THIS week, Robert Robertson from Peebles Curling Club brings us details on the Strathcona Cup and its history...

On January 10, around 80 Canadian Curlers arrived in Scotland to play for the Strathcona Cup, the oldest trophy in International Curling.

It is the grandest and likely the most valuable trophy in curling. It rarely leaves the vaults. It was specially commissioned by Lord Strathcona for the first Canadian tour to Scotland in 1909.

Uniquely, the tour is played across Scotland over several weeks where curlers have the opportunity to represent their respective countries in the spirit and camaraderie that is the essence of the game.

It all started in 1902 when the Royal Caledonian Curling Club (RCCC) accepted a long-standing invitation to send a team of Scottish Curlers to Canada to further the special relationship of the international curling fraternity. A team of 22 worthy Scots were duly chosen from the four Curling Areas of Scotland.

Such was the effusive praise from the Canadians of the success of this Tour, the RCCC invited the Canadians to send a team to Scotland and that such a Tour should coincide with the year that Lord Strathcona, with his unique honourable status in both countries, was the RCCC President in 1909.

The Canadians sent curlers from every Province in the country, even one from Dawson City in the Yukon who started his journey to Scotland on a sled!

The enthusiasm for this event has carried on over the years and is now played every five years alternating between Scotland and Canada.

Every point in every game counts and is recorded, so competition is fierce right to the last stone played by every rink. Pride is very much at stake. Scotland won on the last Tour to Canada in 2013 by 2876 shots to 2621, to even it up at 11 matches all since 1903.

The Canadians arrived at Murrayfield on January 30 to play their final games over four days against teams selected to represent Peeblesshire, Midlothian and East Lothian Provinces.

The Peeblesshire clubs gave a good account of themselves, with Peebles and Eddleston running them close, although a strong Canadian squad emerged as victors. As was the case in their other games across Scotland, Canada went on to win the Strathcona Cup by a resounding 322 shots.

Off the ice Robert Robertson (Eddleston) and Roger Scott (Peebles) were proud to host the tourists on February 1 with Roger presenting them with a special card commemorating the Peebles club’s 1823 medal to mark a match that helped form the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.