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Week 5 at Forest Hills, Kinlochard, Scotland

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4th February 2008: on the ice at Perth

L to R: Jim Morrison, Mark Meehan, Tom Walker, Rose Shedden, Graham Shedden, Elma Walker, John Coldwell, Christine Coldwell, Jamie Ross, Sandi Hawes, Colin Hawes, Gordon Gilchrist, Paul Meehan, Ian Dyer, Fiona Maclachlan, Looi Costello, Marguerite Grant, Seafield Grant, Cathy Costello, Dennis Duncan, David McClure

1st February 2008 from David

The Ben Venue walk planned for Sunday (see below) has been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

31st January 2008 from Mark

The rinks and rules for curling at Perth on Monday are here for download...

30th January 2008: a reminder from David

If you want to join Ayr and District Rambling Club in their walk up Ben Venue on Sunday 3rd February, please rendezvous at Ledard Farm road end at 9.45. That's down to Forest Hills gate and a bit to the right.
Hope the weather is good.

26th January 2008: Gordon's draft programme - comments by Monday 28th if possible

download the programme ...

23rd January 2008: A message from Jamie Ross - poker tournament with Monopoly money

Please bring any monopoly sets or, more specifically, the monopoly money from it. We are planning to have a poker tournament and the plan is to use monopoly money in place of chips.

14th January 2008: a message from Mark Meehan

Hi Folks,
Curling at Week 5 2008
The status of the ice booking at Perth for Monday 4th Feb is that 2 sheets have provisionally been reserved with possibility of a 3rd sheet. Sessions are 10.15am and 3.00pm which delivers a decent break between games. Google Maps advise that Perth is 44 miles from Aberfoyle and 65 mins drive. Precision of that data is not warranted nor is the navigability of the selected roads - but those stats should be fairly accurate.
To date we have a commitment from : David McClure, Gordon Gilchrist, Lou and Cathy Costello, Fiona Murray, Paul Meehan & Mark Meehan. We need a commitment from close to 16 before we are positioned to confirm the reservation of the 2 sheets and thereafter a commitment from a total of say 20+ to allow us to confirm the 3rd sheet. Those not attending Week 5 ,but interested in a days curling at Perth on 4/2, will be welcome if there is space. We may lose the provisionally reserved ice if we don't commit soon.
There are some curling enthusiasts missing from the email addresses included in the circulation list - eg Colin and Sandy Hawes, Derek Hawes, Heather and Ian Mowat, Ian Robertson, Margot MacPherson, Andy Molloy, Hunter Ross, Denis Duncan, to name but a few. Furthermore, David advises that some of the email addresses in the circulation list are obsolete as the emails are 'bounced back' [the Coldwell's email address for example]. For those of you that do receive this - if you identify that an obsolete email address has been utilised, please forward this to the correct address. If you identify that a ' Week Fiver' whose email address you possess, is not included in the circulation, please forward this to them. David and Gordon are keen to keep the email list comprehensive and up to date - please therefore also supply them with updated email info where available. [For technophobes - to read or check the full email address of any of those circulated above - please right click on the name and select ' properties' ].
Would those who want to participate in the curling at Perth on 4/2 please email me asap [copying the email to both Gordon and to David ]. If the final list creates an awkward or surplus number, we may have to allocate places to those 16 or 24 players who committed earliest.
I believe that the Dyers en masse are jetting off to Australia for a family wedding and will therefore miss Week 5. If you read this Margaret/Ian/Sonja/Keith - have a ball and be careful of those pilots - they are not all as reliable as the PR people would have us believe !!!
Look forward to meeting up with most of you soon.

12th January 2008: Week 5 2008 activities - message from Gordon

Gordon is having a meeting at Forest Hills this Wednesday (16th January) to try to draw up a programme for Week 5 that will keep up the Week 5 spirit. Here are some of the plans or ideas so far.
If you have any suggestions please contact Gordon directly or reply to me before then.

1) Curlers please come prepared. Mark and Paul are arranging curling at Perth on Monday 4th February. There will be sessions in both morning and afternoon, with time for lunch in between. Perth should be an attractive venue for non-curlers. There's the town to wander round, see the silvery Tay, and if all else fails, there's a bar overlooking the ice.
Please please please let us know if you want to curl. We want as many as possible to join in. Gordon is looking into the possibility of using the resort minibus to transport some of the party.

2) Resort entertainment: race night (good reports); whisky and wine tastings; live entertainment - do you have any ideas as to what and on which night?

3) Isla is going to run a quiz on the Bullseye format

4) Jean and Cathy will be running outdoor (boules and quoits) and indoor sports similar to last year (i.e. chaotic but fun).

5) Gordon will arrange haggis hurling (best thing to do with the bu**ers) and a treasure hunt.

6) Possibly a joint trip out - last year we went up to Loch Katrine and had a freezing boat trip. There were cycles for hire there last year which might tempt some of us. Suggestions of alternative destinations welcome.

6) How about a putting competition?

7) Ben Venue on Sunday - see below for details.

Why don't we ...? What's your suggestion?

Week 5 2008: Jean Storer invites you to come along with the Ayr and District Rambling Club on Sunday 3rd February in a walk up Ben Venue. This is an annual event for the ARDC members. They leave Ayr at 8.30 so should be at the layby at Ledard Farm lane end by 9.45. Boots and wet-weather gear essential. Sightings of goats and red deer possible (we saw both last year).
Jean is leading this, so how hard can it be? (Sorry Jean.)
[This message was sent to the email list on 15th November 2007. Some of the adresses are no longer in use.]

20th June 2007. Gordon has given me the measurements for the inaugural haggis hurling contest, and some background information on the event. Go there.

My emails to Loui and Fiona were returned - I assume your email addresses have changed.

An archive of news and photos for Week 5 2007 has now been posted. If you have any photos or comments you would like to add, please send them to me.

Goodbye to all that ...

To put names to faces click here.

A message from Cathy:
Looi and I are playing at the Lochard/Copper Trophy and look forward to seeing as many of Week 5ers as poss. We shall not be playing in the Bonspiel but will definitely be there to watch the final stages. It is soooo sad!

Hello everybody,

It's all over. We have had our last season of curling at Forest Hills - the ice rink will definately close at the end of this season.
I will send more on that later and it will be on the website.

If any of you would like to be in at the death, there are two chances to curl on Saturday 29th April, the last day:

1) There is a final bonspiel and light lunch for £20. The game will finish about 3.30 p.m. We do not know what time the kick-off is. I think you should contact FH directly about this if you want to take part.

2) The absolutely last ever never-to-be-repeated game on the ice will be for the Lochard Copper Trophy between Strathclyde Police and Lochard/Aberfoyle CC.
Gordon Gilchrist says he would take week 5ers on board if they are willing to play for the police. It starts at 4pm until 6pm followed by the final night of the Lochard/Aberfoyle season - entertainment at the village hall and prizegiving (bring your own booze and there is a buffet) B&B can be arranged. Phone Gordon yourself if you are interested or email me and I will pass it on.

p.s. If this was a letter it would be tear-stained (well almost).

Curling Ice Explained

Why is the ice at our local rinks not always as we think it should be? Why is it often white (that's curlers' rhyming slang)?
Curling Ice Explained, written by Leif Öhman and edited by John Minaar (iceman at Forest Hills) will answer all your questions. How about buying a copy for your local iceman this Christmas? - you may never be allowed to curl there again! If you click on the title to follow the link to the page about the book on the WCF site you will be able to download a sample chapter - that might be enough to sort out sheet 1 at ***.

Site updating in progress

2005 group photo can now be found in the archive.
2006 archive in progress.
For both of these just go to the archive and follow the links.

Here are five (oh alright George, six) of the reasons that Week 5 2006 was such a success.
L to R: George Scots, Aga Polish, Hayley Scots, Eva Polish, Tina South African, Rosie Australian

Two late announcements from Gordon ( also sent by email to everyone on the current list).:

1) Week 5 accommodation wanted:
Rose Shedden was on the phone she was having difficulty in getting a swap into week 5 and she was wondering if I knew of anyone not going up this year that she could rent from them. I have told her that I would contact yourself to see if you could put it on the web page to see if anyone knows of someone who is not going up this year in order that Rose could be put in contact with them.

2) Weekend competition: two curlers required.
I have 7 rinks from the residents, locals and Penicuik CC. I also have Seafield and Marguerite Grant looking for another two to make up the 8th rink. Can you send out an final request for another two to pair up with the Grants? I have also got Betty Montgomery who has been
assisting me to look out for another two as well.

Week 5 Weekend Mixed Competition (information also sent by email to everyone on the current list).

Gordon Gilchrist has asked me to pass on the following news:

1) There will be a Week 5 mixed weekend competition on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th February. It will consist of one game on Saturday afternoon and two games on Sunday (all 8 enders). The reason for having a single game on Saturday is to cater for any week fivers who wish to participate. At present Gordon has enquiries about 3 possible rinks from Penicuik CC and 1 or 2 from Kinlochard/Aberfoyle CC. He is putting in a rink with Ian and Sonja Dyer. There will be no problems with anyoone arriving with frozen foods as Gordon can arrange for those playig in the competition to get access to the lodges during cleaning or even have the necessary lodges cleaned first to possibly allow complete early access.

2) George is back and in charge of Rafters. He is with the curlers and has changed the viewing and restaurant back to what it was in the good old days. The blinds are up poermanently.

Curling at Forest Hills may be going out but it's doing it with a bang and not a whimper.

Congratulations to Lou, Mike, and Gordon.

Lou Costello, Mike McReadie and Gordon Gilchrist, all week fivers, were runners up at the Forest Hills men's open on 3rd December.

ICE IN 2006, PERHAPS IN 2007 (information also sent by email to everyone on the current list).

Hello all,

It's a sunny day here in the west of Scotland (but it's raining down south - shame!) and not the time of year when we normally spend time thinking about curling. However, information has been coming out about Forest Hills ice, and it seems like a good idea to update you.

There WILL be ice for week 5 in 2006, so we can have our usual competitions during the week. And there will be a competition for mixed rinks on the first weekend of week 5 - Saturday 4th February and Sunday 5th. There will only be one game on Saturday and that will be in the afternoon to give owners a chance to reach the resort, and two games on Sunday.
Ice charges will be higher - by how much remains to be seen.

Looking further ahead, there is a chance of ice in 2007, but beyond that the situation looks bleak. Apparently the ice plant will expire by 2010 at the latest owing to new legislation about chemicals and gases. The company is thinking of building a second, more conventional, pool and extending the gym. When this goes ahead the ice rink will be closed.
The company also plans to build two blocks down the hill next to Rowan.

Best wishes to all,

UPDATE FROM GORDON: 1) ICE; 2) Staff party in Rafters on Monday 31st January.

1) There will be ice at Forest Hills and it will be competitions as usual.

2) I know it is late but the management have been on to me and would like a decision by Thursday. They are holding a staff party on Monday 31st. They intended holding it in Rafters but this would mean closing Rafters till about 9 - 9.30pm. If we do not mind this
then we could join in with the staff at the bar after that. Or do we request them to be punted elsewhere such as the Garden Restaurant. I think this happened before and we opted for the former. If you have a preference, please email Gordon.


It seems there is now a good prospect of ice. A dehumidifier has been found and John Minaar is doing his considerable best to provide ice for week 5. Nothing is guaranteed, but John is quietly optimistic.

It's another gold for Mike McCreadie!

The Scots team skipped by Frank Duffy, with Michael McCreadie 3rd, Tom Killin 2nd, Angie Malone lead, and Ken Dickson fifth won the world wheelchair curling championship for the second straight year, beating Denmark 7-5 in an exciting final at Braehead Curling Rink in Glasgow On Saturday 22nd January 2005.

The photo is from the World Curling Federation website (I am sure they won't mind). To see their report of the final click here.


Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings (they are meant to be good at this time of year), but there is no ice at Forest Hills due to a failure of the heating plant (so no dehumidification) and all events and club ice have been cancelled until the end of January, with no present news of resumption then. Please feel free to make your individual enquiries and representations. If you hear of any change in the position (whether positive or negative) let me know and I will post it on the website. Regards, David.

Since posting this I have had messages from a number of you expressing your concern and disappointment. Lyonel wonders about the possibility of some curling at another rink - presumably Stirling.


Ireland's men ended up with the silver medal in the B competition at the European Championships in Sofia after winning 9 games out of 10. This means that they will be competing with the big boys next year. All the results from Sofia.

Following a selection weekend at Kinross Ice Rink on 13th 14th November, the following team was selected to represent Scotland at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships in Braehead Glasgow in January 2005:

Skip - Frank Duffy
Third - Michael McCreadie
Second - Tom Killin
Lead - Angie Malone
Alternate - Ken Dickson

Mike McCreadie was a welcome addition to the ranks of Week 5 curlers in 2004, when he joined us fresh from winning a gold medal at the World's in Sursee. He will be competing in the less exotic surroundings of Braehead this time, but we hope that he will be joining us in February with another gold medal.

An ice rink dedicated to curling opened near Tunbridge Wells on 9th November 2004. Anyone who is interested can find out more at the website.

EMAIL LIST updated 4th June:
The list has 22 confirmed addresses so far. Click here to see it.

All the others: There were eight rinks in the league. Photos of the winners, runners up, and recipients of the wooden spoons have already been posted on the site. Now is your chance to see the others, without whom the competition would have been pretty dull. They are on the league page, but you can click here to go straight to them.

17th February 2004: Paul's photos now showing at a web site near you.
Go to Paul's Photo Index.

12th February 2004: I have added the results and photos for the curling and other competitions. They are all in the 2004 archive.
Paul has given me some of his 'fun' photographs, and I will add these as soon as the police return the files.

Keeping up with Week 5: Click here for a photo of Paul on the ice at Ayr.

Are you on the Week 5 emailing list?  If not, contact David McClure now.

The raffle of bootees and other fashion accessories at our closing dinner in 2003 raised 150. Click here for the letter of thanks.


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