Girvan men’s curling club comes to an end after 190 years

The Girvan Curling Club has been disbanded after almost 190 years of history.

A meeting was held last month to discuss the difficulties the club had been experiencing and after a general discussion it was decided by eight votes to three to disband the club and resign from the Royal Caledonian Curling Club (RCCC) as well as the Stranraer Ice Rink Curling Club (SIRCC).

Members finished the meeting with a buffet and raised a final drink to the memory of Girvan Curling Club.

The Girvan club has enjoyed a long and rich history after being instituted on 27th February 1827.

The Grand Caledonian Curling Club was formed in 1838 and the Royal title was bestowed in 1843.

On 1st October 1907 the first indoor rink in Scotland was opened at Crossmyloof in Glasgow. The 15th February 1928 saw the Girvan Curling Club celebrate its Centenary in the Kings Arms Hotel Girvan.

On 13th March 1939 The Ayr Ice Rink opened and in 1968 Girvan Ladies Curling Club was formed.

Stranraer Ice Rink was opened on 31st October 1970.

1972 saw the original Ayr Ice Rink closed and the present Rink at Tam’s Brig was built in 1973.

From Club Minutes

Bad weather ushered in the New Year of 1929 and on 7th January at Barrhill, Colmonell beat Girvan by 134 to 115. 7 rinks played with results as follows. E Hyslop 18 J G Walker 14, W McMillan 21 Wm McCreath 14, Wm Scott 21 P Ross 13, D Scott 14 C Lawson 17, T McMillan 22 W Callan 15, J Dunlop 9 W K Bone 28, W Hyslop 29 J Paterson 14.

In 1936/7 W H Forbes skipped the winning Girvan Rink in Ayrshire’s Premier Competition the Eglinton Jug, a feat repeated in seasons 1942/43 and 1944/5. The opening of Ayr Ice Rink in 1939 saved local curlers the long journey to Crossmyloof. Bill “Buffy” Bone is first mentioned in 1946 having returned to the town after war service.

Under date 17th November 1948 is recorded “Good wishes were extended by the meeting bto Messrs Forbes, Mitchell, Hannah and Bone on the occasion of their visit to Canada as members of the Scottish Curling team.”

From Girvan’s AGM on 28th September 1967 “Chairman Kenneth Kydd suggested that as we had two extra sessions booked, one session should be set aside for a game in which Local Ladies be invited to play, the idea being to stir up interest amongst the Ladies who might then form their own Club. After discussion, it was agreed to play this game on Friday 16th February at 5.30. It was left to President Kydd to make arrangements.”

A 150th Birthday celebration Dinner/Dance was held in the Kings Arms Hotel Girvan on 10th February 1978 attended by RCCC Immediate Past President Bob Grierson form Stranraer. President John Brown was in the Chair.

The Lake of Menteith hosted the 37th outdoor Grand Match on 7th February 1979 at which the Club was represented by President Noel Ross, Vice President Willie Logan, George Chrystal and Robin Smith. Stranraer Ice Rink in November 2002 was the venue for the 175 Anniversary Bonspiel over two sessions in which curlers from Girvan Ladies, Crosshill, Kirkoswald, Dailly, Grants, Stranraer, Ballantrae and Colmonell took part.

The Lunch between the sessions was presided over by President Finlay Mills.

After Brian Park proposed the “Toast to Girvan Curling Club” William Shields, President of Stranraer Ice Rink Curling Club and Vice President of Girvan Curling Club proposed the closing “Vote of Thanks.”

In 2005 the second Indoor Grand match took place and the Girvan Rink of Skip Willie Logan, Colin Bone, Billy Shields and Ian McGregor were drawn to play Strathendrick CC at the Moray Leisure at Elgin. The game ended 7 -7, an honourable draw although Girvan were never in the lead at any time during the ten ends.