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Thread: Curling Clubhouse, Angus – several visits 07/ 08

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    Arrow Curling Clubhouse, Angus – several visits 07/ 08


    A Hansel & Gretel cabin in the countryside … a small but perfectly-formed exploration.







    A couple of years ago I came across what I thought was a sawmill cottage a few miles north of Dundee, on one of the network of farm tracks that heads up towards Forfar. It's a rustic timber cabin beside an old woodyard – there were some excitable dogs nearby and a woman screaming blue murder at a bairn – but otherwise it’s out of the way and very quiet. As it consists of only a couple of rooms, I thought it likely that it was used as a bothy, rather than a house. Given the relationship with the sawmills, it has well-crafted joinery – with yellow pine linings and finely-made timber shutters. It’s just a pity that a whole corner of the roof and wall is missing… presumably the result of a tree crashing down during last winter’s storms. Otherwise the interior is untouched and surprisingly dry.









    At one time, there was a David Bryce-designed mansion house at the centre of the estate, but it was demolished in 1953 … and in doing a bit of digging in the map room of the archives, I discovered that the reedy rectangle beside the “cottage” had been a curling pond, or curlie, as they’re known in eastern Scotland. So, this bothy was at one time the curling clubhouse, and the smaller building beside it, presumably the store for curling irons and brushes. Many local curlies have succumbed to our milder winters – neither Claypotts at Broughty Ferry, nor Alyth Junction near Meigle, have been used for a bonspeil for many years. If there’s a really big freeze, then a Grand Match is called, and something like 15,000 curlers descend on a frozen loch. The last one was held about 20 years ago on the Lake of Menteith near Stirling.







    A return trip to the clubhouse, with a better camera, gave me the chance to take more pictures, and some careful searching located a curling stone’s handle, caast in brass by Howden, Edinburgh, as well as the boxes which held pairs of curling stones. These sat in the low level shelves that run all the way around the perimeter of the clubhouse, with a bench seat on top. Having discovered the cabin’s true purpose, another question was sparked: the 1959 map showed another curling pond half a mile away at the House itself. Was curling really that popular in rural Angus? Was this larger pond used by the estate workers, whereas the other was for the gentry? Will this pond ever freeze over again??? If it does, I’ll be up to take some photos of the clubhouse “in its element”.






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  3. #2
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    Top digging in the archives as usual. There's always a story to tell.

    You should post some of this on a more regional place.... *coughs*......
    Flaccid Member.

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    Nice find Wolfism.

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    Totally delightful bothy. It's lovely to see something that's unusual and specifically for a regional use. Nice find. :)
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

    I can't read and I can't write, but that don't really matter,
    I come from the west country and I can drive a tractor.


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    Thanks all for your comments - and yes Foz - if you keep reminding me, I'll try to get it done soon. Currently wading through a Dreamweaver manual ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Foxylady View Post
    It's lovely to see something that's unusual and specifically for a regional use. Nice find. :)
    Cheers Foxylady- just like the distilleries I've explored, I really enjoy finding places like this that are unique to this part of the world. :)

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    Good work! It's sometimes nice to get away from the massive stuff and explore forgotten little places like this.
    There's a disused curling pond a couple of hundred yards from my house but there are no artefacts or buildings left sadly.
    Even here in the middle of the Highlands we don't get sustained hard frosts like we used to, the nearest curling pond probably gets used once every few years.

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    Great find, this is the kind of thing you cant just use the internet to find, you have to do it old school by walking around and stumbling across it. Good pics too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OSPA View Post
    Great find, this is the kind of thing you cant just use the internet to find, you have to do it old school by walking around and stumbling across it. Good pics too.
    Thank you - wholeheartedly agree with your last point, coming across new places by chance often gives you more of a fillip than visiting other peoples' discoveries, no matter how impressive-looking they are. :)

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    I was there today without even realising it was the same place!
    Beaten to it by the mighty Wolfism...oh well.
    There's a building not far away that I couldn't get to...any ideas what it could be?


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    Difficult to say from that photo, but it could be a game safe, since it's on a big estate? Why couldn't you get any closer to it?

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