Annual Prize Giving Dinner

To round off what has been a successful season of curling, Penicuik Curling Club members met on Saturday 7th May at Glencorse Golf Clubhouse for the annual dinner. It really must have been the ‘go-to’ event of the year with 46 attendees, attracting new and past members and family, as well as our esteemed guests Sir Robert and Lady Faye Clerk. It was great to see so many people there. Everyone had arrived in plenty of time for a quick catch up over a drink or to gaze at the array of prizes and Trophies, which were newly engraved and shining bright after hours of polishing by the Club’s Secretary.

Tables had been set beautifully, with lovely floral arrangements in the centre, individual place names and an Annual Dinner programme for each guest. Once all were seated, the Club’s President Iain welcomed everyone and invited Jim Cowper to say Grace. The catering staff at the Golf Club had provided a lovely menu and did a terrific job of serving dinner which seemed to be enjoyed by all. Then it was time for the highly anticipated part of the night, the prize giving, so President Iain invited Sir Robert to do the honours.

Kettle Winners Dave and Liz Anderson, Ian Neil with Sir Robert. (Jim Hume missing from photo)

A huge congratulations must go to all prize winners from the season. (More photos of the individual Trophy Winners are available in the Gallery page of the Club’s Website) Unfortunately for Dave Anderson, although he went away with an armful of prizes, he also left with an emptier wallet, after having to fill and refill the Kettle with the traditional Rusty Nail.

With proceedings over, Sir Robert thanked everyone for the wonderful evening and congratulated the Club on it’s successes, before David Gillespie provided the vote of thanks to all involved in making it such a terrific evening. There was a little time left for more socialising and maybe the odd drink, but all good things must come to an end and with carriages home awaiting guests, it was soon time to say farewell.

The Curling Social Committee would like to say a huge thanks to everybody who has supported this and other events throughout the year. The 2022 Annual Prize Giving Dinner will be remembered as a tribute to Ronnie Hope who helped organise it with his usual flair and enthusiasm, but who is sadly no longer with us.

Report by Craig Brown and Jean Noble

A Pond Visit

Jim Cowper and myself were joined by Sir Robert and Lady Faye on Friday 27th of May, for the purpose of taking part in a TV documentary.

Our participation in the Paul Murton programme in which he walks The North Esk river from source to sea has been in the planning for months.  Our friend Ronnie had spent hours making sure that Paul and the production team knew everything about Penicuik Curling Club and of course our participation in The First Grand Match.  Ronnie’s enthusiasm ensured that we would be a part of the programme for which the production team were very grateful.

The crew had already spent time with Sir Robert, interviewing him about Penicuik House, and they also visited the Pennycoe Press premises.

Our part was to highlight The First Grand Match and to feature our Curling House.  Filming took over two hours for what might be a 2 minute highlight. We were informed that the programme will probably be aired this Autumn.

Let’s hope that we are included in the programme and that Penicuik Curling Club and Curling gains advantage from our participation.

Report by Jim Ramsay

Ronnie Hope

It is with great sadness that Penicuik Curling Club announces the passing of Ronnie Hope, who died suddenly at home on Monday 9th May.

Ronnie was an Honorary Member of our Club, and had served both as President and also regularly on the Management Committee during the thirty years since he first joined in 1991. He will be remembered for his boundless enthusiasm for curling, and his tireless support of the Penicuik Club and it’s members over the years. He will be sorely missed by all his many friends in the curling world and beyond.

The photo below was taken at the Saturday League Christmas Bonspiel in 2019, and is a nice one to remember him by.

Christine, Irene (DAFS), Ronnie , Aileen and Maisie with Rebecca.

Closing Bonspiel 2021-22

What a terrific end to the Season on Wednesday 30th March, with four sheets of ice filled with jovial members of Penicuik Curling Club, all up for a great night’s curling.

The Social Committee team had prepared everything impeccably, including teams; order of play; which sheet to play on; score cards clearly showing who had the hammer; and most importantly clear rules on being ready on the hack to ensure swift play, with ‘Thirds only’ decisions in disputes on winning stones, – all with the clear intention of getting 7 ends completed – and that we did. Amazing!

Play flowed freely and an exciting two hours curling flew past with only the occasional shriek of disbelief at a stone well played.  All credit to a Magnificent Seven of our newest members for taking part on the night – Jean and Graeme Cassie, Paul and Louise Clapperton, Saho Arakawa, Karen Black and Neil Lackie a great way to introduce them to fellow Club members, and well deserving of the Club Badge they were presented with in the hope that they will take part in many more Club Competitions next season.

With play complete, the group retired upstairs where the Curlers Grace was said before players enjoyed a terrific meal prepared by Paul and his catering staff. 31 hungry curlers very quickly demolished the dishes provided and then it was time for the customary presentation of prizes. Ronnie took to the floor, reading a passage from the Club’s Bi-Centenary Book describing traditional matches on the Low Pond of Penicuik Estate, and how it was only in the last 50 years or so that that ‘Wives and Sweethearts’ had been admitted to the traditional men-only sport including, in 1969 Christine Brown and, in the early 70s, Margaret Cowper who sadly died just recently.  

It’s fair to say that checking the scorecards still proved to be a little challenging (shame on those who can’t count).  However, the final results were declared, and the Club’s President stepped forward to present the prizes.

On the positive scoring side, it was a very close-run thing, but the Mary McConnell Winners Trophy went to the rink of Jim Ramsay, Margaret Carr, Alicia Neil and Paul Clapperton. (This Trophy is named in honour of ‘Wee Mary’ McConnell, another well respected former member of Penicuik Curling Club, again sadly no longer with us.)

The ‘Bonspiel Booby’ Trophy went to David Gillespie, David Ballantyne, Jim Hume and Karen Black.

The President then closed the event by proposing the traditional vote of thanks to the organisers, the ice men and the catering staff. Special thanks go to Jean Lennie who sponsored the competition and provided the prizes.

What a fantastic end to the season, thanks to all who took part.

Report by Jean Noble  

Winning rink of Jim, Margaret, Alicia and Paul
The Bonspiel Booby Winners – David G, David B, Jim and Karen
The Mary McConnell Award

Pairs Competition 2021-22

Many Congratulations to the Winners of this season’s Pairs Competition.

The pairing of Iain Scott and Liz Anderson take the High Road trophy after overcoming Dave Carr and Pam Ramsay in the final getting to be a habit Iain!

In the Low Road Final, the pairing of John Jacobs and Margaret Carr win the honours  after beating fellow finalists, Jim Ramsay and Reg Dunbar.

With 16 keen curlers taking part, and teams pretty well balanced, this turned out to be a great competition, and it was good to see so many ladies and even a ‘first timer’ taking part.

Full results of the various games are shown in the Competitions page, but a few highlights of the day included: the demon Roger’s brilliant shot with the last stone of the 3rd end of the opening round, where he took out the two counting stones (which David G had left after playing an amazing three stone tap) to take the points; Jim’s face beaming with pride in Pam’s terrific performance to reach the High Road Final, along with Dave C who made a valiant effort despite having just recovered from COVID.

It was a long day, but with the gallery at times enthralled by what was happening on the ice, most players stayed to the end to soak up the atmosphere. Once again, many congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who took part. Thanks also to Jim and Pam for sponsoring the event.

Report by Jean Noble

Eventual winners, Iain and Liz playing against Dave A and Norrie. Sweep hard!
Dave C and Pam against Roger and Barbara – What to do here then, Roger?
Let’s get this show on the road.
Ready for action

Inter Club Medal

In this year’s Inter Club Medal (previously known as District Medal) two sides representing the President and Vice-President of Penicuik played in a tough draw against Musketeers.  

President’s Team – Iain Scott, John Jacobs, Keith Morris, and Barbara Gillespie were simply outclassed on the day after an uphill struggle from losing heavily in the first, and only managing to score in a single end late in the game.

Vice-President’s Team – Jim Ramsay, Dave Anderson, Kirsty McWilliam and David Gillespie put up a respectful fight holding a slim lead for the majority of the games, up 6-4 after the 6th end. Unfortunately, their valiant effort to keep the overall score respectable came undone at the last end when the opposition took a 5 to win.

Musketeers won both games (11-2 and 9-6) and will be awarded the Inter Club Medal, although the opposition Secretary has since indicated that the matches were much tighter than the scorecard suggested. There’s always next year!

Report by Iain Scott

37 Club Match

After a two-year break, the traditional good-natured and competitive double headed friendly against 37 Club was upon us. This year, the mood was no different.

Jim Ramsay had managed to amass two strong Penicuik teams worthy of the task in hand. (It is worth noting that an unforeseen diary clash maybe helped Penicuik’s cause, with 4 curlers from 37 Club doing battle in the Province Final, thus reducing their available pool of players). 

Team 1: (Dave Anderson, Ronnie Hope, Iain Scott, David Gillespie) started evens, trading 2 in the opening ends but then set about building ‘steady’ run of scores, but in the 6th Dave’s front end deserted him allowing 37 Club to close the gap to just one! The 7th end again saw the front end misfire slightly, leaving precision tactical play from the 3rd and the skip to hold out for the victory (8-5)

Team 2: (Jim Ramsay, Craig Brown, Keith Morris, Dave Carr) having taken a single in the first, failed to capitalise with the last stone in the 2nd thus losing a 3. They looked to be in for a different game.  However, momentum began to build from the 3rd and Penicuik came powering back with two 3s and another single to secure the second victory. (9-3)

All teams retired to the bar afterwards, where Penicuik was awarded the Silver Salver provided by 37 Club to mark the special relationship between the Clubs. Penicuik then proposed a vote of thanks to both sides.

Report by Iain Scottphotos courtesy of 37 Club with action shots available in the Gallery

Robert Steeples presents the Silver Salver to Iain.
Match 1 Teams
Match 2 Teams

Hurley League Champions 2021-22

Many congratulations to Dave Anderson’s rink of Pam Ramsay, Alicia Neil and Stuart Blackwood ( substituted last night by Jim Hume) for comprehensively winning the Hurley League Final against Team Hope (Ronnie, Reg Dunbar, Jean Noble and Norrie McLean) .

The match was very tight at the beginning, with each rink scoring only a single for the first 3 ends (2-1 to Team Anderson), but thereafter Team Hope lost a 4 in the 4th, and never really recovered losing two more singles before calling it a day. A good match at the end of a hard season, with Dave’s team definitely the stronger curlers on the night.

Now, there’s only the Closing Bonspiel to look forward to before we put our kit away for another season.

Club Singles 2021-22

Eight members of PCC gathered on Sunday March 13th (lucky for some!)

First round – Play kicked off on keen, straight ice.
Game 1) A strong start from Jim Ramsay saw him overpower David Ballantyne to a clear win after some valiant defensive play (5-1)
Game 2) Iain Scott (sub for a COVID impacted David Gillespie) peeled with John Jacobs, but Iain advanced by way of winning an extra draw to the house (5-4)
Game 3) Reg Dunbar v Dave Anderson – Close play throughout the match but saw David hold out for victory (4-2)
Game 4) Ronnie Hope v Craig Brown – did not go to the form of the ‘book’ being kept upstairs on the balcony, with Ronnie completing the line-up for the High Road Semi-Finals (4-2) and Craig in the Low.

Low Road
Unfortunately for David B, he was drawn against a resurgent John J in the first Low Road Semi-Final, with John running out a clear winner (8-0) in 3 ends and moving to the Low Road Final
Craig B also made amends taking victory over Reg D (8-3) in the second Semi-Final

Low Road Final was set-up to be repeat of the Second Points show-down between John & Craig; on newly pebbled ice John immediately applied pressure leaving Craig with high tariff recovery shots to try and rescue each end. The match continued in this style with what would become a decisive win for John in 5 ends (7-0)

High Road
Semi Final 1; Jim R v Iain S – came down to the last stone from Jim. 3-2 up Jim needed a well-judged back-rink draw to knock back the lying stone from Iain otherwise another peel was in the offing; a well delivered stone sidled past the guard and perfectly chipped the winner, so 4-2 to Jim
Semi-Final 2; saw Dave A take all the points against a now fading Ronnie; 4-0 Dave A

High Road Final: Dave A v Jim R, saw Dave made a strong start after an unfortunate error in tactics from Jim, caused by a miscalculation in shots played; 3-0 after one.
By the third end Jim was fighting back, but Dave crept away with a combination of steals and ‘ones’ in the 2nd, 4th & 5th ends, two of which were decided on well executed angled raises leaving Jim with simply too much to do in reply; 6-3 going to the last. The final end saw a cagey series of stone to the back of the house, that saw Jim simply run out of stones to close the gap, leaving Dave victorious.

Many congratulations to Dave Anderson on winning the High Road Final and to John Jacobs on winning the Low Road Final. And thanks to Dave for his generosity, as sponsor, at the bar (it’s just a pity we were all driving !!!)

Report by Iain Scott

A motley crew ready for the Singles Competition