The Club was contacted recently by a Helen Munro from Ross-shire, who had discovered an old photograph of curling taken on 19 November 1909.

Click the photo to enlarge and marvel at the quality of the picture. And what about the quality of the ice!

The participants are all named; going left to right

  • Mr C L Carnegie
  • Mr McMillan
  • Mrs J B Ferguson
  • Mr R Niven
  • Mr A H Scott
  • Mr T Gordon
  • Mr J B Ferguson
  • Mr T McNaughton

Ken Gray has now provided much more information – read on:

The Old Photo is very interesting, and presumably taken at Rozelle.
I’ve looked up the old records which show that on 19.11.1909 the Club Medal was won by Mr Steel’s rink, beating Mr Fergusson’s rink in the Final by 2 shots. [It was a good curling winter, with play on 18,19 and 22 November, as well as on 26,28 and 29 January. The notes record 76 members including 9 Skips].
It’s still relevant today because we now present The Club Medal to 3rd in the league (Ed Baines and his rink last season), and the Winners of our present League (currently Milly Beattie and her rink last season) hold the Mrs J B Fergusson Silver Rosebowl, originally presented by the lady in the photo in 1900!

Rozelle Curling Ponds
I recently discovered at Rozelle a copy of the Rozelle_map of 1947, and shows not only the original Curling Pond which is on the 1910 map, but also a rectangular pond alongside.
The Club records from 1930 – 1949 refer to some play “on the tarmac” as well as “on the pond”. The rectangular pond is presumably the tarmac, possibly a shallow surface which could be flooded to a short level more likely to freeze in cold weather compared to the main pond..
It is still possible to venture into the woods North of the ornamental ponds in Rozelle, and see where the sluice controlled the flow into the main pond (planted with trees c1950), and also see the stone blocks where another sluice presumably helped to drain the water into the Curtecan or Slaphouse Burn after winter to allow the reeds etc to be cut back and kept under control before the next winter’s curling might commence.
There now seem to be even more trees where the tarmac pond was, and fewer clues about how it was flooded.
From 1949 our Club only played indoors at Ayr Ice Rink, but a walk with good footwear through Rozelle helps to illustrate how it must have been 50 – 100+ years ago.