For the Mercators, it was a time to deal with constitutional matters. An expanding membership created the need for a membership secretary and a regular newsletter. The club constitution and guidelines were extensively revised and updated. Changes included limiting the terms of office for the President and Vice-
1982 saw our first ever venture into the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Having secured the exclusive use of Mayfield Church Hall for two weeks, we tackled a very ambitious programme; 23 performances over nine days of three shows -
By the mid eighties, we found ourselves approaching our 50th anniversary... and a problem. The club was founded in 1936, but our first production wasn't until 1937. So which year do we celebrate? The happy compromise was to mount a Golden Jubilee season of plays beginning with The Imperial Nightingale by Nicholas Stuart Gray in December 1986 and ending with an adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in May of the following year.
Another expansion was our acquisition of rehearsal and workshop facilities at Broughton-
Other festival successes in that decade were gaining second place with Gosforth’s Fete in 1980, third place in 1981, 1982 and 1985, and winning the Margaret Allan Quaich (donated by the Mercators in loving memory of a club stalwart with over thirty years service as actress, producer, Treasurer and twice President) for the best play depicting Scottish life and character with Liddesdale in 1987. But the One Act Festival highlight of the decade was winning our first trophy (the Buchanan Salver for third place) at the Divisional Finals in 1982 with The Long Christmas Dinner.
We expanded our versatility by presenting less formal presentations such as Love is..., a programme of romantic verse and song which we staged at many venues and repeated over a number of years, and two cabaret style presentations with food and wine at Trinity Academicals R.F.C., where many Mercators found themselves trying their hands at song and dance for the first time.