Tayside and Central Scotland

Curling goes outdoors as temperatures drop

Curling at Glenesk Image copyright Mike Ferguson
Image caption Curlers took to the outdoor pond at Glenesk for the first time since 2014

Scotland's freezing weather has enabled some of the country's hardiest sportsmen and women to take to the ice.

As temperatures plummeted on Thursday, Glenesk Curling Club in Angus was able to open its outdoor curling pond for the first time in five years.

Matches were also played outdoors in Tarland, Aberdeenshire, for the first time this season.

Curling originated in Scotland in the 16th Century, when it was played on frozen ponds and lochs.

It is now normally played in indoor rinks but there are some man-made curling ponds which can be used in the right weather.

Image copyright Mike Ferguson

Mike Ferguson, a former chairman of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club and a current member of Edzell Curling Club, was among those at Glenesk on Thursday.

"It was curling its true sense, it's traditional sense," he said.

Image copyright Mike Ferguson

About 30 men, women and children took part in the family event after the call went out to local people alerting them to opening of the pond.

"We drop everything and take our own curling stones and brushes and a few drams, and head up there," Mr Ferguson said. "It's a really social night."

Image copyright Mike Ferguson

He said the pond was upgraded, floodlights fitted and a bothy constructed about 10 years ago, thanks to a local benefactor.

But the rink has not been used since 2014 as the weather conditions have not been quite right.

Mr Ferguson, who owns Forfar Indoor Sports, said they could not use the pond in heavy snow and the rink need a "really clean frost".

"Conditions have to be spot on", he added.

Meanwhile Tarland Curling Club played on their outdoor curling pond for the first time since last January.

Image copyright Mike Ferguson

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