In here we have a witty and inspiring piece over the course of the tour on each of the tour members (and maybe others).
Honorary Tourist – Bob Chandler
Bob has been with us since the swap-over at Saint Paul and has been our courier on the second leg of the tour. His home curling club is Boston CC and we’ve really enjoyed him being with us as we’ve travelled back into his home territory. Our luck seemed to change a wee bit with his arrival but unfortunately couldn’t be sustained.
Bob made the last tour to Scotland in 2012 and it has been really great that he has been able to guide us in our trip. He knows what is involved with a tour and he has been an immense help to us all, keeping us to the very tight schedule and making sure all the tour admin is kept ship-shape. We’ll soon be at the tour end and have to say our farewells but in the meantime, thanks Bob . You’ve been a star. Cheers!
Honorary Tourist – Jason Deprez
Our bus driver for the second half of the tour has been Jason Deprez who also hails from Sheboygan Wisconsin. Like Dave Kirchstein, Jason drove the last Scottish tour around the same route in 2007. He dropped us off at Syracuse for our flight to Washington and made his own way to meet up with us again at Philadelphia. It was pretty challenging meeting some of the travel schedule but he got us there. Excellent driving through the snowy Cleveland area!! It has been really well appreciated by all of us.
Once he drops us at Boston for the flight home, he’ll be able to start heading home himself. Hope you get to do the next tour too Jason. Thanks.
Bill is playing third in Clive Thomson’s team Mull. He is our website creator and webmaster for the tour. Having posted comments and insights on his fellow team members, he is attempting to hide. He provided some personal bits of his own.
“ My home is in Earlston, in the Scottish Borders. Now 59, my career has been in the water supply industry and I am currently a specialist with the Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland.
Sheena and I have been married for 34 years and have two children, Vicki and Rory.
I’ve been a member of Earlston Curling Club for over 30 years and, more recently, of DAFS (Midlothian). I do most of my curling at Border Ice Rink, Kelso.
I’ve been President of Border Province, a Committee member of Border Ice Rink, where I coach when I can and have twice been President of my home club.
I’ve played in the Scottish Seniors Championships for five years, and last year we reached the final eight. I’ve also played a number of times in the Edinburgh International Seniors.
I have enjoyed playing in Scotland against the tough competition of touring teams – including USA curlers, and the socialising afterwards. I look forward to renewing friendships with as many as possible of these USA curlers, and meeting new ones on this tour. I enjoy music and attending concerts, photography and a bit of gardening.”
William is playing lead in Alex Dickson’s team Tiree. He has taken to touring very well and is the strong, silent type. The ‘quiet man’ of the team, he is always where the action is, taking note of what is going on, keeping council and generally being a right good guy. He was suspected of being a deep cover mole for the judge but has lately attracted a number if infractions, so possibly not.
“I’m 59 and farm Barr of Spottes Farm, Castle Douglas, which is in South-West Scotland.My family is Christine my wife, daughters Lindsay, Kirsty and Fiona, and grandson Jay who is six years old.
My home Club is Kirkpatrick-Durham, instituted in 1831. We curl at Dumfries Ice Bowl. I am in my sixth year as President of my Club, and recently completed my two-year term as President of Stewartry Province. I’m proud to have won the Stewartry Province ‘Vale of Urr’ trophy twice, and also the inter county Stewartry v Dumfriesshire ‘Craigielands’ trophy.
On tour I’m most looking forward to curling against fellow-curlers from USA, and seeing a country I haven’t visited before.
I enjoy watching football, both by being at games and on TV, and travelling to parts of the world I haven’t been to before.”
Bill is playing lead in Ian Young’s team Islay. He is also match secretary and I/C Morning Class. As the title suggests, Bill has taken on two of the most important roles in any tour. Although mixing the onerous job of dispensing morning medicine with the need to keep fastidious track of and the reporting of scores???? I guess we’ll see how that has gone. “Back home, I am a farmer to the core. At Kilmux Farm, Leven, Fife, a holding of 500 acres, we have beef cattle and mixed arable.
I’m 58 and my family is Carole, my wife, daughter Jenny and son David. My clubs are Lundin and Montrave which curl at Kirkcaldy.
I have been Club President and Club Treasurer; President of our Province and of our Area; and a member of the RCCC Areas Standing Committee.
Any successes I’ve had in curling have been minor and in the past, but then and now I’ve been glad to enjoy the sporting participation and fun that curling offers.
Spending time on Tour with my colleagues will be something special, visiting so many parts of the USA and the legendary morning class.
I have run marathons in three continents and an ultra-marathon. I enjoy cooking, and have travelled away from the usual tourist spots in many countries.”
Callum is Skip of team Iona. He is probably the most laid-back member of our party where, it has been observed, he is pretty much unruffled by any situation. Maybe that comes from his line of work. Actually he was one of the first to be nearly laid out with the tour cold but he soldiered on wrapped up like a garden gnome. “I am 54 and a farmer at Tranent, ten miles east of Edinburgh.
My wife Lorna and I have three children: Callum, Emma and Alastair.
I am a member of Oxenfoord and of Dirleton clubs. We curl at Murrayfield Curling Rink, Edinburgh.
I am President of both my Clubs and a former President of East Lothian Province.
My best memories of curling so far are curling outdoors – its natural environment – on a beautiful winter’s day with my late father’s pair of keen stones and my old corn broom. That’s curling as it’s meant to be – a lot of fun!
What I’m most looking forward to on tour is competing against all the US teams, then getting to know the curlers afterwards.
My interests and hobbies are skiing, visiting new places and the life-long task of trying to make two ears of corn grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before.”
Honorary Tourist – David Kirchstein
Our bus driver for the first half of the tour has been David Kirchstein from Sheboygan Wisconsin. Dave is immensely experienced with this sort of tour and drove the last Scottish tour around the same route in 2007. Boy! Has he had some stories. Top bus driver and all round excellent guy, keeping us well provisioned with stuff and looking after all the loading and unloading of tour gear so we could head off and meet new people. With a nice dry sense of humour, he as offered commentary on the local communities we visited and insights into the views we should have been seeing when it was too foggy to see anything. It has been really well appreciated by all of us.
Once he drops us at Fargo for the flight to Chicago & Detroit, he’ll be able to wend his way home. Sincerely hope you get to do the next tour Dave. They will be in for a treat.
Honorary Tourist – Russ Brown
Russ has been with us since the day we landed in Chicago and has been our courier on the first leg of the tour. His home curling club is Exmoor and whilst we were in that neck of the woods he was responsible for much of the organisation of the tour visit there. He said he’d be able to relax once we got on the road and it would all be a bit easier. WRONG! As a group, we really do need to be taken care of you know. As for looking after the cattle on board – you’ll have read of his problems with Sandy and the Portage Police Department. Nothing more to say here.
Russ made the last tour to Scotland in 2012 and for those who played against that tour, it’s been great to meet up with him again. He knows what is involved with a tour and he has been an immense help to us all, keeping us to the very tight schedule and been great with advice on how to deal with the rigours of touring. When we get to Saint Paul on Thursday 26th, we have a hand over to Bob Chandler for the remainder of the tour. Thanks Russ. You’ve earned a wee rest. See you at the finish line.
David is playing lead in Clive Thomson’s team Mull. He was joint Co-ordinator of tour gifts and also holds a judicial role. I’m wary of saying too much now about David since he has settled into that role rather too easily and has a keen eye. Whereas that it is a great thing on the ice, other times, it can be troublesome for us tourists. Before his calling to the bar, he was quite open about himself….
“I’m 64 years old and a retired Civil Engineer from Ayr on the Clyde Coast.
I have been married to Lillian since 1974 with two children, Shona and Ian, and one granddaughter Isla. I must mention our collie dog Heather!
I curl with six clubs: Troon Portland (past president and match secretary), Dalmellington Craigengillan (match secretary), Ayr Disnae Virtual (secretary and match secretary), Ayr CC (committee member), Construction South and Straiton. I have been nominated Vice President of Ayr CC. I hold an RCCC level 1 coach qualification.
Ayr Curling Rink is where I do my club curling.
I won the Scottish Gold Cup at Stranraer in 2013, and took an eight-ender at the same curling rink in 2012. I much enjoyed playing in last season’s Scottish Masters.
On tour I hope to play with and against similar minded curlers on the upcoming USA tour, enjoying the social aspects of curling and visiting new places which will surely make our tour a trip of a lifetime and something to remember.
When I’m not curling I am a keen hill walker and dog walker. I am a former rugby player/coach, and continue to support Ayr RFC and Glasgow Warriors.
On Tour, Gary is skip of team Jura. I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that at 43 years of age, he is by some margin, the youngest of our squad. That’s a good thing for the rest of us, bringing as he does some very welcome fresh thinking to tricky situations.
“I am part of our family-run bus and coach transport firm with my father and mother. My home is in Glenfarg, rural Perthshire with my wife Jenny, and two young sons Finlay and Max.
I started curling at the age of 15 at school and now curl for Auchterarder and Glenfarg in the Upper Strathearn and Loch Leven Provinces, playing mainly in Kinross and Perth ice rinks.
As Past President of Glenfarg CC and Loch Leven Province I was fortunate enough to curl against the 2012 US tourists. My father, David, was part of the US-bound 2007 Scottish Tour.
I have competed in various national championships over twenty years – the most unique location was on outdoor ice in the Alps at the World Corporate Games in 1996.
I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to join this curling tour and am looking forward to playing in a new continent and meeting new curlers.
My other hobbies include watching sports, in particular golf and football (I am a long-suffering fan of Scotland’s national football team!), cycling and keeping up with jobs on our property – especially those that require power tools.”
Let me introduce you to John who is playing second in Gary Rutherford’s team Jura. It is tempting to tell you loads of stuff about John but he sort of tells it well himself. For the tour, he has taken on the roles of Assistant Secretary and Diarist. Good call – and not bad for a chap of 75. We are assured of a good record of the tour.
“My home is now in Longniddry, East Lothian. I was born and raised in Galloway, South-West Scotland.
I am retired. My main career was as Secretary of The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland which presents Scotland’s annual national agricultural exhibition, and of related bodies.
I am married to Muriel. We have two sons, John and Alasdair, a daughter Isla, and seven grandchildren.
My ‘local’ curling clubs are Haddington and Aberlady, both in East Lothian. I do my club curling at Murrayfield Curling Rink, Edinburgh.
I am now President of Haddington, Secretary of RCCC Edinburgh Area Committee, and a qualified coach. Formerly on the RCCC Areas Standing Committee, Secretary of East Lothian Province, Aberlady President, and Secretary of the Edinburgh Organising Committee of the RCCC Indoor Grand Match 2015.
2015-16 was my best season so far. With Skip Willie Jamieson we got to the quarter-finals of the Edinburgh International Senior Men’s Championship. I played in two rinks which won RCCC District Medals. For the third time in ten years I was in an Aberlady rink which won the East Lothian Province Bonspiel. I won the pairs competition of two Clubs, and I took four of the five Aberlady Club trophies.
Travelling with my team-mates, making many more good curling friends, and learning how USA curling clubs and rinks are organised will make this tour one of the best bargains of my lifetime.
For leisure and recreation I have been developing and running a large garden, playing outdoor bowls and enjoying music.”
Malcolm is playing third in Alex Dixon’s team Tiree. He is our Choirmaster and Musical Director, although as far as we are concerned, that term ‘musical’ should be taken loosely. I’m hopeful that we will pleasantly surprise him before we head home. Born in Paisley and now living a whole four miles away in Kilbarchan, he tells me. “I am a Chartered Surveyor and worked as a property asset manager in local government for over 30 years. My last post was in Hereford, where I liked to tell the Councillors I was doing missionary work. I am 61 and have been retired for five years now and loving every minute. I have been married to my wife Susan for 37 years. We have three grown up daughters, Fiona, Morven and Eilidh and two grandchildren, Ryan who is six and Emma who was one in October this year.
I started curling over 40 years ago, for Stoddards (the carpet manufacturer, who made the carpets for the Titanic. I’m not sure whether that is good or bad) and Dunlop Curling Club, Ayrshire. When I returned from Hereford, I joined Blythswood Curling Club, Renfrewshire and curl at Greenacres Ice Rink. Former President of Dunlop Curling Club and currently on the Committee at Blythswood Curling Club.
Proudest moments were playing for Scotland in the Four Nations tournaments in 2014 and 2016. Best result was winning the Beefeater Tournament at Stranraer with Blythswood in 2015.
What I’m most looking forward to on tour is getting to know my teammates and having the opportunity to meet the host teams in the US. My other interests are that I sing tenor with Kilbarchan Singers and bass with Kilbarchan Parish Church choir, although not at the same time. I am also an erstwhile supporter of Saint Mirren Football Club.”
Ian is skip of team Islay and is our tour photographer. The unfortunate thing about that is he is invariably on the wrong side of the camera to feature in the photographs. On the other hand, he is invariably on the right side of the camera to not feature in any photographs. So, all we have is this rare action shot and what he tells us. “I am 60 years old, from Letham, in the county of Angus.
I am a civil servant, married to Janice for 28 years. We have a son Murray 25 and a daughter Lesley 22, both of whom curl.
Most of my curling is done at Forfar Indoor Sports playing for Suttieside Curling Club and Dundee Civil Service.
I am Match Secretary of the Suttieside club, and Chairman of the Development Group of Forfar Curling Centre.
In 2016 I was proud to have been part of the Forfar Curling Centre Team who won the Maxwell Trophy, a competition for three teams of curlers from any of the Scottish Ice Rinks.
Most of all, on tour I’m looking forward to making lasting friendships with other tourists and to bringing the Herries Maxwell trophy back to Scotland.
I enjoy golf, walking and cycling.”
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.
Ian 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.
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. “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.”
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.
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. He 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.”
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.
“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.”
Jim 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.”
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!
“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.”
Alex DIckson – 17 January
Alex is skip of team Tiree, our Vice Captain and one half of our Quartermaster duo with Alan Roe. Together they have thought long and hard about what it would take to make us presentable and, hey! Could we get any better? Alex filled us in on his story.
“My home is in Dumfries, South-West Scotland and I’m 58 years old.
A former police officer, I retired in 2010. I now work as a Project Manager for Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project, a charity that supports vulnerable young people age 8 to 18 years.
Linda and I have been married for 34 years. Our daughters are Kirsten, Lauren and Alexandra.
I have been a member of Crocketford Curling Club for 36 years. I’ve been its President for the past twelve years – not that I am holding on to it, but the status quo keeps being the only proposal at our AGM!
I curl out of Dumfries Ice Bowl, and enjoy playing at other rinks when the opportunity arises.
I curl at a reasonable level and, as a member of Team Hardie, have got to the last eight of the Scottish Seniors for the last three years.
On Tour, I’m most looking forward to making new friends and perhaps meeting up with ‘kent faces’ from the last USA tour to Scotland – and of course to the socialising and fun plus a few wins for Scotland!
My interests and hobbies are varied. I try to make time to play five-a side football (soccer) once a week, I mentor young people going through a sticky patch in their lives, I’m an active Rotarian, and Session Clerk at our local church. Any spare time I have I work in my large garden.”
Albert Middler – 16th January
Albert is playing second in Alex Dickson’s team Tiree and is our First Aider on the tour. We were assured he possessed a good bedside manner and would proffer a sympathetic ear to anyone succumbing to ailments and illnesses. Ha! “C’moan. Oot yer flechie and on the bus! Sharp like.” Ah well. His other skills and knowledge of competition rules is certainly valuable.
He tells me – “My home is in Aberdeen and I am now 66 and retired, having been a local government Valuation Surveyor. I am divorced, have a son Graeme and a daughter Arlene.
I am a member of AWW Curling Club, founded in 1984, and of Curl Aberdeen Juniors. My home rink is Curl Aberdeen.
I am a past President of North-Eastern Province of the RCCC and have been a member of Curl Aberdeen Management Committee since 2005. I am a level 2 coach and a level 4 umpire. I am proud to have been an umpire at three World championships, three European championships and numerous Scottish Championships.
On tour I look forward to forming new friendships, and to lots of good curling played in the true spirit.
I play some golf and enjoy going to the cinema.”
Clive Thomson – 16th January
Clive is skip of team Mull, Captain of our tour and has the distinction of being the man with the plan and the dubious honour of motivating us to win that Herries-Maxwell trophy. I’m sure he would put it better himself because, away from the tour, he has the distinction of being President of the RCCC, is a very eloquent fellow and, as his story attests, quite used to sporting spectacle. “I was born and brought up in Glasgow and attended Belmont House School and Glasgow Academy. I’m 68 and live in Newton Mearns on the south side of Glasgow with my wife, Judith, also a keen curler. We have a son and a daughter both living and working in London.
I was an institutional stockbroker for 25 years before acquiring the conference business I now run with offices in Glasgow and Salisbury.
I have been curling since forming a club to represent the school in the Glasgow Schools Curling League when the Rector insisted that all pupils played rugby on a Saturday morning. After school I moved on to Glasgow Young Curlers and later joined my mother club, Glasgow Academicals. I am also a member of the Beechnuts and Whitecraigs Tennis Club Curling section.
I curl at Intu Braehead on the banks of the river Clyde, west of Glasgow, and am a past President of both Dunbartonshire and Glasgow Provinces.
Playing for Scotland in the Four Nations competition and winning several Province and club competitions have been the highlights of my playing career.
Before taking up administrative posts in curling I was heavily involved in tennis both in Scotland and the Lawn Tennis Association in London and was a member of the Wimbledon Championships committee for eleven years.
On tour I’m looking forward to making new friends, seeing new places and enjoying the camaraderie of my fellow tourists. I am an elder in the Church of Scotland, and when I have any spare time I enjoy playing golf and tennis.”