News

EGM Proposals approved

At the EGM of the Club held on Wednesday 15th July 2020 the two Special Resolutions put to the meeting were approved unanimously. 24 voting members were present at the online meeting.

Special resolution 1 – To authorise the FP Council to conclude arrangements for the transfer of the operation and management of the Inverleith clubhouse to ESMS Governing Council on terms satisfactory to the Former Pupil Club Council and the ESMS Governing Council.

Special resolution 2 – Subject to agreement being reached between the FP Council and the ESMS Governing Council in respect of Resolution1 to approve a transfer of shareholdings and cash up to a value of £215,000 to ESMS Governing Council to alleviate financial hardship of parents (initially from the consequences of Covid-19), enabling boys who would otherwise have had to be withdrawn to continue their education at Stewart’s Melville College.

Extraordinary General Meeting – Background

An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Club will be held on Wednesday 15th July 2020 at 6.30pm via Zoom.

The FP Club Council through a special sub committee has been discussing with the school the management of the clubhouse at Inverleith for about six months or so since the FP Club failed to appoint a new President in succession to Charles Wilson last Autumn.   The imposition of effectively becoming head of an increasingly busy hospitality and catering organisation on top of the traditional ceremonial duties had made the job of President unattractive.

The school also determined in the Autumn that they wished to defer collecting FP Club subscriptions from parents of S1, S2 and S3 pupils until the point of leaving school potentially resulting in a loss of income to the FP Club. However the effect of this is compensated by the school agreeing to meet the almost comparable annual cost of clubhouse overheads at Inverleith hitherto paid for by the FP Club in the event of the management of the clubhouse passing to the school.

The discussions on the above were still ongoing when the coronavirus pandemic hit resulting in a record number of school parents advising the school that they could not continue with their boys education at SMC as a consequence of family income being severely affected.

These discussions have now reached something of a conclusion subject to an EGM of the Club.  The FP Council have been guided in their deliberations by the objects of the club, the first line of which reads “The objects of the Club shall be to promote the interests of Daniel Stewart’s and Melville College … “.

Proposed – FP Club

Going forward all those former pupils of the school having paid life memberships will be members of the FP Club without any further cost to them unless they want hard copies of the FP News and correspondence for which, as at present, there will be a fee.

The FP club will no longer have a role in managing operations of the clubhouse. This will pass to the school’s Bursars Office.

The FP Club Council will continue with a President, Vice-President, Hon Secretary and Hon Treasurer.   It is understood that there are willing persons to serve as President and Hon Secretary.

The bulk of the FP Club’s administration going forward will be carried out by the school’s Development Office. Presently the Development Office maintain the Club’s membership database.

The club has accumulated funds of close to £240k.  Investments thro’ Brewin Dolphin had a market value of £218k on 30 June 2020 (cost £200k).  At 31.08.19 the market value was £234k.  The value has fallen significantly and recovered somewhat since coronavirus arrived.

Due to the school being faced with a situation where many boys might have to be withdrawn as their parents could no longer afford the fees it has been suggested that the bulk of the funds in the hands of the FP Club should be made over to the school’s hardship fund so that as many boys as possible be able to continue their education at SMC. The funds transferred would be fully utilised in the next school session, 2020-21.   Until now the FP Club has simply utilised the income arising from investments in the general running costs of club.   The proposal is that the club transfer up to £215k to the school and retain the balance of circa £25k for its own future purposes. It should be noted that the School’s Access to Excellence Bursary Fund is legally prohibited by charity law to access its capital for this purpose.  The income it generates is used already for bursary awards to a limited number of pupils to mitigate their school fees.

Clubhouse

That the management of the clubhouse should transfer to the school and be run out of the bursar’s office retaining (hopefully) the services of key employees who would transfer to the school’s employment should they choose.  Joyce Waterston, t/a AJ Catering is self employed and holds franchise rights from the school to provide catering services to the club and school.

It is proposed that the school meet all the costs of running Inverleith.  Presently the FP Club reimburses the school with a proportion of Inverleith annual overheads relating to the clubhouse.   This is close to the sum presently accruing annually from early payment life subscriptions.

With regard to the user clubs, rugby, cricket and hockey it is intended that the change in management of the clubhouse should appear seamless. It is likely that the Bursar’s Office will confer with a small group formed from the clubhouse user clubs to monitor the workings of the clubhouse and that there has been indeed a seamless transition

A distribution based on bar profits would continue to be made to the user clubs with additionally a small percentage to the FP Club.

All of the above is completely separate from the arrangements each user club has with the school for the use of playing pitches at Inverleith.

All the sports and branch clubs are being advised at this time.   Branch clubs are expected to continue as at present.

END

Cricket Post Lockdown

The lockdown imposed by the Scottish Government  in March ultimately led to competitive league and cup competition in Scotland being abandoned for the season when it became apparent that even 50% of the organised programme would not happen with August 1st being targeted by the cricket authorities for some kind of resumption.

The first difference for the club was lockdown preventing the normal importation of overseas players and coaches to assist the club so that arrangements made with Alex Ranson  (school), Shaylen Pillay (mens/junior cricket) and Hannah Short (womens/junior cricket) and gap student players had to be cancelled.

Eventually the playing of matches against other clubs was permitted from 8th August with “Covid safe” rules introduced meaning no pavilions to be open, no seating around grounds and no spectators allowed with numbers at any match restricted to 28 including players, umpires and scorers, matches played within local areas only and no car sharing on the way to matches. Special match conditions were introduced to encourage social distancing on the field of play.

The mens 1st XI (above) defeated RH Corstorphine on Saturday 5th August

For the 1st XI a programme of Saturday 40 overs a side matches and midweek 16 over a side matches were introduced involving Carlton, Grange, Watsonians, Corstorphine, Heriot’s and ourselves.  That meant no games with Stoneywood-Dyce (Aberdeen), Forfarshire (dUndee), Arbroath and Meigle.

The East of Scotland Cricket Association (“ESCA”) split their 70+ participating teams into pods based on location and ranking so that our 2s, 3s and 4s had games arranged centrally for every Saturday.  In addition the club continued the practice of playing intra club matches both midweek and Sundays open to all seniors and older juniors as well as some midweek external Trojans matches (pretty much involving 3s and 4s players).

A small number of womens cricket matches took place were arranged also in conjunction with our “partner club” Edinburgh South.

From the beginning of July practice nets were allowed for young cricketers subject to pre booking, restricted numbers and limited access to coaches.   While similar practice arrangements were later introduced for senior players the club found it administratively easier and more productive to continue playing intra club matches.

For the senior teams external games started on Tuesday 11th August when the 1st XI played Watsonians at Inverleith 16 overs a side with a 6pm start.  Further “T16” matches followed against Grange (18th August), Heriot’s (20th August), Carlton (1st September).  The wet weather endured mostly post lockdown prevented the match against Corstorphine being played while a deluge brought an early conclusion to the match with Grange.  We were on the wrong side of the result in  the matches with stronger  Heriot’s, Carlton and Watsonian selections.

At the time of writing the final Saturday match with Carlton is a few days off yet.  Grange and Heriot’s and Watsonians were comfortable winners and Corstorphine were defeated.

Each Saturday the club fielded four full teams in senior mens cricket  and on Sundays weather permitting intra club cricket has taken place.   Since the July resumption of practice 97 juniors (75 boys and 22 girls) have taken part in junior club activity while 27 boys and 14 girls have played in senior mens or womens cricket in the period  from 8th August.

The Womens joint team with Edinburgh South (above) defeated Carlton on Sunday 16th August.

Rugby Club – Letter from Finlay Calder

Dear Members and Friends of Stewart’s Melville Rugby Football Club

We are now back in training at Inverleith and numbers are strong with anticipated warm up games against our nearest neighbours Heriots and the Accies set for October.

But whilst Covid remains a threat, Leagues have been scrubbed till September 2021 so we make do within a small local competition with Berwick, Lasswade, Preston Lodge, Peebles and Kirkcaldy. Ten matches in total and if we win, we qualify for the Cup. It’s the best of a bad project but we run with it.

Pre-match lunches may happen but on a limited basis so fund raising opportunities will be very limited.

In light of a much-reduced season we will not be buying kit for the players this year which eases our overheads of course however the Club still needs funds to cover so many other essentials including coaches, physios, medical support, administration costs, Covid protection, Ground rent etc etc and so I write to ask if you would consider sponsoring a player for £200 to keep us going?

I fully appreciate that money is tight but if you can see your way to steer funds our way it would be most welcome. Here’s a deal! If you sponsor a player this year and we don’t play, I won’t put the begging bowl out for next. Can’t be fairer than that!

Further information and payment details are attached.

Thank you in advance.

Finlay

Membership & Sponsor Information

FP Golf – Glasgow v Edinburgh

Post lockdown the Glasgow Branch of the FP Club made arrangements for the resumption of golfing activity with the annual match v Edinburgh at Milngavie Golf Club.

Navigating the route into the golf course tested the map reading abilities of the visitors as much as the course itself. In the event Glasgow were determined as winners of the “Mythical Trophy” once the stableford scores of the participants were determined.

All welcomed something of the return to normality and thanks to Jim Preacher for making the arrangements.

Dougie Morgan

It was with great sadness that the club learned of the death of Dougie Morgan yesterday, Saturday 4th April after a lengthy period of ill health. Elder brother of Alastair and Colin he attended Melville College from 1952 to 1965 being school captain in his last year. On leaving school he continued to play his club rugby at Ferryfield for Melville FPs remaining loyal to the club when others eyed his talents. It was with Melville FP that he won his first cap for the Scotland rugby team in season 1972-73, the last season before the merger with Stewart’s. He went on to win 21 caps for Scotland captaining the side in 1977-78 having won selection for the 1977 British Lions tour of New Zealand playing in two of the four test matches. He was the driving force behind the rugby club’s ascendancy from its initial placing in Division Two of the Scottish Rugby leagues to competing with the leading clubs in the top division. He was a tremendously competitive and inventive scrum half always leading by example, an inspiring captain in the dressing room and an amazing goal kicker frequently winning games or running the opposition close with long range penalty kicks. The Stew Mel sevens team of the day regularly reached the latter stages of Border tournaments culminating in winning the Twickenham Sevens in 1982. After he finished playing he began a distinguished coaching career first with the club, then Edinburgh and subsequently Scotland from 1992 to 1995 and latterly team manager in 2002-03. He was an accomplished cricketer also being 12th man for Scotland in a match v MCC at Lord’s in 1968 (taking a catch when on the field) and in August 1972 he scored 154 not out against Brunswick, an East League record at the time. He was a member of the Royal Burgess Golfing Society and participated in the FP Golf Club’s competitions with the same competitiveness he showed on the rugby field. Throughout his rugby career he practised as a chiropodist from Jenners store in Princes Street. Our sympathies are extended to his wife Doreen, a regular attender at Ferryfield and Inverleith over the years and his family.

End of Month Lunch cancelled

London FP Club Dinner Cancelled

The London FP Club Dinner has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The committee looked at rescheduling the dinner in September but concluded that, in this uncertain climate, they should move on to next year. The date, and venue, for the 2021 dinner has been set for Friday, 19 March in the Caledonian Club.

Big win for 1st XV before lockdown

Saturday 14th March

Stewart’s Melville RFC 45 Newton Stewart 8

In the last game before the SRU prescribed Coronavirus shutdown the 1st XV consolidated their top of table position with a convincing win over visitors Newton Stewart by 45 points to 8. A pretty turgid first-half performance saw Stew Mel lead by only 7-3 at the break playing with the wind behind them after an early try by Willie Malcolm converted by stand-off Euan Bowen.

Willie Malcolm goes through for the 1st try

The second half saw Stew Mel turn up the heat with a succession of tries interrupted only late on by a Newton Stewart try while down to 14 men. No 8 Scott Alldritt, watched by his “other” brother Tom over from France led the way with two tries. With the win secured Stew Mel top the table with 15 league wins to 3 defeats and a total of 71 points ahead of Dumfries 64 points from 18 games and Peebles 64 points from 17 games. Who knows if and when the final four matches will be played.

Scott Alldritt (with scrum cap) gets his 1st try

FP News Online

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