The Stratford-upon-Avon & District Caledonian Society’s objective is to encourage the continuation and expansion of Scottish traditions, customs and values throughout the district.
To achieve this objective the society organises social activities and other functions for all those who are interested.
The society has no fixed meeting place of its own. Rather, members meet at the activities and events shown on the Activities page. Of course, there is plenty of contact on an ad-hoc basis! The society covers South Warwickshire yet has many members from much further afield.
Membership is open to anyone who agrees with and supports our objective. We would be delighted to hear from you and assure a warm welcome should you choose to join us!
The society was founded on 17th January,1947 at an inaugural meeting led by Dr A. R. McWhinney, founder President.
From its beginning the ladies have played a key role in the running of the Society. Vyvian Wells and Gladys Scott were both founder members and Past Presidents. Vyvian was the first Treasurer and Gladys the first Scottish Dance Instructor. Music for the dancing was provided by Mrs Madge Ross, mother of Past President Joan Denton. The highlights of those early years were the Hogmanay Ball, the Burns Dinner and weekly Ceilidhs. Most of the Society’s current activities have their roots in those early days.
With the passage of time the weekly Ceilidh has become an annual event – The Haggis Supper held with dancing in November, followed by a St Andrew’s Day Service in a church of the President’s choice. The Society’s Spring Scottish Dance attracts Scots and dancers from across the Midlands. The weekly Scottish Country Dance Club has attracted steady support over the years and there is a demand for dancing demonstrations; indeed, we boast that it provides the best value, healthy entertainment in Stratford!
In 2003 the Society first provided performance opportunities to young people through the Young People’s Concert. This became an annual event that was well supported and attracted a wide audience – it was last held in 2012. Also in 2003, the first President’s Lunch was organised which is now another successful annual event. 2003 was an exciting year and saw yet another first – the introduction of the summer Ramble, followed by ploughman’s supper, over Wootton Park, the farm of past President Ian-Roy McCall. Of course, the highlight of the year is the Burns Dinner with Dance, held most recently at the Stratford Racecourse. Guests seem to value particularly the subtle combination of formality, warm welcome and relaxed enjoyment.
In 2012 a Book Group was formed to further the reading and discussion of books principally with a Scottish connection.
Each year the Society contributes to local charities and remembers past members by supporting the Shakespeare Hospice’s annual “Light a Life” ceremony.
Though well grounded in the past the Society has the energy to innovate and contribute in its own special way to the quality of life in Stratford and its district and always provides a warm welcome to new members.