Wednesday, July 28, 2010


"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

So begins 1984, George Orwell's disturbing novel of the future - the future that still stretched out in front of me when I began my curling career in the early 1960s! And when the book was required reading at school. Of course, 1984 came and went, with no resemblance to the book, although Big Brother lives on, if only for a little longer.

It was an interesting time on the curling ice in the mid-80s. The Scottish Men's Championship was sponsored by Langs Supreme Scotch whisky, and the final matched Colin Hamilton's team of Jim Sanderson, Mike Dick and Stewart Cobb, against Mike Hay, David Hay, David Smith and Russell Keiller, in the old Perth rink.

The record shows that it was the Mike Hay team that came through and went on to represent Scotland at the Air Canada Silver Broom World Curling Championship in Duluth, Minnesota. All but David Hay were still juniors that year.

The game was televised and broadcast by Scottish Television. Here is most of end 7 from the final - an end which was of major significance in the game. This ten-minute clip has been processed from a VHS tape from my own recording at the time. Watch, listen and enjoy. Try not to laugh!

The video is not embedded, so click the image or click here to go to YouTube to watch it.

What has happened since to those who were playing then? Mike Hay went on to become national coach. Russell Keiller was coach to Rhona Martin's side when they won Olympic Gold. David Hay was Team Murdoch's coach for the last Olympic cycle, and David Smith is a well respected Eurosport commentator as well as being the current Scottish Champion! Colin Hamilton has been the Royal Club's Manager of Competitions for a number of years now.

And if you are wondering what I was blethering about at the start of this post, you can read 1984 online here!