4 NATIONS WEEKEND
It was the ECA’s turn to host the other home countries this year and we returned to Fenton’s to try and repeat the successful formula of 4 years ago. Under the leadership of Alison Arthur another successful weekend ensued with many of the elements of 2011 being repeated, but there were some variations.
The draw was the same but this year, unlike 2011, there was no last minute withdrawal by the RCCC and a desperate search to get some Scottish replacements at the last minute, as the happenings of 4 years ago led the RCCC to change their method of selecting the team. So instead of a small band of enthusiasts we had a large party of 30 curlers plus a few partners heading down by plane and car. I was surprised that so many players came down because they were restricted to 2 games each – and it is a long way to come from Scotland for so little curling. Rest assured that if you live in the South of England and you travel to Scotland to play in the 4 Nations we will ensure that you get 3 and quite probably 4 games for your effort.
Once again we hired John Read to drive the minibus for us and he was kept busy on the Friday travelling to and from Gatwick Airport 3 times. He was not helped by the last flight being an hour or so late and it was a very late finish for him. He and a lady called Jane in a car then spent many happy hours going between the rink and the hotel to make sure that the players were where they should be, while the curlers with cars also did their bit in moving people about.
There were two sessions on the Friday evening and a meal and complimentary drink was provided for those playing and a large number of supporters who had come to see what the place was like before playing on the Saturday. Four sessions then followed on the Saturday and 3 on the Sunday meaning that there were 27 games played altogether.
The main hotel for this year was the Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells and by all accounts it was a very good place to stay, and we also had the Saturday evening dinner and entertainment there. This year we were treated to some “Border” Morris dancing by the Wicked Belly Morris Troupe! – see their website at https://www.facebook.com/WickedBellyMorris
Over 80 people sat down to eat dinner and the hotel did a great job in providing delicious piping hot food to us all. A raffle raised nearly £450 to help defray the costs of the weekend as did some other donations from members.
Oh and there was some curling going on as well!!!
England (men) 40 Scotland (Men) 31
Scotland (Women) 20 England (Women) 14
Wales 30 England 22
Ireland 27 England 15
Wales 32 Scotland 14
Wales 32 Ireland 25
Ireland 30 Scotland 24
Many thanks to Fenton’s for the ice, the catering and keeping the bar stocked!