The British introduced winter sports to Wengen, interest having been sparked by the publication in London in 1895 of a book titled “The Two Seasons in Switzerland.” In 1902 Sir Henry Lunn, the English humanitarian and religious figure, organised his first inclusive tours at Adelboden and Wengen which started the trend for British visitors to combine a religious/health retreat with winter sports. Many Anglican churches were established at fashionable winter resorts. Skiing was brought in from Norway, and Sir Henry Lunn’s first season of skiing was in Mürren in the winter of 1909/10, and across the valley in Wengen the following year.
The Wengen Curling Club was instituted in 1911 and, although the first nine years of its existence are undocumented, the Royal Caledonian Curling Club’s records confirm the date of establishment. The club is the oldest curling club in the Bernese Oberland and has always been organised by the British.
Only three years later Europe was ravaged by war and it was not until 1920 that the Club was reformed. The revival meeting was held in the Park Hotel, Wengen, on the 7th January 1920. The minutes of that meeting, attended by six people, record ‘that the Club had apparently fallen into abeyance and that it should be reconstituted.’
Since those early days, the Club has developed a unique style and character, and has a very special place in the hearts of its members. Almost everyone who comes to Wengen to curl, comes back again and again. The atmosphere, the friendship and the out-of-the-hat method of choosing teams for competitions, are part of its character.
And who can ever forget the beauty of Wengen when the sun climbs above the Jungfrau? To bathe in its warmth is like being in heaven on earth.
The Perth reunion in Scotland has also played an important part in bringing about the astonishing hold that the Club has on its members.