The Great Scot who won Wimbledon (again)


Andrew Barron “Andy” Murray, OBE (born 15 May 1987) is a British professional tennis player currently ranked world No. 2 in singles.[6][11] He is a three-time Grand Slam tournament winner, Olympic champion and Davis Cup champion. Murray is the younger brother of doubles world No. 1 Jamie Murray.
Murray has reached at least the quarterfinals of all Grand Slam tournaments he has participated in since 2011, with the exception of the 2015 US Open.[12] He has been ranked as British No. 1 since 27 February 2006. He achieved a top-10 ranking by the ATP for the first time on 16 April 2007, and reached a career peak of world No. 2 on 17 August 2009.

Murray is the reigning Olympic champion, having defeated Roger Federer at the 2012 Olympic Games in straight sets to win the gold medal in the men’s singles final, becoming the first British singles champion in over 100 years. He also won a silver medal in the mixed doubles, playing with Laura Robson.

At the 2012 US Open, Murray became the first British player since 1977, and the first British man since 1936, to win a Grand Slam singles tournament, when he defeated Novak Djokovic in the final in five sets. This title made him the only British male to become a Grand Slam singles champion during the Open Era. On 7 July 2013, Murray won the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, becoming the first British player to win a Wimbledon senior singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977, and the first British man to win the Men’s Singles Championship since Fred Perry, 77 years previously. Murray is the only man in history to have won Olympic Gold and the US Open in the same calendar year, as well as the third man to hold the Gold Medal and two majors on different surfaces (after Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal). Subsequent to his success at the Olympics and Wimbledon, Murray was voted the 2013 BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Murray has been the runner-up in eight other singles Grand Slam finals: the 2008 US Open, the 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 Australian Opens, the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, and the 2016 French Open losing three to Roger Federer and five to Novak Djokovic. He is the first man in the Open Era to achieve five runner-up finishes at the Australian Open, after losing to Djokovic in the final of the 2016 Australian Open. In 2011, Murray became only the seventh player in the Open Era to reach the semifinals of all four Grand Slam tournaments in one year.[13] During the 2015 season, he became the fourth man in tennis history to have won over $40 million in career prize money. After reaching the French Open semifinal in 2014, he became the tenth man to reach two or more semifinals at each of the four Majors.[14] After reaching the final of the 2016 French Open, Murray became the tenth player in the Open Era to reach the final of all four Grand Slam events and joint twelfth on the list for finals reached.[15]. Andy won his second Wimbledon title on 10th July 2016 against Milos Raonic. He is only the second British player (after Fred Perry) of either sex to have reached the final of all four majors.

Murray also featured in Great Britain’s Davis Cup winning team in 2015, winning 11 matches (8 singles and 3 doubles) as they secured their first Davis Cup title since 1936.[16] Murray was voted the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year, while the Davis Cup team won the 2015 BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year Award. He has scored a total 34 wins and 7 losses with the British Davis Cup team.

The Great Scot who won the inaugural singles wheelchair championships at Wimbledon


Gordon “Gio” Reid (born 2 October 1991) is a Scottish professional wheelchair tennis player, ranked World No.5 and is the British No. 1 in singles and ranked World No.1 and is British No.1 in doubles. He has competed for Great Britain at the Summer Paralympics when tennis made its first appearance at Beijing 2008. He reached the quarter-finals in the singles in London 2012 as well as reaching the quarter-finals in the doubles.
He was born in Alexandria on 2 October 1991. Gordon comes from a talented tennis family and started playing tennis at the age of six, playing alongside his two brothers and sister at Helensburgh Lawn Tennis Club, where he was a good junior player, before contracting Transverse Myelitis in 2004.

He first began playing Wheelchair Tennis in 2005, when he was introduced to the sport at Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow. He was acknowledged for his sporting credentials in 2006, when he was among the 10 shortlisted finalists for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.

In 2007, Gordon became Britain’s youngest men’s Singles National Champion and he was also part of Great Britain’s winning junior team at the 2007 World Team Cup. He feels his greatest achievement was representing ParalympicsGB at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games when he was just 16 years of age.

When he was younger, Gordon combined his training commitments with his studies and in 2009 he passed Highers in Maths, English and Biology after attending Hermitage Academy. 

Gordon won his first wheelchair tennis title in April 2005, six weeks after coming out of hospital, when he won the B Division Singles at the Glasgow Wheelchair Tennis Tournament. He became Britain’s youngest National champion at the age of 15 in 2007 and the youngest British men’s No 1 shortly before his 18th birthday at the end of September 2008.

At the 2006 British Open he won both the Men’s Second Draw Singles and Boys’ Junior Singles and ended the year among the 10 shortlisted finalists for the 2006 BBC Young Sports Person of the Year.

In 2007 he won the boys’ doubles at the Junior Masters in Tarbes, France and shortly afterwards won the men’s singles at the 2007 North West Challenge in Preston to collect his first senior international NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour singles title. He was undefeated as a member of the winning GB Junior team in the Junior event at the 2007 Invacare World Team Cup (Davis and Fed Cups of wheelchair tennis) In 2008 and 2009 he won both the boys’ singles and boys’ doubles at the Junior Masters in Tarbes, France and in January 2009 became world No 1 junior in the boys’ singles rankings, a position he maintained throughout his final season as a junior. Gordon has continued to make fine progress throughout the last two seasons, reaching a current career best men’s singles ranking of No 16 in September 2009 and a career best men’s doubles ranking of No 12 in January 2010. He helped Great Britain to win men’s World Group 2 at the 2008 Invacare World Team Cup, to finish fifth in World Group 1 in 2009 and to finish fourth in Turkey in 2010, which was Britain’s best Invacare World Team Cup result in the men’s event since 2002.

Gordon was named Tennis Scotland Junior Male Player of the Year in 2009 and Tennis Scotland Disabled Player of the Year in 2010. As a doubles player, he qualified for the year-end Doubles Masters for the first time in 2009, where he and his Hungarian partner Laszlo Farkas performed superbly to finish fifth of the eight partnerships. Gordon also played in the men’s wheelchair doubles at Wimbledon in 2008.

Gordon ended 2010 having beaten three world top ranked players on his way to winning three NEC Tour singles titles during the season, as well as winning four doubles titles during the year. He beat Austrian world No 9 Martin Legner to win his last tournament of the season in December, the Prague Cup Czech Indoor.
In January 2016 Reid won his first ever grand slam singles wheelchair title at the Australian Open. In July 2016, Reid followed up with his second grand slam victory in the inaugural singles wheelchair championships at Wimbledon.

The Great Scot who invented the Kinetoscope, the precursor to motion pictures


William Kennedy Laurie Dickson (3 August 1860 – 28 September 1935) was a Scottish inventor who devised an early motion picture camera under the employment of Thomas Edison (post-dating the work of Louis Le Prince).
Dickson was born on 3 August 1860 Elizabeth Kennedy-Laurie (1823–1879) and James Waite Dickson, a Scottish artist, astronomer and linguist. James claimed direct lineage from the painter Hogarth, and from Judge John Waite, the man who sentenced King Charles I to death.
In 1879 At age 19 William Dickson wrote a letter to Thomas Edison trying to seek employment with the inventor. He was turned down. That same year Dickson, his mother, and two sisters moved from Britain to Virginia. In 1883 he was finally hired to work at Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory. In 1888, American inventor and entrepreneur Thomas Alva Edison conceived of a device that would do “for the Eye what the phonograph does for the Ear”. In October, Edison filed a preliminary claim, known as a caveat, with the US Patent Office (which shut down 1932 in the great depression) outlining his plans for the device. In March 1889, a second caveat was filed, in which the proposed motion picture device was given a name, the Kinetoscope. Dickson, then the Edison company’s official photographer, was assigned to turn the concept into a reality.

Dickson invented the first practical celluloid film for this application. He slit a medium format roll film, which is 70 mm wide, and perforated the resultant 35 mm film, a standard format which is still in use to this day in cine and still photography.

Dickson and his team at the Edison lab then worked on the development of the Kinetoscope for several years. The first working prototype was unveiled in May 1891 and the design of system was essentially finalised by the fall of 1892. The completed version of the Kinetoscope was officially unveiled at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences on 9 May 1893. Not technically a projector system, it was a peep show machine showing a continuous loop of the film Dickson invented, lit by an Edison light source, viewed individually through the window of a cabinet housing its components. The Kinetoscope introduced the basic approach that would become the standard for all cinematic projection before the advent of video.

It creates the illusion of movement by conveying a strip of perforated film bearing sequential images over a light source with a high-speed shutter. Dickson and his team also devised the Kinetograph, an innovative motion picture camera with rapid intermittent, or stop-and-go, film movement, to photograph movies for in-house experiments and, eventually, commercial Kinetoscope presentations.

Dickson was the first person to make a film for a Pope, and at the time his camera was blessed by His Holiness Leo XIII.

In late 1894 or early 1895, Dickson became an ad hoc advisor to the motion picture operation of the Latham brothers, Otway and Grey, and their father, Woodville, who ran one of the leading Kinetoscope exhibition companies. Seeking to develop a movie projector system, they hired former Edison employee Eugene Lauste, probably at Dickson’s suggestion. In April 1895, Dickson left Edison’s employ and joined the Latham outfit. Alongside Lauste, he helped devise what would become known as the Latham loop, allowing the photography and exhibition of much longer filmstrips than had previously been possible. The team of former Edison associates brought to fruition the Eidoloscope projector system, which would be used in the first commercial movie screening in world history on 20 May 1895. With the Lathams, Dickson was part of the group that formed the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, before he returned permanently to work in the United Kingdom in 1897.

Dickson left Edison’s company and formed his own company that produced the mutoscope, a form of hand cranked peep show movie machine. These machines produced moving images by means of a revolving drum of card illustrations, similar in concept to flip-books, taken from an actual piece of film. They were often featured at seaside locations, showing (usually) sequences of women undressing or acting as an artist’s model. In Britain, they became known as “What the butler saw” machines, taking the name from one of the first and most famous softcore reels.

The Great Scot who is the first woman, the first Scot and the first openly LGBT person to hold the post of Poet Laureate


Currently reigning as Britain’s first female Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy is also queen of the dramatic monologue. Duffy’s poetry gives voice to society’s alienated and ignored in an unstuffy but compelling manner, wrestling with ideas about language and identity. As Duffy says herself: “I like to use simple words but in a complicated way.”
Born in Glasgow in 1955, Duffy was brought up in Staffordshire and studied philosophy at the University of Liverpool, where she was active in the city’s underground poetry scene in the 1970s. Her first full-length collection Standing Female Nude in 1985 was something of a landmark, forging an anti-establishment voice with a colloquial lyricism. Duffy reached a wider audience with The World’s Wife (1999), a series of witty dramatic monologues spoken by women from fairy tales and myths, and the women usually air-brushed from history, such as Mrs Midas and Mrs Darwin. Her output has also included a formidable amount of writing for children.

Her former relationship with the poet Jackie Kay has informed some of her best-known work. Her most recent adult collection, Rapture, a first person account of a love affair, won the TS Eliot Prize in 2005. Duffy’s poem Education for Leisure, about a violent teenager, was controversially removed from an examination board’s GCSE syllabus in 2008. In a move typical of the poet, Duffy responded with a sardonic new poem about knives in Shakespeare.