CALLING all Scots in York: the St Andrew Society needs YOU.

You don’t actually have to be a Scot to be a member: you just need an interest in Scotland. “We’re not clannish!” said Aberdeen-born Frank Paterson, a Society member who has lived in York since 1978. “We’ve had two English presidents!” added club secretary Jim Murison.

Members are in fact very fond of York - and of England. It’s not a political society, stressed Mr Paterson. But members did have a fun debate on whether there should be a second Scottish independence referendum.”The ‘no’s definitely won!”

The Society - membership just over 100 - holds social gatherings including ceilidhs, barn dances and day trips. It also raises money for good causes. This year’s charity is Street Angels: last year it was Marie Curie. “We raise about £1,500 each year, “ Mr Murison said.

The Society has close links to St Columba’s United Reformed Church in Priory Street, and a ladies circle which meets every month. The two highlights of its year, however, are St Andrew’s Day and Burns Night. This year’s St Andrew’s Day dinner at York Racecourse on November 30 promises to be extra special: it marks the Society’s 125th anniversary. Or almost. “We were formed on December 7, 1894,” Mr Murison said.

The Society still has an 1894 report from the Yorkshire Herald describing the first meeting in the Coffee Rooms on High Ousegate. A plaque was put up to mark the Society’s 100th anniversary 25 years ago. Then the building was a shoe shop - today it is Ann Summers.

The Society’s first president was the Lord Mayor of York, Alderman W. McKay. Other presidents have included Archbishop of York Cosmo Lang and General Andrew Wauchope, who was killed in the Boer War.

The Society now needs some new blood, however. Hence that call for Scots living in York, or Englishmen (or women) interested in Scotland. Meanwhile, tickets are still available for the St Andrew’s Day dinner. Tickets (priced £38) or information about the Society from or by emailing