THE two trophies for one of golf’s most historic events have sat side-by-side for the first time – after one of them was discovered gathering dust in a Capital cricket club.
The original Dispatch Trophy, played for at the Braids since 1890, was awarded to Carlton Cricket Club after it won the event for a third time in 1898.
It has been in the club’s possession ever since, though for the majority of that time very few people there knew of its significance in the city’s sporting history. But it is getting some welcome exposure again after Silverknowes, the current holders of the ‘new’ Dispatch Trophy, decided to track down its whereabouts.
They have dedicated an area of their clubhouse to celebrate the club’s own successes in the popular team tournament and managed to get the two trophies together.
Hamish Coghill, the Dispatch Trophy convenor, and Robin Mutch, the event’s secretary, also went down to Silverknowes to mark the special occasion.
“Silverknowes got in touch with me when they were creating their excellent ‘Dispatch Trophy Corner’ to ask about the original trophy,” said Mutch.
“I told them it was owned by Carlton Cricket Club so they then got in touch with them and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I believe many people at Carlton Cricket Club didn’t actually know what it was, but they now appreciate exactly what they’ve got in terms of golfing history in Edinburgh.”
Brian Forrester, the Carlton membership secretary and also the club’s archivist, was one of the few who knew the trophy was still in its possession.
“It was stuck in a corner behind the bar,” he admitted. “Some of the older members knew it was there and also some of the members who are golfers. They knew its significance.
“Then [Silverknowes vice-captain] Kevin Brown got in touch with us about their ‘Dispatch Trophy Corner’ and, to be honest, I was surprised myself how prominent Carlton Cricket Club’s name is on the original trophy.
“Since then, it’s been down to Silverknowes to be shown around at the odd event and over the winter it’s probably had more exposure than it has ever had.
“It’s back with us now and it has been interesting to put the history together.”
The ‘Dispatch Trophy Corner’ project at Silverknowes was the brainchild of both Brown and Jim Anderson, the club’s resident caricaturist and historian.
It celebrates the club’s four triumphs in the event, which stirs excitement as the tournament draws near year after year.
“Kevin contacted Carlton, who were completely unaware of the history behind their trophy, unattended and unloved, until they were invited down to Silverknowes and given an instant update,” said Anderson.
“It was then arranged for the two trophies to ‘meet’ for the first time in 113 years, spanning three centuries.
“Carlton have now gained a new-found respect for their famous property, presumably taking a new pride of place spot in their clubhouse.”
This year’s Dispatch Trophy takes place from May 26-June 2 and the draw will appear in tomorrow’s Edinburgh Evening News.