FRAMED IN TIME

Quoits competition. Shedden Park, Kelso. ( August 1987)
Quoits competition. Shedden Park, Kelso. ( August 1987)

The eyes of the quoiting world turned on Kelso’s Shedden Park in August 1987 when the Border Quoiting Championships were staged.

The object of the game is simple – though not easy – with competitors pitching a metal ring at a peg driven into the ground.

In our picture from the past, George Bell of Leitholm is seen in action as Robin Cowans of Wooler eagerly awaits his turn.

This is likely to have been the final of the tournament in which favourite Bell beat Cowans 11-8. It was Bell’s second successive championship title.

The Southern Reporter – whose owners the Tweeddale Press Group sponsored the event – reported that Bell had shown a fine display of skill and precision during the tournament.

The semi-finals were keenly-fought affairs, each featuring popular and respected players. John Hall (Leitholm) should have gone through but, while lying game, he dislodged his own quoit which was sitting half on the pin, belly-up. Cowans won 11-10.

In the other semi, 79-year-old John Hughes, who had been playing since he was nine, was narrowly beaten 11-9 by Bell.

The champion lifted the Kelso Quoiting Association Cup and £50 in cash.

The standard of play might have been good, but the number of entries disappointing – only 34 players from an expected field of 70. Hall blamed the poor turnout on the harvest, with many players being local farm workers.

Quoiting might seem an easy game. I tried it twice many years ago at Morebattle Games – courtesy of John and George – and, believe me, it ain’t!

– compiled by Bob Burgess