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Inverness Ice Centre and one of the city’s oldest curling clubs are both celebrating a double sweep with their 50th anniversary this year.

The 15 Club is understood to be one of the first curling teams formed when the ice centre opened in 1968 and it is still playing from the centre today.

Oldest, living member of the 15 Club, Dorothy Hadley, 98, has lived in Inverness for 58 years and was one of the founding members of the curling club which, to this day, is exclusively for doctors and their partners.

Mrs Hadley, a former GP, moved to Inverness with her husband, Monty, who was a consultant radiologist at the Royal Northern Infirmary and was invited to join the club by the late Margaret McIntosh.

There were initially only eight members but since the ladies all had family commitments they soon increased numbers to 15.

Mrs Hadley, who has four children, said: “When I first joined I'd never curled before and most of us had to learn from scratch so we weren’t competitive, we just enjoyed meeting up and playing together.  With 15 members, it meant we played two out of three weeks as we all had children so we couldn’t all commit every week.

“At the beginning, we’d agreed on a uniform of tartan skirts and tights, which had only just came into fashion at the time, however, we quickly discovered that this dresscode was not going to work for curling, so we had to rethink that!”

Mrs Hadley continued to play regularly for 25 years but as the times changed and the curling team became more competitive, she decided to retire from curling in 1993 at the age of 72 but 15 Club continues to thrive at the centre, playing weekly.

Inverness Ice Centre became a charitable organisation after it was bought by its users in 2002 and following a major upgrade is now one of the largest wet weather facilities in the north.

Chair of Inverness Ice Centre, Tom Pendreigh, said: “It was a real honour to meet Mrs Hadley and hear about her time with the curling club from its launch in the sixties. She is an amazing woman and a true inspiration with superb knowledge and a remarkable memory with some wonderful stories to tell.

“The Ice Centre has been a part of the community in Inverness for fifty years and it's brilliant that this curling club has continued throughout the years, creating friendships along the way.  Today, as well as curling, the centre brings all age groups together to enjoy a range of ice sports including curling, ice hockey and skating, but it is also plays host to a number of the city’s high profile events, such as the up coming Strictly Inverness.”

Mrs Hadley, who has nine grandchildren and is awaiting the arrival of her ninth great grandchild, is set to move to the east cost of Fife later this year to be closer to her daughter but has fond memories of her time curling at the ice centre.

“I’m delighted that the 15 Club is still going strong and Margaret would be very proud too.  I just loved it, we all did, and as we all had children it was nice to spend some time away meeting with friends.  From day one we played four ends and stopped for a short coffee break to hear everyone’s news, before carrying on with the second four ends and this is still the format the club uses today.  It was a very social group so we were all friends.”

15 Club still plays every Tuesday morning at the Ice Centre and has 16 members who are all associated with the hospital or medical practices, ranging in age from mid 30s to late 60s.

As you know Inverness Ice Centre Directors invited Highlife Highland to look at ways we can improve the Management to the Inverness Ice Centre and ensure we meet with all current legislation and remain fully compliant in all aspects of our business. This is ongoing and we met again with Highlife Highland where we raised a number of concerns following the interaction with Inverness Ice Centre members and users and have asked Highlife Highland if they are able to accommodate those particular concerns. It was agreed we need clarity on what the “red lines” are from either perspective to see if there is a workable model or not. 

Highlife Highland have since responded and Inverness Ice Centre Directors (including our new recruits) have discussed those responses at length. We propose to table these options at the AGM for our members to offer their views and opinions and make available the proposal from Highlife Highland either by e-mail or download it from our web site. 

It was also emphasised that we cannot progress without further consultation with our members and users and as such propose to create sub committees to investigate the most beneficial way forward for the company. It would be ideal if we could reach an agreement or at least come to a conclusion before the end of April and I therefore make one last appeal for helpers to form the sub committees. If you or someone you know have any of the skills below please ask them to get in touch asap. 

Anyone interested could either join a sub committee or become a Director or indeed both.

Further to the meeting held in January directors have managed to recruit 5 volunteers to assist with the proposed changes to the way the Inverness Ice Centre operates. We are still calling for more helpers mainly those who have experience in the following areas.

  • Finance and especially VAT expertise
  • Contracts and Service Level Agreements
  • Human Resources
  • Engineer/Building surveying

AGM date is 18th April 2018 at 7.30pm and will be held in the Curlers Bar at the Inverness Ice Centre 

 Please find attached two “draft” documents from Highlife Highland which we hope you will find useful and give you a further understanding of of how they envisaged assisting with the management of the Inverness Ice Centre.

Management Agreement

Management Agreement Outline 

T Pendreigh

Inverness Ice Centre 
Bught Drive 

IV3 5SR 
Mobile 07720 440040

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