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Official Journal of
The Caledonian Club
Belgravia, London
Caprice Yacht Charter
Caprice Yacht Charters catamaran
Curanta Cridhe sailing on Loch Linnhe
with Connel Bridge in the background.
For more details on Caprice Yacht
Charters, see page 2.
2 The Caledonian SPRING 2014

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The Official Journal of
The Caledonian Club
9 Halkin Street, Belgravia
London SW1X 7DR
Ian Ross (Chairman)
Robert Parkhill (Editor)
David Coughtrie
Ian Campbell
Alison Davis
Halo Design
Tel: 020 7333 8712
The Caledonian Club 2014
Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy,
neither The Caledonian Club nor the authors can
accept liability for errors or omissions. Views
expressed in this journal are not necessarily
those of The Caledonian Club. No responsibility
can be accepted for unsolicited manuscripts,
transparencies or photographs. All prices and
information contained in advertisements are
correct at the time of going to press. No part of
this magazine may be reproduced without
written permission from the publisher.
To complete email address, add suffix:
Secretary lan Campbell ic@ 020 7333 8711
Secretarys PA Alison Davis ad@ 020 7333 8712
Accounts Karen Amira finance@ 020 7333 8716
Dee Kelleher dk@ 020 7333 8715
and Catering Abigail Duggan asd@ 020 7201 1508
Bedroom and
Dining bookings Frankie ODonnell reservations@ 020 7235 5162
Chef Michael Garcia chef@ 020 7333 8727
Events Eilidh McCombe events@ 020 7333 8722
Manager Steve Moore sjm@ 020 7333 8713
House Manager David Balden dcb@ 020 7333 8730
Membership Anne Rowland ar@ 020 7333 8714
The Rt Hon The Earl of Dalhousie DL
(In order of appointment)
Alastair C D Stuart CBE
William T McMahon MBE
A Grahame B Young
George M F Gillon
Peter A J Gardiner OBE
Ranald T I Munro TD
Euan Harvie-Watt
David T Coughtrie
David W Guild
James Fairbairn
James H F Gemmell
William E McDermott
Iain L Macdonald TD
Leon G Renwick
Ian Ross
Dr A Ian Schoolar
Rodney R T Smith
Anthony S Westnedge OBE
David L C White
Ars gratia artis
SPRING 2014 The Caledonian 3
Dear Friends and Fellow Members
Some would say that art for arts sake
expresses the idea that visual art should
stand alone and appeal to the eye without
any moral or informative purpose.
However, the recent work researching
and producing The Caledonian Club
Collection has demonstrated the close
relationship between the works of art on
display, individual members over the
years and the history of the Club itself.
his issue of the magazine features the
launch of the history of the Club
through its artwork and it is a
fascinating story. We can see the Courage
and Sacrifice War Memorial and the Roll of
Honour for World War One triptych on the
main staircase but do we stop to think that
this commemorates the ultimate sacrifice by
almost a fifth of our Members between 1914
and 1918? While not primarily a Services Club,
there was a strong military influence at this
time with roughly half of the 1,200 members
in uniform.
Many made a significant contribution to
the war effort, such as Brigadier General Sir
William Alexander who was in charge of
munitions and subsequently aircraft
production. He was also the donor of four of
our most valuable paintings: Through the
Dunes; Turf Loaders, Clonard; The Waif and
The Night of Trafalgar. The well-known rams
head snuff mull in the Hall was gifted to the
Club by JA Milne, Chairman 1920-24 in
memory of his son, a member of the Royal
Flying Corps, shot down and declared
missing in Flanders in 1917.
Other works illustrate the history of the
Club, such as the watercolour of the previous
Clubhouse in St Jamess Square where, before
the Second World War, John Logie Baird
gave a private demonstration of his new
television system to the Prince of Wales. The
Thomson Vase, on permanent display from
the Burns Club of London, was presented to
the publisher George Thomson in 1846 as a
tribute for his invaluable effort in saving 120
of Burnss songs. Other works present a
mystery! The Waller Hugh Paton painting in
the Library, used as the cover illustration of
The Collection, is a composite of views of
Skye rather than from a single viewpoint.
The Caledonian Club Collection was
produced with the assistance of the Clubs
Common Good Fund and the generous
support of Lyon & Turnbull, the Scottish
Auctioneers, who worked closely with the
Editor and the Clubs Art & Artefacts Advisory
Group in its design and production. The book
can be obtained by making a donation to the
Common Good Fund, so contributing to the
upkeep of the Clubs premises and its contents.
Over the next four years, a number of
special events will be held to commemorate
WWI, some of which will be in conjunction
with the Imperial War Museum. We are
extremely fortunate that Professor Sir Hew
Strachan, who recently appeared on BBC
television, in both Sir Max Hastings and Niall
Fergusons differing perspectives on WWI, will
give the Caledonian Lecture on 14 October
2014. The title will be Hamilton, Haig and
Haldane: more mystery to be revealed!
Yours aye,
David Coughtrie
The Clubs House
Book Launch
The Club Remembers
Photo gallery
of recent events
A memorable Burns
More Burns Suppers
Lunch and presentation
Reports from the Clubs
Scots in Russia
Forthcoming events
For your diary
The book can be
obtained by making a
donation to the Common
Good Fund, so contributing
to the upkeep of the Clubs
premises and its contents.
4 The Caledonian SPRING 2014
Welcome to the Club!
In 2014, 93 new Members joined, including the Members featured below
Serena Borges
Serena was
born in
Australia but
lived abroad
as a child
coming to the
UK where she worked first for the
South Korean embassy in London
and later for a travel company. Her
main hobby is picture framing and
she also enjoys adventurous travel,
exhibitions, and foreign films. She
has two sons who live in Bristol
and London.
Graeme J Clark
Born in
Glasgow and
married with
three children,
Graeme is a
graduate of
and works in investment banking.
Being an avid fan of all things
Scottish, in particular Scottish links
courses, he looks forward to
socialising with fellow members
through the Clubs various groups,
societies, events and bar.
Iain M Lanaghan
Iain has been
director of a
number of
First Group
plc, Faroe
Petroleum plc and private equity-
backed companies. He is
co-founder and chairman of MET
plc, the transport group which has
grown from a start-up to 30m
turnover in three years. He
qualified as a chartered accountant
with KPMG in London, but now
lives in Aberdeen. He is married
with two children at university. His
hobbies include classical music,
wine, travel and high handicap golf.
Tristan Leaver
Born and
raised in
Tristan was
schooled at
College and
then Essex University. He works for
BBC Worldwide, having spent twenty
years in digital business roles at
media companies, including The
Guardian and The Wall Street
Journal. Living in London but
travelling frequently, he enjoys hill
walking, running, cycling and theatre.
Alessandro P Maiano
Philip Maiano,
a young
and corporate
solicitor, is the
co-founder of
Wilbe, an
accelerator for innovative technology
ventures. Born in Milan, he graduated
in Law at Kent & Canterbury
University and for the last twelve
years has been based in England.
He is developing his business and
cultural interests in Scotland and
has an enthusiasm for all things
Scottish that he wishes to enhance
through membership of the Club.
Amanda Nicholson
Amanda was
born in
Scotland and
trained as a
social worker
at Trinity
Dublin, later
reading English at Oxford. The
proprietor of a Buckinghamshire
farm, she was a magistrate for 32 years
before becoming High Sheriff of the
county. She was Branch President
of the British Red Cross and is now
a National Trustee. A published
novelist, Amanda and husband John,
have three adult children.
Julian Radford
Julian has lived
in London for
13 years and
has travelled
He studied
business and
finance at
Bournemouth University and works
in a privately owned property
company in Central London. Julian
has a passion for luxury English
Suiting fabrics and exports them
globally. He has a keen interest in
fine art and vintage cars and has a
close empathy with Scotland.
Yvonne Rowe
Yvonne was
born and
raised in
After leaving
school, she
studied for an
degree in French literature in Paris,
at the University of Londons French
campus. She undertook postgraduate
study in Speech and Language
Therapy at City University London
and qualified in 2013. Yvonne
specialises in paediatrics, working
with children who have
developmental speech, language
and communication difficulties.
David M Scott
David Scott is
Director of
Group. He has
returned to London with his wife
Marion after 30 years living in both
Hong Kong and New York. He was in
Manhattan on 9/11 and worked at
Ground Zero during the aftermath.
His design work includes the Hong
Kong and Shanghai Bank and Hong
Kong International Airport and
many tall buildings throughout the
world. He became chairman of the
Council on Tall Buildings and
Urban Habitat from 2006 to 2009,
and was made a Fellow of the Royal
Society of Edinburgh in 2009.
Simon Till
born and bred
in England,
Simon is
through his
mothers side
while his
grandfather was a member of The
Club for many years. Simon lives in
Wimbledon and works in marketing
for a mobile network operator.
Hobbies include red wine, whisky
and swimming (although not
mixed together!).
Since Winter issue:
James W E Allday
Frank Banks
Michael John Beveridge
Guttorm Bentsen
Serena Borges
Graeme J Clark
Duncan J T Farr
James O A Fraser
Ivor Paul Gerber
Allan McPhail Gillespie
Elizabeth Hough
Iain M Lanaghan
Tristan Leaver
David James Lindsay
Alessandro P Maiano
Michelle R Mullen
Craig M Murphy
Olivia OCarroll
Edward J Pollock
Julian G S Radford
Alan M Rind
John H Rittenhouse
Yvonne F Rowe
David M Scott
Karl-Heinz A Seibert
John A Shearer
Sir John D Spurling
Campbell MacLean Steedman
Simon Till
Michel Tremel
Orla N Walsh
James R Wilson
Stella Earnshaw
Richard N Macfarlane
Richard C Bilborough
Peter McGregor
SPRING 2014 The Caledonian 5
House Committee
This is the second in our series of articles describing
the work of the various Club committees and the
departments they supervise.
he House Committee
was re-established as a
standing committee in
2012, with the specific
objective of examining how the
Club meets membership needs and
demands. Since then, a number of
initiatives have been introduced
and practices tweaked. Two of the
initiatives are the online Dining
Room booking system and
residents surveys.
Ian Ross is the Chairman of
House, ably assisted by Peter Haigh,
Euan Harvie-Watt, Fraser Kirkcaldy,
Mitchell Leimon, Jock Meikle, Hilary
Reid Evans and David White. They
are supported by the Secretary,
Ian Campbell and House Manager
David Balden. The term House
applies to the whole of the Club, as
demonstrated by two very different
projects completed within the last
few months. The first, very evident,
was the refurbishment of the Selkirk
Room (below), the other being the
complete refurbishment of the main
Pot Wash in the basement. Both
areas are vital to the Clubs operation.
The Selkirk Room, one of the
most popular private dining rooms,
was last completely refurbished over
20 years ago and after hosting a wide
variety of events over the years was
well overdue a makeover even
years after the smoking ban was
introduced, the effects of tobacco
smoke were still apparent. As the
room was so popular, it was felt that
we should not transform it, but try
to preserve the colours and fabrics
that had served so well. Work got
under way to find a replacement
carpet which would harmonise with
the design of the ceiling as well as
sourcing the same panel fabric
not an easy task after 20 years! With
a budget of 25,000, everything was
in place for the works to be done
over the Christmas break and on
our return we found a sparkling
new room ready for another 20
years of Caledonian parties.
The work re-opened bang on
time to much acclaim and was
largely made possible by the support
of The Caledonian Club Members
Common Good Fund.
The Committee also deals with
the less glamorous side of life
ensuring health and safety standards
and food safety regulations are met.
An example of this was the work
done in the Pot Wash which is a
critical part of the back-of-house
operations. This was fitted with a
new floor and redecorated to
ensure compliance with the criteria
superintended by our health and
safety consultants, Food Alert.
Kitchen Porters, Rui Jorge De
Sousa Racha and Phillipe Begotti,
(pictured left) are delighted with
the outcome.
L-r: David Balden, David White, Hilary Reid Evans, Jock Meikle,
Ian MacLeod, Peter Haigh and Dr Mitchell Leimon.
Chairman, Ian Ross and Euan Harvie-Watt not pictured
The Clubs Collection
6 The Caledonian SPRING 2014
The Caledonian Club Collection
book was launched at a
reception on 19 February and
is a beautifully presented record
of works of art that adorn the
rooms of our clubhouse.
he Caledonian Club Collection includes
a history of the Club from its formation
in 1891, including the move to Halkin
Street in 1946 and up to the present day.
The idea to produce the book came from
our Chairman, David Coughtrie, and due to
his enthusiasm and support the project was
realised. The secretariat is owed a big thank
you. Editor Jan Coughtrie put an immense
amount of time and effort into researching
the works and the story behind them.
Printing was generously supported by
Lyon and Turnbull and, in particular, John
Mackie unstintingly gave his time and
expertise in the design and production. Ian
Burrell patiently managed liaison between
the Club and Lyon and Turnbull.
Judith Miller, of the Antiques Roadshow,
gave a captivating talk on the rams head snuff
mull, donated to the Club by JA Milne,
Chairman from 1927-1932. She also gave us a
fascinating glimpse into the history of
Mauchline Ware and entertained us with
amusing, behind-the-scenes anecdotes about
the Antiques Roadshow.
Alasdair Nichol from Freemans of
Philadelphia, Lyon & Turnbulls American
associates, spoke about the picture, Curling on
Duddingston Loch, and Emily Johnston of
Lyon and Turnbull introduced a painting of
Iona by Cadell, displayed temporarily in the
Drawing Room.
The book was financed by a donation
from the Common Good Fund, whose
objective is to preserve and enhance the Clubs
premises, art and artefacts. The book can be
acquired by making a donation to the Fund.
Twenty pounds is the suggested amount but
you may decide to be more generous.
Contributions to the Fund, by donation, gift of
an art work or a legacy are a positive way to
ensure that future generations can continue to
enjoy the very special atmosphere of our Club.
Andrew Ferguson
Chairman, Art and Artefacts Advisory Group
This splendid publication
is a history of the
Club through its collection
of art and artefacts.
Copies of the book are
available at Reception, in
exchange for donations to
The Caledonian Club
Common Good Fund
Below left: Judith Miller
from the BBCs Antiques
Roadshow chats to guests
Below: Editor Jan Coughtrie
signing a copy of the book
Chairman David Coughtrie hosted a thank you dinner after the launch
SPRING 2014 The Caledonian 7
Bronzed metal cast from a model by Charles Pilkington Jackson c1964
This equestrian statue is a small-scale model of the bronze
sculpture erected at the site of the Battle of Bannockburn and
unveiled by The Queen in 1964. It commemorates Bruces
power and glory, the result of his famous victory in 1314 over
the English army led by Edward II. Pilkington Jackson originally
intended that the statues face would be covered but after careful
research he decided to use facial reconstructions of Bruces skull to
create an accurate image of the man. In 1818 Bruces body had
been discovered in a vault at Dunfermline Abbey and the
following year a plaster cast of the detached skull was made by
the artist William Scoular. The weapons and armour are accurate
but the heraldic surcoat shows the floral-headed guard chain used to fix the body
armour, which is artistic licence as it would not have been visible. The horse trappings
are decorated with the Royal Standard of Scotland. The Bannockburn monument, the
pinnacle of the sculptors career, has become the standard image of Robert the Bruce.
Jan Coughtrie, Editor, The Caledonian Club Collection
Ruth Macdonald and Malcom & Sarah Noble
Emily Johnston, Fine Paintings Consultant, from Lyon
& Turnbull spoke on the painting of Iona by FCB Cadell
from the exhibition in the Drawing Room
Judith Miller and Paul Roberts, Vice Chairman of
Lyon & Turnbull
David White and Peter & Sally Haigh
Lyon & Turnbull mounted an exhibition of Scottish Fine
Art in the Drawing Room to coincide with the launch
of The Caledonian Club Collection. The sale of these and
other works will take place in Edinburgh on 22 May,
entitled Scottish Paintings & Sculpture
A few words from David Coughtrie
David Coughtrie Colin Clark and Andrew Ferguson
Alasdair Nichol, Vice President of Freemans and
John Mackie, Creative Director, Lyon & Turnbull
Members and guests enjoying the evening
Alison Davis and Eilidh McCombe collect donations for
the Common Good Fund in return for a copy of the book
The Club and its Members in WWI
Modern technology has brought more information and revelations about the conduct of the First World War and of the
many who made the ultimate sacrifice during its four long bloody years.
s we approach the one hundredth
anniversary of its beginning in 1914,
articles in newspapers and magazines,
together with programmes on television and
radio have brought home the effect that this war
had on this country and the wider world.
However, we still have much to learn of how
this affected the way that our Club developed
and in the role played by past Members.
Although The Caledonian
Club was founded in 1891 by
Neville Campbell as a proprietary
club, it was in 1917 that the next
owner died and the approach by
members to purchase the Club
was spearheaded by John Stewart-
Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine
(left), who served as Chairman
from 1908 to 1919. He had served
in the Royal Horse Guards and
took part in Kitcheners
expedition to the Sudan, fighting
at the battle of Khartoum. He was elected
Member of Parliament for West Perthshire in
the 1910 General Election and served as an MP
until 1917 when on the death of his father he
took his seat in the House of Lords as the 8th
Duke of Atholl.
Although the club was not strictly a Services
Club there was a strong military influence, sadly
reflected by the number lost in the Great War. At
the outset of the War the Club had just over
twelve hundred members with roughly half
serving in the Forces. Tragically the names of
two hundred and ten serving officers are listed
as killed in action on the Club War Memorial
mounted on the wall of the main staircase.
A Club Member who made an outstanding
contribution to the conduct of the First World War
was Brigadier General Sir William Alexander KBE
CB CMG DSO TD (below), who joined in 1935. He
was also an outstanding benefactor to the Club
and donated four paintings. The two in the Stuart
Room, Through the Dunes and Turf Leaders,
Clonard, are the most valuable in the Clubs
collection. The other
paintings are The
Waif and The Night
of Trafalgar.
Sir William,
born in Glasgow,
was educated at
Kelvinside Academy,
Glasgow University
and in Germany,
where he specialised
in chemistry and
engineering. From 1899 until WW1 he served as
a Captain in the 6th battalion of the Black
Watch, Territorial Force. At the outbreak of war
he volunteered age 40 and served in France
from 1915 with the Black Watch as part of the
51st (Highland) Division. He was involved in
severe fighting and was promoted to Major in
the field, awarded a DSO and the Legion
dHonneur for distinguished service.
Because of his specialist knowledge of
chemicals Alexander was recalled from France in
1916 to become Director of Administration at
the National Explosive Factories. He brought them
to a state of efficient production in a remarkably
short space of time. Now a Lt Col, he was
transferred in1917 to the Aircraft Supply and
Production Department, Ministry of Munitions
as Controller and raised output of aeroplanes
from two hundred to a peak of four thousand per
month, complete with all requirements in aero
engines, accessories and spares. Alexander was
awarded the CMG in 1918 and the CB in 1919.
He was promoted to Brigadier General and was
appointed to the Air Council also in 1919.
The Clubs snuff
mull (below) was
donated by JA Milne
(left), Chairman
from 1920-24 and
again from 1927-32,
in memory of his son, Captain Johnnie Milne of
the Royal Flying Corps, who was shot down and
declared missing in action in Flanders in May 1917.
As Chairman, Milne said in his speech to fellow
Club members in 1923 at the unveiling of the Club
Memorial most of us have lost valued friends, some
of us, beloved relatives. In his case the latter was
certainly true and this mull bears testament to
his strength of feeling.
David Coughtrie
A small advisory group of Andrew Ferguson,
Iain Macdonald, John MacAskill, Mark Bradley,
David Coughtrie and Ian Campbell has been
set up to plan appropriate events over the
next four years. These will focus on the various
theatres of war, significant land and sea
battles across Europe and the Middle East in
order to relate the timing of events to the
unfolding of the war.
The Caledonian
Lecture on the Scots
involvement in WWI will
be given on 14 October
2014 by Professor
Sir Hew Strachan (right),
the Chichele Professor
of the History of War and a Fellow of All Souls
College at Oxford University. He is the author
of several highly regarded books on military
history, including The First World War based
on the television series of the same name. Sir
Hew recently appeared in two BBC television
programmes about the First World War,
The Necessary War with Sir Max Hastings and
The Pity of War with Professor Niall Ferguson.
Such a record is most eloquent testimony
to the spontaneous devotion with which
the gentlemen of Scotland, as represented
in this Club, did their duty in the War.
Field-Marshall Earl Haig
Left: The names of the
men who died during the
Great War of 1914-18,
together with their
regiments are inscribed
on the triptych on the
wall of the main
staircase. It was
illuminated by Miss
Jessie Bayes and has at
the base the adage,
Scotland for Ever
Right: The Memorial by
Sir Edgar Bertram
McKennal KCVO RA, now
standing on the main
staircase in Halkin
Street, was unveiled by
Field Marshal Earl Haig,
a Vice President of the
Caledonian Club, in the
Clubs previous home in
St Jamess Square on
26 July 1923
IN FOCUS: The Clubs Military Members during WWI
8 The Caledonian SPRING 2014






Deslgners ano Suppllers ot tbe
Caleoonlan Club Tartan
Hlgblano Dress Servlce avallable
at tbe Club
Tbls servlce ls on two consecutlve
oays every montb, tbe rst
Weonesoay trom 2pm to 8pm
ano tbe rst
Tbursoay trom 9.30am to 4pm
Please pbone or e-mall us to arrange
your appolntment
Kinloch Anderson Ltd
Commercial Street/Dock Street
Leith, Ldinburgh, LH6 6LY
1el: 0J3J SSS J390
WINE TASTING The Club Sits in Judgement
Winter and spring saw Members and their
guests enjoy a wide variety of highly entertaining
social events at the Club
Hilary Reid Evans looks on as Ed Salazar join the Secretary in a spot of tasting L-r: Yvonne Rowe, Hector Falconer, Ruth Macdonald, Alun Evans and Tom Adamson
Number 9 Lunches
Above: The Secretary of State addresses
the Society in February this year
Left (l-r): Ian Campbell, The Rt Hon Alastair
Carmichael MP and Anthony Westnedge
Above (l-r): John Flynn, Donald Lamont, Anthony Westnedge,
John Everard and Stuart Thom at the March lunch
Left: Brazilian Ambassador HE Roberto Jaguaribe and
Member Juan Urdaneta at the December lunch
L-r: Gillian Waddell, Janet Graham, Irene Hinshelwood,
Morag McWhirter and Mina Oundjian
Professor Alan Rodger and David Salter
25Year Lunch
10 The Caledonian SPRING 2014
On Tuesday 25 February over 40 members and guests sat in judgement on a matter of grave concern which wines are best, those of the Old World
(in this case France) or the New (the USA)? With Club Secretary Ian Campbell adjudicating and Club members Ed Salazar and Hilary Reid Evans defending
the reputations of the USA and France respectively, those attending were treated to a tasting of twelve wines, with each wine selected for its particular
characteristics. The wines were served in six pairs, each pair featuring the same grape variety or blend. Each wine was scored out of 10 points, and , at
the end of the evening and provoking much debate, attendees were asked to summarise their scores and to vote on their preferred country which
was, by a narrow margin France. So, in Club wine terms at least, the Auld Alliance lives on. All of the French wines served are currently available on
the Club Wine list and a selection of the Californians have been added. A further wine tasting is planned for the autumn. Hilary Reid Evans
Golfing Society
while Alex Knox tries to sink one at the first hole
Halfway house for a glass of Kummel at the Social Evening
SPRING 2014 The Caledonian 11
Above: Members enjoy a festive feast
Right (l-r): Jock Meikle, Norman Jackson and Stuart Lait
address the haggis in English, French and 'gobbledygook', in anticipation
of a new EU directive on addressing a haggis!
Christmas Pantomime 2013: the children pose with Santa after receiving their gifts
Alba Lunch Society visited the Royal School of Needlework, Hampton Court Palace
James Baillieu, Laura Kelly
and Jonathan McGovern
at the March
Musical Evening
Burns Supper 2014
L-r: Sandra Smith, David Coughtrie, Jenny Lee, Sheila Stewart, James Fairbairn, Jennifer Orr, Charlie Stewart,
Rachel Hanretty, Tom McNab, Bethany Yeaman and Pipe Major Ian King
Rachel Hanretty replied on behalf of the Lassies
Tom McNab proposed the Toast to the Lassies
ur main speaker at the Clubs 2014 Burns
night on 24 January was Dr Jennifer Orr,
originally from Northern Ireland, where
Burns is held in high regard. Jennifer helped us
explore the feminine in Burns with particular
reference to his ability to write from a womans
point of view. This quality was well illustrated by
recitations by actress Jenny Lee, perhaps best
known for her role in the TV series Monarch of
the Glen, who gave us the coquettish Last May a
braw wooer cam doon the lang glen and the
tender John Anderson; and songs from Bethany
Yeaman, Ye banks and braes, O Whistle and I
will come to you my lad and the bawdy version
of John Anderson found in the Merry Muses of
Caledonia which was suppressed for the best
part of 170 years after Burns died in 1796.
Tom McNab, a former Scottish triple jump
champion and technical director of the athletic
scenes in Chariots of Fire, gave us a highly
original take on the toast to the lassies by tracing
the development of womens participation in
the Olympics from zero in 1896 to 47% in 2012.
It was left to Club member Rachel Hanretty to
round off the evening with a superb riposte to
Tom. Pipe Major Ian King had opened the
evening with a medley of relevant tunes to some
of which the audience was soon singing along,
warming up for later rousing renditions of The
Star and Auld Lang Syne, for which Sandra Smith
provided her usual firm piano accompaniment.
For his first time in culinary charge of the
Burns Supper,
Head Chef
Michael Garcia
created a new
Timbale of White & Brown Crab, Lobster &
Cured Scottish Salmon. Haggis was the main
course for the first time for several years and
two beasts were hilariously addressed by
Charlie Stewart in the Members Dining Room
and Andrew Fox in the Stuart Room. David
Coughtrie the Club Chairman presided over
dinner in the MDR with Bill McDermott and
Jonathan Sayers chairing, respectively, the
Stuart and Selkirk Rooms.
Burns continues to provide a focal point
for high quality dining and entertainment at
the Club and plans are well afoot for 2015.
These elements attract over 200 members and
guests each year which stretches resources to
the limit. We will be looking at how to provide
greater comfort, especially during the
Ongauns, which may mean we have to work
with a lower number.
James Fairbairn
Burns Committee
Jenny Lee
a recitation
12 The Caledonian SPRING 2014
SPRING 2014 The Caledonian 13
Joe Hendry addressed the haggis in the Stuart Room
David Coughtrie and Rachel Hanretty
James Fairbairn, MC for the evening
Stephen & Lindsay Arthurell and Ann & Nigel Wright
Tim & Maggie Paterson-Brown
Bethany Yeaman
Willie Ford and Fay Callum
Gillian Steer and Jonathan Sayers
Liz & Andrew Ferguson and Valerie & Dr Ian Galbraith
Charlie Stewart addresses the haggis in the Members'
Dining Room, while Pipe Major Ian King looks on
Left: Head Chef,
Michael Garcia and Sous
Chef, Mick Sullivan
Janet Graham and Jeffrey Maccabe
Maitland Ford and Jax & Peter Cary-Elwes
Jennifer Orr
proposed the
Kitchin in the kitchen
Say Speyside Glenlivet
to most people and
they would immediately
think of single malt
whisky. However, there is
also a mineral water of
the same name whose
proprietors laid on a
lighter Burns Supper
when Michelin Star chef,
Tom Kitchin (below right)
prepared a meal for The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. The food was
superb and Members will be interested in Toms take on haggis which was
coated in breadcrumbs and served
with pickled neeps. The Clubs Head
Chef Michael Garcia (below left)
supported Toms team and
thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
uring the season which
runs from the second week
in January through to the
end of February, we host over 30
Burns Suppers.
The format of a Burns Supper
varies tremendously, from those that
incorporate a ceilidh to those that
adhere to the more traditional format
as observed by the Club: there appear
to be no rights or wrongs. However
the Club was fascinated by the Burns
Supper arranged by the marketing
agency Steely Fox for Monkey
Shoulder whisky which followed a
Simpsons theme from the popular
cartoon series. Guests were invited
by Smithers, assistant to Mr Burns
who, rather than being a poet, is the
owner of the Springfield Nuclear
Plant in the Simpsons home town.
We werent privy to the actual
proceedings, but the photos should
give a flavour of the event.
The Club is justly known for putting on the best Burns Supper in town. However, our own Supper isnt the only one.
What is amazing is the number and variety of organisations that use the Club to celebrate the Bards memory.
A natural home for the Bard
The Caledonian Societys
Early Burns Night
In its 177th year the
Society held a
memorable sell out
Early Burns Night at
the Club on 16th
January. 148 members
and guests enjoyed a
superbly entertaining
Immortal Memory by
Professor David Purdie
(below), surely the
most prominent Burns
speaker in the land.
The Toast to the Lassies and response, along with
other excellent recitations including a specially
composed ode to a dram in the Doric, were given by
other Society Members.
Club Member Jock Meikle is President of
the Society for the 2013/14 session.
The Society holds six Dinners per annum
with eminent speakers at the top of their
profession. To find out more about the
Society please contact Richard Robinson,
Hon Secretary, Caledonian Society of London:
Tel: 07976 630385 or email:
Shoulder whisky
celebrate their
Burns Supper at
the Club with a
less traditional
Simpsons theme
L-r: Cran White, David White, Stuart Licudi, Jock Meikle,
Hector Davidson, Mhairi Purdie, James Fairbairn,
Hilary Reid Evans and David Coughtrie
14 The Caledonian SPRING 2014
SPRING 2014 The Caledonian 15
The sun always shines on the righteous
Club Membership
on the increase
In the last edition of The Caledonian,
we described the work of the
Membership Committee in recruiting
new members. Here, we expand on
that earlier article.
n 2010, as part of the 5 year business plan, it
was agreed that the Club should aim to reach a
membership of 1400 in 2015 currently 1240.
This target was always going to be challenging,
bearing in mind that we were going through an
economic recession, but we have made good
progress, recruiting an average of 100 new members
each year. This of course has to be set against the
loss of members through natural wastage.
The effect of the increases can be seen already.
There is an increase in the buzz around the Club:
all our major events are sell outs, new Societies
have been formed in Arts, Wine and Books.
In addition, there is an effect on subscriptions,
with the annual increases during past 4 years
being held at around half that of the RPI rate of
inflation. There has also been a significant
increase in our Younger Members Group, which
all adds to the lively ambience of the Club.
We like to catch em young. We are entering
into a dialogue with Scottish schools and
universities and are building a programme of
regular visits to 6th forms to tell them about our
Club. We are hoping to involve members who are
alumni of these schools to help with this project.
There are visits to Loretto, Glenalmond and Fettes
due in the coming months, with others to follow.
At the beginning of March, we held our first
Open Evening of the year and I am pleased to
say that 21 members brought 27 potential
candidates to meet committee members and to
be shown around the Club.
It is very gratifying to see our membership
responding in this way, and thanks to you all
including those who propose new members
outside of the Open Evenings.
On average, 65% of our new Members are
proposed by existing Members, 25% arrive via our
website with the balance from other sources.
Clearly our own members are our greatest asset,
and our best insurance that new members continue
to meet your standards for membership.
We are now at a point, with resignation levels
looking like being the lowest for some years, where
a very good year this year would put us in a
position to reach our target in 2015. Alternatively,
if only one in ten of our membership recruited one
new member during this year, we should be in a
position to reach our target. So this is our challenge
as a club, and to paraphrase a recruitment poster
from 100 years ago, Your Club Needs You.
WE McDermott, Chairman, Membership Committee
SPOTLIGHT ON: Waverley Lunch
Robert Scoines
Robert is the longest-serving member of staff,
having joined aged 18. Robert is regularly seen
around the Club in his role as House Porter moving
large quantities of bed linen and water bottles
between the basement and the bedrooms.
When he is not keeping the Club spick
and span, Robert likes to visit the cinema
regularly, Bond films being a particular
favourite. His other passion is music
and he likes to listen to many bands,
including Pink Floyd. In fact he could
name any band line-up from the 70s.
A little known fact and not too often
observed, we hope, is his wonderful
impressions of Members and staff!
However, he is best known for
diligently keeping the brasses clean
on the front door.
Michael Sullivan
Before joining the Club, Mick (below left) held positions
in a number of leading kitchens in Australia and in
London, including The Farmers and Carlton. Mick is
now Head Banqueting Chef, a tremendous steady
hand in the kitchen supporting Michael Garcia.
They make a great team with wide knowledge of
the Club and its Members.
When he is not toiling in the kitchen Mick can
be found cheering on his beloved Arsenal, being a
season ticket holder for 22 years. He also enjoys
cycling although from recent appearances he seems
to be of the fair weather variety but this may be
because he recently moved further from the Club.
Matthew McCluskey
Most days Matthew can be found stationed outside
the Club where he is on hand to greet the many
visitors. In fact, you may even spot the odd tourist
wishing to have a photograph taken with him, looking
resplendent in his kilt! Having travelled from his home
in Easterhouse, Glasgow he first joined the banqueting
staff before becoming Wine Steward in 2000. After a
spell as Assistant Banqueting Manager, Matthew
realised his forte was giving our Members and guests
a warm Scottish welcome upon arrival so he took on
the role of Head Hall Porter where he has become a
familiar face to those who walk through the doors
of No 9. We receive many letters and emails praising
Matthews helpful manner and he has a wonderful
rapport with the Members.
In his spare time Matthew likes to spend time
exploring London with his fiance Alison and we
believe this is primarily in search of fine ale houses!
As many Members will know, he is a long time Rangers
fan, remaining loyal despite recent difficulties and
much ribbing.
Michele Bortolino
Michele has been a key member of the waiting team
in the Members Dining Room since 1994. He was
born in Naples in Italy before coming to the UK in
1972 and working as a waiter in the Lake District. He
then moved to London with his wife Heather where
he continued his waiting career at many of the citys
top restaurants before joining the Club.
Michele and Heather, who have been married for
40 years, live in Stoke Newington and have two grown
up children, Marcello, who owns a graphic design
business and Marco who works for a law firm. Micheles
interests include reading, gardening and following
Napoli, who at this rate will never meet Rangers!
L-r: Alan Berry-Robinson, James Fairbairn,
Colin Wilson and Isobel Buchanan
Alastair Buchanan and Colin Wilson Judy Entress, Anthony Westnedge and Isobel Buchanan
Colin Buchanan remembered
After a successful appeal to Members for funds to mark the late Colin Buchanans service
to the Club, a scale model of the paddle steamer Waverley, one of his passionate
interests, was unveiled at a splendid commemorative lunch on 15th January,
attended by his wife Isobel, son Alastair and daughter Judy.
Long service
This year we say congratulations and thank
you to four loyal members of the staff who
have completed 90 years service between
them. Their hard work and dedication has
undoubtedly contributed to the success of the
Club over the years and this will be recognised
at a staff event to be held in the Summer.
olin was Vice Chairman, Chairman,
Vice President of the Club and latterly
Chairman of the Number 9 Society.
The Lunch was a poignant occasion given that the
driving force behind the appeal was the late Alex
Wilson, also a Vice President of the Club and a
dear friend of Colin. However, Alex had known
that the target figure had been met and that
construction of the model was well under way.
Although Alex had not been able to see the finished
article the family connection was maintained as
his son Colin was present at the lunch.
Isobel Buchanan acknowledged the
magnificent support of Members to the appeal
and traced Colins love for the Waverley back to
its launch in 1947, which Colin had witnessed on
the banks of the Clyde. The previous Waverley
had been sunk at Dunkirk and by coincidence its
replacement was launched in the same year that
the Club moved into Halkin Street.
The finely-executed, scale model sat proudly
in front of the top table and was eventually
placed in dry dock in the display cabinet on the
ground floor, appropriately below a select
grouping of the Mauchlineware, donated by Alex
Wilson. It was particularly pleasing to have the
model maker, Alan Berry-Robinson, present and
in later conversation he revealed that the model
of the Waverley is built of sycamore, the wood
also used in the manufacture of Mauchlineware.
The PS Waverley is a familiar sight along the
River Clyde during the summer months, once more
taking day trippers doon the watter to resorts
such as Dunoon, Rothesay, Largs and Brodick.
David Coughtrie and
Isobel Buchanan
16 The Caledonian SPRING 2014
L-r: Matthew McCluskey, Robert Scoines
and Michele Bortolino
SPRING 2014 The Caledonian 17
Coming up
A recent innovation to our programmes has been
our collaboration with the Classical Opera Company
founded in 1977 by conductor Ian Page. The COC
has attracted considerable critical and public acclaim,
not only for the high quality of its performances but
also for its ability to discover outstanding young
singers. An associate artist scheme was launched in
2006 to nurture and showcase exceptional young
singers. So far, two Company singers have performed
for us: Laura Kelly (mezzo-soprano), has appeared
twice and Jonathan McGovern (baritone) on 19
March 2014. The Society is grateful for the
association with Classical Opera and a Gala concert
is scheduled for 24th March 2015.
Before Jonathan sang in March, Eugenia
Startseva, piano, started our year with consummate
interpretations of Beethoven, Chopin and Prokofiev.
Our 90th concert on 29 April will be
a Gala (black tie and champagne
reception) when we will be entertained
by the Fujita Sisters playing
Mendelssohns piano trios Op49 and 66.
After the summer break, Ivana
Gavric (right) makes a welcome return
on 23 September, with Greig piano
works from her recent recording,
Everything Glows with Affection.
Jane Ng (violin) returns on 2nd
October 2014 playing Schubert,
Sibelius, Ravel and a composition of
her own.
Albert Cowie, Chairman, Music Society
Racing ahead
The Racing Society approaches the 2014 Flat
Racing Season in a healthy and optimistic state.
A successful season on the track in 2013 saw the
Societys horse, Sharp And Smart, win twice from
nine starts. She took Members to races at the top
tracks including Ascot (twice), Epsom and
Goodwood and included a gallant 4th place in a
valuable race at the Curragh.
Once again our events and race days at
Windsor, Newbury and Goodwood were well
attended with a record turnout of 64 attending
the Annual Dinner in November. Membership
now stands at 76. The Racing Society is open to
all Members of the Club and we are always eager
to hear from people wishing to join.
The events planned for 2014 are still to be
finalised. However they will include for the first time
a private box at Ascot on 10 May for the Victoria
Cup Day. In addition we will have the usual race
days at Newbury, Windsor and Goodwood.
The AGM and Dinner for Society Members
was held on Thursday, 10 April.
Syndicate 15 runs until the end of September
2014. As Sharp And Smart has now been retired to
stud, the Trustees are in the process of acquiring a
horse to race for the 2014 season under Syndicate
15. Once again we will be looking for a proven
performer that we think can progress to a higher
level. An announcement will be made soon.
The process for Syndicate 16 will begin later in
the year and further details of the share subscription
will be sent out to Members prior to October 2014.
Alec Moir, Chairman, Racing Society
The next Arts Group
Evening will be on
Thursday 8 May
2014, when the
speaker will be Ian
Gow(right), Chief
Curator Emeritus of
the National Trust for Scotland.
uring the evening Ian will look back at
his curatorial work for the Trust on the
interiors of Trust properties. The event
will follow the usual format of a reception, followed
by an illustrated talk, with the opportunity to
question the speaker afterwards. For those who
wish to stay on, supper will be provided. More
information will be publicised within the Club and
circulated to Club Members over the coming weeks.
The Arts Group is organising a Club
Members Art Exhibition, to be held in July
2014. If you engage in art in any way (eg,
drawing, painting, photography) and would be
interested in taking part in the exhibition
please contact, or the Club
Secretariat for further information.
Other Arts Group events and outings
continue to be planned and discussed by the
Arts Group Committee. The cultural scenes in
London and Scotland clearly offer extensive
opportunities for exploration. The broad aim of
the Committee is to seek ways of enhancing
opportunities Club members already have to
enjoy and appreciate the arts.
Edmund Gordon, Chairman, Arts Group
First Evening of the year
Paul Brocklehurst with
Sharp and Smart
at the Curragh
On 14 January, having read Kirsty
Gunns novel The Big Music, members of
the Book Club enjoyed a fascinating talk
by the Clubs own Pipe Major Ian King
on the subject of the piobaireachd.
he format of The Big Music is based on
the structure and themes of this
traditional form of pipe music, which
has been likened to a sonata. For those who are
interested, our own Club Library contains some
fascinating original piobaireachd music.
Talking of the Library: fired by their
enthusiasm for Scottish literature, in early
February members of the Book Club sprang
into action, ensuring the books were located
correctly, removing duplicates and generally
giving the Library a spring clean. It is planned
that this activity will become a regular event.
William McIlvanneys The Kiln which one
reader described as a Scottish Catcher in the
Rye was the
Clubs chosen
book in February
and provided as
usual much
debate amongst Book Club members. The author,
who also wrote the Laidlaw novels, has also
been credited as being the father of the tartan
noir genre of crime fiction.
We have been lucky enough to attract a
number of authors to our meetings and on 10
June we will have another such special evening,
when Dundee-born Costa-award winning
writer AL Kennedy (above) will talk about her
new book of short stories, scheduled for release
in March.
With commemorations of the outbreak of
World War I very much in everyones minds, from
March this year, the Club is discussing various
types of literature relating to the war, ranging
from histories to biographies, novels and poetry.
If you would like details of any Book Club
activities. please contact
Hilary Reid Evans, Organiser
A Big read
18 The Caledonian SPRING 2014
In December we entertained Ambassador
Roberto Jaguaribe, Brazils Ambassador to the
United Kingdom. The Ambassador set out Brazils
role as a global player and economic power
house, but emphasised Scotlands contribution
to her development. In the past Scotland through
Admiral Cochrane had helped secure Brazils
independence, and Scot Charles Miller had
introduced football to Brazil! Now Scottish
companies were prominent in deep sea exploration
in the Brazilian oil and gas industry.
In February we were privileged to entertain the
Rt Hon Alastair Carmichael MP, Secretary of State
for Scotland and the Lib Dem member for Orkney
and Shetland. He set out clearly the issues of the
independence question such as Scotland having
shared sovereignty if it kept the pound, the fact
that the union over the last three hundred years
had been very successful, that there were very
strong ties between the two countries and there
was no need to break the two nations apart. He
argued that the economic arguments for the
union were increasingly strong, but it will be as
important to win the emotional ones as well.
Our third speaker was again from the diplomatic
field in John Everard, former UK Ambassador to
North Korea. Mr Everard gave a fascinating account
of life in Pyongyang,
accompanied by
some intriguing
slides. Although he
was followed
everywhere, he said
contrary to popular
belief, the North
Koreans were
civilised and courteous.
At the time of writing we are looking forward
to our April meeting which will be addressed by
Sir Andrew Green KCMG (above), Founder Chairman
of Migration Watch UK, whose talk will be entitled
Should there be a limit on immigration?
Anthony Westnedge, Chairman,
Stuart Thom, Vice Chairman and
Bill Proudfoot, Committee Member
Another busy game shooting season
just ended and the Society was pleased
to welcome members and guests alike
to our seven days. Shooting from the
Home Counties to Aberdeenshire and
parts in-between, our events were
well attended and well shot.
ur regular guns were joined by an
increased number of new members.
The highlight of our events was our two
days at Newlands in Dumfriesshire where new
drives challenged even our most expert shots.
We are presently arranging our shoot
calendar for the forthcoming season, details of
which will be obtainable from David Balden in
the Club and we most cordially invite any
member to join our society and shoot with us,
You will be made most welcome.
It was with great sadness that we heard of
the sudden death of Dick Bilborough in January.
Dick was a stalwart Member of the Club and a
founder of the Shooting & Fishing Society and,
for some time, the Societys Chairman.
Generous, companionable, clubbable,
unfailingly courteous however strong his views
on the subject matter, Dick was a true
gentleman, sportsman and friend. We shall miss
him greatly.
Alan Wallace, Chairman, Game Shooting and
Alastair Irvine, Chairman, Clay Shooting
A busy season and
a sad end
Three superb lunch talks
Dick Bilborough,
who sadly passed
away in January
this year
up with the
hot shots
Come April the YMS is hosting our first ever beer
tasting in association with Black Isle Brewery and
another exciting new collaboration includes an
upcoming event with the Shooting & Fishing Society.
Also, for the very first time, we will be both
hosting a reciprocal club and visiting a reciprocal
club within the same year. The Princeton Club of
NY are returning for a second year in a row to
enjoy our Club's hospitality before going to the
Phyllis Court Club to soak in the penultimate day
of the Henley Royal Regatta. Moreover, later in the
year we are planning to visit the De Industrieele
Groote Club in Amsterdam which should prove to
be equally as enjoyable as previous excursions to
our reciprocals abroad.
Andrew Fraser, Chairman
Caledonian and Princeton Club younger members enjoying the Henley Royal Regatta last year
SPRING 2014 The Caledonian 19
The BBC-TW trophy is played for as a winter league
competition between the golfing societies of
Boodles, Brooks, Caledonian, Turf and Whites. Four
matches for each club, four players a side in each
match played in foursomes format, and 2 points
on offer in each match.
The league was founded by Caledonian Club
Golfing Society president Ross Gibbons and his
counterparts from the other four clubs. The first
winners were the Turf Club in 2006, followed by
Boodles in 2007, with the Caledonian Club
emerging victorious in 2008 by 1/8th of a point.
Boodles won again in 2011 and 2012 and the
Turf claimed the trophy for the second time in 2009.
The Caledonian Club managed to regain the trophy
in 2010 and snatched another narrow victory in
2013 when 2 points in the final match against
the Turf gave us the trophy by a point margin.
Traditionally the winning club hosts the
presentation dinner the following year but Brooks
and Whites were invited to do so in 2010 and
2011 as it
unlikely that
they were
going to
emerge as winners; nevertheless, they proved to
be excellent hosts.
The 2014 dinner was held in the Caledonian
Club on 25 March with around 40 players from all
five clubs represented. Unfortunately, narrow
defeats by both Boodles and the Turf meant that
we were unable to repeat our 2013 victory and
Ross had to hand over hopefully on a
temporary basis the BBC-TW trophy to the 2014
champions from Boodles.
David J Smith, Secretary
Following a delicious early lunch of
sea bass and chocolate dessert at the
Club on 19 March, the Alba group
travelled by luxury coach to Hampton
Court Palace.
n a beautiful spring day the gardens
looked absolutely stunning. But the real
treat was inside the Palace where the
Royal School of Needlework has its apartments.
A short slide presentation gave us some
insight into the Schools activities: it runs many
courses from beginner to degree level; restores
and repairs embroidered articles such as church
vestments, and houses ever-changing exhibitions.
Technical terms like couching, crewelwork, silk
shading, black work and Berlin patterns
recalled the long tradition of hand sewing in
this country. We saw at close quarters many
amazing things: for example, samplers worked
by young girls from bygone centuries which
showed such a wealth of stitches of exquisite
delicacy that we could only marvel. Just to think
of the accumulation of hours of
handwork was staggering. The
passion that had gone into
patching a sailor suit, or
completing thread work or
designing new tapestries was
inspirational. Even the
abundance of embroidery
threads arranged by colour on
the wall was gorgeous.
The students were on their break, but we
peeked at the sumptuous creations that were
taking shape on frames round the room. Some
of the original designs and colour combinations
were breath-taking.
The icing on the cake was the shop an
Aladdins cave of delights.
It was such a wonderful trip
and there was so much to take
in, Ill have to go back.
The next lunch will be held
on Wednesday 18 June with a
talk by Robert Ogden from
Richard Ogden Jewellers,
Burlington Arcade in Piccadilly.
Pam Paterson
Alba Members sew
up a great day
The BBC-TWWinter League
Alba Lunch Society
members stroll through
Hampton Court Gardens
Good progress
At the time of writing Scottish hold a creditable
5th position in a very competitive League.
The tussle for the play offs (top four) for
the Premier League is compelling and we hope
to be in the mix with good luck and a fair
wind behind us.
Very satisfactory wins over recently relegated
London Welsh and Leeds were the highlights of
mid-season giving the confidence that we can
compete against teams with bigger budgets.
The Academy, supported by Friends of
Scottish Rugby continues to flourish and two
Academy boys played for the Scotland Under
20, one, Tommy Spinks as Captain.
As ever a warm welcome awaits Club
Members at the Richmond Ground.
C mon Scottish! Jock Meikle
President Ross Gibbons and 2014
captain Bill McDermott with the
BBC-TW trophy
L-r: Charlie Stewart, David Smith, Alan Orr and David
Stewart prepare to take on the Turf Club at Woking
The Bridge Society meets in the Club on most
Mondays at 6.30pm. Our standard is good but
not intimidating and we are highly sociable.
Interested? Please contact :
Philip Craig or the Secretarys office
20 The Caledonian SPRING 2014
ligarchs and mail-order
brides were not the only
things to emerge from
the wild west days of
Russia in the 1990s. After almost
seven decades of Soviet
communism and isolation,
Russians began to express
individual freedoms in bold new
ways that not only appealed to their
Russian roots, but also allowed
them to embrace cultures with
which they felt a certain kinship
including Scotland! Scots and
Russians have more in common
than meets the eye: both were
shaped by harsh climates that made
the kinship of clans essential to
survival. Both endured protracted
struggles for nationhood that
bred an indomitable pride and
fighting spirit. Both were born of
a deeply rooted spirituality that
embraced St. Andrew as the patron
of both nations. It should come
as no surprise that the works of
Burns, Scott and Stevenson have
always been especially revered by
generations of Russians, some of
whom are convinced these
particular authors must have
Russian roots.
Certainly, history tells us that
for more than 800 years Scots
settled in Russia in large numbers
and had significant and lasting
impacts on Russias stature as a
European giant. Russians have
long admired such historic Scots as
Patrick Gordon and Peter Menzies,
Peter the Greats top general and
tutor, respectively; Prince Mikhail
Barclay de Tolly, the commander-
in-chief of the Napoleonic Wars;
poet Mikhail Lermontov, second
only to Alexander Pushkin as
Russias most revered bard; scores
of industrialists, dozens of generals
and admirals in the service of the
Imperial Army and Navy,
numerous doctors serving as
physicians to the Tsars, and
hundreds of other Scots who also
left their mark. The retelling of
their stories and reinterpretation of
others, especially since the collapse
of communism, has turned many
real-life historic Scots into legends
and has created new myths about
historic links between the two
nations that are now celebrated
by a new, self-styled Russian-
Scottish diaspora.
Despite the lack of indisputable
historical fact, some Russians will
tell you with absolute certainty that
the Scottish and Russian nations
were born from the same steppes
of southern Russia, where their
common veneration of St Andrew
began, and where Celtic monks
had long-established ties to ancient
Russia. Others, relying on at least
some historical fact, will tell you
that the Romanov dynasty, the
longest ruling dynasty of Russia,
was founded by a Scotsman,
Andrew Campbell, a 14th century
ancestor of the Romanovs. You will
learn that a descendant of Robert
the Bruce was a mayor of Moscow
in the 18th century and that many
other prominent Scots rose to
similar ranks throughout Russia.
But perhaps the best
demonstration today of the
newfound prominence of all things
Scottish is the affection Russians
show for Scotland and for their
own imagined Scottish roots.
Scottish-themed societies and the
annual celebrations they sponsor,
all born in the 1990s, have become
very prominent on the Moscow
social scene. The Caledonia Club,
for example, founded in 1994,
organizes the annual Moscow
Highland Games as well as a
number of Scottish folk and
cultural festivals throughout the
year. The St Andrews Society,
founded in 1993, organizes the
annual St Andrews Ball and Burns
Supper, as well as other events
benefitting Russian charities. Ever
present at all of these celebrations
are the Clans of Russia the
Clarks, Moffats, Leslies, Collies,
Stewarts, Melvilles, and more
than 400 other surnames
throughout Russia that can be
traced back to Scotland.
The 1990s also gave birth to a
wave of Celtic music that took
Russia by storm. Celtic bands and
their fans created mass
Keltomania in the late 1990s,
leaving in their wake some of the
best known and most popular
musical groups ever seen in Russia.
Among the stars emerging from
this wave were ginger-bearded,
kilted bagpiper Vladimir Lazerson
and singer-guitarist Maxim
Bonyushkin, both members of the
hit band Si Mhor (Hill Dwellers),
neither of whom have Celtic
roots of any kind. Lazerson, a
genius with wind instruments, is
considered the best piper in all of
Russia. Bonyushkin, who is often
mistaken for a red-headed Gael,
is a gifted linguist who speaks
Welsh and Irish Gaelic as well as
Dublin-accented English. He lends
his soulful voice to Si Mhors
repertoire that includes hundreds
of Irish, Scottish, and Breton
standards as well as many original
contemporary compositions.
Both have had successful tours in
Scotland and Ireland.
Visiting Moscow? The
Moscow Caledonia Club may not
yet be a reciprocal of ours, but
given the opportunity, they will
surely welcome our Club Members
with open arms.
Whisky and Vodka, Borscht
and Broth: the Scots in Russia
Within the pages of The Caledonian, we have touched on the
activities of Scots in many parts of the world. In this article,
Ed Salazar who spent some years in Russia, recalls the influence
of Scots in that country.
Russias most
piper, Vladimir
St Aloysius College
Company Ltd by Guarantee No. SC405951
Registered Charity No. SCO42545
Join the
Log-on to:
45 Hill Street, Glasgow, G3 6RJ
T: 0141 332 3190 F: 0141 353 0426
SPRING 2014 The Caledonian 21
After almost 15 years of schooling in Glasgow, spent
as part of a strong community with a robust support
network, it is only natural that Old Aloysians will
look to replicate that once they have flown the nest.
hats why the Caledonian Club, a little part
of Scotland in the heart of the capital, is
the perfect place for our Glasgow
contingent to recapture their society values and
keep their Scottish roots in the present.
For those unfamiliar with the term, an Old
Aloysian (OA) is a former pupil of St Aloysius
College, Glasgows leading Catholic independent
school. The College shares in a worldwide
tradition of academic excellence dating back
more than 500 years and, as such, exists to help
parents raise and educate their children with the
support of a set of clear moral and spiritual values.
Pupils are part of a strong community and are
taught to use their free will in a responsible manner,
with an emphasis on improvement in living and
learning to the
greater glory
of God and
the common good (St Ignatius Loyola, 1491-1556).
As part of the Aloysian community, the College
draws inspiration from the words of Jerome
Nadal, an early companion of St Ignatius, which
provides the core values of a Jesuit approach; In
the spirit, from the heart, practically.
The College has a prestigious academic
reputation with the majority of students moving
on to university and entering the professions.
Located at the heart of Glasgows cultural quarter,
the College is fortunate in having excellent
facilities ranging from award-winning buildings
to historical listed ones. The Garnethill campus is
set near to the Royal Conservatoire and next to
the Glasgow School of Art, which provides the
perfect backdrop to learning for pupils who seek
to develop in the creative industries.
There is a growing OA presence at the
Caledonian Club. Already the College has eight
former pupil members and the annual meeting of
the London Aloysian Group takes place there.
The College hopes to continue its excellent
relationship with The Caledonian Club with a
view to strengthening the network and allowing
its former pupils somewhere they can remember
that home isn't too far away
Bringing a little Aloysian
to the capital
Scotland showing plenty of
spirit for its newest artisan gin.
It was once described as mothers
ruin, but gin is back and turning into
Scotlands most sophisticated spirit.
And underlining this renaissance
is the success of the countrys
newest artisan brand NB Gin.
NB Gin is handmade in North
Berwick, East Lothian, by husband-
and-wife team
Steve and Viv
Muir (below
left). Both
lawyers by day,
they have swapped the boardroom
for their very own micro-distillery.
Demand for the new spirit has
been overwhelming. It has already
secured listings in more than 50
outlets covering the length and
breadth of the country, from
Inverness to London. And the
company has been approached by
an agent who is interested in
distributing the new spirit overseas.
NB Gin is made from pure
British grain spirit and a
combination of eight botanicals, all
of which have been meticulously
selected to produce a deep and
balanced flavour. Its stilled, blended,
bottled and labelled by hand in
very small batches, to ensure that
every bottle is of the highest quality.
And this attention to detail is
paying off. NB Gin is performing
well in gin tastings, coming ahead
of all the major brands in feedback
from customers.
Viv Muir says: Gin is making a
comeback, but its very different this
time round. Stockists are seeking
out interesting hand-crafted gins
because their customers are seeking
variety, quality and something
which has a different story to the
mainstream brands. Were thrilled
that NB Gin can provide that.
NB Gin is available in the
Club bar.
For more information, contact:
NB Gin, The Distillery, North Berwick
T 0845 4674547
22 The Caledonian SPRING 2014
Members will recall that Kinloch
Anderson designed a Club tartan
which was launched at the end of
2012. The colour story was based on
the Club crest and the saltire and
also included purple from the Clubs
branding. Campbell and Morrison
tartan was also included in the mix
resulting in a very striking
Caledonian Club tartan which is
now officially registered in
Scotlands National Register within
the National Archives of Scotland.
We have a number of items
available in both tartan weave and
silk. Several members have
commissioned their own garments
such as kilts, trews, waistcoats, skirts
and dresses.
Edinburgh Day Bag............................110.00
Leather & Fabric
Luggage Tag ....................................................10.00
iPad Case................................................................40.00
Neck Tie....................................................................25.00
Bow Tie (tied) ..................................................20.00
Sash ..............................................................................50.00
(plain or pleated)........................................50.00
Neck Tie....................................................................25.00
Bow Tie (tied) ..................................................20.00
Bow Tie (self tie) ..........................................20.00
Sash (hemmed & fringed) ............30.00
Cummerbund (pleated) ..................40.00
Handkerchief (overlocked)..............6.50
Silk & Black Velvet Serape..............85.00
For details on all Club merchandise,
please contact Alison Davis:
A unique identity
NB Gin in a glass of its own
6 Tue Number 9 Society Lunch
6 Tue New Members Dinner By invitation
8 Thu Arts Group Evening Illustrated Talk by Ian Gow, Chief Curator
Emeritus of the NTS
13 Tue Book Club The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army
Gary Sheffield
14 Wed Club AGM
2 Mon Open Evening
3 Tue Number 9 Society Lunch
6 Fri Summer Ball
10 Tue Book Club A.L. (Alison) Kennedy, the Costa Book Award
winning author will talk about her new book of short stories
18 Wed Alba Lunch Talk by Robert Ogden of Richard Ogden, Jewellers,
Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly
30-1 Aug Members Art Exhibition
3 Thu Members Art Exhibition Private View
8 Tue Number 9 Society Dr Richard Holloway
8 Tue Book Club All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque
17 Thu Summer Barbecue
24 Thu Cigar Evening
25 Fri Younger Members Society Wine Tasting
2 Tue Number 9 Society Lunch
8 Mon New Members Dinner By invitation
23 Tue Musical Evening Ivana Gavric (Piano)
24 Wed Younger Members Society AGM
26 Fri Jazz Evening
3 Fri Reeling Evening
6 Mon Open Evening
7 Tue Number 9 Society Lunch
14 Tue The Caledonian Lecture Sir Hew Strachan
20 Mon Crannog Draw & Dinner By invitation
21 Tue Musical Evening Jane Ng (Violin)
3 Mon New Members Dinner By invitation
4 Tue Number 9 Society Lunch
5 Wed Golfing Society AGM & Dinner
13 Thu Racing Society Annual Dinner
25 Tue Musical Evening Scottish International Piano
Competition Winner
27 Thu St Andrews Day Dinner
2 Tue Number 9 Society Lunch
5 Fri Younger Members Society Christmas Lunch
8 Mon Proposers & Seconders Dinner By invitation
15 Mon Christmas Panto & Carols tbc
17 Wed Members Christmas Lunch
For Your Diary
For further information on Club events, call 020 7333 8722
A mini pipe band from Gordons
School will welcome you for the
evening, followed by:
Four-course dinner
Summer Ball Prize Draw
Ian Muirs Scottish Dance
Band in the Ball Room
Mood Music and Disco
Dancing in the Drawing Room
Fun Casino with prize
Shooting Gallery with prize
Mixologist in the Members
Bar courtesy of Diageo
Breakfast Buffet 1am
Club Member & Partner 95
Guests 105
Friday 6th June
To book, contact Eilidh McCombe:
T 020 7333 8722
SPRING 2014 The Caledonian 23
Glen Grant
Scottish Toastmaster
Weddings, Dinners, Ceilidhs
& Burns Suppers, including the
address to the haggis.
Glen can wear traditional
Toastmasters red coat or
Highland dress.
Tel: 020 8337 9018
No other single malt
captures the essence of Islay
quite like Bowmore
Dating back to 1779, Bowmore was the first recorded distillery on
the remote island of Islay off the west coast of Scotland. So its
particularly appropriate, over two centuries later, that of all the
whiskies produced on Scotlands famous whisky island, it should be
Bowmore thats widely considered to best represent the taste of Islay.
Apt, but when you think about it, not surprising. Because whisky, like
wine, is a product of its natural environment. For Islay, thats a
mixture of both maritime and inland influences salt from the sea
spray and smoke from the rich, dark peat that the Ileachs, as the
locals are known, still use as a fuel.
Sited at the islands geographical heart but also on the shores of
Loch Indaal, a giant sea loch that opens out into the Atlantic,
Bowmore benefits from the best of both worlds, making it the most
perfectly balanced of all Islay malts.
Neither too peaty and intense nor too light, Bowmore Small Batch,
12 Years Old and 15 Years Old Darkest have just the right amount
of smoke, salt, citrus and vanilla to conjure up the unmistakable
taste of Islay. Pour yourself a dram and prepare to be transported.
Summer Ball
in association with Johnnie Walker