In August 1857, a group of men met at the Pirnhall Inn on the outskirts of Stirling, with the aim of founding a Curling Club. This is our history. The following is an interesting account of the early years of Sauchie and Bannockburn Curling Club, written by the members (specifically Mr. W. Muirhead) at the time of the Club’s centenary in 1957.
“In 1857, a meeting of those interested in curling was held for the purpose of forming a club in the district of Sauchie and Canglour. There is no record of a minute for this meeting, but, in the Royal Caledonian Curling Club Annual for the year 1860, it stated that the club was instituted in 1857 and admitted in 1860. The first minute book of the club, in 1866, shows that the patrons were Sir A.C. Ramsay Gibson Maitland, Bart., of Sauchieburn, and John Lewis of Plean; The president was Thomas Balloch and Vice-President Robert Rae; representative members were William Cowan and William Muirhead , Pirnhall; the Treasurer was William Drysdale and the Secretary James McPherson. At that time there were 19 members. The Rules of the club from the first minute book.
For the first few years the pond by the club was at the Barr Wood near Canglour, and, as it was difficult to flood, it was rarely fit for play. In 1865, Canglour Pond (an old distillery pond) was kindly granted by Major Erskine but this was little better, although nearer Bannockburn. The first Caledonian Medal matches were recorded in minute book. The members agreed that a deputation should wait upon Sir A. C. Ramsay Gibson Maitland, Bart., with a view to securing a piece of ground for a pool near Bannockburn. They were immediately offered a site at the Waukmill, free of charge, and this generous offer was gladly accepted by the members. The pond was completed in 1873 and at that time the name of the curling club was changed to “The Sauchie and Bannockburn Curling Club”. About this time Mr. Alexander Wilson of Bannockburn House, and his brother Mr. E. L. Wilson, along with Mr. John Dick of Craigengelt gave handsome donations towards the expense of the new pond. In appreciation of their generosity the members entertained them to a dinner in the Pirnhall Inn, and, according to the Minute Book, it was a great success”. The new pond and name improved the playing fortunes.
“The Jubilee Dinner for the club was celebrated in the Commercial Hotel Bannockburn, on the 11th of December 1907, when the members and friend enjoyed an excellent dinner of “beef and greens”. The chairman was John Muirhead of Milton Mill, the then oldest member of the club and a son of one of the original members – William Muirhead of Pirnhall. At that time the club membership was still small and the minutes disclose that for a number of years very little curling took place.