The Merchiston Castle school sports day was on 18th April in 1866. It was a good day alkthough there was reportedly a wind blowing but it was the only school to games to have a figure for the attendance – approximately 2000 were there for the occasion. The report from the ‘Scotsman’ is below.
Among all the schools, it was the list of events that was most like the actual upcoming inter-schools. Pole vault, high jump,long jump, putting the cannon ball, throwing the cricket ball and hurdles were all there. The only lack was the number of events in each group – eg only one mile race with the nearest distance event being the 440 yards. Then there is the last event of a flat race for fencing pupils: was there a separate fencing class that was taken at the time when the other pupils were doing their athletics? A bit of a puzzle. But like the others, it was a great social occasion with the grounds properly marked out, lots of flags and decorations around the ground.