Take a good look at my photo above. It's from the Henderson Bishop competition in Stranraer four years ago. The curler in the foreground is one of the most well kent in Scottish women's competition, Kirsty Letton. I think it is safe to say that the curler at the back is now the best known Scottish (and British) woman curler in the world. She's the one that some across the pond this week are already calling 'The Phenom' - Eve Muirhead, skip of the GB women's team.
The Henderson Bishop, the premier competition of the Ladies' Branch of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club outside of the Scottish Championship, has been going since 1929. It is played during the week and this means that few young people usually get the opportunity to take part. All credit then that four years ago Kathleen Scott was able to recruit a young fifteen-year old schoolgirl to skip the Pitlochry entry for the competition, and with Rhiann Macleod, another junior, and Alison Drummond, the four won the Low Road competition for the Cherrystone trophy.
That was the first time that Eve had really been in the spotlight, and, let's just say, a lot has happened in the intervening four years!
Anyway, why mention all this now? As the Olympics continue next week in Canada, the Henderson Bishop 2010 will be underway at the Lockerbie rink. Twenty teams representing seventeen different rinks will participate in four sections. Murrayfield, Lanarkshire and Inverness each fields two teams. The draw is here.
Play begins 10.00 on Monday, and the finals are on Thursday. The team list is here.
It is sure to be a competitive yet sociable four days. And there will be a different winner this year. The beautiful Henderson Bishop trophy will have a new name on it, as Gail Munro, the winner in the past two seasons, did not make it out of Stranraer this time. Kate Adams, Vicky Wright, Debbie Torbet and Alison Bell will represent the North West Castle rink at Lockerbie.
Pics of Eve and Kirsty, and of the Henderson Bishop trophy, are by Bob.