Pan Ross Social

Pan Ross Collage


Page 7 



Patrons -
Alex. Littlejohn, Esq., of Invercharron, John A Brooke, Esq., of Mid Fearn
Patronesses -
Mrs Littlejohn of Invercharron, Mrs Brooke of Mid Fearn

President - D Cameron, Esq., Balblair
Vice-President - D Aird, Esq
Representative Members - J Strathern, D R Cran
Chaplain - Rev D Macrae, BD
Treasurer and Secretary - Kenneth M Cameron
Committee or Council of Management - all Ordinary Members
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
D Aird, D Cameron, D R Cran, J Strathern, J A Brooke, K M Cameron, D Ross, A Paterson
Ordinary Members (Occasional) -
J Cran, W Fraser, W Munro, Miss Cran, A Fairweather, J Mackay, Miss Cameron

Instituted 1885 Admitted 1888

Photograph of the late Roderick W K Stirling (latterly Sir Roderick W K Stirling) on receiving the Gold Medal of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in honour of 50 years' membership of Fairburn Curling Club.


Patron - John Stirling of Fairburn
Patroness - Mrs Stirling

President - William Stirling
Vice-President - Colonel G Maclennan
Representative Members -
Sir H Munro, Bart., R Macrae
Chaplain - Rev J A McFarlane
Treasurer and Secretary - J Burns
Committee or Council of Management -
Joseph Chalmers, Joseph Jackson, John Burns, James Chisholm
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
John Stirling, Wm. Stirling, J Chisholm, M Mackenzie, J Chalmers, John Burns, J Jackson, Capt. A Stirling, M Mackintosh, Col. G Maclennan, A Mackay, H Grant, James Stirling, J Vacher, G Simpson, A Reid
Ordinary Members (Occasional) -
William Gunn, W Parker, Sir H Munro, Bart., G W. Hartley, A Simpson, Wm. Mackintosh, R Macrae, Donald Macrae, A Raffan


President - R W K Stirling

Representative Members - R W K Stirling, R MacKay
Secretary and Treasurer - S Torrie
Ice Rink - Inverness

The Fairburn estate, in Strathconon, founded a curling club in 1885, playing on the large pond adjacent to Fairburn House, the residence of John Stirling of Fairburn, who became patron of the new club.

The club was represented at the inaugural meeting of the Ross-shire County Curlers Association in November 1893 by Mr Joseph Chalmers and finished as runners-up in the first Ross-shire bonspiel, held at Muir of Ord on 12 January 1895.

By 1903, their entry in the Royal Caledonian Annual contained a total of sixteen regular and nine occasional members. The committee of management comprised Joseph Jackson, James Chisholm, John Burns and Joseph Chalmers, with the Rev J A MacFarlane as club captain.

The club was also included in the draw for the Northern Counties Bonspiel of 1909-10, to be played at Muir of Ord, a match between teams representing North and South, the line of demarcation being drawn between Ross-shire and Inverness-shire at Muir of Ord.

Transport to the contest was organised by the Highland Railway Company, which agreed the following terms for curlers attending the Bonspiel: "... if held on other day than Saturday, one fare and forth for double journey from all stations from Brora North and Newtonmore South to Muir of Ord, available on the day of the Match. Minimum fare - one shilling. Curling stones will be conveyed at owner's risk, free of charge. Stones will be conveyed from Muir of Ord Station to Pond, and back." We hardly need reminding that railways did things rather well in those days.

Twenty-six years later, on Friday 21 February 1936, a similar match is recorded at Muir of Ord. The ice is described as "in splendid condition with hard frost prevailing throughout". The match ended in a win for the South by 50 shots, but the trophy awarded to the rink with the largest majority over its opponents was Fairburn 1, skipped by Major John Stirling.

The Fairburn legacy to Ross-shire curling has been their absolute commitment to traditional standards in the game. They have, perhaps reluctantly, accepted the move from outside ice to the indoor precision of the modern game - "snooker on ice" it has been called. But the Fairburn club has continued to demand that the traditional values of the outside game should not be forgotten. For this Ross-shire curlers will always be grateful. Curling is, above all else, a social game, a convivial game and should be played in something approaching the Olympian spirit, a truly amateur sport.

At the present time the Fairburn club is flourishing in the capable hands of Roderick Stirling and Rod Mackay, President and Secretary respectively. Roderick is a past president of the Province and Rod is their longest serving member, now continuing his career as a player in the recently formed Ross-shire Seniors' League.

Roderick W K Stirling of Fairburn and Roderick Mackay, Fairburn, receiving the Gold Medal of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in honour of 50 years' membership of Fairburn Club.

The club celebrated its Centenary on Saturday 30 November 1985 at a Bonspiel attended by all of the Ross-shire clubs. Best wishes are extended to the club in its second century.

(Transferred to Sutherland Province 1993)

Patrons -
Capt. Macleod of Cadboll, Col. Murray of Geanies
Patronesses -
Mrs Macleod of Cadboll, Mrs Murray of Geanies, Mrs Monro of Allan

President - Capt. Monro of Allan
Vice-President - Thomas Douglas
Representative Members - Jonathan Middleton, Thomas Douglas
Chaplain - Rev Chas. Robertson, BD
Treasurer and Secretary - Edward R Hill
Committee or Council of Management -
A P Gordon, Geo. A Ross, Thomas Douglas, Jas. Scott, Wm. J Robertson, Hector Munro, Edward R Hill, Alex Ross
Honorary Members -
Wm. J Macdonald, John Gunn, Roderick Finlayson
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
John Mackay, Thos. Douglas, Edward R Hill, John Grant, Wm. J Robertson, George Douglas, Jas. Scott, Ed. McKenzie, Donald Munro, Geo. A Ross, A P Gordon, John Ross 3, Hector Munro, Alex Ross, J A H Gair, Angus Ross
Ordinary Members (Occasional) -
John Ross 2, Robt. Gordon, John Ross 1, A O Spence, Capt. Macleod, Capt. Monro, Rev C Robertson, Jon. Middleton, Col. Murray, John Dempster, S Hope, C L McKenzie, George Gordon

The oldest Curling Club in Ross and Cromarty was the Easter Ross and St Duthus Club, which was instituted in 1853, and became a member of the Royal Club in 1861. Early patrons of the Club were the Count and Countess De Serra Largo of Tarlogie. The President at the time was Mr Roderick Finlayson, and the Vice-President Provost Donald Fowler, Tain.

The name St Duthus later became linked with Locheye, forming the present-day club of Locheye and St Duthus which, according to the most recent RCCC handbook, was instituted in 1897 and became a Royal Club member in 1898. However, the RCCC handbook for 1903 names the club, at this point, as Fearn and Locheye, quoting the same dates for institution and membership of the Royal Club. The point at which the change occurred is unclear from the existing records. Perhaps some Easter Ross reader could clarify this?

In these early years there was a very large number of clubs in Easter Ross. As well as those already mentioned, there was Alness, instiuted 1895; Ardgay/Bonar 1897; Ferindonald 1889; Logie Easter 1896; and, finally, Edderton, which joined the Royal Club in 1902. Swordale is also recorded as a member of the Ross-shire Curling Association in the first competition drawn up by the Association in November 1893, but the name is absent from the RCCC record. Presumably they did not seek membership?

Sadly, at the present time, the only Easter Ross club remaining within the Ross-shire Province is Alness. This season the link with St Duthus and Locheye was broken when they elected to join the recently formed Sutherland Province, playing out of the Royal Marine Hotel Rink at Brora. This is not a bad decision on their part, recognising the excellent facilities there and a reduction of travelling time to the Brora rink.

Ross-shire curling also owes a great debt to Ken and Thelma Davison of the St Duthus and Locheye Club, who were extremely active members of the Province. Ken was Ross-shire President in 1970 and Thelma was a founder member of Ross Ladies and also their Match Secretary.

The Easter Ross contribution to Ross-shire curling has been considerable.



Patrons -
Sir Hector Munro, Bart., of Foulis, R C Munro-Ferguson of Novar, MP, W Shoolbred of Wyvis
Patroness - Lady Munro of Foulis

President - Sir H Munro
Vice-President - D Munro
Representative Members - Sir Hector Munro, D Munro
Treasurer and Secretary - A McNab
Committee or Council of Management -
Sir Hector Munro, D Ross, D McKinnon, A McNab, A McDonald, D Munro
Honorary Members -
R C Munro-Ferguson of Novar, MP, W Shoolbred, Esq
Ordinary Members (Regular) -
Sir H Munro, D McKenzie, D McRaw, W Paterson, A McNab, A Macdonald, J Campbell, D Moore, D Ross, D Munro, D McKinnon, A Dingwall
Ordinary Members (Occasional) -
A Chisholm, C F Munro, D Sinclair, R Small

The Ferindonald club was represented at the first meeting of the Ross-shire County Curlers Association on 22 November 1893 by Messrs MacNab and MacCran, and is recorded as member until 20 December 1905. A noted member of this club was Sir Hector Munro, Bart. of Foulis, who became President of the Association in that year. An extract from the Ross-shire Journal in 1979, headed Forty-four Years Ago, confirms that Sir Hector Munro was President of what, by this time, was called Ross and Cromarty Curling Club in October 1935, but there is no clear evidence that the Ferindonald club was extant at this time. Does anyone have further local knowledge?

It is clear, from the evidence of many club minutes, that two world wars effectively slowed down, even closed down, the development of organised curlling in the Province. Any curling going on was probably played locally and spontaneously as weather conditions allowed.

But all that changed after 1945. Regular annual meetings of the Province are recorded from 16 November 1949 right up to the present. The correspondent for a large part of that time was H G Munro, of the Muir of Ord club, who remained Province secretary and treasurer until 1969. During this period the pattern of curling in Ross Province was laid down. At the same time the development of inter-Province matches, locally within the Highland Group and internationally as representatives of Scotland against Canada, USA, France and Norway, is catalogued.

The particular problem that had to be overcome, of course, was the availability of good ice. Often, bonspiels were cancelled because of the weather. Attempts to play more sustained competitions proved fitful, always at the mercy of our unreliable climate.

In the end, in spite of misgivings, the era of indoor ice dawned. During the Fifties it meant the long haul to Perth. A long and wearisome journey it was, even when fortified with "l'eau de vie". And yet the game flourished, so that when the Aviemore Centre opened in 1966, and a few years later the Inverness Ice Centre, there was on hand an organised curling structure to take advantage. Ross Province owes a great deal to the office-bearers of the fifties and sixties - the Rev John Sellar, Ferintosh; James Cameron, Belmaduthy; Anderson Rae, Alness; Dr John Anderson, Killearnan; Donald MacLean, Allangrange; J D Wilson, Caberfeidh; A J Mann, Avoch; W Smith, Strathpeffer; James MacIntyre, Fairburn; Iain Mackay, Muir of Ord; Alan Stewart, Belmaduthy. And, towards the end of the sixties, a very familiar name for today's curlers - Allan Moore, Alness, a name inscribed on our 'A' League trophy. Now where did he begin to curl? Hardly a million miles from Ferindonald.

Instituted 1981 Admitted 1981
[See Dingwall Curling Club]


President - A Rosie

Representative Members - A Rosie, D Stewart
Secretary - D Stewart
Treasurer - A MacAskill
Regular Members -
R Brown, R Fyfe, J Hunter, D Stewart, S Shanks, J Carson, A Rosie, A MacAskill, D Buchanan
Honorary Member - T Inglis
Occasional Member - 1 Total Membership - 11

Instituted 2003 Admitted 2003


President - Mrs Linda Thompson

Representative Members - Mr Allan, Mr Stephen Batchen
Secretary -Miss Nicola Maclennan
Treasurer - Mr Allan Maclennan
Match Secretary - Mr Stephen Batchen
Ice Rink - Brora
Members (Junior under 18 years) -
S Batchen, Miss G Cameron, Miss J Cameron, N Campbell, Miss J Maclennan, Miss N Maclennan
Members (Ordinary) -
Mrs J Maclennan, Mrs L Thompson

Continued in Page 8
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