October 01, 2008

Happy 70th Kirkcaldy

The last of the great Scottish pre-war ice rinks is still going strong, and celebrated its seventieth birthday today. Morning and afternoon sessions of a birthday bonspiel with lunch was the highlight for the curlers, and there was a special challenge ice hockey match in the evening, remembering the 4-1 defeat suffered by Fife Flyers in 1938 against Dundee Tigers! It was on October 1 of that year that 4,265 fans squeezed into the 4000 capacity rink to watch the first challenge match between the new ice hockey team and the Dundee Tigers.

The records of the first curling at the rink are still being researched, according to Lynne Stevenson, the Director with the responsibility for our sport, but would certainly have been soon after the rink opened. Lynne was on hand today ensuring that all bonspiel competitors and guests were made very welcome at the rink, now recovered and looking good after the fire that many wondered would spell the end of the rink. But that did not happen, and a new curlers' bar is just one of the many improvements that visitors to the rink will see.

The outside of the Kirkcaldy Ice Rink has had a makeover for its seventieth anniversary and inside and out was looking bright and cheerful.

Twenty-four teams competed for the Anniversary Trophy which was sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland. Guests included representatives of the three rinks which won the Scottish Seniors' Championships in succession, namely John McCall, Jack Duncan and Ian McGregor (1989-90), Dave Young, Donald Whyte and Alan Hempseed (1990-91) and Bill Raeside, Peter Howden and George McQueen (1991-92). Curlers enjoyed a lunch reception while reminiscing about days gone by.

The Bonspiel was won by a rink from Raith and Abbotshall skipped by Dave Martin, with Tom Richardson, Harry Mitchell and Bob Buchan. Runners-up were the RCCC Ladies Branch Rink of Bev Brown, Anne Buchan, Dorothy Greenhorn and Anne Dorward. Here are the prizes, trophy, memorabilia.... and the birthday cake!

'Blonde of the Day' Lynne Stevenson, whose hard work made the day a success! Thanks Lynne.

Photos by Bob.

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