CRAIGMILLAR HEARTS COMMUNITY CLUB
INAUGURATED 20TH JUNE 2014
Our club has its foundations as far back as 1947 when post war supporters of the heart of midlothian football club decided to organise themselves into a club dedicated to following their beloved team. We have gone from very humble beginnings such as the hut at harewood , the community centre in craigmillar castle gardens, the scout hut in niddrie mains terrrace and our specially constructed clubrooms at harewood road, which was inaugurated on the 29th april 1968.
It is safe to say that our clubrooms at 1b harewood road were the best appointed and most luxurious in the east of scotland and we enjoyed many happy and prosperous years in those premises. Sadly the good times couldn’t last forever and the loss of the pits around us in mid and east lothian as well as the brewing and brickmaking industries in craigmillar meant that many good members had to leave the area to seek work.
Niddrie / craigmillar went into terminal decline and the club suffered as a result, with falling attendances making it harder for the committee to maintain the upkeep of the building. However we did struggle on and the club was still a haven for many pensioner and retired members, as well as those of us who were lucky enough still to have jobs.
In august 2005 the building caught fire due to an electrical fault at the projector screen in the ceiling of the games room. By 08.30 the building was lost and the firemen decided, on safety grounds, to let it burn itself out. The building was demolished the same day and the site has remained unused and derelict since then.
We quickly discovered that, unknown to us, our landlord edinburgh council, who owned the land the club was built on, had the building insured at the same time as we did. This gave our insurance company the get out clause they needed and they refused to pay us the 1 million pounds we had the building insured for. They also refused to pay any contents insurance for everything we lost in the fire.
We then had to make representation to the council to have the insurance money they received for the building ringfenced for the rebuilding of our clubrooms. The council agreed that morally the money belonged to us and the money was ringfenced for just that purpose.
It has taken just 6 weeks short of 9 years to see the dream of our new premises come to fruition. It has taken this long for the council to find us the right place to re-
It would be remiss of us not to pay special thanks to the many hundreds of ordinary people from niddrie / craigmillar who started the concept of the club, nurtured it and brought it to the pinnacle of its life in the 70s and 80s. The names are too many to mention and their dedication and sacrifice for the club were the reasons behind the clubs success.
However i would like to name a few, from down the decades, whose outstanding service to the club will always be remebered, and these are in no particular order.
Bill wilson, sheila lennie, willie bruce, charlie roe, murray haston, alex gunderson, len armstrong, albert clair, jack kerr, annie and alec swan, alice ogden, irene and billy mccubbing, may and jimmy simpson, lena boswell, effie milligan, ina and sid bamborough, tucker murray, john mckay, john conquer. To name but a few. Please don’t be offended if your relatives name is not on this list, as i said, we thank everyone for their contribution.
The fight to resurrect the club has been a long, and at times frustrating journey. The travel section refused to let it go and fought tooth and nail to make sure the council kept its promise. We organised meetings in the thistle foundation, started running buses to games from the danderhall and newton miners club and the edmonstone inn. We had regular get togethers and fundraisers in danderhall miners and for the past year, sandra and dode mcdonald have organised regular monthly bingo sessions in the thistle foundation, with the help of sandra rennie, alice rennie and ann tant. The ladies and gents taking part in these fund raising ventures were the inspiration we needed to keep us going.
All this is on top of the hundreds of meetings with every conceivable person and group who would listen to us. Aye its been a long, long journey.
At this time we would like to thank the committee and members of danderhall and newton miners club, the merchiston hearts social club, the federation of hearts supporters clubs and the craigmillar community council for their unstinting support for our club. Without their help and encouragement it would have been impossible to keep the dream alive.
Now begins a new chapter for our club and it is up to you all to come along and support the many functions and charity events we are planning to hold in our new premises.
Niddrie / craigmillar has been without a social facility for far too long now, so let us use our club to its maximum, for the benefit of the whole community.