Pan Ross Social

Pan Ross Collage

The above photos are thought to have been taken at Loch Craig, the pond in Maryburgh wood on which curling took place (now Birch Drive).  The man kneeling in the upper photo is James Wilson, factor of Brahan Estate.
Photos are courtesy of Mavor Wilson, daughter-in-law of the late James Wilson.


Page 05 

l-r: J D Wilson, Brahan; Willie George, Urquhart Farm; Jack Henderson, Dingwall; Rev John Sellar, Urquhart Manse.

President - Keith Wm. Stewart MacKenzie of Seaforth

Patroness - Hon. Mrs Stewart MacKenzie of Seaforth
Representative Members - Frank Harper, Thos. Purdie
Treasurer and Secretary - Frank Harper
Committee or Council of Management -
Andrew Smith, David Fenton, John MacKenzie, W Moffat
Honorary Members -
Sir James J R MacKenzie, Bt., Colonel G W H Ross,
Sir William MacKenzie, Bt., Major Hirst
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
Hector Munro, E H McK. Matheson, John Gardner, James Yule,
Wm. Hossek, Pet. J Dewar, W R Thomson


Patron - Seaforth
Patroness - Mrs Keith Stewart MacKenzie of Seaforth

President - Seaforth
Vice-President -Sir Kenneth S MacKenzie, Bart.
Representative Members - James Lewis, Andrew Smith
Chaplain - Rev Peter MacKenzie
Treasurer and Secretary - Frank Harper
Committee or Council of Management -
Seaforth, Andrew Smith, William Moffat, Sir K S MacKenzie, Bt.,
Captain Davidson, James Yule, David Ross, David Fenton, D G Ross
Honorary Members -
Sir W MacKenzie, Bart., Colonel Ross, Sir Jas. MacKenzie, Bart.
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
William Joass, Henry Sim, David Ross, Will. Chisholm, James Yule, Dr Robertson, W Johnstone, W Laing, D G Ross, J Sutherland, Captain Cash, James Raiker, Donald Gunn, Capt. Davidson, Will. Paterson, George Ross, Sir K MacKenzie, Bart., David Fenton, Provost Munro, Serg. Tulloch, William Moffat, J G Ferguson, James Harper, Sheriff Hill, Andrew Smiith, H McLennan, James Brand, John Boyd

Patron - Seaforth
Patroness - Lady MacKenzie of Gairloch

President - Sir Kenneth S MacKenzie, Bart.
Vice-President - Major Warrand
Representative Members - W A Peterkin, Frank Harper
Chaplain -Rev Peter MacKenzie, DD
Treasurer - Alex C MacKenzie
Secretary - Frank Harper
Committee or Council of Management -
David Fenton, Wm. Chisholm, Thomas Blake, A S Robertson, William Laing, James Hay, John Mackay
Honorary Members -
Colonel Fraser, Colonel Davidson, James Yule
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
Sir K S MacKenzie, Bart., Wm. Laing, William Ross, A Macdonald, A C MacKenzie, Alex Sinclair, John Mackay, Frank Harper, Capt. Cash, J Macdonald, W MacLennan, D Fenton, Maj. Warrand, A S Robertson, James Hay, Wm. Chisholm, Maj. Mackenzie,
Peter A Yule, Thos. Blake
Ordinary Members (Occasional) -
And. Smith, Alex Dewar, W A Peterkin

Patron - Seaforth
Patroness - Lady MacKenzie of Gairloch

President - Sir Kenneth J MacKenzie, Bart.
Vice-President - Colonel A R B Warrand
Representative Members - Sir Ken. J MacKenzie, W A Peterkin
Chaplain - Rev Roderick Mackenzie
Treasurer and Secretary - Alex MacDonald
Committee or Council of Management -
William McLennan, James Menzies, A Melville, Far. Macdonald, W Peterkin, A R Mackenzie
Honorary Members -
Major Stirling of Fairburn, Alex Dewar, Arthur Bignold
Extraordinary Members -
Lady Marjorie MacKenzie, Mrs Stewart-MacKenzie, Constance Warrand
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
Hugh Warrand, Hector McLean, John Peterkin, Seaforth, Chas. Stewart, Alex Melville William Adam, J Nisbet, P B Macintyre, James Menzies, Wm. Peterkin, A Macintyre, Far. Macdonald, Col. A R B Warrand, Ron. Mackenzie, Wm. McLennan, Alex. Macdonald, A R Mackenzie


Patron - Seaforth
Patroness - Lady MacKenzie of Gairloch

President -Sir Kenneth J MacKenzie, Bart.
Vice-President -Colonel A R B Warrand
Representative Members - Sir Ken. J MacKenzie, W A Peterkin
Chaplain - Rev Roderick Mackenzie
Treasurer and Secretary - Alex MacDonald
Committee or Council of Management -
William McLennan, James Menzies, A Melville, R S Laing, W Peterkin, R Kelly, H McLean
Honorary Members - Major Stirling of Fairburn, Alex Dewar
Lady Members -
Lady Marjorie MacKenzie, Mrs Stewart-MacKenzie, Miss Constance Warrand, Mrs H M Warrand
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
Wm Ross, James Menzie, James Nisbet, A D Mackenzie, Wm McLennan, John Peterkin, A R B Warrand, Alex Campbell, Alex Macdonald, William Adam, Seaforth, Robert Kelly, Hector McLean, John Mackenzie, Hugh Warrand, S Laing, Alex Melville, Wm. Peterkin, A Macintyre, Sir K J MacKenzie
Ordinary Members (Occasional) -
W A Peterkin, Alex Fowler, Don. Mackay, Andrew Fraser, G Warrand, Wm McLennan, Jas. B Peterkin, J J Mitchell

Patron - Seaforth
Patroness - Lady MacKenzie of Gairloch

President - Sir Kenneth J MacKenzie, Bart.
Vice-President -Cononel A R B Warrand
Representative Members - Sir Kenneth J MacKenzie, W Peterkin
Treasurer - John Mackenzie
Secretary - D Mackay
Committee or Council of Management -
William McLennan, W Peterkin, T McDonald, J Nisbet, A MacDonald, James Strachan
Honorary Members -
Major Stirling of Fairburn, Alex Dewar, Hector Mackenzie, yr. of Gairloch
Lady Members -
Lady Marjorie MacKenzie, Mrs Stewart-MacKenzie, Miss Constance Warrand, Mrs H M Warrand
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
Wm. McLennan, John Mackenzie, Seaforth, T Macdonald, Alex Macdonald, Wm. Peterkin, Sergt. McKenzie, Dr W McLean, John Peterkin, James Nisbet, D McDonald, Don. Mackay
Ordinary Members (Occasional) -
Wm. McLennan, Alex. Fowler, A W Hill, Col. A R B Warrand, A D Mackenzie, Jas. P Peterkin, H M Warrand, D G Warrand, Sir K J MacKenzie, A Melville, F G McKenzie

Extract from Ross-shire Journal of 9 January 1920:

"There was a great deal of curling on Loch Craig. On Tuesday the competition for the Lady Mackenzie Gold Medal, the Seaforth Silver Medal and the Caledonian Bronze Medal resulted: 1. John Mackenzie; 2. Sgt. Major Farquhar; 3. William Campbell. On Saturday, the annual competition for the Challenge Stones presented by Mr Peterkin, the Warrand Challenge Cup and two Medals, resulted: 1. John Mackenzie, Maryburgh; 2. T Macdonald, Croftcrunie; 3. D Mackay, Maryburgh ; 4. W Peterkin, Dunglass.  A match between the Caberfeidh and Strathpeffer clubs resulted in a 47-26 win for the home club.


Patron - Seaforth
Patroness - Lady MacKenzie of Gairloch

President - Sir Kenneth J MacKenzie, Bart.
Vice-President -Colonel A R B Warrand
Representative Members - Sir Kenneth J Mackenzie, W Peterkin
Chaplain - Rev A McInnes, BD
Treasurer - John Mackenzie
Secretary - D Mackay
Committee or Council of Management -
William McLennan, D McDonald, James Strachan, W Campbell, J W Peterkin, Sergt. Farquhar, W Peterkin
Honorary Members - Alex Dewar, Hector MacKenzie, yr. of Gairloch
Lady Members -
Lady Marjorie MacKenzie, Mrs Stewart-MacKenzie, Miss Constance Warrand, Mrs H M Warrand
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
Wm. McLennan, Wm. Peterkin, John Robertson, John Mackay, Wm. Campbell, D McDonald, Sergt. Farquhar, J McKenzie, John Peterkin, James Strachan, Don. Mackay, William Joass, John Mackenzie, Seaforth, Sir Kenneth MacKenzie, Colin Dingwall
Ordinary Members (Occasional) -
Wm McLennan, John Ross, Dr W Maclean, Col A R B Warrand, H M Warrand, Alex Fowler, A W Hill, A Ross, John Mackenzie, D G Warrand, A Sinclair, Robt. Mackenzie, F G Mackenzie


Honorary Presidents -
Rev John Sellar, R J Y Stewart-MacKenzie, W A George, Sir John Stirling, KT
Presidents -
Commander Addington, W A Macdonald, Dr D J Macrae, Huisdean Matheson
Vice-Presidents -
W Macdonald, Dr D J Macrae, H Matheson, Dr Broadfoot
Bard - Ian Macleod
Chaplain - Rev J Sellar
Honorary Members - D Ross, R P Macfarlane
Members -
D Fraser, M Munro, S Burns, H Forsyth, C MacManus, J D Wilson, Jack Henderson, W A H Rowat, Dr Broadfoot, W A Macdonald, W J S Merchant, W J Henderson, D U Macmillan, Alistair George, W Forsyth, M Smith, A M Henderson, H J Matheson, K J Mackenzie, P B Macintyre, J Watson, D Forsyth, Commander Addington, Dr D J Macrae, A Bremner, D Fraser, M Munro, J D Martin, S MacAllister
Occasional Members -
J L Macfarlane, G MacCallum, R T W Anderson, M Matheson, A MacDonald, Angus Vickers, W Macdonald, R J Wilson, M Macleod, H Forbes, Captain Gilbertson, M Burns, J M Ross, I Houston, P G Brodie, B Mackenzie, T Ross, D Fraser, E Macrae, Brig. W A MacKenzie


Representative Members - Huisdean Matheson, W A Macdonald
Secretary and Treasurer - W J Henderson
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
Rev J Sellar, W A George, J D Wilson, W A H Rowat, C MacManus, Dr D J Macrae, D U Macmillan, H I Matheson, I Macleod, D Forsyth, W Forsyth, W A Macdonald, A George, K J Mackenzie, W J S Merchant, A J Henderson, P B Macintyre, W J Henderson, S MacAllister, Dr Broadfoot, D MacCallum, M Smith, H Forsyth, F K Wiseman, J Watson, D Fraser, S Burns, A Bremner, M Munro
Ordinary Members (Occasional) - 16


President - Ian Sutherland

Representative Members - I Sutherland, M J Burns
Secretary - C M MacManus
Treasurer - A Bremner
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
Rev J Sellar, A Bremner, J D Martin, I Sutherland, P B Macintyre,
D G Macdonald, G MacCallum, M J Burns, Dr D J Macrae, E Munro, Dr G Bruce, A Ferguson, J Henderson, H I Matheson, Dr I Morrison, G Hogg, D Tolmie, I MacNab, I Miller, G Hyland, A Macdonald, D Elliot, K MacLennan, A Gair, A Christie, I Ross, F Morgan, Jennie MacDonald, D Campbell, J Grant, G Beck-Slinn, Betty Christie, H Barr, T Ross, A Brown, Joan Martin, D U Macmillan, C M MacManus, W McBain, Joan Tolmie
Ordinary Members (Occasional) - 16 (all ladies)


President - A Christie

Representative Members - A Christie, M Mackenzie
Secretary - C M MacManus
Treasurer - A MacInnes
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
D Tolmie, G Hogg, D Boyd, G Hannah, A Christie, A Gair, M Mackenzie, B Tolmie, E Munro, I Tolmie, A Skinner, D Elliot, I Ross, A MacInnes, F Skinner, J King, Dr G Bruce, D MacDonald, H Forsyth, I Macdonald, Dr I Morrison, J MacDonald, R Fox, J Mackenzie, W McBain, D Bruce, W Dishington, K Watson, M J Burns, A Millar
Ordinary Members (Occasional) - 8


Members -
David Bruce, Ian Morrison, Eric Munro, Angus Christie, Tom Ross, Alistair MacIntyre, Stuart Brown, Mike Burns, Grigor Hannah, Ewan Smith, Dave Boyd, Fraser Skinner, Irene Smith, Ian Tolmie, Marjory MacIntyre, Dan Nairn, Vera Nairn, Scott Bremner, Ian Grant, Ken Howie, Margaret Bruce, Angus MacInnes, Charlie Munro, Frank Nicol, Bill McBain, Gordon Bruce, Terry Goddard, Roy Fox, Alan Davidson, Harry Smith, Rhoda Gordon, Brian Tolmie, John Mackenzie, Marjory Stuart, Babs Ross, David Nicol, Stewart Christie, Paul Mitchell, Steven Sutherland, Erica Munro

Angus Christie in action at Loch Eye in 2001, although from the reflections on the ice it looks as though he will descend into the depths at any moment!


President - Irene Smith

Representative Members - Irene Smith, Angus MacInnes
Secretary and Treasurer - Angus MacInnes
Match Secretary - William Shirran
Ice Rink - Inverness
Members -
Junior under 18 years - Miss S Macintyre
Ordinary Members -
J Brierly, A Christie, C Evans, Mrs G Evans, N Fawcett, R Fox, G Garscadden, D Gilchrist, Mrs L Gilchrist, Mrs N Greaves, Mrs E Hannan, G Hannan, J Loudon, A Macintyre, Mrs E Mack, M Mack, H Mackay, A Mackenzie, A Magson, Mrs M Magson, Dr A McCall, Mrs G McCall, A MacInnes, I Macintyre, N Macleod, Dr I Morrison, I Mowat, E Munro, Mrs S Munro, F Nicol, A Polson, A Rinning, J Roscrow, Mrs C Roscrow, Mrs L Shirran, W Shirran, Mrs I Smith, M Stewart


The Caberfeidh curling club was formed in 1855, joining the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in 1857. The club was in some respects 'the Ross-shire club' and had, at first, members from all over the County. However, in 1872, the Dingwall club was constituted and thereafter the majority of Caberfeidh members came from an area which stretched from Conon Bridge to Culbokie, along the northern section of the Black Isle.

Caberfeidh is at the present time the largest "male" club in the Province and has as its President Dr Iain Morrison, Blairtua. Culbokie.

Caberfeidh has always been an influential club in Provincial matters and it was a circular letter from Mr Yule, then secretary of the club, which set up the first meeting of the Ross-shire Curling Association at the National Hotel, Dingwall, on Wednesday 22 November 1893, at which Sir Kenneth S Mackenzie, Bart., also of Caberfeidh, presided.

The RCCC annual of 1903-04 records that the club patron was Seaforth and patroness Lady Mackenzie of Gairloch. It also records a small list of lady members, at that time very unusual. No other club with RCCC membership in the 1903-04 annual has a similar list. It seems that there has always been a latent fund of sexual equality in Ross & Cromarty. It is remarkable to speculate that, of the hundreds of other names which appear in the annual that year, these four Ross-shire ladies - Lady Marjorie Mackenzie, Mrs Stewart- Mackenzie, Mrs H M Warrand and Miss Constance Warrand - are alone in representing the fair sex. Need we say, times have changed.

There were also no less than five members that year with the name Beveridge, two having the initial 'J', discriminated by the suffix "sculp".

The Provincial President has often been a member of the Caberfeidh club. These have included in recent times J D Wilson (1957), P B Macintyre (1969), Angus Christie (1982) and our Centenary President, Eric Munro, who has ably carried through the programme of events in this centenary year.

A recent development in Ross-shire curling has been the introduction of a league competition for Senior (over 55) curlers. This innovation was largely the brainchild of the Caberfeidh President, Dr Morrison, and has proved extremely successful, with six mixed teams taking part regularly on Wednesday 5.30 ice at Inverness. In curling terms 'life begins at fifty-five'.

During its long history the Caberfeidh club has been extremely successful, none more than the rink of P B. Macintyre in the sixties and more recently that of Gregor Hannan. At the present time Caberfeidh have Alastair MacIntyre's rink challenging for supremacy of the Allan Moore 'A' league and also the very exciting youthful rink skippered by Charlie Munro, which has emerged from the lower stages of the Ross-shire leagues to make a strong attack on the more mature rinks as a team of the future. It is all good news for the future of Caberfeidh and Provincial curling.

Caberfeidh Curling Club and the Curling Suffragettes


The Caberfeidh Curling Club was instituted in the winter of 1854-55 and had a Patroness, the Hon. Mrs Stewart-MacKenzie. Subsequent Patronesses of the club were Lady MacKenzie of Gairloch and Lady Mary Seaforth.

In 1900 the club had three "extraordinary members" - Lady Marjorie MacKenzie, Mrs Stewart-MacKenzie and Miss Constance Warrand. In the RCCC Annual for 1903-04 Caberfeidh is the only club to include lady members.

By 1910 there was a fourth lady member - Mrs H M Warrand - and the designation of "extraordinary" had disappeared!

In 1923 Lady Mary Seaforth was appointed Patron following the death of her husband (the original Patron of the club), Lord Seaforth. In 1933 Lady Seaforth died and thereafter the club did not have a Patron or Patroness.

The Suffragettes

In 1952 the first lady to throw a stone on Loch Craig is recorded in the minute book. The lady was Mrs Joan MacRae, a Canadian, and wife of Dr D J MacRae.

At the AGM in 1961 a discussion took place over the advisability or otherwise of admitting ladies to membership of the club. After consideration it was agreed not to admit ladies to full membership but there was no objection to them being invited to the pond for a game as guests.

At the AGM in 1965 Mr Angus MacDonald moved that the club be open for membership to ladies. It was pointed out by Mr Colin McManus that such a motion was incompetent under the agenda heading of General Business without notice, and it was agreed that the matter be left over to next year's AGM. Members indicated that there was no attempt at this stage to prevent the ladies coming down the rink.

At the AGM in 1966, on a motion of Mr Jim Martin seconded by Mr A MacDonald, it was decided, after a vote, that lady members be admitted to the club on payment of £2.00 per annum but that they should not be entitled to attend meetings or appear at courts.

Note: Indoor curling had arrived and ladies were much more involved.

At the AGM in 1969 it is noted that lady members were to be Associate Members and that the indoor committee were to consider their position in detail.

At the AGM in 1970 it was decided that all lady curlers who had curled last year could receive Full or Occasional membership on application (fee 5/-).

At the AGM in 1972 it was agreed that lady members of the club in future be known as Associate Members and that their annual sub be fixed at 50p.  Note: The reversal to "associate" membership was most likely to avoid payment of the RCCC levy.

At the AGM in 1974 it is noted that, after a great deal of argument, several motions and counter-motions, it was agreed that ladies be admitted as full playing members of the club but should not have voting rights or be permitted to attend Curlers' Courts. The annual sub for such ladies to be £1.00.

At the AGM in 1974 the subs continued as: Men £2.00 and Ladies £1.00.

At the AGM in 1975 the president (Grigor Hannan) expressed the view that the lady members, who were of great help to the club, should be encouraged to attend the AGM. It was pointed out that, as far as could be seen, there was nothing to stop lady members from attending if they so wished, but there had always been a tradition that the AGM was for men only. On a vote being taken, a motion by Eric Munro, seconded by David Boyd, that consideration of the question of ladies attending the AGM be deferred until the 1986 meeting was carried by a majority of 4 to 3.

At the AGM in 1976 - no discussion on ladies attending the AGM !  At the AGM in 1977 - no discussion on ladies attending the AGM !

At the AGM in 1988 - ladies attend the AGM. The ladies were - Rhoda Gordon, Irene Smith, Babs Ross, Marjory MacIntyre, Marjory Stuart. At the end of the minutes for 1988 there is noted that David Boyd had the affrontery to announce that instead of paying attention to the meeting he had been composing a poem to commemorate the first presence of ladies at a Caberfeidh AGM! The poem was then read.

At the AGM in 1992 the first lady office bearer was elected - Flora Buthley as Treasurer. At the AGM in 2001 Irene Smith was elected Vice-President and Susan Munro as Secretary/Treasurer. At the AGM in 2003 Irene Smith was elected President, Susan Munro elected Secretary/Treasurer and Erica Mack to skip her rink in 'A' League.

Regular members of the club are: Gayle Evans, Laura Gilchrist, Nan Greave, Ellis Hannan, Gay McCall, Christine Roscrow, Lorna Shirran. Of these ladies seven are "made" curlers.

What a difference 150 years can make !!

Did the European Commission realise the effect of Equal Opportunity on the Caberfeidh Curling Club?


Huisdean Matheson joined Caberfeidh Curling Club in 1938 and was President in 1958-59.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the outdoor rink at Riverbank, Conon Bridge, taking responsibility for all aspects of planning permission and the control of contractors.

At the AGM in 1959 it is minuted: "The Rev John Sellar moved a very warm vote of thanks to Huisdean for the way he had conducted the affairs of the club during his term of office and especially for the considerable trouble he had gone to in getting the pond under way. Huisden is a practical man and the Club was more than fortunate in having his services put at the disposal of members in this respect."

He is the oldest surviving member of Caberfeidh and enjoys an active retired life living at his home in Rosshill Drive, Maryburgh.  A telegram from the Queen is due in 2007 !

Postscript: It is pleasing to note that Huisdean celebrated his 100th birthday on 2 April 2007.  He went on to achieve the age of 104.


The other day I had a visit from Angus Christie bringing with him a bundle of literature etc pertaining to Caberfeidh Curling Club for my perusal, these including a portfolio of the minutes of meetings of Caberfeidh Curling Club dating back to 1915. Browsing through these brought back memories of my early days as a member of the Caberfeidh Club.

In these days Jack Frost visited us for several weeks during the winter months and provided us with many enjoyable hours of outside curling. At that time most villages and townships had flourishing curling ponds and clubs, which enabled us to have many pleasant inter-club games with neighbouring clubs when the local ladies served us lovely hot soup and sandwiches and the men had their drams which they alleged were necessary to counteract the freezing cold!

The Caberfeidh curling pond was situated in the Maryburgh wood and was fed by a small stream; it has now disappeared under the housing development of Birch Drive. The curling was totally different from the present-day type of sliding, curling with brushing being such a large part of the game and with the main object being to clear all stones out of the house. The old game was played from crampets which were metal plates with "teeth" that penetrated into the ice, and the stones were propelled from standing or crouching positions, with the object being to build up a house, not to empty it.

Nowadays Jack Frost seldom provides suitable ice for outside curling in the lower parts of Easter Ross. Global warming may have something to do with this

Huisdean Matheson
July 2000


Curling would probably have commenced on Loch Craig around 1850. The Caberfeidh Curling Club was formed in 1855.

Like the majority of curling clubs in Easter Ross the club was associated with an estate. Loch Craig was located on Braqhan Estate, close to the East Lodge and to the village of Maryburgh.

Membership of the club transcended the social classes from nobility to professionals to artisans and estate workers. The first Patron of the Club was Lord Seaforth.

Initial curling was on the loch but at some time prior to 1914 an artificial pond was constructed alongside Loch Craig.

Unfortunately, the Club's records for the period 1855 to 1917 no longer exist. The Club is very fortunate to have preserved the Minute Books from 1919 to date.

Visits of Jack Frost to Loch Craig

1918-19 - in residence Christmas to March
1921-22 - a 10-day visit
1923-24 - a 5-day visit
1925-26 - 18 days
1926-27 - 10 days
1929-30 - 15 days
1931-32 - 7 days (all in March)
1933-34 - 14 days
1946-47 - 4 days
1951-52 - 24 days continuous

Loch Craig 1921

The meeting instructed the Secretary to write Lord Seaforth thanking him for his consideration in the interests of the Club in relation to Loch Craig and the facilities granted them for playing thereon. The following is a copy of letter sent -

Lord Seaforth
Brahan Castle
Conon Bridge

Caberfeidh Curling Club

My Lord,

In a meeting of the above club, held within the Conon Hotel on the 6th October 1921, the secretary was instructed by the meeting to write Lord Seaforth, their Patron, thanking him for his consideration in the interests of the Club in relation to Loch Craig, and the facilities granted them for playing thereon.

I have the honour to be, My Lord,
Your Lordship's obedient and humble servant
Alexander Farquhar, Secretary.

The chairman having generously provided a liberal supply of various cordials etc., the meeting was declared closed.

Loch Craig 1926

The secretary intimated that during the summer the Club House from Ferintosh was brought to Maryburgh and re-erected on the East side of the Pond.  A hearty vote of thanks was accorded to the following gentlemen who so kindly gave their services in the removal and re-erection, viz.

Messrs W Peterkin, John MacKenzie (Maryburgh), W George (Sen.), W George (Jun.),
W Ross, A Farquhar.

An inventory of the existing Club House is detailed as: one oil stove, 3 tea pots, 3 kettles, 2 waste bins, 2 doz. cups, one enamel basin, one oil can.

Loch Craig 1930 - Extract from Minutes

Report on Fire:
The Secretary, Alex Farquhar, reported that on the night of 25 April, at about 10.30 pm, it was reported to him by Mr Alex Ross, Ploughman, Somerby, that one of the huts was on fire. "Being in bed at the time, I arose and proceeded with all haste, and found the hut, now destroyed, in a complete mass of flame, it being utterly impossible to save anything as the flames were shooting past the door, the fire having apparently started at the north-east end, and it would appear from the inside, as there was then a hole burned through the roof at that end. Although the whole of the structure was then standing, by 12 midnight it was completely burned to the ground." Twenty-seven pairs of curling stones, some very valuable ones, were destroyed along with all the curling equipment. The Clubhouse was not insured.

Committee:  It was proposed by Capt. M Tindal, and seconded by Mr William George, that a small committee be appointed to go into the question of the ways and means of replacing the destroyed hut. The following committee was formed: the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Mr Thos. Middleton of Corntown, Mr Alex Matheson of Teanahinch, Mr J Mackenzie, Maryburgh.

It was finally agreed that another 12ft 6ins x 8ft 6ins be added to the one known as the Ferintosh hut, making it 25ft x 8ft 6ins, that the S.E. gable be taken out, and fitted into the new end, and the estimates be asked for from the following: Mr Hugh Maclean, Moy; Messrs Grant & Sons, Dingwall; Mr G Gordon, Dingwall.

Circulars:  It was proposed by Mr William Ross, and seconded by Mr A Farquhar, that, when the cost of erection became known, all associated with the Caberfeidh Curling Club be circularised as to what they would be willing to give to defray the expenses, but that no-one outside the club be asked, unless they voluntarily gave. Carried.

Vote of Thanks:  Mr W H McFarlane moved a vote of thanks to the Chairman for the very efficient and able manner in which he carried out the duties of chairman. The Secretary was thanked for the very prompt manner in which he called the meeting. There being no further business the meeting was brought to a close.

Loch Craig - 25 July 1930

At Maryburgh and within the club house there on the 25th day of July 1930, in a special meeting of the Caberfeidh Curling Club.

Present: Messrs William Peterkin, William George, William A George, David Clark, Capt. Tindal, Thos. Middleton, Alex Matheson, Jno. Mackenzie, Alex Ross and Alex Farquhar.

Mr William Peterkin, President, presiding.

The President called upon Capt. M Tindal, RN, Kinnairdie, to declare the newly reconstructed club house open, which he did in a jolly, breezy way, staing that he was pleased to say that everything had now been paid, and the club had now everything ready awaiting "John Frost". The members had all provided themselves with curling stones and were, he said, very grateful to the following for their very generous help financially in the work of reconstruction, viz. Lady Seaforth, Mr F G Mackenzie, Balavil, and Mr William Peterkin, Dunglass.

He also expressed that he was pleased to see one of the oldest clubs north of Perth once again able and fit to take its place in the great "Roarin' Game". The Club had been instituted as far back as the year 1855.

The President returned a very heart vote of thanks to Capt. Tindal and also expressed the club's gratitude to all who had helped in whatever way.

Mr David Clark, Maryburgh, thanked Mr Peterkin for the able manner in which he carried out the duties of the Chair, and for all the trouble to which he had put himself in helping members to procure curling stones etc and for his many other efforts to keep the club together and in a flourishing condition.

Afterwards a sale of lockers took place, and soon all were sold.

The President, in his usual generous way, provided a liberal supply of refreshments; his health was duly pledged and a happy gathering was brought to a close.

William Peterkin

Loch Craig 1939 to 1959

1939 - Purchase of two only 500 candle power Tilley suspension lamps.
1939-1944 - No curling during World War 2.
1945 - Club house and Pond all reinstated.
1951 - Electric lighting installed at a cost of £100.

1956 - There was a proposal to construct an artificial pond at Loch Craig using rubble arising from the demolition of the Prisoner of War Camp at Brahan. Note: 1956 was the year that Muir of Ord's new pond was opened.

1958 - Quotation to fill in Pond and create artificial Rink considered at £600.

1959 - Estimates obtainer from Baxters and Tawse to construct rink at Riverbank, Conon. Feu for ground - Mr Burns, who had gone to considerable trouble on this matter, said it was understood we pay Mr MacFarlane the legal expenses in connection with the Feu Charter and a nominal fee for the feu. Huisdean Matheson submitted plans.

Meeting on 7 May 1959 - Consideration given to three possible sites: Old Pond at Loch Craig; Old Tennis Courts at Conon; Riverbank, Conon. Decision made to progress Riverbank.

LOOKING BACK IN 2005 ......

In February 2005 Caberfeidh Curling Club celebrated its sesquicentennial anniversary. Caberfeidh, instituted in 1855 and admitted to the RCCC in 1857, is the oldest club in the Ross and Cromarty Province which Caberfeidh was instrumental in establishing in 1893 and, like most curling clubs in this Province, was in its early days associated with an Estate.

Curling probably began about 1850 on Loch Craig on the Brahan Estate, the loch being situated near the East Lodge and the village of Maryburgh. The Brahan estate is closely linked with the Brahan Seer, one of Scotland's best known seers, whose prophesies among many others foretold the fate of the family who were the early patrons of the club.

Membership of the club transcended the social classes from nobility to professionals to artisans and estate workers with the first patron of the club being Lord Seaforth, who was chieftain of the Clan MacKenzie of the Lands of Kintail.

The crest of the Clan is the Stag's Head or, in Gaelic, "Caberfeidh", from which the club's name is derived, and the stag's head has featured in club badges from early days.

The last Seaforth Patron was James Alexander Francis Humberston MacKenzie, who was Caberfeidh from 1855 to 1923, and in 1903-04 the RCCC Annual records that the club had a list of four lady members - very unusual for that time. From the hundreds of names in the Annual that year, these four ladies were in all probability non-playing members, as it is also recorded in the minute book that on 26 January 1952 the first lady to throw a stone for the Club was a Mrs Joan MacRae, Canadian-born, some 100 years after the club was formed. Today, celebrating our 150th Anniversary, we have in Caberfeidh our first Lady President. How times have changed!

The club records from 1855 to 1917 have been lost but, thankfully, the minute books from then on have been preserved and make very interesting reading. The minutes record that in the winter of 1918-19 there was frost from Christmas to March, but in 1920-21 there were just 15 days of frost. That winter, in the challenge match held on 18 December 1920 between the married members of the club and the single members, the losers had to pay for a boll of oatmeal for each poor person in the local village of Maryburgh.

In 1926 a dedicated curling rink was built next to Loch Craig and on that rink in 1929 Wm. MacFarlane, in the Points competition, scored 34 points, a Scottish record for outdoor ice and a score not very often beaten indoors.

An early benefactor of the club was Wm. Peterkin who, in 1904, donated a pair of magnificent curling stones to the club and again, in 1929, donated £13.10. 0 to be set aside for the purchase of a curling broom each year for competition. This gift, invested in Consolidated Stock, now earns the grand sum of 22 pence a year.

Curlers of yesteryear, like today, are renowned for their comradeship and humour and the minutes record instances of this. In 1949-50 the minute records that the hotel could produce only one bottle of whisky, the consequences of state management control (most hotels in easter Ross and Cromarty were state owned to minimise alcohol consumption around the naval base of Invergordon). At that AGM, just before songs and stories started, a message was handed to the Rev John Sellar to say his wife was waiting for him. Without more ado the padre rose from the meeting and asked to be excused. This was a most unheard of occurrence in the annals of Caberfeidh Curling Club and the secretary (Jack Henderson) was instructed to minute the fact that the Caberfeidh curlers had come to a sorry pass when one of their most prominent members was being ruled by petticoat government. It was hoped that such an occurence would never happen again. The meeting concluded early due to the fact that the bottle was empty.

The following year the story continued: There was strong objection raised by the Rev John Sellar with regard to the minutes and stated it was a foul calumny that he was ruled by "petticoat government" and demanded an apology from the secretary. If it was not forthcoming the said secretary was to be prohibited from the club for all time, and the padre drew attention to the fact that the culprit in this case was the Vice-President, J D Wilson, for whom not only his wife but a whole bus load of ladies were waiting outside the hotel to take him home. J D Wilson, in a very meek and mild voice, confirmed this. He seemed overwhelmed with shame.

The following year, 1951-52, the Secretary was commended on his minutes by the Rev John Sellar, but when the Secretary submitted the club cash book showing that cash in hand was one penny, the Rev. demanded that the Secretary produce this penny. The Secretary was dismayed that a thorough search in the box failed to produce the said penny and he had to recourse by putting his hand in his pocket amid cries of "Shame!"

In those early days the club owned a club house at Loch Craig but this was destroyed by fire on 25 April 1930 with the loss of 27 pairs of stones. However, the club rallied and a new facility opened on 20 July 1930, and in 1939 two 500 candle power tilley suspension lamps were purchased for evening curling. The club continued at this site until 1960 when a new concrete outdoor rink was constructed near the River Conon. This two sheet rink is still owned by the club but has not been played on for over 20 years as club curling now takes place at Inverness Ice Centre.

The club's sesquicentennial celebrations under the stewardship of President Irene Smith have included a Court, a spectacular Anniversary Dinner Dance and an Anniversary Bonspiel (Caberfeidh versus the rest of the World) held at Inverness.

150 Years of the Caberfeidh Curling Club by Colin 'McGonagle' Campbell

It was in the splendid year of 1855,
a time when it was most excellent to be alive,
For in that year the Caberfeidh Curling Club was born,
the very first curling club in the Highlands to be formed,
which made the rest of them quite forlorn.

Caberfeidh was admitted to the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in 1857,
which for a curling club is the equivalent of being in heaven.
From 1859 to 1889 all went well with the club, all was fine.
Then, due to the early onset of global warming,
on poor Loch Craig no ice was forming.
The members became depressed; they thought all was lost.
For years they assumed the position recumbent
and contemplated their idle stones, now sadly redundant.

But this global warming had been foretold by a little-known seer.
(He was a cousin of the famous one; this was the all-Bran seer.)
He could only tell the future whilst locked in the loo,
giving off more hot air than four Highland coos.
The all-Bran seer also predicted there would be a lot more greenhouse gasses
when his all-Bran diet spread to the masses.

The seer's spell was lifted in 1894
when an encouraging report came in from Tore -
Four brass monkeys had been rushed to Raigmore.

The all-Bran seer also predicted that Ladies would one day join Caberfeidh,
and they would rule the club and have their say.
This caused the members great turmoil, anguish and dismay.
And, at one AGM, when the subject was gingerly mooted,
It was so badly received, that the motion was firmly booted.
In fact the proposal was so controversial and caused such a terrible stooshy
that the proposer was asked to go and jump in Loch Ussie.

In 1910 the traditional heather besom
was replaced by the new horse-haired turbo broom,
which made the stones sound different.
Instead of roaring they went 'Vroom'

From 1918 to 1931 Jack Frost returned to Loch Craig;
halcien days when the favourite whisky was Haig.
In 1938 the club bought two 500 candle-power tilley suspension lamps,
but they couldn't get them lit 'cause the wicks were damp.
Floodlit curling had come to Caberfeidh,
and as one member said,
"It's better in the dark than it was through the day."

In the 1950s, I see that the minutes
are full of acrimonious quotes like 'I think you should bin it'.
And one member, who hadn't got a tie,
wasn't banned because he had two bottles of the Isle of Skye.

1955 was another good year to be alive.
Caberfeidh Curling Club was a hundred years old,
and a lavish centenary dinner was to unfold
at the state-controlled Dingwall's National Hotel
where the licensing laws were as strict as the all-Bran seer did foretell.
No-one dared ask for more whisky
(This was long before the days of Angus Christie.)
But this was resolved when someone recognised the manager,
who came from Poolewe,
and he decreed that it would be no more than a bottle between two.

At the AGM in 1965
it again was not a good year for lady curlers to be alive.
Another motion to allow them in if they went Dutch
was again firmly booted into touch.

But in 1966 indoor curling had arrived
and the motion to bring in ladies had survived.
And in 1975 the President expressed a view that lady members should attend the AGM,
but it was pointed out that this was traditionally strictly for men.

In 1992, between me and you the first lady office-bearer was elected, leaving the opposition firmly rejected.
And in 2003 came the first Lady President, at curling she is no novice,
and she brought charm and grace to this high office.

And so, Ladies and Gentlemen, let's look forward this day.
Be upstanding, raise your glasses, for the toast is '150 years of Caberfeidh'. 

Continued in Page 6

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