The Scottish Wine and Spirit Merchants’ Benevolent Institution was founded in Glasgow in 1864. The East of Scotland Licensed Trade Benevolent Institution in 1887. They joined forces in 1976 to form the Benevolent Society of the Licensed Trade of Scotland, shortened to The BEN.
The BEN has 19 Directors from every section of the Trade who work throughout Scotland. They give of their time freely, helping to raise funds, manage the Charity and visit each of their Pensioners in their own home every year.
Nine retired employees from the licensed trade assist the Directors in their visits and supplement these as required to give a caring and comforting companionship. Any special needs are looked after.
Each of the pensioners receives a Christmas Gift and a Holiday Gift together with an Annual Pension. Grants are also paid to any former Licensed Trade employee, at the discretion of the Directors for temporary emergencies. Last year over 40 Grants were made to individuals.
So that fundraising in Scotland is concentrated on the one Trade Charity, the BEN purchased the Arthur Bell Estate in Pitlochry from the Licensed Victuallers’ National Homes. This Estate comprises 18 bungalows built for retired persons and is in a beautiful location on the bank of the River Tay. A subsidised rent is charged.
The Chief Executive, Chris Gardner, provides administrative support for the BEN pensioners, records of visits and payments together with assistance at the 10 fundraising events. http://www.bensoc.org.uk/
In 1874 The Scottish Wine & Spirit Merchants Benevolent Institution. Incorporated under “The Companies Acts,” 1862-1867. President: William Laurie, 26 Great Clyde Street; Vice-president: Alexander Vannan, 75 Argyle Street; Treasurer: William Gillies, 92 Hope Street; Directors: James McWilliam; William Teacher; Matthew Robin; James Steel; John McIntyre; Robert Morton; William Weir; Alexander McLaren; George Dalrymple; and George Robin. Secretary Andrew Wauchope, Accountant 170 Hope Street, Office 170 Hope Street.
In the News 1974…
Cruising in style 1895-1974!
Seventy-Nine years on… and the Scottish Wine & Spirit Merchants’ Benevolent Institution’s annual cruise “doon the watter” is still as popular as the day when the picture above was taken.
They may not have sported the same nautical caps as the directors above did during their outing to Auchenlochan in 1895, but the 565 passengers on the Queen Mary II last week enjoyed themselves just as much.
On their way to Campletown the party set new cash records, raising £146 in a collection for the Glasgow Children’s Fresh Air Fund, over £90 in a raffle for a gallon bottle of whisky donated by John E Milne, and £214 from a sweep. Incidentally the first £20 first prize in the sweep has still to be claimed, if it is not claimed in the next few days it will go to the President’s Appeal Fund.
This group of Directors of the Scottish Wine, Spirit Trade, Benevolent Institution an a day out on board one of the steamers. Left to right back row, John Eadie, James T Morrison, Henry C Sadler, George H Farmer, J M Campbell. Sitting left to right, Alexander Kennedy, James Gordon, Archibald Walker, Peter White, and Hugh Buchanan. 1902.
The Scottish Licensed Trade Defence Association 1904, including, Mr Douglas, Duffy, Morrison, Ward, Dow, Reid, Rusk and Muirhead.
The Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Institution members 1928, including, Mr McLean, Mr Ward, Ross, Wayger, Cotching, Wright, Walker, Shearer, Hogg, Roger, Boaz and Camer.
Members of the Scottish Wine and Spirit Benevolent Institution 1937, included in this image, Mr & Mrs Smith, Jack Learmonth, James Auld, Frank Jeans, William Cosgrove, J C Gray and John Ross. This image was taken at an annual outing at Inverary.
President A. S. Horsfall (fifth from the left) with his fellow directors before the start of the cruise. From left, J. A. Speedman (Secretary); T. C. Ferguson; W. J. Dunn; J. R. B. Kean; J. M. Martin; W. Kelly (vice-president); J. Wilson Hunter (treasurer); L. B. C. Hodge: J. M. Goodwin; and R. C. Ward.
While the weather remained dry, a blustery wind kept most people off the top deck. Getting a breath of fresh air here are R. S. Wilson (Mackinlay-McPherson); I Kennedy, Paisley; Mrs. J. Johnstone, (Bailie Nicol Jarvie, Aberfoyle); N. Hamilton, (MacKinlay-McPherson); Mrs. I. Wallace; Mrs. J. McCabe; I. Wallace; Jean Gebbie’s, Barrhead; and Joe McCabe.
Served “BEN” for 46 years…
Seventy-one-year-old William Highet of Greenock can’t stay away from the sea! He retired in 1965 after 40 years service on the Clyde steamers but every year since he has been asked to come back and help out behind the bar.
William, in fact, has been serving the directors and their guests since 1928 and “enjoyed every minuet of it,” he says. No sooner had the Q.M. II tied up at Greenock last week than William was asked by the “BEN” directors to be in his usual place next year.
He is seen above left pouring drinks for D. W. Ferguson, Canon-gate wines; W. A. Johnstone; (Bailie Nicol Jarvie) Aberfoyle; A. Stewart, Buchanan Booth Agencies; and Miss Mary Sutherland, Garfield Hotel.
Chief Engineer Tom Scott collects the Gallon Bottle of Whisky from Miss E. Nicol as president Alfred Horsfall and past president John Milne look on.
Above, in this group are A. Speedwell, Square Rig, Glasgow; G. Marshall, MacKinlay-McPherson; D. Graham, The Manhattan, Partick; S. Hastings, Whitbread; Mrs. H. Tuba; J. Baxter, Whitbread; Mrs. J. Graham, Duke of Wellington, Glasgow; R. Ewing, Whitbread; G. McIntyre, Buchanan Booth Agencies; and D. Whittington, catering officer, Queen Mary II.
Licensed Trade Defence Association outing left to right, Mr McKinnon, Mr Russel,l Mr Kenneth McLean, Mr MacRae, Mr Cosgrove and Mr Buchanan.