Sauchie and Bannockburn Curling Club

    Member of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club

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Early Membership

Sauchie and Canglour Curling Club was formed in 1857 at a meeting at Pirnhall Cottage (now the Pirnhall Inn). The attendees were locals from the surrounding rural area with the majority of them involved on farms or estates around the area of Canglour and Sauchie House itself. The club joined the Royal Caledonian Curling Club (RCCC) in July 1860. The curling initially took place at a pond in Barr Wood then later on a pond at an old distillery nearer Bannockburn. A patron of the club attempted to promote the use of a pond at Buckieburn with a splendid medal, but being in the Carron valley was too far from most of the members.

 

The map below shows the area where the members were drawn from, with actual members indicated as blue markers and the three ponds used by the club marked in yellow. The sources used were the RCCC Annuals, combined with newspaper reports and a review of Scottish Census returns for 1851, 1861 and 1871 to match member names to addresses and occupations.

In terms of membership numbers Sauchie and Canglour was a small club by the standard of the day. From its initial beginning with 19 members, the numbers varied from as low as 15 to a maximum of 26 in any one year.

 

It would take Sauchie and Bannockburn until 1888 to grow beyond this for the first time. Where it has been recorded, there was a drift in membership from the rural areas around Auchenbowie towards Bannockburn itself and surrounding neighbourhoods of Whins of Milton and St Ninians with more urban occupations such as innkeeper, butcher etc. joining the club. In 1890, the club created a chaplain of the club when the Rev. James Allan, Bannockburn joined the club and when other ministers joined, there was a rotation of who was club chaplain. The core of the membership remained farmers and special farming events such as harvest, agricultural shows and markets had to be avoided to minimise their impact on the activities of the club. From the opening of Falkirk Ice Rink when the restriction of the membership to fifty was rescinded, the new membership was drawn from a wider area including Denny, Dunblane, Bridge of Allan and Stirling as well as Bannockburn.