Forever Remembered - Merhistonian News
A New Beginning - Merchistonian News
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The Merchistonian Club Newsletter
30 October 2020
Forever Remembered - Merchistonian News

Merchiston Sport

For those interested in following the School sports teams, the full fixtures list can be found here.

Sports Desk

2020 Leavers

We would like to take this chance to extend a welcome to our new audience. Despite being unable to welcome you in our normal fashion we are delighted to have 63 new members from our Upper Sixth in the Club and would love to hear how you are all getting on since leaving so that we can have a special focus on Class of 2020 in next month's edition.


Let us know what you are up to

Forever Remembered

A message from Bob Forman (89-94), Merchistonian Club President:

"As you will know we were not able to publish our annual Merchistonian Club magazine this year.

However, we felt that it was important for us to commemorate and celebrate the lives of those alumni and friends of Merchiston who are no longer with us.

We hope that you will find that this will help you to remember and to be thankful for everything good that those we have met and loved brought into our lives, and all that they have given to others."

We have endeavoured to source tributes to alumni who have died, as posted in the media or submitted by family and friends. Thank you to those that have been in touch and made contributions. If you have a notification or would like to pay tribute to a Merchistonian please get in touch with the Merchistonian Office. Please click below to see our tribute. 

Forever Remembered

Merchiston Tower

Professor Roy Robertson (64-69) came across this wonderful postcard of the original Merchiston Castle School in an antiques shop and thought that it would be of interest to many of you.


There is a very sweet message on the back. It is so hard to picture what is now the Merchiston Campus of Napier University looking like this. Read more about Merchiston's early years below.

Merchiston History

The Challenges of Lockdown

Doug Crawford (09-14) recently completed his MSc Performance Psychology dissertation on how coaches supported athlete's wellbeing during lockdown, and is happy to discuss with anyone concerned about how to manage the next few months in light of Scottish Rugby's recent announcement to pause competitive club and school's rugby until at least January.

Get in touch

Careers Café

Do you have an hour to spare to share your career journey with a small group of current pupils? Karen Coyne, Head of Careers at Merchiston, is hoping that some of you will be keen to talk about how you got to where you are now?

"Do you remember the days when you were deciding what to do next and how important it is to get a broad perspective of the opportunities which lie ahead? We are looking for inspiring speakers to host our informal online Careers' Cafes where the boys are exposed to different career pathways and can hear from your own experience.  

If you are interested in sharing your experience in an informal way please get in touch! It would involve an hour of your time on either a Tuesday or a Thursday afternoon from 4.30pm."

Get in touch

World Class

We are delighted to report Christopher Gourlay (93-98) has been appointed Professor of Physical Metallurgy at Imperial College London.

Congratulations Christopher, please let us know how you get on in your new role.

Fairy-tale Ending

Congratulations to Chris Dudar (95-01) as he begins married life. Chris married fiancée Alexandra Fay Hardwick on 26 September at Crail Parish Church in the East Neuk of Fife.

"Fay actually attended St. Leonards in the same year as me and so we like to think that we first caught eyes at a Pringle disco (standing on the opposite side of the hall as you did back in the day, too nervous to venture over until the final 10 minutes) however that can be neither confirmed or denied."

Student of the Year

We are delighted to hear that The Chippendale International School of Furniture have announced Tom Powell (07-14) as their Student of the Year 2020.

We got in touch with Tom to congratulate him and find out what is next for him:

"I am setting up a business taking bespoke furniture commissions and other woodwork. When designing and making furniture careful, precise workmanship is at the heart of what I do. Wherever possible I use native, sustainably sourced timber and I feel it is important that my work shows the natural beauty and features of the wood. Taking inspiration from the arts and crafts movement, I believe that the joinery should be a main feature in any given piece and that the lines should be simple yet pleasing to the eye."

Check out Tom's website to see his work.


Photo: David N. Anderson Photography


Tom's website

Beanie Time

We still have a small number of Limited Edition Merchistonian Club Beanies in stock.

A perfect stocking filler for any Merchistonian this Christmas! Ideal for rugby matches (hopefully in the not too distant future), dog walks, skiing…. the options are endless. Don't miss out.

Get in touch

Trusted Advice

Jonathan Finnie (81-87) has recently graduated with Distinction from Strathclyde Business School with an MBA in Business Management. Jonathan is now working within the research and development industry and has been in touch with the following offer:

"My aim is to help all eligible companies in the UK claim tax relief through R&D, capital allowance, patent box, Land Remedial. Our team includes industry leading experts who have working networks within the HMRC. Obtaining tax relief for companies can only be achieved if the relevant conditions are met. It is therefore vital that professional advice is sought at an early stage. If your company needs advice in these areas I would welcome the chance assist you. Please do not hesitate to contact me at or by phone on 07595981950

Get in touch

Career Support - Recent Leavers

A kind offer from George Cockburn (58-63):

"If any recent leaver is seeking assistance and constructive advice about career choice. I have over 30 years' experience as a Head hunter. See website for further details. Please contact me at shelvestrategic@"

Get in touch

Student Self-reflection

Douglas Brown (04-14) has written a short story on his university experience along with some of the key takeaways from his time as a student. If there are any students out there struggling to adapt to the current university environment, be sure to give Douglas' article a read.

Douglas' article



Merchistonian Affinity Discount - Pretty Pink Eco-Jewellery

Current parent, Amalia Wragg has been in touch to offer you a generous 15% discount on her eco-jewellery company, Pretty Pink Eco-Jewellery.

Pretty pink eco-jewellery



"Pretty Pink Eco-Jewellery is a fashion brand based in Edinburgh. We design and make jewellery mainly from Vegetable Ivory - Tagua nut, a seed that is harvested naturally as "wind fall" and provides both jobs and an income for the indigenous people of the Amazon. With Christmas coming, we would like to offer a 15% discount to the Merchistonian community, using code ReadyayReady.  Hopefully we can help you make Christmas more ethical and environmentally friendly but also more colourful. We also ship worldwide."

Snowberry Val d'Isère

Run by Jack Dun's (14-20) family, Snowberry is the leading ski hire shop in Val d'Isère, France offering top quality equipment, professional service and English-speaking staff. Courtesy transport and in-chalet service available. Book online and quote READYAYREADY for an extra Merchi 5% discount.
Have a look at other discounts available to you. Please get in touch if you would like to get onboard.


Future Players

Martin Stein (84-89) enjoyed a fantastic round at Gullane Golf Club with the pupils from Merchiston's Golf Academy.
"It was a late call for me to make up the 4 and in the end well worth it! Good fun was had with Lyle, Luke and his father, John. A breezy day on Gullane No 2 with the 'older' guys taking the young guys! Nice young men and both will be great assets to the Merchistonian Golf Club."

Rifle Talent Pathway

We were delighted to hear that Tom Diggle (08-16) has been selected to be a part of the British Shooting Rifle Talent Academy. This program aims to have athletes progress into the British Rifle Academy. The whole purpose of this program is to have athletes in the 2024/26 Olympic games.


Tom has also just been selected into the Tier 1 Scotland Squad, which is the top Scottish senior squad.

Read more

Dreams Do Come True

Good luck to Fraser Brown (01-07), Jamie Dobie (12-19), Patrick Kelly (10-14), Stafford McDowall (14-16) and Rufus McLean (08-18)  for the new season with Glasgow Warriors.

Also to Dan Nutton (05-15), Magnus Bradbury (11-13), James Johnstone (02-08)  and Dave Cherry (02-09) with Edinburgh Rugby, Zach Mercer (13-15)  with Bath rugby and Scott Steele (10-11)  at Harlequins.

Merchiston now have 4 Scrum Half's playing professional rugby. Dan Nutton, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (06-14), Jamie Dobie  and Scott Steele.

Congratulations to Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (06-11) for becoming a Champions Cup double winner and to Fraser who scored two tries on his first appearance as Scotland captain with an eight-try 48-7 victory over Georgia.

Merchiston Anecdotes

During lockdown George Cockburn (58-63) devised and despatched a trivia quiz which turned out to be a remarkable source for linking up with school friends, some of whom he had not spoken to, for over 50 years.

"In many cases we were able to share stories from times gone by, which got me thinking that there has to be scope for a small book of amusing anecdotes which, I plan to publish in time for Christmas 2020!"

We look forward to receiving an update from George.

That's all for this week's newsletter.

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

0131 312 2237 | |
Merchiston Castle School, 294 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH13 0PU

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