The Bellshill pond

The Orbiston pond was deemed unsatisfactory and the club sought a new pond. The reasons are not clear; it may have been that the old pond took too long to freeze and some increase in the frequency of curling was sought. It may have been too far out of town, but another site on Motherwell Road was considered.

The process appears to have started in 1879 with a small team appointed to look for a site for the New Loch. By 1883 a motion was passed to stay at Orbiston but almost immediately things got moving with a committee of 9 appointed to take subscriptions. By November 1883 there was an agreement with the Mossend Iron Co to rent a site to the East of the West End School in Bellshill for £3 12s per acre for 25 years. (The school was run by a Mr Kirkwood.) The ground was to be drained and fenced properly.

An estimate for the ground preparation work of £17 from a Mr Urquhart was accepted and this work was finished in December 1883.

A house was built for the stones at the pond but within a few years there were significant bills for repairs to the fence and curling house. By 1900 it was reported in the minutes that the “pailings round the curling pond were being carried away wholesale not by children, but by men”

A map showing the pond location is available here

The pond was let for grazing of animals from April to October for £3.

Water for the pond and hire of a hose had to be paid for and in 1903 the cost of water is recorded as £4 5s. In March 1904 someone unknown let the water away.

In 1906 the club considered giving up the pond as the clubhouse and fence repairs would cost £50. The pond rent at this time was £8.

The end was coming for the pond, a sub-committee was appointed to look for a new pond and others approached Mr John Gilchrist, the farmer at Orbiston Mains, to use the Orbiston pond. The Bellshill pond was simply abandoned and letters from the landlords were returned and no more rent paid. The 25 year lease was not renewed in 1908.

The other change coming was that the Scottish Ice Rink Company had just built the first indoor rink in Scotland at Crossmyloof in Glasgow.