Friday, December 30, 2011

Curling Spoons

There's a collector in all of us. David B Smith gives a collecting suggestion for the curling enthusiast in this post which he entitles 'An Alternative to Collecting Curling Stones':

Strange as it may seem there are some spouses who are not only not in favour of encouraging the collection of curling stones in the family home but who are distinctly averse to the idea.

The problem is the space occupied by even a pair of stones. One could accommodate a very large and valuable stamp collection in far less space than that occupied by a single stone, as my wife has pointed out to me more than once.

In her defence I have been asked to say that within our house – in various places, such as, cupboards, shelves, under beds, and lying open in corners of rooms – there are more than 250 full-size stones of various ages, sizes, shapes, and weights. The surplus embellishes the exterior of the house. The increasing number of miniature stones has caused the remark – no doubt jocular – that the big stones seem to be breeding.

What, then, to collect, if the most characteristic item of our game is denied?

I recently acquired a small, pretty, interesting object of some value, since it made of silver. It is a tea spoon with a curling design upon the handle. Here it is:

This is the only spoon I have so far come across which occupies the whole of the handle with the design. Moreover it is unique in that it depicts an indoor game in a rink with a wooden barrier. On the reverse it bears the legend: BIRKS STERLING. No date.

The next group of spoons is embellished with a circular disc, at the end of the handle, which has the decoration.

From left to right, 1. Hall-marked silver, 1968-9, a stone below crossed brooms; 2. Hall-marked silver, 1950-1, a stone below crossed brooms; 3. EPNS, (electro-plated nickel silver), a curler delivering a stone; 4. Hall-marked silver, 1932-3, on reverse engraved RINK 1932, a curler delivering a stone; in a band round him PANMURE CURLING CLUB.

A small number have enamel badges as decoration.

From left to right, 1. Silver-plated, at top of handle an enamel badge of World Ladies Glayva Curling Championship Glasgow, 1988. 2, silver-plated, engraved on bowl GLASGOW, and in plastic an oval plaque with below the coat of arms of Glasgow a curling stone below crossed brooms; 3, Sterling silver, no date, a badge, silver and enamel, of Rideau Curling Club Ottawa. 4, EPNS, no date, a badge, enamel, of Edinburgh Ice Rink Curling Club.

The last group have three dimensional decoration in the form of stones or curler.

From left to right, 1. silver plated, no date, a three dimensional curler throwing his stone, engraved on bowl; Nelson BC (British Columbia); 2, silver-plated, no date, Great Britain, at top of handle a three dimensional curling stone.

Happy collecting.

David B Smith

Images are © David B Smith.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Allister's Memorial Seat

David B Smith writes:

"I was intrigued when fellow-member of Kilmarnock and District History Group, Sandy McIntosh, asked me if I had seen the bench seat in the Burns Monument Gardens at Alloway which had a curling scene on it.

At the earliest opportunity I was down in Alloway, and, on a terrace just below the monument and above the River Doon, I found the seat. Sure enough it had a curling scene on it.

The bench consisted of two vertical stone ends between which ran the timber planks which formed the seat. The outer ends of each stone bore decoration. The curling scene was a representation of a 'house', that is, the concentric circles round the tee, on which five miniature curling stones were attached by means of stainless steel handles. All were made of stone from Ailsa Craig.

On the other end was an inscription which surprised and moved me, for it showed that the seat was a memorial to that remarkable young curler, Allister Boyd, and I had heard nothing of this memorial.

The inscription reads simply 'Allister Boyd. Truly Inspiring'.

Allister’s history IS truly inspiring. He had a brain tumour diagnosed in October 2005, and underwent apparently successful treatment for it in the Beatson Clinic in Glasgow. However, in August 2008 the tumour recurred and with it the diagnosis that it was terminal. He died on April 4, 2009, at the age of nineteen.

Throughout his illness Allister never lost his cheery and positive view of life. He decided to raise funds for the two charities that had helped him, Teenage Cancer Trust and CLIC Sargent. The energy which he put into his fund-raising activities was truly amazing. Allister’s efforts resulted in about £180,000 before his death. The efforts have been continued by family and friends and up to the present about £500,000 has been gathered in his name.

The reason for the curling part of the design was Allister’s keen enjoyment of the game. His father Robert was the area representative for Ayr on the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, and wee brother Russell and he were enthusiastic members of Ayr Junior CC.

The commissioning of the seat came about when 'the lady who ran' Ayrshire Business in the Community Initiative, a body which promotes ways in which businesses can become involved in local communities in Ayrshire, read about Allister’s achievements, and suggested to two apprentice stonemasons at Culzean that they should design and make a bench seat in his memory as part of an ABiC competition. This they did and although they did not win, their efforts have provided a very fitting memorial to a remarkable young man."

David B Smith.

• The Burns Monument.
• The seat in its place in the gardens of the Burns Monument, Alloway.
• The seat end with the curling house.
• The seat end with Allister Boyd’s name. Below this are the logos of the two charities.

Photos © David B Smith

Friday, November 04, 2011

Scottish Curling Magazines

The Royal Club's e-magazine YOUR Curler, published first in October 2011 as a 'Members' Benefit', joins a select few Scottish magazines which have been produced over the years. This list concentrates on national publications, not including the Royal Club Annual. Also excluded are publications associated with specific events, such as the Hogliner in its various incarnations, and other ice rink based newsletters.

The Royal Caledonian Curling Club's Royal Club Round Up ran from 1993 to 2000. At least twenty-five issues were printed. It was variously a four or eight page publication.

The publication that stimulated my own interest in the printed word about curling was Tee to Tee. This was brought out by Graeme Adam in the late 1970s, really as a challenge to the Scottish Curler which, as younger curlers, we all thought a bit staid at that time. Above is the November 1977 issue, Number 2. I believe there was an Issue 3.

Richard Harding's Curling was first published in October 1982. The front cover of Issue 1 marked the opening of the four-sheeter in Pitlochry. It had 28 pages. The magazine ran for four seasons, with six or seven issues each year with a varied number of pages. The final issue to appear was in April 1986.

On The Button was a simple newsletter produced by The Curlers Association. At least nine issues were printed.

Frank Tocher produced five issues of this newsheet Curling beginning in November 1992 with the above. The lead story is about the Kilmarnock and District Council Cashspiel at the Galleon.The £1000 first prize was the biggest in Scotland at the time.

Scottish Curling Magazine was set up by Frank Tocher in 1999 in opposition to the Scottish Curler. It ran for just three issues.

So, what publication was a constant feature of the Scottish curling scene for so many years? It was, of course, the Scottish Curler, which was published from 1954 - 2010.

This is the cover of the January 1954 Scottish Curler. Robin Welsh was the first editor, before he became Secretary of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.

For many years the distinctive tartan cover was the trademark of the Scottish Curler.

When Robin Welsh retired as RCCC Secretary he was able to devote more time to the magazine which became bigger and had much more content. This is the September 1985 issue. It was published then by Dunfermline Press.

By 1998, Robin Welsh had been editor of the Scottish Curler for an incredible forty-four years. On Robin's retiral, another Robin, Robin Crearie, became the editor for four seasons, beginning with this October 1998 issue.

I took over as editor in October 2002, and held this position until April 2009. Fifty-six issues, all but one of 24-pages, were published during this time. In January 2004, the magazine celebrated its fiftieth birthday with this special 40-page issue.

Caroline Paterson was the editor of the magazine for the season 2009-10, the magazine being the responsibility of the Ardrossan arm of Clyde and Forth Press. The final issue of the magazine was the souvenir edition after the RCCC Curling Awards dinner in 2010.

Having a library of curling publications spanning all these years provides a superb resource for those interested in the history of curling in Scotland.

Thanks to John Brown and to Christine and Hugh Stewart for help with this post.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Argyllshire Curling

David B Smith writes:

The Glasgow Herald
of December 18, 1874, carried the following snippet of information about curling.

“OBAN,- The Oban and Inveraray clubs played a match yesterday on Loch Druimlie, near Port-Sonachan. The results were as follows:- Alex. Macarthur, Oban, 8, against J. Macarthur, Inveraray, 11; John Caddow, Oban, 9, against Sir Geo. Home, Inveraray, 10; Hugh Shedden, Oban, 7, against A. Guthrie, Inveraray, 24. The Obanites were defeated by 10 shots.”

Port Sonachan is a place on the south bank of Loch Awe, from which some sort of ferry plied across the narrow stretch of water to the northern bank.

In 1874 Inveraray CC had 22 regular members, and Oban 35. Inveraray fielded their president, Sir George Home, Bart., who won, and Oban theirs, Alex Macarthur, who lost.

Both clubs had quite a journey to make by horse and carriage to arrive at the icy field of battle. I think the report has named the loch in error. A loch that lies, if not equidistant between the two contending parties but at least equal in difficulty to reach, and which is near Port Sonachan, is Loch Tromlee which lies about a couple of miles from the hamlet of Kilchrenan and to the east of the road from Tyndrum to Kilchrenan, which is the route the Obanites would have to follow.

There is no trace in the maps of a Loch Druimlie on either side of the loch.

The Obanites’ route took them about twelve miles from Oban through Connel along Loch Etive to Taynuilt, from where they had about eight miles up the very wild and picturesque Glen Nant along a minor road which is still single-track and difficult at the present day.

The Inverarayans did not have quite so far to travel but their route did take them over the hills from Loch Fyne to Sonachan on Loch Awe, where they had to cross the loch, with their stones, in rowing boats, no doubt leaving their horses and carriages until the return journey after the game.

A curling match such as this in 1874 must have been quite an adventure as well as a sporting occasion. It seems to have satisfied the participants for neither club played in the Grand Match which followed on Carsebreck a week later.

The Glasgow Herald of February 20, 1888, tells us of another curling match in this vicinity, a points game for four prizes, played by Lochaweside CC on Moonloch. There is no such name on the modern maps of the area but to the north of the road from Kilchrenan to Ardanasaig appears Lochan na Gealaich, which being translated is the 'Lochan of the Moon'.

This map shows the routes of both teams in 1874. Click on the image to see in a larger size. The OS Map Reference for Loch Tromlee is NN 043 249.

Top photo: The Lochaweside curlers competed on Loch Tromlee in 1897, as this photo from the Annual of the Royal Club for 1897-8, p. cxlviii, shows. To see other historical curling places in Argyll look at the map to be found here.

Images © David B Smith

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Diaspora of the Duddingston Medal

David B Smith writes, "It is often said that the influence on the game in Scotland of the Duddingston Curling Society was great; some evidence for that can be seen in the number of Duddingston medals that belong to other curling clubs.

Perhaps the fact that the society set down its 'Rules in Curling' in 1804, and had them printed so that they could be promulgated throughout the land, was the most important feature of its influence, but there can be no doubt that curlers in other clubs found the medal an attractive addition to the game.

When the decision was made in 1802 that 'a medal with proper insignia' should be struck 'to distinguish the Members from any other gentleman' and that purchase of the badge should be part of the entrance fee, the way was opened for the creation of lots of medals.

The design – a small oval of silver with curlers on Duddingston Loch in front of the Kirk below the motto 'SIC SCOTI; ALII NON AEQUE FELICES' - struck a patriotic note. The motto means – roughly translated from the Latin – 'this is the way the Scots play: the rest of mankind isn’t equally lucky'.

On the reverse of the medal were struck the words: 'Duddingston /Curling Society/ Instituted/7th. Jany. 1795'.

Some time after 1825 when the octagonal curling house was built on the edge of the loch a new version which included that building was struck but the minute book is silent about this matter.

As the fame of the Society grew in the decades after its foundation in 1795 and more and more influential curlers from various parts of Scotland became members, and therefore owners of a medal, the currency of the Duddingston Medal grew throughout the country. It must have been these members who donated examples of the medal to their 'other clubs'.

What some clubs did was to use a Duddingston medal, suitably customised, as either a prize for one of their existing competitions or as a trophy.

Three examples exist of the former use by Merchiston CC. They date from 1821, 1830 and 1832. In these cases the reverse of the badge has been buffed smooth and engraved 'Merchiston Prize Medal' with the winner’s name and date. Two of these are in the collection of National Museums of Scotland and one is in mine.

Drum CC went a bit further, for in their case the original oval badge was incorporated into a circular medal, on the reverse of which was engraved the legend that the winner had won it for gaining the club’s gold medal, presented in 1820. The first prize version is dated 1826, but that there was a tradition of presenting them becomes clear when one sees a version of 1855 which maintains the same design, engraved onto the silvered copper of the medal, because, it seems clear, the supply of the original silver badges had by this date run out. (Both are in my collection.)

A number of examples of the use of the medal as a trophy still exist.

Largs had a Duddingston medal of 1802, with a new border of thistles, presented in 1828 for points by John Cairnie, who was a member of the Duddingston Society. (It is in my collection.)

Carnwath CC was formed in 1832, and its first trophy appears to have been a post 1825 Duddingston medal adapted by the addition of an applied border of thistles and foliage, and by the buffing of the reverse and the engraving of: 'Presented by Alexander McDonald Lockhart to the Carnwath C.C. 13 September 1832'. Lockhart was also a member of Duddingston. (It is in my collection.)

Fenwick CC had a Duddingston medal, post-1825, the back of which has been buffed smooth and engraved: 'Fenwick Curling Club 1834'. (It is in my collection.)

Crawford had a post 1825 medal donated in 1835 with this inscription on the reverse: 'For Auld lang syne/Presented/ to the/ Curlers of Crawford/ by/ Thomas Johnston,/ to be/ Played for Annually/ Single Handed.” (It is in Gladstone Court Museum, Biggar.)

Kirkcowan CC still has a Duddingston badge of 1802, with this inscription on the reverse: 'Presented/ to the /Kirkcowan Curling Society/ by/ W C Hamilton Esqr/ Craighlaw /8 Jany. 1840'. The club’s minutes record: "In January 1840 Captain Hamilton presented the Society with a Superior silver medal to be played for Single Handed every year."

A Duddingston medal , engraved 'West Linton. Prize Medal' was sold by Baldwin’s in 1994.

All of these medals appear to have been given while the Duddingston Society was still active. It came to an end about 1853. It is rather surprising therefore to discover that as late as 1886 it was still thought to be appropriate to give one as the trophy for a points competition.

Some years ago I found the two newspaper references which I print below. It was thrilling to acquire recently the very medal to which they refer.

Aberdeen Weekly Journal., 1886, 26 February:-
“BRAEMAR CURLING FOR AN ANCIENT MEDAL. – A handsome silver medal, nearly 100 years old, lately presented to the Braemar Club, was the subject of competition on Castleton Pond on Wednesday last. The ice was in good trim, and neither bumped nor biased to any tangible extent. Twenty-one candidates drew tickets for the contest, which was throughout strongly marked by real curler’s zest, not omitting the higher qualities of practical skill and science. The match was one by points, and after the usual course of play, the contest closed in a tie of 11 points a-side in favour of John Aitken, carpenter, and John Mackenzie, coachdriver. On the tie being played off, Mackenzie won the trophy, with which he was duly presented, after a felicitous address of a commendatory nature by the president, Mr Kames Aitken, banker. After the winner, who cordially returned thanks, and whom many readers will readily recognise as the careful and attentive driver of the Braemar evening coach between Ballater and Braemar, had been cheered to the echo, the company divided and played a friendly match, the leading skips being the medallist and the losing tieholder:-…It deserves to be added that the mystic medal, whose appearance sweeps back into the last century, and to the period when curling was at least a recognised institution, and also to some extent in the south of Scotland as a national game, instead of being round, is nearly oval in shape; aand perhaps by a modern jeweller might be called crude in workship. On one side it shows the facsimile of Duddingston Loch, Edinburgh, with curlers at play, and on the obverse are the inscriptions: - 'Duddingston Curling Society, instituted 17th January, 1795. Presented by R,G, Foggo to Braemar Club, 1885.'

1887, 30 Dec., Aberdeen Weekly Journal.
“BRAEMAR. – SILVER MEDAL COMPETITION. – The first match of the season by points, played under the new rules issued by the Royal Caledonian Club, came off on Auchindryne Pond on Tuesday last. The ice was so exceedingly keen that scoring was not nearly so good as otherwise might have been. The medal contested for was a present to the club from Mr R.G. Foggo, factor to Colonel Farqhuarson of Invercauld, and is a piece of last century workmanship illustrative of the roaring game. Apart from its intrinsic value, it is an object of historical interest. Twenty six of the brethren entered the list for the trophy, which, after two hours’ play, was carried off with a score of 19 points by Mr John Lamont, …”

David B Smith.

• The obverse of the 1802 medal.
• The obverse of the Drum medal. The Duddingston oval has been incorporated into a circular medal.
• The Largs medal.
• The Carnwath medal. This is a particularly sharp striking which displays the curling house clearly.
• The reverse of the Braemar medal. It appears that the engraver had forgotten the second initial of the donor’s name and has had to squeeze it into what he had already engraved. He seems also to have omitted the A of Braemar and has had to add it to the E.

Illustrations © David B Smith

Friday, September 30, 2011

Curling Stone Whisky Miniature Decanters Part 1

Whisky curling stone miniature decanters, like these, are common items in any collection of curling memorabilia. The two above were produced by Peter Thomson of Perth Ltd, wholesale wine and spirit merchants, and contained Beneagles Scotch whisky. I believe these will date from the 1970s.

Importantly, the handle is the stopper, the container being filled, and emptied, from the top!

This photo shows the stopper and a colour variation with the same marks on the bases.

These may be earlier. The description is stamped on the base. The stone on the left still has its original ribbon and seal.

Putting a date on exactly when these decanters were manufactured is difficult, but here is one produced and sold when the Air Canada Silver Broom World Curling Championship came to Perth in 1975. The stopper is the handle.

Similar commemorative stones were produced for the 1980 and 1981 world championships, but these had a different design with the stopper in the bottom of the stone, see below.

The stones were packaged in card boxes. I believe this is the earlier of the two in my collection.

Two more colour variations, again with the handles as the stoppers. No markings on the bases.

Here are two with the Beneagles eagle, and description of the contents, stamped on the side of the containers.

By 1980, the design of the ceramic container had changed, the stopper now being at the bottom of the stone, and the handle and the body of the stone being molded as one piece.

These containers are clearly marked WADE.

This container is marked Carlton Ware.

I believe these later containers were packaged in boxes like this.

That's not the end of the story, and a lot more questions remain to be answered.

Here's a container, with a bottom stopper but no markings on the base, yet it appears to have been constructed in two pieces, the body, and separate handle.

These two containers are made from a similar design mold but may not contain Beneagles whisky. The sticker covering the stopper simply says Scotch Whisky Souvenir.

Here are two containers, with handle stoppers, clearly stamped with the mark of the Govancroft Pottery. I do not know what whisky they contained. The Govancroft Pottery in Glasgow existed from 1911-1976, on London Road, at the corner of Potter Street.

In more recent years, into the 21st century, curling stone whisky miniatures containing Glen Calder Scotch have been marketed by Gordon and MacPhail of Elgin. The containers have the mark WTK 50 ml on the base. Although very similar to the Beneagles miniatures, the design of these containers, apparently manufactured in Italy, has reverted to the stopper being the stone handle.

These are the most valuable in my collection, as they retain their original contents!

Yes there will be a Part 2, which will describe whisky decanters of different shape. To follow!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Historical Curling Places

There is hardly a community in Scotland that does not have somewhere - a custom rink or pond, a loch, a river, or even part of a flooded field - where curling was played outside in past years. Documenting these places was initially a lone effort by David B Smith, co-author of this blog. David gleaned information from archives, Royal Club Annuals, and club minute books to create a list of Scottish 'curling places'. This list was originally a Word document, but thanks to Lindsay Scotland, and more recently Harold Forrester, the information has been put into a database and via that database into a map. The map entries link to the underlying database which records the original references, and where possible there are links to photographs and old maps.

We have talked about the project in this blog before, see here. Until now the information has all been hidden away deep in the layers of the old Royal Club website. Today's post is to advertise the fact that 'Historical Curling Places' now has its own identity at Click on the link to visit, and zoom into where you live! There is a tips and hints page if you are new to the interactive site.

Lindsay and Harold would love to hear from you if you can add any information to what they have on file about any curling place that you know or is near where you live.

I was fascinated to see that the mapping exercise has expanded to encompass a database and map for England. It is often said that the sport of curling in the nineteenth century stopped at the Scotland - England border. Not true, as the English Curling Places map shows.

And a similar exercise is underway to document all the ice rinks and curling rinks that are now closed. This project has just recently begun. Why not get involved with it?

Curling places in England screenshot.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Parliamentary Curling

One of the features of curling throughout its history has been that it is what social workers of the present day would call 'socially inclusive'. You might be the laird and provide the pond on your land but unless you could curl well you couldn’t aspire to skipping a rink.

We historians of the game like to emphasise its egalitarianism. There’s the famous story – perhaps even spurious – about the poacher and the sheriff, both members of Peebles Curling Club in the early years of the nineteenth century. They played in the same rink. The poacher was the skip because of his skill on the ice. Sadly, from time to time it fell to the sheriff to have to jail him for unlawfully taking red fish during the summer. The story goes that during one bonspiel the poacher skip shouted down the ice to the sheriff, “Shirra, do you see this stane?” “Aye”, said the sheriff. “Weel, just gie it sixty days!”

I was delighted recently to come across two newspaper reports that showed that even far from home the Scot took what opportunity he could to indulge his passion for his favourite, national game.

The first appeared in the Aberdeen Weekly Journal of February 7, 1895.

“Parliamentary curling is at present popular among members of Parliament. Mr Graham Murray, at the Crystal Palace, has won the point medal with a capital score of 23. The Parliamentary players include Mr G. Whitelaw, Mr William Whitelaw, Sir John Kinloch, Mr Cochrane, Mr H. Anstruther, Mr Thorburn, and Mr Ramsay.”

The second appeared in the pages of the Glasgow Herald of February 12, 1895.

“A curling match between certain members of the House of Commons and the curling club was held at Wimbledon on Saturday. Of two Parliamentary rinks one was composed of Mr Bruce Wentworth, Sir John Kinloch, Mr William Whitelaw, and Mr Parker Smith; while the other consisted of Mr Graham Murray, Mr J.A. Baird, Mr Anstruther, and Mr Graham Whitelaw. But the Wimbledon Club won by three points.”

The lake at Wimbledon, which still exists close to the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s headquarters, had been used for some time by curlers, mainly of the expatriate Scots type. The Wimbledon CC had joined the RCCC as recently as 1893, but the Crystal Palace CC had been on the go since 1870.

Of the Parliamentary curlers:-

A Graham Murray, was MP for Bute,
William Whitelaw was MP for Perth City,
Sir John Kinloch was MP for East Perthshire,
Thomas Cochrane was MP for North Ayrshire,
Henry Anstruther was MP for St Andrews, and
Walter Thorburn was MP for Peebles and Selkirk,
The Hon. Charles Maule Ramsay was MP for Forfar,
Bruce Vernon Wentworth was MP for Brighton, and
John Parker Smith was MP for Partick.
The geographical spread is notable.

Graham Murray was, perhaps, the most distinguished of these curlers. He became an advocate in 1874, and his career blossomed. He was appointed an Advocate Depute in 1888-90, Sheriff of Perthshire in 1890-1, QC in 1891, was Member of Parliament for Bute from 1891 to 1905, Solicitor General in 1891-2 and 1895-6, Lord Advocate 1896-1903, Secretary of State for Scotland 1903-5, Lord Justice General and Lord President of the Court of Session, 1905-13. He was created a peer as Lord Dunedin in 1905, and was a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (that is, a judge of the House of Lords) from 1913 to 1932. In fact, he is regarded as one of the most important and famous of Scots judges.

Despite these onerous offices he kept up his interest in curling. In 1897 we find him writing the Sport of the Month article, on curling, in The Pall Mall Magazine. Until he moved to London in connection with his Lords appointment he was an active member of the club which was the successor to the ancient but defunct Duddingston Curling Society, namely Coates CC. He was a member of Crystal Palace CC.

When he was made president-elect of the Royal Club in 1908-9 the editor of the Annual wrote: “It is also pleasing for us to have as President-elect at such an interesting juncture, the Right Hon. Lord Dunedin, who throughout his career of strenuous activity in the profession of which he is now the honoured head, never missed a day on the ice when a game was available, and as a ‘keen, keen curler’ discarded his ‘briefs’ for the nonce when he heard the curlers’ war-cry and the sound of the channel-stane.”

In the next year he succeeded Lord Strathcona as the Club’s President.

As for the other Parliamentarians’ curling connections in the year 1895, so far as I have been able to find them:-

William Whitelaw was president of Perth CC,
Sir John Kinloch was a member of Strathmore CC,
Thomas Cochrane was a member of Dalry Union CC,
Walter Thorburn was vice-president of Peebles CC,
The Hon. Charles Ramsay was a member of Brechin Castle CC,
Bruce Vernon Wentworth was vice-president of the family club, Dall CC, at their estate of Dall on Loch Rannoch, and
John Parker Smith was a patron and member of Partick CC.

David B Smith.

Top: Curling on Wimbledon Lake, January, 1891, from a private album.

Graham Murray, also known as Lord Dunedin, as president-elect of the Royal Club. From the programme of the dinner held by the Royal Club to honour the first team of Canadian curlers to visit Scotland in 1909.

A sketch from The Penny Illustrated Paper of January 14, 1893. The accompanying article commented on how seldom the Scottish game of curling could be played in the south of England and also remarked that Wimbledon because of curling had become a sort of Scottish colony.

All illustrations are courtesy of David B Smith.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Greenacres 1987

Here is a short videoclip from the final of the Greenacres Junior Ladies Invitation in 1987. The game matched Diane Lyle's Inverness team of Jane Calder (3rd), Karen Smith (2nd) and Lorna Matheson (lead) against Eva Andersson's Swedish side. Eva skipped and played third, Katarina Oberg played the last stones, with Maria Karlsson (2nd) and Malin Linquist (lead).

The YouTube link is:

or simply click on either of the images above which are screenshots showing the two teams in the final. Richard Courtney, of sponsor Goudies Garage, is in the photo with the Swedish girls.

There is no commentary. The background music was on the original tape. And who filmed this? Image Video Production was by Ron and Jen? Who were they? Can you help?

(Added later: Gordon McIntyre has been in touch to say that the couple that were involved with the video were Ron and Jen Graham from Bishopton, who were later to video weddings with their Image Videos business. Thanks Gordon.)

See if you can spot Jane Sanderson and Elizabeth Paterson-Brown watching in the gallery.

The second video is of the presentation ceremonies. Look out for many well known junior curlers of the day including Marion and Janice Miller, Kirsty and Karen Addison (to name just four) and future Olympians Debbie Knox and Margaret Morton, and a certain Rhona Howie. I wonder what future she would have in the sport!? Christine and Hugh Stewart as well as Kerr Graham from the organising committee are there. If you were around at the time you will recognise others I'm sure, such as Gordon McIntyre who became the Greenacres ACDO for many years.

Yes the 'master of ceremonies' with all the facial hair is indeed me, Bob Cowan. Apologies about that. It is hard to come to terms with the fact that this was twenty-four years ago. There was a great surprise in store for the runners-up!

The link is here:

or just click on the image below.