History of the Scots Tour
A photo that appeared in the Chicago Tribune of the First Tour in 1955.
Tours to Scotland:
1955 - United States of America and Canada: 8 ladies from each country
1966, 1976, 1986, 1996, 2006 - A tour team of 20 USWCA members
Tours to the United States:
1958 - A team of 16 ladies
1963 - 3 teams East, 3 teams West
1971, 1981, 1991- A tour team of 20 Royal Caledonia Curling Club Ladies' Branch Members
These unforgettable exchange curling tours had their beginning when a joint team of 8 Americans and 8 Canadians visited Scotland for a month in 1955. The opportunity to reciprocate some of the famous Scottish hospitality came in 1958 when 16 Scottish ladies arrived to spend 1 week in Montreal, 1 week in Ontario and 2 weeks in the USA from Illinois to Massachusetts. It was at the Winchester Country Club that this first team to visit American had their Farewell Dinner, February 8, 1958.
The first tour that was held exclusively in the USA was participated in by 24 Scottish ladies when they returned in 1963. All 6 rinks flew into Chicago and curled against members of the areas' 8 clubs. From there the team was divided, 3 rinks curling in Wisconsin and Minnesota, 3 rinks traveled east to curl in New York and Massachusetts, all were reunited once again in the Boston area.
It was in 1966 that the first exclusively American Team toured Scotland when 20 USWCA members curled at all eight of the curling centers existing at that time. As a result of this successful tour, the USWCA became the first Associate Member of the RCCC Ladies' Branch in October 1967.
At that time a definite schedule for these exchange visits of an alternate 5 year program of 3-week tours was agreed upon.
As Jean Gow, Captain of the 1958 Scottish Team, said in her speeches here:
The primary purpose of these exchange tours is the fun of curling and the international goodwill engendered by the friendly matches. And as both Associations have always fully subscribed to this purpose, there has never been a trophy to compete for and it is hoped that that will always remain the case: to true curlers "winning" new friends is reward enough!"
This article was written by Shirley P. Elwell of the Milwaukee Kilties and printed in the United States Women's Curling Association Historical Review 1947-1997