Friday, December 28, 2018

The Curling Image Project (Week 17)

CIP-113. The members of the Holyrood Curling Club opened their new pond at Mayfield in 1881. But this photo probably dates from the early twentieth century. On the hack is John Murie, the club's 'poet laureate', who, in 1903, became also the club's 'ice master'. (10x8in print, photographer unknown. Another version of this photograph exists in an old photograph album belonging to the club.)

Here are a few verses of Murie's poem 'The Curler's Dream':

"One night as I lay asleep in my bed,
With never a care to bother my head,
The goddess of dreams took hold of my hand,
And carried me off to a wondrous land.

Oh, what a land; not a flower was there;
Everything cold, and bleak, and bare;
The little birds even had ceased to sing,
And sat on the trees with drooping wing.

Like a ball of fire was the sun on high,
Riding along through the frosty sky,
Trying his best, though trying in vain,
To bring back heat to this world again.

For 'twas winter there, and I saw in my dream
That frozen hard was each loch and stream:
All round me there 'twas snow and ice —
To a curler it seemed a paradise...."

(The full poem can be found in the Royal Caledonian Curling Club Annual for 1901-02.)

CIP-114. An elegant crampit delivery, without resort to a brush for balance, somewhere in Switzerland. (7x4.5in print, photographer not known.)

CIP-115. I know that this is a curling team, as they are standing in front of the Charles Martin Hardie painting of 'Curling at Carsebreck' which for many years hung in the bar of the Central Scotland Ice Rink, Perth. (It's now at Scone Palace.) L-R: William Drummond, A Morrison, J Strobing and H Morrison were runners-up in the Farmers Trophy competition at the Perth rink in November, 1954. They were from Newburgh, Fife, and received brushes and combs as their prizes! Can anyone supply first names? (8.25x6.25in print, Star Photos, Perth.)

CIP-116. Merry Christmas! Danny McMillan, the Stirling Ice Rink manager, is Santa in December 1992 at a Christmas Bonspiel for the local Ladies' Branch of the RCCC. The photo shows the winning rink. Back L-R: Alexa McGillvray, Liz Dailly. Front: Eileen Prentice, Margaret Jarvie. (4x6in print, photographer not known.)

CIP-117. L-R: Jean Caldwell, Hammy McMillan, Eddie Rodger (Sports Editor of the Glasgow Herald, which sponsored the competition), Andrew McQuistin (skip), and Joyce Kinnear, winners of the Scottish Mixed Championship in 1981. (9.5x6in print, official Glasgow Herald photograph.)

CIP-118. This kilted 'Bugs Bunny' mascot helped the Gordon Deakin rink win the Gilbeys/Scotlands Hotel sponsored competition at the Atholl Curling Rink, Pitlochry, in 1991. Front L-R: Gordon Deakin, Gerry Parker, Lilian Deakin and Maimie Scott. Back: Jean Meikle, sales representative for Gilbey's Wine and Spirit Merchants, and Erhard Penker of the Scotlands Hotel. (8x6in print, by Richard Allan, Photographer, Perth.)

CIP-119. The winners on the podium at the 1980 Cutty Sark Scottish Curling Championship at Dundee, with RCCC Chairman Tom Dickson at the microphone. L-R: Alastair Sinclair, Bill Henderson, Greig Henderson, Barton Henderson. The winners seem to be acknowledging the runners-up - Andrew McQuistin, Norman Brown, Hew Chalmers and Peter Wilson. At the end of the three-day round robin, seven of the eight competing teams were still in contention for the semifinals, and two tie-breaker sessions were played. In the semifinals, McQuistin's side (the tiebreak survivors) beat the Jimmy Waddell rink, and Henderson beat Bill Muirhead's team. The final was tied 4-4 at the halfway stage, when the ice became soft due to the television lights and the large crowd. Barton Henderson's side held on for the win, and went on to represent Scotland at the Silver Broom in Moncton, and at the European Championships at Copenhagen, winning gold there.
        I should mention the controversy in 1980. Had Andrew McQuistin and Norman Brown won, by the rules of the International Curling Federation at the time, they could not have gone on to play at the World Championship, as they had not had their eighteenth birthdays before June 30 prior to the beginning of the 1979-80 season. The RCCC had lobbied hard to change this rule, arguing that entry to the World Championship should be quality based regardless of age, and this view eventually prevailed. (8x6in print, by Ron Gazzard, Dundee.)

Thanks to Margaret Robertson for help in naming those in CIP-116. Photos are as credited where the photographer is known. Check the archive (on the right) for previous Curling Image Project posts. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

The Curling Image Project (Week 16)

CIP-106. The 1996 Scottish Champion teams with their trophies. Back L-R: Karen Addison, David Hay, Katie Loudon, Peter Smith. Front: David Smith, Kirsty Hay (skip), Warwick Smith (skip), Edith Loudon. (8x6in, Louis Flood Photographer.)

CIP-107. In 1970, a young German team toured Scotland, playing in five different ice rinks. That's them in the front of this photograph, L-R: Rick Koester, Rick Mittag, Hans Werner, Joel Mittag. One of the teams they played against was the recent winners of the TB Murray Trophy. Back L-R: John Lawrie, David Macdonald, Archie Ballantyne (skip), and Douglas Armit. (8.25x6.25in print, by Photo Illustrations Scotland, Cockburn Street, Edinburgh.)

CIP-108. Members of the Royal Wimbledon Golf Club playing on their Cairnie-style outdoor rink in December 1944. The rink was beside the club house, and is now a car park. (8x6in print, Planet News Ltd, London.)

CIP-109. Aviemore junior curlers prepare for the opening ceremony of the Johnnie Walker Highland Week at the Aviemore rink in 1976. Recognise anyone? (8x6in print, stamped simply Johnnie Walker Picture Library.)

CIP-110. Lenzerheide in Eastern Switzerland. Is the skip really giving negative ice for the next shot! (6x4in print, by Erwin Sautter.)

CIP-111. This is the presentation group at the Inverness and Highland Region Licensed Trade Association Curling Competition, sponsored by Stewart and Son, Dundee, and Alloa Breweries. L-R: Ian Foster (Alloa Breweries), Nigel Grant (Seafield Lodge Hotel, organiser of the competition), Brian Wilkie, David McKenzie, Chris Franks, John Gair (skip), Ian Livingston (Stewarts Cream of the Barley), Nicol Manson (President IHRLTA). I do not know the year. The Aviemore Rink was opened in 1966, and I would guess this photo might date from the early 1970s. Anyone know for sure? (10x8in print, photographer not stated.)

CIP-112. This from the 2000 Ford World Curling Championships at Braehead - a spectacular way to display your collection of curling pins. A name, anyone? (5x7in print, Bob Cowan.)

ADDED LATER: Lynne Stevenson has remembered this lady as Jean Dubroy, also known as the 'Pin Lady'. See this article.

All photographers are credited when they are known. Check the archive (on the right) for previous Curling Image Project posts.

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Curling Image Project (Week 15)

CIP-99. These are the winners of the annual Ladies Invitation Curling Tournament at the Pitlochry rink in 1991, sponsored jointly by Watson and Philip PLC, ICCS (Northern) Ltd, and the Atholl Arms Hotel. Ena Smith is receiving the trophy from Neil McLennan, purchasing manager for ICCS. Looking on are, L-R: Ena Stevenson, Alex Tarvit (general manager ICCS, Dundee), Cate Brewster, Ian Robb (Atholl Curling Rink director), Ray Knox, and Eileen Watson (Atholl Arms Hotel). (8x6in print, by Richard Allan, Perth.)

CIP-100. I've chosen this special photograph as the 100th upload of the Curling Image Project because it is a rare thing, amongst the most unusual in my photograph collection. It's a wirephoto, although more correctly this example is a 'laserphoto'. In the days before digital cameras, the internet and email, a sports photographer had quite a challenge to get photographs back to the newspaper. Film would be developed on site at the event and then passed through a special fax-like machine, down the telephone lines, and printed out on an identical machine at the newspaper. The photo above shows the Scottish team (Christine Allison, Margaret Scott, Kimmie Brown and Carol Dawson) in action at the 1989 World Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. The photographer was Jacques Boissinot working for Canadian Press. The original shown above is on very flimsy paper, the output from the laserphoto machine at the newspaper. More about wirephotos here. (The photo itself is 7.7x8.25in, plus the margins.)

CIP-101. I acquired this photo at an antiques fair earlier this year. It shows a group of curlers posing outside, but where and when? The photograph is rather grubby, but is remarkable for its large size. (14.5x11.5in print, photographer unknown.)

CIP-102. William and Rebecca Kesley are on the temporary 'Winter Wonderland' ice rink in Princes Street Gardens in 1999. This photo appeared as the cover of the December 1999 Scottish Curler magazine. The Currie and Balerno Curling Club eventually managed to stage a bonspiel on the rink with four teams on a Sunday morning, although their first attempt had been rained off. Used in the Xmas season for skating it was quite a challenge for Scott Henderson to prepare curling ice on the temporary rink. This was the second year in a row that the Princes Street Gardens' rink had seen curlers on the ice. (5x7in print, probably by Robin Crearie.)

CIP-103. L-R: Cesare Canepa (skip), Werner Oswald, Jakob Kluser, Hans-Ruedi Werren. This Zug CC team had just won the Swiss Championship in 1971 at Geneva. The Swiss team went on to compete in the Air Canada Silver Broom World Curling Championship at Megeve, finishing in fourth place after winning a tiebreaker against Sweden, but losing the semifinal to Don Duguid's Canada (who beat Scotland in the final). (8x6in print, by Ervin Sautter.)

CIP-104. Ted Pattee leads Bill Mackay, Geoff Rogers and Hal Clarke on to the Haymarket rink in the 1960 Canadian Tour in Scotland. The Scots are being led out by the Rev Bill Good. (8.25x6.25in print, Photo Illustrations Scotland, Cockburn Street, Edinburgh.)

CIP-105. I need someone to help me out with this one. The Canadian women's team at the 2000 Ford World Championships at Braehead was Kelley Law, Julie Skinner, Georgina Wheatcroft, and Diane Nelson. Which one of the team is this? (6x4in print, probably by Jim Law.)

ADDED LATER: A quick response on Twitter, and from Janice Rankin on Facebook, confirms this is Diane Nelson (now Dezura). Thanks to everyone. Rock on the 'front end union'!

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

Friday, December 07, 2018

The Curling Image Project (Week 14)

CIP-92. Sweden's Peter (Peja) Lindholm in fine voice at the 2000 Ford World Curling Championships at Braehead. (6x4in print, probably a Jim Law photo.)

CIP-93. It must have been cold, or the winning curlers were just in a hurry to get going after the presentation! I have not been able as yet to ascertain just where this photo is from and when it was taken. Anyone? (9.5x7.5in print, Ford Photo Service, Glasgow.)

ADDED LATER: Thanks to Margaret Harvey and Andrew Dalgleish we know now that the trophy is the Durisdeer Trophy which is still played for by Dumfriessshire Province. It was 'presented to the Scottish Ice Rink Company by Wm Hendrie Esq 1955' and would have been played for at Crossmyloof Ice Rink until 1967 when it was transferred to the Dumfriesshire Province and played for annually at Lockerbie thereafter. William Hendrie is on the right of the photo.

CIP-94. These are the two finalist rinks in the Greenacres qualifier for the 1994 Henderson Bishop. Back row L-R: Carolyn Hibberd, Linda McAulay, Alison McLennan and Rhona Martin. Rhona and her team had beaten the Millicent Copstick rink (front) to gain a place in the finals at Greenacres (their home rink), and they went on to lift the trophy, the competition that year sponsored by Stakis and The Daily Telegraph. (3.5x4in print, photographer not stated.)

CIP-95. This Carnwath CC team won the Farmers' Trophy at Falkirk in the 1955-56 season. L-R: Alex Cooper (lead), James Cooper (skip), Andrew Cooper (3rd) and John Campbell (2nd). Skip, 3rd and lead were brothers. They beat Ian McGee's Sauchie side 15-13 in fifteen ends in the final. The photo was published in the January 1956 Scottish Curler magazine, and the accompanying article records that the winning rink received as prizes weather barometers, and the runners-up travelling rugs. (8x6in print, Thomas L Rennie, Press and Commercial Photographer, Falkirk.)

CIP-96. Another cabinet card from my own collection. Certainly from the nineteenth century, but where is it? There is no photographer's name on the card. (6.5x4.25in.)

CIP-97. Somewhere in Switzerland, in the 1920s perhaps? The photo is not the sharpest, but is significant in that it shows a man and woman competing against each other. Note the dolly, and that they are both holding fabric covered brooms. (10x8in print, photographer not stated.) 

CIP-98. The Japanese women's squad were very happy for me to take this photo of them at the Ford World Championships at Braehead in 2000. The World Curling Federation historical results database has the names as Yukari Okazaki, Emi Fujiwara, Shinobu Aota, Eriko Minatoya, Kotomi Ishizaki. Can anyone give me a L-R in the photo? I wonder on the significance of the daffodil! (6x4in print, Bob Cowan.) 

Check the archive (on the right) for previous Curling Image Project posts.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

What Future for the Bear?

Charles Liechti, from Bern, Switzerland, is a name you may not know. He was a real curling enthusiast. He came to Scotland in 1961 to play in the 'Worlds Curling Championship' at the Edinburgh Ice Rink, Haymarket. He did not come as part of a team. Rather, he came alone and played lead on the team skipped by local curler James Sellar. But before I carry on with Charles Liechti's story, some background to the 'Worlds Championship' competition is needed.

The 'Worlds' tournament was first held in 1922, an open competition for Scottish curlers held at the Haymarket Ice Rink. That's the winning team in the very first competition, above. L-R: Willie Jackson, Robert Jackson, Laurence Jackson and Tom Murray. The trophy was presented by the Edinburgh Ice Rink Ltd. The ice rink at Haymarket had opened for business in 1912. Robin Copland has written about curling in Edinburgh, and the 'Worlds', here.

This is a scene from the penultimate end of the 1954 'Worlds' final at Haymarket, between teams skipped by James Sanderson and James Sellar.

A A Wighton, Chairman of the Edinburgh Ice Rink, presents the trophy to (L-R) James Sanderson, John Cooper, Alec Allison and Robert Moffat in 1954.

In 1961, when Charles Liechti came to take part in the tournament, it was still an open competition at the Haymarket rink, and attracted a large entry.

That's Charles Liechti on the right of this photo, with teams from Canada and Norway which took part in the 1961 'Worlds'.

Charles Liechti and Sandy Sellar are the sweepers, directed by Jimmy Sellar, with Bob Dick behind. Although the final game was won by Bob Dick's side, Charles Liechti became the first overseas player to reach the 'Worlds' final!

Charles Liechti's experiences as a member of the runners-up team in 1961 must have left a big impression on the Swiss curler. Fast forward four years. In 1965, here he is presenting what is described as a 'bear statuette' to the runners-up in the 'Worlds' competition. L-R: James Alexander (Vice-President, Royal Caledonian Curling Club), Charles Liechti, Bert Stewart, Ivan Clark, Bob Kerr (skip) and Hugh Beveridge.

In 1966, Charles Liechti's record of being the first foreign player to reach the final of the Worlds was eclipsed when a Canadian Air Force rink won the event. L-R: Joe Klein (3rd), Gerry McLaughlan (skip), Hugh Beveridge (President, Edinburgh Ice Rink Curling Club) and Mrs Hugh Beveridge (who presented the prizes), Ron Taylor (2nd) and Don McLeod (lead).

Charles Liechti was back in Edinburgh in 1966 too. Here he is with the presentation of the Bern Bear (as it came to be called) to the runners-up in 1966. L-R: Bobbie Baxter (2nd), Charles Liechti, James Young (skip), Hugh Beveridge, Mrs Hugh Beveridge, Bob Christie (3rd) and Tom Kerr (lead). But look what individual prize the runners-up received. Each member of the Corstorphine rink received a small replica of the big trophy.

Here's a close up of one of the individual prizes. It was great to learn recently that Andrew Kerr still has the trophy presented to his father in 1966. 

The 'Worlds' trophy and the Bern Bear continued to be played for in the years that followed. Here are the winners and runners-up in 1969. L-R: Derek Scott, Alex Young, Bill Muirhead, George Haggart, Jim Clarkson (President Edinburgh Ice Rink CC), Tom Stewart (Royal Club President), Elizabeth Marwick, Tom Grierson, Ken Marwick, Robert Smellie.

The tournament was renamed the 'Edinburgh International Curling Championship' in 1975 so that the International Curling Federation could have exclusive use of the name 'World Curling Championship' for the Air Canada Silver Broom, the men's world curling championship at the time. The Edinburgh competition became an invitational tournament, inviting the semifinalists of the same year's World Championship, and moved venues to the Murrayfield Curling Rink.

In the early 1980s, the Edinburgh International was one of the competitions covered each year by Scottish Television in the run up to the Glasgow Silver Broom. In 1984, Skol was the title sponsor. To see what this was like, there's a ten minute edit of a Graeme Adam v Mike Riley game on YouTube from 1984 here (screenshot above).

Here is the team which won the Bear in 1985. L-R: David Aitken, Robin Halliday, Peter Smith, Harry Reilly.

For three years in the early 1990s, the Edinburgh International competition was for mixed teams. Here is Colin Hamilton with Vicky Gumley (far right), Trevor Dodds and Edith Butler with the 'Worlds' trophy in 1992.

And here, in the same year, are (L-R) Iain Stewart, Julie Hepburn, Warwick Smith and Fiona Bayne with the Bern Bear.

In 2008 the Edinburgh International became a new World Curling Tour - Europe event. The winners (above) were (L-R) Andy Kapp (skip), Holger Hohne (2nd), Andy Lang (3rd) and Andreas Kempf (lead).

The runners-up received the Bear. L-R Conny Llungqvist, Goran Carlsson (skip), Morgan Bergkvist and Magnus Ekdahl.

The Edinburgh International trophy and the Bern Bear now reside, somewhat forlornly, in the trophy cabinets at the Murrayfield Curling Rink. They were last played for in 2016, when the Edinburgh International trophy (the 'Worlds' trophy) was won by Karel Kubeska and his Czech team of Jiri Candra, Martin Juric and Lukas Klima. The Bern Bear was won by Bruce Mouat, with Bobbie Lammie, Gregor Cannon, Derrick Sloan and Alasdair Schreiber.

I would like to believe that one day both trophies will be played for again in a significant competition. I'm sure that Charles Liechti would echo that sentiment.

My thanks go to Andrew Kerr for the idea for this article by telling me about his father winning the Bern Bear. He also provided the 1966 photo, and that of the individual replica. Robin Copland's article on the history of curling in Edinburgh and of the Worlds' competition (here) provided much background. Thanks go to him, and to Lindsay Scotland, for encouragement. Other photos are from various Scottish Curler magazines, or from my own archive. The competition had its own blog from 2009-2011, and the posts from these years are still online here.