Nostalgia: Outdoor curling in Bute’s ‘big freeze’

Iain L. MacLeod's picture of curling on the Greenan Loch in the 'big freeze' of late 1995 and early 1996, as Bute and Millport compete for the Dumfries Cup.

Iain L. MacLeod's picture of curling on the Greenan Loch in the 'big freeze' of late 1995 and early 1996, as Bute and Millport compete for the Dumfries Cup.

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Bute has had plenty of wind and rain so far this winter, but nothing (yet!) to match the big freeze which struck the island, and much of the rest of Scotland, exactly 20 years ago.

This stunning picture, taken by Iain L. MacLeod, shows curlers from Bute and Millport making the most of the extended cold snap of late 1995 and early 1996 by competing on the frozen Greenan Loch for the Dumfries Cup.

Milder winter weather has seen the island host outdoor curling on only one occasion since then, when a prolonged spell of sub-zero temperatures in January 2010 saw the two clubs do battle for the trophy on frozen lochs on both Bute and Cumbrae. How many years will it be before there’s a chance to do it all again?