Sunday, October 17, 2021

Ian Halliday 1935 - 2020

We only received the news recently but one of our past members Ian Halliday passed away in Redbourn, Lincolnshire on the 14th of February this year aged 85 years.

I noticed on his death notice in the Herald that he was, in order of importance, a retired sprinter, a financier and reader of international affairs.  I’m always struck at the level of importance former members have placed on their experience of training and competing as part of Victoria Park and the memories they’ve shared with their families.From l-r, Turner, Dunbar, Halliday and Ballantyne

Ian Samuel Halliday was a member of Victoria Park in the late 1950’s.  He was a member of Willie McFarlane’s famous training group that dominated the sprint events and relays at the Scottish Championships.  Many of the group competed at major games including the Olympics and the Empire Games.

Surrounded by such talent at Scotstoun, Ian found it difficult to get selected for individual events but found a route to success through Victoria Park’s sprint relay teams.

In 1957, he was part of a bronze medal winning relay team in the 4 x 440 yds at the Scottish Championships in a time of 3:32.6.  The team was Alan Dunbar, Ian Halliday, Bobby Quinn and John McIsaac on the last leg.  From that team, Alan Dunbar and John McIsaac went on to represent Scotland at the Empire Games in Cardiff the following year.

In 1958, he finished 3rd in heat 2 of the club 100 yds and didn’t make the final, such was the quality around him.  Things turned around over the course of the season though and he found himself selected in the Victoria Park “A” team in the 4 x 110 yds at the Scottish Championships in Glasgow on the 5th of July.  The team of Alan Dunbar, Ian Halliday, Alistair Ballantyne and Graeme Turner finished 1st in a new Scottish record time of 42.9s.  Pictured above from left to right, Turner, Dunbar, Halliday and Ballantyne.

His success continued into 1959 where he was again selected for the Victoria Park “A” team in defence of their 4 x 110 yds Scottish Championship title in Edinburgh on the 30th of June.  On this occasion the team was Alistair Ballantyne, Ian Halliday, Graeme Turner and Ronnie Whitelock and once again, they finished 1st in another new Scottish record time of 42.6s.

To win two senior Scottish Championship relays would be an excellent achievement for any sprinter but to be part of two Scottish record breaking teams was exceptional.

Ian was survived by his twin sons, Steve and Glenn.  Steve has been in touch and is looking forward to a visit to Scotstoun on his next visit to Glasgow.

Thanks to Hugh Stevenson for his research.

Jimmy Adam 1928 - 2019

Another of our life members passed away this week.  Jimmy Adam who was 91 years of age was only with the club for a few years as a junior but made a lasting impression.

He passed away on Sunday the 27th of October at home in Stirling where he had lived since 1970.

Jimmy was born in July 1928 and joined the club in 1945, having been encouraged to join by our then Club Secretary Peter Morrison.

He first success came as part of the Victoria Park Junior Cross Country team that won the Scottish Youths Championships in 1945 along with his teammates R Laing and M Roberts.

He was also part of the junior team that won the Midland District Cross Country Championship in 1946 along with the great Andy Forbes who went on to win Silver at the Empire Games in 1950.

In 1946, Jimmy was 3rd in the 1 mile at the AAA’s Championship in Birmingham.  He was also 1st in the mile at the Scottish Athletic Youth Championships on the 8th of June that same year which is what earned him life membership of the club.

In 1947, he was one of the six senior men in the team that won the Midlands District Cross Country Championship.

He had a successful career as a foundry manager for Shanks of Barrhead, Jones and Campbell in Larbert and finally Grahamstown Ironworks.

Jimmy was last in touch in 2006.  He had found his way onto our website and recognised many of the names mentioned in the club history.

He’s survived by his son David and daughter Jean.  His other son Jim and his wife Elsie had passed before him.

His funeral will take place at the Stirlingshire Crematorium on Friday the 8th of November at 2pm.

Jimmy is pictured back right with the Junior Cross Country team in 1946.


Gordon Innes

Bobby Quinn 1929 - 2019

We received the sad news today that one of our life members, Bobby Quinn had passed away on Monday the 28th Of October at the age of 90 years.

Bobby was one of the best sprinters of his generation and part of a very successful Victoria Park Relay team that dominated Scottish Championships throughout the 1950’s.  Bobby won a total of 14 Scottish Championship titles.

Born in Detroit, USA in 1929, Bobby and his twin brother Harry came to Scotland when they were 3 years of age.

Like many of his generation, Bobby started out by doing his national service in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and was based at Mill Hill Barracks near London.  His time served in the army prepared him for a life as a motor mechanic with the Scottish Development Agency.

Bobby and his twin brother Harry were encouraged to join Victoria Park Athletics Club by the great Ian Binnie and trained with the top athletes in the country.  He wouldn’t have known then that his association with athletics would last a lifetime.

He won his first Scottish Amateur Athletic Championship medal in 1951 when he ran the 2nd leg for the winning Victoria Park 4 x 110 yards relay team.  The Olympian Willie Jack ran the 4th leg that day.

In 1952, Bobby won two national relay championships.  He ran the 2nd leg of the 4 x 110 yards for the Victoria Park Relay team and the 3rd leg in the Medlay Relay.

In 1953, he again achieved the double while part of the winning Victoria Park 4 x 110 yards and Medlay Relay teams.

1954 was an exceptional year for Bobby, being part of the winning relay teams at the Scottish Championships in the 4 x 110 yards, 4 x 440 yards with a championship best performance and Medlay Relay all in the same year.  A record that has never been matched.  He also had his first individual success that year while finishing 2nd in the 220 yards sprint.  This was the year he was awarded life membership of Victoria Park.

In 1955, Bobby was 1st in the 440 yards in a time of 49.6s and 2nd in the 220 yards at the Scottish Championships.  He also achieved another double success while winning the 4 x 110 yards with a championship best performance and the Medlay Relay.

He continued his success in 1956 when he finished 1st in the 440 yards with a time of 49.8s and 1st once again in the 4 x 110 relay alongside his brother Harry at the Scottish Championships.

His last Scottish Championship medals were won in 1957 when he finished 2nd in the 220 yards and 1st in the 4 x 110 yards relay.  That same year, he travelled to College Park, Dublin and earned a Scotland vest competing in an international match against the Irish along with his club mates Ronnie Whitelock and John McIsaac.

Throughout his career, he competed many times at the Ibrox sports in front of 60,000 sports fans.  Success in those days often resulted in a random prize as cash was against the rules of the sport.  He won several tea sets, canteens of cutlery, a biscuit barrel, shaving outfit, trays and a chiming clock.  All of these paled in significance to the large mahogany display cabinet he won after another successful day at Ibrox.  Fortunately, his brother Harry was on hand to help manoeuvre this object through the streets of Glasgow and onto the Tramcar to Penilee.

It was in 1957 that Bobby married Marie, the mother of his five children, John, Elizabeth, Robert, Tony and James.

When he retired from competition, he continued to support Victoria Park by serving in various posts on the committee including match secretary and handicapper.

He became a much respected official and supported athletics events for over 30 years.  He was a highly regarded and experienced timekeeper.  He served as Secretary of the Scottish Amateur Athletic Association and was transport coordinator for the Commonwealth games in Edinburgh in 1986. 

He was involved in designing and measuring the route for the original Glasgow marathon and officiated in the marathon at the commonwealth games in 1986.

Bobby was always smartly turned out in his sports blazer and cap.  He kept this high standard even when officiating at the MacAndrew Road Relay in his later years.  He always arrived in good time with his clipboard tucked firmly under his arm.

His fellow official Angus Cameron said that he had “profound respect for Bobby, he was good company, good humoured, an honest man and someone you enjoyed working with”.

His wife Marie passed away in 2007 after 50 years together.

His last run was in July 2014 when he was granted the honour of carrying the Commonwealth Games baton along 200 meters of Paisley Road West just two days before the opening ceremony at Celtic Park.  Bobby who at that time was 85 failed to match his pb of sub 11 seconds but thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

Needless to say, Bobby was accompanied along the route by his proud sons, daughter, grandchildren and friends and parishioners from his church.

Bobby remarried in 2009 and once again found happiness with his second wife Anne.

His funeral is to take place next Tuesday, the 5th of November, at 9.30 am at the Church of Our Lady and St George, 50 Sandwood Road, Hillington, Glasgow, G52 2QE.  Thereafter to St Convals, RC Cemetery, 169 Glasgow Road, Barrhead, G78 1TH.

Anyone not able to attend the cemetery is invited to stay within the Church Hall at Sandwood Road where there will be refreshments to await the return of the family.

His family have extended an invitation to all who knew him.


Gordon Innes

Sid Ellis 1931 - 2019

Yesterday we received the sad news that another of the clubs Champions from the 1950’s had passed away.  Sid Ellis died aged 87 years in Anniesland, Glasgow.Norrie, Jimmy and Sid Ellis

Sid was part of the popular Ellis brothers who along with Jimmy and Norrie were dedicated distance runners who represented Victoria Park throughout our glory years of the 1950’s.

Sid was in the team that won the Scottish Youths Cross Country Relay Championship in 1949 along with Bobby Calderwood, Alex Breckenridge and W.D. Duncan.

In 1952, he was part of the winning cross country relay team in the Scottish Junior Championships, along with his brother Norrie.

He was also in the 8 man team that won the Edinburgh to Glasgow relay race in 1951 along with his brother Jimmy who was a life member of the club and again in 1956 along with his brother Norrie.

On the seven occasions Victoria Park won the Edinburgh to Glasgow relay race, the Ellis brothers occupied ten places.

I’ve attached a copy of “The Scots Athlete” from 1951 where it shows Sid extending Victoria Park’s lead in leg 7 of the Glasgow to Edinburgh relay race.Sid Ellis with the Lord Provost of Glasgow in 1956

Surely his proudest moment in athletics was running the last leg of the eight in the Edinburgh to Glasgow relay in 1956 in the fastest time of the day, 24m 58s and presenting the baton to the Lord Provost of Glasgow.  The team finished in a time of 3h 47m 40s, 3 minutes ahead of the team from Shettleston.

His son Fraser was last in touch in 2007 and at that time he reported that Sid was still attending our McAndrew Road Relays to support the Club.

The funeral will take place at 2pm on Friday the 18th of October at All Saints Scottish Episcopal Church, 10 Woodend Drive, Jordanhill, Glasgow, G13 1QS.  Thereafter onto Clydebank crematorium for 3:30pm.  Anyone who knew Sid is more than welcome. There’ll be refreshments afterwards at Westpark Hotel, on the Boulevard (just along from the crematorium).

Our sincere condolences go to Ann, Sid’s wife of 62 years, and his extended family.

Sid Ellis crossing the finishing line 1956