The Royal High School Club




Club News

These pages provide copy and photographs of Club events.   Among these will be the current Presidential address, Annual Dinner photographs and other notable events.    The London Club and School websites also have News pages.

Recent News

HRH The Duke of Kent visited the School on 19th January 2020, as a delayed part of the Barnton 50th celebrations.   He spent around an hour in the School, including a tour of School projects displayed in the Assembly Hall.    He also unveiled a commemorative plaque recording his visit.    The collection of images shown below includes a record of the event, along with previous Royal visits, commencing with the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII) in 1859, the latest being Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh in 1958.     A timeline is also included.    The visit was enabled by Val Tudball, Deputy Lieutenant (and RHS Club President in 2007).


The Duke of Kent meets Club President Ian Cowie and Val Tudball (Deputy Lieutenant) The Duke meets the Rector The History exhibit.  All items courtesy of the RHS Club   The Duke unveils the commemorative plaque The Club President, The School Captain, The Duke, The Rector and Val Tudball
1859 - The future Edward VII 1903 - Edward VII 1915 - The future Edward VIII 1925 - Prince Henry, future Duke of Gloucester, and father of the current Duke of Kent 1958 - The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh with Rector Dr. Imrie The timeline of the six Royal visits

The 2019 Remembrance Service was held on Monday 11th November.    Representatives of the RHS Club attended the service, which was for 5th and 6th form students on this occasion.    All other pupils had attended on other days.   Club President Ian Cowie laid a wreath on behalf of the Club.     As is the custom, the youngest pupil at the School , assisted by School Captains, turned a page of the WWII Roll of Honour,

The platform party The youngest pupil turns a page of the Roll of Honour Three wreaths at the Memorial Door The School wreath at the Memorial windows

The 2019 Prize Giving was held on Friday 28th June.    The FP address was given by Susan Geary (leaving year 1991), a high-flying diplomat in the foreign office.    She mentioned the list of African countries for which he has some responsibility, and most of the Continent seemed to be included!

The platform party, including FR speaker Susan Geary (front right) The teachers (and the Royall High Club President - how did he get in there?) The 2019 Leavers gather outside the memorial Door Jen Menzies, Frank Crowe and the Rector enjoying the sun after the PG They also serve who only sit and count.  Ex-committee member filling the prize envelopes


The 2019 Edinburgh Dinner was held on Friday 22nd March in the Principal Charlotte Square.    The toast to the Club and School was offered by Professor Peter Hayes, Head of the Division of Health Sciences, Edinburgh University.     Photographs enclosed below - click for a full sized image..


     Table 1 - Guests

Table 2 - The Teachers Table 3 - Senior pupils
Table 5 - more Teachers Table 4 - distinguished FP's and Jock

Table 5 - younger distinguished FP's

 Toast List and Speakers The Welcome slide  



Memorial tablets for those Former Pupils who died in World War 2 were unveiled on November 9th.

One of the photos below shows Katy Gray and Ken Falconer, niece and nephew of Alexander Falconer.  He was a Major in the Border Regiment (India) and was killed on active service in Burma in February 1945.    In one of the photos below, Ken Falconer is pointing to his Uncle's entry on the new memorial.    Both Katy and Ken are former teachers at the Royal High.


The unveiling of the Memorial windows on the 5th of July 1949 was accompanied by the installation of wooden memorial tablets, which sadly have deteriorated badly in the past few years, sparking the idea of creating replacements in the same form as the World War I tablets.     The tablets were researched, designed and commissioned by a Former Pupil, with funding provided by the Royal High School Club.


The platform party School pupils and guests Katy Gray and Ken Falconer, daughter and son of of Alexander Falconer Sir Walter Scott gets in on the act The engravers at work on the tablets



The 2018 Prize-Giving was held on June 29th.

Delivering the Former Pupil address was Anne Richards, CEO of Fidelity International.    In a recorded first, the teachers assembled for a photo...


The Platform party The teachers Special guest former teacher Archie Davidson with Anne Richards and Ian Cowie Platform party front row - Ian Cowie, Anne Richards,  Matt MacIver and Archie Davidson



A Royal Preview for Two - the 50th Anniversary re-enactment of the event held on 24th April 1968, when the Evening News recorded the visit of two 7th form Preparatory pupils to the Barnton Campus where they would shortly be coming to study.    The 'Two Boys', Alan Blyth and Keith MacConnachie, were joined by six contemporaries, two 7th form pupils from a feeder Preparatory school to continue the 50 year tradition, and two senior pupils who were school ambassadors for the event.    The images shown below include the newspaper cutting of the 1968 event.


The Evening News article of 24th April 1968, Alan and Keith.... ..and fifty years later - looking just as good Alan, Keith and contemporaries, with the Rector A group photo, including the two pupils from the feeder Prep. school, Rector and Deputy Rector, and the two senior pupils who acted as ambassadors for the event



The 2018 London Club dinner took place on Friday 16th March at the RAF Club.     A wide range of photographs are available on the London Club website.


The 2018 Edinburgh dinner was held on Friday 23rd March in the Principal Charlotte Square (formerly the Roxburghe).   Proposing the toast to the Club and School was Ann Budge, Owner and CEO of Hearts FC.    The several Hibs supporters in the audience were seen to impressed by Ann's performance.   We are indebted to Ian Cowie, our next-in-line President, for the following sparkling images


The top table speakers - Rector, David Williamson, Ann Budge and School Captain Tom Campbell The Nation Captains table, but with the addition of Harry Crowe to keep them in order The School (Teachers plus Administration) featuring Di Aitken at her first dinner Frank Crowe's table
Frank Crowe's #2 table, featuring Gordon and Francesca Liddle The Presidents table, with Jock Dewar, Matt MacIver, Alastair MacLean and Alex Prentice David Robb and Neil Zeiger joined debutant (also Fiddle impressario) June Nelson The young ones: David Taylor and Zander McIvor host a table
Former Club Presidents Tudball, Grosset, Paul, Arthur and guests Alastair Allanach joined the Rector, David Rutherford, Ann Budge and David Williamson

Matt MacIver, David Rutherford, Jock Dewar, Alex Prentice and David Williamson * 2




The 2017 Remembrance Service was held on Friday 10th November.    At the conclusion of the ceremony, the youngest school pupil turned a page of the Roll of Honour, assisted by the School captains


The 2017 Remembrance service platform party, including the youngest student, who turned a page in the WWII memorial book, assisted by the School Captains




The 2017 Prize Giving was held on Friday 30th June.    Club President David Williamson presided, and Ken Macintosh delivered the FP address.     Ken is Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, and his Rector during his School tenure  was his father, Farquhar Macintosh.      Ken arrived at the Royal High in 1972 in the 7th Preparatory form (where he won a Music prize), and left in 1979, winning the Nicol prize for service and a Yule scholarship.

The following photograph was taken at the event.    A new record was created - twenty individuals crowded the stage !      The new School Digital History was presented to all school leavers.


Ken Macintosh, MSP, headlines the splendid gathering.   Ken is currently the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament




The 2017 AGM was held on Thursday 27th April.   The major change was the election of Zander McIvor to the role of Hon. Treasurer.    We welcome Zander (2006 Dux) to the role, and wish him many years of success.


The 2017 Annual London Club Dinner was held on Friday 24th March at the now familiar RAF Club in Piccadilly.

Speakers included Rector Pauline Walker, School Captain Angus Farquhar and TV producer Neil Zeiger.


The top table, including speakers - the Rector, Fraser Wright, David Williamson London Club President Fraser Wright with School Captain Angus Farquhar Neil Zeiger and partner,  Ken Harper (FP and RAF host) and David Robb Two former Presidents looking very relaxed - Simon Card and Valerie Peay





The 2017 Annual Dinner was held on Friday 17th March at a new  venue - the Carlton Hotel.

Speakers included Ian Blackford MP, the Rector and School Captain Angus Farquhar.      A video showing the life of the school was shown during intermissions.     An innovation - in addition to School Captain and Vice Captains, the Nation captains were also invited for the first time, and were most impressed with the event.


Database man Michael Rutherford couldn't be there but we have his picture! The pupil Captains and teachers Jock Dewar, David Williamson, guest, Alex Prentice and (now Depute Rector) Kate Fraser Euan Rae, David Blackford MP and guests Immediate past President Frank Crowe with two of his table guests



The 2016 Remembrance Service was held on Friday 11th November.    At the conclusion of the ceremony, the youngest school pupil turns a page of the Roll of Honour


Photo to be added


Photo to be added

The Rector, The School Captains, Mr and Mrs George Grubb and the youngest pupil at the memorial door

School Captain Angus Farquhar with the youngest School pupil, about to turn the page of the Roll of Honour



The 2016 Prize Giving was held on Thursday 30th June.    Club President David Williamson presided, and Russell Ogg delivered the FP address.   The following are a selection of photographs taken at the event.



The platform party arranging themselves for the photographer (Russell Ogg in charge)

Former Club President Louise Stevenson with the Rector

Former Lord Provost George Grubb with his wife Elizabeth

Former Presidents Martin Bryden and Rab Forman




The 2016 Club Dinner was held on Friday 18th April at the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh.   Frank Crowe once again expertly chaired the event, and also Toasted the Guests.    The reply on behalf the guests was by Brigadier Ian Gardiner of the Royal Marines, veteran of Oman, the Falklands and Northern Ireland among other postings.    School Captain Eleanor Young presented reprised her speech given at the Royal High London dinner, when she chronicled what the Royal High meant to her and her fellow students. 



Former Rector George Smuga with Maria Anderson and Fiona White

School Captain Eleanor Young with Vice Captains Lorna Mahaffey and Michael Keegan

Russell Ogg and

David Williamson

London Club Secretary Alex Prentice, the Rector and Kate Fraser


Top table - Russell Ogg, The Rector, Club President Frank Crowe, Brigadier Ian Gardiner, David Williamson



Club President David Williamson recently provided a short message to introduce his Presidency and welcome readers to this website...


As President of the Club, please can I encourage today’s leavers to join the Royal High FP community through membership of the club. 

When it was set up in 1849, it was I suppose the Victorian equivalent of today’s Facebook or Twitter.   A way to keep in touch.  A network of people with a shared interest in, and commitment to, our school.

Through today’s social media, you are already the most connected of generations; you can teach us a thing or two about how to build the Royal High network. 

I hope you will therefore play a part in keeping the relationship between the FP community and the school as strong, relevant, and positive as possible.  

And remember, we in the Club are always happy to help with advice, connections and work experience. 


David Williamson, August 2016

The 2016 London Club Dinner was held on Friday 11th April at the RAF Club in Piccadilly, London

The 2015 Prize Giving was held on Friday 26th June.   Rosy Kay, Dance Company Impresario gave an inspirational address, whetting the appetites of many aspiring School dancers.    Click here for a report and photos

The 2015 Annual dinner was held on Friday 27th March.    For the first time ever, the top table invited speakers were all Ladies, and there was unanimous support for the proposal to ensure this happens in future events !.     Click here for a report and photos.

Rab Forman's retirement was marked by a dinner on 12th August 2014, attended by a goodly group of ex-Presidents, Rectors, and Peter Yellowlees, recently retired Club Treasurer.    A few words were said by John Mitchell (on behalf of the Club Presidents), Matt MacIver (on behalf of the Rectors), and Rab on behalf of himself !    A photo showing the assembled gathering of eighteen diners will be available shortly.

The 2014 Prize Giving was held on Friday 27th June.   Fraser Doherty MBE, creator of the Superjam brand gave an inspirational FP address.    Click here for a report and photos

The 2014 Annual Dinner was held on Friday 7th March.    Click here for a report and photos.

A pre-Christmas drinks evening was held on Thursday 12th December 2014.  Around 35 members and guests attended, with a further 20 sending their apologies, so the new email circulation system seems to be working!   Click here for a report and photos.

The 2013 Prize Giving was held on Friday 28th June.    Click here for a report and photographs.

The 2013 AGM was held on Thursday 21st March when Sheriff Frank Crowe was elected President.    He thanked Louise Stevenson for her highly successful and active Presidency, and also thanked retiring Treasurer Peter Yellowlees for his twenty four years of service - a hard act to follow.   Peter's contribution to the Club will be celebrated at the Committee dinner in November.     Alastair Allanach, Chair of the Finance Sub-committee for the last four years was elected (interim) Treasurer.   New committee list here

A general view of the proceedings showing the newly elected Sheriff Frank Crowe Louise Stevenson demits office The Hon. Secretary with outgoing and incoming Presidents Outgoing and incoming Treasurers - Peter Yellowlees and Alastair Allanach  


The 2013 London Club Dinner was held on Friday 15th March.     More news here

The 2013 Annual dinner was held on Friday 8th March.  Click here for a report.

Douglas (Curly Bill) Mitchell died recently, aged 93.   The Evening News (thanks to Bill Lothian) ran reports on consecutive weeks, such was the outpouring of remembrances.     We've listed images of the newspaper articles, along with photographs from our archives of the earliest and latest XV's coached by Douglas Mitchell.   Please contact the webmaster if you require copies of the Evening News articles.



The 1958-59 XV captained by Jimmy Blake


The 1975-76 XV


The Evening news articles,  November 2012


Includes tributes from Charlie Bryden, Bruce Laidlaw, Alastair McIntosh, Robin Boog and Iain Cowper


A second article, this time Including more tributes, this time from Bill McCosh, Dave Pickering and Bruce Laidlaw




The 2012 Prize-Giving was held on Friday 29th June.    Click here for a report and photos


The 2012 London Club dinner was held on Friday 23rd March in the splendid RAF Club in Piccadilly.   Captain Eric Brown delivered the principal speech, where he captivated the audience with tales of his meetings with Nazi leaders before and after the War.    An extensive Edinburgh contingent attended.    Photographs were taken...


The top table:  Captain Eric Brown RN, Rector Jane Frith, London Club President Valerie Peay, President Louise Stevenson and School Captain Craig Taylor   Eric Brown signs a copy of his autobiography, 'Wings on my Sleeve for Alastair Allanach        



The 2011 Annual Dinner was held on Friday 18th March in the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh.    Speakers included former Rector Matt MacIver, current Rector Jane Frith, Chris Crossley and Wilson Hunter.  The School fiddle group once again performed, and this year played a selection of their favourite pieces in the dining room immediately prior to the dinner.    Photos shown below show the RHS Fiddle Group and a view of proceedings in the bar prior to the dinner - click here to see photos.



Twelve members of the School Fiddle Band under direction from June Nelson

Diners conversing prior to dinner...



2010 Prize-Giving  - held on Thursday 1st July.   Click here for pictures and an account of proceedings.


The 2010 Annual Dinner was held on Friday 5th March in the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh.    Speakers included Dr John Halliday, Rector of Dundee High School, Jane Frith, the new Rector and Austin Lafferty, a Glasgow solicitor noted for being a 'legal eagle' on Radio Scotland.  The School fiddle group once again performed, and this year 'played in' the top table, the group led by their proud Rector.    Click here to see photos.

John Barclay's birthday party.   Dr John Barclay's 100th birthday was celebrated on St Andrews day.   John, Club President in 1980 and author of the 1999 RHS Club memoir, was accompanied by his wife, and surrounded by many family, friends and admirers at the event at Strachan House in Craigcrook Road, Edinburgh.    Click here for photographs of the event.     Sadly, Dr Barclay died soon after his birthday.    

2009 Committee dinner and presentation to George Smuga - was held on Tuesday 10th November in Edinburgh's  New  Club.    The Committee took the opportunity to present outgoing Rector George Smuga with a token of their thanks for his ten years service.    It was also an opportunity to meet new Rector Mrs Jane Frith.   Click here for photos.

2009 Prize-Giving  - held on Thursday 2nd July.    The FP speech was delivered by Professor John Kay, and Mrs Marissa Bryden, wife of the current President presented the prizes.    Click here to see photographs of the event.

Sad news in April 2008 for both present and former pupils was the deaths of two outstanding Royal High boys, Jim Ford and Pringle Fisher.    Both are featured on this website - click on their names to read their story.    We send our condolences to both families.

2009 AGM  - on 31st March Martin Bryden was elected President.    Click here to see photos of the event.    Martin will shortly be detailing his plans for his Presidential year.

The 2009 Annual Dinner was held on Friday 27th March in the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh.    Speakers included The Honourable Lady Dorrian, Acting Rector,David Simpson, London Club President Al Senter and Stewart Smith, an accomplished after dinner speaker and freelance radio and television writer.   Click here to see photos of the event.

2008 Sixth form leavers gathering - Click here for a report and photographs


2008 Prize-Giving Click here for a report and photographs.


A Club pamphlet explaining the history, activities, function and joining instructions has been produced.    Click here to download a copy in Adobe format, which when printed is intended to be presented as a tri-fold document.     The first recipients included all 126 School Leavers in 2008


Jim Ford MC was entertained by Lord Provost George Grubb at the City Chambers on 12th May 2008.    The story of Jim and his brother Douglas Ford MC is told in A tale Of Valour.   Click here for a photograph of the event.


2008 AGM - Alastair Allanach was elected President.    Alastair (a.k.a. 'Webmaster') spells out his intentions and objectives for his Presidential year.


2008 Annual Dinner - Rt. Hon. George Grubb, Lord Provost of Edinburgh was among the speakers at this years event.   Click here for a report and photographs


George Henry - has become Honorary President in succession to St. John Spence.   George introduces himself by explaining his long and active connection with School and Club.   See the entry below.

RHSFP Rugby History - Hugh McKenzie has completed production of a comprehensive record of the Club from its creation in 1868 through its transformation to RHC.    A web version, similar to but of much less substance than the hardback book has been created and while it is 'work in progress' is improving all the time.    Click here for a link.



Click on one of the items shown below for the full story.  Click back to return here.

Honorary President - George Henry


2008 President - Alastair Allanach

2007 President - Val Tudball

2006 President - Robin Boog

2005 President - Colin Blaikie

2004 President - Alan Grosset - welcome to the website

2003 President - Jim Inch's plans for the year


2013 Prize-Giving

2012 Prize-Giving

2010 Prize-Giving

2009 Prize-Giving

2008 Prize-Giving

2007 Prize-Giving

2005 Prize-Giving

2004 Prize-Giving -The opening of the refurbished school


2008 School Leavers Gathering

2006 November Social Function

2006 School Leavers' Function


Welcome presentation to Form S6


Dr John Murray - His retiral pen picture

Dr John Murray - presentation dinner in Edinburgh City Chambers


Annual Dinner 2016

Annual Dinner 2015

Annual Dinner 2014

Annual Dinner 2013

Annual Dinner 2011 - Photographs

Annual Dinner 2010 - Photographs

Annual Dinner 2009 - Photographs

Annual Dinner 2008 - Photographs

Annual Dinner 2007 - Photographs

Annual Dinner 2006 - Photographs

Annual Dinner 2005 - photographs

Annual Dinner 2004 - Photographs

Annual Dinner 2003 - Photographs


2009 AGM


2009 Committee Dinner


A Fringe First - The Royal High School presents






2016 Annual Dinner





2015 Prize Giving


The 2015 Prize Giving was held on Friday 26th June.   Club President Frank Crowe expertly managed the event, while Former Pupil Rosie Kay, Dance Company Impresario gave an inspiring address, whetting the appetites of many aspiring School dancers.     Rosie has frequently addressed the London Club Dinner, but this was her maiden speech at the Prize Giving.


The Platform Party, The Rector and Rosie Kay (centre) with Norrie Arthur, School violinist Thomas Kettle, and past Rectors Jane Frith and Matt MacIver Three Rectors - Jane Frith, Pauline Walker and Matt MacIver Platform Party in the Staff Room prior to the event




2015 Annual Dinner


Friday 27th March saw the ever popular Annual Dinner, convened at the Roxburghe Hotel, and the accompanying photographs tell many stories.    Ladies seemed to be to the fore, with the (thankfully) reduced Toast List being delivered by three Ladies, with Club President Sheriff Crowe keeping them in order.    Judith McLure waxed lyrical in genuine praise of the School, and Eleanor Morton strummed her ukelele throughout her entertaining comedy presentation.     The School Administration team sat at the School table, and kept the senior pupils in order.     We were once again royally entertained before the dinner by the School Fiddle Group.


The top table, including partners The School Fiddle Group led by June Nelson David Simpson keeps time for the fiddle group  Le fabuleux le personnel de l'école - the School Administration team
A bevy of Sheriffs Alastair MacLean and others Pre-dinner drinks London Club President and Secretary (Fraser Wright and Alex Prentice)
The School Table Tina Woolnough, Alan Grosset and Rab Forman A pair of Rutherfords and others The speakers - Judith McLure, The Rector and Eleanor Morton (with the Club President)




2014 Prize Giving

Friday 27th June saw the end of the 2013-2014 School year and the Commemoration and Prize-Giving.   Chaired by Club President Sheriff Frank Crowe, other principal speakers were retiring Rector Jane Frith (who received a standing ovation), Dux James Powell who delivered the valedictory address and Fraser Doherty MBE who gave the FP address.


Sheriff Crowe chaired the event, and his speech was punctuated by his usual stock of self-deprecating remarks, including his recollections of sixth-form antics including games of chance and horse racing.     He quipped "this is the closest I've ever been to a prize".    Of the assembled teachers he said "Great gowns, I didn't realise we had so many Nobel Laureates".

Retiring teacher Anthea Gage presented the prizes.     Frank introduced her as being famous for stripy clothing, zany singing and introducing ipads.    New awards this year included the awarding of colours, specifically to the thirteen who had attained international honours in their sport.     For them, a gold blazer pocket crest replaced the usual white version, also a School scarf with a distinctive crest.


The FP address was delivered by Fraser Doherty MBE, the 24 year old who has developed an international enterprise from his start at 14, when his Grandma taught him how to make jam.    His journey has taken through potential chicken farming (as a 10 year old), Waitrose rejection (then acceptance), sharing the front page of the Sun with Susan Boyle, a dramatised Japanese TV enactment of his life (Fraser played by a young Indian boy) and the development of Superjam Charity tea parties for elderly people who live alone or in care (Fraser's Gran used to do this when he was young).    Fraser delivered his all to brief address (around 10 minutes) without any notes.    A lesson for all of us.

More on Fraser at


Dux James Powell delivered the valedictory address, in which he thanked parents, staff and classmates for his development.     He is undertaking a degree in Medicine at Nottingham University.


Rector Jane Frith responded, thanking many individuals and groups for their help during her five year tenure.     She described her reasons for leaving, including the wish to travel and write as perhaps the principal ones.     She received a standing ovation.


Proxime to Dux Isla Cowan read a very moving poem, and following a rendition of two verses of the School song the sixth form leavers left School via the Memorial door.



School pipers welcome guests.   They were also on hand to pipe the leavers through the Memorial door Notable guests and alickadoos gather for coffee and biscuits in the staff room prior to the PG The platform party.  School Captain Robert Bough (far left), Fraser Doherty (4th left) and Jane Frith (centre wearing gown) are joined by other platform partymembers The photo scramble.    Some of the 130+ School leavers picture outside the Memorial door





2014 Annual Dinner

Friday 7th March saw a further return to Charlotte Square, this time to the renamed Crowne Plaza.   Sadly, our principal speaker, Gareth Doodes, Headmaster of Heriots, had to call off on the day, but our ever redoubtable Hon Secretary filled the gap admirably.     Feature tables were the RHS Golf Club, and the 40 year reunion table.


David Simpson, Jane Frith, Alex Prentice and Bill Craig Malcolm Henderson, Colin Blaikie, Jane Roy and Alison Macdonald Sheriff Andrew Normand, Kenneth Cameron WS, Sheriffs Neil Mackinnon and Nigel Morrison John Mitchell QC, Louise Stevenson with guest, Lord Mike Jones and Rab Forman
Guests with David Robb Colin Blaikie, Alan Wardrop, Derek Moffat and Keith McAlpine Dave Ferguson supporting Badger David Rutherford and Robbie Reid
Colin Watson, Euan Rae, Ian McCombie and Kenny Brown Alastair Allanach, Dave Ferguson, Badger, Tommy Cooper and guest Derek Hodgson, Nick Greer and Kenneth Cameron Malcolm Henderson and Colin Brown
Michael Rutherford, Dave Hill, guest and Ian Duckworth Lady Jones and Sheriff Donald Corke    




2013 Pre-Christmas drinks evening


Thursday 12th December saw the first pre-Christmas drinks evening for seven years, and not surprisingly there were some return visits.   See the 2006 function here    You may notice Colin Blaikie, Hugh Mackenzie and Jock Dewar in both sets of photos - they're obviously party animals.     While oldies did seem to dominate the proceedings, there were welcome inaugural visits from the 2006 Dux (Zander McIvor), and one of the original 1973 female intake (Alison McDonald).    Whighams in Charlotte Square did a reasonable job of hosting the event, albeit it was a bit of a squeeze given the Festive date.   All agreed that they were looking forward to attending next year.    We trust that our fledgling email contact system will be flourishing by then...


Dougie Flett, Ian Cowie and Hugh Mackenzie Guest, Dougie Plews, Stuart Macmillan and Colin Blaikie Club President Frank Crowe, Stuart Rennie and guest Stuart Rennie and Colin Blaikie
Young FP's Michael Rutherford, Zander McIvor (with guest), and David Taylor Rab, Alison Macdonald, Jane Roy and Ronnie Tait Guests in conversation Robin Boog, Badger, Dougie Flett and Colin Blaikie





2013 Prize Giving


The 2013 Prize Giving was held on Friday 28th June.     The Ceremony was chaired be Club President Sheriff Frank Crowe, who gave a now familiar pithy performance, interspersing the introduction of speakers with tales of his schooldays in Fife and at the High School.

He told the story of the Great Tapestry of Scotland, whose many connected parts are to shortly to be hung in the Scottish Parliament (covering some of the concrete!).     One panel commemorates the 1871 inaugural Scotland - England rugby match, when the only try in the Scottish victory was scored by Royal High School FP's Angus Buchanan.     He also talked about the friend of his 12 year old son who won several book token prizes, and was exchanging them for guide books about Sweden to accompany his forthcoming visit with the Crowe family.     On hearing this, and that the balance was to purchase academic volumes, Frank advised that if he had won such prizes as a schoolboy they would have immediately have been exchanged for bound copies of the Commando comics.

Lord (Mike) Jones FP address concentrated on the topic of change, that change which relates to the furtherance of the school leavers' career.     He told of his early passion for the RAF, but how that cooled, and at the end of his commission he undertook a legal degree, and has seen some success in his changed profession.     He illustrated his RAF days by producing a single eye-patch, explaining that as a Phantom bomber pilot, his final briefing before a mock nuclear bomb deployment through central Europe included an explanation of the use of the eye patch.    The Phantom, hurtling along faster than the sound barrier would be not the only deployer of nuclear weapons: others would be exploding to the left and right.     In pre satnav days, a stopwatch would advise when these bombs were to ignite, and the pilot would don the eye patch and look the other way.     Not exactly conforming with current Health and Safety regulations, but all the RAF could afford.   Neil Armstrong and his fellow astronauts had gold-lined visors.

Over 150 Pupils took leave of the School, shaking hands with the Rector before passing through the Memorial Door, and being received by the RHS Club President in the big world outside.



The platform party - Front: Janette Shearer (who presented the prizes), Lord Jones, Frank Crowe and the Rector.    Extreme right in the rear is Lady Jones, the rest comprising former committee members


Sixth form leavers departing School through the memorial doors.    Platform party includes Messers Yellowlees, Bryden, Crossley, Tait, Tudball, Inch, Macmillan and two Rutherfords

  Lord and Lady Jones (Mike and Fiona)  with Frank Crowe   Three Musketeers - Retiring Treasurer Peter Yellowlees, and ex Club Presidents Stuart Macmillan and Jim Inch   Former Acting Rector David Simpson gets into the picture with the famous eagle lectern  





2013 London Club Dinner


The RAF Club in Piccadilly was the splendid setting for the London Club's annual dinner.    President Valerie Peay introduced the speakers, who included Phil Edgar-Jones, currently Head of Entertainment at Sky, but famous for overseeing Big Bother when it was on Channel 4.    Edinburgh Club President Louise Stevenson filled the breach caused by the sad indisposition of the Rector and School Captain by delivering a compendium address.   Guests from other School Clubs in London included Douglas Forster representing Stewarts Melville FP Club, and Aman Agarwal representing Watsons College FP's.


Wendy Edgar- Jones, Valerie Peay, Alex Prentice, Louise Stevenson, Douglas Forster, Phil Edgar-Jones







2013 Annual Dinner


The 2013 Annual Dinner, held on Friday 8th March at the Roxburgh Hotel in Edinburgh was another glittering affair, top table speeches following the usual high quality approach.   Sheriff Michael O'Grady delivered the reply from the guests, utilising his customary lawyer-dry wit to humour the audience.    An unusually high number of photographs was taken, and all attendees should see themselves somewhere at least once...


Top table: The Rector, Sheriff Michael O'Grady, Louise Stevenson, George Smuga

Rab Forman and legal friends Jim Dallas, Sheriff Andrew Bell and friends Peter Yellowlees and friends David Rutherford, Raymond Paul and friends
The young ones - Rutherford, McIvor et al The Crossleys, Alex Prentice, Valerie Peay and friends

The School table

Ian Forrest, Tom Fraser, Gordon Smith and friends Ian Cowie, Graham Holton and friends
Keith and Colin Blaikie and friends Eddie and Sarah Tait and friends

London Club President Valerie Peay, David Ingram and Guest

Lord Mackay, John Mitchell QC and Sheriffs O'Grady and Crowe - a serious legal quartet Matt MacIver, Neil Sutherland and friends
Alan Grosset and A;astair Maclean Macmillan, Yellowlees and friends Jim Inch, Kenny Pollock and Val Tudball Ingram, Allanach and Prentice

Ballotine, bacon, breast of chicken and tartlet

Louise Stevenson and the School Captains






2012 Prize-Giving

The 2012 Prize-Giving was held on Friday 29th June.     David Robb, , the distinguished actor, delivered the Former Pupils speech.    Recognised immediately as one of the stars of Downton Abbey, and accompanied by his wife, actress Briony McRoberts, he recollected his schooldays, and his experiences in acting and life.    One story recalled an entry in the Funeral Order of service for the talented and famous English Rugby player, Andy Ripley.     He had said “You can earn a living from what you get, but only get a life from what you give”.    David commended that approach to the students.      Mrs Caroline Barrett, in her final duty after many years as a teacher, presented the prizes.   The event was chaired by Club President Louis Stevenson.



The platform party assemble in staff room after tea and bscuits

  Departing Sixth form students take leave of the School... ...and assemble outside in the Brave New World to compare notes  

Some platform personalities - Former Rector George Smuga, Rector Jane Frith, David Robb and his wife Briony McRoberts






2011 Annual Dinner

Another good turnout with around 125 diners, including over 40 guests.     The School Fiddle Orchestra (twelve terrific young performers) played a selection of their own favourite pieces immediately before dinner.    Many thanks again to June Nelson and her young charges.     The performance is testament to the level of musical excellence in the School.



Chicken liver parfait and shin of beef


Al Senter and David Hunter


Table 11, including Neil Shaw and George Kirkwood


Top table -Chris Crossley, Wilson Hunter Martin Bryden, Matt

Maciver, and Jane Frith


Table 8 - including Alec Prentice, Marissa, Jean and Charlie Bryden


The Lord Provost, The Town Clerk and the Club Treasurer


The top table


School Table, including School Captain Harmandeep Shetra


Table 4 - including Gillian Crossley and Jim Dallas


Table 13 (The Young Ones) including the incoming President Louise Stevenson





2010 Prize-Giving

The 2010 Prize-Giving was held on Thursday 2nd July.     George Pascoe-Watson, the distinguished journalist, delivered the Former Pupils speech.    He mentioned that despite failing to leave via the memorial door 26 years previously, he had nevertheless during his career met the Queen, The US President in the Oval Office, been present at both Iraq Wars and in Afghanistan, but one of his fondest memories was being invited on one of John Murray's music 'tours'.     Mrs Marissa Bryden, wife of the current President presented the prizes.   The event was chaired by Club President Martin Bryden.


Martin Bryden and Jane Frith All the Brydens, Martin, Marissa and Charlie David Rutherford, Martin Bryden, Senior Vice-President Louise Stevenson, David Simpson and London Club representative Eddie tait




2010 Annual Dinner

A good turnout this year with around 125 Diners.   The school fiddle group provided no fewer than 10 players this year, and even 'piped in' the top table.   Their Rector must have been very proud.     Many thanks to the pupils and June Nelson for the organisation.   


Fish mousse, Pot roast and Apple crumble The top table.   Dr John Halliday, Rector Jane Frith, Martin Bryden, Louise Stevenson and Austin Lafferty The incredible string band !   The school fiddle group perform magnificently again Rab Forman, Louise Stevenson and Dr Halliday A bevy of celebrities, including three former presidents School Captain Dylan Lynch and his two Vice Captains




Dr John Barclay's 100th Birthday party


St Andrews Day 2009 saw the 100th birthday celebration of Dr John Barclay.    John, accompanied by his wife was treated to a splendid occasion, involving the delivery of letters of congratulation from the Queen and the Prime Minister.   He also received a present of a laptop computer from the owners of Strachan House to allow him to continue producing the monthly newsletter, which he has been doing for the last nine years.    So much for computing being the domain of youngsters.    The Club and School were represented and honorary membership was conferred on him.     Many happy returns John!


Dr Barclay is presented with Honorary Membership of the RHS Club by the School Vice-Captain in the presence of the Lord Provost and Rector Jane Frith   Dr Barclay (resplendent in highland dress) with his birthday cake.    He had asked just for a simple cup cake, so the Strachan House kitchen created a cake out of many cup cakes!




2009 Committee Dinner


The annual committee dinner was graced this year by the presence of no fewer than four Rectors.     George Smuga was presented with a silver tray as a token of his ten years outstanding service as Rector, and Mrs Jane Frith was introduced to those present.    A selection of photographs is shown below.


Mr and Mrs George Smuga and Club President Martin Bryden   Four Rectors in one photo!.   David Simpson and George Smuga are joined by Mrs Jane Frith and Matt McIver   The attendees gather prior to the dinner   Mr and Mrs George Smuga, Val Tudball and Chris Crossley on the New Club balcony, overlooking the tram works and the RSA



2009 Prize-Giving


The 2009 Prize-Giving was held on Thursday 2nd July.     Professor John Kay, the distinguished economist, delivered the Former Pupils speech and Mrs Marissa Bryden, wife of the current President presented the prizes.   The event was chaired by Lord Provost George Grubb.


The platform party The platform party including Martin and Marissa Bryden The Rector shakes hands with pupils as they leave the School through the memorial doors Pupils, guests and parents leave the event Committee member Chris Crossley 'on duty' at the FP's stand at the lunch in the clubhouse after the PG




2009 AGM


The 2009 AGM was held in the Scottish Arts Club, Rutland Square in Edinburgh.    Martin Bryden was elected President, and received the Chain of Office from Alastair Allanach, the outgoing President.


A general view prior to the meeting President Alastair Allanach passing the Chain of Office to the new President 'Big' brother Charlie Bryden, (1997 President) congratulates little brother Martin New Vice-President Chris Crossley and new committee member Stewart McFarlane




2009 Dinner


The 2009 Annual Dinner was held on Friday 27th March in the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh.    Speakers included The Honourable Lady Dorrian, Acting Rector David Simpson, London Club President Al Senter and Stewart Smith, an accomplished after dinner speaker and freelance radio and television writer.    Around 125 members and guests attended, and were royally entertained prior to the event by a fiddle sextet consisting entirely of Royal High School pupils.    The slide show from the RHS Club website was resumed after an absence last year.    Thanks to the Roxburghe hotel for great food and service, and for providing the screen for the slideshow.


Leek, lamb and lemon on the menu   The Acting Rector with School Captain, Joseph Ghaemi, and Vice-Captains Rebecca Powell and Patrick Saddler   The School Fiddle Sextet play Homecoming music   Stewart McFarlane, Pringle Fisher, Ally Black, Alan Mann and Hugh Mackenzie   The Top Table:  Acting Rector David Simpson, Lady Dorrian, President Allanach, Stewart Smith, London Club President Al Senter
Stuart Macmillan and Jimmy Dignall, with Matt McIver in the background President Allanach and Hon. Secretary Rab Forman Ex-President David Rutherford with son and daughter Michael and Claire Tina Woolnough (Chair of the School Council), Jock, George Smuga and guest The School table: three Captains, six teachers and Jock




2008 School Leavers Gathering


Around thirty sixth form leavers attended the function on 8th August, the third annual event hosted by the Club.   Finger food and refreshments were enjoyed along with a programme of DVD's including Shona Thomson's splendid 'RHS Club through the years', and the 2009 Prize-Giving recorded by the School Audio-Visual specialist.    Still photographs taken during the Prize-Giving were also on display.   The School teaching staff were also represented.

A selection of photographs from the event are shown below.


A general view of the event   Another general view of the event !   Chris Crossley and Stuart Macmillan shouldering the burden for the Committee   Still photographs from the Prize-Giving were on show and on sale    




2008 Prize-Giving


The Annual School Prize-Giving was held on Friday 27th June.    A small selection of photographs are shown below.     Lord Provost George Grubb chaired the event, while The Lady Provost presented the prizes.    Club President Alastair Allanach gave the Former Pupil's address.    Pictures are courtesy of John Stables, the School Audio-Visual Technician, who extracted these examples from the annual video record of the event.

The platform party stand to sing the hymn.   At least five Club ex-Presidents are present   Lord Provost George Grubb chairing the event   Acting Rector David Simpson delivers his address   The Lady Provost presenting a prize    
Another view of the platform party   Club President Alastair Allanach making the FP address   The Sixth form Leavers depart via the Memorial door... be greeted by the Club President outside.   Shona Thomson is in attendance    




2008 Dinner


The 2008 Dinner was held on Friday 14th March in the Roxburghe Hotel when the principal speakers were Rt. Hon George Grubb, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Councillor Louise Lang and the traditional after dinner speech being provided by Peter Brown.    Rector George Smuga made what may be his last rectorial speech as he has been seconded to the Scottish Government.

Some of the photographs suffered from an overdose of high-tech camera complexity (i.e. your website photographer doesn't understand the new camera's settings), and we apologise for those which are out of focus.   We are hoping for focussed versions from other attendees.


Pre-dinner drinks   'Educationalists'  Martin Bryden, David Simpson, Matt McIver and George Smuga
London Club President Al Senter enlightens  the School representatives about the function of the London Club At the bar A Council meeting.    The Lord Provost, The Director of Corporate Services and Councillor Lang mull over proceedings discussed in the Council Chamber earlier in the day
John Mitchell QC, Prof Eddie Spiers, Prof John Kay, Hon Secy Rab Forman John Mitchell, Vice-President Douglas Forman, Committee Member Jim Dallas Shona Thomson, Hugh Mackenzie, Alistair Maclean.    What has Alistair just said to Hugh?






2008 President

Alastair Allanach




At the 2008 AGM, Alastair Allanach was elected President.    Alastair has the following message for the website.


As website administrator, it has been my privilege for the last five years to construct the website entry (from supplied text) for the incoming President.    This year I have to construct my own entry, and I apologise in advance for its brevity.

I have been involved in Royal High committee work for the past seven years, and have been particularly occupied with the memorabilia sub-committee with Val Tudball and Stuart Macmillan.    I have been the webmaster and website creator for the last five years, assisted by the web sub-committee.

From this base, I have been able to see more clearly the work that the Royal High Club does to assist the Royal High School, and the many ways in which it enables connectivity between School students, teachers and the Rector, with all those who have passed through the famous Memorial Doors on their way to the first afternoon of the rest of their lives.    I have come to know the Rector and several teachers well, and appreciate enormously their efforts to continue to make the school (which I remember fondly and well) a leader in Edinburgh and Scotland.     I have been working closely with the Acting Rector, David Simpson to continue the excellent relationship which the Club has with the Head of School, most notably recently with George Smuga.

I recently spent a couple of hours in the exalted company of Matt McIver, Chief Executive and Registrar of the General Teaching Council of Scotland, initiating the compilation of his archive during his tenure as Rector of the School.    This archive will appear on these pages in due course.     I have spent many hours in the last year working with Hugh Mackenzie to create the draft history of the Royal High FP Rugby Club.     These projects, along with many hours spent assisting with the project to ensure we do our best to secure the memorabilia of the last 175 years of the 'modern' High School,  have been ones which I have enjoyed enormously and hope to continue.

My Presidential year will be marked by occasions like the Prize-Giving, Remembrance Day Service, Annual Dinner and attendance at the School Council.    I intend to keep a log (blog?) of these events and record them on the website.





Honorary President

George Henry





After a distinguished career and long connection with the School and Club, George became Honorary President in succession to W. St. John Spence in April 2007.   George has prepared this short introduction to himself.


I have every reason to be grateful for my years spent at the Royal High School.

I went to the Preparatory School at Northfield Broadway as a 5 year old in 1935, and emerged at 18 from the Senior School in Regent Road certainly a wiser and hopefully a better boy.    Academically I was not brilliant, but nevertheless adequate, and my only distinction was at the age of twelve when I was Dux of the Preparatory School.   I was rather better on the sports field, and played for five years in the 1st Cricket XI ending up as captain.    I also played in the 1st Rugby XV for two years and was captain of basketball.    More important than any of these achievements, such as they were, was that I really enjoyed my school years despite six of those years being dominated by the Second Wold War.   To my amazement, and the even greater amazement of my parents and classmates was my appointment as School Captain in 1947/48, perhaps my proudest school achievement.

I had many good and lasting friendships throughout my school years, and still value many of these to this day.

On leaving school, I went to Edinburgh University to study law and attained an MA LLB in 1953,    For three years during my University course, I served a concurrent legal apprenticeship with Lindsay Howe WS.

National Service was still compulsory at this time and I served in the Army from 1954 to 1956 rising to the dizzy rank of 2nd Lieutenant.    On my demob, I joined Fyfe Ireland WS becoming a partner in 1959 and Writer to the Signet in 1964.   I spent the rest of my legal career with Fyfe Ireland eventually becoming the Senior Partner.

Throughout my professional career, I maintained my contacts with the School through the Royal High School Club, Rugby and Cricket Clubs, and served for many years on the Club and other committees, including a time as Secretary and Treasurer of the Trust which ran the School Boarding House until its sale.    I was Captain of the FP Cricket Club in 1961, the Centenary year and was privileged to play against many famous cricketers.

I became president of the Royal High School Club in 1977, and in April 2007 was honoured to succeed my lifelong friend St. John Spence as Honorary president.

I retired in 1991 and since then my time has been fully occupied by my family of a daughter, son and four grandchildren.   In between times I play golf, bowls and bridge, and watch sport.   I have been an active member of Luffness Golf Club for many years where I still play badly but enjoyably, and was Captain there in 1984.    Although in common with many of my contemporaries I now creak a bit, I am still fairly active, and hope that my golf handicap will decrease and that there are many grand slams to be made on the bridge table. 


George sadly died in June 2016






2007 President

Val Tudball

At the 2007 AGM, Val Tudball MBE was elected President.    Val has the following message for the website.


May I welcome you all to the Club website.   I am enormously proud to be elected President of this venerable Club, and trust that I will be able to emulate my forebears, many of whom I am pleased to say are good friends.

I feel extremely honoured to be this years President, and the committee and I in liaison with the school shall promote the interests of the school to form a strong link between the pupils past and present and to ensure continuing co-operation between former pupils and the school in matters concerning the welfare of the school.

We will promote educational, sport and leisure activities as well as social, cultural and pastoral interests and also act as the parent club to all Royal High School clubs throughout the UK and abroad.
We have an extremely successful club and we will ensure that this is maintained and encouraged.

I have already attended the sixth formers' RHS Club introduction presented by my fellow committee member Louise Stevenson, and intend to be a regular attendee at the School Board meetings.    I am looking forward to Chairing the Annual Prize-Giving on 29th June.   I will also be at the Remembrance service on Friday 9th November, along with the other events such as the Annual Dinner and the London Dinner.    I recently met with the Government Schools Inspectors and brought them up to date with the close links between the School and RHS Club.






A Fringe First - The Royal High School Presents


The Royal High School has a long musical tradition covering classical concerts, choir recitals, the KT Christmas singers, the musical link with our partner school in Munich and the annual performance song and dance spectacular that is the Secret Policeman’s Ball.

Never before has the Royal High School put on a show as part of the official Festival Fringe. The staff and pupils worked incredibly hard preparing for what was the musical event of the year, the schools production of WE WILL ROCK YOU.   Sell-out audiences attended all the performances.


With a cast of over 100 singers and dancers this was, by far, our most ambitious project to date.    We thank the many people who came along and enjoyed what was a unique event.





2007 Prize-Giving


The Annual School Prize-Giving was held on Friday 29th June.    A small selection of photographs are shown below.     Club President Val Tudball chaired the event, while Mrs Tudball presented the prizes.    Dr Morag Easson gave the Former Pupil's address.    The event also marked the retiral of Senior Deputy Rector Neil Sutherland.


Generations of Committee members, past and present along with the Rector (includes six former Presidents)

Val and Susan Tudball, The Rector and retiring Senior Deputy Rector Neil Sutherland

Val and Susan Tudball, Dr Morag Easson, Neil Sutherland and the Rector




2007 Dinner


The 2007 Dinner was held on Friday 16th March in the Roxburghe Hotel when the principal speakers were Mike Mavor, Headmaster of Loretto, and Sandy Strang, the well known after dinner speaker and ex-Deputy Head of Hutcheson's Grammar School.   The toast to the Guests was by Shona Gillies (leaving year 1999).   The now customary computer slide show from the Club's photographic archive was shown before and after the dinner in the bar area.

On view for the first time in many years was the 'Eagle' lectern which was used at morning assembly in Regent Road.   It was presented by booksellers Dr Robert and James Thin on 26th July 1925.   They had been pupils in the 1870's and 1860's respectively.  A photo is shown below. The Club is indebted to George Smuga and Stuart Macmillan for its safe arrival at the function.

Around 120 guests attended, and the following photographs show some of the 'revels'.


The Speakers (and the menu)   General view in the bar before the dinner   The top table (at rest)   The eagle lectern   Diners converse




2006 November Social function

The inaugural November social function was held on 23rd November.


This inaugural event was held in Frazers Bar, an impressive art deco bar within the Dome in George Street, central Edinburgh.   The event, attended by over thirty FP's and guests, including a number of committee members, was advertised as a casual pre-Christmas social.      As can be seen from the photos below, a wide age-range attended.    In future, this event may take the form of a drinks and snacks event for a small charge, but on this occasion it was decided to make it a pay as you go occasion.



Shona Thomson, Mark Bowman and guests

 Kirsty Gillies, Lynn Davidson and guest

Euan Rae, Hugh McKenzie and guests, with Badger in the background at the bar

Jim Dallas, Ian Willox, exp-Club President Colin Blaikie and guest

The exterior of the Dome, widely considered to be the most impressive of Edinburgh's 'bank-to-bar' conversions




2006 School Leavers function

The third annual Sixth form School Leavers function was hosted by the Club on Thursday 24th August in the Clubhouse.


The objective of the event is to make and maintain contact with those who passed through the memorial doors a few months previously (in this case on Friday 30th June).    All teachers are invited along with Club Committee members.

Around twenty five Leavers (including the past School Captain), several teachers and representatives from the Club committee enjoyed an informal wine and canapés function which lasted for around  two hours.    A video presentation prepared by Shona Thomson (our resident cinematographer) ran throughout the event.    This multimedia presentation features video footage from the 2006 prize-giving incorporated with still images from our photo archives.

Canapés were prepared by the resident Chef (Robin Boog) and contact details obtained from the ex-students will be used to maintain contact with them in the coming years.



A general view of the function

Guests viewing a video of the prize-giving and historical events

Ex President Stuart Macmillan, Senior Vice President Val Tudball, President Robin Boog and Depute Rector Sheila Paton,

President Robin in the kitchen preparing the canapés (a.k.a. somosas and sausages)





2006 President - Robin Boog


At the 2006 AGM, Robin Boog was elected President.    Robin has the following message for the website.


As President of the Royal High School Club this year can I welcome you all to the website, introduce myself, and explain what I see as the main priorities for my year in office.

I attended the Royal High from 1963 until 1969 which means that I had the pleasure of sampling the delights of both Regent Road and Barnton.   After a sixth year spent mainly either in the gym or on the rugby field I went to Herriot Watt University to do Economics.   My working life since then has been spent in the Life Assurance industry.     After a spell away from Edinburgh I returned in 1983 and since then have been heavily involved with both the rugby club and the Athletic club at Barnton. I have also been involved in a number of other areas relating to the school, particularly the provision of sporting facilities.

Having attended both the Edinburgh and London Dinners this year I am pleased to report that both were very successful. During the remainder of my tenure I will be attending meetings of the School Board, the end of school year prize-giving and the leavers Function which will be held in August.      Outwith these my main objective for the year will be to see how the FP Club can assist the school with the provision of sport for the pupils, a topic on which much press coverage and Government time is currently being expended. I would also like to try and ensure that as many of the current Leavers as possible join the FP Club.

With the Club Website we have an ideal opportunity not only to let members know what is going on but also to give members a means of communicating and keeping in touch with friends. That only works of course if the information provided is accurate and up to date and I would ask all members, when moving house or changing Email name to keep us informed.

We also want to hear from members as to what they think of the Website, what the Club should be doing, and anything else they feel is relevant. This can be done via the website or direct to myself at

Lastly, a word of thanks to all the members who do so much work behind the scenes for the club, much of which is unknown to most people. Without them the Club would not be the success it undoubtedly is.




2005 Prize-Giving
The Annual School Prize-Giving was held on Friday 1st July.    A small selection of photographs are shown below.     Kate Wheaton, retiring after many years teaching at the School presented the prizes.

The platform guests gather in the staff room

Kate Wheaton showing off her hat after  presenting the prizes

The Rector and other principal guests

London Club President Simon Card and (now) Senior Vice-President Val Tudball with leaving pupils




2006 Annual Dinner

The 2006 Annual Dinner was held in the Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh, on Friday 10th March.  

Around 140 members and guests contributed to a memorable evening, hosted by President Robin Boog.    Club and School were toasted by Gareth Edwards, principal of George Watson's College, while replies for the School and Guests were by Rector George Smuga and Simon Card (President of the London Club) respectively.   The website photographer recorded a few images, shown below.


The top table

  The Immediate Past president flanked by Senior Vice-President and the 2003 President   A general view   Later in the bar.    Badger is holding court


Royal High School Club - welcome presentation to Form S6

Committee member Louise Stevenson recently visited the School and addressed form S6 with the purpose of introducing them to the Aims, Objectives and work of the Royal High Club committee.    This is an extract from her presentation.

As members of The Royal High School Club, we are always looking for ways to encourage younger FPs to become involved.  In August 2004, for the first time, we held a drinks reception in the clubhouse for new leavers.  This was well attended and allowed an informal opportunity for new FPs to meet committee members and find out more about the club. 

This year we decided to go one step further and speak to S6 pupils before they become FPs.  As a representative of the committee I visited the S6 year group during their weekly hour of PSE (personal and social education) in school.  In preparation for their leave taking ceremony on July 1st 2005 I spoke to them about the history and traditions of the school and club, and the point when they would become FPs.

All sixth year pupils were invited to join, and become involved in, the club; both in Edinburgh and London.  I also invited them to attend a few key events in the coming year.  These include the 2005 S6 Leavers Drinks Reception in August 2005 and the annual RHS Club Dinner in March 2006.

All S6 pupils were issued with information about the club web-site to encourage them to visit and keep up with events.  A suggestion was made by a pupil that FPs might be interested to hear about events happening in school, such as shows or sporting events.  In the future we will try to advertise these on the web-site.

Only time will tell if these presentations are beneficial in encouraging new FPs to take part in the Royal High Club.  It was a pleasure to meet the current S6 and I look forward to seeing them at future events.



2005 Annual Dinner


The 2005 Annual Dinner was held in the Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh, on Friday 11th March.   Around 140 members and guests contributed to a memorable evening, hosted by President Colin Blaikie, and addressed by several speakers including Dr Ian Jardine, Douglas May QC and Peter Brown.    We were also pleased to see Eddie Tait from the London Club  at the dinner.   Included are a few photographs kindly taken and supplied by Committee Member Mark Bowman.




The Top Table George Smuga, Simon Card, Dr Ian Jardine, Colin Blaikie, Douglas May QC, Peter Brown


The president and guests


John Ellis and daughter Kirsty.    John retired this year after many years teaching PE at the school, latterly as Sports Coordinator.  John took over from Dougie Mitchell in 1979


Some of the more mature guests



Messers Dewar, Smuga and younger guests

  Everyone wants to be in the picture...   Roy Cowper and guests (David Graham and Stewart Clark)  

David Huggan, guest, Shona Thomson, Mark Bowman





2005 President - Colin Blaikie



At the 2005 AGM, Colin Blaikie was elected President.    Colin has the following message for his presidential year.

As President of  The Royal High School Club, I welcome all visitors to the web site and hope what you find here will be of interest.

I am writing this piece part way through my year of office. As President, I am responsible for chairing the Edinburgh Dinner and attending (and speaking at) the London Dinner, and I am pleased to report that both of these were well attended.  I was particularly taken with the more informal format of the London Dinner and will be discussing with  my committee ways in which the Edinburgh Dinner (and the Club generally) could evolve to meet the needs of the younger generation of members who are coming through.

Of course, not everyone who leaves the school automatically becomes a member, since they have to be around at the end of the term that they leave and  pay  a one-off subscription fee to join as lifetime members and to receive  a copy of School’s History.  I wonder whether in 2005 (when many leavers in fact leave prior to the end of the school year) if this is the way to maximise Club membership and would like to see if we can investigate alternative methods of joining the Club and maintaining membership during my time as President.

The Club website potentially makes it easier for members to keep in touch with the Club and other members and I am anxious that the Club keeps in touch with as many members as possible.  I would like to encourage members (or leavers who are non-members !) who have any views on what the Club should be doing to contact me at

As far as the remainder of my Presidential year is concerned, I am attending meetings of School Board (having  previously been a member some years ago) and I am looking forward to the annual prizegiving ceremony at the end of the summer term and a second School Leaver’s function that the Club hopes to organise in August of 2005.

For those who remember me (and those that do not !) I attended The Royal High Primary School at Jock’s Lodge and thereafter went to Barnton between 1971 and 1977 where amongst many other excellent teachers, I was taught by Jock Dewar and John Murray.  I had a great time at school, playing senior rugby in my final three years, captaining the school in my final year and managing to fit in many other extra curricular  activities, including the school Jazz  Band and  Choir.

I read law at Edinburgh university and qualified as a Solicitor in 1984 before setting up my own legal and estate agency practice  in 1988.  I retired from playing rugby some years ago and now find it safer to sponsor RHC !    I am married with three children and still have a passion for old Lancias !



The Opening of the Refurbished School - Friday 2nd July 2004

This year's truly impressive annual prize-giving was augmented by a ceremony marking the official opening of the refurbished school.    Sarah Boyack MSP, a former pupil, performed the opening ceremony before the assembled audience of pupils, parents, teachers, dignitaries and a number of Royal High School Club committee members.    We have included a series of photographs of the official opening event.   For pictures of the Prize-giving, please see the School website.

Photo includes Councillor Rev Ewen Aitken, Sarah Boyack, Ms Small, The Rector,   The official party in front of the Memorial Doors.   These were re-sited from Regent Road   2004 President with Miss Small who presented the prizes this year   Some old favourites including Badger, Louise Stevenson, Rab Forman, Stuart Macmillan





2004 President - Alan Grosset



At the 2004 AGM, Alan Grosset was elected President.    Alan has the following message for his presidential year.

As President of the Royal High School Club this year, I welcome you all to the website, and would like to introduce myself and explain some of my objectives for my year as President.


An early objective is to repeat the requirement stated by my predecessor Jim Inch which is to simplify and shorten the speeches at the Annual Dinner.   To this end, the format will change, with only one reply to the Toast to the Club, and a celebrity speaker.


In terms of the year ahead, I am sure that the Rector will agree that it is good that the PPP Project is now finished and the school can look forward with some confidence to the future.  The Club itself is in good heart and I hope that the 2004 Dinner will again be well supported.  The format has been updated slightly as I have previously explained, and I hope members and their guests will enjoy the evening. 


We are hopeful of arranging a function aimed at school leavers in the summer and the Committee, working resolutely as always, are having a look at various other alterations in the way the Club might be run in the future.  I am grateful to Alastair Allanach and his sub-committee for work on the website, also to Alastair, Stuart McMillan and Val Tudball for their work on Royal High archives.     Most importantly, our indefatigable secretary, Rab Forman is perpetually deserving of our thanks.  I hope that all our attempts to move forward and in particular strengthen the Club's links with the School continue to bear success. 


On a personal note, I left school in 1959, having served  as a prefect and captained the school tennis and badminton team.  I went on to  Edinburgh University, graduating MA LLB before joining Alex Morison & Co WS in 1965. I became a Partner in 1970 and retired in 2002, although I remains with the Firm as a Consultant at the moment.  Some of my career at school can be seen elsewhere on the website in photographic form including "Waiting in the Wings" a record of the 1953 Usher Hall School Concert. 

While I was involved with a busy Edinburgh legal firm as a commercial partner and sports law specialist, I have also been heavily involved in the administration of sport outwith his legal practice.  Among the posts I have held are President, Scottish Lawn Tennis Association 1983/84;  Captain, Duddingston Golf Club 1992/94; and eighteen years service as a member with the Scottish Sports Council (now Sportscotland), the last eight years as Vice Chairman.  I have just demitted office as the Chairman of the Confederation of British Sport, the Federation of the Governing Body umbrella bodies in the UK  and still serve as the Vice Chairman of the Sports Dispute Resolution Panel Limited, a body which I helped to set up some years ago along with lawyer friends from the British Olympic Association and the Central Council of Physical Recreation.



2004 Annual Dinner


The 2004 Annual Dinner was held in the Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh, on Friday 12th March.   Around 140 members and guests contributed to a memorable evening, hosted by President Alan Grosset, and addressed by several speakers including Chief Constable Peter Wilson of Fife Constabulary who toasted the Club and School.    Other speakers included the Rector, new committee member David Williamson and Brian Donald of BBC Scotland fame who had the mixed audience laughing in the aisles with many of the best and cleanest gags they had heard in years.    For those who missed the event, the menu and toast list is featured below along with a few photographs (kindly taken and supplied by 2002 President Stuart Macmillan).




Melon, Soup, Beef and Citrus Tart followed by Toast(s)


The Top Table - Janette Scantelbury, George Smuga, Peter Wilson, Alan Grosset, David Williamson, Brian Donald


More of the top table


The young ones


More young ones...


The old ones, featuring Brian Ronaldson


More old ones, featuring Pringle Fisher, Ally Black, Graham Acaster, Roy Cowper


General view of the tables







Dr John Murray

Dr Murray recently retired from the School after 32 years of service for many of which he was Deputy Rector and Principal Teacher of Music.   He was interviewed by the website team.    Pictures from the celebratory dinner on 31st October are shown after this article.


Dr John Murray BA, PhD, GRSM, ARMCM, LRAM 

This description of John Murray describes his life in the Royal High School, where he has made an immense contribution during the last thirty two years to many aspects of school life including its management, excellence in Music and sport, and the forging of links with European schools.      It also describes some of his time away from the school, including his education, musical involvement and life in France.

John, a Liverpudlian, graduated from the Royal Manchester College of Music (gaining GRSM) and taught in a secondary School in Liverpool for four years before coming to the Royal High in 1971 where he was appointed principal teacher of Music.    He was appointed Assistant Rector in 1979 and elevated to (sole) Depute Rector in 1985.    He was an experienced Senior Manager, responsible for the day-to-day running of the School, timetabling and 5th and 6th form curriculum.   He is remembered for intolerantly issuing ‘Yufties’ to teachers to babysit classes for those teachers who fell ill or absent (Yuftie translates as  “you have to…take that class”).     He is also recollected as committed and enthusiastic, compassionate and understanding.    

A current Club committee member (1996 leaver) remembers Dr Murray referring to the then current 3rd year practice of leaving shirt outside trousers as “looking like convicts from an Australian soap opera”.  I was sitting beside a classmate who was a proud Australian who disliked the reference to convicts, and proceeded to challenge Dr. M on the subject.  I cowered in my seat as Dr. M came over to the aggrieved Australian and was relieved when Dr M simply told him to meet him after the assembly.  I was expecting him be on eternal detention, but when Dr M apologised for any offence that he had caused to Australians I realised that this was an honest and fair man who was to be admired rather than feared.

He later qualified as BA, then PhD, using the life of Rector Dr Alexander Adam (High School rector from 1771-1809) for his thesis.   Dr Adam was a celebrated teacher and writer, who taught until the year of his death, often to classes of up to 100.   His pupils included Scott, Cockburn and Jeffrey.

John authored ‘A History of the Royal High School’ in 1997 at the behest of and with the assistance of (among many others) the Royal High School Club committee.    This definitive history of the school is a chronological history from 1128 to the publication date, and John’s pride in all things ‘Royal High’ is evident in this essential read for all current and ex High Scholars.   Great assistance was given (again among others) by Dr John Barclay and the then Rector Matt McIver.   It is given to all sixth-form leavers on prize-giving day, but see the shop entry for purchasing information if you do not have one, and the bibliography entry for a synopsis of the volume. 

John has fond memories of ‘Curly’ Bill Mitchell’s Rugby teams, and includes Brian Scott’s unbeaten team in 1971/72 as one of the School’s high sporting achievements.

His involvement in the biennial school European music trips since 1975 has marked the High School as a leader in this field.    Over 1000 students have benefited from trips to Munich and Florence, with reciprocal trips from these countries in intervening years.    The European dimension has always been a part of John’s educational philosophy, and he as experienced as anyone in Scotland in this area.

His involvement with the KT singers, founded in 1978 by Kenneth Thomson, has been particularly rewarding, with well over £20,000 being donated as a result of the choir’s Christmas carol singing.   John has handed over the mentoring to a young colleague, Andrew Morley, but will continue to participate whenever invited!

When asked, “what’s next” and “how will you survive without the High School” he replies that he will simply do the other things he loves – reading, music, spending time with the family, watching rugby.

He intends to spend more time in his house in the Dordogne when his wife Joan retires from her Music teaching post at the Edinburgh Academy in June next year, but is also planning to spend time in Edinburgh.    His daughter Rachel works for Accenture in London while son Ben is in his last year at St Andrews University

If anyone wishes to contact John, they can do so via the Rector or through this website.

See also a reminiscence of Dr John in Where are they now?



Dinner in Edinburgh City Chambers in Honour of Dr Murray, 31st October 2003

The following photographs record some of the School and Committee personalities in addition to John Murray, the Guest of Honour.    Apologies for the Hello-esque presentation format.


Matt MacIver (Past Rector), John Murray and George Smuga (Current Rector)


Rab Forman, Alan Grosset and Jim Inch


Jim Inch and Peter Yellowlees


Jock Dewar and Kate Wheaton.  What is Kate saying about Jock?


Alastair Allanach and Val Tudball







2003 President- Jim Inch


At the 2003 AGM, James Inch was elected President.    Jim was interviewed by the web team and the following is his message for his presidential year.

As President of the Royal High School Club I would like to welcome you to our new website.

The last couple of months have been a busy and enjoyable time for the Club.  

The 2003 Dinner was again held in the Roxburgh Hotel and it was fantastic to see the event supported in such large numbers.  I understand that most members were very satisfied with the meal and the venue and generally the evening was a success.  The highlight for many was the toast made by John Murray.  John has made an invaluable contribution to school life over the years and it was a privilege to present him at the dinner with a small token of our appreciation.   

There is a feeling, however, that the format of the dinner needs to be updated.   As a result a sub group has been created to consider the arrangements on the night, this includes the number of speeches and the possibility of a celebrity’ speaker at future dinners.  

As well as the Club Dinner and the recent School Prize Giving I will also be attending School Board meetings and various other events during my year as President.  These events will enable me to get the views of existing members and it will also give me the opportunity to publicise the Club with a view to increasing our membership. 

Our records show that the Club’s membership is extremely healthy and I am delighted that the Club continues to prosper and evolve.  Whilst the Club will always embrace and cherish its roots and traditions, like any organisation it cannot stand still and it is reassuring to know that the push to change and modernise is coming from within. This website for example demonstrates the Club’s efforts to move with the times.

I recognise that as President I am well placed to contribute to the well being of the Club.  I would like to see the Club broaden its membership base and become more inclusive.  This could be achieved by strengthening the Club’s links with existing pupils at the school.  The future success of the Club is dependent on encouraging these pupils and recent RHS leavers to play an active role in its running.  This is just one idea and I would be delighted if you contacted me at to discuss this or any other Club related activity.

Finally I would like to thank all those members who work so hard to make the Club such a success.  I hope to see some of you soon.

Best wishes

Jim Inch



2003 Annual Dinner

The 2003 Annual Dinner was held on Friday 14th March 2003.    The principal speaker for the second consecutive year was the Rt. Hon. Eric Milligan,  Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh.      Over 150 Members and Guests attended tthe dinner at the Roxburgh Hotel in Edinburgh.    Among the highlights were the Toasts and Menu, the Revellers, and the launch of the new website.     See some images below, kindly provided by Jennifer Wright (nee Gilmour).   If any other images are available the website team would be grateful.       Please contact us.

  Menu and Toasts  

David Huggan, Lynn Davidson, Mark Bowman, Kirsty Gillies


Kirsty Gillies, David Huggan, Jennifer Wright


Emily MacDonald, Mark Bowman, David Holmes, Kirsty Gillies, David Huggan, Grant Bolton



School News

This topic will be updated shortly.   Contact the School site for further information.


Newsletter information will be available from this location, hopefully in the form of downloads



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