Back in the early Seventies when Glasgow was still a major shipping port in the UK, some half dozen members of the shipping fraternity met most Friday’s after work, to have a beer and a blether.
These included Jack Wallace and colleague Bill McFarlane both of Ferrymasters (Sealand), Jim Tennant of W B Wooley, agents for US Lines, Bill Scholefield of Canadian National Railways, Arnold Hood of RM Beveridge and Ian Murray of Manchester Liners.
It seems that Bill McFarlane was the gentleman who suggested that The Glasgow Freight Club should be officially formed and that other associates in shipping and transportation should be invited to participate.
Denis Wooley, Chairman of W B Wooley Glasgow, was a member of the London Freight Club. Word got through to Denis about what was happening locally and he thought it was a splendid idea.
He then advised The London Freight Club that Glasgow was in the process of forming a similar organisation and on hearing this, The London Freight Club very kindly presented Glasgow with a Chairman’s Badge of Office. This badge and chain (pictured right) is still in use to this day.
The original concept of the Glasgow Freight Club was for executives from within the shipping and transport industry around the City to meet once a month, socialise and to promote friendship throughout the trade and it wasn’t long before the invitation was extended to colleagues and indeed competitors to join and this resulted in a steady flow of new members.
The club was officially launched in March 1972. The first Chairman of the Glasgow Freight Club was Bill McFarlane, ably assisted by Jim Tennant as Treasurer and Ian Murray as Secretary.
In the early days, lunches were held in Danny Browns, a pub in St Vincent Street and initially club members were encouraged to speak and tell a few yarns to entertain those attending. This was fine for a few months until it was decided that professional speakers could do a better job with after-lunch patter and entertainment.
In the early days speakers were paid a small fee on the basis that the speaker donated this to their favourite charity. Thus the idea was mooted within the membership, that the Glasgow Freight Club could raise money through luncheons and functions to help local worthwhile charities.