Curling stones from Ailsa Craig – Scotland

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If you’ve ever wondered where curling stones come from, I uncovered this interesting story about Ailsa Craig, an island off of Scotland. Apparently there was a mass operation to gather stones from this protected island.

A MAJOR operation is under way to take 1,500 tons of granite from Ailsa Craig — to meet the demand for new curling stones. And Scottish women’s curling successes in Olympic and World championships have given a boost to the six-week enterprise. For it is envisaged the game will gain new popularity in the wake of the triumphs. And Ayrshire firm Kays of Scotland are ready to produce new stones to meet the anticipated demand. Mauchline-based Kays have exclusive rights for the unique Ailsa Craig granite, and the firm has ferried heavy lifting machinery from Girvan harbour on to the rock. A company spokesman said: “Weather held us back, but we finally got the machinery on to the island, and we’re now ferrying granite twice or three times each day.”

Kays stress that the operation, originally scheduled for a year ago, has been planned in co-operation with the conservation watchdogs at Scottish Natural Heritage. And it is understood that no blasting or quarrying is taking place — large granite boulders being simply collected from former quarries. Most of the larger speckled ‘Common Ailsa’ boulders will come from the south end of the island, while the rarer ‘Blue Hone’ will be collected from the north. Ailsa Craig’s large gannet colony — boasting more than 20,000 pairs — is located on the west of the island, and should be unaffected by work which is now at the halfway stage.

Makes for interesting read, check out the entire article here.

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Kingco

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  • Kay’s operation to harvest both Green Ailsa and Blue Hone boulders from Ailso Craig took place successfully five years ago.

    More pics at:www.kaysofscotland.co.uk/newstones.cfm

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