The launch of the Trail

The curling pond is on the Gartness Road by Drumore Farm. The pond was part of the Drumore Brick and Tile Works. The works stretched from what is now the curling pond to Drumore Cottage, which was also part of the works. The works were active in the 1860s, as recorded on the Ordnance Survey map but were disused by the time of the 1898 map, when the works pond is labelled as a curling pond. The hut next to the pond is almost certainly built of bricks made on site.

The curling pond hut at Drumore

Curling has a long history in the village. The Strathendrick Curling Club was formed in 1846. For many years the pond at Drumore was used (when the weather allowed), until the late 1970s. Part of the site was cleared and restored in autumn 2001, with curling being possible in 2003. A further clearing of the pond was undertaken in 2009 and curling was possible in the 2009–10 winter. The weather has not favoured outdoor curling, however, and all competitive play takes place at indoor rinks.

Dr Gordon Mitchell, the minister of Killearn Kirk, 1898–1931, was an enthusiastic curler. He wrote much verse, both in Scots and English, including this example about playing at Drumore:

The yird’s like a brick, an’ the cranreuch is thick,
An’ the air is as keen as a gully;
The sun rises bright on Benlomond sae white.
Hae! Get haun’les and beson, my billie.
We’ll daunder awa owre the cheep-cheepin’ snaw,
For I hae a vera guid notion,
The water to-day will be ready for play,
An’ the Ailsas will soon be in motion.

Chorus
For we’ll a’ gang a-curlin’ the day,
All nature invites to the play.
Sae we’ll soop an’ we’ll roar on the dam o’ Drumore,
For we’ll a’ gang a-curlin’ the day…

An article in the Killearn Courier gives more information on the curling pond (opens pdf, 4MB).

Killearn Golf Club

It was not the only sporting activity on Gartness Road. Beyond Drumore farm and between the farm buildings and the main A81 road, there was a nine-hole golf course. It was designed by Tom Morris of St Andrews in 1896. It was short-lived, however, and no records exist of it being active after 1912. More information can be found out on the Forgotten Greens website.