Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Curling at Campsie Junction

David Smith offers the results of some recent research. He writes:

It is often of extreme interest to see how differently observers of the same event experience that event.

I have recently been working through online nineteenth century newspapers with a view to noting any articles about curling, of which there are some which interest me a little.

I was amused and intrigued to read the following account of the consequence of the cancellation on 13 January 1871 of a much-postponed Grand Match at Carsebreck.

1871, 14 Jan., Glasgow Herald.

“Glasgow Lilybank v. Cadder (Bishopbriggs) and Kingston (Glasgow) clubs.

The above clubs having met, along with many others, at Dundas Street Station, yesterday, with the intention of proceeding to the Grand Caledonian Match at Carsebreck, on finding that it had again been postponed, went to Campsie Junction and enjoyed a friendly game. There were seven rinks of the Lilybank, five of the Cadder, and two of the Kingston clubs engaged. At the close, the game was in favour of the first-named club…”

I quickly discovered that Campsie Junction was the then name of Lenzie, which was on the main line out of Glasgow, and only a couple of stations beyond Bishopbriggs; and so I presume the curlers all went to the Gadloch near Lenzie for their game.

Lilybank, which was formed in 1865, but had only just joined the Royal Club in 1870, had a pond close to Crossmyloof, but it may have been as easy to take all the curlers and their stones to Lenzie as to take them anywhere else.

Kingston was instituted in 1862. I have never yet found the Kingston club’s pond but I presume it was in that part of Glasgow near to where the Kingston Bridge now crosses the river.

Cadder was formed in 1862, and is the only one to have survived to the present.

All the clubs were new members of the Royal Club and their fresh enthusiasm seems to be displayed in their decision to have a friendly game somewhere if they couldn’t have a Grand Match at Carsebreck.

It was with some anticipation, therefore, that I looked into the Lilybankers’ minute book, of which I have had custody for a number of years. What a disappointment.

The clerk, stolid soul, records merely the results of each game as 'Friendly match with Cadder at Lenzie and Friendly match Kingston at Lenzie', without a word of explanation how these matches came about.

For the record Cadder were beaten by 95 shots to 86; and Kingston by 65 to 20.

David B Smith

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