Blantyre Curling Club – Part 6

Continued from Part 5….

On 22nd February 1937, a Golden Jubilee celebration dinner was held for Blantyre Curling Club at the relatively new Miners Welfare Hall on Calder Street. It was reported that the Welfare had never been so profusely adorned and decorated. The members a decidedly male affair are pictured that evening in their best suits and about to settle down to a lovely meal.

Around them, the windows had been draped in curtains and festooned. The floor was covered by carpet from end to end and around them a large assortment of trees were put into pots, with plants and cut flowers placed all around and on the tables.

Mr Robert Aitkenhead presided and was accompanied at the top table by T.B Murray the Biggar President of R.C.C.C., F Stuart chairman of the Glasgow Rink, ex Provost A Brown of Hamilton, P Robertson of Duntocher Club well known as “My Lord” at Curling courts throughout the country, TB Begg of EK and J Miller of Barrhead Fereneze. In all, one hundred and ten men took part.

In his speech, the President reflected on the past history of the club and compared the difference between curling now (1937) and when the young players had to arrive at outdoor curling ponds take off the jackets and play. How times had changed and it was remembered that just as much time as playing was first involved in those old days, clearing as much as 4 inches of snow off the ponds, then having to mark out the rinks! With the modern convenience of indoor rinks, it was remembered that those first players had done all this work, never grumbling, each taking their share of the work and all in the hope of winning against their opponents.

The Toast to Blantyre Club was proposed by Mr Frank Stuart. The various speakers all took time to express the prowess and success of the club over the past 50 years and the regard and esteem in which the club was held. It was said that Blantyre curlers represented all the noblest and best in the ‘Roaring Game’ and confidence was expressed that many of the young members would turn out to be as good as the older players.

Mr. P.D Hastie was singled out by the speakers as a Champion Advocate for the game and it was especially fitting that he had been elected to the council of the R.C.C.C. In recognition, a pair of silver and ivory curling handles were presented to him. Mr Hastie offered that when he was finished with curling, he would present the handles back to the club for competition prizes.

In 1938/39, another curlers court was held where a further intake of another 33 men took place. The club was growing, but the next event took everybody by surprise.

Between 1939 and 1945, play was again suspended because of war. Mr Peter Hastie died during this period and as promised the curling handles were returned to the club together with the District medal won by him during 1937.

In 1946/47 season on resumption of play, decision was made to restrict the club membership to 75. Membership only to be approved at the suggestion of the existing members, subject to approval of the Committee.The ‘Hastie Handles’ were allocated as runner up prizes in the Hastie League. At another court, another 15 people were admitted to the club. The President’s Badge of Office was donated by the club by past President R.S.F Harris.

The Presidents, Office bearers and secretaries during the history of the club are attached for reference.

Continued on Part 7

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