One of Abernethy’s local sporting clubs, Abdie Curling Club, were involved in Fife Doors Open Day on 8th September. This is when Fife opens its doors to buildings, walks and exhibitions all over Fife for members of the public to come and have a look at things and places of interest that are not normally accessible.
It was the first time Abdie have been involved in Fife Doors Open Day and indeed the first time in living memory the Abdie Curling House has been open to non-curlers and its contents revealed. Nearly 90 members of the public came to look round, with one elderly resident of Grange of Lindores marvelling at the contents as she had never been allowed to play near the House as a child, in case she fell in the Loch!
Built in the early 1860’s at the north end of Lindores Loch it is a very rare and charming example of its type as there are very few curling houses left in Scotland, and fewer still filled with old outdoor curling stones and implements to mark the ice prior to the game and to clear snow off the playing surface.
Also on display were other original artefacts associated with this Scottish winter sport plus winner’s medals and the beautifully hand-written early Minute Books of Abdie Curling Club. The club was formed in 1831 making it one of the 10 oldest in the world.
As the result of participating in Fife Doors Open Day our President Andy Messenger was invited to speak at a Civic Reception in Dunfermline City Chambers by Provost Jim Leishman to give an account, as a new venue, of how our day had been and what Abdie had got out of it.
Two of Abdie’s most famous past members deserve a mention. Capt. James Ogilvie Dalgliesh RN was not only an early club member but also one of the founding fathers of the governing body of curling - the Royal Caledonian Curling Club - that was formed in 1838, seven years after Abdie was formed. He was the first Vice President of the Royal Club in 1838 and became President between 1850-52.
The other famous Abdie man was Rear Admiral Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland who took the surrender of Napoleon Boneparte on his ship HMS Belleropon in July 1815, marking the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Both men are mentioned in the Abdie Minute Books but more as humble curlers like their fellow winter sportsmen than men of stature.