Eskvale Hockey Club is set to celebrate its 40th anniversary with a call for former members to attend a special event.
The club will host a birthday celebration at Lasswade Rugby Club on Saturday, November 19, at 7pm, with all former players, coaches and committee members welcome to attend.
The Eskvale Hockey Club was formed in the Spring of 1975 by Audrey Henderson, Shelagh Jenkins, Maureen Pyper and Eleanor Dalgetty.
It followed a rallying notice which had been displayed in the Dalkeith Advertiser in the autumn of 1974, asking for interested sportswomen to contact Audrey to set up a team. Within months, Eskvale had its first squad of players. Friendly matches were played for the first season at Lasswade High School.
By season 1975-76, Eskvale had enough players’ for two squads, playing competitive league hockey from season 1976-77.
Matches were played on the blaise pitch at Poltonhall Recreation Ground and players were social members at Lasswade Rugby Club.
Eskvale were very grateful to Lasswade Rugby Club, which allowed them to use its facilities in the early days before the recreation ground was built.
In the late 1990s, Scottish Hockey ruled that all competitive matches were to be played on astroturf.
Eskvale moved to the Jack Kane Centre astroturf pitch in season 1998-98.
They had their best ever season, winning every competition they entered – East District First Division, East District Indoor 2nd Division, Inter-District Championship and Hawick 7s.
The club set up a youth Section in early 2000s with the aim of helping to sustain the club for the future.
Numbers of youngsters wishing to take part were healthy and remain so, with many youngsters having come through the ranks to the senior squad.
All 15 current senior squad players have come through the club’s youth system.
In 2005, the club moved back to Midlothian, playing and training at Dalkeith Campus. The club also set up a men’s playing section.
From this season, Eskvale play all their home matches at Lasswade High School.
Lorraine Nicholson-Bennett, club president, said: ‘‘This has been a coming home for Eskvale. The club originally was made up of many former pupils and several current pupils play for the club today.
‘‘Players are in the process of becoming social members again at Lasswade Rugby Club. The partnership with LRC has worked very well over the years and Eskvale are very grateful to LRC for the assistance they have given the club.’’
Lorraine added: ‘‘We are appealing to anyone associated with Eskvale Hockey Club over the past 40 years to try and come along to our special anniversary night on November 19. The function suite caters for 120 people and, so far, we have 50 people who have confirmed they will come along.
‘‘It promises to be a great evening and an opportunity for past members to reunite and reminisce.’’
If anyone has any memorabilia or wishes to come along on the night, please contact Lorraine on 07522 822486 or the club’s Facebook page.