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fly'ing adj. 3. Travelling or passing swiftly ; designed for rapid movement......
Scot. Native of Scotland.....

Wherever there has been a need to convey the impression of speed or rapid progress, or have any, even somewhat tenuous link to Scotland or the Scot's people, the name or title "The Flying Scot" has been used. Here are a few of the other more obvious applications down the years, and perhaps some of the more obscure......!


Fleein ScotThe Flying Scotsman - Perhaps the most common mistake made is the assumption that "The Flying Scot" bicycle name was taken from a famous British train service or a steam locomotive. Though this had been perpetuated down the years, in the Britain, there has been neither one, nor the other. The name "Flying Scotsman" was the source and was applied to the train service (as opposed to the locomotive) running between London (King's Cross) and Edinburgh (Waverley) stations. The service started in 1862 and was referred to as the "Special Scotch Express" and by the 1870s was known as the "Flying Scotsman". It still runs today under the same name.


String KitePreston Watson (1880 - 1914) The first "Flying" Scot. Whilst it is almost universally understood that the first recognised flight of an aircraft took place in 1903, when the Wright brothers flew their powered glider at Kitty Hawk Bay in the U.S.A. Less well known was the experiments of the Scot Preston Watson son of a Dundee Merchant with a glider that took place around the same time. Preston experimented with his glider, later to be powered, on the banks of the River Tay near Errol. Whether or not he flew before the Wrights can only be conjecture as little hard evidence exists. Almost certainly though by 1905 he was one of the first "Flying" Scot's !


The Flying Scotsman - London & North Eastern Railway Co. Class A1 Pacific 4-6-2 No.1472 (later 4472). designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and built at Doncaster in 1923. This is the single biggest contributor to the myth about David Rattrays Flying Scot being named after a famous steam engine.

Flying Scotsman is the most famous steam locomotive in the world and was the first express passenger locomotive to be built by the London & North Eastern Railway Company, and frequently throughout the years operated the Flying Scotsman train. In 1934 Flying Scotsman was the first steam locomotive to achieve a speed of 100mph. After retiral in 1963, it was sold for preservation, and from 1969 to 1972 toured the U.S.A., and in 1988 and 1989 toured Australia.


Eric LiddellEric Liddell (1902-1945) 400m Gold at the 1924 Olympics - Perhaps the first Scottish sportsman to be given the title 'The Flying Scot', Eric Henry Liddell rose to fame representing Britain in the 1924 Olympics in Paris. As a British track athlete, he won Gold medal in the 400 Metres, up against formidable opposition. The 1981 Academy Award-winning film "Chariots of Fire" chronicled the lives of Eric and his fellow English athlete Harold Abraham's also a Gold Medal. Eric was a devoted Scot who believed deeply in the church and the teachings of God. He later became a missionary, but died in occupied China at the end of World War II.


Balls !Flying Scot Plus......there can be few things in sport & speed that have not had the "Flying Scot" name applied - not least of which is this brand of Golf Balls. Golf as we know it today originated from a game played on the east coast of Scotland in the Kingdom of Fife during the 15th century. Nowadays some of these might give some of our pro's a home advantage.....!


Bobby Thomson"The Flying Scot" wasn't only given to home sportsmen. In the U.S.A. on October 3, 1951, in a playoff against the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giant outfielder Robert Brown "Bobby" Thomson (also penned as the "Staten Island Scot" blasted the dramatic "shot heard round the world" against Ralph Branca. It remains amongst the most famous home runs in baseball history. Thomson was born in Glasgow however moved with his parents to the US when he was two years-old.


English Film AdvertThe Flying Scot directed by Compton Bennet - Who was probably better known for his British wartime "government" and propaganda films moved to the USA and directed this film that was released in 1957. This a fairly low-budget movie based on the fictional story (script by Norman Hudis ) of a robbery carried out by a newly married couple aboard a train. Once again the train they're on to London (the Flying Scotsman) has it's name shortened and used for the title of the film. Not for the first time, the words in the film title has been given the speed effect. The foreign language version of course makes it look even more like this Scot Transfer (Click Here)

Dutch Film Advert


Flying Scot YachtThe Flying Scot - make a search on the Internet of the words "Flying Scot", and of the 4,730 results or thereabouts you'll get, at least three quarters of those will relate to a 19-foot centreboard dinghy that is sailed throughout North America, It was designed in 1957 by Gordon K. "Sandy" Douglass and interestingly named after a high speed locomotive ! The Flying Scot dinghy has been in constant production since 1957, and is currently constructed by Flying Scot, Inc.,


Jim ClarkJim Clark OBE (1936-68) F1 World Champion - During his all to short career, he was often penned in the media as "The Flying Scot". Jim won the Formula 1 World Championship twice with Colin Chapmans Lotus Team, in 1963 and again two years later in 1965. Amongst a long list of race wins and successes since the mid 1950's, Jim added twenty-five Grand Prix (F1) wins to his name, and became the first British winner of the American Indianapolis "500" race in 1965. His promising career and sadly his life was cut short when he was killed in a crash at Hockenheim (Germany) in 1968 whilst taking part in a European Formula 2 race.


From the 9th March 1964 the British Railways "Flying Scotsman" services (10:00 from London King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley and 10:00 Edinburgh Waverley to London King's Cross stations, ran with a new fibreglass headboard designed in the shape of a winged thistle.


Jackie StewartSir Jackie Stewart (1939- ) F1 World Champion - A fellow Scot, and good friend of Jim Clarks (having shared a flat together in his early days) Jackie Stewart inherited the headline title "The Flying Scot" This was no small measure of Jackie's ability and at the time he began in Formula 1 he had a lot to prove and hard act to follow. In his career He won 27 Grand Prix and the Formula 1 World Championship a second and third time in 1971 and 1973, his last year of racing. He spent six of his 9 years in F1 with Ken Tyrell. Whilst Jackie retired at a time when many considered he had much left to do, he never left the racing scene altogether and continued as he had whilst active in racing, to campaign for safer circuits and safer cars, having had one to many near miss and lost too many good friends. In 1997 Jackie returned fully to F1 racing, but not as a driver but as team owner in partnership with his son Paul as the fledgling Stewart racing team. His record of 27 Grand Prix wins was not to be beaten for 20 years until Nigel Mansell picked up the crown.


Datsun B-210Datsun B-210 'Flying Scot' - In 1973, Datsun launched the B-210 model to replace the 1200 model. Perhaps better known in the UK as a Datsun Sunny 120Y, between launch and replacement in 1977, 2.3 million of these popular cars were produced.

The 'Flying Scot' was a U.S. limited edition model. Note the use in the background of steam locomotive No. 4472 'Flying Scotsman'. Whether potential buyers were really impressed that their new car could outrun the 'Flying Scot' (sic) even without a driver ! who knows.


Colin McRaeColin McRae (1968- ) World Rally Champion - After Jackie Stewart retired in 1973, the Scottish media had to wait a long time for the next bit of home-grown Scottish talent to appear on the motorsport horizon to award the "Flying Scot" title. David Coulthard had shown plenty promise but has so far failed to fulfill the F1 World Champion vacancy left by Jackie or come near the total GP wins of either Clark or Stewart. Rally car driver Colin McRae currently fits the 'media' bill, Though he last won the World Rally Championship for Drivers in 1995, he continues to compete, though WRC wins have been sparse of late. Colin's exploits on and off stage certainly make him worthy of the name "Flying Scot"


Boeing 737The Flying Scot : In February 2000, Boeing 737-804 (registration G-BYNB) was delivered to Britannia Airways. On 17 April 2000 the day of the proving flight, it was named "The Flying Scot" at Luton and then flew to Glasgow Airport where it was based and operated from. This was the first of two 737-800's owned by Britannia, and has since joined the fleet of their Nordic subsidiary company Britannia AB. It now flies under the Swedish registration SE-DZM, but still with the name "The Flying Scot".


Whisky GlassIf reading all that was thirsty work, "Give me a Flying Scot" clearly means more than one thing the world over. From Germany to Brazil, asking for a Flying Scot at the Bar should produce something comprising ;  

1 oz. of Scotch
1 oz. Sweet of Vermouth
2-3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1/4 tsp. of Sugar Syrup

( Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a short whisky glass, and serve ).

Note ; All of the photographs above are believed to be in the public domain. If however you know better, please get in touch .

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Copyright © 1999-2003 R.Reid Last Updated Thursday, 16-Oct-2003 16:46 hrs.