Ian Falconer (The last Headmaster of Balerno School)

Honorary Member of ‘Let it Blaw’

Proposer of the Toast  “Our Hosts” or “The Landlord – Landlady”   1976

Proposer of the Toast  “The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns”   1978

Proposer of the Toast  “The Chairman”  1980

Proposer of the Toast  “Chairman & Croupiers”  1981

Proposer of the Toast  “The Lasses”  1983

Proposer of the Toast  “Guests & Artistes”  1985

Proposer of the Toast  “Let it Blaw – the Balerno Burns Club”   1986

Recited the Address  “To a Haggis”  1990

Proposer of the Toast  “New Members & Guests”  1993


Ian moved to Balerno School as Headmaster in 1961 on the retirement of Mr Couper who had been in post for 16 years. Ian thereby became the last Headmaster of Balerno School in the days when the old school in the village was being outgrown by the rapidly rising number of  Balerno’s children.

On 22nd June 1971, Balerno School closed and the children, staff and everything else loosely connected to them moved to the new Dean Park School in Marchbank Gardens.

Ian was a great supporter of the Burns Contests at the School and was in post as Headmaster when Willie Shanks, himself a huge supporter, took over as Secretary of ‘Let it Blaw’ in 1973. Together, the Burns Competitions were in very safe hands.

Ian attended ‘Let it Blaw’ as a Guest in 1976 and, in Willie Shank’s world back then, that meant he had applied for membership and been accepted without him necessarily realising it.

Ian was thereafter a regular at our annual suppers and was granted Honorary Membership of ‘Let it Blaw’ for his lengthy support of the School Contests.

Many members from those days will remember Ian’s recitation of that most difficult poem “The Cotter’s Saturday Night.” Has it been repeated by anyone since ? Perhaps Eddie McCue once or twice but nobody else.

Ian retired in 1987 but remained a loyal supporter of the Club and the annual Suppers thereafter. He has now left the Balerno area to enjoy his retirement in Aberdeen.