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A New Beginning - Merchistonian News
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The Merchistonian Club Newsletter
May 2021

We're Back!

We cannot believe that so much time has passed and so much has happened in the world since our last newsletter way back in December! That said, we are at half term already and it has been an absolute pleasure to be back on campus and to be able to see the boys and staff enjoying so much of what Merchiston has to offer. Do please keep your news stories and articles coming so we can ensure we have lots of information to cascade out.


Merchiston Sport

For those interested in following the School sports teams then please click here:

Sports Desk

Off the top of our Heads!

Alan Johnston
Senior Deputy Head

"Keeping the Focus"

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Jonathan Anderson

"Reaching Out"

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Dale Cartwright
Deputy Head Teaching and Learning

"Back in the Classroom"

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View from the Pew - Nick Blair

The Grant Museum

Boys walk past this stone at School every day blissfully unaware of what the Grant Museum was. In the 1880s Merchistonians were literally spread all over the globe and an idea was hatched to ask them to "send" the world back. An old boy Alexander Innes Grant died in New Zealand in 1885 and a museum was set up in his honour the following year. The scale was astonishing...curios from around the globe came in....some perhaps incongruous to modern thinking...

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Anecdotes from the Archives - Philip Rossiter


Merchiston is extremely grateful to RJ Hewat (1951-1956) for the donation of his extensive Military History Library, which will prove a great addition to the School’s large collection of books. Some of the books in the collection have been “bagged” by the History Department, because they are pertinent to current examination syllabuses. Others are on display in the Old Library, largely covering the late 19th Century, the First and Second World Wars, and the Cold War period – all of which are studied within the Merchiston History curriculum. They will also provide useful research material for A Level research essays. The books on display in the Old Library will be varied periodically. This library provides an extremely valuable resource for Merchiston’s historians, for which the School wishes to record its sincere thanks.

Fun Finance Facts - Pippa Axon

1) The original value of a British pound was equal to a pound (in weight) of silver.

2) Commodity markets in their earliest form are believed to have originated somewhere between 4,500 BC and 4,000 BC.

3) The Dow Jones Industrial Average, or simply called the Dow Jones is a Stock Market Index created by Charles Dow, editor of The Wall Street Journal and his business associate, statistician Edward Jones.

Did you know.....?

That before Merchiston moved to its present site, the names of the Houses were Castle House, Castle Gates House, Bank House and Mardale House?

Merchistonian Matters

Ian Graham, 1960-65: continues to enjoy retirement and is still involved in athletics. After a “break” of 50 years from piano playing, he has just passed his Grade 5 examination with Merit.

Gordon Cardigan, 1960-66: has recently written his memoirs for his grandchildren and other descendants.

Hamish Forrest, 1965-69: Hamish reports that his father, Jack Forrest, 1935-39, celebrated his 100th birthday on 13 April 2021.

John Macmillan, 1970-75: after graduating in Law from Dundee University, John joined MacRoberts LLP in Glasgow, progressing to Partner and then Managing Partner. He retired in 2020, but remains active as an occasional Consultant.

John Mitchell, 1983-88: having worked at Speirs & Jeffrey Ltd for 26 years, John is now Finance Executive with Levy & McRae Solicitors LLP. He is also Chairman of Glasgow Academicals RFC, and would be pleased to hear from any young Merchistonians wanting to play rugby in Glasgow.

Rory Forbes, 1984-88: 2020 was an eventful year for Rory, celebrating his 50th birthday and starting at Sands China Ltd in Macau as Vice President of Security. He and Anita also welcomed their second child, a baby girl named Riley McGregor, in July.

Roderick Binns, 1985-92: with his wife, set up the Edinburgh architectural practice Fernandes Binns Architects Ltd in 2019.

James Rankin, 1985-92: James and his wife, Holly, have celebrated the birth of a daughter, Hazel Felicity Dalziel. James is now the Business Development Director at the Centre for Process innovation at the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre in Darlington. CPI helps biopharmaceutical companies develop their ideas into new products, and has been supporting the sector and the UK government in the fight against coronavirus.

Andrew Auld, 1986-91: in 2019, Andrew successfully sold the Bakery, Café and Deli business he founded in 2008. He is now co-owner and Commercial Director at PTFS Europe Ltd – a cloud software business operating in the library sector.

Colin Scagell, 1987- 92: his son, Henry, followed in his footsteps by joining Merchiston in Chalmers West in September 2020.

Fergus Burnett, 1988-90: in early 2019, Fergus was invited to be one of only three photographers in the UK to cover all events at any of the Royal Household palaces and residences.

Simon Henderson, 1989-93: after 11 years living in the Middle East, Simon relocated to Germany to be Regional General Counsel for Europe and the Middle East for Compass Group PLC. His eldest son, Max, moves into Chalmers East in September 2021, when his youngest two boys, Ben and Angus, join Pringle.

Robin Macpherson, 1991-97: appointed Headmaster of Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen, from August 2020.

William Biggart, 1994-2001: has another baby boy, Ralph Alexander Jude, born on 9 March 2021.

Chris Dudar, 1995-2001: moved back to Edinburgh in September 2019 as a Senior Business Manager within BT Corporate, and got married on 29 September 2020.

Simon Carpenter, 1997-2002: Simon completes his PGDE in Primary Education in June 2021, after which he hopes to become a primary school teacher.

Edward Hunter, 1997-2008: Edward and his wife, Alice, have a baby son, Arthur James, born on 13 February 2021.

Sebastian Dunnett, 2000-07: completed his PhD in global environmental change in September 2020, and married Jessica Fleminger in the same month. Their first child, Millie, was born on 3 January 2021.

David Cherry, 2002-09: David, at the age of 30, has fulfilled his dream of playing for Scotland in this year’s Six Nations, gaining five caps and two tries. After the win against England in the Calcutta Cup match, his picture lifting the cup was beamed around the world. David hopes that his long journey to the Scotland team “will demonstrate to young people everywhere that if you believe in yourself and stick at it, you can achieve your dreams”.

Peter Kwok, 2002-04: Peter has founded and is chairing the Global Diaspora Confedor-ation, the world’s largest diaspora-led organisation that unites, supports and develops diaspora organisations across the world for peace and advancement.

Andrew Ferguson, 2005-08: currently working for UEFA on the EURO 2020 project, the first major sporting event delivered with fans since the pandemic started.

Euan Jennings, 2006-15 & Gregor McMillan, 2008-15: Euan and Gregor have co-founded Z9 Films, a video production company located in Edinburgh.

Martin Christ, 2007-09: his monograph “Biographies of a Reformation, Religious Change and Confessional Coexistence in Upper Lusatia, 1520-1635, has just been published by Oxford University Press.

Charles (Tianyi) Liu, 2015-19: After Merchiston, Charles went to study Medicine at the University of Buckingham, where, amongst other things, he is President of the Art Society and President of the Medical School’s Mental Health & Applied Medicine Society.

Special Match!

Last Thursday evening, the 1XI played the Merchistonians in the annual cricket match and it was great to have some old boys back into the School. We welcomed back some familiar faces including current Scotland international, Tom Sole. The Merchistonians posted 102 all out. Tom Sole (27) and Duncan Hodge (25) were the top scorers. At one stage the Merchistonians were flying on 70-1 off 7 overs!! However, a super spell from V form pupil, Will S picked up the wicket of Tom. Vice captain, Oscar J then ripped through the tail, picking up 4 quick wickets. The 1XI knocked the total off, just one down in the 16th over. Tom MS back from his duty with Durham 2XI top scored with 44 not out and Will F contributed with a quick fire 25. As ever, the fixture is very well supported and it is always lovely to catch up with our old boys. See you next year!

Time for Rugby

We are running our Summer non-residential rugby camp  from Monday 26 July to Friday 30th July. Is your son, grandson, nephew or brother keen to get back on the pitch? Let him join us for an action packed week of rugby coaching. The Merchiston Rugby Camp provides a professional and safe environment for your son to get back to playing the game he loves.

More info

That's all for this newsletter.

As always, we hope you have enjoyed reading and if you have any stories of your own, please do get in touch!

0131 312 2201 | |
Merchiston Castle School, 294 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH13 0PU

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