendum about staying in the EEC and the cost of
electricity increased by 33%; we were watching Fawlty Towers, the Sweeney
and The Good Life on television and the Bee Gees, Gary Glitter, David
Cassidy and Tammy Wynette were the pop idols of the day.
Maybole the swimming pool was built, the town council were no more and
Kyle and Carrick and Strathclyde took over local government. The shops in
our High Street were becoming fewer and the Co-op only had a grocerís shop
left in the town which was managed by Margaret Campbell who is here
tonight. The carpet factory had just opened and Saracens were taking on
extra staff. The Community Association was formed with Jim Campbell in the
chair and David Kiltie as secretary.
It was in this climate of change that Tom Cook had the idea
that a social club might be a good thing for Maybole. He sold the idea to
the Speakers Club and the rest, as they say, is history.
A period of asking people for money, help and advice then
followed. Although Tom Cook must receive all the credit he deserves for
the concept of a club, he would be the first to admit that without the
vast amount of work done by Jack Boyd it is doubtful if the this place
would ever have existed.
Jack, along with Charlie McCulloch, of the Bank of
Scotland, attended to the purchase of the building and the negotiations
with the brewers, the obtaining of a licence and all the other legal and
financial matters surrounding such a venture. We thank Jack for all his
efforts then and through the years.
This club has always been a true social club and this
social atmosphere was apparent even before the club opened. The
camaraderie among the many volunteers who laboured and sweated to convert
the old Co-op Hardware into what we have now had to be seen to be
I doubt if such an unpaid workforce would be possible
today. The help received from tradesmen was also invaluable. Ian Maltman,
the Houston brothers, the McBlains, Gordon McCulloch and David Rodger were
among those who provided practical help and advice.
Names that occur in the scant records we have of that time
are Tom Cook, Andy Stewart, Hugh Fulton, Tom McClure, Alex McDowall, Jim
Brackenridge, Joe Robertson, Jimmy Boyle, Jack McBlain, Jim Sym, Bill
Howieson, Alex Brown, Eddie McKay, Archie McKay, Jimmy Robertson, Arthur
Collingwood, Willie Reid, Billy Tait, Fred Huckett, Willie Milligan, Tom
Shankland, W. Robertson, David Connell, Ian Alexander, Quintin Turner,
Hamish McInnes, Matt Dunnachie, Jim McQuater, John Houston and Jack Kay of
Pennyglen was always on hand with his tractor.
There are many others who, either at that time, or during
the years, have been good friends to this club and for all their efforts
and loyalty I thank them on your behalf.
The property was bought in December 1974 and was officially
opened by the then MP, Jim Sillars on June 20th 1975. By September 1975 we employed our
first full time steward, John Fergusson and by December that year the
Burns Lounge was opened.
The third phase of the venture was completed in December
1983 with the addition of this function hall. The ground floor lounge was
completely re-furbished in July 1986 and 4 Whitehall was purchased in
We have recently sold 4 Whitehall and are presently
involved in substantial upgrading of the premises which I hope you will
all come and see when itís completed. We had hoped to have this done for
this occasion but circumstances have not allowed us to achieve this. Be
assured however that we will continue to improve the facilities that were
started by yourselves and others I have mentioned.
In a period of 30 years in any community itís in the nature
of things that we will all have experienced changes in our lives dictated
by circumstances over which we have no control.
It is therefore true to say that a night such as this will
be tinged with sadness remembering the friends who enjoyed being here.
just a few of those we remember are Isabel cook, Jessie Boyd, Elizabeth
Paterson, Molly Fergusson, Jimmy Fergusson, Ian Maltman, Hammy McEwan, Jim
Clark, Jim Rae, Jim Murdoch, Willie Grant, Jim Cran, Bob Sym, Bert
Crawford, Davie Gallagher, Davie Rodger, Sammy Hearton, Jim Houston,
Archie McKay, Eddie McKay, Karl Tilk and of course we lost our oldest
member, Jean Barr just two weeks ago. Jean was 91 and she attended the
club on a Friday night for more or less 30 years.
From the committee we remember Charlie McCulloch, Bill
Howieson, Dick Curran, Davie Crawford, Fred Huckett, Jack Monteforte, Ian
Alexander, Sammy Davidson, Jim Sym, Bob McQuillan and Don Raby.
Don was our treasurer, no easy job in any organisation, but
especially here where the week-to-week finances are so important. In his
years as a committee member and as treasurer his input in terms of
loyalty, work and commitment to this organisation were beyond measure. As
usual we are too late in saying thank you. I was fortunate to have him as
As a small mark of our appreciation of Don it has been
decided to have an annual music quiz to be known as the Don Raby award. He
loved his music and we feel this would meet with his approval. I would now
like to invite Eunice to collect the award and to present it to the first
winner at the end of the year.
We have, over the years, been very fortunate in the people
who have given of their time and expertise to serve on our committee and I
am particularly pleased to see Quintin Turner in our midst. Quintin was
our vice convener for many years and was basically the clerk of works for
all the major alterations that took place. His contribution was immense.
I am also pleased to see Billy McDowall among us tonight.
He was the man who looked after our finances prior to Don taking over. The
others who contributed so much were Billy McLean, Tom Waugh, Willie
Houston, Wallace Reid, Willie Paterson, Campbell Hearton, Ian Sievwright,
Alan Saunders and Allan Benny.
Tom Cook was the convener and virtually dedicated his life
to this club. In June 1996 Alex Meek took over as convener along with Alan
Cuthbert as his vice convener and they have continued to look after our
Tom remained on the committee until 2003. Tom was a leader
in every sense of the word and the fact that we are still here after 30
years is very much down to him. Since we lost Isabel, Tom still cannot
attend functions such as this. He will, however, be appearing with the
Pipe Band later.
The steward in a social club such as ours plays a very
large part in creating a friendly atmosphere and ensuring our financial
well being. We have only had four full time stewards in the 30 years, John
Fergusson, Jackie Dewar, Ian Hewitt and currently Willie Parker.
John was with us for 10 years almost from the beginning and
was instrumental, along with Linda, in setting standards in all aspects of
management that ensured smooth running of all the functions that took
place at that time.
Jackie was with us for only a year but he and Rea kept up
the good work carrying on from where John left off.
Ian took over in 1986 and for almost 18 years he and Irene
worked to maintain the high standards they set themselves. The club reaped
the benefit of those standards.
In 2004 the baton was passed to Willie who is now the
future for the club. He has the advantage of youth and will be well able
to cater for the younger element who are now joining.
The staff who have worked for us under the stewardship of
the people I have just mentioned have been superb during these 30 years.
Bar staff, cleaning staff and members who stepped in as unpaid staff. Karl
Tilk eventually became an assistant steward here but for years before that
he was always at hand the morning after functions to help with the
clearing up and many other chores. Duke McConnell was another who for many
years was there to assist in clearing up and re- stocking. Among others
who have helped out behind the bar or even did a disco were Sam Campbell,
Jim McDermott and Campbell Hearton
One member who had a regular job every year was John
Campbell aka Santa Claus. He was the star turn at the kids Christmas party
year after year.
There are also many others who deserve a mention for their
help at these parties and the various other functions that have been held
during these years.
I would also like to say a word of thanks to councillors
past and present for their help. Ex-provost and District Councillor Bill
Cuthbert helped us during the early years with regard to planning etc. and
Andy Hill and Alan Murray have continued that help in recent years. We are
indeed fortunate in having three current councillors and a JP as members!
How many of you remember that we once had a choir and a sea
angling club, boat and all?
The Speakers Club has been inactive for the past two years
apart from organising the Burns Supper. There is no reason why, after the
renovations take place, we cannot look at other activities that can take
place to add to the line dancing, pipe band practice, the bingo, snooker,
pool and table tennis.
We have had this year two weddings in the club and Friday
nights are well used for private functions. The only functions I donít
like to see are funeral teas as this usually means we have lost another
The best ambassador for the club outwith the premises has
been the golf club. They have organised the first open tournament at
Girvan for many years with well over 100 entrants and continue to do so.
The gala tomorrow reminds me of the floats the club ladies
used to spend weeks preparing and what a credit they were to themselves
and to the club. It would be good if we could participate in the gala in
that way again.
I have, you will have noticed, mentioned a few names during
my wee speil and I realise there are many I havenít mentioned. It would
not be possible to name and thank everyone who has played a part in the
history of this club. They know who they are and we thank them.
The future of this organisation is gradually passing into
younger hands and that is how it should be. It was created to fulfil a
requirement in our wee toon and we hope that what you people here tonight
started will continue to the benefit of this community for many years to
Some of you may not know all of the present day committee
so I thought you might like to see who they are. I will ask them to come
up here and join us for wee toast.
They are Alex Meek, convener; Allan Cuthbert, vice
convener; and committee members Alan Taylor, Tony Large, Robert Smyllie
and our newest member of three weeks Allan Wallace.
place abune the mireóthatís how Maybole began
Maybotel and Minniboil itís been hame tae aí oor clan
From Lyonston to the Cairders---the Glebe tae Gardenrose
Weíve a seen many changes as the time it comes and goes
wee club came on the scene in nineteen seventy five
in itís time itís done itís bit tae keep the toon alive
thank you all for what youíve done tae put this asset here
we all hope that it will serve for many a future year.Ē