The first of a new series on University track and field athletics is now up on site: it deals with the 1950 – 1954 period and we will progress in five year instalments up to 1990.   It will spread over several weeks but it is a labour of love!

Jim McLatchie’s girls have set a new record by winning the State title ten times in a row.   Anyone who saw him race realises how tough a man he was to beat – training in a part of Ayrshire that had absolutely no facilities toughened him up.    The girls he works with in Summit High School have better facilities but his training has made them almost as tough.    Read about them   here

Doug Gillon wrote his last piece for the ‘Herald’ on Saturday 28th October, 2017.   He was given a two full page spread which covered his career (exceptionally briefly).   Doug, scourge of the drug cheats, commented that common among successful sportsmen was belief and quoted a poem that Arnold Palmer kept on his office wall which began “If you think that you’re beaten, you are, If you think that you dare not, you don’t, If you’d …”    Read all of it here   Re-read the articles about his career while you are at it – it was a great career, covering some of the very highest spots in Scottish athletics history.  

We were away for a bit and the site has been a bit neglected over the past three weeks or so.   Several items to go up, starting with a whole page of pictures from the Illustrated London News from Hugh Barrow for 1906 with two Scots winning AAA titles.   Here .   Then we have 

The gentleman below, adding to the information on the Wyoming Cup, the latest from Jim McLatchie’s athletes in the States.

Ross Scott was a member of Clydesdale Harriers in the late 19th and early 20th century who was a first class administrator – that much is well known but what is less well known is that he was a player in the drama at the 1908 London Olympics 400m final where Halswell won in a walkover in the re run final.   Read about it here .   It is mentioned because his stop watch and presentation medal are now on display in the Aberdeen Sports Village.

I bought this book in Penrith two weeks ago: it tells of Steve Birkinshaw’s run over 214 peaks in 7 days, a quite remarkable feat that shattered Joss Naylor’s record.   There is a story of his life from the time he started orienteering at the tender age of nine, the races he ran and most of all of his epic run and the help he got from friends, family and other hill men.   So far, so traditional but what struck me was that he took a fair bit of time to talk of the price he paid for obtaining the record.   Just think of 30+ peaks every day for seven consecutive days.   He still pays the price in terms of his health and the continuing effects of the stress on his body.   It is worth taking the book for the final chapters alone – whether you are thinking of attempting a feat of great endurance or not.

Teviotdale Harriers with the Wyoming Cup: the trail has gone cold at 1933.   Work continues but for a bit more information, just click on the trophy name above.

Winter comes, and Jim McLatchie’s young athletes are again winning things.  In mid-October they took part in the George Fox Classic.   Click for the results.   Hint: you won’t be surprised.  They are going for a record ten State wins in a row.    It’s a record that would have home team managers and coaches biting his hand off for his services.   A wee suggestion: why not invite him over for next year’s coaching convention?

Scots always liked relay racing and on the track the medley relay (800m, 200m, 200, 400m) held a particular fascination.   We are starting a series on relays with an emphasis on the medley and start with a mystery: what happened to the Wyoming Cup?   Does anybody know?   It has been tracked from its original award at Hawick in 1909 to 1927, but where did it go?   Where is it?   Rumour has it that it was awarded by the SAAA for a relay championship – does anybody have information about that?   Anyway, the tale so far is  here  .   We also have St Peter’s Inter-Club Sports which had six relays and at least one distance team race.   The picture below is of the Teviotdale team that won the cup in 1910.

The photograph below is of Bobby Graham who ran all over Scotland and indeed various parts of the world as an international runner.   He was one of many who ran at the Queens Park FC Sports in the 1930’s.   An updated version of this decade is here

Bob Graham

The British Empire Games was – in the beginning – the only major Games in the world other than the Olympics.   They were before the Europeans, before the Pan-Americans, before the Asian, well before the Worlds.  Scotland competed, as she still does, as a separate nation.   The Empire Games was the first meeting in the world where the winners podium was employed, it was the first Games which had a dedicated Games Village for the competitors and there were other lesser ‘firsts’.   If you are interested in the history and development of these Games go to Stirling University Commonwealth Games archive – let them now first – and the  send me a note of thanks!   We have pages on the beginning of these Games, and shorter information on the Games of ’34 and ’38.     Link below the poster and at the foot of the page.

crop posterThe first Empire Games was held in Hamilton, Ontario in 1930.   You can find it here  here where there are further links at the foot of the page.

We have added to the Early History of Track and Field by covering the QPFC Sports between 1926 and 1929, inclusive, with the temporary link  here

 Continuing our coverage of notable sports meetings of many years, we have started on the Greenock Glenpark Harriers sports which used to be a big feature of the sport.   This first episode covers the years from 1920 to 1929 and can be found, for now,  here   Greenock Glenpark Harriers Sports  1914 to 1919 are now also on site  look  here

WHB Westerlands

An excellent photograph taken at Westerlands in the 1920’s with several very well known names, and others not as well known as they should be.   From Hugh Barrow.  Others at Hugh’s page of photographs

We now have Willie Carmichael’s profile up on site.   A wonderful man who started in athletics in 1921, was President of both SAAA and SCCU, chairman of the NIAAA and mainly, the man who brought the Commonwealth Games to Edinburgh in 1970.   Get it  here for now

 Queen’s Park FC  used to host one of the best athletic events on the calendar.   There was a break in their series of Sports meetings in the first decade of the 20th century which was ended with a very good meeting in 1907.   The course of the meeting from 1907 to the start of the war in 1914 is traced at this link.    The revamped account of the QPFC Sports from 1919 – 1930 is also now up on site at  this link

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