How did AA come to Dumbarton?

Written by admin

hhGood question, well it started with two people meeting, does that sound familiar! The two people in question were Eddie F and the other was the County Psychiatrist, Dr. Gilmour.

Eddie was in hospital when he first encountered AA and he had the idea that he would stand a better chance of staying sober if AA meetings were in the area where he lived.
He knew from his own experience that AA works and that others in the Dumbarton area could benefit too, Dr. Gilmour heard about this and approached Eddie, he said that if Eddie could arrange for other AA members to come to meetings in the Dumbarton area, then he would arrange a venue for them.

They both kept to their word and AA was introduced to Dumbarton.

This happened in June, 1960 and the first meeting took place in the Community Centre in Church Street. Further meetings were held in the Burgh Hall and the C.E. Centre. AA finally established a permanent venue in the C.E. Centre.

Some two years later a second venue was established in the Lomond Tea Rooms in Balloch. The meetings moved on a few occasion until the day came when they moved to the Bank Street Clinic, Alexandria where AA became firmly established.

By 1965 some 15-20 people were very much attracted to what AA had to offer and as time progressed meetings were opened in Helensburgh, Old Kilpatrick, Alexandria, Renton and other venues in Dumbarton. By 1970 AA had it’s own West of Scotland Inter Group which covered the areas of Kilmarnock to Ayr, Greenock, Bearsden, Clydebank, Dumbarton, Alexandria, Helensburgh and Renton.

There were in 1970 – 32 Groups in the West of Scotland and we got together in Gourock and Inter Group was started at that point.

As it stands today [2002] Dumbarton has it’s own Inter Group. We now have 31 well-established groups.

At a guess there is something like 800 people, very much involved in all these groups.

AA has never looked back since those early days in 1960 and AA has much to be thankful for, especially to those two gentlemen – Eddie F and Dr Gilmour.

No names have been involved in the writing of this brief history, with the exception of Eddie F and Dr. Gilmour. The early members have been of wonderful assistance, in gathering this information and we thank them all.