Bowhill Personalities

Norman Watters

Norman Watters

Norman Watters (1923-96) is a Past President of our club. A keen Burnsian and a great character, Norman is sadly missed. Norman led our concert party for many years and put together well planned, and long, programmes.( I think we finished all the items once! - Ed). His wife Ann is an Honorary President of BPBC. Norman has two books on the subject of Burns, in print -

"Burns Suppers an' a' that an' a' that" ISBN 0946294 11 9
"Stories Behind Some of Burns and Other Scottish Songs" ISBN 0 946294 06 2 .

These contain some fascinating Burns information. Norman also discovered the grave of one John Anderson - immortalised in the Burns classic "John Anderson My Jo" - in Kilchuiman Burial Ground, Inverness. After Norman's death his family arranged for a plaque to be place at the graveside.

John Anderson Grave

The plaque reads:

"John Anderson. My Jo.
Friend of Robert Burns
Character of one of the most touching of Burns Songs. Gifted by the family of the late Norman Watters
Past President of Bowhill People's Burns Club"

The stone reads:

"Sacred to the memory of
John Anderson who died at Invergarry
the 4 May 1832 Aged 84 years
also his daughter Catherine who died at Invergarry the 20 December 1832 aged 52 years
Relict of the late
James Grearson who was lost in the "Comet" off Gourack Point the 20 Oct 1825
This stone is errected by their affectionate children."


Lord Ewing of Kirkford

Lord Harry Ewing

Lord Ewing (Harry) was an Honorary President of our club and attended our suppers on a regular basis as a top table guest. You can read about his political career here . Sadly he passed away earlier in 2007.

Dr David Rorie

Dr David Rorie portrait

David Rorie (1867 - 1946) was a Bowhill doctor who is also well known for his Scots verse and song. One of his better known songs is “The Lum Hat wantin’ the Croon.”   His works can be read here

John Thomson

john thomson headshot


John Thomson (January 28, 1909 – September 5, 1931) the footballer who played for Scotland and Celtic yet died at an early age because of a tragic accident during a match was brought up in Cardenden and is buried in Bowhill. His story can be read here and two of the many poems/songs about him are linked here John Thomson1 and John Thomson2 .

Such was his popularity many Celtic fans walked to his funeral in Bowhill from Glasgow, and even now he is still idolised by many fans.

John's grave in Bowhill can be seen here -->

John Thomson gravestone



Laurence Daily

Laurence Daily headshot

Laurence Daily (it is often spelt Lawrence Daly) was born in Fife on the 20th October 1924. He was to become a miner, trade unionist (NUM leader) and communist party member. Lawrence started mining at Glenraig colliery in 1939. His story can be read here.
He was a member of BPBC and his membership card for 1957 (shown below) is with some of his other papers held at Warwick University. It is interesting to note the committee members at that time - John Murdoch, James Gillies, Jas Balfour, Ed Murdoch, David Arthur, Wm Duff, Andrew Graham and John McRae. The club fees were 2/6! That is 2 shillings and sixpence. In today's decimal coinage 12½ pence.

membership card
membership card2

The club rules are also printed on this membership card and are worth reading.



Over the years the club has had several distinguished visitors including:

Toshio Namba

Professor Toshio Namba, who spent much of his life translating the Works of Burns into Japanese


Jimmy Shand

Sir Jimmy Shand MBE MA: who visited the club and entertained at one of our Burns Suppers.
(seen playing, and with Hugh Docherty - President at the time - on Jimmy's 80th Birthday)


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