Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happiness is... my own crampits

A friend, knowing my interest in curling history, recently delivered two old crampits to Skip. I was thrilled. They may look a bit rusty, but they will clean up perfectly. With my outdoor stones, tee-ringer, brush to sweep away the snow, and now these crampits, I'm all set for a severe winter. I wish.

If you have never curled outside, and have no idea what I'm talking about, then check out the Pathe News website here for a little clip of crampits in use! Enjoy. This is from Loch Leven in 1933. Search the site for other curling video snippets.

I was surprised to notice this crampit when I visited the Stranraer rink recently.

And I was astounded to see that it appears to have belonged to Willie Young of Airth. You may know the name as Scotland's skip in the early years of the 'world championship', for the Scotch Cup. I met the great man in the 1960s. He was one of the few curlers who still played off the crampit in these days, with his unique delivery.

Here's a great old photo of Willie!

There's a whole story to be written about crampits, foot irons, triggers, hacks, and how curlers got a footing from which to throw their stones in days past. I must ask David B Smith if he would help me with this for the Curling History blog.

Pics © Skip Cottage, and from Bob's archive.