Sporting Activities

Ninian's Haugh. Lined with blue clay to render it impermeable, it could be readily flooded and subsequently drained from the nearby River Tweed. The Kingsmeadows car park now occupies the site of the curling pond.

There were other venues within the town. A curling rink once occupied the site of the 'old' tennis courts and to the north in Victoria Park stands a single Canadian maple, one of two planted in 1897 to mark the occasion of a bon spiel between Peebles curlers and Canadian Peebleans. The cleared area of the rink can also be seen. The Moss Hole was also much used for curling although obviously only in really severe weather.

The Peebles Curling Club still competes now much more regularly than in its earlier years, the provision of indoor rinks making this possible. It has added also to the number of medals and awards competed for.

It was in 1823 that William Webb Ellis, then a pupil at Rugby School, picked up and ran with a football in the course of a school game. Thus, effectively, the game of Rugby Football was born. Just before his death Sir Walter Scott, who was familiar with the new game, was asked his views on it by some of his Selkirk friends. Sir Walter opined that it was more suited to the martial spirit of the Borderers than any other ball game. As in the case of the retention of the Scottish banknote and the consequence of the loss of a Scottish Parliament, the good Sir Walter was correct in his opinion.

By 1841 the new game had been codified and was being played at schools and universities. In the Borders a number of ad hoc games were being played. It was 1875, however, before the first Border club was formed in Galashiels. Many others were to follow. By 1880 a club had been formed in Peebles and in the following year it was accepted into the Scottish Rugby Union. At first the matches were played at Kingsland Park where Kingsland School now stands. Regrettably the club ceased to function just before the First World War, doubtless a consequence of the outbreak of war.

In the spring of 1922, largely due to the efforts of James Carruthers of Crossland Crescent, the club was re-formed. In this he was assisted by similar spirits from the Border towns, notably Walkerburn, and these efforts resulted in the club being permitted to rejoin the SRU.