IT IS 41 years almost to the day when 12,000 players and spectators descended upon the frozen Lake of Menteith for Scotland’s only outdoor curling tournament.

Glasgow curlers were amongst the hoardes attending the Bonspiel, or Grand Match, on February 7, 1979.

The sports rules specify ice of at least six inches thick. The February game took place on ice of about eight and a half inches and The Royal Caledonian Curling Club records show the North pipped the South to be proclaimed the victors.

Glasgow, like many towns and cities across the country, embraced the ‘roaring game’ – so called because of the distinctive sound the stones make travelling across a frozen loch.

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The rink at Crossmyloof, for example, now a supermarket, was the site of many fiercely contested curling matches, such as the January 1950 international between Scotland and Canada.

Pictures show Mr J Richardson, resplendent in a giant Tam o’Shanter, with a large broom in hand, helping Scotland triumph to retain the Strathcona Cup.

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Crossmyloof opened in 1907, and it was the country’s first indoor rink. Scottish Curling’s archive notes: “A new rink opened in Glasgow in 1928 – again at Crossmyloof – and nine more in the ice hockey boom of the late 1930s which followed the remarkable winning of the gold medal in that sport by the Great Britain team at the Winter Olympics in 1936.”

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The historic Partick Curling Club in Glasgow’s West End is still going strong after 176 years. (The oldest recorded club is Kinross, which dates back to 1666.)

The first meeting of the Partick Union Curling Society took place on April 1, 1842, in the house of grocer and spirit merchant John Adams and in 1849, at a general meeting in Mrs Sinclair’s Curlers Tavern on Byres Road, the members were initiated into the Royal Caledonian Club.

A pond behind the tavern became the club’s curling rink, until the lease ran out in 1856 and a new rink was created at Peel Street.

The club’s archives record that in 1858 “members of the club met at the pond to play a match for ‘coals for the poor’”; with losers to pay tuppence and winners to pay a penny each. The president’s party were the victors, and the result meant 24 carts of coal could be distributed to families in need.

In 1859, John Ross presented the club with the Partick Bell, which was used in the village as far back as 1726, as a trophy to be competed for every year. It is not allowed to go outside the confines of the Partick burgh, so if someone from outside the burgh wins, he or she must leave it behind.

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Visitors to the clubhouse on Balshagray Avenue today can see the Bell, alongside many artefacts from yesteryear.

The pavilion, which opened in 1901 after a generous donation from Provost of Partick Hunter Kennedy and his brothers, often takes part in Doors Open Day, allowing people to get a glimpse into the past of the famous club.

Throughout the 19th century, curling flourished in countries like Canada and the US – thanks mainly to the expat Scots who settled there. Scotland has a successful track record in competing on the world stage – it was Scots who won curling gold at the inaugural Winter Olympics in 1924, when Willie Jackson was the skip of a Great Britain side that also included his father Laurence.

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The all-Scottish line-up led by Rhona Howie (nee Martin won gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics and the rinks of David Murdoch and Eve Muirhead claimed silver and bronze respectively in 2014. In 2018, the Scottish team led by Bruce Mouat, were crowned European Champions.

What do you remember of curling in Glasgow? Did you take part in the sport at Crossmyloof? Send your pictures and memories to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB or email