St. Patrick's Picnic Group iis a local parish based organisation, which has been in operation in the local community of "The Shotts" since 1926. It was originally founded during the now infamous general strike of 1926; to relieve the effect of profound poverty experiences by the children of St. Patrick's Parish at that time. During this time, and subsequently the following year in 1927, the Picnic Group provided a day out for the local schoolchildren, marching to Lord Deas Estate (which was part of a local estate in the area at the time ) in Hartwoodhill.

From these humble origins, the seeds of our now annual excursion were sewn, allowing us to make steady progress over the years, eventually spreading our wings to more "far flung locations", travelling by train "en masse", lead by our local brass band, to various exotic venues on the Scottish coast. This annual excursion, referred to locally in affectionate terms as "The Trip", has now been established as a traditional and much loved part of the local community life and in the process has become firmly embedded within local folklore.

In addition to our somewhat unique annual rail excursion, we also provide benefits for the children of St. Patrick's School outwith those which would normally be expected to be provided by the education authority. These include funding and provision of the Christmas gifts & parties for the junior school pupils, assistance with educational outing costs, and the funding of several social events for the entire school community.

The Picnic Group to date, has been a self-financing independent group, which has relied heavily upon local support of our fund - raising events to sustain our various activities over the past 75 years. Spiralling costs, associated with ever dwindiling levels of revenue, make it increasingly difficult for us to sustain these activities beyond the short term.

A few years ago, we launched a special 75th Anniversary Appeal, in the hope that we could attract the necessary backing and secure the financial support of private companies and organisations. We believed that the support would help us to realise our admittedly ambitious plans, to adequately fund all of our activities, and make our 75th Anniversary excursion the truly memorable occasion we firmly believed it deserved to be.

Sadly, it would seem that truly family orientated events, are becoming more of an exception rather than the rule in our modern day society. We believe that a unique family event such as ours, which has incredibly stood the test of time - whilst succesfully upholding traditional family values - throughout 75+ challenging years, should be carefully nurtured and fully supported for the benefit of future generations.

We therefore take this opportunity to appeal to your generosity and would sincerely hope that you are able to contribute to what we believe, and are sure you will agree, is such a worthwhile cause.

In return for your assistance, we promise to advertise your support and sponsorship of our excursion within our webpage, as well as our commemorative programme, which is widely distributed within families in our home area and their extended families and friends nationally and internationally.

In addition we would like to extend an invitation to all, to come along where possible and attend our excursion and witness for yourselves the tradition and nostalgia of "The Trip".

St. Patrick's
84 Station Road
Tel: 01501 821838
Fax: 01501 820460
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