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Tribute to the Wilson Family, Penicuik


WILLIAM WILSON (Club member 1839-93)

William Wilson was a painter, as was his father Charles. William’s grandfather, George, hailed from Wanlockhead, the son of the manager of the lead mines and scion of an old covenanting family. George Wilson took up the trade of a painter and plasterer and moved to Carlops with his son Charles and grandson William, who was born in 1808. Both Charles and William carried on the trade of George Wilson and all three built and occupied adjacent cottages in Carlops. In 1824, Charles was presented with a medal from the Highland Society bearing the words “In respect of the cleanliness and neatness with which the cottage was kept”. The medal was presented on behalf of the society by Mr James Mclean of Nine Mile Burn, who incidentally was a founder member of Penicuik Curling Club in 1815. The business flourished and William Wilson decided to move to Penicuik in 1839, where he joined the curling club. William was one of the club members who backed the proposal by fellow Penicuik Curling Club members Dr John Renton, John Piper and Charles Cowan to join the Grand Caledonian Curling Club at its inception in 1838.

He was appointed skip in 1842 and took part in the first Grand Match at Penicuik in1847, playing with John Piper, Dr Alison and John Dewar against Cumbernauld. Aside from his trade and curling, William was an officer in the free church, a member of the Free Gardeners and served on the parochial board. In the last few years of his life he loved to sit and chat about the old coaching days, when there was no police commission, railways, or machines for making paper! William Wilson died in July 1893 in his 84th year and after 54 years association with the club.

CHARLES WILSON (Club Member 1859-1927)

Baillie Charles Wilson took over the painting business from his father William. He joined Penicuik Curling Club in 1859, some twenty years after his father, although the first reference to him in our curling records is in October 1865 when he is appointed to the club committee. Charles served on and off the committee for the next forty years; the last record of him in the minutes is his appointment to committee in 1906. Charles curled well into the 1900’s winning the club medal in 1887 and seventeen years later in 1904! He spoke very eloquently at the centenary dinner in 1906 when he enthused affectionately of the fourteen years he had played in Charles W Cowan’s rink, reminding all present that in the eleven years when they had a full rink, they never lost a match! At that time Charles Wilson had been a member of the club for 57 years. He continued as a member till 1919, when he was appointed an Honorary Member. He died in 1927. This stalwart of the club had been a member for 68 years!

DAVID L WILSON (Club Member 1897-1964)

Charles’ son, David L Wilson, was born in The Glebe, now called Imrie Place, in Penicuik in  1881.  He was given the middle name of Lawson in memory of his grandfather Charles Lawson, another stalwart of the curling club. D L joined Penicuik Curling Club in 1897 and served in the Royal Flying Corps, and subsequently the Royal Air Force in France in 1917-18. His son, Charlie Wilson, was born in 1915 and a fourth generation of Wilson curlers was destined for inclusion in the club’s history. David played in the last Grand Match at Carsebreck in 1935 and won by 20 shots. He died in 1964 after 67 years in the club! He was a very well respected member of the community and church in Penicuik.     

David Wilson with his wife and young son Charlie, taken c1919

 CHARLIE WILSON (Club Member 1947-2006)

Charlie Wilson JP was born in 1915 and was called up into military service in 1939. He travelled through North Africa and Italy until demobilisation in 1946. Charlie joined Penicuik Curling Club in 1947 and was soon appointed skip.  He skipped in the last Grand Match at Lake of Menteith in 1979, beating Glamis No 2 by 15 shots to 10. In that game his third player was Willie Ross, who was playing in his fourth Grand Match! Charlie was appointed an Honorary President in March 1989, received the Royal Club gold medal for fifty years membership in 1997, and died in 2006 having given 59 years service to the club!

Charlie in front of Curling House
c 1978

LAWSON WILSON (Club Member 1965-1987)

Charlie’s son, Lawson, joined Penicuik Curling Club in 1965 to be the fifth generation of “Wilson the Painters” in the club. He played until 1987 after 22 years as a club member.

This was a truly remarkable, and probably unique, family. The family business of “Wilson the Painters” was a well respected and much loved institution in the town for 150 years, and their combined service to Penicuik Curling Club, totalling 270 years, is likely to be a record unmatched in any club, in any sport, in any country.

Tribute written by Honorary President Jim Cowper. November 2019

Message from Walter and Christine

The following is the text of a Thank-you card sent to the Secretary thanking  PCC members for the Diamond Wedding Anniversary card sent by the President of the club  to Walter and Christine with our congratulations and best wishes.

‘ Dear  Jean,

What a nice surprise to get such a lovely card of good wishes on our Diamond Wedding Anniversary from our brother and sister curlers and friends at Penicuik Curling Club.

Please pass on our thanks to them all. Your kindness is much appreciated.

We hope you are all enjoying the new curling season and all the fun it brings.

With thanks and best wishes for ‘guid curling’ from us both,

        Walter and Christine. ‘

Opening Bonspiel 2019-20

The first stones of the Penicuik Curling Club season were delivered at the Opening Bonspiel on 22nd September and it was a great turnout with a total of 30 enthusiastic curlers taking part, 6 teams of 4 and 2 teams of 3.

The round-robin single end games were played in the best of spirit and had been well organised by Vice President Iain Scott.

It is fair to say that the new ice was very keen and this, combined with the new curling stones, took a lot of players by surprise with very few stones remaining in the house for the first end.

However normal service was soon resumed and, despite some close games, after 6 ends we had a clear winner with a score of +9 in Jim Ramsay’s team of Jim, Jim Cowper, Elaine Lambie and Jan Stuart.

At the bottom end unfortunately was Ronnie Hope’s team of Ronnie, John Jacobs, Alex Moir and Craig Brown with a score of -7.

Many thanks to caterers Paul and his team for the excellent meal which was enjoyed by all before the traditional Vote of Thanks given by President Liz who then went on to present the prizes.

We are also very grateful to Ian Neil for his generous sponsorship of the event. It was a great start to our season and thanks to all who took part.

Jean Noble

Swing & Sweep 2019

Penicuik Curling Club was represented in this annual fun event on Sunday 25  March by ‘golfers and curlers extraordinaire’ Jim Ramsay, Dave Carr, Ronnie Hope and Dave Anderson. The golf has been played over Carricknowe Golf course, a fairly innocuous test of golf, for the previous three years. This year however, due to unforeseen circumstances, the golf was arranged at the Edinburgh Merchants Golf Club situated within the city between Comiston Road and Colinton Road which, if you have ever driven past it, you might appreciate is rather hilly and a much more challenging prospect, especially as it turned out we were subjected to gale force winds and squally showers on the day of the competition.

As a team, we complimented each other very well with each member contributing positively to our overall score of 70 for the round, with at least 6-8 single putts of around 12–15 feet being a major feature of our game. By the time we reached the curling club we were fairly exhausted  (bearing in mind we are all 65 years plus), but after some well-deserved refreshments we rose to the challenge of 6 ends of curling against Gill Black, Morris Anderson, Roger Scott and Iain McLeod representing Peebles Curling Club. Having lost the first end to a single, we drew a shot against five to level the scores and settle ourselves to take 2 shots then two singles to go into the last end 3 shots up where, unable to set a guard we lost a single to a well drawn shot. Our overall position was that we finished fourth out of six teams.

We then retired to the Club rooms for a fine meal with fine fellowship accompanied by a few refreshments. A good time had by all but we really need to encourage more participants in this event in future years.

Dave Anderson

Match Against ’37 Club’

Two rinks from Penicuik met two rinks from 37 Club on Monday 18 March for the annual social match.  One Penicuik team consisted of Jim Ramsay, Murray Hope, Robert Beaton, and Ronnie Hope,  and the second one consisted of Dave Anderson, Keith Morris, Dave Carr, and Ken Hunter.

Jim’s team kept nipping away at  their opponents and managed to get on level terms at five all after 6 ends.  In the seventh end, they started on the front foot but ended up losing a two to finish 5-7 down.  Dave’s team were under pressure in the early ends of their game, with their opponents playing well and establishing dominant positions.  Dave did well to restrict 37 Club to a single in the first end, and after four ends Penicuik were 1-4 down.  Penicuik managed a single in the fifth end, and a great final shot from Dave (wick in from an outside stone on the centre line to lie covered in the four foot) saved our bacon in the sixth end when a heavy loss loomed.  The Final end was cat & mouse, with one side taking the initiative only to be outdone by the other side.  Fortunately, it ended up going our way so the game ended up 4-4.

A welcome refreshment was shared in the bar afterwards before Jim Ramsay presented the trophy to 37 Club and congratulated them on another victory.  A fine night of sport in good company.



Conclusion of Thirds League

Wow! What a finish to the Thirds League. Team Carr just either needed a point against Team Hobbs, or for Team Occleston to drop a point to Team Gillespie, in order to win the League. If they lost and Team Occleston won, then it would go to Ends then Shots Up. Team Carr just had the edge on both.

Team Carr started a bit nervy, and Team Hobbs built up a well-deserved 4-1 lead after four ends. Meanwhile on the adjacent sheet, Team Occleston were even more impressive leading 6-0. The large crowd (Ronnie Hope and Dave Carr) were getting excited and checking the total ends and shots up. Team Occleston looked as if they were now ahead on both.  Then Team Gillespie started a comeback, with a 4 at the 5th end.  The sixth ends went to Teams Occleston and Hobbs.  It looked grim for Team Carr, unless there could be a game changing final end.

At last, Team Carr found their weight and built up 4 stones in the house with 2 stones left. Team Hobbs tried to reduce the numbers with a big hit but it was a bit wide and sailed through the back.  Provided Team Carr didn’t do anything silly with the last stone, they had pulled a draw out of the bag. The attempt at a draw to win the game pulled up well short for a final score of 6-6.  On the other sheet, Team Gillespie had also found their weight and were piling in the shots, a nice draw to the front of the house with the last stone gave them a 4 and for a 8-7 win. 

What a finish!  Big turnarounds in the last ends of both games, and victory in the Thirds League to Team Carr.  Team Carr finished on 9 points, with Teams Occleston and Gillespie both on 6 points. Whilst this looks comfortable, it was anything but on the night. 

Well done to all 4 teams for an excellent night’s entertainment, and congratulations to Team Carr (Margaret Carr, Christine Hope Mike Mauchline and Vic Ramage) on their success in winning the Hope Quaich.  I’m sure that the nerves of the players and the crowd will settle down in a few days!

Dave Carr

Pairs 2018-19

The Club Pairs Competition was played on Sunday 10 March.  In the opening encounters Ramsay & Hunter beat Morris & Brown, Anderson & Carr (M) beat Carr & Ramsay (P), Jacobs & Lambie  (J) beat Hope & Gillespie, and Lambie & Scott (R) beat Scott & Noble.

On to the Low Road semi-finals; Carr & Ramsay (P) beat Morris & Brown, and Scott & Noble beat Hope & Gillespie.  In the latter game, Ronnie astounded the ‘Gallery’ of onlookers with a reversed angle, raised shot using an opposition stone to just nudge one of his own stones on the edge of the four foot to take shot, it was perhaps the best fluke of the day.

Carr & Ramsay (P) met Scott & Noble in the Low Road final.  Carr & Ramsay got off to a great start gaining a 4, largely as a result of a fine double by Dave Carr with his first/second shot (poor memory of the detail here).  Iain made a good draw with his final stone in the second end to add to the one shot that he and Jean were already lying to make it 4-2 to the Carr Ramsay combo.  Scott & Noble managed to steal a single in the third end to go into the final end one down.  With two stones to go things were not looking to good for Scott & Noble, but Iain managed to get a good draw in on a difficultly straight out-turn to take shot,  Having to move this stone, Dave came up a little too wide and got no draw.  Iain then attempted to repeat the same draw, was slightly heavier and although he lay two shots it appeared to give the opposition a reasonable chance.  However, Dave was again slightly wide of where he would have liked to have been and wrecked on a front stone.  So Iain and Jean were winners 5 shots to 4.

In the High Road semi-finals Anderson & Carr (M) had a comfortable win over Ramsay & Hunter, with Margaret making an excellent out-turn tap back through a port in the second end.  Jacobs & Lambie (J) beat Lambie & Scott.

Anderson & Carr (M) met Jacobs & Lambie (J) in the six end final.  The latter stages of the first end were dominated by shots on a tricky straight in-turn.  Dave found a good line past front stones to take shot just to the left of the four foot.  John managed to get a tap back on this shot and took a single when Dave failed to repeat his earlier shot.  Anderson & Carr exerted pressure in the second end only for John to get a wick in off a stone in the outer part of the house to lie shot.  In trying to deal with this Dave somehow manged to contrive to remove his own stones and, instead of losing a single, gave away a four. Anderson & Carr came back well in the third end and took a three to go 5-3 down.  They had much of the better of things in the fourth end; lying with four shots diagonal across the front of the house from, Dave played his final shot a little too heavy and came to rest past the tee line.  John made a good draw to that stone to take a single and go 6-3 up.  Anderson & Carr again pressed hard in the fifth end and John was only able to keep them to two counters.  His final shot on the swingeing out-turn was quite good giving him shot, but it was marginally too heavy and gave Dave an opportunity to respond.  Dave made the most of the opportunity and was able to move John’ s stone;  the outcome, after a measure, was a three to Anderson & Carr.  So all level after five ends.  Margaret manged to get two decisive stones in in the early part of the final end.  Janette get a freeze on the better of these on the tee line at the right hand side of the pot lid, but did not lie shot.  With the left side reasonably covered, Dave opted for an out-turn draw, he may have been a little tight for his nominated shot but a slight wicked off a front stone provided an excellent guard.  John was now left with little option but to try a very difficult raise on the very swingeing in-turn.  His first attempt looked slightly light but was compromised by a pick up.  Dave attempted a guard on the same hand but did not get the result he was seeking.  John then tried the raise again without success, only for Dave to get the guard on with his final stone.  John was left with a difficult raise on the tricky out turn which was unsuccessful.  So Dave and Margaret ran out winners 7 shots to 6.

Again the Pairs Competition was a successful and enjoyable day.  Thank you to everyone who entered.