Friday, April 18, 2014

Curling Connections

The Dumfries Museum was founded in 1835 as an astronomical observatory and museum in a stone windmill built about 1790 on Corberry Hill. A Camera Obscura in the tower is still a popular attraction. The main hall of the museum was built in 1862 and houses collections from all over Dumfries and Galloway.

The museum is worth a visit at any time, but from today until June 15, there is a special exhibition, 'Curling Connections', celebrating that Dumfries Ice Bowl is the venue for the World Seniors and the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships. The exhibition examines the social importance of curling and reveals the contribution to the development of the sport made by the people of Dumfries and Galloway.

As well as local items, some of the rarest artifacts from the history of the sport have been brought together for this exhibition. Display boards and descriptive labels tell the story.

More modern memorabilia, on loan from some of the region's 'local heroes', is also on show.

My pick as the star attraction? Seeing the first Olympic Winter Games gold medal awarded for curling in 1924, alongside the gold medal won by Rhona Martin in 2002!

There's spectacular video footage to watch. And any children will find there are lots of activities for them to do too.

Almost the whole team was in action yesterday to set out the final display showing the 'evolution' of the curling stone, with a variety of examples to ponder over. The workers were: (Back L-R) Kayleigh (museum intern), J-P (museum attendant). Front: Siobhan (museum curator), Joanne (museums officer) and Catherine (museums officer).

And here's how this area of the exhibition looked with just hours to go to the (soft) opening today. World Curling Federation President Kate Caithness will be the guest of honour at the official opening on April 22. The exhibition will run until June 15.

Photos and text by Bob Cowan

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