From the Manse

Dear friends,

Although it could have been mistaken at times for somewhere in the Mediterranean, our summer holiday was spent no further than St Andrews. 

As well as being home to Scotland’s oldest university, St Andrews enjoys a worldwide reputation as the home of
golf. 

Whether it was playing, attending the Open Championship at Carnoustie or volunteering at the Seniors Open played over the Old Course, much of our holiday was spent on the golf course.

However my summer’s golfing highlight came in the grounds of the ancient St Andrews cathedral where I led a short service to dedicate a memorial stone. 

The memorial stone had been erected to mark the grave of the late Jamie Anderson.

Jamie Anderson was Open Champion golfer in 1877, 1878 and 1879 winning the title at Musselburgh, Prestwick and the Old Course at St Andrews. 

Born in St Andrews in 1842, Jamie Anderson died in a poor house in 1905 and was buried in a paupers’ grave
with no headstone to mark his grave. 

Having researched the history of St Andrews and the Open Championship, author and historian, Roger McStravick, was able to identify Anderson’s grave in the grounds of the ruined St Andrew’s Cathedral and set about raising funds to erect a headstone.

With monies raised from the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and all the local golf clubs in St Andrews, a local stonemason, Mark Ritchie, was commissioned to create the headstone.

The dedication ceremony was held on Wednesday morning prior to the start of the Senior Open Championship and was attended by Sandy Lyle, the Open Champion in 1985, who spoke on behalf of the former champions and paid tribute to Jamie Anderson’s career. 

The ceremony was also attended by Sandra and David Allan, Anderson’s great, great, great granddaughter and great, great, great, great grandson. 

As you can imagine it was a privilege to dedicate the headstone and celebrate Jamie Anderson’s golfing
achievements. 

Very few golfers have won the Open Championship and to win it three years running suggests that Jamie
Anderson was the outstanding golfer of his era.

Several of Anderson’s hickory shafted golf clubs are displayed in the R&A clubhouse, so very different from today’s clubs, and it was remarkable to look at them and realise these were the clubs he used to win the Open Championship.

As well as enjoying a good holiday with lots of sunshine, I hope your summer has been filled with interest and activity to set you up for the autumn and winter months.

And as you will read in this 100th edition of the Grapevine, there are plenty of opportunities for you to engage with the life and worship of Cramond Kirk.

With best wishes,

Russell Barr


On the Grapevine
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