A Missing Scottish Trophy Will Be Awarded Again After 95 Years

A Missing Scottish Trophy Will Be Awarded Again After 95 Years

At a traditional Scottish Highland Games, fit athletes engage in rigorous pursuits like caber-tossing, hammer-throwing and stone-carrying.

For decades, the best athletes in northern Scotland would compete in the Cabrach Games. And one of the legends of those games was Charles Taylor. He was judged the best-performing athlete of the Games in 1926, 1928 and 1929; the third victory meant he got to keep the event’s trophy, known as the Rose Bowl.

The Games folded in 1935. No longer would cabers be tossed (a caber is a 20-foot-long wooden pole). No longer would hammers be thrown (a hammer is a metal ball attached to a pole). And, perhaps saddest of all, no longer would stones be carried (in that event, competitors carry heavy stones across a field. If they make it to the end of the field, they are given even heavier stones. Perhaps a bleak metaphor for life).

But the Cabrach Games were revived in 2022, and it seemed natural to hunt down the Rose Bowl to present it to the best of a new generation of athletes.

In the 1980s, there had been a three-year search for the trophy, with the cup eventually found in the possession of Ron Taylor, Charles’s son.

But as time passed organizers lost track of the trophy again.

Good news: After an appeal to the public — “If you have an inkling of the whereabouts of the Rose Bowl, please get in touch” — the Rose Bowl was found again … in the possession of Adrian Taylor, Charles’s grandson.

According to Adrian Taylor, his grandfather had many talents. “He was a brilliant athlete as well as a fine musician, being particularly talented in the bagpipes,” he told the news media in Britain.

In truth, it was probably not the most electrifying rediscovery of its kind. For that we must turn to a slightly more famous prize, the original trophy for soccer’s World Cup, which was stolen from the Methodist Central Hall in London in 1966. A dog named Pickles gained fame when he and his human found the trophy wrapped in newspaper by a parked car in South London a week later.

Still, organizers of the Cabrach Games (full title: the Cabrach Games and Picnic) are excited. “We are beyond delighted to welcome the Rose Bowl back to its rightful home,” said Jonathan Christie, chief executive of the Cabrach Trust, which runs the Games.

The Games will go on again this summer with tug of war, running races and, of course, stone carrying, with an expected attendance of around 200 people.

“This is a family-friendly, have-a-go event where visitors can experience traditional Highland Games and take part rather than sit and watch,” Sam Dowdall of the Trust told The Northern Scot newspaper.

A highlight will no doubt be the presentation of the Rose Bowl again after 95 years.

Perhaps just as exciting to many visitors: As The Northern Scot said in its preview of last year’s event, “Guests can also savour a delicious hog roast for a small fee of £2.50.” (That’s about $3.15.)

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