Going to the Pictures – Scolympians!

With the Olympics now upon us, it is good to report that our current exhibition Going to the Pictures: Scotland at the Cinema has not forgotten to include Scolympians – even if one of them is a work of fiction!


Most film audiences wont need to be reminded about Chariots of Fire, which memorably told the story of athlete and missionary Eric Liddell and others. With the late Ian Charleson as Liddell, and many Scottish locations, including the West Sands at St Andrews in the iconic opening sequence, Arthur’s Seat, and the splendours of the interior of Edinburgh’s Café Royal, the film has recently been restored and is back out in cinemas, thirty years after it won the Best Picture Oscar. We’ve got a “book of the film” in the displays, as well as the famous run along the sands.

There’s room in the exhibition also though for Geordie, in the strapping person of Bill Travers. The 1955 Highland comedy also featured Alastair Sim as the laird, and tells the tale of the wee boy who takes a bodybuilding course by mail and grows up to compete in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics – as a hammer thrower, and in a kilt of course.

In the exhbition we’ve got a clip from the film – the scene where big Geordie discovers his talent – and a programme for the world premiere in Glasgow. Here’s a longer version of the scene we use – ours has better colour for the scenery but check out that familiar postman …