As they say in all the TV voting programmes, the votes have been cast, they have been counted and verified and the winner of the Grassroots Coach of the  Year is……

Grassroots winner

It is a fantastic achievement for Robbie and one that is thoroughly merited. The number of people – not to mention the odd Alba TV reporter! – he has introduced over the last few years to curling through the Saturday Sweep, coaching sessions and corporate days is staggering. You only have to look at the membership of Cawder House and many other clubs at Braehead and further afield show just how much he has done for Grassroots Curling.

We all know he has never done it for the recognition but those of us – and there are many – who have been lucky enough to be introduced to curling via one of Robbie’s sessions and who have benefited from his highly imaginative and valuable (if bizarre at times!) curling aids are all delighted that he has received the recognition.  We will never think of the inside of a toilet roll in the same way again and the warm ups will always remain with us!

Congratulations Robbie – you deserve it!

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Vote Robbie!

Vote RobbieJust over a month ago, the RCCC issued a call for nominations for their annual End of Season Awards.

A few of us – actually a decent number of us – who have benefited from Robbie’s coaching and advice put in individual nominations for Robbie to be considered for the Grassroots Coach of the Year Award, something we feel he richly deserves.

Earlier today, the RCCC issued their short list for the award and we were delighted to see that Robbie is one of three people in the running for the Award.

It is now up to us all to spread the word and make sure as many people as possible know that he is up for the award and know how to vote.

Eleanor has sent out a very informative e-mail to members, detailing how to vote and it is copied below.  Please consider taking a few minutes to sign in to the RCCC website and Vote Robbie!

To vote you must be a member of the RCCC. You can vote ONLINE through their membership database if they hold a valid email address for you – all Cawder House members have their email addresses registered with the RCCC.

Go to the RCCC Home page and either click on the picture about the Curling Awards or click Membership Database to log in. Once you have logged in you will be presented with your voting options.

Please note that if you share an email address only one of you will be able to cast a vote. We suggest you register a new one. If you need assistance please contact the RCCC office on 0131 333 3003.

Alternatively you can complete a paper voting form – attached in both Word and PDF versions – and email it to the RCCC office or post it to: Royal Caledonian Curling Club, Cairnie House, Ingliston Showground, Newbridge, Midlothian EH28 8NB

Online voting closes at midnight on Wednesday, 13th May 2015, while paper voting forms will be accepted at the RCCC office until 12 noon on Thursday, 14th May 2015.

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A.G.M. Photos

There are some photos from last Friday’s A.G.M. which can be viewed via the Gallery drop down button on the black menu bar or by clicking here.

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Great Night at A.G.M.

Friday night saw the official end to the Cawder House season with a healthy turn out of members at Cawder Golf Club for the A.G.M. and prizegiving along with the usual chance for chat over a meal.

trophiesFirstly, credit should be given to the Committee and in particular Eleanor for organising and running the night so well.

The evening started with a search party for Margaret Macaulay who was struggling to find the venue
searchbut many may have missed George Barron’s admission that he too had problems and in fact ended up at Bishopbriggs Golf Club demanding to know where his fellow club members were!

Once Margaret arrived to a cheer, we sat down to a meal with the usual Cawder House ribbing and banter.

At the end of the meal, Chairman Al called the company to order and started the formal proceedings of the actual A.G.M. My recollections of what was said are posted here.

It was then on to the matter of presenting prizes in line with the final standings of the competitions for the season.  These were:

League Winners:
Douglas Locke, Kirstie Meikle, John Young, Linda Naismith
Runners Up:
Drew Jolly, Laurie Hunter, Rodger Burnett, Roy Greer

Reverse League Winners:
Margaret Macaulay, Ann Campbell, George Barron, Alaister Muir
Runners Up:
Kirstie Meikle, Rodger Burnett, Jonathan Hamilton, Glenn Nash

Presidents Shield Winners:
Alaister Muir, Rodger Burnett, Eleanor MacDougall, Sandra Goldie

Gordon Smith Trophy:
Robbie Stewart, Douglas Locke

Stevenson Points Quaich:
George Barron

Golf Tankard:
Robbie ‘The Shark’ Stewart

Presentations made, some trophies were topped up with a little ‘refreshment’ and passed round although some took the challenge of emptying them more seriously
web 1

whilst others went for the sly wee sip when they thought no-one was looking!
web2No trophies were hurt in the taking of these photos!

All trophy winners took great care in heading off home with their silverware and crystal glass momentos at the end of the evening although Douglas’s taxi driver thought the police escort to get the Main League Trophy back to his house was a bit much!
police car


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A.G.M. Notes

The following notes are just my recollection of what was mentioned at the meeting to give those a flavour meantime.  I’m sure if I have anything wrong someone will let me know!

Alaister Muir got the business part of the evening underway with opening comments:

  • He paid tribute to Robbie and Glenn for all their hard work in encouraging new members from both the Saturday Sweep and the Virtual Club
  • The influx means that there should be 8 league teams next season
  • A special welcome was made to Bill Lee and Andy Shields, who had been unable to play last season
  • Best wishes were expressed to Jack Cameron as he battles ill-health
  • The minutes from last year were accepted, proposed by Douglas and seconded by Drew
  • Apologies were passed on from treasurer Archie Nicol who is currently sitting at home nursing knee damage with whisky and codeine according to Alaister!

With Archie missing, it was not possible for a treasurers report to be presented although Alf, who stepped in for Archie while he was on holiday, gave a brief summary of the current standing as follows:

  • Current balance was around £5500 although approximately £3360 was still to be paid to Braehead in respect of ice
  • £400 is due for engraving of trophies and glasses
  • Monies were still to be paid for the Kirkwood Cup
  • Approximately £1350 would be left in the account which is in line with previous years
  • Once ready, the accounts would be presented to the Committee but would need to be ratified at next years A.G.M.

As competitions secretary, Robbie gave a resume of the season:

  • In the Strathkelvin, our teams won one, lost one
  • The Gordon Smith was retained with the Cawder House side winning both home and away legs
  • Keir Kettle at Stirling saw all three Cawder house teams lose to very strong opposition. Robbie suggested with tongue in cheek that next season when the competition is at Braehead we arrange ice at a time that makes it difficult for Keir to travel to gie us a chance!
  • A challenge match with the Saturday Sweep was lost 10-3
  • The Littles trophy was lost with both sides losing
  • The Kirkwood Cup also saw both Cawder house teams lose
  • Once again the National Virtual Challenge was won by a team with three Cawder House members in it – George Elliott, Sandra Goldie and George Barron

Alaister gave a reminder at this point of how difficult the Province competitions were and they are of a very high standard.  However there is enthusiasm for playing in these competitions so we will be entering most again next season

Eleanor was up next and firstly gave a Province report:

  • Club membership fees are increasing next season from £35 to £40
  • there is a vacancy on the Area Province Standing Committee.  it is a 4 year appointment and if anyone is interested in standing please let Eleanor know as soon as possible.

Next, she advised on the recent meeting with Braehead which led to some lively discussion!

  • Scott Martin is now in the role previously fulfilled by Bruce Harley
  • Ice fees will remain the same
  • The first contentious issue was that the Braehead membership will remain at £40 but only if paid in full by each club by 31st August at the latest. After that, the cost is £50 for all members (see further down in AOCB)
  • The catering issue for next season is still unresolved although unofficial comments suggest that sadly Redds will not be back
  • Free practice ice on a Monday morning for Braehead members will continue
  • Braehead’s opening bonspiel is scheduled for 11th September
  • Evening ice times have changed.  There will now only be 2 sessions – 6pm and 8.30pm.  Again this caused a fair amount of discussion and surprise. (see further down in AOCB)
  • The RCCC Indoor Grand Match in October will see 3 sessions at Braehead and they are looking for volunteer helpers to aid with the running on the day.

Committee and Constitutional matters came up next:

  • Douglas proposed (seconded by Laurie) that the current limit on membership be removed
  • Alf Vannet resigned from the Committee but expressed his willingness to still help out in future if needed
  • A new post of webmaster was introduced and Kirstie Meikle appointed (proposed Robbie, seconded Douglas)
  • Glenn Nash was appointed to the Committee (proposed Jim Naismith, seconded Robbie)
  • Margaret Macaulay was appointed to the Committee (proposed George Elliott, seconded Renee Murray)
  • The Treasurers position was the only one up for renewal and Archie Nicol was appointed to continue (proposed George Elliott)
  • Douglas Locke was once more appointed Examiner for Accounts purposes

Membership and Team Matters now:

  • it was advised no formal resignations had been received from the playing membership
  • 4 people have expressed a desire to become full members
  • so far we have 31 regulars and 14 subs, obviously we need one more to agree to be a regular to make up our proposed 8 league teams
  • we need to keep growing our membership each year
  • Kirstie suggested we invite the Virtual Club to enter our Reverse League next season and Eleanor is going to invite them to do so
  • the 5 year rule – where skips are only allowed to skip for a maximum of 5 years in a row – is to be removed due to the relative inexperience of the club
  • the committee has been given another years  discretion when applying the ‘two up two down’ rule when drawing teams for next season
  • Glenn suggested that subs be allocated to a specific team with these subs being called on first, then the call going out to unallocated subs, followed by subs allocated to other teams, then other team members, then sweep/virtual members.  this was warmly received and the Committee have to look into this
  • all subs money should be collected by the appropriate skip on the night
  • Cawder House will still only be looking at 3 sheets per night and will be applying for the earlier slot
  • All rules will be re-iterated before the start of the season but it was confirmed that a medical sub only applies for serious ill-health or broken limb and in the reverse league the main league skips should not move up from lead position


  • Ann Campbell expressed concern at Health and Safety adherence at the rink.  it was agreed this should be confirmed with the rink and Ann has been tasked with taking this on board with Alaister to back up if need be
  • a lively discussion took place on the Braehead membership fees situation and how it impacted on the club.  The club cannot afford to pay up front for its members and therefore all must pay beforehand for all to get the reduced £40 rate as opposed to £50.  Jock suggested that all members should be requested to pay their £40 to Cawder house by a specific date around one month earlier to give lea way.  Rather than have a lot of different payments, the suggestion was expanded by Robbie who suggested that the Braehead £40 plus RCCC membership (currently £17) plus the club fee should be paid together by that date leaving the ice fees payable in two parts as before.
  • the new ice times also resulted in discussion.  Concern was expressed in that the standard of the ice would be affected as the ice team would only have less than 30 minutes to prepare all 8 sheets between sessions compared to the staggered number of four sheets previously but apparently Chris has stated this is acceptable to them.  We shall again be going for the earlier session as much as possible

All of the above are just my recollections that will hopefully give a flavour to those who couldn’t make it – or a reminder to those who did but shared in the Great Red Wine Robbery masterminded by George and Douglas!


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Thank You!

thank youNow that the season has ended I would just like to say a thank you to those who responded to my bullying and badgering this season to provide details of matches that I could not watch so that I could do reports on most of the games we had this season.  Without your help it would not have been possible (that’s my ‘Oscars Acceptance Speech’ mode!)

In particular I would like to single out Rodger Burnett who went over and above and spent time writing reports as well and kept me updated on matches taking place when I was out through ill-health.

Thanks everyone, it was much appreciated (and the bullying and badgering will continue next season!)

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A.G.M. Reminder

AGM NotificationJust a little reminder that this coming Friday sees the Cawder House A.G.M at Cawder Golf Club, 7 p.m. sharp!

In addition, if anyone has not yet returned their playing intentions sheet to Eleanor yet, could they please do so as soon as possible as ice allocation has to be sorted out as soon as possible.  A copy of the form is available here

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