Thousands of rebelling curling fans defied a health and safety warning not to stage a national meeting on the Lake of Monteith.
More than 2000 players had been due to play a Bonspiel this weekend on the frozen loch for the first time in more than 30 years, but despite the long cold snap, authorities were unable to give clearance for the event to go ahead over health and safety fears. Those fears centred on the emergency services not being able to gain access to players if they injured themselves or fell through the ice. Without H & S support insurance could not be acquired and the event would have been a liability for the sport's governing body the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.
Undaunted, over 2,000 Scottish curlers and spectators turned up this weekend. The maverick winter sports fans said they were paying scant regard to the actions of the "nanny state" and the cancellation of the official event announced on Friday. Observers said the ice was far thicker than the minimum of seven inches required for curling.
A group was formed on Facebook with the message "Bring your stones, bring your skates if you prefer or just bring yourself. Take heed of the warnings but do it anyway."
Four curling 'sheets' had been marked out and games of ice hockey were set up around the fringes, along with skating rinks.
Mr Grahamslaw, chief executive of the RCCC , said he pleased pleased at the turnout to the unofficial event. "It's great. What we're seeing is what you'd hope for on a busy weekend in such a beautiful setting. It's nice that people have been able to take advantage of that."
Nice indeed and I hope everyone had a day to remember. In 1963 I recall skating on the River Tweed. No Elfin Safety in those days, just locals who knew how to measure ice and assure us youngsters it was safe.
That's the end of the official Bonspiel. It will now be consigned to history because of the nanny state, insurance companies who won't take the slightest risk and police who say too many people attending such an event is dangerous.
Someone else has had a Bonspiel this weekend.