Its an outdoor sport long since gone in Blantyre, but curling was once a very popular pastime in this town. In fact Blantyre had several rinks including at the Calder (pictured), Greenhall, Auchinraith and Stonefield. It’s the Stonefield rink which is the subject of our story today.
On 25th January 1910, that Burns Night was the date chosen for the annual curling match between High Blantyre Curling Club and Stonefield Curling Club took place on the Stonefield Pond. This was a former Curling Pond once located at the bottom of John Street, where the modern grass playing fields are in the public park. (The site of recent Summer Galas). A hundred and eleven years ago, the curling pond sat in wide open fields, long before the formation of the public park.
M Campbell,J Brown and JF McDonald were skips for Stonefield and for High Blantyre, skips were J Pettigrew, A Aitkenhead and C Allan. After a well contested game, Stonefield won this one closely 66-64. The visitors were afterwards entertained to lunch.
On Wednesday that week, an amusing incident took place when Mr David Hastie, the owner of Stonefield Farm at the corner of Victoria Street, and also the owner of the field where the pond was, made sporting challenges a little more interesting by offering up a bag of potatoes for the winner. The Stonefield Club then played against each other, the winners going forward to the next round, until the final which saw winners Mr James Dow and President himself, Mr David Hastie battle it out. The winner? Mr David Hastie! I wonder if he kept his own potatoes or gave them away.