Formed in 1870 on the initiative of the first President, John Wilson, in company with a group of like minded enthusiasts, many of whom boasted either membership or close association with Bridgeton Bowling Club, the initial Anniversary Supper of the Bridgeton Burns Club on 25th January 1871 in Bridgeton’s Murdoch Hall brought together all those in the area who had, in previous years, celebrated the life and works of Robert Burns at less formal, isolated gatherings.
From the outset, the educational ambitions of the Club were clearly in evidence, a commitment clearly stated in the printed rules and objects of the Club, the latter requiring the…
“…endeavour, through DONATION, SUBSCRIPTION and other MEANS to establish a fund for the encouragement of the KNOWLEDGE and CULTIVATION of SCOTTISH LITERATURE amongst the children of members, with a view ultimately to found scholarships… and… bursaries at the University, for meritorious Pupils selected from the Bridgeton Elementary Schools, who shall excel in a competitive examination on a portion of Scottish literature previously indicated by the Club.”
To this day the Directorship of the Bridgeton Burns Club has not deviated from the principle embodied in the original and admirable objects as testified by the programme of events organised by the Club’s 14 strong and extremely active Board, which meets formally each month from September until May, but operates at sub committee level throughout the entire year. The Board has also established The Bridgeton Burns Club Fund for The Arts.
The principal aim of the Bridgeton Burns Club in celebrating the life and works of ROBERT BURNS is to introduce his songs and poetry to the young people of Glasgow, through the Club's annual Schools Competition.
For the majority of competition participants this is a unique and enjoyable experience, one which they will remember for the rest of their lives.
A limited number of extremely gifted entrants will be encouraged by the competition to further develop their talents through the ongoing study of music, drama, art and literature.
To help encourage such youngsters to realise their ambitions in such fields, the Bridgeton Burns Club has established the FUND for the ARTS, which can provide a degree of financial assistance for aspirants who would otherwise be unable to achieve the desired progress.