Whitecraigs History

The First World War is well over and people have great expectations of a better life for the victors.

Glasgow was a densely packed city warmed by dirty coal fires.

Its surroundings were largely pastoral and people wishing to escape from the grime of the city started to move into homes being built in the greener areas. This expansion out of the city moved through what are now Merrylee and Giffnock and to a lesser degree Whitecraigs and Newton Mearns.

Newcomers to the area also desired to live in these newer properties.

A group of young men from this new populace for their own reasons decided to set up a Rugby Club to serve the area. Many would not be eligible to play for the Schools 'Former Pupils' sides. Some would rather not do so, given a choice. Some would not wish to journey across the city to train and play.

The Club they founded was WHITECRAIGS.

The use was obtained of ground at Deaconsbank, which was a field amongst other fields. This use was shared initially with a local Hockey club. Several fixtures were arranged with local clubs, many of who have either disappeared or been absorbed into mergers with other clubs and lost their identity.

The Club attracted some more than useful players but was never powerful enough to compete with the long existing Clubs with their steady supply of young players every year.

The Club however gained for itself a reputation for making visitors welcome, being friendly and welcoming to incomers and opponents alike. (This warmth in the early days was not apparent to the players who if they required to remove the day's clinging mud at the end of the game were required to use the stream running between the two pitches.)

What might have been, in different circumstances we can never know'

The Second World War started in 1939.

* Many of the Clubs young men were conscripted into the forces.

* The Ministry of Defence requisitioned the ground for military purposes.

* The club was not to function again for another twenty years.

* Many of the players did not survive the war and those that did and resumed their interest in their Club found the ground a sorry site.

It was covered with military huts which had been used in turn to house troops in training, then Italian prisoners and finally, sadly, those whose homes had been destroyed and had nowhere else to go.

Any chance of recovery for the Club seemed remote.

However nothing daunted a small team including Walter Strang, John Findlay, Jimmy Maitland and Ron Grant, to whom we must be most grateful purchased the ground from Nether Pollock Ltd ( who were most generous) and restored the ground to a grassed level surface.

In 1961 therefore we had two pitches again, a small clubhouse and some spare land for development.

Players joined, many the decendants of past members and some for reasons that original players had found. (It must be said that many members from those early sixties are still not only members but actively involved in our current activities).

Land values had increased enormously and with planning permission the old ground was sold to a developer for a goodly sum. ( The generosity of Nether Pollock Ltd was rewarded at this stage as they had an agreement to benefit from any future sale of the land )

We were able to buy our 22 acres at West Lodge, install three well engineered pitches and build a Clubhouse beyond many of our expectations and still have money and ground available for further expansion.

That brings us up to date.

The youth development from five years old to senior rugby is the jewel in the crown and is and will continue to serve us well. We employ a Club Development Officer and a Modern Apprentice who spend their time the local Primary and Secondary Schools.

Started in 1978 it has improved under a succession of activists and generated a wealth of talent including many who have already represented your country at various age levels. Three graduates of this chain have gained full Scottish caps,

More are sure to come.

In the last couple of seasons we have had a number of ex Whitecraigs players, who have played at Premier levels, come back and play for their original club.

We have the facilities,
we have the will,
we are honing the talent
we must strive for it.

It is the best team game.

Things are changing for the better ....

2013 & 2014 - Championship A

2012 - 7th in P2

2011 - Champions Premier 3

2010- Promoted to Premier 3

2009 - Champions SHE National Division 2

2009 - SRU / SHE Club of the Month, March

2008 - Champions SHE National Division 3

2008 - SRU / SHE Club of the Month, February

Community, Commitment, Passion, MORE THAN A RUGBY CLUB