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
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