Forward To
The History Of
The East Kilbride Curling Club
Instituted 1830

The following History of East Kilbride Curling Club
was researched by Thomas Eric Niven between the years 1930 and 1950
as part of a grander design on the whole history
of the parish and village of East Kilbride .
Ultimately Eric Niven's historical work was brought to press
by his sons Bill and Ronald Niven in 1965.
During my early years in East Kilbride
I received great encouragement to read by the then Librarian Mrs Ainslie
and one of the books she entrusted to me
was a copy of Ure's history of Rutherglen and East Kilbride.
When Bill and Ronnie produced their fathers history of East Kilbride
I devoured it from cover to cover.
Without a doubt both books were partly to blame
for my long time interest in local and family history.
Any one interested in our local history will find
Thomas Eric Niven's History Of Parish
And Village Of East Kilbride a fascinating read.

Unfortunately the minute books
of the East Kilbride Curling Club appear to be lost to us.
Therefore I have obtained permission from Bill Niven
to use from the above history
the article entitled "The Roarin' Game"
in it's entirety.
Our greatful thanks go to the Niven Family for their generosity.

It should be noted by the reader that a few years ago
some gentlemen formed a curling club in East Kilbride
and named themselves "East Kilbride Curling Club".

It was pointed out to them at that time
that, East Kilbride and Haremyres Curling Club
being an amalgamation of the two honourable and venerable clubs
East Kilbride Curling Club and Haremyres Curling Club
were custodian of the trophys, history and name of,
"East Kilbride Curling Club".

The club requested of them that they might ammend their name
in order that a distinction be made between
the East Kilbride Curling Club of old
and the new club which they had just formed. They declined
and persist in calling themselves East Kilbride Curling Club
The reader will draw his own conclusions
and should note that the owners of this web site
East Kilbride and Haremyres Curling Club
are in no way connected to this new club.
Alan
Web Administrator

THE ROARIN' GAME

It is said that no country save Scotland
has an ice sport resembling that of Curling.
The game we know to-day gradually evolved from ice quoiting,
where the "kuting" or "channel-stanes" had thumb and finger holes.
By a sweeping movement from behind
the stones were thrown along the ice.
Later came the rough flat-bottomed stones
of varying shapes, but fitted with handles on top,
to give place, in time, to the circular type now so well-known.
Most of the stones are hewn in Ailsa Craig and fashioned in Mauchline
and could be bought last century for thirty shillings per matched pair,
but nowadays the price is as much as fifteen guineas.
The weight must not now exceed fifty pounds.

Many curling stones became famous
and none more so than the "East Kilbride Cheese".
This stone was one of a rink made about 1830
from a whinstone block out of Thorntonhall Quarry.
Weighing seventy pounds, it was played for some time
by a well-known local curler, Jamie Smith of Thorntonhall.
Its last appearance was in 1843 when James Strang of Peel
played it as a first stone for the Carmunnock Club
against Mearns on the Brother Loch.
Strang was the only curler who could play the "Cheese" to the tee.
It was often used as a test of strength
and also for weighing oatmeal and cheese in our village.
Another famous Kilbride stone, "Sleeping Maggie",
was found in a local pond into which it had been rolled
by the farmer's daughter after whom it was called.
It had a wooden handle.
Then there was the 631 lbs circular
"Whin Boulder Stone" from Jackton,
and the notable "Door Hinge Handle Stone" from Kilbride.
All these stones were exhibited at the Glasgow Exhibition of 1911.

In days gone by our curlers "sooped" forward with the broom kowe
now it is moved from side to side.
In this district distinctive names were used.
The rink was known as the "rack";
another name was the "board",
the two ends being the "board heads".
Instead of a "crampit", or foot rest, there was a "crisp", or iron cross.
Each curler delivered one stone only.
The tees are now 38 yards apart, around each being a "hough", or circle.
Midway between the tees is the middle score,
whilst the hog scores are placed at 1/6th of the distance from the tees.

Kilbride had many famous curling ponds,
the most celebrated of which was the Carrick Fair or Mains Loch,
an extensive sheet of water which lay at one time just south of Mains Castle.
Some time before 1783 it was drained into the Lees Burn
by means of a goat or drain. Here took place
what was perhaps the first, and let us hope the only,curling murder.
Ure tells us that Alexander Lindsay,
the last of the Lairds of Dunrod and Kilbride, was playing on the loch,
when he was angered by one of his retainers, named Crawford.
Dunrod had a hole cut in the ice into which the unfortunate wretch was thrust.
The area still goes by the name of "Crawford's Hole---.
Until the middle of last century the pond on the Laigh Common
was a favourite howff of our local curlers.
There the laird and his gamekeeper met on terms of equality,
curling admitting of no class with ample opportunity for outdoor playing
which can seldom be indulged in nowadays.
Another favourite pond lay at one time on the west side of the
Headhouse Loaning and here many a keen tussle took place.
There the curlers from the auld toon met their rivals from the new toon,
and on one occasion in 1860 after a prolonged struggle of five hours,
the new toon won by six shots.
Here also the Sweet Milk Men
tangled with the Soor Dook Men in friendly rivalry.
The Kilbride Club had ponds at Meadowhead
and Curlingmire on the Darnkiel Moss,
whilst the Hairmyres Club had its own pond at Hairmyres Railway Station.
The Maxwell Curling Club flourished at the end of last century,
and the principal event on the calendar was the game with
the Torrance and Calderwood Estate workers
on the Hillhead Quarry, Maxwellton.
A return game would be played on the Newhousemill Dam on the Calder.
Thorntonhall Club opened its new electrically-lit tarmac rink in 1910.
This pond was gifted by T. G. Bishop of Thorntonhall.
In 1930 the local Club considered a proposal to build
a tarmac rink in Limekilns which could have been used
as a hard tennis court in summer, but the idea fell through.

The East Kilbride Curling Club was founded in 1830,
but unfortunately practically all details of its early history have been lost.
What we do know, however, is that the Club had many fine curlers
on its roll of forty or fifty members.
When the ponds were bearing, it was a case of down tools and off to the ice
and playing would last the whole day through.
The annual subscription was only sixpence and,
except for occasional repairs to the pond, the expenses were nil.
Inter-club spiels were mostly the rule, but as travelling facilities improved
more and more games were played against Strathaven,
Rutherglen, Blantyre, Eaglesham and Lymekilnburn.

The Club was affiliated to the Royal Caledonian Curling Club
shortly after its foundation and re-admitted in 1881.
Amalgamation with the Haremyres Club took place in 1929.
The Club held its centenary celebrations in 1930,
including a supper, various competitions and a Curlers' Court.
The Haremyres Club was founded in 1872
and was for the convenience of players in that part of the parish.
Its games were played on the pond which at one time stood
at Hairmyres Station and latterly the venue was transferred to Crosshill.
One point of interest was that in its early days
members of the committee were called directors.
In 1916 thirteen of its members became guarantors
to help the Crossmyloof Ice Rink to carry on.
In 1898 the Club had seventy members and many of them played at Carsebreck.
Nowadays all the games take place at the indoor ice rink at Crossmyloof.
The reader should note that Crossmyloof closed in the seventies,
the site on which Crossmyloof Ice Rink stood is now the home of a supermarket.
East Kilbride and Haremyres Curling Club's home Ice Rink is Lanarkshire Ice Rink at Hamilton. Ed.

FROM CLUB TRANSACTIONS

EAST KILBRIDE CURLING CLUB OFFICE
Bearers and Committee Members in 1866

Captain Harrington    Patron
George Crawford     Preses
John Warnock    Croupier
The Rev. Wm. Carrick    Chaplain
Thomas Cochran    Treasurer
John Hamilton    Secretary

Representative Members
James Gilmour, James Warnock, John Morton, Hugh Morton

Committee of Management
John Leggat, John Calderwood, Arthur Gilmour, John Nichol

Cash Account 1866/7
Bal. 30th Oct. 1866 .....  Â£2...4...0        Annual Fees
Entry Money.................  1...7...0        Lanarkshire Curling Club............0...16...0
                                                          Royal Caledonian Curling Club...0.....8...0
                                                                                                   ____________
                                                                                                          1.....4...0
Balance 30th Oct. 1867....2...7...0
                              ____________                                               ____________
                                    Â£3...11...0                                                      Â£3...11...0
                              ____________                                               ____________



CURLING VOCABULARY

Baugh Ice..................rough ice.
Bonspiel...................match between several clubs.
Burn or Mar................interfere with running stone.
Chap and Lie...............to strike a stone and lie on or near its place.
Chipping...................striking a stone of which only a small part is seen.
Crack an egg on a stone......touch it lightly.
Crampit....................the delivery stand.
Draw.......................play gently to a certain spot.
Drive......................to strike.
Drug Ice...................soft bad ice.
Fill the Port..............blocking the space between two stones.
Guard......................stone protecting another.
Hack.......................hollow in ice for players foot in place of crampit
Hog........................stone that stops short of hogscore.
Hogscore...................line drawn one sixth length of rink from tee.
Head.......................an innings when both sides have all delivered their stones.
House, Boardhead or Parish.....the large circle around the tee.
Inwick.....................gaining good position by bounding off another stone.
In Turn....................make stone turn to right.
Lie-shot...................shot nearest tee.
Out-turn...................make stone turn to left in a right-handed play
................................if left-handed then the reverse.
Pat Lid....................a stone on the tee.
Peels......................equal scores.
Raise......................promote a friendly stone nearer to the tee.
Running-shot...............to deliver a stone with force.
Star.......................to scatter others.
...........................to crack the ice with badly delivered stone.
Sole.......................base of stone...also to deliver stone.
Soop.......................sweep.
Spiel......................match between members of same club.
Tee........................mark to be played at.
Thundering Cast............stone to scatter others.

Minute Book 3 Haremyres Club
History of Haremyres

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Last Update To This Page 15th July 2009
©East Kilbride and Haremyres Curling Club 2009