Willie McGregor’s Photographs: 4 Gary Beggan’s Collection

Gary Beggan has a large collection of Willie’s photographs – all in black and white and all showing a knowledge and love of the sport.   The range is wide and many, but not nearly all, are of his clubmates at Springburn.  We start with club legend Harry Gorman 1st VET (and club president at the time) Springburn Harriers Club Cross Country Championships on 5th March, 1994.

John Bell in the club championships, 5th Match, 1994

Jim Cooper (Cooperman) in 1994 club championships

Frank Wright in the club championships: Frank later became an official timekeeper

Below: Adrian Callan at the Nigel Barge race in 1994.

The last changeover for the winning team at the Lanarkshire Relays – John Bell to Andy Callan


Very little information of these photographs, above and below, of the Robert Burns ‘Cradle to the Grave’ relay from Alloway to Dumfries 

A Springburn group

Round the Houses 10k,  Grangemouth 19/02/1995. L to R – Peter Laing – Jamie Harper – Derek Houston – Eddie Dickson.


David Donnet, 109, running in the West District Relays at Cumnock, 1991 

West District Junior Championships at Clydebank, won by Jamie Hendry, running second, from D Greig of Kilbarchan

No detail available for the above

Another Springburn Group


Alison Rose


Alison Rose (Dundee University, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh Southern/Woollen Mill) was born in Canada on 27th September 1967 but moved to Britain with her parents.

Aged 18, Alison moved from Farnham to Scotland (Dundee University) to study physiology. She raced for Scottish Universities and asked Malcolm Brown (in charge of SU Athletics) to coach her. After graduation, she went to Edinburgh and studied physiotherapy at Queen Margaret University (as it is now called). Alison pays full credit to Malcolm Brown for helping her to improve greatly as an athlete.

Malcolm said the following about Alison, “As an athlete she had great persistence, was physically robust, determined and quietly ambitious. She enjoyed setting long term goals and pursuing them, which was very unusual in a relatively young and inexperienced athlete. By choosing the right event (marathon), helped by her coach, she raced European and World Championships for Great Britain, which was above expectations. She rarely performed poorly at races. Alison was top of the class for intelligent application.”

Between 1988 and 1996, she developed into a very good, versatile athlete. Alison first appeared in the annual Scottish lists with times for 3000m (9.43.37 pb) and 1500m (4.40.6 pb) but before too long increased her racing distance, moving from 3k and cross country to 10k.  She trained at Meadowbank with international male runners John Sherban, Phil Mowbray, Ian Hamer and Geoff Wightman.

In 1992, Alison (or Ali, as she was known) won an excellent individual silver medal in the Scottish National Cross-Country Championships (behind Vikki McPherson) and led EWM (Sue Ridley 3rd, Susan Durham 13th) to team gold, a title they retained in 1993, when Alison secured individual bronze, with Sue Ridley winning silver and Kirsty McCallum finishing 19th.

Alison Rose became a Scottish International runner in 1992, taking part in the UK Cross-Country Championship in Basingstoke, when Scotland lost to England but defeated Wales. Alison was 13th, the third Scottish counter behind Lynn Harding and Karen McLeod.

Later in 1992 she recorded 34 minutes 39.16 seconds for 10,000m on the track, which placed her fourth in the Scottish ranking list that year.

On 23rd August 1992, she finished seventh in the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon, recording 1.16.43; and, on 26th October, ran well for fifth place in the Dublin Marathon (2.46.27). Alison was fourth in that year’s Scottish list, behind three established Scottish stars: Liz McColgan, Harding and McLeod.

In 1993, Alison demonstrated great consistency with slight improvement to her personal bests: 10,000m track in 34.35.73 on 5th June for third in the Pearl European Relays in Portsmouth, which gave her third Scottish ranking. She achieved a ‘lifetime best’ 5000m time of 16.41.51 which was the fastest Scottish mark set that year. On the road, she won the Fleet Half Marathon on 21st March (1.16.41); and on 18th July raced for GB Students in the World University Games Marathon at Buffalo, New York State. She was fifth in 2.46.09, which ranked her fourth in Scotland.

Alison Rose worked at FASIC (the Edinburgh University sports injury clinic).

1994 saw similar progress. On 20th February, Alison won the Grangemouth Round the Houses 10km in 34.43. On 17th April she was 13th in the London Marathon (2.45.55). Alison Rose’s best-ever 10,000m time was 33.57.86. This was set on 12th June when she was seventh in the AAA Championships in Sheffield. She narrowly missed selection for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games. Another new marathon pb of 2.45.19 was set on 7th August for 31st place when she raced for Great Britain at the European Marathon Championships in Helsinki.

1995 was Alison’s marathon peak. On 1st January, she finished third (1.21.23) in the prestigious Morpeth to Newcastle Road Race. On 5th March, she won the Finchley 20 miles (2.03.02). Then on the 9th of April, Alison Rose represented Great Britain in the IAAF World Marathon Cup in Athens, finishing a thoroughly respectable 24th with a new best time of 2.42.42 (which placed her tenth in the Scottish all-time marathon list). Her GB and Scottish team-mate Trudi Thomson was 25th, only two seconds behind. 12 Nations took part; and Alison Rose was the first GB finisher (from a team of five).

Consequently, Alison Rose was selected to race again for GB on 5th August 1995 in the IAAF World Championships at Gothenburg, Sweden. Trudi was first British finisher (22nd in 2.41.42); Alison was 28th in 2.45.52 – and second Brit. 1995 was also the year when her coach Malcolm Brown moved to Northern Ireland.

1996 was the last year that Alison Rose appeared in the Scottish lists. After wearing the Scottish vest in an international cross-country match at Ashington, England, where she was 22nd and her team lost to England South and England North, but beat England Midlands and Wales, she produced times of 17.12.98 for 5000m (ranked 7th) and, when sixth in the British Olympic Trials at Birmingham, 34.44.89 for 10,000m (ranked 2nd).

An ankle injury which required surgery ended her running career. Yet Alison Rose could be rightly proud of many fine team and individual achievements in the sport she had graced for several years.

After Neil Black had a riding accident, Alison was selected as GB physiotherapist for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. She was physiotherapist to Olympic gold medallists: Dames Kelly Holmes (from 2000 onwards) and Jess Ennis-Hill. In 2002, she moved to Leeds to set up and become clinical director of a private physiotherapy clinic – CSPC.

She was also physio to triathletes: Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Non Stanford and Vicky Holland – all world champions. In addition, she was physio to top middle-distance track runner Laura Weightman. Alison Rose has been widely praised for her expertise. Malcolm Brown added, “She is very well liked and universally respected. It is partly that she cares about her patients. She is loyal. She has no ego (therefore no social media). Alison is extremely hard working and she is at the forefront of her profession, constantly updating her skills and getting athletes into peak condition for the big events.”



                                                                                Alison Rose treating 2020 Olympic 1500m silver medallist Laura Muir

Hugh’s Gems: 11

Hugh’s Gems pages are quite popular with regular viewing figures to prove it.    We start this time with a photograph of John Anderson, former national coach, and of course of Gladiators fame at the age of 94.

Below: Allan Wells in the Ibrox Trophy Room

Celtic Sports, 1910  (courtesy Eric Giacoletti)

Ian McCafferty at the back in a race at the dog track in Tranent at the start of a short lived professional career.

Below: Back in the day – but before yours and mine !   Dam Park in 1898

Herb Elliott, everybody’s hero in the 1950’s, with the much under rated Laurie Reed the Brit in third

A short report on the founding of the Glasgow Academicals Club  –  in 1866!

Early cross-country: from Rugby School arcioves


Alastair Shaw 5: Field Events

The selection of pictures of top class field events athletes.   Action photographs taken during the warm up, close-ups of the highest quality: beautifully framed for the subject and very clear and sharp indeed.   The first two are from the Commonwealth Games in 1986.

Tessa Sanderson at the 1986 Commonwealth Games

Steve Backley at the 1986 Commonwealth Games

The next XXX are from the Tarmac Games in 1983 where Tessa set her UK record

Fatima Whitbread

Tom Petranov: World javelin record holder

James Mays at the same meeting

Mary Anderson, EAC, in the SWAAA Championships 1985: a very talented all-rounder; a fast 800m runner and a good heptathlete

Karen Pugh,Birchfield Harriers – Alastair says -“she and Jacqueline McKernan from Northern Ireland came up/over for the Scottish Champs every year. Pugh finished 4th for 4 consecutive years. This was her first win in 1985. JMcK finished 2nd for 3 years in a row. I think the Scots were mildly aggrieved at the interlopers but, to be fair, the Scots thought nothing of invading the WAAA if they thought they could do well.”


Lynne Marshall having a practice throw at the 1983 Championships with Glasgow coach Eddie Coyle in line of fire . . .

. . . and below, Geoffrey Parsons in 1985

Alastair Shaw

Alastair on the left from ‘The Scotsman, August 1st, 1988

Despite being in the sport of over 50 years covering competition, officiating. administrating the sport al all levels up to the international, Alastair is not a well known or easily recognisable figure even to those who have benefited from his work as competitors.     We asked him for some detail of his athletics career.   

He started as a teenage athlete, a sprinter, at Victoria Park AAC and ended it as an 800m runner coached by the legendary Jimmy Campbell.   At the age of 19, in  mid 1975 , he was injured with a back problem and offered to coach at Glasgow AC whilst he was incapacitated. He was asked to take on the throws as that’s where the club had most need.  Following the old  adage of  ‘doing what your club needs you to do’. he started helping with judging, team management, announcing, etc.   Already he had a wider experience than most, and he took this with him when he moved to  Tillicoultry and joined Pitreavie) in 1983, and later Dunfermline in 1987.   His involvement in athletics was gradually reduced as family life developed and children grew up before ending his involvement in the sport in about 1991.

The back injury referred to above effectively ended his racing career, although he did return for a bit,  running a few half marathons – namely Falkirk and Alloa (twice)

We asked about career highlights and he replied: 

  • Club Coach awards in shot, discus, javelin, sprints and middle distance 
  • Coached Lynne Marshall in shot from junior age to Scottish International
  • involvement with visually handicapped athlete coaching around 1979/81 inc. organising their UK Championships at Coatbridge
  • Occasionally involved with Ass. Club Coach training for JCC
  • Grade 1 field official in Jumps and Throws (Including Scottish Internationals, Commonwealth Games 1986 (jumps), European Indoor 1990 (athlete assembly and marshalling)).
  • SWAL secretary for 6 years mid 1980’s
  • I/c Watering Stations for the 1982/83 Glasgow Marathons and continued assisting with the finishing area until 1984/85
  • Committee member of Pitreavie for a few year

Some comments are maybe appropriate about the above.   

  1. First of all, the coaching qualifications are seriously good.   At the time there were three awards: Assistant Club Coach, Club Coach, and Senior Coach.   For Club Coach, the candidate had to spend two weekends at Inverclyde, sit a written exam and be assessed via a practical.  He had four of these.   
  2. Lynne Marshall was a very talented shot and discus athlete whose Scottish Championship record includes 2 firsts in the Shot Putt (1981 and 1983), 1 second (1985) and 2 third places (1982 and 1984) and she was ranked in the first 3 in Scotland on 4 occasions.
  3. The field of disability or para athletics was just becoming established and he was maybe a bit ahead of the games in being involved and any championships at UK level is a difficult task with a wide range of disciplines and administrative matters to be dealt with. 
  4. The JCC was the Joint Coaching Committee which was made up of 5 members from around Scotland and was responsible for coach education.
  5.  Officiating is different from administration in that the officials are those who do the work on the day, dealing with the athletes as well as performing all the tasks associated with the event in question.   There were Grades 1, 2 and 3 with Trainee officials also being recognised.   Only the best of these are chosen for international duty.
  6. To be any League Secretary is an onerous task – not just keeping things running smoothly (eg getting the results of the meeting sent out quickly after a meeting), but also helping staff the meetings, keeping committee meetings running smoothly and working with a whole range of different personalities.

It can be seen that his talents, industry and experience was wide and that the sport suffered a serious loss when he ceased being a major participant.  

Alastair also took lots of high quality photographs, many of which we have on the following pages, and he worked as hard at the photography as he did at athletics as can be seen from those displayed.    Links below.

The Officials      1986 Games     The Glasgow Marathon 1985        The SAAA 1500m 1981   The Field Events 1985 and 1986

Alastair Shaw’s Photographs: 5. SAAA 1500

For all the photographs that are taken at Scottish Championships, we seldom see a series taken of the same race.   One of the great things of Alastair’s pictures is that he finds the spot, doesn’t leave if but takes the pictures as the race develops.   Take this short series of the 1500m  at the SAAA Championships.   It starts with John Robson and Nat Muir prowling around waiting for the start and is followed by three photographs of the race – taken from approximately the same spot of the athletes at the end of lap1, lap 2 and lap 3.   Main characters are Robson 15, Muir 2, Ian Archibald 6, John MacKay 24, 





Alastair Shaw’s Photographs: 4. Glasgow Marathon, 1985

Before the Start of the Glasgow Marathon, 1985

The first Mass participation marathon in Glasgow was in 1982 and by 1985 the event was well established with thousands of runners, male and female, young and old, neophytes and grizzled veterans all keen to run in the event.   Bob Dalgleish, centre of the first picture, was the ‘Main Man’ as far as organisation was concerned.   The pictures below give a notion of the buzz that there was at the start: Alastair was taking the shots that other would never have thought of.   The feeling of excitement, nervousness and action is all there.










Alistair Shaws Photographs: 3. SAAA/SWAAA Championships

Alastair, working as an official attended many Scottish track championships but even officials get a break during the day and he managed to use his skills with the camera to capture the atmosphere of the meeting.   The first  here are from the SWAAA Championships in 1983.



The 1984 Championships


We now have two from the same year of the 800m at the SAAA Championships.


From 1985, we have the women’s 1500m 




Alastair Shaw’s Photographs: 2. 1986 Games

The Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh were, despite all the financial obstacle, a great success and of course Alastair was there.   He was officiating as one of a team of Field Event Judges and when he was not officiating managed to get some excellent photographs thirteen of which we have here.   The quality of the pictures and the clarity of the images are of a high quality.

Steve Cram

Ann Purvis

Sandra Whittaker

Start of the women’s 4 x 100m relay

Daley Thomson in the Decathlon 1500m

Men’s 100m start

Jamie Henderson in the 4 x 100m relay

John Robson

Yvonne Murray

Yvonne in the women’s 3000m

Later in the race

Allister Hutton, 10,000m


Liz Lynch, 10,000m champion

Alastair Shaw’s Photographs 1: The Officials

Alastair Shaw was never a regular photographer for any of the Scottish athletics magazines, nor for the SAAA or Scottish Athletics governing bodies but he was and is a first rate exponent of the art.    There are many of his photographs on this website illustrating events or people involved and he is the only one I know of who has so many pictures of the officials who helped the meetings run so efficiently.   An official himself, he was able to catch them at work during meetings and there are good pictures of many kenspeckle figures.    We start with the officials and the first one is of the Jimmy Campbell – sprints coach, Grade 1 official and highly respected.


Starter Joe Cameron

Another good photographof the track judges between races at Grangemouth with the marksman apparently heading off across the grass and a great shot of the track with the cycle track providing informal seating and sunbathing with the outer banking and its trees at the top of the picture.   [From the top: David Lyle, Dora Stephen, – , Eleanor Gunstone, Netta Sinclair.  Also Jimmy Campbell]

Netta Sinclair dictating confirmed result to Carole Shaw

Hilda Everett noting the times from Tom Bolan (Colzium) (top) and John Robertson (ESH)

The above were all taken at Grangemouth and as well as showing the officials at work, the track enclosed within the cycling track.

Officials at Meadowbank in 1986 led by Willie Laing and Davie Morrison with Bill Gentleman at the back in front of Willie Laing’s daughter 

Bob Dalgleish, centre, before the Glasgow Marathon

Even when the subject was ostensibly the official, some did creep in –

Back at Meadowbank, Eddie Coyle scrutinises the shot putter but in the background are Davie Morrison and Willie Laing. 

None of the officials in any of the photographs knew they were being caught on camera.   That is the thing that makes them special: the men and women who make the meetings run being seen at their work, doing the various jobs diligently without any fuss.  Most of Alastair’s pictures of officials in action were taken at Grangemouth.   It is an interesting track – the last track in Scotland to host a full-scale international meeting with every track event for men and women, every field event and all the relays.   No other track had that capability.   It also had a straight marked so that the short sprints and sprint hurdles coule be held in either direction to give the athletes the benefit of any wind if that was felt appropriate.   The first photograph below is of the 110 men’s hurdles going the ‘wrong’ way in the straight.   Note also the black outside track, originally intended for cycle races.