History 1962 – 1971

20th June 1981 – Reunion

Octavians Athletic Club. 1962 – 1971


In 1962, due to falling numbers and the resulting drop in standards being experienced by all of the Former Pupils Athletic Clubs in Edinburgh, representatives of the Clubs met in the Royal Scots Club, in Abercromby Place Edinburgh to discuss the problem.

Representatives from the eight Former Pupils Clubs athletic clubs attended: George Heriot’s School (H), Royal High School (R.H.), Daniel Stewart’s College(D.S.), Trinity Academy (T.A.), George Watson’s College(W.), Edinburgh Academy(E.A.), Boroughmuir High School(B) and Melville College(M).

The outcome of that meeting was that the eight clubs agreed to combine to form one club, Octavians Athletic Club which would allow the new club to compete nationally against all of the Scottish Harrier and open Athletic Clubs

Initially selection for matches was by invitation, similar to Barbarians Rugby Club selection rules.

Trophies and Successes

Website at Scotstats has lots of information – http://www.scotstats.net/archive-1/the-athletes/


The Land O’Burns Trophy 1969

Scottish 4 x 440 Silver Medallists 1963 at Goldenacre ; Team : John Turnbull, Donald Burr, Tommy Tait and Bob Hay
and Bronze medallists in 1964

Scottish 4 x 100 relay bronze medallists 1965 and 1966

Scottish 1 mile Medley Relay Silver Medallists 1966 Shotts Highland Games;  Team 880yds John  Turnbull, 2x 220yds Mike Bathgate, & John Jones, 440yds Ian Mc Callum.
and Bronze medallists in 1963 and 1968

Scottish 1600 metres Medley Relay Bronze medallists in 1969


David Stevenson

Commonwealth Games

Ian Grant

John Jones

David Stevenson

UK Internationalists

Bob Hay –  440yds hurdles

Adrian Weatherhead  – 1 mile & 1500m

John Jones –  Decathlon

Gordon Rule – Pole Vault

David Stevenson – Pole Vault

Frank Dick –  800yds  (Indoor)

Scottish Internationalists

Donald McKenzie – Javelin

Bob Hay               440yds Hurdles

Frazer Proven    120yds High Hurdles

Tony Hogarth      120yds High Hurdles

Stewart Seale – Pole Vault

David Stevenson – Pole Vault

Adrian Weatherhead   1500m

John Jones               Decathlon

Gordon Rule.           Pole Vault

Ian Grant                Decathlon 1970 Commonwealth Games

Frank Dick              800m

 District, Scottish and U.K. Champions.


Sprints up to 440yds: Tommy Tait, Stewart Seale & Donald Burr(D.S.),  Mike Bathgate (W.) ; Gordon Ellis (M.);  Norrie Patterson & ‘Podge’ Irvine (B.) Bob Hay (H.); Robin McKenzie Bill Johnston, Derek Richards & John Jones (T.A.)

Hurdles: Fraser Proven (D.S.), Tony Hogarth & Bob Hay (H.) John Jones (T.A.)

Middle Distance: Frank Dick (R.H.); Ian McCallum & Adrian Weatherhead (D.S.) John Turnbull (T.A), Martin Sinclair (E.A), Robin Morris, Alastair Patrick , Jim Waugh & Douglas & Alan McNish(W.); Iain Craig (T.A); Duncan Brown (W.)

Throws: George Thomson & Donald McKenzie & Lawrie Nisbet(W.); Bill Noble & Brian Suddaby(B.); John Jones (T.A.); Jack Anderson (D.S) Ian McDonald???

Jumps: Johnny Douglas (B.), Bill Murray & Douglas Flett (R.H.), Gordon Rule (H); John Jones (T.A.);  Ian Henderson, Ian Grant  & Peter Burgess (W.), Bill Golden (T.A.)

Decathlon and Multi-eventers: John Jones (T.A); Peter Burgess & Ian Grant(W.); Bob Hay (H.)

Officials: Jim Patrick (W.) (President), George Sinclair (H) (President), Roy Wilkie (T.A) (Treas.); Jimmy & George Johnston(W.), Jim Craigie, Stuart Laird and H.T.L.Wilson (T.A.); Ivan Tait(D.S.), Bert Logan(R.H.), Rab Foreman(R.H.), Time-keepers: Mike Weir, Lord Milligan (H.) Starter; Alexander M Jones (T.A.)

Post script

The Club became a victim of its own success, as the team was principally made up of District and National Champions and both Scottish and G.B. Internationals, as a result youngsters found that they could not get into the team; so they went elsewhere.

The Club folded in 1971 then, after providing two trophies – one in the form of a baton for the Octavian Relays  at Grangemouth, the other a Sword to be awarded annually at the Carnethy Hill Race meeting ( won by club member Robin Morris) – the members used all that was left of the club’s funds  on a grand dinner in the Carlton Hotel Edinburgh.

In 1981 a ‘reunion’ contest was held at Myreside ; a report with a photograph of those present was published  in the Scotsman.

9 Responses to History 1962 – 1971

  1. dougflett says:

    hi Robin; thanks for your call … 1962 was also the start of the ’62 Club’ with FPs from the same schools playing Sunday cricket and a July tour in England. The 62 Club are celebrating a 50th anniversary event this August at Royal Burgess.


  2. Robin M. says:


    Members – Middle Distance – add Iain Craig (TA) + there was a Duncan Brown (W) ?, Officials – Mike Weir is (W), What happened to “Bill Golden” (Helen’s brother) ? George Sinclair will know.


    Robin M.


    • Bill Golden says:

      Bill Golden is alive and well, retired, and living in Tranent, I don’t jump anymore, but then I never jumped very well in the first place.


  3. Alex Ward says:

    Good to hear it Bill!


  4. Pingback: 13th June 1963 | Octavians Athletic Club

  5. nethenia says:

    my late uncle Tommy Tait


  6. nethenia says:

    I wondered if a Scottish film could be made about the history of The Octavians it should ever be forgotten in Running history, the records that were broken seem to make it a story that should be told. Growing up I always knew about them through my Uncle we were very close.


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