Mount Stuart Trust gifts ownership of playing pitches to the Bute Shinty and Amateur Athletic Club SCIO.

01st November 2021

Mount Stuart Trust gifts ownership of playing pitches to the Bute Shinty and Amateur Athletic Club SCIO.

Saturday 30th October saw the official handover of the ownership of the Meadows playing fields to the Bute Shinty and Amateur Athletic Club from the Mount Stuart Trust.

Following a donation of the land from the Mount Stuart Trust, the club took ownership earlier this year. A short ceremony to mark the occasion took place to coincide with an end of season friendly against local rivals ColGlen. It follows an existing leasing agreement in a three way partnership with Argyll and Bute Council.

The proposal to transfer ownership stemmed from negotiations on the renewal of the ground lease from Mount Stuart Trust to the club when both parties agreed that the best way forward would be to transfer ownership. Mount Stuart Trust generously offered to do so at no cost and also included the wider Meadows area subject to the ongoing tenancy of Argyll and Bute Council. The club currently boasts one of the best clubhouse facilities in the sport and this new ownership of the pitches and surrounding land will allow the club to further develop its ambitions for this important community resource for the whole island.

Speaking ahead of the handover Sophie Crichton-Stuart of the Mount Stuart Trust said: “Working closely with the team at The Isle of Bute Shinty Club we are delighted to be able to officially mark the handover of ownership of the playing pitches. Recognising the importance of the role of shinty and the club in island life and acknowledging the facilities as an invaluable resource for the wider community, it gives me great pleasure to know that this new ownership will allow the club to realise its ambitions for the Meadows and I look forward to visiting for a Shinty match or other future events.”

The Bute Shinty and Amateur Athletic Club Chairman Barry Martin said: “This gift of the Meadows pitches will have a huge impact for the Isle of Bute Shinty Club. We are very much a community club with our clubhouse used for a huge range of events, with everything from Yoga Classes to Irish Dancing, weddings and funerals taking place here. Many will also be aware of the key role the club plays in hosting the annual Agricultural show and Highland Games and this transfer of ownership will allow us to move on and start to plan a much needed storage facility for the Agricultural Society/Highland Games.

Throughout the process the club is very grateful for the very generous support and advice provided by Elaine Campbell of Wm. Skelton and Co, Solicitors, which made the process very straightforward for us. In marking the handover today we are also taking the opportunity to recognise the many years of service of volunteer Margaret Whitelaw whose post match catering has fed many a team and its supporters over the years.”

A Brief History of Shinty on the Isle of Bute

Shinty has been a popular sport on the Isle of Bute, with records detailing matches on-island pre-1900. With guidance & support from the Marquess of Bute and Sir Colin MacRae, Bute Camanachd was formed in September 1907 as the first constituted club on the island. North Bute club formed a short time afterwards.

Early games involved friendlies and local cup competitions, and by 1910, Kingarth Shinty club had also been formed. In the 1920s & 30s a shinty team comprising of the best players from across the island and competed in the first Sutherland Cup final in 1923 against Newtonmore. Following World War 2, Bute Shinty Club was reconstituted and has remained the only island team ever since. The club has seen many notable victories over the years namely in the Sutherland Cup in 1972 and the Balliemore Cup on 5 occasions. Bute Shinty club has since progressed to the top tier of shinty, (the Premier league) 100 years after the first club had been formed on the island. The club currently has 1st & 2nd teams in men’s shinty, a burgeoning Ladies section and youth teams from primary up to u14 level.