Time to celebrate - Dunfermline Club hits first Anniversary

Love was in the air – Dunfermline club celebrate first anniversary!

The walls of Abbeyview Bowling Club Lounge, Dunfermline, were ringing with multiple renditions of Happy Birthday on Tuesday 14th February. No need for any Valentines for this group, there was plenty love kicking around for members and the club which was celebrating its first anniversary.

The members also had another reason to celebrate as one of our early members, Ramsay Kessler, was 90 that week.

60 and still playing football

The Club sat down to more than one helping of birthday cake and enjoyed some really insightful reminiscing of sporting stories of derring-do from days gone by. One such example was club member Ramsay, who has been a cornerstone of Sunday League football in Fife for many years and indeed had a trophy named after him.

He filled many roles over the years and was much admired and respected by generations of young footballers. But, he ALWAYS carried his boots to any match he was attending and at the first whiff of someone not able to play, out came the boots, swiftly laced up and Ramsay was on the field. Even in his sixties!

Here is Ramsay with his daughter, Linda, smiling for visiting Press.

Will they come?

Waiting for that first member when launching a new club is always daunting. Will anyone come along? Dunfermline didn’t have long to wait. On the very first morning, Michael Swatton popped his head round the door and signed up on the spot. He’s missed only one meeting this year and is one of our keenest members, always taking part in whatever we do and keen to help new members settle in as well as give his expert opinion of that week’s cakes.

Pictured here is Michael with our Anniversary cake which was baked by our newest volunteer, Linda Allan.

A Poetic Interlude

To round off a laughter filled morning, another volunteer, John Allan, entertained the members with an ode he had written about the club and we thought to share it here. The sentiments shared apply to all our clubs. Thoughts of friendship, sharing and fun.

John is pictured here getting ready to share his poem.

Abbeyview Anniversary Ode

One year ago in Twenty-two,

Abbeyview bowling club was the venue,

for a new Sporting Memories weekly group,

first one in Dunfermline, it was a coup.


Ten-thirty am, the doors were open,

the staff and volunteers were hopin’,

for lots of members to arrive,

after a great publicity drive.


They waited, hushed, with bated breath,

the club could be facing an early death

when in walked Michael (and Nicole),

the Club was born, now had a soul.


Reported in the Dunfermline Press,

relief by some, they did confess.

Now up and running, fully formed,

a bit light on numbers, the sceptics warned.


But week on week the numbers grew,

the staff and volunteers said “phew”,

Enough were there to make a noise,

unsurprisingly, they’re mainly boys!


Home baking caused a smacking of lips,

Football the topic of many’s a quip,

but curling, rugby, tennis also appear,

to provide sporting memories over the years.


There’s also an exercise class in the middle,

trying to keep members as fit as a fiddle.

Star guests have been welcomed along to the scene,

like Roy Barry, Jim Leishman and “young” Craig Levein.


There’s been boccia, dominoes, bowling and darts,

while the group found a place in everyone’s hearts,

creating enjoyment for all of the band,

it’s going so well now it’s bound to expand.


So thanks to the members who come in each week

the future could never be seen as bleak

and using the passion of the Abbeyview crew,

here’s to making sporting memories anew.


To find a club near you, click here. There might not always be birthday cake but there will be fun and friendship

Comments: 1 (Add)

Linda Whyte on February 20 2023

I take my dad Ramsay to the club every week and he loves it, so do I. The volunteers and members are a wonderful bunch of people, where we reminisce and laugh lots. Thanks to them all.


We’re always on the lookout for volunteers to help run our clubs all across England, Scotland and Wales – find out more here.

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