Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Curling memories

I'm sure regular blogallies will forgive me if I indulge in a wee bit of nostalgia on my birthday.

In the past few days I've been unpacking some of the boxes that have been in store since Skip Cottage had its disaster last December. Things are very nearly back to what I call 'normal', and thank you to all who have been so supportive over the last eight months. Anyway, unpacking memorabilia is not an easy task.... but it IS fun. The problem is that just turning a page can bring back memories, and I have lots of these from fifty years associated with the sport of curling, so it's a slow job!

I first ventured on to the ice in the early 60s, at the Crossmyloof rink, on the south side of Glasgow. I was wondering recently, when contemplating the closure of the ice rink at the Magnum in Irvine, just how difficult a job it would be to collate photographs of curling in all the different rinks that have now closed. What do you think? Where is the visual record of curling at Falkirk, Cumbernauld, Glenrothes, or Livingstone, to name just four rinks that are no more?

There are not many photos, that I know of, which show curling at Crossmyloof. A couple of years ago I blogged those I had to hand at the time, see here. The one at the top of this post is another, taken in the seven-sheet dedicated curling rink. It's not the best of quality, and must have been taken in the late 60s or very early 70s I would think. At least it's survived.

The curlers are members of Carmunnock and Rutherglen CC. Nearest the camera on sheet 6, Norman Crosthwaite is throwing the stone, with Russell Chambers ready to sweep. On the end sheet behind (sheet 7), David Horton is in charge of the head. Who's he skipping against, with the big hair? I think it is Ken Horton, Dave's younger brother who is currently Scottish Senior Champion skip all these years later. I know Ken is a blogally, so he'll be able to confirm if it is! (Added later: Yes, Ken confirms it IS indeed him!)

Watching behind the barrier is David's and Ken's father (in the hat). Mr Horton did a huge amount for young curlers in the 60s and 70s. He's talking to Johnnie Hibberd.

Now here's another photo to study closely. Just be grateful it's not in colour! This is definitely 1978, when curling was in black and white. The strange guy with the beard throwing the stone is me (yes, I did play at one time). Nearest the stone is Robin Copland and nearest the camera is Brian Alderman. Graeme Adam would have been in the head.

Study the photo carefully. Apart from realising that the Adam rink was well ahead of its time in the year 32 BL*, you may be able to answer my question, which is, "In what curling rink was the photo taken?"

I have an idea, but I'm not sure. Drop me an email if you recognise where we are.

Normal service hopefully tomorrow, once I've adapted to being a year older!

* Before Loudmouth

Photos are from the Skip Cottage archive.