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Our History

Ye Cronies was first established in December 1877 as a small group of like-minded individuals wanted to provide a platform for scottish music, a scene that was increasingly being lost on Glasgow's entertainment scene in favour of larger touring European theatre shows.

With our membership reflecting Glasgow's industry as much as our performers reflecting their tastes, the history of Ye Cronies provides a unique 'musical' perspective on Scottish society over the last 140-plus years.

a Meeting

of minds


At the suggestion of a tailor named James Kerr, a small group of friends first met for dinner on 13th December 1877 to share their love of Scottish song and prose.


Held at 'The Royal Restaurant' on West Nile Street, after a meal a small impromptu 'concert' was held around the table, with attendees performing their favourite pieces.


Wider interest and enthusiasm for such an event on a more regular basis quickly saw thoughts turn to the founding of a larger society.



a society


Shortly after the inaugural meeting in early December, the founding members reconvened to discuss the founding of a society to embrace the enthusiasm of Scottish song.


A Committee was formed, chaired by James Muir on 27th December 1877, with a Constitution agreed that evening at the Royal Restaurant.


One of the Committee Members, David Murray, then proposed the name of "Ye Cronies", and thus a Club was born.

the Early Years


One season into Ye Cronies and the Committee found themselves raising their membership limits to satisfy demand.

From small beginnings the Club faced rapid expansion with various ' outings' and concerts open to the general public.


The earliest years of Ye Cronies saw members explore many avenues which, coupled with strong signs of musical talent, demonstrated a clear passion for social occassions.



of age

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The Cronies network stretched far and wide as they celebrated their 21st Birthday, with hopes high and society thriving at the turns of the centure.


Sadly wider events dampened any enthusiastic plans for growth, replacing them with a need for strength and resilience as "The Great War' descended upon the World.

Many of the Club's great traditions were established in this period but only through its sense of resolve did the the Club find a way continue through the World's darkest hours.


hope in

Testing Times

Ye Cronies grew their presence on the charitable stage following the First World War, establishing an annual fundraiser for Glasgow's Hospital for Sick Children.

Celebrating their Golden Jubilee year in 1927, the Club began to enhance and expand its operations again in the form of annual Golf Competitions, and tighter controls on  Presidential terms.


Having found their feet once more, the outbreak of the Second Great War forced Ye Cronies to once again re-define its format whilst supporting the community in any way possible. 


the road to A Centenary

The 1950s saw a number of factors challanging the 'status-quo' at Ye Cronies, with the emphasis on members providing the majority of entertainment at a Cronies Night being replaced in favour of professional performances from the operatic theatre.

Having established itself based on the love of Scottish music some older members held reservations on this change in tone and approach, but the numbers did not lie.

By the time of it's centenary year, Ye Cronies was once again bursting with members and guests, with a more humorous, self deprecating tone to proceedings being fully embraced.


the Age

of OPera

Through the strong leadership of Concert Director John Watson, Ye Cronies' focus on Opera performances saw the Club build many strong and long-lasting friendships with many artistes both local and internally.

The Club's charitable causes grew during this period, with the establishment of the Ye Cronies Opera Awards, an RCS Bursary, and funding to many talented young musicians, the generosity of Ye Cronies member shone through.

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