Hold the front page! Just as predicted, the Scottish Curler team of Maryel Paterson, Christine Stewart, Robin Copland and David B Smith (L-R, above) narrowly avoided coming second in their game against Liz Paul, Lynne Robertson, Fiona Macfarlane and Shona Cannell, masquerading as the Braehead City Rollers, in the first round of the Curlathon at the Braehead rink. No-one was more surprised than the coach!
That success aside, the event was a great occasion. Teams taking part had put in enormous efforts to dress appropriately for their themed sessions and entered into the festivities on and off the ice with gusto. It is hard to pick out favourites, but I rather appreciated the Fab Four from Helensburgh (L-R Alastair Leckie, Ronnie Dunachie, Ian Mowat and Derek Bowman) who entertained us on air guitar with a rendition of 'A Hard Day's Night', or it may have been 'I am the Walrus' - it was difficult to tell.
The Royal Club President Tommy Hinnigan participated, in a very revealing outfit, and unless he sends a very large cheque to the Highland Hospice or St Vincent's Hospice, the pic goes into the next Scottish Curler magazine!
There were lots of volunteers on hand, and lots of opportunities to become separated from any spare cash one happened to be carrying, for a raffle, draw the straw, or pick a key to open the box, stalls. The teams of course had all pledged to raise at least £400, and many had raised considerably more than this. It will be some time before the final reckoning is to hand, but it should be a LARGE sum. Linda Macdonald, fundraising manager for the Highland Hospice, and Lorraine Valentine, fundraiser for St Vincent's Hospice, supervised the proceedings throughout the two days.
The Braehead staff all sported St Vincent's tee shirts, and manager Bruce Harley was omnipresent, camera poised.
Special mention to the young curlers who populated the early afternoon session yesterday, all attired for the Disney theme. After them came the 'heavies', with the likes of World and Olympic Champion skips Jackie Lockhart, Rhona Martin and David Murdoch entertaining the gallery with a variety of antics, and involving the juniors too.
Puck curling was just one variation of the standard version of the game on display. Could this be a new Olympic discipline in a few years time? Claire Milne, Lynn Cameron, Jaqui Byers and Rachael Simms threw themselves into the experiment (below).
Many congratulations to the organisers, particularly Judith McFarlane who masterminded the event, and everyone who worked so hard to make it a success. Yes, the fundraising was for a serious cause, but those who took part had great fun.
The prizegiving and after Curlathon party was at the Glynhill Hotel, with Chittery Bite providing the music for a wee ceilidh.
If you are reading this, and were not able to be at Braehead, and are able to afford £5 or £500, send your cheque to either St Vincent's Hospice or the Highland Hospice. You'll find the addresses on the websites. You'll be keeping up the tradition of curlers supporting charitable causes that goes back two hundred years. Do it now!
Just one more pic here (more in the October Scottish Curler of course). New to Scottish curling this season will be the use of cheerleaders. Yes, it's true. Helen King (below) shows her support for Eve Muirhead. But Brian Doucet (guesting from Canada by way of Holland) and James Dunn do not seem put off by Helen's pom poms!
Pics by Bob Cowan
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