Club History

The club has a long and proud history which began in 1898 with the first match being against Edinburgh Institution 2nd XV (now Stewart's Melville) on the 14th October of that year. Dalkeith won 60pts - Nil with 6 tries being scored. Although there are no details of the team that played that day, there is still a team photograph from 1899 which hangs within the clubhouse recording the names of those who pioneered the game in the area at that time.

The Club's first president was J.C.Paterson and the captain was J. Warden who farmed at Wester Cowden, During the first year, the club played the following teams:- Morningside, Brunstone, Ê Heriots 2nd XV,Ê Watsonians 3rd XV, and the aforementioned Edinburgh Institution. Clubs played in 1899 included Heriots, Royal High School, Edinburgh University, Peebles and Corstorphine with J. Duncan captaining the side that season. The first annual supper was held in the Cross Keys Hotel on the 9th March 1900 where a presentation of a pipe was made to the club referee 'George Goldie' of Eskdale Lodge, having a homer maybe contributed to the successful season!!

The Club continued to play matches until 1915 when the Great War stopped play, the captain that year was R.Stewart and the president was one Sir Henry Dundas. The club did not reform until February 1934 when a meeting of interested players got together at the Scientific Hall and elected president George Dick. Club Colours RED\WHITE\GREEN, were agreed upon and the first match played against the 'Auld Enemy' Lasswade on the 29th September at Kirkbank.

The club played a further 3 seasons until club amalgamations were first mooted, Musselburgh RFC called a meeting to discuss with the other clubs in Midlothian the possibility of amalgamating under the name of -surprise, surprise -Musselburgh. As this was found to be unacceptable to most of those present the proposal did not proceed, however at a meeting held in October the members of Dalkeith & Lasswade decided to join forces and due to their greater numbers of members it was decided to play under the Lasswade name.

WW II then intervened and this had a direct result on the reformation of Dalkeith RFC as a separate entity. In March 1946, the club was reformed under George Dick as President and Captain Jim Penman. The fist match was played on the 19th September of that year against Rosyth. Mr S.B. Syme from Newtongrange gifted a set of navy blue jerseys to the club and they were sold to the players for the princely sum of 6/- (30 pence) At a meeting in the band hall in Newtongrange the former colours RED\WHITE\GREEN were reaffirmed as the club colours which have to this day remained throughout the last 50 years. From 1946 to 1956 the club took on a new lease of life, matches were still played at Kirkbank with a byre used as a changing room and a cold water tap and two tubs as washing facilities. Food rationing was still in force but wives and mothers rallied round and made sandwiches and cakes which were brought to Kirkbank where tea was made on the Primus stoves with tilley lambs used as lighting. During this time Pat Shaw became president and being an accountant with the National Coal Board bought some business acumen to the club. The lease of an old guardhouse at the King's Line Barracks Newbattle was negotiated, and the accommodation consisted of a kitchen, two rooms, four cells, and toilets. 3 cells were converted to shower rooms with the 4th being designated to the referees thus the first clubrooms for the club became available.

Notable players during this year were Adam Robson (1949) who went on to play for Hawick and gain 22 caps for Scotland before coming president of the SRU and Brian Henderson who played for Edinburgh Wanderers and gained 12 Scottish Caps. The Diamond jubilee of the club was celebrated on the 27th March 1958 in the Unicorn Inn. 6 members of the 1914 team were present including 2 original members from 1898 - D & I McLelland. The speakers were Adam Robson & David Toynbee. In the spring of 1959 the club moved to King's Park with the tennis pavilion being used as the changing rooms.

A celebration match was played in April 1959 with such worthies as David Reid, Walter Kelly, Bobby Walker and John Lapsley representing Dalkeith against such stars of the time John Douglas, Adam Robson, Hamish Kemp and Jack Heggarty. 1963 heralded the inception of the Dalkeith Shield, a 15-A-Side knockout tournament for clubs within the Lothians. The tournament runs to this day and is the longest running 15 a side tournament in Scotland. Clubs who completed in the early years of competition include Haddington, Currie and Preston Lodge who went onto compete at the highest level in the domestic game when National Leagues were established. Towards the latter part of the 60's the club began giving serious thought to improving the clubhouse and changing facilities which were becoming very dilapidated. The leading light in search for suitable ground, finance and builders was Bill Dunnett a local man who was president from 1966-69. Bill drew on all his business knowledge (he was a partner in a law firm) and after a great deal of hard work by the club members of the time the new clubhouse was opened on the 6th September 1972. A match to herald the opening was held between Dalkeith and a Scottish International Side which included such names as Sandy Carmichael, Ian McLauchlan, Jim Telfer, Jim Renwick, Andy Irvine, Dougie Morgan, Arthur Brown, Colin Telfer, Nairn McEwan and Jock Bertinussin (A former Dalkeith member).

Notable Dalkeith players were Bill Ingram who played for Melrose and the South, Tom Jack who played for Gala and young up and comers Bain and Cummings. During the 70's National Leagues were introduced and Dalkeith entered the 7th Division in season 76/77. The club was runners up in that year and gained promotion to Division 6 alongside none other than the emerging Stirling County. The following year the club emerged as champions having beaten the aforementioned Sitrling comprehensively in front of one of the largest crowds ever seen in King's Park. Despite some hard work by all members (the club ran 4 teams plus a Colts XV) progress was only made to Division 5 and since then the lowers reaches of Division 6 & 7. Dalkeith did finally manage to win their own tournament "THE SHIELD" in 1976, and again in 2001 and 2004 and were successful in the other 15's KO Tournament of the time,The Murrayfield Cup.

We are classed these days as a small club with a relatively small membership but hope that we can compete with the big boys when it comes to our premises and hospitality shown to many clubs who have visited us. Teams from France, Holland, USA, Japan, Italy, Wales, Ireland and even England have all experienced this and some have even returned! We cannot forget the visit from Orkney RFC who came to us on National League duty in September 1997. This was Orkney's first away fixture after their promotion to National League Division 7 and this goes along with another Dalkeith first to be drawn out of the hat along with RAF Kinross to play away in the first National Cup sponsored by Tennent's and brief highlights of the game were shown on BBC1.