The Ex-Coldstreamers' Club came into being on the 23rd of October 1957, when at a meeting of four of the five previous Ex-Coldstreamers, namely Kenneth Palmer (1953), Harry Brydon (1954), Alastair Marjoribanks (1955) and Ronnie Cunningham (1956), it was decided to form an "Ex-Coldstreamers’ Club".
With the choosing of a name being an easy decision and membership open to those who had held office as an officially elected Coldstreamer, the Club’s aims were decided. These were to be:
- To maintain the spirit of the office amongst its members.
- To provide a background of advice and help on which any prospective "Coldstreamer" may call.
On successful completion of their duties during their year in office, the Coldstreamer is invited to join the Club at our Annual Dinner held in March the following year.
Through the years as the membership of the Club has grown, the Club has evolved and moved with the times, getting involved in many different activities. We still hold our Annual Dinner in March and continue to maintain the aims of the Club as laid down at the first meeting. We also now have an annual outing to one of the other Common Ridings, carry out various fund raising activities as well as helping out at local charity events and at Coldstream Civic Week.
Since the earliest days of our Civic Week our members have actively been involved in the organising committees of Civic Week and have regularly held many of the main office bearers’ positions for both Presenting Coldstream and the Coldstream Riders’ Association.
The Ex Coldstreamers' Club also has the duty of selecting the Right Hand Man for the following year. Nominations for suitable candidates are received from both Club Members and members of the public at a Club meeting in the autumn following Civic Week. A secret ballot is held by the Club Members with the candidate receiving the most votes being asked if they would like to take on the position as Right Hand Man and future Coldstreamer.
In Coldstream our Principals serve a three year term of office. Their first year is as Right Hand Man and is seen as a preparation year for their second and main year in office as Coldstreamer. Their final year is as Left Hand Man whose main responsibility is to pass on the benefit of their experience and provide guidance to the other two Principals in the party.
In the formative years of our Civic Week the position of Coldstreamer was elected following a ballot by the townspeople of Coldstream. This continued until 1961 with Brian Tait being the last to be chosen this way. Thereafter Presenting Coldstream took over the responsibility of selecting the Right Hand Man and then asking him to be Coldstreamer the following year. With an ever increasing programme of events to organise in preparation for Civic Week, the task of selecting the Right Hand Man was taken on by the Ex-Coldstreamers’ Club and continues to this day. The identity of the successful candidate selected as Right Hand Man was kept a secret until their announcement at the Installation on Good Friday (later changed to the second Friday in April). Since 2012 the announcement of the Right Hand Man has taken place at the Ex-Coldstreamers' Coffee Morning held in December. This allows the new Principal to undertake riding lessons and to be fitted out with riding gear, evening suits and the like, well in advance of the Summer Festival season without the need for secrecy and late night cloak and dagger visits to shops.
The Club continues to prosper and is seen as a well-respected and valuable part of the local community.