A 120-year-old Mearns curling trophy which was discovered in Canada has been returned to Aberdeenshire.
The Fordoun Curling Club 1891 Challenge Cup was discovered by Dean Dochstader in Ontario, Canada around 15 years ago, after he bought it as an unusual ornament, and later placed it in his basement.
He recently rediscovered the trophy - which is a wooden tankard sporting silver plating, a ceramic interior and a spout in the image of Bacchus, the god of wine - and made efforts to trace the club through the internet, who then purchased it back.
Now the club are hoping to find out more about the past winners of the trophy, the names of which only three have been inscribed on to it.
Kath Scott, secretary of the Fordoun Curling Club said: “The trophy, which has a shield plaque engraved Fordoun Curling Club 1891 Challenge Jug, was originally won by Alex P Smith in 1891 then G T Brown in 1892.
“The next inscription shows that the trophy was then won by G F Smith in 1894 and again in 1896. No further inscriptions have been made, so perhaps G F Smith emigrated to Canada taking the trophy with him - who knows?
“It was only played for for four years so it is a bit of a mystery - if anybody has any information about any of the past winners or the trophy itself, it would be great to hear from them.”
The club, which was affiliated to the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in 1891, does not have records which date back that far and none of the 40 current members have been able to shed any light on the jug.
Mrs Scott said: “The curling cup might have been set up in that particular year because it was when the club became instituted to the RCCC. At that time curling would have been done outside and we wondered if the reason behind the gaps in the winners was because the weather conditions weren’t right in 1893 and 1895.”
She added: “But for the internet we would never have got the cup back. Mr Dochstader bought it, put it away and found it again - he then Googled Fordoun Curling Club but we don’t have a webpage.
“The only thing that popped up was that Edzell had beaten us in a match and they have a webpage, so he got in touch with them, who got in touch with Forfar Curling Rink where we play and they phoned me - it was a fairly circuitous route and it is quite unbelievable that we have it back.”
Mrs Scott said that members of the Fordoun Club came from all over the Mearns so it might be hard to reach anybody who has connections with the trophy or the past winners.
She added: “If we can find somebody who knows something that would be really good. It is our annual dinner in April so it would be great to have some information about it for then.”
Anyone who can help shed light on the mystery jug or the winners should phone Kath Scott on 01674 850413 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The club are also looking for new members who might be interested in taking up the sport.