Flora calls time at Duns Rugby club’s premises

First pint poured at Duns rugby club in April 1973
First pint poured at Duns rugby club in April 1973

In 1973 Flora Simpson pulled the first pint at the Duns RFC clubhouse, in the town’s Newtown Street.

Many pints later, it was appropriate that Flora call time, pulling the last pint, to bring closure on this chapter of the Rugby Club’s story.

Last pint poured at Duns rugby club

Last pint poured at Duns rugby club

When the clubhouse opened Flora was wife of the dounder member, life member and vice-president Bill Simpson. She is also mother of the current club secretary Derek Simpson.

Flora said: “Forty years and more have passed so quickly, and it’s sad to see the old clubrooms - with all the great memories they hold - sold. However, the club’s plans for the future are very exciting, and will provide Duns RFC with a new home they can be justifiably proud of.”

The clubhouse has been sold as part of the regeneration project underway at Duns RFC and the new clubhouse will find its home in part of the Old High School buildings, in Duns, co-located with the new playing and training pitches already laid.

The club now plans to develop the playing, social and community facilities over the next 12 months while utilising what’s already there as part of the former school gymnasium.The Club AGM will be held, at the new site, on Wednesday, June 18, at 7pm, for club business and anyone curious to understand the future plans.

The name “Castle Park” has been given to the new ground reflecting the relationship with the original site and Duns Castle.

The club continues its evolution having been awarded, and recently re-qualifying for, the Positive Coaching Scotland (PCS) accreditation supported by the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU).

One of the most inspiring areas of development is the Mini Section (Primary School age) where the club has seen the membership double in the past 18 months. The Mini’s have collected several ‘Fair Play’ awards leading them to create their own Tournament Award for presentation to visiting teams.

A parent’s review of the PCS programme will be presented, by Bosman du Plessis of the SRU, at the start of the new Mini’s season on Sunday, August 31, at the new clubhouse.

The club has also employed a full-time development officer, Robert Grigg, for the promotion of Rugby, Community Sports, and in support of sports learning in Berwickshire Schools. Events such as the Ex-Players’ Day and Wednesday evening touch rugby sessions are extending the club’s profile beyond the traditional Saturday rugby match. As the club invites more of the Berwickshire community to get involved its future looks bright.

For further information on club activities email Robert Grigg berwickshiredo@gmail.com