Nature spares 'elf 'n' safety's blushes

HOW ironic that a thaw has come to the aid of the massed ranks of health and safety. Just when it seemed that an unofficial curling tournament was set to go ahead on the Lake of Menteith in defiance of warnings, rising temperatures did the work of the 'elf 'n' safety nadgers. Conditions deteriorated as a thaw got under way – and the ice melted.

Those who insisted that the official Grand Match, or Bonspiel, be cancelled may well feel they have been vindicated. There was, after all, always a risk that the ice would prove insufficiently strong for the thousands expected to venture on it. However, that would be to reckon without the common sense of the public and its ability to act in its own interests. After all, no-one seriously wishes to fall through ice, still less put their lives in danger. Indeed, had the official Bonspiel been allowed to proceed last week, as many had wished, it would have avoided the risk of subsequent unofficial games being held with the risk of changing temperatures.

Water freezes, ice is created, ice melts. That's the way it happens. It does not require curlers to undertake a long march through the institutions of local government, inspectorates and the quangocracy for the public to be alerted to every danger. Go carefully. Wrap up warm. Beware melting ice. Are these things we never knew, or had just forgotten? It's a miracle curling has survived at all.