200 Voices

Catherine Helen Spence. Picture: State Library of South Australia

Catherine Helen Spence: The ‘Grand Old Woman of Australia’

From women’s activist to journalist, Catherine Helen Spence wore many hats during her lifetime.

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The “Red Duchess” – Scotland’s first female MP

She was the Perthshire aristocrat who became Scotland’s first female MP and shook up parliament with her high principles and disregard for old school tribal politics.

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Hugh MacDiarmid: the poet and thinker who divided opinion

Born in the Borders in 1892, MacDiarmid’s legacy is still felt in Scotland’s literature and politics, though his personal views see him often viewed with unease and even disdain.

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Alasdair Gray

Alasdair Gray: a unique view of Scotland

Best known for his novel Lanark, which lead him to be described as “the greatest Scottish writer since Sir Walter Scott” by Anthony Burgess, Alasdair Gray is one of Scotland’s most unique voices in art and literature, both of which have won him critical acclaim.

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David Dunbar Buick: Scots engineer who lost everything on automotive gamble

The iconic luxury of Buick motors have the distinction of being the oldest American brand of automobiles, but Scotland has the honour of being home to its founder. Read more

Maureen Robinson

The women who shaped Scotch whisky: Maureen Robinson, master blender for Diageo

As part of our women who shaped Scotch whisky series, we spoke to Maureen Robinson, who is master blender for Diageo, and recently celebrated 40 years in the industry.

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Five things you should know about Scottish sprinter Allan Wells

The sprinter, born in Edinburgh, became a household name in 1980 when he won gold in the 100 metres at the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Here are five facts you may, or may not, know about the legendary athlete.

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Sanjeev Kohli: Still game for Scottish TV

Known for his role as Navid in popular comedy Still Game, Sanjeev Kohli wasn’t always destined for the screen.

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Sanjeev Kohli’s funniest moments

Best known for his portrayal of Navid in Still Game, Sanjeev Kohli is as funny off screen as his is playing his famous Glaswegian corner shop owner.

Here are a few of his funniest moments.

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Astronomer Williamina Fleming: a life written in stars

As she left Dundee in search of a new life, Williamina Fleming would not have known  her future was written in the stars.

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Petra Wetzel: Brewing German beer in Scotland

‘Glaswegian heart, German head’ is the ethos behind West, the brewer launched in 2006 by managing director Petra Wetzel. Read more

Kirsty Black: distilling success with Arbikie gin

Scotland’s gin industry is growing at an exponential rate and its success can be laid at the feet of not just the wonderful brands that are setting the global spirit scene alight, but also the hard work and enthusiasm of the people behind them.

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Kevin Bridges: top six jokes about Scotland

Born in November 1986 in Clydebank Scotland, to parents Andy and Patricia Bridges, Kevin’s route to fame and fortune started when he was offered a stand up slot at The Stand Comedy Club in Glasgow, aged 17. Now a household name who tours the world, we take a look at Kevin’s five most memorable jokes about his homeland… Read more

Jimmy McLaughlin: Creating a fictitious matriarch befitting of QMU history

In the many years Jimmy McLaughlin served pints and peanuts at Glasgow University’s Queen Margaret Union, he served up a side of ridiculous fiction that became legend on campus. Read more

The Venerable Margaret Sinclair, who was born and brought up in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

Margaret Sinclair: From factory floor to miracle worker

A dilapidated tenement flat in Edinburgh’s Old Town may not seem like the birthplace of a modern day saint – but miracles do happen.

Campaigners have long called for Margaret Sinclair, a humble factory worker turned nun, to be recognised as a saint.

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James Braid: creator of Scotland’s best golf courses


HE won the British Open golf championship an astonishing five times, but is more famous for being one of Scotland’s best golf course creators.

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Flora MacNeil: The queen of Gaelic music

SHE WAS the voice of generations who helped to popularise and revitalise Gaelic music while rescuing scores of traditional folk songs from being altogether lost and forgotten.

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6 things you should know about legendary athlete Eric Liddell

Eric Liddell lived a very interesting life, and not just on the athletics track. Here is everything you need to know about his incredible story.

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Professor Harald Haas: Edinburgh’s ‘father of LiFi’

Credited with coining the term “LiFi” – the use of light to transmit data – Professor Harald Haas has received global recognition for his work on the technology.

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Mark Millar’s journey from Glasgow to Gotham

Mark Millar could never have imagined comics would have him rubbing shoulders with Hollywood A-listers, but if his life work has taught us anything it’s not all heroes wear capes. Read more

John Muir Day – 5 inspiring quotes from legendary Scots naturalist

Legendary naturalist John Muir’s incredible legacy is celebrated on this day every year to mark his status as a key figure in Scotland and abroad.

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Graeme Obree smashed records on homemade cycles

Graeme Obree should need no introduction, but alas, he shares his name with an iconic Scottish locomotive. Read more

The unsolved mystery of Gilmerton Cove

The intriguing subterranean dwelling of Gilmerton Cove has been shrouded in mystery since a 1906 Scotsman article poked holes in its origin story. Read more

How Denis Law overcame childhood affliction to become a hero

Denis Law is, and forever will be, a Scottish football legend. In addition to being the country’s joint-leading goalscorer in international matches, Law netted over 300 times across his distinguished club career. His honours included two English titles, one FA Cup and the 1968 European Cup (though an injured Law didn’t play in the final). He was the 1964 winner of the Ballon d’Or, which was then a recognition of the best player in Europe. Imagine, if you can, how good he would have been had he been able to see properly.

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15 of the best quotes from the ‘Voice of Rugby’ Bill McLaren

Not just a Scottish rugby legend, Bill McLaren is widely regarded as one of the greatest sports broadcasters of all time.

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Flora MacDonald – Highland rebel and Jacobite heroine

She had known Bonnie Prince Charlie for only 10 days and spent time in his company for just a small portion of that.

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Dougal Sharp Innis & Gunn

Dougal Sharp: Innis & Gunn’s founder and master brewer

They say the keys to creating a successful business are hard work, a strong idea and great timing, so when Dougal Sharp decided to launch Innis & Gunn he felt he was ready as the first two were already in place.

Already an industry veteran and used to the long hours of the brewing trade – Sharp has been in the industry for 30 years having started working alongside his father at Caledonian Brewery in his teens where he learned “brewing from the ground up” – the hard working ethic came naturally.

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Compton Mackenzie: SNP co-founder and Whisky Galore author

Sir Compton Mackenzie is today best remembered for writing two comic novels set in Scotland – The Monarch of the Glen, which inspired the BBC drama series of the same name, and the much-loved Whisky Galore, which has twice been adapted for cinema. Read more

Sir Hugh Munro: Scotland’s mountain hero

THE famous Scot is known for drawing up the list of Scotland’s mountains in 1891.

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The Laurieston owner John Clancy still takes no nonsense

Soon to celebrate his 70th birthday, The Laurieston bar owner John Clancy runs one of the most iconic watering holes in Glasgow. Read more