Eddie McCue

by Alex

Born 10th August 1932 in Balerno
Died 7th April 1996 in Linlithgow, aged 63

The flamboyant Eddie McCue in the Chair while the Founder Members look down from behind

1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988
Vice President
  1973, 1974, 1975
1963, 1973, 1976

Reply to the Toast to the Immortal Memory of Burns 1963, 1973, 1974, 1977

Proposer of the Toast “The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns”  1971

Proposer of the Toast  “Let it Blaw – the Balerno Burns Club”  1974, 1982

Proposer of the Toast “The Lasses”  1975

Reply to the Toast “Chairman, Croupiers & Artistes”  1981, 1983, 1984

Proposer of the Toast  “Our Hosts” or “The Landlord – Landlady”   1984

Recited the Address  “To a Haggis” 1986

Edward Clancy McCue was born in Balerno in 1932. He attended Balerno School throughout the war years and into the late 1940s. It’s believed that he was ‘called up’ for National Service with the RAF in 1949/50 which would have lasted for 18 months or thereabouts.

From the mid 50s, Eddie resided back in Balerno staying with his mother and the Clancy family in Dean Park. Club Honorary Member Raymond Ward takes up the story:

“They stayed next door to Willie Shanks and it’s said that Eddie spent more time in the Shanks household than his own. Willie and Eddie were always plotting fund raising extravaganzas for the benefit of the village including variety concerts for the Gala which I can remember going to. He also had kennels behind Balerno Garage where he kept greyhounds which he raced at various tracks including Powderhall. I can remember seeing him going on to the bus with his greyhounds taking them to Powderhall. There were a few others who had greyhounds in Balerno too. Eddie was a very well known character around the village.”

Records of who attended the annual Suppers when they resumed in the 1950s have not survived but, as he was still resident in Balerno, it’s likely that Eddie would have been involved during the late 1950s and was definitely involved from the early 1960s.

In1962, Eddie married Elizabeth (Betty) McGowan in Linlithgow by which time he was working for Trinity House. It’s believed they moved to Linlithgow soon after their wedding. Eddie first appeared in the ‘Let it Blaw’ Toast List/Programme in 1963 as a Croupier although it’s likely he was in attendance for a few years beforehand. He had several speaking parts over the next few years until, in 1971, he had the honour of proposing the Toast to the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns.

By the 1977 Supper, Eddie had been elected Club President and Supper Chairman, a position he held for 12 successive years including the supper of 1978 where current Honorary President of ‘Let it Blaw’ Ken McDonald takes up the story:

When I attended my first ‘Let It Blaw’ supper in 1978, Eddie McCue was President of the club and chaired the celebration. It was a memorable occasion featuring many of the club’s great characters including the Rankin brothers, Willie Shanks, Jack McCaig, David Ogston, Bill Ramsay, John Mathers, Ian Falconer and Kerr Cowan. Eddie conducted the proceedings splendidly as he continued to do subsequently and recited less often heard poems such as ‘Does Haughty Gaul Invasion Threat’ and ‘Address To Edinburgh’, and on one occasion the most unusual ‘Address To My Bed’.

Having been invited to join the club, by virtue of having attended, I was surprised and somewhat terror struck, given the amazing talent I had witnessed, to be asked to give The Immortal Memory in 1982. Despite my limited knowledge of the Bard at that time, my effort was received kindly by Eddie and others and as is the custom at ‘Let It Blaw’ I began to appear on the programme from time to time thereafter.

Eddie’s dedication to the club and love of Burns’ works was obvious and his style, it seemed to me, engendered the welcoming atmosphere, friendship and encouragement to new members which has endured. I was sad when he left the club in 1988 and missed his company. To me he was a splendid President and I thoroughly enjoyed his chairmanship of the annual suppers. His enthusiasm and good humour were infectious and his friendship was greatly appreciated. He set a standard which I tried to maintain when it was my turn in the chair.

At the Club’s AGM in November 1988, Eddie resigned his membership of ‘Let it Blaw’ and with it the position as Club President. His successor, Jim Tait, thanked Eddie for the many years of service given to the Club, and, on behalf of the membership, offered appointment as Honorary President. Eddie declined.

Eddie died in Linlithgow on 7th April 1996 aged 64 years.