The Partick Burns Club was instituted in 1885 and has met to honour Robert Burns every January since then, with the exception of some years during the First and Second World Wars. The Club was founded by the merchants, trades people and members of the Burgh council and the Presidents up to 1912 (when Partick was incorporated into greater Glasgow) were almost uniquely the Provosts of the Burgh.
The Club survived incorporation into Glasgow and between the wars continued its Annual membership. Thanks to the chain of office the names of the Presidents are recorded, however little else of this part of the Club’s history is known. After the Second World War, the suppers continued, however again, with the exception of the names of Presidents, little else is known.
The span of membership now greatly exceeds the boundaries of Partick and is very much a Glasgow West End Institution. Since the mid-1970’s the Presidents have been drawn from a wide range of backgrounds including Doctors, Solicitors, MP’s, Clergy, Academia, the Fire Service and others.
Originally and up to the Great War the Supper venues were local hotels and the Partick Burgh Hall itself. More recently it has included: Hubbards bakery (now Viper nightclub) on Great Western Road; the University of Glasgow Refectory and College Club; and after a particularly disastrous return to Partick Burgh Hall, the Supper has found a longer term home in its current venue in the Jimmy Ireland Stand at the High School of Glasgow.
With the start of the new Millennium the Committee decided that the Club should take on a charitable aspect and sums in the order of £1,500 are raised at each supper. Notable charities include: Erskine; various cancer charities; and the Malawi fund.
The current membership is over 200.
The Supper, like that of many other Burns’ Clubs, is an all-male occasion. A marvellous cross-section of those living in the West End of Glasgow and beyond attends, with ages ranging from seventeen to ninety, forming a company around one hundred and thirty strong.
Being all male, the Partick Burns Club does not propose a Toast to the Lasses. Instead a “Toast to Auld Pertyck” is the secondary main Toast of the evening. This Toast generally pays tribute to the Burgh of Partick (which seems often to include most of Glasgow) and its history and people. Among its previous proposers are several Provosts of the Burgh of Partick, until it was incorporated within Glasgow in 1912, and a number of Lord Provosts of the City itself.
Those who have proposed the Toast to The Immortal Memory in past years include the late Lord Jenkins of Hillhead and the late Donald Dewar; more recently George Reid, Fergus Ewing and Notable Academics and Educationalists have also honoured the Club with an Immortal Memory. Recently, the toast to the Immortal Memory was proposed by Lord McConnell of Glennscorrodale, formerly First Minister in the Scottish Executive.
The suppers generally start at 6.15 for 6.45 pm, with a welcome dram, and events usually close by around 11 pm.
Dress for the evening, favoured by the majority of those present, is lounge suit.
As the main event is the Supper and this is based around Burns’ membership of the ‘Tarbolton Bachelors Club’, membership is currently limited to males only. We have removed the bachelor restriction.
There is no requirement to be known, proposed or seconded by existing member to join the Club. All that is required is an interest in the life of Robert Burns and a desire to keep his memory Immortal.
For further details, please contact the Secretary, email@example.com
Club Memorabilia and Furthering Club History
One of the goals of this site is to aid in furthering the history of The Partick Burns Club. The Club currently holds historical menus, documents and the chain of office (which has been in continuous use by the club from 1885 – 2000).
If you have any knowledge or memorabilia relating to the history of the club, please contact the Secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org