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VIDEO: Full house celebrates 150 years of Angus curling history at Evenie Water bonspiel

A cool century and a half of Angus curling history has been celebrated in a Forfar bonspiel.

With a history running from the waters of a local burn to glory at world championship level, Evenie Water Curling Club has stayed true to its origins since the first stone was thrown in 1872.

And the camaraderie which has kept it thriving over 150 years was in evidence at Forfar Indoor Sports on Saturday.

Club president Alan Arnot welcomed rinks from across the area to the sesquicentennial invitational.

Forfar curling
Teams are piped onto the rink at Forfar Indoor Sports. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.

Evenie Water origins

The club was formed in the village of Friockheim, near Arbroath.

It took its name from the burn now more commonly known as the Vinney.

The Royal Caledonian Curling Club admitted Evenie Water at its meeting in the Cafe Royal Hotel, Edinburgh on July 25 1872.

And the club’s first district medal match was against Laurencekirk in February 1873.

It was played at Brechin castle pond.

Evenie Water’s competitive record got off to a winning start with a 34 to 28-shot victory.

Forfar curling
Evenie Water Curling Club patron Evan Bruce-Gardyne delivers the first stone. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.

Anniversary book

A 150th anniversary book has been complied by vice-president Sandy Stewart.

It charts the fascinating history from the days of the first matches on frozen ponds at Middleton, close to the Angus village.

Sandy, who has curled since the mid-1980s, said his research revealed many interesting stories and events.

“A feature which has remained constant throughout the 150 years has been the camaraderie and hospitality,” he said.

Evenie Water Curling Club
Images from the 150th anniversary book. Supplied by Evenie Water Curling Club.

“We have a good core of members and to remain a strong club over 150 years is quite an achievement.

“The first mention of Evenie Water is a report from the Dundee Courier and Argus of January 1871.

“But at the time the people of Friockheim were setting up a curling club, a neighbouring item speaks about the Pussian siege of Paris.

“Food was in such short supply there that folk were killing animals in the zoo for food.”

Six generations of founding family

Well-known local family names run through the club’s history.

And the milestone year has seen Evan Bruce-Gardyne take up the patronship of Evenie Water.

It maintains an unbroken link over six generations to one of the founders, Tom Bruce-Gardyne of Middleton, on whose ponds the first stones were thrown.

Evenie Water can also lay proud claim to having been instrumental in helping take the roarin’ game to Norway.

Forfar curling
Ross Hume delivers a stone. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.

A connection between the Carnegie family from Arbroath and Scandinavian friends led to the formation of the Elverhae club near Oslo in 1881.

And in 1935, The Courier’s report of the curlers’ court described Evenie Water as being “a club ahead of its time”.

The reason was the admission of its first lady curler, Mrs D. Douglas Ogilvie.

Club curlers have played at district, national and international level throughout the century and a half.

Forfar curling
Fellow players welcome Evenie Water onto the ice. Pic: Gareth Jennings/DCT Media.

And the competitive highlight in the annals of Evenie Water came in March 2016.

Farmer’s son Angus Dowell was part of Scotland’s World Junior Championship-winning rink in Copenhagen.

The team swept away the opposition to win the Scottish junior title in Aberdeen two months earlier.

While the club has played much of its sport on indoor rinks at Dundee, Letham Grange and Forfar, outdoor bonspiels have been held near Friockheim when conditions have allowed.

Proceeds from the anniversary book will go to Forfar Young Curlers and the Scottish Curling Trust.

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