Archive for November, 2010

Q: How do you stop bacon from curling?

A: Take away their brooms

At the Museum we are shown objects from the public all the time. Unfortunately we cannot always accept an object and we have strict criteria when we consider what enters the collection and what doesn’t. We are always receiving handbooks from local mills, weaving tools and ceramics with Blackburn logo’s on but every so often we receive an object that you straight away realise as a little special. It was one of these objects I received this morning and I have decided to blog about.

What do you think of it?

The Blackburn Caledonian Curling Club trophy

A kettle? A trophy? A curling stone?  In fact, it is all three!

This is a trophy form the Blackburn Caledonian Curling Club. The club was founded by travelling Scottish tailors to play against other clubs in 1866. Many of you will recognise the sport from it’s four yearly jaunt into the spotlight at the Winter Olympics. It is not too dissimilar to Crown Green bowls and the Blackburn Curling Club was actually based at the Blackburn Subscription Bowling Green Club. Curling was a popular sport in the north-west during the second half of the 19th Century and they played against teams from Bolton, Trafford, Preston and Wigan.

But less of the history and more on the trophy itself. Given to the Blackburn club for beating the Bolton club it’s odd shape actually betrays it’s usefulness. It is in the shape of a curling stone which provides a somewhat unique and rather attractive trophy. The secret of the trophy is hidden inside and underneath! The trophy would actually be used to make a hot toddy to keep the competitors warm during a game. The little stove at the bottom can be filled with fuel and the inside used to warm the brew. Which goes to show how this fabulous trophy is also an ingenious little device for keeping warm on the ice.

Thanks to Ray Smith for the donation of the object and for the supporting information.


Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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