Sliding on Ice

By John Ross,

On the 23rd November a team of 8 Spadeadam members gathered to learn how to handle themselves on ice. The only thing was there were no studded tyres, revving engines or the smell of Castrol-R.

Earlier this year on “The Run To The Sea” organised by Helen, several silly beach games took place by a group of members way old enough to know far better. After playing beach football a rather daft game of throwing nicely shaped rocks into a ring shaped target developed. This was dubbed by Mike Lindsey as “Beach Curling”. This struck a chord with my wife Christine who over the last couple of weeks has spent more time at Lockerbie Ice rink than she has at home. Would any of those present be in an evening’s curling, proper curling on ice, rather than the mud and sand of the Solway at Southerness. The general consensus was yes.

Several weeks later Christine said, I have a session booked at the ice rink for SMC, so with the aid of social media our little group was brought together. Eric & Linda, Nigel & Helen, Caroline & Jonathan and Christine & myself met up at Lockerbie Ice Rink to learn how to slide on ice, sweep and deliver 8 stones into the house (the rings of the target marked out at each end of the sheet of ice.

With the exception of Christine the other 7 of us were taught the idiosyncrasies of curling by Eileen Broatch, one of the coaches at the ice rink.

Once we had the basics a short game of 4 ends took place, Ladies v. Gents. It was decided that we would rotate our team positions (Lead, Second, Vice & Skip) at the completion of each end. As we lost the coin toss it was down to myself to start the proceedings sending the first stone straight through and out of play. Most of the rest of us faired little better either sending stones wide and out of play or simply just nowhere near far enough resulting in the stones being removed from play. Jonathan & Helen however were perfect line. Somehow at the end of the first end it was 2 shots up to the gents. Come the second end the ladies were getting the hang of 42lb weight of granite to take a point back.

Moving to the third end Linda really got the hang of the game and delivered 2 perfect shots, Nigel on the other hand was simply far too strong knocking out one of our own stones sending it flying into the Hack (foot rest) lifting the stone clean off the ice creating a nice bulls-eye crack in the ice. You’re not supposed to do that Nigel.

Going into the final end the pressure was on the girls were 3-2 up. The player rotation meant that I was now the team Skip. Somehow we managed to get two stones into the house and counting, everyone was by now just about reaching the target and it was getting very crowded. Christine’s turn, her competitive edge came to the fore and 30years of curling experience removed one of our stones it was Peels (even). My first stone was short all Christine had to do was exactly as before, but no it fell short. Last stone, John to play, stones littered the front of the house and there was only a very narrow gap between. Somehow my stone the last of the game slipped between all that lay before it, into the centre of the rings. Game over 1 shot up to the gents.

As usual the evening ended with a round of drinks in the bar and a post-mortem on the evening’s entertainment.

If any other members are interested in trying out curling we have arranged another session for Monday 11th January 2016 at 8pm. Even if you don’t wish to play you can come along and look down at the rest of us from the Club bar above.