New title is all-wright

Dr John Smail with wife Pat.
Dr John Smail with wife Pat.

A former Rothbury school pupil has taken on a prestigious role in an ancient guild.

Dr John Smail, 71, has recently been installed as Deacon of the Incorporation of Wrights in Glasgow.

His wife, Pat, 69, is given the title of Queen Patricia for the year.

It is reputed to be the oldest guild in the UK having been granted its charter in 1057 for building the first cathedral in Glasgow.

The Wrights is one of 14 ancient guilds in the city and is the largest with around 2,000 members. The craft can be defined as ‘workers in wood’.

Dr Smail’s connection is through his maternal grandfather, who was head forester to Lord Balfour in the Kingdom of Fife, and his wife’s father who was trained as a cabinet maker.

Dr Smail is also a Renter Warden of the Guild of Freemen of the City of London, and is due to become Master of the Guild of Freemen shortly after his year of office comes to an end in Glasgow.

A former Rothbury lad, he is son of Dr Robert Smail, a GP who was in practice for more than 40 years in the village’s Stewart House.

Educated at Tomlinson’s School in Rothbury, now-retired DrJohn Smail went on to practice as a dental surgeon and an anaesthetist in Leicestershire, where he currently lives.