By Grant Jarvie
Celebrating Scottish Sporting Women on St Andrew’s Day
Between 2006 and 2018 we have carefully researched, edited and helped to produce a number of entries within the 1st and 2nd editions of The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women. Here we celebrate the contribution of Scottish Sporting Women by releasing just some of the entries that our researchers have worked on (in alphabetical order)
Arran, countess of n Fiona Bryde Colquhoun born Luss, 20 July 1918, died Castle Hill Devon 16 May, 2013. Daughter of Sir Ian Colquhoun of Luss (1887-1948) and Geraldine Bryde (1889-1974). Became Countess of Arran upon marriage on 11 June 1937 to Arthur Strange Gore the 8th Earl of Arran (1910-1983) with who she had 2 sons.
She was introduced to powerboat speed in 1932, aged 13. Her career spanned 15 years (1965-1980). Her first race being at Iver (1965). As the sole woman competitor in the 1966 Paris 6 hours circuit marathon on the Seine, she finished 14th out of 90. In: 1969 she set a record of 55mph in the Cornish 100; 1972 the Class 1 speed record of 55mph at Lake Windermere; 1979 the Class 2 World Record of 93mph and a world record of 102 mph in 1980 at the age of 62. She retired in 1981 the same year she became the first women to be awarded the Segrave Trophy.
She made a brief comeback in 1989 and helped to produce and pilot an electronically propelled hydroplane achieving a silent and environmentally friendly record of 50.825mph at the age of 71.
Buried at Luss, she regularly wore some item of Colquhoun tartan and remained a staunch supporter of Loch Lomond and the surrounding area.
Fuchs, Eileen Margaret Knowles born Ashford, Middlesex 30 May 1920, died Grantown on Spey 11 January 2013 and Jamieson Hilda born Dundee 12 August 1913, died 12 May 2016.
Both women contributed greatly to Scottish Skiing.
Eileen was educated at Croydon High School for Girls and Newnham College, Cambridge where she studied history from 1938-1942.
She travelled to Vienna (1953) to study the violin and met and married Karl Fuchs, an Austrian Olympic Skier.
In 1954 they purchased Struan House Hotel in Carrbridge and founded the Austrian Ski School. For 30 years they helped to pioneer skiing in the Cairngorms. She and her husband were referred to as the mother and father of Scottish skiing.
Her son Peter competed for Great Britain in the Winter Olympic Games (1976).
They sold Struan House in 1984 and after Karl’s death in 1980 Eileen moved to Grantown-on-Spey. She inaugurated the Karl and Peter Fuchs Memorial Fund for the benefit of young Speyside skiers.
Hilda Jamieson along with her husband developed the Glenshee Ski Centre.
Fondly referred as Britain’s oldest skier she was Dundee ladies champion, the Scottish ladies champion and a stalwart member of the Dundee Tennant Trophy Team.
Many of her children and grand-children became Scottish Champion skiers with one of her daughters competing at the 1968 Winter Olympic Games.
Skilled at other sports notably tennis, golf and swimming Hilda exercised throughout her life, taking her last swim aged of 102.
And yet it was Skiing in which she excelled with one obituary describing her as quite possibly’ Scotland’s, the UK’s and possibly the world’s oldest active skier’.
Hamilton, Helen n Elliot, born Edinburgh 20 January 1927, died Perth 12 January 2013.She was 16 years old when she first played table tennis but became the first Scot to win a major World Table Tennis title and as of 2016 remains the only Table Tennis inductee into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame
Her career started at Dalry First Aid Post, moved on to Murrayfield and she then established a long association with the Gambit Club.
Helen Elliott won: 2 World titles; World Championship medals in three consecutive years (1952-1955); singles championship titles in Ireland Wales, England, Belgium, Germany and Scotland; the English Open title in 1949, 1950 and 1958 and the Scottish Open, first in 1946 then for a further 13 consecutive years.
She spent many years developing the game in Scotland, and served many national and international Table Tennis organisations. She, coached at Summer Table Tennis Camps throughout the UK, served as Honorary President of Scottish Table Tennis Association and was nominated President of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Federation in 1997 and 2005.
Newstead, Isabel n Barr born Glasgow 3 May, 1955, died Harlow 18 January 2007.A Paralympian who won 14 medals across three sports during a 24-year Olympic career (1980-2004).
Newstead grew up in Renfrewshire and enjoyed success as a county swimmer. A flu virus caused an injury to her spinal cord and lead to tetraplegia – partial or complete paralysis of all four limbs. Her rehabilitation programme included swimming and in 1975 she enrolled at Port Glasgow Otters. Her determination to cope with her disability was noted by Britain’s paraplegic team members and that connection propelled her on the road to 25 years of international endeavour.
By: 1984 Newstead had won nine Olympic medals; 1988 she had been selected for the Paralympic Games in Seoul where she won four medals; 2000 a new world-record score had been set in Sydney and in The Paralympic Games in Athens in 2004 she won a gold medal in the women’s air pistol.
Awarded an MBE in the 2000 New Year Honour’s list, Isabel was the first high performance disabled athlete to be inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.
Jarvie Margaret n Bolton born 20 January 1928 Motherwell, died 15 April 2004 Edinburgh.
One of only 2 women to win all Scottish swimming championship titles from 50 -1000 yds. She was part of Motherwell Ladies Relay Team described by the press (1942) ‘as the finest team of speedsters in Scottish swimming history’.
From 1944-48 she held Scottish senior titles breaking the Scottish breast stroke record in 1945. The Lanarkshire Olympians featured her and David Jarvie (husband) as part of an aquatic team that amassed 4 world, 47 British and 172 Scottish records (1936-1960).
She recalled being lodged with a wealthy family for a gala thinking “Why can my parents not live like this?” Her sense of political awareness developed and continued into encouraging disadvantaged people into higher education, providing free counselling to prostitutes, being invited to work with radical groups at Ruskin College and adopting Colin, one of the earliest non-white adoptions into an all white family in 1960’s Scotland. She lived The Swimming Club philosophy that everyone was equal
An obituary attributed ‘among the mothers of counselling in Scotland pride of place to Margaret Jarvie’ and described her as ‘one of the agents of the transition over fifty years of women’s position’.