Friday, November 16, 2018

The Curling Image Project (Week 11)

CIP-71. Hand knitted Cowichan sweaters were once a fashion statement on the curling rink. On the back of the photo it says 'Bennett Rink', but the individuals are not named. Does anyone know who they are and where they are from? The style of their brooms suggest that the photo dates from the 1950s. Certainly, Mary Maxim patterns for such jumpers were first published in 1954. Of course the real reason that I'm posting this photo online today is to give me an excuse to give the link to John K Samson's heartfelt tribute to the knitted curling jumper, which you will find here. Music Rocks Curling Tips 111 makes me smile every time! It was produced to promote a charity curling event back in 2013. More recently, this article in the Calgary Herald would suggest that knitted jumpers are making a comeback! In which case my own collection of knitting patterns for such sweaters, see here, may well take on a second life! (7x5in print, photographer not known.)

 
CIP-72. Kerry Burtnyk is directing play, with Graeme Adam behind, in the Famous Grouse Ayr International in 1983. The Burtnyk team were 6-5 ahead of Adam in the 3rd/4th playoff, but lost a four. Graeme's team was Ken Horton, Andrew McQuistin and Dick Adams. Burtnyk was skipping Rick Folk's team (Ron Mills, Tom Wilson, Jim Wilson) at the event. The Ayr competition, together with the Skol Edinburgh International were the main televised events, apart from Scottish Championships, in the early 1980s. (7x5in print, photographer unknown.)

CIP-73. This photo of Janie Love (Mrs Tom Love) featured in the February 1954 issue of the Scottish Curler. This image accompanied a second article in a series entitled 'Women on the Ice'. The article indicates that Mrs Love had begun curling in 1936, and by 1954 was 'in the top bracket of lady curlers in Scotland' with her name already on number of trophies. In 1954 she was the President of Perth Ladies CC with 33 regular members and 16 occasional. (6x3.5in print, Star Photos, Perth)

CIP-74. This photo is from the closing ceremony of the World Curling Championships in St John, New Brunswick, in 1999. Representatives of the local organising committee for the 2000 World Championships at Braehead have just received the World Championship banner into their safe keeping. Holding it at the back is Kirsty Letton and Ian Gillespie. Holding the front are Mark Callan and Judy Mackenzie. The photo was published in the October 1999 Scottish Curler. (7x5in colour print, photographer not stated.)

CIP-75. This is a 'cabinet card' from my collection. Cabinet cards are photographs mounted on stiff pieces of cardboard. The earliest cabinet cards date from the 1860s. Their popularity had waned by the turn of the century, as the photographic postcard became popular. This card probably dates from around 1900, and has the photographer's name (Macintosh, Kelso) stamped on the front. But where is this curling pond, with what looks like a curling house in the background? (6.5x4.25in)

ADDED LATER. Robert Walker has kindly supplied the information that the photo shows the Newton Don house curling pond (just north of Kelso), located the east side of Newton Don Bridge at the gates on the Kelso to Stichill road. The feed for the pond comes from the Stichill burn via sluice pit which controls the flow either into the pond or bypass to the River Eden. Repairs to the waterway stopped in 1963 when the plans to build Border Ice Rink started to become a reality. The hut was built by the Kelso Club to store the stones but the hut was vandalised and the stones thrown into the pond around 1963, some of which were found a number of years later when it was being cleaned out.

CIP-76. Delivering the stone is Hammy McMillan Snr, with William Findlay ready to sweep. The photo is of play in the Famous Grouse Inverness Invitational, but which year? It was Hammy who built the Stranraer curling rink attached to the North West Castle Hotel back in the early 1970s. His son and grandson, both also called Hammy, have made their marks in Scottish and International curling. (6x6.5in print by Blair Urquhart.)

CIP-77. The quality of this photo is not great, but it shows a beginners' class in the two sheet annex at Greenacres in the mid-1980s. These were the days when the first objective of learning to curl was to be able to slide without a stone! It could not have been easy for the beginners back then. Note how some of the students are playing from 'temporary' wooden hacks propped against the back edge of the rink. These were made by the Greenacres owner John Stevenson. This was a clever idea, as it cut down on students having to stand around in the cold waiting for their turn on the centre hack, and John did not have to drill extra holes in the ice for additional hacks. Anyone recognise anyone? (6x4in print, photographer unknown.)

Photos are as credited where the photographer is known. Check the archive (on the right) for previous Curling Image Project posts.

Friday, November 09, 2018

The Curling Image Project (Week 10)

CIP-64. Back to school again today. This is a George Heriot's school team, at the Lanarkshire Ice Rink, Hamilton, in 1972. The young curlers in the photo are L-R: Bob Martin, Ronnie Brock, Mark Smith (skip), James Cowan and Graham Tait. I could not make sense of this at all, until Lindsay Scotland worked it out for me, confirming his thoughts with Ronnie Brock. Bob was not a player on the team, but had been last year's skip, and was the 1972 'coach'! The other four finished runners-up to Brian Alderman's Hutchesons' Grammar side at Hamilton in 1972, then won the title the following year when the National Schools Finals were at Crossmyloof. I eventually discovered that the photo was published in the January 1972 Scottish Curler, where the Heriot's team were described as 'strong and attractive'! (8.5x6.5in print, photographer not known.)

CIP-65. I just love these old photos of the brooms in action. Especially when they feature the Richardson rink. Here are Wes Richardson and Sam Richardson hard at work in a Scotch Cup match in 1962, against Sweden, in the Haymarket rink, Edinburgh. Note the difference in grips. Sam has an 'overhand' grip, Wes is sweeping 'underhand'. (10x8in print, by W Taylor, The Scotsman newspaper.)

CIP-66. Another 'when we were young' pic! L-R: Martin Turner (skip, 18), David Ansell (18), Susan McLean (16), and Katie Wood (14). The photo was published in the March 1980 Scottish Curler, with the caption, "This young rink raised many eyebrows at Gogar Park Curling Club where they won a weekend competition for the Beard-Wick Trophy with a series of high-class performances." (8x6in print, photographer not stated.)

CIP-67. I'm not 100% sure where, nor when, this was taken. It must be at the Falkirk Rink as it's by a Falkirk photographer, in the 1950s. It could well be the final of the British Ladies Open Championship at Falkirk in 1954. If that is the case, it is Mrs Irene Cleland who is the skip directing play with a glove in her right hand. Note the duster on the ice at the front of the house, and another under the brush of the runners-up skip, Mrs Nan Briggs, at the back of the head. What exactly is the gentleman doing at the side of the house? (6x4.5in print by Thomas L Rennie, Falkirk.)

CIP-68. One of curling's great characters, Norway's Dordi Nordby had a competitive playing career that covered three decades, see here. She played in three Olympics, eighteen World Curling Championships, and twenty-three European Curling Championships. She skipped her team to the World Championship title in 1990 and 1991. The photo is not dated but would appear to be early in Dordi's career, 1980s I would guess. (4x5in colour print, by Erwin Sautter.)

CIP-69. Miss Great Britain in a promotional shot at the Aviemore Ice Rink in 1973. Gay Spink had won the title the previous week at Morecambe, and this seems to have been one of her first 'duties', visiting the Aviemore Centre for three days, during which she got close to the ice in the rink for this shot. I wonder if she got to throw a stone? (5.5x9.5in print, by Pavel Latny, Aviemore.)

 
CIP-70. The venue I think is the pond at the Peesweep (Lapwing Lodge), on Glennifer Braes, south of Paisley. This looks like the Carmunnock and Rutherglen CC, or the Reform CC, but when? (I wasn't there, so that suggests sometime in the 1990s.) That's certainly Bob Kelly with a very fetching woolly hat, giving the ice with a corn broom. Anyone else recognise themselves? (6x4in colour print, photographer not stated.)

ADDED LATER: I got this one completely wrong. The curling is taking place on Castle Semple Loch, Lochwinnoch, in the 1980s. The photographer was Brian Alderman. Michael Burton is partially obscured behind Bob Kelly, and Helen Burton is on the right.

Thanks to Lindsay Scotland and Ronnie Brock for help deciphering CIP-64. Photos are as credited where the photographer is known. Check the archive (on the right) for previous Curling Image Project posts.

Friday, November 02, 2018

The Curling Image Project (Week 9)

CIP-57. This photo brings back memories of schools' curling at Crossmyloof in the 1960s and 70s. Jane Henderson skipped this Craigholme school team at the National Schools Championship finals at Aviemore in the 1969-70 season. Back L-R: Anne Henderson (3rd), Jane Henderson (skip). Front L-R: Vivienne Adam (lead), Muriel Logan (2nd). Incidentally, Vivienne's brother Graeme Adam, with Brian Alderman, Alistair Govan and John Brown (Hutchesons' Grammar), won the 1970 Schools title at Aviemore, beating Lockerbie Academy in the final. (The photo was published in the September 1970 Scottish Curler. 4.5x6.5in print by Cameracraft, Elmar Fromberg, Glasgow.)

CIP-58. A rarity this! It's detail from a magic lantern slide which shows play with irons. Unfortunately no provenance came with the glass slide when I acquired it some years ago. Iron play was popular in Quebec Province up until the 1950s, but this image dates from well before this, perhaps even from the nineteenth century. (The slide measures 4x3in, and has a 'Canadian Pacific Railway' sticker on it. Presumably hand coloured.)

ADDED LATER: Alan Chalmers has suggested that this is within what is now the breakfast terrace at the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City. He notes that there are a few pictures within the hotel of curling taking place inside the building. The hotels website has this, "In the late 19th century, William Van Horne, General Manager of Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway, began building the hotel as the ideal stopover for CP travellers." That explains why the slide has a Canadian Pacific Railway sticker attached to it. I've now found the very photograph online here, although it looks as if I have reversed the image when scanning the slide.

CIP-59. There's a Swedish ladies' Tour team in Scotland this week (end October 2018). In celebration of this, we go back to 1988. This is the squad which represented Sweden at the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, when curling was a demonstration sport. Eight countries took part. L-R: Elisabeth Högström (skip), Monika Jansson, Birgitta Sewik, Marie Henriksson, and Anette Norberg. They were beaten by Canada, (skipped by Linda Moore) in the final. Where did the GB women finish? (*answer below.) (6x4in print, photographer not stated.)

CIP-60. Scotland's team at the Goodrich World Junior Ladies Championship in Markham, Ontario, in 1989. L-R: Carolyn Hutchinson, Julie Hepburn, Katie Loudon, Julia Halliday. Bronze medallists! (7x5in print, photographer not named, but likely Michael Burns Jnr.)

CIP-61. Susan McLean, now a Royal Caledonian Curling Club Board Member and Scottish Senior Champion! This pic is from the Henderson Bishop finals in Aberdeen in 1986. Susan was playing with Jane Sanderson, Mhairi Stephen and Julie Hepburn. The team reached the final against Kirsty Letton's side, but lost 11-6. The competition was sponsored at that time by the Scotsman newspaper and by Martini and Rossi Ltd. (8.5x6.5in, photographer not known.)

CIP-62. In 1989, Canada's Pat Ryan is photographed with 'his new invention' (as written on the back of the photo), a curling shoe with a metal slider. Double world champion skip, in 1989 his team were dubbed the '(Pat) Ryan Express'. But I liked him because of his interest in country music and that he penned the Brier Song, see here! (7x5in print, by Frieder Rosler.)

CIP-63. L-R: Keith Douglas, Ken Horton (skip), Willie Jamieson and Stephen Cullen, who gets extra points for his colourful trousers! The team had won the Famous Grouse Inverness Invitation in November 1978, stealing the last end against the Jock Dennis rink in the final. Jock's team was Bill Nicol, Danny MacLennan and Sandy Mackintosh, according to the report in the November 1978 Scottish Curler. I think the corn brooms are just for colour! (8.5x6.5 print by Blair Urquhart.)

Thanks to Alan Chalmers for help with CIP-58. Photos are as credited where the photographer is known. Check the archive (on the right) for previous Curling Image Project posts. * Trick question. There was no GB women's team at Calgary.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Trading Cards

Curlers like to collect things. Some examples which have appeared on the Curling History blog before, are here (spoons), here (mugs), and a two part article on curling lighters, here and here.

Within the large area of 'paper ephemera' one can collect 'trade cards' - for example cigarette cards, and the like. Collecting 'trading cards' is a different thing. A 'trading card' is a small card, usually made out of cardboard, which contains an image of a person, place or thing, and a short description of the picture, along with other text. Most will have heard of baseball cards, for example. There is a wide variation of different types of cards. Modern cards even go as far as to include swatches of game clothing (really!).

I have a small collection of curling 'trading cards'.

 
This is one of the earliest in my collection, showing the Bud Somerville team, and dates from 1992.

Here's the reverse of the card. It is Number 21 from the first-issue of the International Card Collection of Athletes set. Note that this card features the Somerville team that competed at the Albertville Olympics in 1992, when curling was a demonstration sport, not the great Somerville team, that oldies like me remember, which won the Scotch Cup in 1965.

 
In 1993, Ice Hot International published a set of 66 'Premier Edition' curling cards. That's Number 18 above, of Canada's Rod Hunter. The whole collection comprised:

1. Bryan Wood, Canada
2. Don Walchuk, Canada
3. Jim Ursel, Canada
4. Ray Turnbull, Canada
5. Warren Hanson, Canada
6. Al Hackner, Canada
7. Rick Folk, Canada
8. Randy Ferbey, Canada
9. Markus Eggler, Switzerland
10. Dan Carey, Canada

11. David Smith is the only Scottish curler to be featured among the 66 cards in the first set issued in 1993.

Here's the reverse of the card. I wonder what happened that David's playing percentage in 1990 has been omitted? I like the sentence, "In 1991 he finally captured the elusive World Curling crown in an exciting final against Canada." 'Exciting' is not the adjective that I would have used if just looking at the linescore. But it certainly was exciting for all Scots that were there in the stadium at Winnipeg, as I was! Lots of controversy too, but that's a story for another time.

12. Kerry Burtnyk, Canada
13. Terry Braunstein, Canada
14. Don Bartlett, Canada
15. Urs Dick, Switzerland
16. Lyall Dagg, Canada
17. Ernie Richardson, Canada
18. Rod Hunter, Canada
19. Jack MacDuff, Canada
20. Chris Neufeld, Canada
21. Pat Perroud, Canada
22. Vic Peters, Canada
23. Dan Petryk, Canada
24. Jim Pettapiece, Canada
25. Bill Tetley, Canada
26. Arnold Richardson, Canada
27. Jim Armstrong, British Columbia
28. Bo Bakke, Norway
29. John Ferguson, Canada
30. Glenn Howard WC Canada
31. Sjur Loen, Norway
32. Ed Lukowich, Canada
33. Russ Howard, Canada
34. Morten Sogaard, Norway
35. Pierre Charette, Quebec

 
36. Great pic this of a young Andrea Schopp, Germany.
37. Pat Ryan, Canada
38. Eugene Hritzuk, Saskatchewan
39. Don Rudd, Canada
40. Don McKenzie, Canada
41. John Kawaja, Canada
42. Marilyn Bodogh, Canada
43. Kathy McEdwards, Canada
44. Lindsay Sparks, Canada
45. Heather Houston, Canada
46. Lorraine Lang, Canada
47. Connie Laliberte, Canada
48. Paul Savage, Canada
49. Eigil Ramsfjell, Norway
50. Kevin Martin, Canada
51. Bob LaBonte, USA
52. Anne Jotun, Norway
53. Mette Halvorsen, Norway
54. Hanne Pettersen, Norway
55. Dordi Nordby, Norway
56. Don Duguid, Canada
57. Garnet Richardson, Canada
58. Wes Richardson, Canada
59. Ed Werenich, Canada
60. Linda Moore, Canada
61. Hec Gervais WC Canada
62. Mayumi Seguchi, Japan
63. Frederic Jean, Switzerland
64. Colleen Jones, Canada
65. Ian Tetley, Canada
66. Sjur Loen, Norway

All of the 1993 Ice Hot International cards are illustrated in the Trading Card Database, here

The above list does not appear to be ordered in any way, eg alphabetically, or by date, or even by 'importance'. It is Canada-centric of course, but does give an idea of what those putting the collection together thought that a 'Hall of Fame' might look in 1993. It must have provided a great source of argument at the time. Does it really reflect 'international' curling in 1993? Who's been missed out? There's no mention of the first World Women's Champions, skipped by Gaby Casanova, in 1979. And where's the great Bud Somerville, USA, on this list? 

In 1994, a second set of 50 cards was produced, as an extension to the 1993 set. The omission of Bud Somerville is rectified in this second set. And two more Scottish curlers are represented. It is interesting to reflect that - in the minds of those putting these sets of trading cards together in 1993 and 1994 - only three Scottish curlers deserved mention.

67. This was a checklist of all the cards in the set.
68. Rick Lang, Canada
69. Paul Gowsell, Canada
70. Neil Houston, Canada
71. Ed Lukovich, Canada
72. Sean Morris, Canada
73. Scott Pfeifer, Canada
74. Kelly Mittelstadt, Canada
75. Colin Davison, Canada
76. Larry McGrath, Canada
77. Kim Gellard, Canada
78. Corie Beveridge, Canada
79. Lisa Savage, Canada
80. Sandy Graham, Canada
81. Russ Howard, Canada
82. Glenn Howard, Canada
83. Wayne Middaugh, Canada
84. Peter Corner, Canada
85. Gordon Sparkes, Canada
86. Bill Carey, Canada
87. Barry Fry, Canada
88. Sandra Peterson, Canada
89. Jan Betker, Canada
90. Joan McCusker, Canada
91. Marcia Gudereit, Canada

92. Here's the card featuring Kirsty Hay, Scotland. My goodness, that's a creepy looking expression on her face in this photo!

 
93. And here's the card with Craig Wilson, Scotland.
94. Neil Harrison, Canada
95. Trevor Alexander, Yukon/NWT, Canada
96. Mark Noseworthy, Newfoundland, Canada
97. Gerry Richard, Canada
98. Bert Gretzinger
99. Pat Ryan, Canada
100. Rick Folk, Canada
101. Ron Mills, Canada
102. Tom Wilson, Canada
103. Jim Wilson, Canada
104. Maureen Bonar, Manitoba, Canada
105. Garnet Campbell, Canada
106. Dave Smith, Manitoba, Canada
107. Brent Giles, British Columbia
108. Scott Baird, USA
109. Dave Iverson, Manitoba
110. Robert Andrews, Yukon/NWT, Canada
111. Bud Somerville, USA
112. Erika Brown, USA
113. Steve Brown, USA
114. Anders Loof, Sweden
115. Jan-Olov Nassen, Sweden
116. Brier Bear.

Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that Glenn Howard and Pat Ryan appear in both sets. I wonder why. All of the cards in the 1994 Ice Hot International Sequel set are illustrated here.

The two Ice Hot International curling card sets appear to be the only trading card sets devoted exclusively to curling. But curling does appear on other trading cards within other sets.

 
Here's an example. This card is one of a series of Canadian Winter Olympic Medal Winners, published in 1992. Julie with Jodie Sutton, Melissa Soligo and Karri Willms won the bronze medals in 1992 when curling was a demonstration sport at the Albertville Olympics, at the rink at Pralognan. The other members of the team are depicted on their own cards.

Cards from more recent years can be collected, see below.

The Topps Company, Inc, manufactures chewing gum, sweets (candy), and collectibles. Topps is best known as a leading publisher of trading cards depicting various sports, such as that above of Jessica Schultz. The card with the metallic logo in the bottom right can be found in bronze silver and gold! It was published in 2014. Jessica was a member of Erika Brown's team at the 2014 Olympics, finishing bottom of the table.

 
Here is another Topps card, depicting the Olympic curling venue at Sochi, 2014.

Upper Deck, whose headquarters are in California, is a well established publisher of trading cards, of high quality. This is one of a 25th Anniversary edition depicting curling 'legend' Rachel Homan, from 2014. It is indeed a high quality card.

The curling cards illustrated in this article are just examples of what is 'out there' and waiting to be collected.
 
Finally, I should mention the writer of The Shlabotnik Report who came up with the idea of 'virtual' trading cards ('because someone had to do it'), see here. The above of Eve Muirhead is an example.

Images are of cards in the author's collection, other than those of Kirsty Hay and Craig Wilson which are screenshots from here, and that of Eve Muirhead's virtual card, from here.

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Curling Image Project (Week 8)

CIP-50. Outdoor curling in Switzerland. This is, I believe, the Carlton Hotel rink in St Moritz, in 1957. I do not know the names of the players in the photo. But there are lots of stones in play, and a 'dolly'! (3.5x5in print, photographer unknown.)

CIP-51. An early photo of wheelchair curling! It dates from 2000, and shows Jim Sellar at the East Kilbride rink. Jim was a keen bowler, took up wheelchair curling and became a founding member of the South Lanarkshire Wheelchair Curling Club. He has gone on to play for Scotland and Great Britain at World Championships and Paralympics. I picked this photo to show that there was a time when wheelchair curlers were playing without the delivery stick, the introduction of which revolutionised wheelchair curling. (5x7in print, photographer unknown.)

CIP-52. There are lots of stones in play in this end at the Ayr Ice Rink. Can anyone date this pic, and say who is playing? (6x4in colour print, photographer unknown.)

CIP-53. They would go on to represent Scotland in the years ahead, but here the Alex Torrance rink had just won the Sandy Miller trophy, an evening competition at the Scottish Ice Rink, Crossmyloof, Glasgow. The trophy was donated by Connie Miller in memory of her late husband, in 1961. Back L-R: Bobby Kirkland, Jim Waddell. Front L-R: Alex Torrance (aka 'Big Alex'), Alex F Torrance (aka 'Wee Alex'). (6x8in print, Hamilton Advertiser photo.)

CIP-54. This is a Michael Burns photo of Laura Scott, competing in the Goodrich World Junior Women's Championship, Portage La Prairie, in 1990. Laura was the lead on Kirsty Addison's Scottish team. Karen Addison and Joanna Pegg are the sweepers. Remember, these were the days before digital cameras, so to capture such a shot as a single image on a film camera was expert work! Why was such a great photo never published? I guess it was because lead players were not considered 'newsworthy' as far as editors were concerned, photos of the skips always receiving prominence. (4.5x6.5 colour print by Michael Burns Photography.)

CIP-55. Another eight-end, this one from the Coca-Cola World Junior Championships in Karuizawa, Japan, in 1997. The Junior Worlds was the test event for the Olympic competition in the stadium the following year. I could see the big end developing from my spot on the press bench, and made my way to the side of the ice with my camera, and captured the shot above after the last stone of the end had been played. I had not seen many eight-ends before. The photo was never used, as I was asked (nicely) by the organisers not to use it, as they did not want any embarassment for the young team which had conceded the large end. I was happy to go along with this request, and even now I'll not give the details. Incidentally, the World Curling Federation's data on this event (here) does not have linescores, only final results, so the eight-ender is not officially recorded! (6x4in colour print, Bob Cowan.)

CIP-56. This photo is from the Coupar Angus and Kettins CC's 250th anniversary bonspiel in 1999 at the Central Scotland Ice Rink, Perth. When it was published in the April/May 1999 issue of the Scottish Curler magazine it was with the caption 'Sorry, no names were supplied with this picture'! Can anyone supply now? (See below.)

Note the four wonderful old 'channel stanes' which were just for 'colour' in the pic, and they were not played with in 1999. Much too valuable! They date from the seventeenth century. (6x4in colour print, photographer unknown.)

ADDED LATER: Thanks to those who contributed via Facebook, this is the lineup: Back L-R: Alex Gatt, Alistair McAskill, Rhys Stanwix, Lindsey Paterson, Alistair Lyburn. Front: L-R Anna (or Anne) Shaw, Barbara Lyburn, Margaret (now) Stark, Trish (nee Stanwix). Please let me know if this is still not correct.

Photos are as credited where the photographer is known. Check the archive (on the right) for previous Curling Image Project posts. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Curling Image Project (Week 7)

CIP-43. In the early 1980s, White Horse Distillers was just one of many companies which sought to promote their brand by sponsoring curling competitions. Here is a photo of the winners of the White Horse Scotch Whisky bonspiel at Ayr Ice Rink in October, 1982. L-R: Annie Kennedy, Willie Anderson, Stan Crawford (representing the sponsor), Sadie Anderson, Matt Brown (President, Ayr Curling Club) and Jack Kennedy. As White Horse sponsored bonspiels at Lockerbie, Gogar Park, Kirkcaldy and Stranraer, as well as Ayr, in the 1982-83 season, the horse in the picture would have been well travelled! Read about the company here. (8x6in print, by Ron Vavasour, Photographer, Ayr)

CIP-44. The 'Scottish Pride Coit' was a junior competition at the Greenacres rink in the 1980s. David Aitken (front) and Douglas Dryburgh are in this pic which was published in the November 1985 issue of Curling. (8.5x6.5in print, by John Elder.)

CIP-45. I consider this to be the most beautiful curling trophy of them all! It was presented for play in 1958 by R B Dick for the 'Ladies Worlds' at the Scottish Ice Rink, Crossmyloof, Glasgow. This is the winning team in 1972. I find it interesting that the photo is captioned as follows, L-R: Mrs M Dickson (3rd), Mrs B Lindsay (skip), Mrs H Hamilton and Mrs M Bankier. There is no mention of first names with the photo or in the accompanying article in the April 1972 Scottish Curler magazine! I know that it was Margaret Dickson and Beth Lindsay, but can anyone supply first names for Mrs Hamilton and Mrs Bankier? (ADDED LATER: Thanks to Ali Taylor we now know that it was Helen Hamilton, and Margaret Bankier, both of whom were members of Lesmahagow Ladies CC.)

Two other things to note about this competition in 1972. The final rounds were played through power cuts (during the miners' strike of 1972), with the Crossmyloof rink improvising lighting with its own generator. And the losing finalists were a team from the Glasgow Young Curlers Club skipped by Maureen Horton. This competition pre-dated by twenty years the first 'official' women's world championship in 1979. (10x8in print, by Elmer Fromberg, Cameracraft, Clarkston Road, Glasgow.)

CIP-46. The caption written on the back of this photo says, "Robert Mirtle, Jim Asher and Eric Brown puzzling last shot of the tournament." So, which competition is it, where, and when? (6x8in print, by Blair Urquart.)

ADDED LATER: Thanks to Ali Asher and Harold Forrester for the information that the pic dates to 1976, and was from the first 'Inverness Invitation' competition, sponsored by Grouse Whisky. There is a short report in the January 1977 Scottish Curler magazine. Twenty invited teams from all over Scotland took part, but the final was between two 'Highland' rinks. Eric Brown, with Robert Mirtle, Jim Asher and Graeme Kerr, beat Billy MacLeod's Aviemore side. The magazine has a 'presention pic' of the winners. Back then 'action pics' of curling in Scotland in print were really quite rare.
 
CIP-47. I have absolutely no idea what's going on in this pic. Suggestions please! (7x5in print, photographer unknown.)

CIP-48. This is a scene from the final of the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Ladies' Championship at Perth in 1989. Christine Allison, on the right, has been directing her front end of Kimmie Brown and Carol Dawson (on 3rd player Margaret Scott's stone). Opposition skip Lorna Bain looks ready to sweep. Was it an attempted freeze that has curled too much? The Allison team won the championship that year. Lorna, with Julie Hepburn, Vicky Ross and Liz Moffat were runners-up. (7x5in colour print, by Louis Flood, Perth.)
 
CIP-49. The presentation after the East of Scotland Men's Open Championship at Gogar Park in the 1984-85 season. This pic appeared in the January 1985 issue of the Scottish Curler magazine. L-R: Eddie Cobb (President, Gogar Park Club), Bill Shrive (representing the sponsor Queen Anne whisky), Willie Jamieson (skip), Martin Smyth (Queen Anne Sales Manager), Lindsay Scotland (3rd), Brian Clark (2nd), and Mike Wood (lead). (8.5x6.5in print, photographer unknown.)

(Note to self - must keep a note of all the different 'alcohol sponsors' that come up in these twentieth century pix!)

Photos are as credited where the photographer is known. Check the archive (on the right) for previous Curling Image Project posts. Thanks to Alison Taylor for supplying missing names for the Ladies Worlds pic.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The 'fung in the mouth' and other stories

Curling is generally associated with good behaviour, on and off the ice. There are few incidences recorded when this was not the case. John Orr, playing for Lochwinnoch in the year 1798, is an early example of a bad loser!

In that year, two rinks travelled from Dalry to play against two from Lochwinnoch. The winner would be the first side to reach 51 shots scored. It was the tightest of matches, the score across the two rinks was 50-50. Dalry was the first to make the extra shot needed for the win.

Such matches attracted a considerable number of spectators. One of these, described in John Cairnie's 1833 book 'Essay in Curling, and Artificial Pond Making' as 'a son of old Gomery Skeoch', had travelled from nearby Kilbirnie to watch the match. When the Dalry curlers were declared the victors by the one shot, 'he took off his bonnet and huzzaed in favour of Dalry'.

At that, John Orr came up to him and gave him a 'fung in the mouth', which knocked him down. The Dictionary of the Scots Language describes a 'fung' as 'a blow from the hand or the foot' (see here), as we can tell from the context!

Cairnie describes what happened next. Skeoch got up much surprised, saying, "What's that for?" Orr said, "Just hurra again, an' if tu dis, I'll let thee ken what it's for, if I sud hunt thee to Kilbirnie!"

I wonder if there are any present day examples of curlers at major championships becoming violent with the fans in the stands?

Writing in 1911 about the history of the Morton Curling Club, Dr RB Thomson of Thornhill records that the parish bonspiels between Morton and Sanquhar were 'in the olden days' noted for the extreme rivalry between the parishes. Thomson writes, "It is recorded on one occasion, when Morton was successful at Sanquhar, the carriage windows of the Thornhill conveyances were smashed in, and the curlers just managed to get out of the town without serious injury."

Who would have believed it!

The Sanquhar home support made its presence felt during games. Thomson writes, "The old wives who used to attend the matches threw snowballs in front of the Morton stones." Not surprisingly, one of the Morton players was somewhat annoyed with this, and approached the women. But perhaps he did not chose his words very carefully when he said to them that 'they might be better employed at home darning socks'. Apparently this Morton player 'received a rather rough handling'!

Reading through old curling club minute books it seems that occasionally an individual club member could cause trouble. The records of the Coupar Angus and Kettins Curling Club (or the 'Society of Curlers in the United Parishes of Coupar and Kettins' when it was formed in 1749) had problems with one of their members, as described in a minute dated December 30, 1783. It was one of the rules of the club that swearing was not countenanced on the ice. Some of the members reported that John Crockatt, a new member of the club, had been guilty of swearing several times. He had also apparently 'lost one sixpence at play' (whatever this means, presumably a wager). He was asked several times to appear before the Society to pay the fine for his misdemeanours, and when he failed to do so, four members of the club were sent to his house. He pointed a gun at them and threatened to shoot the first person that attempted to lay hands on him. He then struck one of the party, Charles Ducatt, on the chest!

It is not surprising to read that Crockatt was dismissed from the club and the other members were debarred from curling on the ice with him 'until he shall in a full meeting hereafter acknowledge his faults and make such compensation to the Society as they shall think the nature of the crimes above requires'.

Two years later Crockatt must have provided satisfaction, as he was readmitted to the Society. However, he was immediately fined two shillings for not having his curling stones ready on the ice, as required to do so by one of the other Society regulations.

No-one ever swears on the ice these days, do they!

John Crockatt's story is told in an article in the September 1963 Scottish Curler, and the details confirmed in a copy of the Coupar Angus and Kettins CC minute book, in David Smith's research collection of papers now in the care of the Scottish Curling Trust. The RB Thomson's 'History of the Morton Curling Club' appeared in the Dumfries and Galloway Standard in 1911. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Curling Image Project (Week 6)

CIP-36. Outdoor curling on Lindores Loch. Don't know the date, but likely 1960s. (5x3in print, photographer unknown)

CIP-37. Here's a photo which reminds me of one of the most interesting and unusual curling events I've ever attended. It's of round robin play in the World Junior Championships in 1994 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Scottish men's squad was Craig Wilson, Neil Murdoch, Ricky Burnett, Craig Strawhorn, and Euan Byers. The women were Gillian Howard, Kirsty Hynd, Alison Kinghorn, Sandra Hynd, and Fiona Brown. That's Craig and Ricky in the foreground. Gillian can be seen on the sheet behind. (6x4in colour print, Bob Cowan)

CIP-38. Robin Brechin watches nervously as Glasgow's Lord Provost, Robert Gray, prepares to throw the ceremonial 'opening stone' at the Summit Centre, Glasgow, on February 13, 1986. (8x6in print, by Dick Brothers of Clarkston)

CIP-39. The Attinger team from Switzerland, in action in 1984. But where? Kurt, Werner, Bernhard and Peter Attinger were Swiss Champions in 1984 and were runners-up to Eigil Ramsfjell's Norwegian team at the Silver Broom in Duluth. (6x4in print, by Erwin Sautter)

CIP-40. I think this is a wonderful photo. It shows the Ernie Richardson team in action, but where? Great to have all four of the Richardson team in the one shot. I suspected this must be a Brier Championship and think it is 1962 at Kitchener-Waterloo. Wes Richardson is on the far left, encouraging Arnie Richardson who is sweeping the stone in the house. Ernie (third left) has turned away to walk back to the other end. Sam Richardson is on the right. But who are the other two players in the picture, with the big 'As' on their jumpers? I am convinced they are two members of Hec Gervais' Alberta team - Ron Anton in the centre, and 2nd player, Ray Werner, second left. Can anyone confirm all this? Wally Ursuliak was the Alberta lead. The film of the 1962 Brier can be watched here. (8x6in print, Michael Burns Photography)

CIP-41. The crowning of the 'Queen of Curlers' (Miss Estelle Cote) at Quebec City in 1955. The occasion was the Quebec Winter Carnival, which had an international bonspiel at its centre. Here's part of an article in the February 1955 Scottish Curler. "The crowning of the Queen of Curlers took place at the Quebec Winter Club. Led by a Scottish piper, Mr J Innes, the procession entered in this order: two pages, the ladies in waiting, the Queen, Mr Weyman, Mr G MacWilliam (the Chamberlain) and Mr C Scribner (the Prime Minister). The escorts consisted of the presidents of five curling clubs. A TV camera, ten photographers and several hundred spectators watched page MacWilliam present the crown to Mr Weyman, know as Canada's Mr Curler, who crowned the Queen and gave her a sceptre in the shape of a curling broom. Page Chaput presented the Queen with a bouquet, then Mr A F Sissons, President of the Quebec International Bonspiel, pinned the international jewel on the Queen's dress. He also presented her with a pearl necklace and ear-rings - a gift from the curling fraternity." Estelle Cote was a curler, a member of the Ladies Section of the Club de Curling Jacques-Cartier of Quebec City. (8x10in print, photography by Canadian Pacific Railway)

CIP-42. I have lots of photos of this team, one of the most successful rinks of women curlers in Scotland. (Or THE most successful over the years!) Here is Judy Mackenzie, Anne McDougall, Kirsty Letton (skip) and Pat Orr, with Gayle Lyburn after winning the Low Road of the Lyburn Trophy competition at Stranraer. But what year? (10x8in print, by F H McCarlie, Stranraer)

Image credits are as indicated, where the photographer is known. Check the archive (on the right) for previous Curling Image Project posts.