Dr. Allen T. Sloan (The Lodge, Balerno)

by untangledwebl

Proposer of Toast: “Let it Blaw”, the Balerno Burns Club   1933

Allen became a member of ‘Let it Blaw’ in 1931 and first appeared in the Toast List/Programme of 1933.

Allen played rugby for Edinburgh Academicals and, in December 1914, won his first cap for Scotland in Cardiff in what was, in those days, a “Four Nations’ championship”. He went on to win 9 caps between 1914 and 1921, captaining the side on at least one occasion, and scoring three tries in the process.

When the ‘Let it Blaw’ webmaster was discussing the content of this page with Club Member Max Downie who has contacts both at the SRU and Edinburgh Academicals Rugby Club, it was agreed that so long after his death, and without any information about Allen’s family, it would be almost impossible to discover much about him for this report. The call ended, and the webmaster’s 91 year old mother, who had been listening to the conversation from the other side of the room, announced “Dr Sloan was a very nice man; played rugby for Scotland you know!” When asked what she could possibly know about him, it transpired that Dr Sloan, when working as a GP in the west end of Edinburgh in 1923, dragged our webmaster’s mother (and her brothers) into the world in an era when most births were in the family home.

The uncharitable amongst you may reason that if our cronie Allen Sloan hadn’t performed such tasks, Club Member Alex Hood would not have been able to irritate you all for the past 30+ years ! Granny further advised that it was Dr Sloan who cured her, and her brothers, of Whooping Cough and other Wheezing Ailments, by instructing their mother to take them to a tar boiler to inhale the fumes. 

Individuals reading this who have the misfortune to suffer from “Wheezing Ailments,” are advised that the Committee of ‘Let it Blaw’ takes no responsibility for the consequences should they try this cure, and fall into the tar boiler.

At some point in the late 1920s, Allen moved to Balerno where he worked as a GP, initilly residing at Midbrae, then later at “The Lodge”. In addition to ‘Let it Blaw’, Allen was active in the ‘Balerno Bowling Club’ rising to be Club President, and he was also a Founding Member of the local Rifle Club in Balerno immediately after the second world war.

Allen died in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1952 at the relatively young age of 59 after suffering a serious head injury. He made but a small contribution to the ‘Let it Blaw’ Suppers, but he’ll surely be remembered for rugby and, in at least one house, tar boilers !

For the record, Allen’s son Donald also played rugby for Scotland winning 7 caps between 1950 and 1953.