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About Duddingston Curling Club

There is some debate as to the exact date which the Duddingston Curling Club (formerly Society) became instituted. Some claim that because there is reference in parish records that curling was played in this area at a particular date, it does not mean the club was instituted then. In this case the present Duddingstron Curling Club in Edinburgh claims it has a genealogy dating back to 1761 as indicated on its insignia

 

The historical records are very clear in that this famous Society was constituted on 24th January 1795. If there is any reference to curling taking place in Duddingston earlier than that then it has to be deemed as just evidence that curling was played in the Duddingston parish as the Society did not exist then.

 

The Duddingston Curling Society from its own historical records inform us that the Society disappeared around 1854 to 1855, when the active members then formed a new club called "Coates Club" with a pond nearer to Edinburgh. These members however retained the Duddingston Societies minutes and its Gold medal.

 

The present Duddingston Curling club dates from 1894 and acknowledged this fact until as late as 1904 when for some reason it decided to claim 1795 as its date of institution in substitution for 1894 which had appeared in every annual since 1895.

 

The original Duddingston Curling Society had a massive influence on curling in the early years of the nineteenth century before the institution of the Grand Club. As stated above Curling had existed in the parish of Duddingston in some form before 1795 which is clear from the first minutes taken down by the society. However, it is also clear that on the 24th January 1795 a proper society was constituted with rules and regulations.

 

The club was mainly made up from local people from the parish of Duddingston however, being so close to Edinburgh it began to attract curlers from the city. In 1800 advocate James Millar joined the society. He was one of the gentlemen on the Society's committee which, devised and promulgated the Societies rules of curling and was in fact responsible for the Latin motto adopted by the society and since reproduced on the badge:

Sic Scoti: alii non aeque felices.

Loosely translated - This is the way the Scots play: the rest of the world isn't half so lucky.

 

In 1802 a proposal was put forward that an insignia should be made as a badge to distinguish the members of the Society from other gentlemen and by 1803 badges had already been distributed to its members at a cost of 10 shillings and six pence each. This put Duddingston far in advance of any other curling society.

 

Once again in 1803 the society showed its foresight in deciding to set up a committee to devise a code of curling laws. The report produced by said committee stated that they had prepared the laws with the greatest of care taking into account what was going on in curling where it prevailed. This new code was approved on 6th January 1804 and put into print making it available to other clubs to view and take on board. This exerted considerable influence throughout Scotand in the way the game was to be played

 

One such club to take on board these laws was Lochmaben where in 1829 they decided to incorporate the Dudingston rules with their own. This lead to the first rules from the Grand Caladonian Club being based on the Lochmaben/Duddingston rules.

 

Over the years Dudingston Curling club has had to change with the times and become a 21st century club. ladies and gentlemen enjoy equal rights with about 50% split between ladies and gentlemen in the club. In fact in 2009 the voted president of Duddingston Curling club was a lady, along with the clubs vice president.