The principal sources
The principal sources for the profiles contained in the website are the three publications above – Colin Shields’ wonderful history of the SCCU done for their centenary is the most complete and insightful history of any branch of athletics I have read, the other two are comprehensive histories of the SAAA – Keddie’s book for the centenary of that body is beautifully produced and lavishly illustrated (many pictures in colour) and the 1933 jubilee history gives an insight into what is a forgotten world of athletics. The ‘Scots Athlete’ is another major source, as are the files of the ‘Glasgow Herald’. But part of the fun for me are the contributions that come from readers all over the world who send photographs, documents, programmes and memories that are completely unexpected ald always informative.
This part of the website deals with the many facets of Scottish running history (principally distance running) and has consequently pages dealing with the development of track and field and cross country, both from the very earliest days. There will be other aspects covered – the early sports meetings (some of the longest running meetings have been school sports such as the Glasgow Academy events), the place of football, rugby and the private schools in this development, for instance. Sport in the mid-19th century was not the compartmentalised range of games and sports we see now: the sports such as football, rugby, maybe especially cricket, rowing and cycling were all mixed with athletes being members of more than one club and more than one sport. For instance, Willie Maley was a very good runner as a member of Clydesdale Harriers (Scottish100 yards champion) and was on their football committee when Brother Walfrid came knocking on his door (literally) to persuade him to join Celtic. Nowadays Brother Walfrid would be accused of tapping up! The place of other sports and games in the development of athletics will not be ignored.
There will be some profiles of significant figures in this development – since Clydesdale Harriers was the first open athletics club in the land, then there will be some club men profiled where that is felt appropriate and other bits of club history where they add to the story. They can be accessed at the appropriate history pages – eg cross-country running, early history, track and field, etc.
Then there was the question of what went on before the amateur clubs appeared on the scene. Have a look at this to see what meetings were held before the club scene took off.