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 historicalcurlingplaces.org. 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.