Beauly Shinty Club: 125 Years in the Making – Tom Smith

Hailing from Kiltarlity and playing the majority of my shinty years at Lovat, little did I know I would get to play a small part in helping showcase local rivals Beauly Shinty Club’s 125-year history.  Although my family home was based just four miles from Braeview Park, I knew little about the rich history of the club which has an influence far outwith the small Highland village.

1.1 1897 1898 Beauly Camanachd Cup Winners KIGHF_HF_4_01_01
Beauly Shinty Club: 1897-8 Camanachd Cup Winners

Working with Beauly Shinty Club and, in particular, Steven Mackenzie and David Calder, I have had the opportunity to design and develop a book entitled The Fifth Quarter: Beauly Shinty Club 1992-2017.

The new 125th anniversary book with the 1992 Centenary one        Photo: Stanislava Delieva

The document begins by exploring what is commonly regarded as Beauly’s most successful period when the club participated in three Camanachd and three MacTavish finals during their early years.  This success was short-lived when the beckoning calls of the First World War withdrew 25 Beauly men to the continent. With “thirteen men lost from Ferry Road alone”  the community was immensely impacted and the club suffering as a result.

14 1914 Edinburgh Caslte Soldiers Rowsweb
1st Cameron Highlanders departing Edinburgh 12 August 1914, with 1,000 men and 27 officers. Photo from: The Sword of the North by Steven Broomfield


15 1914 Edinburgh castle Xmas one rowweb
1st Cameron Highlanders, Christmas 1914, only 27 men and 1 officer remained unscathed.    Photo from: The Sword of the North by Steven Broomfield

This rollercoaster of 25 years (1892-1917) followed periods of success or decline for the club with them winning numerous trophies and suffering Senior relegation on the season of the Club’s centenary.

Working with the club to date has been an enlightening experience and has moulded my understanding of the club and its importance to the community.  The moments of exhilaration and desperation have added to the rich history and layering of the club where its continued development is testament to the hard work of all the participants involved.

I will look to take what I have learned from this process into the New Year as I seek to bring some of these key moments to life in the bespoke print series which is part of Throw Up 20.18.  Here’s to the next 125 years!

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