The championships of 1925 had been a success with 36 schools taking part. The standard was high and two new records were set. The 1926 version of the meeting started off with a hiccup. Due to take place on Saturday, 17th May they had to be put off:
Why had they been cancelled? This notice from the ‘Glasgow Herald’ maybe gives the game away.
They did go ahead on the new date and the following lengthy but comprehensive report is from the ‘Scotsman’.
The number of schools taking part is not noted but the prize winning establishments included
Alloa Academy, Ayr Academy, Allan Glen’s, Boroughmuir, Coatbridge, Dalkeith HS, Daniel Stewart’s, Dollar Academy, Dumbarton Academy, Dunfermline HS, Govan High School, Greenock Academy, Heriot’s, Hillhead HS, Kilmarnock Academy, Kintyre Technical School, Leith Academy, Queen’s Park, Royal HS, Stewart’s College, St Mungo’s, Trinity Academy, Vale of Leven Academy, Watson’s College. That is 24 schools from all over Scotland, almost all of which are state schools as opposed to fee-paying private schools. If the intention of the SAAA is setting up the Championships in 1900 was to broaden the appeal of the sport and the standard across the country generally, it seems as though they were succeeding. Incidentally, Harold Abrahams, was in Edinburgh the night before the Games giving a talk in which some of the ideas seem strange and his comments on Eric Liddell a bit off. This is it:
Quite the diatribe but a former public school pupil and Oxbridge graduate should realise the bad form shown in criticising a fellow athlete. A remarkable sentence. I can’t help feeling that had the boot been on the other foot, Liddell would not have commented thus on Abrahams.
Into 1927 and there were 36 schools taking part which the reporter felt had helped the high standard of the previous year being maintained. The following complete report and list of results from the ‘Scotsman’ shows this.
Allan Glen’s, Alloa Academy, Ayr Academy, Bellahouston Academy, Boroughmuir, Coatbridge HS, Dalziel, Dollar Academy, Dunfermline HS, Heriot’s, Keil School, Kilmarnock Academy, Leith Academy, Queen’sPark, Robert Gordon’s College, Rothesay Academy, Royal High School, Stewart’s College,St Aloysius, Trinity Academy, Waid Academy, Medals distributed to 20 schools of the 36 entered is not at all a bad distribution. Note too that a B McGettrick of St Aloysius was among the prize winners – the name of McGettrick has been associated with the school for most of the 20th century.
In 1928 the meeting was again held in Edinburgh, and the school making the headlines in both ‘Scotsman’ and ‘Glasgow Herald ‘was Keil School from Dumbarton. East and West sides of the country were featured above the coverage in the ‘Scotsman’ with Keil representing the West.
The name to note in this set of results must surely be JR Blamire who won the Under 14’s 100 yards, had a second place in the 300 yards and a second in the Broad Jump. He would go on to win in the 1929 and 1930 inter-scholastics as an Under 16 and the family has been represented in athletics right into the late 20th century and possibly further. Note too the number of Dunbartonshire schools participating – from a relatively small area there were Dumbarton Academy, Vale of Leven and Keil School.
In 1929, the event was held at Hampden Park in Glasgow and the Keil School excelled again with even more material success. The ‘Scotsman’ describes it as one of the most eventful meetings ever staged by the SAAA – no small claim that.
Note that the number of schools who competed over the years was still being added to: McLaren HS from Callander, Viewforth School, Gourock High School and Rutherglen ere all among the prize winners this time round.