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News

Stirling Curling Group

The above event on 24 October was a notable success, as noted in the report below:

Also photographs of the event can be found via the Area 6 website: http://network.royalcaledoniancurlingclub.org/area6/

Report on the Indoor Grand Match at The Peak on 24th October 2015

The Royal Caledonian Curling Club’s (RCCC) Indoor Grand Match, sponsored by award winning independent financial advisers, Alan Steel Asset Management (ASAM) took place on Saturday 24th October 2015 at venues across Scotland.  Billed as the battle of North of Scotland versus South of Scotland this year’s event featured 2,376 curlers from 388 clubs competing in 594 teams at 17 ice rinks across Scotland making it one of the biggest mass participation events in sport.  To commemorate the event ASAM reproduced the Charles Lees painting of the Grand Match at Linlithgow Loch 1849 for each participating curler. 

The Indoor Grand Match is a spin off event based on the traditional Grand Matches which are held on a frozen loch when temperatures and ice conditions permit. The indoor version was initiated in the year 2000 to celebrate the millennium and due to its success has continued every five years since.   An imaginary line is drawn between the River Forth and River Clyde to decide the two sides and games held simultaneously over three sessions throughout the day. Scores were compiled at the conclusion of all the games with the winner being the side with the most shots scored.

The office bearers, the council and volunteers in Area 6 of the RCCC were responsible for the organisation of the event at The Peak Stirling where 144 curlers from 36 clubs competed over three sessions of curling. 

The day started early for the volunteers with tartan to be draped, tables to be decorated, reception desk to be manned, shortbread to be produced and the 101 jobs which require attention before the first of the curlers arrived at 9.00am.  The clubs were registered, team members changed for action and then upstairs to Zacs for coffee and shortbread.

Area 6 representative, Joe Barry welcomed the curlers to the Indoor Grand Match at The Peak and gave them the information for what was hoped would be a successful days curling in good company.   The curlers proceeded down stairs to the curling arena where they were piped on to the ice to their rink by Alan Prentice, who received the customary drink from the Quaich.  Alan was playing in the first session so there was no time to change into his curling gear so he played in his kilt.

Talented photographers were on hand to take photographs of the session and rink photographs with their opponents.

After four ends the curlers were invited to stack the brooms and come off the ice for a refreshment of water, juice or Rusty Nails, with tablet available to help the sugar rush for the return to the ice. Orders were taken for the post match drinks to allow Zacs staff to have the drinks on the table at the completion of the matches.

As the first session games drew to a close, the second session curlers were arriving at registration and on to Zacs to start the process all over again.

The first session curlers completed their games and went upstairs to be seated at their tables and await the first course of Scotch Broth.  The second course of either Stovies, Lasagne or Green Thai Curry soon disappeared and it was on to the coffee and cakes or even another alcoholic drink for the non drivers.  The presentation of prizes followed, which as the match was between the North and the South, the miniature whiskies were awarded to all the curlers in the winning area.  So even although you won your own club battle against the opposing rink, you might not get a miniature!  A lucky dip meant that four curlers received a bottle of wine, not for their curling skills but because they were lucky in being on the right sheet, playing in the right position and playing for the right area.

After three sessions of curling the ice hall became quiet, and after three meal sessions at Zacs and no one on the ice to watch, the curlers began to drift away which allowed Zacs staff and the volunteers to tidy up and make their own way home after a tiring but satisfying days curling.

 

Good days of curling fellowship do not just happen and a number of people deserve our thanks and appreciation for the time and effort they put in to make the day a success.

The Area 6 Office Bearers of Joe Barry, Area Representative, Alan Wilson, Area Secretary and Ritchie Stewart, Area Treasurer started off the organising process and were supported by the Office Bearers in the four Area Provinces of Scottish Central, Stirlingshire, Forth & Endrick and West Lothian as well as ladies from the Ladies Centre, Stirling.

Active Stirling, through Suzanne Burns, Programme and Events Manager, fully supported the event by subsidising the ice costs, meeting our requests regarding changing facilities, advising on advertising for sponsors and generally meeting our needs on the day.  The Ice Technicians made good ice and Dougie Fergus, was his usual supportive and helpful self, both before and during the event.

Zacs, through Greg and Darren, listened to our plans for the day and menu suggestions and went away and came back with better ones.  Again, we had lots of requests, on a limited budget, regarding the provision of coffee / tea almost all day, the provision of shortbread by the ladies at the coffee / tea station and the layout of the dining and bar area on a very busy day.  They managed the situation very well and provided first class catering arrangements on the day.

Deanston Distillery was very supportive by providing seven dozen miniatures at a heavily discounted cost as well as a substantial prize.  Thanks to Margo Bain for all her work regarding this success.

The two photographers, Graham Russell and Val Saville, worked tirelessly throughout the day taking pictures of anything and everything from curling teams to stacked brushes and from score cards to prize winners.  Val also found time to play and man the reception desk.

Rhona Johnson, President of the Ladies Centre Stirling, proved to be an invaluable resource to the committee with her contacts, her eye for detail and enthusiasm. She made contact with the local papers for publicity and photo-shoots as well as liaising with the ladies on the provision of tablet, shortbread and home baking.    The floral presentations on the tables which she managed to acquire from Gleneagles Hotel together with the tartan napkins and table clothes, set off the dining area in splendid fashion.

Phyllis Beattie and Isabel Gillespie organised unseen volunteers in the making of tablet, shortbread and baking which was enjoyed by all the curlers with their coffee before and after their games.  The ladies were present throughout the day manning the coffee station and repeatedly replenishing the sweets and the tablet in the ice hall.

Jacky McLaren, after working through the week at the International Wheelchair Curling event at the Peak, was back on Saturday looking after the reception desk and welcoming the curlers.  In between times she managed to take the dogs for a walk as well as support skip Debbie and Wheelchair Stirling to a victory on the ice.

Other volunteers including Tom Lambie, President West Lothian Province and Bill Strang, Secretary Scottish Central Province, managed to play unsuccessfully for their clubs but still managed very successfully from early morning, to fill all the gaps as they appeared in the managing and volunteering programme.

  Our new Curling Development Officer is Hammy McMillan Jnr who many of you may know as one of the countries up and coming young curlers. 

Hammy will be starting with us on Tuesday 29th September and his headline responsibilities in partnership with the RCCC will be:

-          Support our network of clubs

-          Coordinate the delivery of introductory, development and corporate curling programmes

-          Support and grow our network of coaches and volunteers in curling

 

Eight clubs from Stirlingshire Province competed in this competition on 20th February 2015 for a trophy initially presented in 1879 and played regularly since then. The clubs playing are Larbert, Sauchie and Bannockburn, Borestone and Stirling, Grangemouth, Lauriston and Zetland, Denny, Bonnybridge and Falkirk.

The winners this year were Falkirk, second was Borestone and Stirling, and third was Bonnybridge.

Alex Reid trophy

 

Background to the trophy - as transcribed by Graeme Giles of Borestone and Stirling:

 

Birth of the Alexander Reid Memorial Curling Association

 in November 1879,

and the resuscitation of same on 24th November 1926 after a lapse of many years in the wilderness.

 

 

Alexander Reid Jr. in whose memory the Reid Memorial Trophy came into existence was the son of Alexander Reid who with his brother James were among the Founders of Larbert Curling Club in 1838 and Alex Reid Sr. was the first President of that club.  Alex Jr. was one of five brothers all of whom (but one) were leading members of the Club.   He was renowned throughout Stirlingshire & further afield as a magnificent Curler but his popularity arose not so much from his prowess in this respect as from the fact that in addition to his mastery of the game, keiness, & enthusiasm, his great sportsmanship and good fellowship made beloved by all with whom he came in contact.  So much so that when his tragic death from pneumonia occurred when only 38 years of age as the result of a chill contracted when curling on Larbert Pond, it was suggested at a meeting held in Falkirk at which several clubs including Larbert were represented that a trophy in memory of this big hearted & highly respected brother should be subscribed for and put up for competition among the clubs interested.  this meeting was held in Falkirk sometime in Nov 1879 & it would appear that there must have been a speedy response to the call for subscriptions as the Reid memorial game was played on Larbert Pond on Thursday 11th December 1879, the eight clubs taking part being ABC&D, Bonnybridge, Camelon, Carron, Denny, Falkirk, Larbert & Stirling Castle.  The winners of this first game were Denny with a majority of 34 shots.

Subsequent to 1879 the Trophy was competed for on numerous occasions but prior to season 1925-1926 there had been no opportunity for play for many years as there was no ice available.

 

The 16th December 1925 was a great day for ABC&D as on that day they carried off the trophy.  This was accepted by the Rev Miller from the hands of Mr Jas Jones Senr of Larbert who presided.  Had it not been for the late Alex Mitchell Bonnybridge & J N Reid, Larbert this game might have gone into the limbo of forgotten things.  However on 26th November 1926 a special meeting of the clubs still connected with this competition was convened by Mr Seaton Secy of the Larbert Club.  That meeting was attended by representatives from Bonnybridge Denny Leslie Park, Denny, Camelon Falkirk Larbert, ABC&D  the gentlemen from the latter club being the late Messrs Jas Edmond & Robt Boyd.

 

Mr Mitchell of Bonnybridge presided & explained that the meeting had been called for the purpose of forming a proper Constitution & for the appointing of officials.  So far as is known there had never been a Constitution although it had to be presumed that a Committee had originally been appointed to carry through the business of the Association & make arrangements for the annual game. 

Six of the original clubs were still in existence ABC&D Bonnybridge Camelon Denny Falkirk & Larbert.  Denny Leslie Park had come into the competition some time in the years gone bye & at this meeting it was agreed to invite the Borestone Club to come in & make up the original number of eight clubs.  It was also decided that the competition should be placed on a satisfactory basis by the adoption of a fresh constitution & the formation of revised rules.

The Office Bearers appointed at this meeting were

            Hon President          Geo R Ure Esq.        Bonnybridge

            President                   P F Jones    “             Larbert

            Secy &Treasr            D Beaton                       “

 

Following season 1925-1926 the next opportunity for play did not arise until Season 1928-29 - a lapse of three years when Borestone were the winners.  Season 1932-33 saw Falkirk coming out on tops – that was following a further lapse of 4 years.  The victors of the 1935-36 game was Borestone Club - that was after another period of 3 years.

 

At a special meeting held 20th March 1936 it was decided that instead of being at the mercy of the weather & having to rely on Jack Frost who only made spasmodic appearances that future Games be played on Indoor Ice.  During the season 1936-37 & up to season 1938-39 the competition was carried through at Haymarket but with the arrival of the new Ice Rink at Falkirk it was naturally decided by the Association to transfer the games there.  From season 1939-40 the competition was carried on until season 1941-42 when due to adverse circumstances and lack of travelling facilities engendered by the World War it was agreed in conjunction with the Provincial Club to suspend operations until the termination of hostilities.  Season 1942-43 until season 1944-45 were therefore blank but the competition was resumed in season 1945-46 at Falkirk and has carried on there since.

 

Various clubs have been successful during all these years but ABC&D were down in the dumps until last season 1947-48 when after a lapse of 22 years they bobbed up to the top and again annexed the trophy with a majority of 29 shots, all the skips, Messrs Robt Young Wm Sutherland and W Young and their respective players were in the ascendency and very strong opponents and all of them deserve our heartiest congratulations in restoring the reputation of the Airth Club after such a long time in the wilderness.  At one time not so many years ago Clubs meeting an Airth rink in any of the competitions felt they were on to a soft thing & that their chances were very rosy.  Now the position has completely changed and the thoughts of any rink drawn against them run exactly in the opposite direction.

 

Long may this continue and with the hope that the club will go on from strength to strength and be a force to be reckoned with no matter who their opponents be.

 

I should like you to be upstanding & drink to the health of last season’s winners of the Alexander Reid Memorial competition.

 

 

 

Pencilled notes for the Trophy presentation in November 1949 by D Seaton

 

The group have decided to make the following awards:

Stirling Ladies Open - £300

Entry fee for National Pairs final to James Dunn & Katie Murray - £120

Dinner for coaches efforts throughout the season in Try Curling , Beginners and Virtual club classes - £300

 

After an enjoyable and closely fought contest Forth and Endrick won the Area 6 Bonspiel on 22 January - for only the third time since the tournament's inception in 1985. Their last victory was 1997/8.

Forth and Endrick had 8 points and 22 ends, Stirlingshire had 6 points and 24 ends, West Lothian had 6 ends and 21 ends, Scottish Central had 4 points and 21 ends - their total affected by a no show from Callendar and Trossachs.

The decisive game was in the second session when Buchlyvie narrowly beat Falkirk by 7 shots to 6, despite Falkirk losing a 5 at the second end. Had it gone to a peel then Stirlingshire would have won on ends won.

Congratulations to Forth and Endrick . The winner of the Bonspiel trophy (to the highest up club in the winning Province) was Buccaneers. 

The Trophy and Prizes will be presented the the Area AGM.