news updated: 20 Feb 2012

Curling History of Lochmaben now on sale

Lynne Longmore has written a fascinating summary of the earliest Minute Book which belonged to the Lochmaben Curling Society, covering the period of curling in Lochmaben from 1823-1863. Copies are now on sale at the Lochmaben Post Office.

Beautifully bound copies of this Limited Edition publication can be purchased directly from Lynne Longmore. Contact details:

E-mail – ;   Tel:   01387 735135;       Text:   07932 771 892

Also on display and available from Lockerbie Ice Rink, Glasgow Road, Lockerbie: Tel:01576 202197

Priced @ £20 each

A Curling History of Lochmaben.

The Royal Burgh of Lochmaben could boast two curling clubs in the 19th century, namely The Lochmaben Curling Society and The Royal Bruce Curling Club. Those two clubs amalgamated towards the end of the 19th century. The new club was named the Lochmaben Castle Curling Club by which the club is still known today.

Minute books belonging to both those original clubs are still in existence, having been kept safely all those years. They are a wonderful record of not only the curling exploits that took place on a regular basis but also of the social life of the local inhabitants of Lochmaben. The curlers of Lochmaben past had an indomitable reputation far and wide and were renowned for their feats of strength and curling prowess.

Lynne Longmore has successfully managed to transcribe the two minute books which belonged to the oldest club, The Lochmaben Curling Society. A somewhat daunting task, as these books are in extremely fragile condition, the flamboyant hand script not always easy to decipher and the ink now badly faded.

On completion of those transcripts it was decided to proceed with small publication which would appeal to not only local residents of Lochmaben and family members past and present, whether curlers or not, and to those who have an interest simply in the history of outdoor curling but also to those who have an interest in the general social Scottish life of the 19th century in a rural community. However, curling wasn’t possible every year, when several winters might pass before conditions were suitable.

“Minutes of Note” is a summary of the minutes recorded in the first of those minute books which covers the period from 1823-1863. This account brings together the more notable minutes and aims to give an insight into the importance of this winter pastime to the residents of Lochmaben and those from neighbouring parishes. Local tradesmen and local dignitaries would come together on those frozen lochs and spend a highly enjoyable day in friendly combat and then dine together at a local inn and spend a convivial evening recounting the day’s events.

Results of the games and Parish bonspiels against the neighbouring parishes which would take place on all the Lochmaben lochs including the Castle Loch, the Kirk Loch, the Upper Loch and the old Halleaths or Broomhill Loch, are thoroughly recorded by the various club Secretaries. Names of members present at each meeting are listed in great detail at the start of each minute together with names of the club President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. This in itself becomes a valuable source of information for those undertaking local family research.

Supplementary information which relates to the history of Lochmaben has been included as a result of research into a beautifully engraved silver curling medal, dated circa 1830, which was specifically made for the curlers of Lochmaben to compete for and which is still played for by the current members. The beautifully engraved decoration upon the surface of this medal provides a highly significant visual link to the Royal Burgh’s fascinating past.