8th November

SGM

Our battle with the SRU to put our case for overturning the ‘null and void’ decision and to rightly grant us promotion to the Premiership got a boost last week. After a several months spent on email and phone, our Secretary Mike Booth was told that our motion regarding our promotion is fixed for an SGM to be held after the second part of the SRU AGM, the date of which is Thursday 26th November.

There was a late twist to this however as while the requisite number of clubs (we needed 24 but got 30) had agreed to support our cause in March, Mike was told on 31st October  that as Clubs had most probably held their own AGM’s over the summer (which may have led to a change of Office Bearers and Committees) we would require returns from each individual club to validate their agreement to back our motion! More than a little frustrating given that Mike had been in touch with the powers that be on several occasions without any mention having been made of this requirement. Add a Tuesday rd November deadline – that gave Mike just 4 days to get all the agreements – and you can appreciate the frustration felt by us all, especially Mike!

Somehow, however (congratulations and thanks to Mike and others who contacted clubs) that target was achieved, with 29 clubs in support. The next debate surrounds the ‘how’. There are apparently two options, a written statement/appeal or a ‘live’ feed over a media platform like Zoom. Obviously a ‘live’ presentation would be preferable over a written statement and Mike has told the SRU that.

So, we now wait patiently with crossed fingers and toes that we will get the support required! In the meantime, if you have contacts in any clubs who have a vote – that is pretty much all clubs – then please give them a gentle reminder that it would be of massive importance to us that they do in fact engage with the SGM section of the AGM and give us their vote on the day. We believe a majority would be sufficient so anything above 50% would do…..here’s hoping!

Friday 23rd October

Evening All,

First up this evening has to be the news that Fraser Brown (pictured above) has not only been selected to start this evening when Scotland take on Georgia but that he will lead the team out as Captain!! This is a fantastic achievement for the Glasgow skipper and a huge honour for him. Many congratulations Fraser from all here at Biggar.

It promises to be a great match and certainly one I am really looking forward to watching.

For all of those who noticed my gaff last week, my apologies, but I stated that Fraser’s elder brother was Douglas when of course it is Duncan! Apologies to all!

Congratulations to the other two who featured in the same item last week, to Rory Sutherland in the starting Scotland XV this evening and to Tony Walker who was with the winning Exeter squad against Racing last weekend (and who will fulfill the same role tomorrow when Exeter take on Wasps).

Other club news

Sunday
Last Sunday’s venture during Mini training, when Carolyn and GY served up tea, coffee and bacon rolls will be repeated this Sunday – please let your friends know!

Christmas
Jason Leitch may well have said that it’ll be a digital Christmas this year but hopefully that won’t stop you making purchases of BRFC merchandise. GY is keen to emphasise that his last Christmas order for merchandise will be made in the middle of November, so please make sure you make your order in good time, in order to avoid disappointment.

In the next few weeks, you should look out for

  • a Christmas ‘deal’ which will comprise several BRFC items,
  • this year’s Christmas Bobble and
  • BRFC Snoods (we have another order which is expected to be in the shop early next week)

Andy Barnett

Most of you will know that the club has regretfully had to terminate the contract of our Development Officer, Andy Barnett.

Andy joined Biggar back in 2017. Prior to taking up his post he had been in a similar capacity with George Watsons while he was forwards coach at Currie and senior National Coach of Cyprus.

Andy made an immediate impression at the club, quickly increasing the numbers of those attending Summer and Easter camps and enlisting the assistance of several of our Colts players in support roles. He was of course primarily involved with introducing and delivering rugby in our local feeder primaries, those in Lanark and some in Carluke as well as running the Biggar High School of rugby. He was also tasked with taking the Biggar High School representative teams, both boys and girls.

Last season, and in addititon to the above roles, he was coach to our Colts XV’s.

The impact of the Covid pandemic meant that Andy and our other full time employee, Academy Manager Nic Humphries, were put on furlough through the summer months and lockdown. As restrictions lifted and we joined the slow return to rugby as mapped out by the SRU but which prevented any form of contact, opportunities for Andy to fulfil his main role and working with youngsters were significantly reduced.

It was hoped that sufficient work could be found to maintain Andy’s employment but further restrictions imposed by Education Scotland which prevent teaching of any team games in primary and secondary schools, meant that there was literally no work available for Andy and so the club took the difficult decision to terminate his contract.

The club would like to take this opportunity to thank Andy for all his efforts whilst in post and also to wish him well in the future.

                                                            Andy pictured in 2018 with the Scottish Schools cup won by our U18 girls

Sunday 18th October 2020

Evening All,
No change to the general rugby outlook this week with all sections from U18 downwards able to train while the seniors take a second week off. While the latest information suggests January as the earliest possible date for games, those familiar with the vagaries of our winter weather would perhaps question whether, even without Covid, January was a good time to start a season! Increasingly it looks more likely to be March before, restrictions permitting of course, we might get any rugby.

Difficult though this is for us supporters it’s a much greater challenge for the players who very simply just want to get stuck in and play and coaches who have the unenviable task of trying to ensure sessions remain interesting and motivational and all within ever changing restrictions and guidelines.

On the pro scene it is worth noting the selection of ex-Biggar players. Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has listed both Glasgow skipper Fraser Brown and Edinburgh prop Rory Sutherland in his Autumn/6-Nation squad.

Fraser played his Youth rugby at Biggar with brother Douglas, Mum Nicky and Dad Peter all influential players with our Ladies and Gents XV’s. Vying for the Scotland No2 jersey with another former Biggar man, Scot Lawson, Fraser has now amassed some 42 Scotland caps with several won as a flank forward such is his versatility.

Rory, meanwhile, came to Biggar when Deke Armstrong was coach. His time with Biggar seemed to rejuvenate the young prop who left after 2 seasons to play with Gala before his career really took off with Edinburgh. Such was the impact he made last season on his return to the international fold following injury that many pundits had him as a ‘shoe-in’ on next summers British Lions test team. This must still be a target but whether the tour will actually take place is open to some conjecture.

And finally, another of our former players, who still retains close links with many of his friends up here, namely Tony Walker, will be pitchside and centre stage as Exeter compete in European and English Premiership cup action over the next two weekends. Tony was a stand out from the moment he landed on these shores from New Zealand back in 1997 and made a massive contribution every time he took the field for us, captaining the club in 1998/2000. A spell with Gala, Edinburgh and the Borders included 4 Scotland A caps, preceded a move to Exeter in 2004. He has been there ever since, taking over academy coaching and then management roles after injury curtailed his playing career. He is currently Team Manager which, given Exeter’s current run of successes, will be a challenging role. Good luck to the big man!

Over the years our black jersey has been worn by hundreds of players, many of whom have moved away or back to their home clubs. It might be that you keep in touch with them and I’m sure a wee catch up about their time in rugby and at Biggar would prove interesting to our members. If you are in touch with anyone in this position, please ask if they’d like to feature in our Friday Focus. I’m happy to ask the questions and do the research if pointed in the right direction.

Finally, and in response to several requests, GY and Carolyn Cairns will be on hand on Sunday to serve coffee and bacon rolls to all those in need of a feed! Time is 10-12 noon.

Fraser

Tony (centre) with president John Lawrie and coach Eric Paxton


Rory
Have a great weekend.

Sunday 11th October 2020

Almost inevitably, though nonetheless still a major disappointment for all, the date for a return to competitive rugby was put back to January 2021 at the earliest.

This decision, which was announced last week, came on the back of the Scottish Government’s most recent restrictions and applies to all age groups, juniors and seniors. In addition all senior training has been suspended for the coming fortnight. Junior sections can still train however, so it is not all bad news.

This will most likely mean the end of any competitive matches for this ‘season’ as a January (winter) restart with attendant poor weather will curtail any further attempts to create any organised league format.

There will still hopefully be some rugby to watch with local friendlies the most probable option. But we will have to wait and see what comes in the months ahead.

BRFC Snoods: what every member should be wearing! In club colours of black and red with the club logo, these are available from the Charity Shop, priced £10.

Memberships: Finally, while the club is extremely grateful for all those who have paid their annual memberships, there are still many who have still to do so. Please can you try and have these paid to GY asap. In a year when maintaining an income stream is going to be very challenging, the club will have to rely heavily on the membership fees which have always been a major part of club funding.

Sunday 20th August 2020

Please see below the latest information regarding our Senior season.

For the opening competition, entitled the Tennant’s Light National 1, the Premiership and National 1 clubs have been pooled together into 4 different ‘regional’ Conferences with Biggar joining fellow Nat 1 sides Ayr and Cartha in Conference C with Premiership clubs Marr (last seasons ‘Champions elect’), GHA and Glasgow Hawks.

The teams will play each other within the same conference twice on a home and away basis which will be completed by the end of January 2021. The winners of each conference in stage 1 will progress to the play offs.

Stage 2 of the season sees Biggar placed in Pool A of Competition 2B alongside Ayr, Cartha, Dundee, Highland and Stirling Country.

Teams in this Competition will play each other home OR away with Biggar’s home matches being against Dundee, Highland and possibly Cartha although this last match would seem to be missing from the SRU list (?).

Thereafter the winners of each competition in Stage 1 and Stage 2 will progress to the knock out play-offs.

It might seem complicated but at least it gives clubs something to aim for although again, any increase in restrictions imposed by Covid could well undermine these plans. The players who were last week permitted to tackle and to practice 1v1 scrums and lineouts, are enthused further with the release of these fixtures and the latest information which gives permission for full contact sessions to resume on 5th October. This will allow for proper match preparation ahead of the competition beginning at the end of that month.

All other age groups of the club have also been allocated fixtures again with a ‘regional’ flavour, albeit that the Girls’ and Ladies’ sections, pooled with Oban and Wigtonshire respectively, means that the notion of ‘regional’ clubs is somewhat stretched to breaking point. These fixtures are all available by following these links.

Tennent’s Light Men’s fixtures: CLICK HERE.

Tennent’s Light Women’s fixtures : CLICK HERE

Club Youth Competition fixtures: CLICK HERE

Girls Development Competition fixtures: CLICK HERE

Schools Competition fixtures: CLICK HERE

Another fairly major factor in amongst all this, is that as things currently stand, players – of any age – are not permitted to use changing facilities or showers! While this is ‘almost OK’ for a home game at this time of year, it is completely impractical for away matches and especially so in the winter months of November through to February.

The possibility to spectate and support teams is another matter yet to be fully considered! Watch this space!

Membership

As previously initimated all players and members are encouraged to make sure they become paid up members for the season ahead. The club has lost out on a significant level of income as a result of Covid and it is expected that sponsorship and match day gate money will be down so the membership fees, which are traditionally the bedrock of club income, have become all the more important.

Age group Convenors have all the necessary forms for completion. Please take time to fill these in and note that monthly installments, in addition to one-off payments, are welcomed.

Work Day

The Hartree Mill grounds are in need of an autumn-clean and so this Saturday 26th September has been ear-marked for this. Any, and indeed all members are encouraged to pitch in and offer their services on the day from 10am to 1pm.

The club will provide a light bite in thanks. If you can get along your support would be very much appreciated. No specialist skills are required, just a willingness to get involved. All tasks will be allocated with appropriate social distancing in place.

Please remember that this type of event can help reduce maintenance costs for the club.

BRFC Snoods: what every member should be wearing! In club colours of black and red with the club logo, these are available from the Charity Shop, priced £10.

Sunday 13th August 2020

Membership details: Club membership rates are all on this website. See ‘View Membership Rates’ page. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the fees are dated 2019/20 because there is no change to this years rates.

SRU Road to Return to Rugby. All the details as published by the SRU can be read here:

http://e.scottishrugby.org/8DAgdldkYYsVxwNTaNO~kxIP5NztkSHdIzhppudVS9E/WebView.aspx

Biggar RFC Snoods: What every BRFC member should be wearing!!

Priced at £10 each and available from the Charity Shop they are THE fashion accessory for 2020!

The Shop is open on Thursdays from 1pm: Fridays from 11am and Sundays from 1pm.

Sunday 30th August

John Turnbull

Our wee club lost another stalwart this week when John Turnbull passed away suddenly on Monday.

A late convert to rugby, John thoroughly enjoyed his sport and was a familiar face on the touchline attending all home matches and many away games as well. He was never shy to voice his opinion of how the game should be played although equally quick to point out that he didn’t know all the rules!

A travelling companion of Pete Brotherstone, Willie Graham and Willie Chapman, John was also a great help to the last named who runs the Gold Club. John was ‘right hand man’ and had the task of getting the numbers picked for the draw on a Saturday. Minimum of fuss and job done.

John was also one half of the duo which provided funding for the Old Man’s Shed. The picture attached is of John and Willie when the Shed was officially opened just two seasons ago. Needless to say John was a regular in the shed although his suggestion to charge anyone under 50 for the privilage of taking shelter never quite got off the ground! As a regular walker around the club he also carried out litter-picking.

Arguably however – as if the shed isn’t a big enough legacy – John’s biggest contribution was in maintenance. When we embarked upon our clubhouse extension and gym construction in 2012 we made an appeal for volunteers to assist with a variety of tasks to cut down costs. Amongst the many who gave of their time was John Turnbull and he quickly became a firm fixture as a willing volunteer, a role he has undertaken ever since. Indeed almost everything at Hartree Mill that has a coat of paint has had that coat of paint applied by John. Pitch-side barriers, gymnasium, tractor shed, Hypers Hut, dressing rooms…. the list is endless. He completed all of this by himself, popping down whenever he was able, usually when it was too wet to garden, to tackle the tasks allocated. This summer, as lockdown eased, he began painting the dressing rooms and was almost finished, with just the floors remaining. This is no mean feat but he took great enjoyment and satisfaction in the work.

There is no doubt that the club has lost a great servant and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with John’s wife Moira, children Ruth and Andrew and their families at this difficult time.

Covid 19

Perhaps inevitably, the Corona virus caught up with the club last week. A positive test result for one of our Youth coaches led to a club shutdown after the news came to light. Our Covid lead officer Neil Laing took advice from the SRU and while the decision to suspend training is frustrating the club believe that this was in the best interests of all at Biggar RFC.

We can only hope that this is the only time we have to take this course of action but we are determined to ensure the health and safety of our members and we will not hesitate to repeat this if so required.

The incident should also serve as a reminder to all that must maintain best practice whilst at the club. Please follow the instructions and advice from your coaches regarding turning up for training: travel independently, register attendance on arrival, sanitise before and after training and ensure you are socially distanced whenever required.

If we can all ‘do our bit’ then repeat incidents should remain low which will hopefully lead to proper training and competitive games.

Season 2020/21

With competitive rugby in mind we hope on Monday (31st August) to hear from the SRU as to what the coming season might look like, for the seniors at least. There has been a deal of consultation amongst clubs and a variety of options suggested with no real agreement. Inevitably the SRU will have to come to some conclusion…….and we fervently hope it is one we can move forward with even if it doesn’t perhaps tick all the boxes!

Saturday 22nd August

Training continues – albeit Tuesday’s monsoon around tea time was enough to cancel that evening’s senior and Colts sessions – with a positive step coming today with the announcement that from 24th August our senior players will be able to play a modified game of ‘touch rugby’ in addition to their fitness work.

As a session warm up but more importantly as a means of encouraging fitness and handling skills, touch rugby, with all its variations, has always been a popular addition to any training session and so players will be delighted to have an element of competition back in training.

That type of game has already been part of the youth training and so this is a step in the right direction although the proposed best case scenario of a resumption in competitive rugby on 31st October, would still seem to be the most optimistic of deadlines. The news that a small crowd of 700 will be pitchside for the Edinburgh/Glasgow match next weekend is also encouraging and will be seen as a bit of a test case as it is to be the first outdoor sporting event in Britain to have a crowd in attendance.

The Minis and Micros were almost the last group to return to the pitch and their session on Sunday was well attended at all levels with players, coaches and parents all very excited and delighted with the turnout. Given that many have not ahd the usual interaction they would usually enjoy over the summer their reaction is not that surprising but it is always great to see. As the Covid restrictions apply to schools which means that there is curently no conatct sports being taught within schools – primary or secondary – the skills ans fitness practice the children get from our coaches becomes all the more important for the club as we move forward. Thanks then to all involved, including the new Covid-lead volunteers in all groups.

I said that the Minis were almost the last group to return because this weekend the Biggar Bairns make their return to action. This group which caters primarily for pre-school tots, has recently retired 1st XV player Robbie Lavery and 2nd XV coach Callum Taylor in charge, and is proving to be incredibly popular again with two sessions already full!

Sunday 9th August

Training resumed last week for the Boys Youth, Colts and Senior sections.

One absentee from the Senior squad training was Welsh prop Richard Bassett (pictured) who has been forced home. The latest SRU rulings for this season (2020/2021) and endorsed by the National League clubs, dictate that there are specific rules regarding payment of players. Richard and girlfriend Kaitlin arrived this time last year with Richard making an immediate and massive impact and contribution to the 1st XV. While Kaitlin managed to source employment and while Richard worked in The Crown, they stayed in the club flat which contravened the rules and so regrettably the club was left with little option and so the couple left at the weekend for Wales.

To mark his leaving skipper Euan Sandserson presented Richard with a commemorative photograph of the ‘Championship’ winning squad at Stirling and a 1st XV strip. Richard will take home many fond memories of life at Biggar. His farewell post read as follows

I’d like to thank everyone at Biggar RFC, from the players and coaches to everyone involved off the field. It’s been a real privilage to represent the club and what a season it was!

It’s been an amazing experience for my girlfriend and I living up here and we have loved every minute of it.

I’d like to wish the club, players and everyone involved all the best for the future and hopefully we will be able to come and watch a game or two in the near future.

Thank you.’

Tuesday 4th August 2020

Club AGM

All the details from last week’s AGM – including news of the club’s Office Bearers- are posted on the separate AGM button.

Return to Rugby

After all the months of inactivity at Hartree Mill it will be fantastic to see the pitches being filled once again as the club begins its Return to Rugby this week.

Seniors and Colts will train on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Youth section on Wednesdays.

Mini sections returns on 16th August, Girls on 12th August.

New members of any age and experience are more than welcome but please be aware of procedures and precautions due to Covid 19. These are posted on the Club website and relate to travel, arrival at Hartree Mill, track and trace, hand sanitising, training bubbles and the like.

Training times are also now posted on the new WhatsonBiggar.com website. Go to https://www.whatsonbiggar.com

As the season progresses we hope to include all match details on this site, in addition of course to the club website and other social media outlets. Members can also subscribe to Friday Focus which will provide the latest news about Saturday matches, other events and club information. Complete the form on the club website to subscribe.

Finally, we hope to re-open the Charity Shop soon! Watch this space!

Sunday 19th July

AGM details

As explained below we are to host our AGM over the Zoom platform.  Please pass this date and the following information onto anyone you think might not know. This is YOUR club and the AGM is the best platform if you have a specific topic to discuss.

Wednesday 29th July, starting at 7.30pm

Members wishing to join the meeting do not require to have Zoom on their phone, tablet or computer and they can use the link which is

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84252945315?pwd=OVVGcnhHeXlHZFMrZmxFT0tUeEgwZz09

Meeting ID: 842 5294 5315

Password: 093486

Any member wishing to speak on a subject should preferably give notice to the Secretary prior to the meeting or TEXT the secretary during the meeting on 07775731112 and we will attempt to find you.

We would ask for your patience as this will be a first for most of us.

Any resolutions or items for the Agenda to Mike Booth our Secretary on the E-mail address below by Monday the 20th July please.

Mike Booth

secretary@biggarrfc.org.uk

07775731112

Sunday 12th July

AGM: Date confirmed

Our AGM is usually held in May but with Covid leading to a lockdown it became very difficult to deal with all aspects of running the club and consequently the items which make up the Agenda.

We have now been able to make rough assessments on how the lockdown has impacted on the season past and the likely effects of the postponed start to the coming season. This has not been easy of course and in the current very fluid situation there remain many, as yet unanswered, questions and imponderables…..when will the season start, what type of league/Cup/friendly matches will there be, what will the impact be on the Youth sections, memberships/sponsorship/playing numbers and so on.

As we don’t believe we will be able to host an “in person” AGM it will be held on Zoom and can be joined using a link which we will email nearer the time.

The date is Wednesday 29th July, starting at 7.30pm

Participants do not require to have Zoom on their phone, tablet or computer and in order to join, they can just use the link.

Just as a warning, please note that all participants will initially be muted to save background noise – those making reports will be given a voice of course.

Members wishing to speak on a subject should preferably give notice to the Secretary prior to the meeting or TEXT the secretary during the meeting on 07775731112 and we will attempt to find you.

We would ask for your patience as this will be a first for most of us.

Any resolutions or items for the Agenda to Mike Booth our Secretary on the E-mail address below by Monday the 20th July please.

Mike Booth

secretary@biggarrfc.org.uk

07775731112

Wednesday 8th July 2020

You will be aware of the Return to Rugby Road map published by the SRU on Friday. It’s available to view on both the Club and SRU websites.

While we as a club and committee are keen to get everyone back into action we have taken the decision to close our pitches at Hartree Mill to any formal training sessions until the beginning of August.

Our Covid Co-ordinator is Neil Laing who will help us all with all things relating to the pandemic. We will shortly post a more general note on Facebook for all members but feel that you need to know why we have taken this decision.

We feel we need to ensure that the protocols and procedures recommended by the SRU are properly established and in place. These relate to, amonst other things, track and trace of those using the facilities, access to toilets and 1st Aid, pitch usage, equipment care, and participant safety. We hope to get through these issues fairly quickly and will be in touch again as soon as we have made progress.

We appreciate that this is going to delay things for another 3 weeks but feel that this is in the best interests of our members, parents, players, coaches and all who will come to use our club in the coming months.

Given that the situation is constantly changing things may change for us as well. There may still be an opportunity to host some form of summer camp in August so please bear with us as we await further information from the SRU and government.

Sunday 5th July: Happy Birthday Doddie!!

Doddie Weir has been celebrating his 50th Birthday as he continues to fight against MND. We support and applaud his efforts and take our hats off to him.

Biggar RFC has long held connections with Doddie, these going back to his appearance in an SRU President’s XV when we opened our clubhouse – 30 years ago this September. This picture is of the two teams, President Bobby Boyd and Ref Jim Fleming prior to kick off.

Our XV contained Rab Young, another who is also battling against MND.

Friday 3rd July

The following item is our weekly Friday Focus newsletter. This is not usually available on the website but is sent to those who sign up by completing the Address Bar on the Front Page of this website.

Please join us!

Friday Focus is designed to provide the latest news re-Fixtures at the weekend but is currently a means of updating members with the latest news. I felt that this was particularly appropriate this evening as the SRU delivered a Covid-19 update this afternoon which included the most positive news we’ve had so far in relation to a return to action. Lots of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ remain however, with the pace of the Roadmap (as you will see) controlled by the Scottish Government.

Off the Pitch but on the pitch…

Work is continuing on the pitches. Coring has taken place and more grass seed and fertiliser alongside additional top soil has been spread, especially on pitches 3 and 5. This work has led to an accumulation of small and some larger stones, all of which will have to be picked and collected.

If you fancy some exercise and are happy to do so, please take a walk over these two pitches (3 and 5) and pick up as many stones as you can! These can be dumped on the new gravel path which has been recently laid alongside Pitch 3.

Many thanks in advance for your help!

Social Media

Andy Jardine continues to produce some excellent stuff on Social Media. This week he has been busy interviewing players young and old, past and present about their MY5 their TOP 5 Moments in a Biggar RFC shirt. So far, Rowan Stewart, Ian Barr, Geraldine Kimm, Chris McKeand and Davy Reive have all selected their Top 5 and they provide some great viewing and trigger some great memories.

All these and all of Andrew’s previous items can be viewed on our Instagram and Facebook pages which can accessed by following this link. This link is also available from the Club website.

https://www.facebook.com/BiggarRFC/photos/a.299984580127542/2577445772381400/

All the best to you and stay safe!

Biggar RFC: One Club, One Family

Friday 19th June 2020.

Jean Tucker

It takes all sorts of people to make a rugby club but it also takes all sorts of people undertaking all sorts of tasks to make a rugby club.

This week our club lost one of those people in Jean Tucker (76), who died after a short illness earlier this week. Wife of Alf, mother to Allan and the late Alasdair, mother in law to Sara and Lesley and gran to Ailie and Jamie, Jean succumbed to a cancer. Her passing was peaceful and she had her family at her side.

Those of us who fondly remember Jean knew her as someone who put a whole lot of life into our club. With Alf she ran Country Catering, a business, as the title suggests, which provided Catering at various functions, including many Club dinners, Burns Suppers, Biggar Shows and countless other functions in and around the district and occasionally further afield. I well remember serving drinks at a function in the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh!

Alf and Jean made a great team. Alf provided the meat and trimmings while Jean did the cooking. But more importantly and more significantly for us, Jean was on hand when the clubhouse opened in 1990. As she was undertaking a kitchen refit at home Jean’s first gesture was to offer her old cooker for the club kitchen! At a time when finance was stretched this was a great start for the new club kitchen. Jean then topped that with an offer to provide soup (bowl upon bowl) as post-match fare for the senior teams. This was a not inconsiderable effort and must have involved hours of voluntary work. Hitherto post match food had all been handled by The Elphinstone and so we had no experience of this type of service. Jean took to it like the proverbial duck to water – a fantastic gesture and Jean’s soup became a firm feature at the club.

Alf and Jean’s involvement as club sponsors lasted long after the duo wound up Country Catering and their support of the club financially over the years has been of great benefit to our efforts to progress.

As a touchline supporter Jean’s commitment to the club never wavered and she and Alf were on hand to watch and support Allan and Alasdair and more recently Ailie and Jamie both of whom will maintain the link between the Tucker family and Biggar RFC.

Jean will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with Alf and his family in this difficult time.

5th June

Hi Everyone,
It’s been a good few weeks since you last received this communication. Basically there was so little going on I felt I was repeating myself for the sake of trying to say something!

But not this week as there is some excellent news!

At last night’s SR Energy Networks Rugby Awards (Friday 5th June and held on social media of course), Biggar RFC were announced as Community Club of the Season for 2019/20.

This is another wonderful honour and achievement and recognition again that we are getting things right. This latest award will sit proudly alongside the other awards we have won this season including the Clydesdale District Team of the Year (for 2018/19) and the Glasgow North Club of the Year.

The full announcement can be viewed by following the link below.
https://www.facebook.com/GlasgowWarriors/videos/268025391179778/

This award reflects all the hard work from EVERYONE involved at Hartree Mill including our huge body of volunteers and so, in common with the other two awards listed above, it is something in which we can all take great pride.

Well done to the membership and friends of Biggar RFC!!

On another subject we continue to press the SRU for information regarding the ‘null and void’ decision which denied us the promotion to the Premiership which we should have been able to celebrate. We continue to come up against a brick wall but are pressing for an SGM.

In what will be of some embarrassment to the SRU you will see in the SR Energy awards video, a picture taken after the Stirling County match with the National 1 Champions presentation board announcing our title! So is it really true after all…are we indeed Champions?

The U16’s are the latest section to hold an ‘awards’ ceremony and the presentations can be viewed on the following links. They are well worth a watch and congratulations to all involved including a massive thank you to the International stars announcing the awards (as named in brackets)

U16 Coaches Player of the Year (Mark Bennet): https://www.facebook.com/BiggarRFC/videos/2648414752043290/

U16 Spirit of Biggar (Pierre Schoeman): https://www.facebook.com/BiggarRFC/videos/879723219198961/

U16 Most Improved Player: (Zander Fagerson)
https://www.facebook.com/BiggarRFC/videos/610768133188735/

U16 Player’s Player (Scott Cummings):https://www.facebook.com/BiggarRFC/videos/286445205818809/

Have a great weekend and we’ll endeavour to keep you up to date with any further developments.

Continue to follow the Government guidelines and please stay safe!

Biggar RFC: One Club One Family
  • These are the Gold Club results for 2020. Congratulations to all winners!

    November
    £250  George Watson
    £100  Robert Paul
    £100  Grant Sutherland
    £100   Tommy Taylor
    £100   John Wood
    £100   John Hamilton

    October

    £250 Andrew Cairns
    £100 Phyllis Tweedie
    £100 Andrew Warnock
    £100 Andrew Goldie
    £100 Jeanette Allan
    £100 Ted Gordon
    September
    £250 – Ian Conn
    £100 – Carolyn Cairns
    £100 – Thomas Forrest
    £100 – Donald Elliot
    £100 – Rikki White
    £100 – Maggie Thomson
    March
    £250 – Wayne Godfrey
    £100 – James Wilson
    £100 – Elspeth May
    £100 – James Wallace
    £100 – Andrew and Joyce Clark
    £100 – John Bogle
    February
    £250   –   Una Stewart
    £100    –  Sheila  Conn
    £100    –  Gary Watkins
    £100     – Joanna Robertson
    £100    –  Caroline Cairns
    £100    –    286   Trina Watson

Sunday 13th August 2020

Membership details: Club membership rates are all on this website. See ‘View Membership Rates’ page. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the fees are dated 2019/20 because there is no change to this years rates.

SRU Road to Return to Rugby. All the details as published by the SRU can be read here:

http://e.scottishrugby.org/8DAgdldkYYsVxwNTaNO~kxIP5NztkSHdIzhppudVS9E/WebView.aspx

Biggar RFC Snoods: What every BRFC member should be wearing!!

Priced at £10 each and available from the Charity Shop they are THE fashion accessory for 2020!

The Shop is open on Thursdays from 1pm: Fridays from 11am and Sundays from 1pm.

Sunday 30th August

John Turnbull

Our wee club lost another stalwart this week when John Turnbull passed away suddenly on Monday.

A late convert to rugby, John thoroughly enjoyed his sport and was a familiar face on the touchline attending all home matches and many away games as well. He was never shy to voice his opinion of how the game should be played although equally quick to point out that he didn’t know all the rules!

A travelling companion of Pete Brotherstone, Willie Graham and Willie Chapman, John was also a great help to the last named who runs the Gold Club. John was ‘right hand man’ and had the task of getting the numbers picked for the draw on a Saturday. Minimum of fuss and job done.

John was also one half of the duo which provided funding for the Old Man’s Shed. The picture attached is of John and Willie when the Shed was officially opened just two seasons ago. Needless to say John was a regular in the shed although his suggestion to charge anyone under 50 for the privilage of taking shelter never quite got off the ground! As a regular walker around the club he also carried out litter-picking.

Arguably however – as if the shed isn’t a big enough legacy – John’s biggest contribution was in maintenance. When we embarked upon our clubhouse extension and gym construction in 2012 we made an appeal for volunteers to assist with a variety of tasks to cut down costs. Amongst the many who gave of their time was John Turnbull and he quickly became a firm fixture as a willing volunteer, a role he has undertaken ever since. Indeed almost everything at Hartree Mill that has a coat of paint has had that coat of paint applied by John. Pitch-side barriers, gymnasium, tractor shed, Hypers Hut, dressing rooms…. the list is endless. He completed all of this by himself, popping down whenever he was able, usually when it was too wet to garden, to tackle the tasks allocated. This summer, as lockdown eased, he began painting the dressing rooms and was almost finished, with just the floors remaining. This is no mean feat but he took great enjoyment and satisfaction in the work.

There is no doubt that the club has lost a great servant and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with John’s wife Moira, children Ruth and Andrew and their families at this difficult time.

Covid 19

Perhaps inevitably, the Corona virus caught up with the club last week. A positive test result for one of our Youth coaches led to a club shutdown after the news came to light. Our Covid lead officer Neil Laing took advice from the SRU and while the decision to suspend training is frustrating the club believe that this was in the best interests of all at Biggar RFC.

We can only hope that this is the only time we have to take this course of action but we are determined to ensure the health and safety of our members and we will not hesitate to repeat this if so required.

The incident should also serve as a reminder to all that must maintain best practice whilst at the club. Please follow the instructions and advice from your coaches regarding turning up for training: travel independently, register attendance on arrival, sanitise before and after training and ensure you are socially distanced whenever required.

If we can all ‘do our bit’ then repeat incidents should remain low which will hopefully lead to proper training and competitive games.

Season 2020/21

With competitive rugby in mind we hope on Monday (31st August) to hear from the SRU as to what the coming season might look like, for the seniors at least. There has been a deal of consultation amongst clubs and a variety of options suggested with no real agreement. Inevitably the SRU will have to come to some conclusion…….and we fervently hope it is one we can move forward with even if it doesn’t perhaps tick all the boxes!

Saturday 22nd August

Training continues – albeit Tuesday’s monsoon around tea time was enough to cancel that evening’s senior and Colts sessions – with a positive step coming today with the announcement that from 24th August our senior players will be able to play a modified game of ‘touch rugby’ in addition to their fitness work.

As a session warm up but more importantly as a means of encouraging fitness and handling skills, touch rugby, with all its variations, has always been a popular addition to any training session and so players will be delighted to have an element of competition back in training.

That type of game has already been part of the youth training and so this is a step in the right direction although the proposed best case scenario of a resumption in competitive rugby on 31st October, would still seem to be the most optimistic of deadlines. The news that a small crowd of 700 will be pitchside for the Edinburgh/Glasgow match next weekend is also encouraging and will be seen as a bit of a test case as it is to be the first outdoor sporting event in Britain to have a crowd in attendance.

The Minis and Micros were almost the last group to return to the pitch and their session on Sunday was well attended at all levels with players, coaches and parents all very excited and delighted with the turnout. Given that many have not ahd the usual interaction they would usually enjoy over the summer their reaction is not that surprising but it is always great to see. As the Covid restrictions apply to schools which means that there is curently no conatct sports being taught within schools – primary or secondary – the skills ans fitness practice the children get from our coaches becomes all the more important for the club as we move forward. Thanks then to all involved, including the new Covid-lead volunteers in all groups.

I said that the Minis were almost the last group to return because this weekend the Biggar Bairns make their return to action. This group which caters primarily for pre-school tots, has recently retired 1st XV player Robbie Lavery and 2nd XV coach Callum Taylor in charge, and is proving to be incredibly popular again with two sessions already full!

Sunday 9th August

Training resumed last week for the Boys Youth, Colts and Senior sections.

One absentee from the Senior squad training was Welsh prop Richard Bassett (pictured) who has been forced home. The latest SRU rulings for this season (2020/2021) and endorsed by the National League clubs, dictate that there are specific rules regarding payment of players. Richard and girlfriend Kaitlin arrived this time last year with Richard making an immediate and massive impact and contribution to the 1st XV. While Kaitlin managed to source employment and while Richard worked in The Crown, they stayed in the club flat which contravened the rules and so regrettably the club was left with little option and so the couple left at the weekend for Wales.

To mark his leaving skipper Euan Sandserson presented Richard with a commemorative photograph of the ‘Championship’ winning squad at Stirling and a 1st XV strip. Richard will take home many fond memories of life at Biggar. His farewell post read as follows

I’d like to thank everyone at Biggar RFC, from the players and coaches to everyone involved off the field. It’s been a real privilage to represent the club and what a season it was!

It’s been an amazing experience for my girlfriend and I living up here and we have loved every minute of it.

I’d like to wish the club, players and everyone involved all the best for the future and hopefully we will be able to come and watch a game or two in the near future.

Thank you.’

Tuesday 4th August 2020

Club AGM

All the details from last week’s AGM – including news of the club’s Office Bearers- are posted on the separate AGM button.

Return to Rugby

After all the months of inactivity at Hartree Mill it will be fantastic to see the pitches being filled once again as the club begins its Return to Rugby this week.

Seniors and Colts will train on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Youth section on Wednesdays.

Mini sections returns on 16th August, Girls on 12th August.

New members of any age and experience are more than welcome but please be aware of procedures and precautions due to Covid 19. These are posted on the Club website and relate to travel, arrival at Hartree Mill, track and trace, hand sanitising, training bubbles and the like.

Training times are also now posted on the new WhatsonBiggar.com website. Go to https://www.whatsonbiggar.com

As the season progresses we hope to include all match details on this site, in addition of course to the club website and other social media outlets. Members can also subscribe to Friday Focus which will provide the latest news about Saturday matches, other events and club information. Complete the form on the club website to subscribe.

Finally, we hope to re-open the Charity Shop soon! Watch this space!

Sunday 19th July

AGM details

As explained below we are to host our AGM over the Zoom platform.  Please pass this date and the following information onto anyone you think might not know. This is YOUR club and the AGM is the best platform if you have a specific topic to discuss.

Wednesday 29th July, starting at 7.30pm

Members wishing to join the meeting do not require to have Zoom on their phone, tablet or computer and they can use the link which is

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84252945315?pwd=OVVGcnhHeXlHZFMrZmxFT0tUeEgwZz09

Meeting ID: 842 5294 5315

Password: 093486

Any member wishing to speak on a subject should preferably give notice to the Secretary prior to the meeting or TEXT the secretary during the meeting on 07775731112 and we will attempt to find you.

We would ask for your patience as this will be a first for most of us.

Any resolutions or items for the Agenda to Mike Booth our Secretary on the E-mail address below by Monday the 20th July please.

Mike Booth

secretary@biggarrfc.org.uk

07775731112

Sunday 12th July

AGM: Date confirmed

Our AGM is usually held in May but with Covid leading to a lockdown it became very difficult to deal with all aspects of running the club and consequently the items which make up the Agenda.

We have now been able to make rough assessments on how the lockdown has impacted on the season past and the likely effects of the postponed start to the coming season. This has not been easy of course and in the current very fluid situation there remain many, as yet unanswered, questions and imponderables…..when will the season start, what type of league/Cup/friendly matches will there be, what will the impact be on the Youth sections, memberships/sponsorship/playing numbers and so on.

As we don’t believe we will be able to host an “in person” AGM it will be held on Zoom and can be joined using a link which we will email nearer the time.

The date is Wednesday 29th July, starting at 7.30pm

Participants do not require to have Zoom on their phone, tablet or computer and in order to join, they can just use the link.

Just as a warning, please note that all participants will initially be muted to save background noise – those making reports will be given a voice of course.

Members wishing to speak on a subject should preferably give notice to the Secretary prior to the meeting or TEXT the secretary during the meeting on 07775731112 and we will attempt to find you.

We would ask for your patience as this will be a first for most of us.

Any resolutions or items for the Agenda to Mike Booth our Secretary on the E-mail address below by Monday the 20th July please.

Mike Booth

secretary@biggarrfc.org.uk

07775731112

Wednesday 8th July 2020

You will be aware of the Return to Rugby Road map published by the SRU on Friday. It’s available to view on both the Club and SRU websites.

While we as a club and committee are keen to get everyone back into action we have taken the decision to close our pitches at Hartree Mill to any formal training sessions until the beginning of August.

Our Covid Co-ordinator is Neil Laing who will help us all with all things relating to the pandemic. We will shortly post a more general note on Facebook for all members but feel that you need to know why we have taken this decision.

We feel we need to ensure that the protocols and procedures recommended by the SRU are properly established and in place. These relate to, amonst other things, track and trace of those using the facilities, access to toilets and 1st Aid, pitch usage, equipment care, and participant safety. We hope to get through these issues fairly quickly and will be in touch again as soon as we have made progress.

We appreciate that this is going to delay things for another 3 weeks but feel that this is in the best interests of our members, parents, players, coaches and all who will come to use our club in the coming months.

Given that the situation is constantly changing things may change for us as well. There may still be an opportunity to host some form of summer camp in August so please bear with us as we await further information from the SRU and government.

Sunday 5th July: Happy Birthday Doddie!!

Doddie Weir has been celebrating his 50th Birthday as he continues to fight against MND. We support and applaud his efforts and take our hats off to him.

Biggar RFC has long held connections with Doddie, these going back to his appearance in an SRU President’s XV when we opened our clubhouse – 30 years ago this September. This picture is of the two teams, President Bobby Boyd and Ref Jim Fleming prior to kick off.

Our XV contained Rab Young, another who is also battling against MND.

Friday 3rd July

The following item is our weekly Friday Focus newsletter. This is not usually available on the website but is sent to those who sign up by completing the Address Bar on the Front Page of this website.

Please join us!

Friday Focus is designed to provide the latest news re-Fixtures at the weekend but is currently a means of updating members with the latest news. I felt that this was particularly appropriate this evening as the SRU delivered a Covid-19 update this afternoon which included the most positive news we’ve had so far in relation to a return to action. Lots of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ remain however, with the pace of the Roadmap (as you will see) controlled by the Scottish Government.

Off the Pitch but on the pitch…

Work is continuing on the pitches. Coring has taken place and more grass seed and fertiliser alongside additional top soil has been spread, especially on pitches 3 and 5. This work has led to an accumulation of small and some larger stones, all of which will have to be picked and collected.

If you fancy some exercise and are happy to do so, please take a walk over these two pitches (3 and 5) and pick up as many stones as you can! These can be dumped on the new gravel path which has been recently laid alongside Pitch 3.

Many thanks in advance for your help!

Social Media

Andy Jardine continues to produce some excellent stuff on Social Media. This week he has been busy interviewing players young and old, past and present about their MY5 their TOP 5 Moments in a Biggar RFC shirt. So far, Rowan Stewart, Ian Barr, Geraldine Kimm, Chris McKeand and Davy Reive have all selected their Top 5 and they provide some great viewing and trigger some great memories.

All these and all of Andrew’s previous items can be viewed on our Instagram and Facebook pages which can accessed by following this link. This link is also available from the Club website.

https://www.facebook.com/BiggarRFC/photos/a.299984580127542/2577445772381400/

All the best to you and stay safe!

Biggar RFC: One Club, One Family

Friday 19th June 2020.

Jean Tucker

It takes all sorts of people to make a rugby club but it also takes all sorts of people undertaking all sorts of tasks to make a rugby club.

This week our club lost one of those people in Jean Tucker (76), who died after a short illness earlier this week. Wife of Alf, mother to Allan and the late Alasdair, mother in law to Sara and Lesley and gran to Ailie and Jamie, Jean succumbed to a cancer. Her passing was peaceful and she had her family at her side.

Those of us who fondly remember Jean knew her as someone who put a whole lot of life into our club. With Alf she ran Country Catering, a business, as the title suggests, which provided Catering at various functions, including many Club dinners, Burns Suppers, Biggar Shows and countless other functions in and around the district and occasionally further afield. I well remember serving drinks at a function in the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh!

Alf and Jean made a great team. Alf provided the meat and trimmings while Jean did the cooking. But more importantly and more significantly for us, Jean was on hand when the clubhouse opened in 1990. As she was undertaking a kitchen refit at home Jean’s first gesture was to offer her old cooker for the club kitchen! At a time when finance was stretched this was a great start for the new club kitchen. Jean then topped that with an offer to provide soup (bowl upon bowl) as post-match fare for the senior teams. This was a not inconsiderable effort and must have involved hours of voluntary work. Hitherto post match food had all been handled by The Elphinstone and so we had no experience of this type of service. Jean took to it like the proverbial duck to water – a fantastic gesture and Jean’s soup became a firm feature at the club.

Alf and Jean’s involvement as club sponsors lasted long after the duo wound up Country Catering and their support of the club financially over the years has been of great benefit to our efforts to progress.

As a touchline supporter Jean’s commitment to the club never wavered and she and Alf were on hand to watch and support Allan and Alasdair and more recently Ailie and Jamie both of whom will maintain the link between the Tucker family and Biggar RFC.

Jean will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with Alf and his family in this difficult time.

5th June

Hi Everyone,
It’s been a good few weeks since you last received this communication. Basically there was so little going on I felt I was repeating myself for the sake of trying to say something!

But not this week as there is some excellent news!

At last night’s SR Energy Networks Rugby Awards (Friday 5th June and held on social media of course), Biggar RFC were announced as Community Club of the Season for 2019/20.

This is another wonderful honour and achievement and recognition again that we are getting things right. This latest award will sit proudly alongside the other awards we have won this season including the Clydesdale District Team of the Year (for 2018/19) and the Glasgow North Club of the Year.

The full announcement can be viewed by following the link below.
https://www.facebook.com/GlasgowWarriors/videos/268025391179778/

This award reflects all the hard work from EVERYONE involved at Hartree Mill including our huge body of volunteers and so, in common with the other two awards listed above, it is something in which we can all take great pride.

Well done to the membership and friends of Biggar RFC!!

On another subject we continue to press the SRU for information regarding the ‘null and void’ decision which denied us the promotion to the Premiership which we should have been able to celebrate. We continue to come up against a brick wall but are pressing for an SGM.

In what will be of some embarrassment to the SRU you will see in the SR Energy awards video, a picture taken after the Stirling County match with the National 1 Champions presentation board announcing our title! So is it really true after all…are we indeed Champions?

The U16’s are the latest section to hold an ‘awards’ ceremony and the presentations can be viewed on the following links. They are well worth a watch and congratulations to all involved including a massive thank you to the International stars announcing the awards (as named in brackets)

U16 Coaches Player of the Year (Mark Bennet): https://www.facebook.com/BiggarRFC/videos/2648414752043290/

U16 Spirit of Biggar (Pierre Schoeman): https://www.facebook.com/BiggarRFC/videos/879723219198961/

U16 Most Improved Player: (Zander Fagerson)
https://www.facebook.com/BiggarRFC/videos/610768133188735/

U16 Player’s Player (Scott Cummings):https://www.facebook.com/BiggarRFC/videos/286445205818809/

Have a great weekend and we’ll endeavour to keep you up to date with any further developments.

Continue to follow the Government guidelines and please stay safe!

Biggar RFC: One Club One Family
  • These are the Gold Club results for 2020.

    November
    £250 – George Watson
    £100 – Robert Paul
    £100 – Grant Sutherland
    £100 – Tommy Taylor
    £100 – John Wood
    £100 –  John Hamilton
    October
    £250  – Andrew Cairns
    £100  – Phyllis Tweedie
    £100 – Andrew Warnock
    £100 – Andrew Goldie
    £100 – Mrs J.P. Allen
    £100 – Ted & Frances Gordon

    September

    £250 – Ian Conn
    £100 – Carolyn Cairns
    £100 – Thomas Forrest
    £100 – Donald Elliot
    £100 – Rikki White
    £100 – Maggie Thomson
    March
    £250 – Wayne Godfrey
    £100 – James Wilson
    £100 – Elspeth May
    £100 – James Wallace
    £100 – Andrew and Joyce Clark
    £100 – John Bogle
    February
    £250   –   Una Stewart
    £100    –  Sheila  Conn
    £100    –  Gary Watkins
    £100     – Joanna Robertson
    £100    –  Caroline Cairns
    £100    –    286   Trina Watson