Company News & Blog

1st December 2016
Published by: The National

Connery's old youth club's £1.5m revamp

FetLor clubhouse gets a complete rebuild to promote new activities

The youth club that once had Sir Sean Connery as a member has a new £1.5m headquarters in Edinburgh. 

FetLor Youth Club in Crewe Road South in the capital is Scotland’s oldest club of its kind, and through Connery it even has a link to James Bond. 

For the club was originally founded by two independent schools, Fettes in Edinburgh and Loretto in Musselburgh, hence its name.  Its original mission was to provide services for the poor boys of Edinburgh and its first clubhouse was opened in the High Street on January 2, 1924. 

Connery, now 86, attended the FetLor club as a boy in the 1930s and 40s, recalling in his 2008 memoir Being a Scot that it gave him the chance to play sport and “have a rare luxury of a hot bath”. 

The future Oscar winner was a more than useful footballer and after his naval service was curtailed by a duodenal ulcer, he played at right-half for FetLor Amateurs in season 1949-50 before being snapped up by Bonnyrigg Rose juniors.  He later had a trial for East Fife FC and Matt Busby wanted to give him a trial for Manchester United, but the lure of the stage and screen proved too great. 

By the time author Ian Fleming decided to create a “back story” for James Bond, he decided to give him a Scottish heritage, having got to know and befriend Connery when the first Bond film Dr No became a smash hit. 

Having heard Connery’s tales of growing up in Edinburgh, Fleming included in his 1964 novel the “fact” that James Bond had attended Fettes College – the school that created half of FetLor. 

The FetLor clubhouse that was built in the 1960s had long been in need of refurbishment before the club decided on a complete new build and Hardies Property & Construction Consultants have been instrumental in helping FetLor construct their new building to provide a multi-purpose facility for generations to come. 

Hardies Project Manager Debi Stark said: “We are delighted to be able to assist FetLor to create a fantastic new facility which is fit for purpose, will exceed all expectations and will be such an asset for years to come. 

“As ever it was a challenge to keep the project team on track to deliver on time and on budget.  Now we are all looking forward to the club moving back in and enjoying the facilities.  It is such an improvement on the previous building. 

“It really was a pleasure working with FetLor and we wish them every success in the future.” 

The club now caters for boys and girls aged between eight and 18, and the new clubhouse will enable the club to expand its activities with the official opening of the new premises set for January. 

It is unlikely that Connery, who rarely appears in public these days, will attend the ceremony, but he is known to retain his affection for FelLor.

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