Demise of Auchentibber Quoiting Club

Pictured in this series of photos is the Auchentibber Quoiting Green just after the first world war.

The ornate Italian gardens and statues surround the playing field, which is now completely overgrown.

Correcting Auchentibber history

Until very recently, like others online and previously published, I’d assumed quoiting at Auchentibber died out when owner of the land JBH Struthers died in 1938. However, this was NOT the case. The Auchintibber quoiting green had closed around about 1929 or 1930, and coincidentally about three social clubs in Blantyre had lost their licences at this time also. These clubs all had quoiting teams and so during this period the sport suffered badly. A decision was taken to try to form a new club.

Establishing the new club at Broompark

So a group of men got together, including Geordie Brown, Bobby Borland, Jimmy Gillespie, and Jimmy Nimmo and formed a new club at High Blantyre, building their pitch at Broompark Road, just in front of Smith’s garage. The new ground was opened officially opened on Saturday 13th August 1932, when the visitors were eight players from the Johnstone team. It was expected that one of these champion players would throw the first pair of quoits, after which an exhibition match would be played. The new ground was still in use in 1938 when Jimmy Nimmo refereed one of the Scottish single’s championship semi-finals there. It was also well known that some large bets were laid off at some of these matches. Of that very match, Gordon Cook told me recently, “The president was William Shaw, and the guest who threw the first pair was a man from Paisley. He was then retired but must have been a champion, a Mr A. D. Shennan. The friendly match with Johnstone was won by Blantyre. They went to Blackley’s for tea and then this was followed by “a cheery two hours’ dancing on the grass surrounding the quoiting pitch.” The Auchinraith Silver Band were in attendance all day.”

After 1930, there is no mention of ‘Auchentibber’ as a name of the team. In 1929 and 1930, there are numerous reports of Blantyre Social, Blantyre Village and Broompark Quoting teams, although strangely before 1929, i couldn’t find those names. Were they temporary teams following the demise of the Auchentibber location? After 1932 the team is always referred to as ‘High Blantyre’ in newspapers. Mention in 1929 and 1930 of Blantyre Social and Blantyre Village teams are only restricted to just those years. This may be some evidence that Auchentibber Quoiting came to an abrupt halt and immediately had temporary teams formed in the intervening years.

1936 Quoiting at Broompark

1936 Quoiting at Broompark

Historical photos show that Quoiting had probably taken place for some time at the field at Broompark, perhaps as early as 1908, but 1932 saw the first proper professional club formed there, the games previous to that more likely undertaken in a recreational, more relaxed capacity.

J Henderson of Broompark’s team played Nationally for Scotland in 1933 in a game against England. Its likely the Broompark pitch perhaps accommodated “High Blantyre” and “Broompark” teams although Gordon once told me that there was possibility another Quoiting ground at Broompark.

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