Virtual Tourists – Ian Sands & Frank Ross

Today seems a nice time to acknowledge the contribution from a couple of guys to the tour.  They were with us on the journey through the preparations and practices but regrettably had to withdraw from the trip.

img_1931Ian is a farmer from Balbeggie in Perthshire.  He was our original Choirmaster and Entertainments guru who prepared the songbook and also had a hand in the development of the tour logo and badge. Ian curls with Glendoick Curling Club.



Frank joined in the fun and the building excitement at tour practices. He is  from Edinburgh where he is a Chartered Accountant by profession and a business turnround specialist. He is also a Councillor, City of Edinburgh, and Deputy Council Leader. Frank curls with Athelstaneford Curling Club in East Lothian.

Suffice to say they are in our thoughts as we wend our way across the States.  Best wishes to you both.

The return of the Coo

Well we were heading for Portage and having a grand time when the bus was pulled over by Portage’s finest.  The bus driver was all a quiver as we drew to a stop and they came on  board.  Information is a wonderful thing in this day and age and they knew.  They immediately  called on our courier,  to step forward. img_03123056 A quick search of his jacket revealed the missing  mascot. With Russ screamin’ its a fit-up, they headed downtown to the jailhouse to get things sorted out.  Turns out Sandy had been off having a grand time, cavorting with other cuddly toys on the conveyor belt img_03103058of life.   The wee bugger had had such a great time he wasn’t so sure he wanted to be back on the bus but anyway he’s been kept in the cattle crush of Kenny’s arms since then and is going nowhere else soon.  Loads of fun with  that and some grateful appreciation to the  Portage Police department for making it all seem so real.  Superb!

Featured Player – John Hodge

John plays second in Ian Young’s team Islay and took on the tour role of assisting with entertainments. (Well that was a pretty iffy job description and one that many gave a body-swerve).  In any case, he has now taken on the very onerous role of assisting with the morning class dispensary.  img_6571“My home is in Coldstream in the Scottish Borders where I am currently trying to get to the point at which I can retire from farming.  I am 68 years old and Janet and I have been married for 44 years. We have a son and two daughters and two grandchildren.
My clubs are Duns, my home club and Swinton. We curl at Border Ice Rink in Kelso where I am currently President of Border Province.
I have been privileged to represent my club at open and national competitions.
On tour what I’ll enjoy most is the friendly games, played with a competitive spirit, good fun and making new friends both with fellow-tourists and our USA hosts.
I enjoy golf and travel.”

Featured Player – David Sillito

David is playing third in Gary Rutherford’s team Jura. He has the very important job of being Treasurer for our tour.  David’s appearance changed a number of times over the summer as we built towards the tour.  Sometimes with short hair, sometimes longer.  Sometimes clean shaven, others bearded.  I reckon he was growing the stuff so he could tear it all out with the ups and downs of the exchange rate due to Brexit, Brexit x 5, etc etc.  Always colourfully and smartly attired though.img_7117
“My home is in Glasgow, but we will relocate to Balnaguard, Perthshire within the year.
I am 64, a retired businessman and chartered accountant.
My wife Libby and I have two daughters, one of whom is married and living in Chicago and a son.
My three clubs are Glasgow XX, Reform and Giffnock. I do most of my curling at Greenacres Curling, Renfrewshire.
I am currently Vice President of Glasgow XX, and a past President of Giffnock.
I am proud to have competed twice in World Seniors for England.
What I look for on tour is lots of curling and meeting lots of American curlers for the first time.
I like to keep fit. I enjoy gardening and trout fishing.”

Featured Player – John McDermott

John plays second in Clive Thomson’s team Mull. Working with David McIntyre, he has been joint co-ordinator of the tour gifts and was heavily involved in arrangements for ice kit. As a last minute thing he found he had to fix 20 brush heads onto 20 handles.  Easy peasy for a man of his talents.
img_6839“I am a transport Engineer, based in Glasgow but my home town is Greenock, on the Firth of Clyde. I was born and bred in Greenock, the eldest of four children. Now 55, I am proud uncle of Holly and Lara.
I first started curling in 1998 and play with Ardgowan CC, founded in 1841, as well as the British Civil Service Curling Association. I do most of my curling at Waterfront Leisure Centre, Greenock and play in weekend curling competitions when time allows.
I am currently President of the Ardgowan club and Secretary of the British Civil Service Curling Association.
In 2008 I was part of a Scottish Police/Civil Service tour to Canada. I have represented the RCCC in the Four Nations international competition.  Other highlights in curling include being in the 2012 team that won the Alan Johnston trophy in Highland Week at Inverness. In 2016, the 50th anniversary of Highland Week, I played in the runners-up team for the Glenfarclas Quaich.
What I’m most looking forward to on tour, is meeting old friends and new fellow-curlers in the true spirit of curling as we make our way around all the States we’re to visit. And, of course, to bringing home the Herries Maxwell Trophy. I am a licensed amateur radio operator. My other interests include travel and motorsport, skiing, golf and, in good weather, cycling.

Featured Player – Kenny Spence

Kenny is playing lead in Callum Harvey’s team Iona. He had joint responsibility for the design and arrangements for our tour logo and badge.  img_6439He tells me – “I am from Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire where I am a farmer and agricultural contractor.  I am 64.
My wife Helen and I have a son Alan, and daughters Linsey and Alice.
My curling club is Corrie and we play at Lockerbie.
My daughter Alice won the Junior World Curling Championship in 2012.
Outside farming, my interests are horses and motor sport.”

Featured Player – Alan Arnot

Alan is playing lead in Gary Rutherford’s team Jura. Originally  I/C2 Morning Class, Alan saw an opening to a more influential role and was duly inducted into the dark ways of the court.  As clerk, he is supporting the Judge and has already started lightening our wallets. As an aside, he introduced ‘wee Sandy’ into the team as an example of pedigree Highland stock.
img_7064“I am a 61-year-old farmer at Hatton Mill Farm, Friockheim, Angus. Joyce and I have been married for 30 years. Our grown-up family are James, Drew and Craig.
My club is Evenie Water. We curl at Forfar Indoor Sports.
I am a former President of Evenie Water Curling Club, and am a member of the Committee.
My main achievement so far in curling was winning the National Province Championship in 1993.
On tour I’ll enjoy travelling with my tour friends and seeing a lot of USA.”

Featured Player – Jim Ramsay

img_6634Jim is playing third in Ian Young’s team Islay.  He is our Tour Secretary and has ensured we all managed to get everything in order for the trip.  Good appointment that, since organisation seems to be his forte (or at least one of his forte’s).
“My home is at Penicuik, eleven miles south of Edinburgh. I am 63 years old and a convenience store operator.
Pamela, my wife and I have three grown-up sons and two grandchildren.
My clubs are Penicuik, which was instituted in 1815 and the home of the first Grand Match, and DAFS. Murrayfield Curling Rink, Edinburgh is my home rink.
I am President of Edinburgh Curling Club Ltd (ECCL), and was President of Penicuik. ECCL has a major stake in Murrayfield Curling Rink. It acts in the role of an umbrella for the eighty or more local clubs that play at Murrayfield, providing a wider variety of competitions than any local club could.
I introduced and have organised the annual Edinburgh International Curlers’ Gathering. My own ‘best competition results’ are still to come – I hope!
As to the tour, my ambition is to get my hands on the Herries Maxwell Trophy and bring it back to Scotland.
Between work and curling I fit in a regular slot on community radio and a bit of golf.”

Featured Player – Clarke Perry

Clarke is playing second in Callum Harvey’s team Iona.  He plays his cards close to his chest, does Clarke but in conversation with him, we learn that he is definitely the outdoorsy type, enjoying windswept seas, windswept mountains and windswept golf courses.  Not sure how that explains the love of indoor curling but, Hey Ho!

img_2087“I am from Glasgow and have a son, Dale.
At 58 years old, I am a quantity Surveyor and Company Director.
My clubs are Drystanes and Giffnock and I’m a past President of the Giffnock club.
I curl at both Braehead and at Greenacres ice rinks.
On tour, what I’m most looking forward to is meeting the third Mrs Perry.
For recreation and leisure I sail, ski and play golf.”


Member No. 22 of the squad has gone missing, presumed abducted.  img_19623052-sandyWee Sandy was introduced to the team as we gathered for departure.  Regrettably he was only able to make it through to Sunday before ‘The Keeper of the Coo’ reported he was missing.  Hopefully we will be reunited soon.