Introduction & Site Guide

The Nairn Curling Club badge on the above header shows that the club was founded in 1907 - or so it was thought. In 2006, when the Nairn Curling Club management committee became aware of the one hundredth milestone of their existence looming ever nearer, they put their minds together and came up with a list of “things to do” to commemorate the event. One suggestion was “to produce a book of the club's history”. This was one of the less original ideas, as history books have been produced many times before by clubs with higher profiles than Nairn. Most of these clubs had complete sets of minute books and accounts running back into the distant past. Sadly Nairn's minute books before 1939 are no more, but this was not seen as an excuse to opt out, and a small committee was set to the task.

Sources of information were identified, then carefully picked through and collated. The Highland Council Libraries maintain a collection of the local “Nairnshire Telegraph” on microfilm, and this was an invaluable resource. Staff at the Royal Caledonian Curling Club offices kindly provided access to the library of “annuals” at Cairnie House and allowed the team to make free with their photocopier. Wilma Kerr produced the old minute books of the Nairnshire Curling Association, and George McArthur kindly loaned the Ardclach club's minute books going back to 1922. The tactic of inviting some old curling “worthies” out for a meal and a dram proved dangerously counter-productive. A great evening was enjoyed, but what could be remembered the morning after was difficult to adapt for publication !

Preliminary research revealed that curling was active in Nairn long before 1907 and that a curling club could have celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2004. Reference to a Nairn Curling Club can be found in the 1854-1855 'Annual' of the RCCC. A Club from the town was admitted into membership of the RCCC for the County of Nairnshire in July 1854, under the name of its secretary, W. D. Penny, the headmaster of Nairn Parish School. There is no record of who its office bearers were, apart from Mr Penny, or who constituted its membership, and the 'Annual' ceases to mention it after 1866. As information was unearthed the researchers realised that curling was being enjoyed in the area, certainly from the formation of the Grand Caledonian Curling Club in 1838, and that the time when a club or society was established should not be confused with the date of its registration with the Governing Body.

It was decided to widen the scope of the research to include curling in Nairnshire and the surrounding area in order to give a background to the formation in 1907 of the present Nairn Curling Club. Where Club records are absent, use has been made of the copyright licences afforded by The British Newspaper Archive and the Royal Caledonian Curling Club Annuals and these should be respected.

Wth research into the present Nairn Curling Club and its precursors a story-line emerges. The creation of an historical record using Google Sites provides a means of both saving and assembling the research material in a way which can be readily updated and at the same time allows browsing through the emerging story. The records of events are set up in chronological order in the Timeline section of the site.

The key points of the story-line are:

    • Local Press encourages curling in Nairn. W.D Penny secretary of a club in 1853-54, which was registered with the RCCC.

    • Second attempt to reform the curling club in 1861

    • Failure to find or construct a suitable curling pond - probable cause of its demise (1865)

    • Banks of Findhorn Club (Altyre) registered in 1864, followed by Dyke CC in 1871

    • Dyke club members help to form Auldearn C.C. (1885)

    • Auldearn club registered with RCCC in 1886 and attracts a large number of members from the town of Nairn

    • Nairnshire clubs founded at Glenferness( 1887), Cawdor (1893) and Ardclach (1902)

    • Development of artificial Cairnie type curling ponds encouraged the possibility of a curling rink in Nairn

    • Present Nairn club registered with RCCC in 1907

    • Construction of Lodgehill artificial pond in 1908

    • Nairnshire Curling Association (Nairnshire Province) established in 1908

    • Club and interclub competitions (1909 onwards)

    • Commitment to indoor curling in Aviemore and Inverness (1966 - 68) and Elgin (1994)

    • Closure of Lodgehill ponds (1974)

    • Recent events up to "1907" centenary

Clicking on a heading in the left margin gives an overview of that section. The sub-page headings give access to an expanded history or additional information. The sub-pages can be accessed directly but it is advised to read the overview first.

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