Curling stone: Climate change in Nidderdale

This polished granite curling stone has a diameter approximately 30cm, is concave underneath, and has a handle on the top. It is one of a set of four stones originally used by the Pateley Bridge Curling Club, whose members profited from the intense cold conditions that allowed them to enjoy the sport once snow had been cleared off a firmly iced surface. Eventually the time came when opportunities to play diminished, and the last time they were used was in 1929. Sadly these weighty stones were then hidden in over 1m of water in the Boat House at Glasshouses, until they were recovered some decades later.

With our gradually warming climate and unpredictable severe weather, extremes may have become more frequent, but there is no serious evidence yet that any freak storm or flood in Nidderdale can be blamed on global warming. However, alongside possible loss in the Great War and a reduction in interest, the Pateley Bridge Curling Club folded not only for lack of members but largely because there was insufficient cold weather to keep Gouthwaite Reservoir and Glasshouse Dam frozen long enough for the game to be played. Climate change has gathered pace over the past thirty years, and has been seen to happen not least in the loss of this local sport.

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