About the Club – A brief history of 40 years

The club had its beginnings on Sunday, October 3 1965, at the house of Ian Armstrong in Gartcows Avenue. This meeting was as a result of newspaper adverts and library posters and it appears that the principal instigator was Robert Stalker.

There were eight prospective members present, including Robert Stalker and Sandy Brown, plus apologies from Mr & Mrs Bryce. The first President was Robert Stalker, Secretary – Sandy Brown, and Ian Armstrong as Treasurer, three of the remaining five were on the Committee.

Its was agreed that meetings should be held fortnightly, on a Thursday in the Temperance Cafe in Lint Riggs and the subscription was to be 10/- plus 1/6d on the night.

Nine were declared to be founder members – the eight plus Robert Bryce.

[Ian Armstrong has a newsagents shop at the East End of Princess Street and supplied FDCs. Sandy Brown was a teacher at the Old Technical School (now Graeme High)].

Among the names I remember who were listed as joining in that first year were John Cousar and Laurie Hawkins and also three lady members – more than we have at present. The Society put on its first public display in Grangemouth Library that year – National Library Week was the occasion. One problem during that first year was that meetings were slow to start. The Society was represented at ASPS Congress at Bridge of Allan that year.

The second year saw the meeting place change to No.40 Glebe Street (7/6d per night) and the introduction of a tea interval. W.W. Clarkson gives a display as a visitor as did Stanley Hunter.

I joined in October 1968 and was joined in 1969 by Bill Clarkson and the late Bill Stoddart. Bill had been a regular visitor giving displays prior to joining.

Premises: Temperance Cafe, Glebe Street, 1970 moved to Erskine Church Hall – a big improvement in comfort, Woodlands High School and then finally to Arnotdale.

Changes: Prompt start, no attendance payment, no smoking, no reading the minutes.

Losses: Ladies nights.

As a Society, we have been very lucky with our Office Bearers. I don’t mean the Presidents, who strut and fret their hour upon the stage and then are heard of no more (though occasionally re-cycled). We have had remarkably few Secretaries, Treasurers and Packet Secretaries over the 40 years.

Secretaries: Sandy Brown, Mike Turnbull, Keith Robinson & Alan Watson have all done stints of 10 years or more.

Treasuers: Ian Armstrong, Cicey Bryce, myself, Jim Young & Ian Burns have all filled that function for long stretches.

I am only aware of two Packet Secretaries – Cicey Bryce and Jean Osbourne. The Society owes a great deal to these stalwarts who have kept things going over the years.

Ian Anderson

16/03/06