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Notable Dates in History

9 October 2004 Following a ceremonial event in Parliament House and a Riding down the Royal Mile to Edinburgh, the new Scottish Parliament building was officially opened by the Queen.
10 October 2004 Scottish golfer Stephen Gallacher won the £3.6 million Dunhill Links Championship at the Old Course, St Andrews, He defeated Graeme McDowall in the first extra hole of a sudden death play-off to take the £445,000 first prize.
14 October 2004 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) confirmed that Edinburgh would be the World's first-ever UN-recognised City of Literature.
17 October 2004 Statue of 18th century poet Robert Fergusson, sculpted by David Annand, was unveiled.  The statue stands in front of Cannongate Kirk where the poet is buried.
29 October 2004 Scott Harrison took less than a minute to punch his way to Scottish boxing history when he won a sixth world title fight at the Braehead Arena.  The referee stopped his WBO World Featherweight title contest against the hopelessly outclassed Ethiopian challenger Samuel Kebebi in 59 seconds of the first round.
11 November 2004 Tommy Sheridan MSP stood down as leader of the Scottish Socialist Party, citing as the prime reason that his wife Gail was expecting her first child.
12 November 2004 A fire broke out at 2.15 am at the Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh, following the annual Scottish Politician of the Year awards, Labour MSP for Glasgow Cathcart Mike Watson, Lord Watson of Invergowrie, was subsequently charged with wilful fire-raising.
14 November 2004 Labour MSP for Glasgow Cathcart Mike Watson, Lord Watson of Invergowrie, was charged by police in connection with alleged arson at Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh.
22 November 2004 Scotland, led by cricket captain Craig Wright, won the ICC International Cup 2004 in Sharjah Stadium, UAE.  They had reached the final with a fine victory over Kenya and dismissed their Canadian opponents by an innings and 84 runs to lift the cup. 
28 November 2004 Bank manager Alistair Wilson was shot dead on his doorstep of his home in Nairn by an unknown assailant. No motive was found for the crime.
30 November 2004 Labour MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, Mike Watson, Lord Watson of Invergowrie, was released on bail after appearing in court concerning two charges of wilful fire-raising at Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh.
2 December 2004 Former Glasgow Rangers manager Walter Smith was confirmed as the new Scotland manager with effect from 1 January 2005. He was the 15th manager since Andy Beattie first held the position in 1954.
8 December 2004 Council workmen clearing a drain in Nairn found the East German gun used to kill local banker Alastair Wilson.
12 December 2004 Tennis player Andrew Murray of Dunblane was named as the BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year. The 17-year-old, who survived the Dunblane school massacre, became the first ‘British’ winner of the US Open Tennis junior title earlier in the year (12 September 2004).
15 December 2004 Death of 92 year-old, Dingwall-born linguist, George Campbell at Brighton, England. He was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records during the 1980s as one of the world’s greatest living linguists. He could speak and write fluently in at least 44 languages and had working knowledge of some 20 others. Author of the ‘Compedium of the World’s Languages’ (Routledge 2000), he was a linguist at the BBC for many years.
18 December 2004 Thousands of campaigners protested in Edinburgh against plans to merge Scotland’s historic battalions into a “super-regiment”.
19 December 2004 Skipper Craig Duffy (28) died when the 17-metre Stornoway-based Audacious sunk just outside the town. The trawlers’ three crew members were rescued.
21 December 2004 After years of campaigning tolls on the Skye Bridge were abolished. Dunbar fisherman William Easingwood was the first motorist to benefit from the toll abolition. It cost the Scottish Executive £27 million of taxpayers’ money to buy the bridge back from its private owners Skye Bridge Ltd.
29 December 2004 16-year-old schoolboy Patrick Swan, Chirnside, became the youngest-ever winner of the New Year Sprint at Musselburgh Racecourse. The 136th running of the 100 metres race saw the 16-year-old storm through the final and become the winner of the gold medal and £4,000 first prize.
1 January 2005 Walter Smith officially took over as the new Scotland football manager. In his first year in charge Scotland rose from an all-time low of 86th to 60th place in the FIFA rankings.
3 January 2005 An Edinburgh architect Dominic Stephenson, 27, was named as the first confirmed Scottish fatality of the Boxing Day 2004 Asian tsunami disaster. His girlfriend, Edinburgh-born Eileen Lee was missing, feared dead.
5 January 2005 Tens of millions of people across the European Union observed three minutes silence at noon to honour the nearly 300,000 who died in the 2004 Boxing Day Asian tsunami disaster.
7 January 2005 Keith Raffan, the Liberal Democrat MSP, who topped the Holyrood expenses for 2004, with a claim of £108,825.99 (including £41,154.64 travelling expenses), dramatically resigned his list seat for Mid Scotland and Fife, on health grounds. As a list MSP he was replaced by the second-placed Liberal Democrat Fife Councillor Andrew Arbuckle, farming editor of The Courier & Advertiser, Dundee.
8 January 2005 Scottish soldier Lance-Corporal David Atkinson, 31, committed suicide by leaping from the Corus Hotel, Glasgow. DNA evidence revealed that he had murdered student Sally Geeson in Hull on Hogmanay 2004.
20 January 2005 Scottish Socialist MSP Carolyn Leckie was jailed for 7 days following non-payment of £100 for her part in a demonstration at the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine base on the Clyde in February 2002. She was freed next day (entitled to 50 per cent remission and prisoners not being released at weekends).
28 January 2005 Scott Harrison retained the WBO featherweight title after a hard fought 12 round draw with Colombian challenger Victor Polo at the Braehead Arena. 
31 January 2005 Kevin Anderson, Buckhaven, won the inaugural Celtic welterweight title with a 4th round stoppage of Northern Ireland’s Glenn McClarnon at the St Andrews Sport Club in Glasgow.
1 February 2005 90-yeart-old John Panton, seventy years after he first entered the golf professional ranks as a teenager in 1935, became only the 5th Scot to be made an honorary life member of the European Tour. He joined Bernard Gallacher, Colin Montgomerie, Sandy Lyle and Paul Lawrie in the European elite of lifetime members.
3 February 2005 The largest-ever petition presented to the Scottish Parliament with 162,000 signatories urged the parliament to use its influence to withdraw from the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
11 February 2005 The former primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Dr Richard Holloway, 71, was named as chairman of the beleaguered Scottish Arts Council following rows over cuts at Scottish Opera.
13 February 2005 Colin Fox MSP won the leadership of the Scottish Socialist party in Perth. He defeated Alan McCombes by 256 votes to 154 to succeed Tommy Sheridan MSP. Tommy Sheridan had resigned the position in November 2004 amid allegations concerning his personal life.
18 February 2005 Scottish Tory Leader David McLetchie MSP bowed to increasing pressure over his part-time legal work and resigned as a partner in the Edinburgh law firm Tods Murray. His part-time earnings were £30,000 per year.
19 February 2005 A concert, attended by 10,000, held by top Scottish Rock Bands raised £300,000 in aid of the Asian Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund in the SECC, Glasgow. In total Scots donated some £30m to the donation appeal.
22 February 2005 Edinburgh citizens voted three to one against road tolls in a referendum on congestion charges of £2 per day proposed by Edinburgh City Council. 133,678 people voted against the proposals, compared to 45,965 in favour.
23 February 2005 Death of Robin Jenkins, aged 92, leading Scottish author of the 20th century.
24 February 2005 The Royal Bank of Scotland posted a record profit for a Scottish company of £8.1 billion, ahead of its move to a new £350 million HQ at Gogarburn.
25 February 2005 Port Seton-born painter John Bellamy was awarded the Freedom of East Lothian. He was the first recipient of the award.
2 March 2005 The majority of Scotland’s secondary schools were failing to do enough to cope with bad behaviour in the classroom according to a report by Her majesty’s Inspectorate of Education. The report also found that more than a quarter of primary schools should be doing more to manage the behaviour of disruptive pupils.
3 March 2005 Thirty people in Glasgow were arrested and charged with alleged bank fraud and money-laundering offences following the disappearance of almost £2 million from the accounts of private individuals. The four months investigation involved some 200 police officers and in excess of 100 people had fallen victim to the scam.
4 March 2005 Two-year old Andrew Morton died two days after being hit in the head by an airgun pellet in Easterhouse, Glasgow. His death increased pressure for a total ban on the sale of air weapons.
5 March 2005 Gretna FC, in only their third season in the Scottish Football League, achieved promotion from the Third division in just 27 matches, equalling Morton’s 41-year-old promotion record. By May they had set a new points record of 98 for the Third Division, besting the previous best of 80 set by Forfar ten years earlier.

17-year-old Andrew Murray, Dunblane, made his Great Britain Davis Cup debut, along side England’s David Sherwood in a double victory over world number 8 ranked Israelis Johnathan Erlich and Andy Ram. The reigning US Open junior champion became the youngest GB Davis Cup player in history.

9 March 2005 Launch of new weekly pro-Scottish Independence weekly newspaper – The Scottish Standard. The newspaper closed after only seven issues due to lack of sales.
13 March 2005 Wales slammed Scotland 44-26 to record their highest ever score against the Scots in a rugby international. Their victory at Murrayfield kept the Welsh on track for their first Grand Slam in 27 years which they achieved the following week after defeating Ireland 32-20. 
16 March 2005 It was announced that Jenners, Edinburgh’s most famous store, was to be sold to its rival House of Fraser, ending the family-run institution’s 167 years of independence. Jenners was set up by Charles Jenner and Charles Kennington in 1838, trading as Kennington & Jenners. From 1881 the store was under the control of the Douglas Miller Family and was renamed Jenners in 1924. 
24 March 2005 A breakaway group which claimed to be the true Free Church of Scotland lost a court action over millions of pounds in church assets. The body had been established in the wake of a high-profile prosecution of a senior theologian, Professor Donald Macleod, who was later acquitted of charges of molesting women in 1996.
29 March 2005 The 250,000 visitor, in six months, was welcomed to the Scottish Parliament, making it one of Scotland’s most popular attractions.
31 March 2005 Angus Sinclair, 59, was charged with the murders of 17-year-olds Christine Eadie and Helen Scott in October 1977. The case was dubbed The World’s End Murders after the Edinburgh pub in which the girls were last seen. Their bodies were later found six miles apart at Gosforth bay and Haddington in East Lothian.
2 April 2005 Death of Polish-born Pope John Paul II, the first reigning Pope to visit Scotland (1982).
8 April 2005 Edinburgh’s Alex Arthur regained the vacant British superfeatherweight title and Commonwealth belt when he knocked out Craig Docherty, Glasgow, in the 9th round. In the biggest all-Scots contest in 32 years (Buchanan v Watt 1973), Alex Arthur won a Lonsdale Belt outright.
10 April 2005 Hearts FC apologised for a minority of fans who had booed a minutes silence in tribute to Pope John Paul II at the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic at Hampden Park. Referee Stuart Dougal was forced to end the tribute after 24 seconds. Celtic won the tie 2-1.
19 April 2005 Hampden Park, Glasgow, was awarded its second major European football match of the decade when EUFA announced that the 2007 UEFA Cup final would take place in Glasgow.
22 April 2005 SNP leader and racing enthusiast Alex Salmond MP opened the new £2 million grandstand at Perth Racecourse.
25 April 2005 Scotland’s newest weekly newspaper The Scottish Standard, which supported Scottish Independence, folded after only seven issues with the loss of about 30 jobs.

Australian Matt Williams was sacked as Scottish National Rugby Union Coach after 17 months in charge – in that time Scotland only won 3 out of 17 internationals. He received a £250,000 pay-off.

26 April 2005 The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the organisers of the Open Championship, confirmed an agreement in principle to allow female golfers to enter a competition which had been open to men only since Willie Park claimed the first title in 1860.
27 April 2005 The oil giant Shell was fined a record £900,000 at Stonehaven Sheriff Court, treble the previous largest fine for a prosecution under health and safety law in the offshore oil and gas industry, for a series of safety failings on its Brent Bravo platform that led to the deaths of two workers. Ken Moncrieff,45, Invergowrie, and Sean McCue,23, Kennoway, were killed on board the Brent Bravo platform on 11 September 2003 when they were engulfed in a massive gas escape inside the platform’s utility leg.
29 April 2005 Angry lorry drivers staged a demonstration outside the Scottish headquarters of oil company BP at Grangemouth, to bring attention to their complaints on rising fuel prices and the ‘imposition’ of the EU’s working time directive, ahead of the Westminster General Election. Organised by the Road Hauliers Association, some 200 hauliers took part in the peaceful demonstration.
5 May 2005 Scots-born Prime Minister Tony Blair led the Labour Party to a historic third successive Westminster General Election victory, In Scotland, owing to the setting up of the Scottish Parliament, the number of seats were reduced from 72 to 59 and the  state of the parties were – Labour 41, Liberal Democrat 11, Scottish national Party 6, Conservative 1.
7 May 2005 Gretna FC, in only their third season in the Scottish Football League, were promoted as Third Division Champions with a new points record of 98. In a free-scoring season they scored 130 goals, just failing to match Heart’s 132 in season 1957/58 and twelve short of Raith Rover’s 142 in 1937/38. Top scorer Dr Kenny Deuchar scored six-hat-tricks, equalling England’s Jimmy Greaves record in one season.
9 May 2005 Jim Wallace MSP resigned as leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and Deputy First minister. He was the leading proponent of the Labour – Liberal democrat coalition in the Scottish parliament and was succeeded by Nicol Stephen MSP.
18 May 2005 The manslaughter trial of the owner of the Solway Harvester collapsed in the Isle of Man. The court in Douglas found that 41-year-old Richard Gibney, who denied killing the seven man crew by breach of duty of care, had no case to answer. The Isle of Whithorn 69 ft scallop dredger went down amid high winds while heading for shelter in Ramsey Bay, Isle of Man, on 11 January 2000.
19 May 2005 The Scottish executive confirmed that the debt-ridden Argyll and Clyde Health Board was to be abolished. The Board’s responsibility would be assumed by NHS Greater Glasgow and NHS Highland and their massive debt of £80 million written off from public funds.
23 May 2005 Death of Roderick (Roddy) Wright, former Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, in New Zealand. He had resigned his charge in September 1996 following revelations of his affair with a divorced mother of three, Kathleen Macphee. They subsequently married and settled in New Zealand.
1 June 2005 Former Scottish Football Internationalist (50 caps) Gordon Strachan was appointed as new Celtic manager in succession to Martin O’Neill. In his first season in-charge Celtic won the Scottish Premier League Championship (gaining their 40th Scottish League Championship time) and Scottish League Cup.
3 June 2005 Scott Harrison returned to form with a fine fourth-round victory over Michael Brodie, England, to retain his WBO featherweight title in Manchester. The Scot ended Brodie’s brave resistance in sudden fashion 46 seconds into the fourth round with a brutal left to the body which left the English challenger doubled up on the canvas and unable to beat the count.
11 June 2005 Buckhaven welterweight  Kevin Anderson topped the bill in the first professional boxing promotion in Fife for 53 years. He outpointed Vladimir Bourovski, Ukraine, in a ten round international welterweight contest in front of 1,500 fight fans at the Fife Ice Arena, Kirkcaldy.
18 June 2005 The first official humanist wedding was held in Scotland between Karen Watts and Martin Reijns. The ceremony was conducted at Edinburgh Zoo.
21 June 2005 18-year-old Andrew Murray, Dunblane, made an outstanding Wimbleton debut, outplaying Switzerland’s George Bastle in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, in an hour-and-a-half.
22 June 2005 Derek Brownlee was sworn in as Conservative MSP – he succeeded David Mundell, who had sat as a Conservative list MSP for the South of Scotland until he won the Westminster seat of Dumfriesshire, Clydeside and Tweedale in May 2005.
23 June 2005 Nicol Stephen MSP was elected as leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. In a straight fight with fellow MSP Mike Rumbles, Stephen gained 76.6% of the votes cast in a party ballot. He succeeded Jim Wallace as both Liberal democrat leader ad as Scotland’s Deputy First Minister.
25 June 2005 Dunblane 18-year-old Andrew Murray, the first Scot to reach the 3rd round of Wimbleton in the modern era, lost out by 3 sets to 2 to the number 18 seed and former Wimbleton finalist David Nalbandian, Argentina.
30 June 2005 The Scottish Parliament voted by 97 to 17 votes, with one abstention, to introduce a ban on smoking in almost all confined public places in Scotland, including public houses and restaurants, from March 2006.

Four Scottish Socialist MSPs, Carolyn Leckie, Rosie Kane, Frances Curran and Colin Fox, were ejected from the Scottish Parliament following a protest regarding the forthcoming G8 meeting to be held at Gleneagles. This led to their parliamentary passes being revoked and loss of a month’s salary in September.

1 July 2005 In an ICC world Cup qualifier, Uddingston bowler became the Scot to take six wickets in a one-day cricket international. Scotland bowled out Oman for 83 runs and Hoffman also contributed 39 runs to the Scottish total of 84 runs and a six wicket victory in Belfast.
2 July 2005 An estimated 225,000 people took part in the ‘Make Poverty History’ march and rally in Edinburgh, prior to the 2005 G8 Summit to held at Gleneagles.
4 July 2005 Hundreds of anarchists brought Edinburgh city centre to a standstill as they repeatedly clashed with police in an anti-G8 summit demonstration. The police restored order and some 90 protesters were arrested.
6 July 2005 Three-day G8 summit commenced at Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Perthshire, Violence by anarchist demonstrators occurred in Bannockburn and Stirling at dawn and in the afternoon at Gleneagles.
7 July 2005 Following terrorist bombs in London which killed over 50 and injured 700, Prime Minister Tony Blair left the G8 summit at Gleneagles and returned to Downing Street. He condemned the attacks on 3-underground tubes and a Stagecoach bus as ‘barbaric’.
13 July 2005 Scotland defeated Ireland by 47 runs to win the ICC Trophy at Castle Avenue, Clontarf. The Scots rattled up a mammoth 324 runs for eight wickets, their highest ever one-day total and restricted Ireland to 277 for 9. Batsman Ryan Watson’s score of 94 was Scotland’s best individual effort of the tournament. The Scots qualified for the International 2007 One-Day Cricket competition in the West Indies.
15 July 2005 Dr Winifed M Ewing announced that she would stand down as President of the Scottish National Party at the 2005 SNP Annual National Conference in Aviemore. She had served in the Scottish, European and Westminster Parliaments and her victory in the 1967 Hamilton By-Election marked a turning point in the SNP’s post-war fortunes.
18 July 2005 Death of 28-year-old Helen James from Lockerbie in the London Terror Bombings (7 July 2005) was confirmed. A coroner granted a request for her funeral to be held in Scotland.
22 July 2005 Death of Lady Anne Shand, widow of the legendary Scottish Country Dance Band leader Sir Jimmy Shand, at Auchtermuchty, Fife.
24 July 2005 Forth Bridge was closed for eight days to allow more than 170 workers to erect scaffolding, encapsulate work areas, blast off paint, carry out repairs and paint 25,000 square metres of steel with an industrial coating. It was the longest period that the bridge had been closed to rail transport.
6 August 2005 Livingston Labour MP Robin Cook suffered a heart attack whilst climbing Ben Stack, Sutherland. He was airlifted to Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, but died on arrival. Acknowledged as one of the finest debaters in Westminster, he served as Foreign Secretary (1997-2001) and as Leader of the House of Commons from 2001 until his resignation on 17 March 2003 in protest at the impending Iraq War.
12 August 2005 Senior politicians and diplomats were among the mourners at the funeral of former cabinet minister Robin Cook, Labour MP for Livingston, in St Giles, Edinburgh.
23 August 2005 Historian and author David R Ross completed his walk from Robroyston, in the footsteps of Sir William Wallace, Guardian of Scotland, to London, to mark the 700th anniversary of his judicial murder at Smithfield by King Edward I of England. A symbolic funeral was held in St Bartholomews attended by 300 people (over 900 unsuccessfully applied to attend the event). Speakers were Dr Fiona Watson, David R Ross and Alex Salmond MP.

Labour MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, Mike Watson, Lord Watson of Invergowrie, pleaded not guilty to wilful fire-raising charges when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. The case was adjourned for seven days.

25 August 2005 The gas supply company Transco was fined a record £15 million after being convicted of gross and numerous safety breaches which led to the deaths of a family of four in an explosion at Larkhall, Lanarkshire. The Findlay family died as a result of an explosion caused by a leak from a severely corroded gas main outside their home.
31 August 2005 A winter landscape, ‘Through the Calm and Frosty Air’, by Joseph Farquharson, Laird of Finzean, Aberdeenshire, fetched £310,400 at auction – a record for the artist. The painting was bought by a private collector at the Sotheby’s sale of Scottish pictures at the Gleneagles Hotel, The price eclipsed the previous best for a Farquharson, £264,000 at Gleneagles in 2004 for ‘On a Clear Eve, When the November Sky Grew Red’.

After winning three qualifying games, 18-year- old Dunblane tennis player Andrew Murray won his first-ever match in the US Open by defeating Romanian Andrei Pavel in five sets.

1 September 2005 Labour peer Mike Watson, Lord Watson of Invergowrie, pleaded guilty to wilful fire-raising at Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh, following the Scottish Politician of the Year Awards, sponsored by the Herald newspapers, in November 2004. A non guilty plea to starting a second fire was accepted by the Crown. At Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Sheriff Katherine Mackie deferred sentence until 22 September for background reports. Lord Watson resigned as a Labour MSP (Glasgow Cathcart) and as a director of Dundee United Football Club.
9 September 2005 Death of internationally renowned surgeon Andrew Logan, aged 91, in Edinburgh. He carried out the world’s second lung transplant.
15 September 2005 Dundonian Frank Hadden was confirmed as Scotland’s new coach by the Scottish Rugby Union, beating off competition from Borders coach Steve Bates and New Zealander John Kirwan. As interim coach he had led Scotland to victories over the Barbarians and Romania.
22 September 2005 Former Labour MSP Mike Watson, Lord Watson of Invergowrie, was sentenced to 16-months imprisonment for wilful fire-raising at the Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh, on 12 November 2004. He had earlier pled guilty to the charge and resigned as Glasgow Central member of the Scottish Parliament.
24 September 2005 Ian Hudghton MEP was elected as President of the Scottish National Party at the SNP Annual National Conference held at Aviemore. He overwhelmingly defeated Douglas Henderson and William C Wolfe to succeed outgoing President Dr Winifred M Ewing.
28 September 2005 Jim Devine held off a strong Scottish National Party challenge to retain the Livingstone Westminster seat in the by-election following the death of sitting MP Robin Cook.
30 September 2005 In a double-first, the first ever Commonwealth title fight was staged in Fife and it was also the first to go to the judge’s scorecards in Scotland instead of a referee’s decision. In a close fought contest Buckhaven’s Kevin Anderson won a split-decision over defending Commonwealth welterweight champion Joshua Okine, Ghana, over 12 thrilling rounds in the Fife Ice Arena, Kirkcaldy. The successful 22-year-old Buckhaven boxer became only the fourth Scot to win the title.
1 October 2005 A statue of motorcycle legend Steve Hislop was unveiled at Wilton Lodge Park, Hawick. The bronze statue of the 11 times Isle of Man TT race winner and twice British Superbike champion was one of two created by Fife sculptor David Annan, The other statue was unveiled during the TT race week on the Isle of Man in June 2005. Steve Hislop, known to his fans as Hizzy died aged 41 when the helicopter he was piloting crashed just south of Hawick on 30 July 2003.
2 October 2005 Colin Montgomerie became the third Scot in five years to win the Dunhill Links Championship at the Old Course, St Andrews. A four-foot putt on the 18th green gave him a one-stroke victory and a cheque for £450,000 in his first tournament win for 19 months.
3 October 2005 Documents relating to the 1986 Dunblane school massacre were released after a 100-year secrecy rule was lifted.
4 October 2005 Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Tom Farmer became the first Scot to be presented with the prestigious Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy at a ceremony held in the Scottish parliament. Five others including His Highness the Aga Khan were honoured at the event which was held outside the United sates of America for the first time (inaugurated in 2001 and held every two years).
10 October 2005 30-year-old singer K T Tunstall won the prize for best track at the Q awards ceremony in London, England. Her single ‘Black Horse and the Cherry Tree’ defeated competition from artists such as U2, Oasis and Coldplay.
18 October 2005 Death of legendary English footballer Johnny Hayes in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary following a car accident. He won 56 caps for England, 22 as captain, including the 9-3 destruction of Scotland at Wembley in 1963, in which Haynes scored twice. He settled in Edinburgh in 1985 and helped run a dry cleaning business with his partner Avril who he married in 2004.
20 October 2005 The English Crown Prosecution Service decided to take no action against the police officers (Chief Inspector Neil Sharman and PC Kevin Fagan) over the 1999 killing of Bellshill-born Harry Stanley in Hackney, London. The Scottish 46-year-old grandfather had been walking home carrying a table leg wrapped in a blue plastic bag which the police, believing him to be Irish, mistook for a shotgun.
21 October 2005 Scottish veterinary surgeons backed calls for tighter controls on airguns because of the number of animals injured in attacks. A study by the SSPCA showed that 40 per cent of 155 vets surveyed had treated animals injured by airmails in the past year.
22 October 2005 Hearts of Midlothian fans were stunned when manager George Burley quit the post over ‘irreconcilable differences’ with the Board. The root of the problem appeared to lie with new Lithuanian owner Vladimir Romanov, Hearts were unbeaten in season 2005/06 and sat top of the SPL at the time.
30 October 2005 TV stars mingled with politicians at the opening of the Scottish Youth Theatre’s new £3.2 million centre. More than 250 guests attended the unveiling of the new drama centre, housed in the old Sheriff Court building in Glasgow’s Merchant City, by culture minister Patricia Ferguson.

Defending champion William McCallum, 44, from Campbeltown won the Glenfiddich Piping Championship for the eighth time at Blair Castle. Making his eighteenth consecutive appearance in the prestigious event, he defeated nine other top quality pipers.

31 October 2005 David McLetchie MSP resigned as Scottish Conservative leader following a long-running row over his Holyrood taxi expenses 9260 days).
1 November 2005 Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer George Reid MSP announced that all MSPs’ expense claims would be published on the internet. The issued had plagued the parliament since its inception.
3 November 2005 Dr Bingu wa Matharika, President of Malawi, became the first foreign head of state to address the chamber of the new Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood.
4 November 2005 Conservative MSP Brian Monteith resigned the party whip when it was revealed that he had proposed a campaign against his party leader, David McLechie MSP, who had been embroiled in a long-running row over taxi expenses. Menteith had sent emails to Iain Martin, editor of ‘Scotland on Sunday’, suggesting that the paper should campaign for McLetchie’s removal.
5 November 2005 Scott Harrison successfully defended his WBO featherweight title for the eighth time with a twelve round point victory over tough Australian challenger Nedal Hussein at Braehead. English teenage sensation Bolton-based Amir Khan made his first appearance in Scotland and stopped his compatriot Steve Gethin of Walsall in three rounds.
8 November 2005 Annabel Goldie MSP was formally named as Scottish Conservative leader following the resignation of David McLetchie MSP. She was the sole nominee. Conservative MSP Brian Monteith, who had already resigned the party whip, resigned from the Conservative Party following his moves to undermine McLetchie’s leadership.
10 November 2005 At a meeting of the four Home Nations associations in Belfast, the Scottish Football Association told their counterparts that they had ruled out taking any part in any ‘British’ team in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
12 November 2005 The 228-year-old Leadburn Inn, near Penicuik, Midlothian, was destroyed by fire. A motorist died after hitting the inn, the car burst into flames which quickly spread to the inn’s wooden beams.
16 November 2005 Death of Staff Sargeant Thomas McKay MBE, better known as ‘Tam the Gun’, District Gunner at Edinburgh Castle for more than 25 years, at Lochgelly, Fife. He was the longest serving District Gunner since the firing of the One o’ Clock gun began in 1861. Always immaculate on parade, his image was captured by countless numbers of tourists as he performed his daily duty.
17 November 2005 The Scottish Parliament's Presiding Officer George Reid was named as 'The Herald Diageo Scottish Politician of the Year 2005'.  He was the first person to win the award for the second time.
21 November 2005 Alfred Anderson, Scotland’s oldest man and last veteran of the First World War, died in Alyth at the age of 109. Born in Dundee, he joined The Black Watch 5th Battalion in 1914 and served at the front until he was wounded by shrapnel in 1916 and he then became an infantry instructor in England. He was awarded the Legion d’Honneur in 1998.
23 November 2005 Police used a Taser gun for the first time in Scotland during an attempted robbery at a Texaco garage at Newmains, Wishaw, Lanarkshire. The would-be robber was taken to Wishaw General Hospital and later charged. Strathclyde Police were the first Scottish force to be issued with Taser guns in September 2005.
25 November 2005 The French Consul-General Pierre-Antoine Berniare, Lieutenant-General Sir Alistair Irwin, Colonel of The Black Watch, and John Swinney MSP were among the mourners who attended the funeral of First World War veteran and Scotland’s oldest man (109) Alfred Anderson in a packed Alyth Parish Church.
30 November 2005 The former Scotland and Manchester United player Denis Law, ’The King’, received an honorary degree from St Andrews University for his services to sport. At the St Andrew’s Day graduation Simon McKerrell, 25, head of piping studies at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, received a PhD in bagpiping – the first such award in the world.
3 December 2005 International film star Sir Sean Connery was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the 18th European Film Awards ceremony in Berlin. The award from the European Film Academy was presented by Jean-Jacques Annand who directed the actor in ‘The Name of the Rose.’
6 December 2005 Glasgow Rangers became the first Scottish club to qualify for the knock-out stage of the Champions League. A 1-1 draw with Inter-Milan earned them the necessary point to clinch 2nd place in Group H.
9 December 2005 First Minister Jack McConnell opened Scotland’s first new rail link for a quarter of a century. The £35 million route ran between Larkhall and Milngavie, which resumed a link closed in 1965 as part of the Beeching Cuts.

Dunblane’s teenage tennis player Andrew Murray won the BBC Scotland’s Sports Personality of the Year 2005 after gaining 55 per cent of the public vote. During the year he soared to number 63 in the world tennis rankings.

15 December 2005 Council tenants in Edinburgh voted narrowly not to allow a housing association to take over control of their homes. In the ballot, 53 per cent of the council residents who voted opposed the change.
19 December 2005 Johnston Press, an Edinburgh-based newspaper company, purchased The Scotsman Publications Ltd in a deal worth £160 million. The sale by the Barclay brothers included The Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News, Scotland on Sunday and the free Edinburgh Herald & Post.
21 December 2005 Pilot Robert Ward (48) of Glasgow, and Edward Lapsley (56) of Tyne and Wear, died instantly when their Bell 206B Jet Ranger II helicopter plummeted to the ground near Coupar Angus, Perthshire.  They were flying from Cumbernauld to Aberdeen on a gas pipeline inspection.  A year later an Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report confirmed that the crash was caused by metal fatigue.
22 December 2005 After two months of repairs the statute of Donald Dewar, Scotland’s original First Minister, was returned to Glasgow’s Buchanan Street. It was restored on a new six-foot high plinth to deter further vandalism.
23 December 2005 The Crown Office announced that no action would be taken against three men arrested amid security fears surrounding the 2004 official opening of the Scottish Parliament. One of the men, the convicted ‘Tartan Terrorist’ Andrew McIntosh, 49, of Aberdeen, hung himself in his cell in 2004. A second man was subsequently released and the final man of the trio, McIntosh’s brother, Alan, was also freed.
29 December 2005 A Scottish human rights worker, 25-year-old Kate Burton, and her parents, Hugh and Helen, were kidnapped by Palestinian gunmen in the Gaza strip. The Palestinian authorities instituted an immediate search and they were released unharmed two days later.
1 January 2006 Priceless Scottish works of art, including two MacTaggart’s, two Peploe’s and ten other paintings plus countless valuable books were lost in a fire at the Edinburgh home of Magnus Linklater, former Editor of The Scotsman. The damage which amounted to some £1 million was caused by faulty Christmas lights.
3 January 2006 Inverness-born author Ali Smith won the Whitbread Novel of the Year for her third book ‘The Accidentals’.
5 January 2006 Death of Rachel Squire, 51-year-old Labour MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, after a long battle against cancer. She was first elected to Westminster representing Dunfermline West in 1992. The by-election was won, unexpectedly, by the Liberal Democrat candidate Willie Rennie.
7 January 2006 Charles Kennedy, Westminster MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, resigned as leader of the British Liberal Democrat Party, two days after revealing that he had a drink problem.
8 January 2006 First Division Clyde caused a major upset in the 3rd round of the Scottish Cup by defeating cup holders Celtic 2-1 in front of 8,000 at Broadwood, Cumbernauld. Former Manchester and Ireland star Roy Keane made his debut for Celtic in one of the greatest-ever Scottish Cup upsets. Clyde lost out to Second Division Gretna in the 4th round.
12 January 2006 The Black Law wind farm, created on the site of a former opencast mine at Forth in Lanarkshire, was officially opened by Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen, The wind farm’s 42 turbines, the largest in Britain, had already pumping power into the grid for several months (97 megawatts – enough to power 70,000 houses).
17 January 2006 Death of Wallace Mercer, businessman, property developer and former chairman of Heart of Midlothian, aged 59, from cancer in Edinburgh. He served as Heart’s chaiman for 13 years from 1981 and saved the club from bankruptcy. During his term as chairman he gained the enmity of Hib’s fans when he proposed that Hearts take-over their city rivals Hiberian.
19 January 2006 The Scottish Executive announced the scrapping of quangos Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen to be replaced by a new agency Creative Scotland. Scotland’s arts section was to receive an extra £20 million per year and Scottish Opera and National Theatre of Scotland to receive direct government funding.
20 January 2006 The final report on the Solway Harvester disaster by the government’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch highlighted a series of fundamental safety short-comings which led to the sinking of the Kirkcudbright-registered scallop dredger within minutes in storm-lashed seas off the Isle of Man in January 2000. The seven fishermen who drowned were trapped inside the vessel when it suddenly turned turtle and sank, had little or no chance of escape the report revealed.
24 January 2006 George Burnley, Southampton and former Hearts manager, was announced as the new manager of Scotland and signed a 2 ½ year contract. A Scottish internationalist, he was capped 11 times.
25 January 2006 Dundee-born Respect MP George Galloway escaped bankruptcy when the Daily Telegraph lost an appeal over a libel action. In December 2004 the Westminster MP was awarded £150,000 damages in an action he brought regarding a 2003 story that he had received money from Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.
30 January 2006 The first leader of the Western Isles Council, The Rev Donald Macaulay, 79, died at his home on Bernera, Lewis, A Church of Scotland minister and Gaelic speaker, he became leader when the islands were united as a local government administrative area in 1974. He was awarded the OBE in 1981 and was made an Honorary Freeman in 2004.
31 January 2006 Corporal Gordon Alexander Pritchard, 31, of Edinburgh, became the 100th British serviceman to die in Iraq. The Royal Scots Dragoon guard left a widow and three children.
1 February 2006 11,000 people lined the banks of the Clyde at Scotsoun and crowded into BAE Systems’ shipyard to watch the launch of the 7,350-toone destroyer HMS Darling, the Royal Navy’s most advanced vessel. The ship was due to enter service in 2009 and be able to travel 7.000 miles without refuelling.
2 February 2006 The Conservative MSP Brian Monteith, who plotted to bring down Scottish Conservative leader David McLetchie over taxi expense claims, admitted to errors with his own taxi fare expenses claims and paid back £250.
7 February 2006 Former police detective Shirley McKie, Troon, won an out-of court settlement from the Scottish Executive amounting to £750,000, after a nine-year fight to prove that the fingerprint left at a murder scene wasn’t hers.
8 February 2006 The Scottish Football Association agreed to award caps to some 83 players who played for Scotland between 1929 and 1975 but were not recognised with the traditional cap. Until 1975 distinctive tasselled caps were only available for players who took part in the Home Internationals, resulting in 83 players who played for Scotland from 1929, the year of the first continental match against Norway until a change in the rules in 1975 not receiving caps.
9 February 2006 Liberal Democrat candidate Willie Rennie pulled off a surprise win in the Dunfermline and West Fife Westminster by-election following the death of Labour MP Rachel Squire.
14 February 2006 After a 0-0 draw Gretna defeated First Division side Clyde (3rd round victors over Cup holders Celtic) in a 4th round Scottish Cup replay at Raydale Park, Gretna. The Second Division club reached the last eight of the Scottish Cup after only being in the Scottish League for four years.
15 February 2006 Singer KT Tunstall, St Andrews, took the award for Best British Female Solo Artist at the annual Brit Awards held at Earl’s Court Arena in London.
16 February 2006 The Scottish National Party won a council by-election in Glasgow for the first time in eight years when William McAllister was elected as councillor for Milton. He polled 49.6% of the poll to Labour’s 40%. The by-election was caused by the resignation of Labour’s Gary Gray, who stood down in a row over expenses.
19 February 2006 Andrew Murray won his first ATP final against former world no 1 Leyton Hewitt, Australia, in the SAP Open in San Jose, California, USA (2-6, 6-1, 7-6). In the semi-final the 18-year-old Dunblane teenager had defeated world no 3 Andy Roddick and his ATP win saw him rise to no 47 in the world tennis rankings.
30 January 2006 22-year-old Lance-Corporal Allan Douglas, Aberdeen, 1st Battalion The Highlanders Regiment, was shot dead in Iraq – the 99th British soldier killed in the conflict.
22 February 2006 Andrew Ramsay, a 51-year-old accountant, was kidnapped by two men claiming to be police officers. He was bundled into a car near his Glasgow home. Police feared for his safety as he was due to appear as a key witness in a forthcoming criminal trial.
25 February 2006 National launch of the National Theatre of Scotland in ten locations throughout Scotland. The site-specific performances were on the theme ‘Home’.
27 February 2006 Australian composer and former director of the Melbourne International Festival Jonathan Mills, 42, named as the next director of the Edinburgh International Festival, in succession to Brian McMaster. He was due to take over the post in October 2006 in preparation for the 2007 International Festival.
1 March 2006 The abolition of tolls on 31 March 20006 on the Erskine Bridge, near Glasgow, was announced. Tolls would remain on the Tay and Forth Road Bridges.
2 March 2006 The Scottish Parliament’s flagship debating chamber was closed indefinitely after a 12-foot oak beam came loose from its mounting bracket.
2 March 2006 North-East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell, aged 64, was elected as the new leader of the British Liberal Democrats after a more decisive victory than expected over fellow Westminster MPs Chris Hulme and Simon Hughes.
7 March 2006 Hibernian striker Garry O’Connor signed a five-year-deal to seal a £1.6 million move to Lokomotiv Moscow. He became the first Scottish player to play in the Russian Premier League.
13 March 2006 Death of Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone, Celtic and Scotland footballer, at Uddingstone. A hero of the famous Celtic ‘Lisbon Lions’ team which won the European Cup in 1967 he was voted the Greatest Ever Celt by the club’s supporters in 2002. Capped 23 times for Scotland he was regarded as one of the greatest ever Scottish players.
15 March 2006 Shooter and cancer survivor Ian Marsden, carrying The Saltire, led the Scottish team at the opening ceremony of the 18th Commonwealth Games in front of  a crowd of 80,000  in the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia.
17 March 2006 Scottish National Party Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil announced that he had written to the police urging them to investigate whether the 1925 Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act forbidding   the offering of money for political honours had been broken. Four days later Scotland Yard announced that it had launched an investigation.
21 March 2006 Death of Margaret Ewing, aged 60, outstanding Scottish National Party parliamentarian at both Westminster and Holyrood, in Moray. She served in Westminster for East Dunbartonshire from 1974 to 1979 and for Moray from 1987 to 2001. She was elected as MSP for Moray in 1999 and served until her death and was highly regarded as an outstanding constituency member.
24 March 2006 An appeal by former Labour MSP Mike Watson, Lord Watson of Invergowrie, against his 16-month sentence for fire-raising was rejected by judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.
26 March 2006 A ban on smoking in almost all public places in Scotland, including public houses and restaurants, came into force.
27 March 2006 Aberdeen Journals, publisher of The Press and Journal and Aberdeen Evening Express, was purchased by Dundee publisher DC Thomson for £132 million from the Daily Mail and General Trust.

Four lorry loads containing a national treasure valued at more than £45 million arrived in Scotland from London. The Murray publishing archive was brought by the National library of Scotland for the reduced price of £31 million. The archive of 155,000 items, including letters and manuscripts from Lord Byron, Sir Walter Scott and Dr David Livingstone was collected by the John Murray publishing house, founded in 1768 by Edinburgh-born John Murray.

28 March 2006

The new Royal Regiment of Scotland was formed with the amalgamation of The Black Watch, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, The Royal Highland Fusiliers,The King’s Own Scottish Borderers and The Highlanders.

29 March 2006 Scotland’s triumphant Commonwealth Games team returned home from Australia to an ecstatic welcome from families and fans at Glasgow Airport. The team had set a new record of 11 gold medals at the Melbourne Games.
30 March 2006 The Highland Council announced that Scotland’s first purpose-built Gaelic school (Inverness) would be part of a £134 million deal for 11 new schools to be constructed in the Highlands.
31 March 2006 One of Scotland’s wealthiest men Irvine Laidlaw, Lord Laidlaw, was revealed as one of the secret lenders to the British Conservative Party. His loan of £3.5 million was among £15,950,000 from 12 individuals and one company. Pressure to reveal the names resulted from the ‘cash for honours’ row over secret loans to the British Labour Party.
1 April 2006 Second Division Champions-elect Gretna FC became the first third-tier club to reach the Scottish Cup final with a 3-0 defeat of Dundee at Hampden Park in front of a crowd of 14,179. A third-tier was instituted in season 1975/1976.
6 April 2006 The Scottish Executive confirmed that a dead swan found on the harbour slipway at Cellardyke, Fife, on 29 March 2006 had the N5N1 strain of avian bird flu. The 6-mile surveillance zone set around Cellardyke was extended to cover 1,000 square miles east of the M90/A90 roads from Fife to Stonehaven.
9 April 2006 Death of Brechin-born Robin Orr, aged 96, composer of operas and symphonies, chairman of Scottish Opera and Professor of Music at Glasgow University. His first opera ‘Full Circle’ was adapted from a radio play by Sydney Goodsir Smith and was commissioned in 1967 by STV and produced by Scottish Opera.
10 April 2006 Cost-cutting plans to close museums and galleries in Glasgow one-day-a-week (Mondays) were dropped after local property developer Steven Purcell donated £270,000 to help keep them open.
12 April 2006 Glasgow Rangers were fined £9,000 by EUFA following a charge of hooliganism at the second-leg of their European Championship match when a window of the Real Villarreal team bus was smashed. They were cleared on a charge of sectarian chanting by their fans.
14 April 2006 Cyclist Chris Hoy, Edinburgh, won the kilo time-trial world title for the third time in Bordeaux, France. His previous world title wins were in 2002 and 2004 with a bronze at Los Angeles in 2005.
16 April 2006 Comedian Billy Connolly presented Celtic with the Scottish League championship trophy following a 1-1 draw with Hibernian at Parkhead. It was the first league championship won under manager Gordon Strachan (in his first season) and the 40th time that Celtic had topped the league in Scotland.
19 April 2006 Maureen Watt, Scottish National Party, and David Petrie, Conservative, were sworn in as MSPs. They replaced list MSPs Richard Lockhart (SNP) and Mary Scanlin (Cons) who had resigned to contest the Scottish Parliament by-election in Moray caused by the death of Scottish National Party MSP Margaret Ewing.
20 April 2006 Angela Baillie, a Glasgow solicitor, was jailed for 32-months for smuggling heroin into Barlinnie Prison. Her lawyer claimed that she had been ‘coerced’ by a feared underworld figure into smuggling drugs into the Glasgow jail.

The Royal and Ancient’s Championship committee announced that the 150th of The Open would be staged at St Andrews, Fife, in 2010.

21 April 2006 Scottish tycoon Michael Brown was arrested in Spain and was set to be extradited to England to face charges over a £5.7 million fraud. In 2004 he donated £2.4 million to the Liberal Democrat Party, representing almost half of the funds raised by them for the Westminster General Election.
22 April 2006 Some of the restrictions on the movement of poultry imposed after a dead swan with HSNI was found at Cellardyke, Fife, were lifted. Full restrictions were raised on 1 May 2006.
24 April 2006 The Scotch Whisky industry won a landmark legal victory in the battle to protect its product from being ‘cloned’ by Indian drinks manufacturers. The High Court in Delhi ruled that an Indian-produced whisky called ‘Red Scot’ could no longer be sold under its brand name as the label misled consumers.
27 April 2006 Richard Lochhead held the Moray seat for the Scottish National Party with an increased majority. The by-election for the Scottish Parliament seat was caused by the death of Margaret Ewing who had been Westminster MP for Moray from 1983 and MSP since 1997.
30 April 2006 Celtic’s Shaun Maloney became the first recipient of both the Premier League Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards, presented by the Scottish Professional Footballers’ Association. The awards were first presented for season 1977/1978.
1 May 2006 Larkhall’s Graeme Dott won the World Championship Snooker title for the first time at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, England, He defeated England’s Peter Ebdon 18-14 in the longest ever final clash. In addition they played the longest ever frame in the world championship as they took one hour, 14 minutes and 8 seconds to complete the 27th frame which Ebdon won, but was unable to stop the Scot taking the world title.
7 May 2006 Livingston FC were relegated from the Scottish Premier League with the worst-ever points record, a total of only 18 points from 38 matches, three less than achieved by St Johnstone in season 2001/2002.
10 May 2006 MSPs returned to the main debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament after temporary repairs costing £30,000 following a 12-foot oak beam coming loose from its mounting bracket. Relocation cost the parliament £280,000.
11 May 2006 Scotland defeated Bulgaria 5-1 in front of a crowd of 5,780  in the Kobe Wing Stadium to become favourites to lift the Kirin Cup in a tournament in Japan. It was the first time Scotland had scored 5 goals in an away international since 1982. Glasgow Ranger’s duo Kris Boyd and Chris Burt both scored a double on their international debuts with the other counter coming from Everton’s James McFadden.
12 May 2006 Elgin builder Nat Fraser, convicted in 2003 for his wife Arlene’s murder, was released from Shotts Prison, after judges freed him pending an appeal.
13 May 2006 A statue in memory of the late Pope John II, the only Pope to visit Scotland, was unveiled at the Carfin Grotto shrine in Lanarkshire and blessed by Archbishop Szczepan Wesoly, retired Archbishop for Polish immigrants, in front of a crowd of 500. The 6-ft state was the work of Glasgow sculptor Tom Allan.
21 May 2006 Auchinleck Talbot achieved a historic seventh Scottish Junior Cup success after defeating Bathgate Thistle 2-1 at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock.
23 May 2006 Former Scottish Culture Minister and Labour MSP for Glasgow Cathcart Mike Watson, Lord Watson of Invergowrie, was released from Edinburgh’s Saughton Prison after serving half of a 16-month sentence for wilful fire-raising.
24 May 2006 Glasgow Rangers were fined £13,300 for chants during their Championship League quarter-final games with Villarreal by EUFA’s Appeals Body. The club were also issued a severe warning about any further offences.
25 May 2006 KT Tunstall carried off the prestigious Ivor Novello music award for best song, ‘Suddenly I See’, at the annual awards event run by the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters.
26 May 2006 Alan McCombes, Press and Policy Co-ordinator of the Scottish Socialist Party, was jailed for refusing to hand over internal party papers relating to Tommy Sheridan MSP, the party’s former leader, to the Court of Session. The News of the World had asked the court to compel Alan McCombes to produce the documents as part of their defence in an action raised against them by Tommy Sheridan.
29 May 2006 Alan McCombes, Scottish Socialist Party Press and Policy Co-ordinator, was released from Saughton Prison, Edinburgh, after the party agreed to hand over internal party documents concerning Tommy Sheridan MSP to the court.
31 May 2006 Standard Life members voted by 98% to 2% to demutulise the 180-year-old Scottish insurance company and to float the firm.
1 June 2006 In the boxing come-back of the year Buckhaven welterweight Kevin Anderson survived a second round knock-down and a badly cut right eye in the fourth to force a tenth round stoppage to capture the British Welterweight title from Young Mutley. Fighting the reigning champion in his home town of Birmingham, England, Anderson became only the second Scot to hold both the British and Commonwealth belts at the same time.
7 June 2006 The last Bell’s Manager of the Year awards for the First, Second and Third Divisions were presented to the managers of the three league champions. First Division – Gus MacPherson, St Mirren, for promotion to SPL and winning the Bell’s Cup; Second Division – Rowan Alexander, Gretna, for the second year in succession, promotion to First Division and Scottish Cup runners-up; Third Division – Mixu Paatelainn, Cowdenbeath, first league title in 67 years and promotion to Second Division.
8 June 2006 Sir Sean Connery became the 34th person to receive the prestigious lifetime achievement from the American Film Institute at a ceremony held at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles, USA.

Lord Elgin cut the first sod for a new bridge crossing over the Forth at Kincardine, Fife. The 1.2-kilometre Upper Forth Crossing was budgeted to cost £120 million and due to open in 2008.

14 June 2006 MSPs voted by 114-1 to give the green light to a new Border’s rail link which would run from Newcraighall, on the edge of Edinburgh, through to Tweedbank, south of Galashiels.
16 June 2006 The nearly 150-year-old papermaking firm Smith Anderson, Feetykil, Leslie, Fife, went into receivership with the loss of 106 jobs. An earlier cut-back had seen 70 jobs losses in August 2005.
21 June 2006 Scotland experienced its wettest and windiest June day on record.
22 June 2006 Round-the-world yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur became the first women and only fourth person to become a Freeman of Skye and Lochalsh at a ceremony in Portree, Skye. Her great-great-grandfather came from Skye and in 2005 she became the fastest person to sail solo around the world in just over 71 days.
23 June 2006 More than 300 years of military history came to an end when The King’s Own Borderers marched for the last time through the streets of Edinburgh before becoming part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The salute was taken by the Earl of Leven, whose forebear had been authorised to levy a regiment of 800 men by beat of drum at the Palace of Holyrood in 1689.
24 June 2006 Over 22,000 people attended a massive outdoor music concert headlined by DJ Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook) outside the village of Dores (population 300) on the shore of Loch Ness.
27 June 2006 Bank manager Donald MacKenzie, 45, was jailed for ten years after pleading guilty to Scotland’s biggest single fraud case. He obtained £21 million from his employers The Royal Bank of Scotland between April 1999 and March 2004 at the bank’s branch in Princes Street, Edinburgh.
30 June 2006 A five-week knife amnesty in Scotland resulted in 12,645 weapons being handed into police stations.
4 July 2006 Former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan MSP commenced a defamation action against ‘The News of the World’ at the Court of Session, Edinburgh. A jury of six men and six women were sworn in to decide the £200,000 action, in which Tommy Sheridan denied the newspaper’s claims regarding his sex life.
11 July 2006 15,000 visitors flocked to the reopening of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow after a three-year closure for renovations. The £35 million revamp commenced in June 2003, at the time the museum attracted more than one million visitors annually.
13 July 2006 Sam Torrance became the first golfer to start 700 European Tour events when he teed off in the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.
14 July 2006 Scottish Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan sacked his legal team and announced that he would conduct the rest of his £200,000 defamation case against the News of the World.
16 July 2006 Yi-Chi Chen, a 12-year-old Taiwanese boy, fell 20 feet to his death while descending Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. He was on a school visit to Scotland.
24 July 2006 A 20 mph speed limit was imposed to 100 streets in the centre of Aberdeen, including Union Street.
2 August 2006 The recently re-opened Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Museum and Art gallery was forced to close after heavy rain flooded its drainage system.
4 August 2006 After three hours deliberation a civil jury voted 7-4 in favour of former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan’s £200,000 defamation action against the News of the World.
7 August 2006 English actor and comedian Mel Smith decided to respect Scotland’s ban on smoking in public places and chose not to light up a cigar on stage while appearing as Sir Winston Churchill at the Edinburgh Festival fringe.
9 August 2006 The Seafield Hotel, a landmark in Arbroath, was gutted by fire.
10 August 2006 The UK Atomic Energy Authority was fined £2 million after a radioactive liquid was spilt at Dounray in September 2005.
12 August 2006 A record-breaking crowd of 50,000 attended the World Pipe Band Championship in Glasgow. Irish band Field Marshal Montgomery won the Grade One competition and the coveted World Title. Some 236 bands and more than 8,000 pipers and drummers from Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand took part setting another record for the number of entrants.
14 August 2006 At Dundee Sheriff Court property tycoon and former owner of Dundee FC Angus Cook (61) was fined £206,666 after he admitted masterminding a massive fraud operation which stretched across Europe. He was ordered to pay almost £600,000 in compensation to the many companies that he had defrauded of more than £420,000 over ten months.
16 August 2006 Scots tennis sensation Andrew Murray clinched the biggest win of his career against world number one Roger Federer, Switzerland, in the Cincinnati Masters. The young Scot inflicted Federer’s only second defeat in 2006, winning in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. In their only previous meeting Federer defeated Murray in his first APT final in Bangkok in October 2005.
17 August 2006 Scotland won the inaugural Celtic Cup athletics meeting with a total of 43 points to Ireland’s 32 and Wales’ 25 at Grangemouth Stadium.
19 August 2006 International film star Sir Sean Connery was the star guest at a party to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Edinburgh Film Festival. As festival patron he hosted the event at the National Gallery, Edinburgh.
21 August 2006 A heraldic procession marked the start of the week-long International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Science in St Andrews, Fife. Some 200 delegates from 26 countries attended the event which was held in Scotland for the first time in almost 50 years.
22 August 2006 Third Division Queen’s Park caused a major upset and celebrated their first victory over Aberdeen FC in 56 years. The Premier League club lost a penalty shoot-out 5-3 after a goal-less 120 minutes in a second round Scottish League Cup tie.
23 August 2006 A survey by the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) showed a 11% drop in drink sales since the introduction of a smoking ban in public places from March 2006.
25 August 2006 Sir Sean Connery was presented with a British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) Award for outstanding achievement in film in front of a packed audience at the Cineworld Cinema, Edinburgh, during the Edinburgh International Film festival.
27 August 2006 Aberdonian golfer Ritchie Ramsay became the first Scot to win the US Amateur Championship since Finlay Douglas in 1898. He defeated American John Kelly 4 and 2 to win the 106th staging of America’s oldest tournament at Chaska, Minnesota.
30 August 2006 Death of Scottish Conservative grandee Hector Munro, Lord Munro of Langholm and Westerkirk, in Dumfries. He served as MP for Dumfriesshire from 1964 until his retrial in 1997 and was one of Scotland’s longest serving Westminster MPs. He was a minister at the Scottish Office from 1971 to 1974 and Minister for Sport from 1979 to 1981.
1 September 2006 Thirty-three people were rescued after an unexpected squall hit and capsized 28 racing boats in Largo Bay, Fife. The vessels were involved in two yacht races in the Firth of Forth.
2 September 2006 A RAF Nimrod, based at RAF Kinloss in Moray, crashed in Afghanistan killing all 14 men aboard.
3 September 2006 Two Scottish Socialist Party MSPs, Tommy Sheridan and Rosemary Byrne, launched their own left-wing party Solidarity in Glasgow. The split with their former party followed the court action by Tommy Sheridan against the News of the World. The other four SSP MSPs had appeared for the defence.
5 September 2006 The debating chamber in the Scottish parliament reopened after more than £500,000 was spent repairing the roof after a 12-foot oak beam came loose from its mounting bracket.
7 September 2006 The first Dandy annual, published by DC Thomson of Dundee in 1939, fetched £6,230 at auction in London – a world record price for any comic annual on general sale. At the same sale the world’s first Beano comic, from the same publisher, fetched £8,525. The comic cost 2d when first published on 30 July 1938.
12 September 2006 The bodies of 14 servicemen who had died when their Nimrod crashed in Afghanistan were brought home to RAF Kinloss, Moray, with full military honours.
13 September 2006 Scotland hit a five-year high in the FIFA world ranking of 34th place. Under manager Walter Smith Scotland rose 54 places in eighteen months, having slipped to an all time low of 88th in March 2005.
14 September 2006 Religious leaders and anti-nuclear campaigners began a three-day march from the Faslane naval base to the Scottish Parliament to protest against the replacement of Trident.
15 September 2006 Death of former Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party and businessman Douglas Henderson, 71, in Edinburgh. He served as Westminster MP for East Aberdeenshire from 1974-1979, acting as SNP Chief Whip and party spokesman on employment and industry.
18 September 2006 The first new bridge over the River Clyde in Glasgow for more than 30 years was officially opened. The Clyde Arc cost £20 million and quickly gained the nickname ‘The Squinty Bridge’.
20 September 2006 Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Pringle was banned from all meetings of the Scottish parliament for a week as a punishment for leaking confidential papers to a Sunday newspaper. The documents related to the Shirley McKie fingerprint case.
22 September 2006 Virgin Trains created a new train speed record on the Glasgow to London line. A Virgin train travelled the 401 mile journey in 3 hours and 55 minutes knocking 19 minutes off the record set 25 years before by a British Rail Advanced Passenger Train.

24 September 2006

Europe’s golfing talisman Colin Montgomerie maintained his unbeaten Ryder Cup singles record (8 appearances) with a one hole victory over American David Toms to help Europe to an unprecedented third straight Ryder Cup success. Europe triumphed, with a record-equalling 18 ½ - 9 ½ victory, over the United States at the K Club, Co Kildare, Ireland.

25 September 2006

Scottish financier Michael Brown, 40, the largest financial backer of the Liberal democrat Party (£2 million), was jailed for two years at Southwark Crown Court, London. He pleaded guilty to one count of perjury and another of passport deception.

Aberdeen, already winner of the Scotland in Bloom competition and the Britain in Bloom UK city award, won the best large city prize in the International Communities in Bloom award held in Canada.

29 September 2006 The Royal Navy’s biggest warship HMS Ark Royal sailed from the Forth for sea trials after a comprehensive £25 million refit to transform her into the service’s only combined troop and aircraft carrier. The upgrade was carried out at Babcock’s shipyard at Rosyth, Fife.
1 October 2006 A memorial cairn to Scotland’s last veteran of the First World War, Alfred Anderson, who died aged 109, was unveiled in his home town of Alyth, Perthshire, by the Duke of Rothesay. Alfred Anderson joined the Black Watch, aged 16, and saw action in the trenches in France before being invalided out in 1916 with serious shrapnel wounds. His medals, including the French Legion d’Honneur, are displayed at the Black Watch Museum, Perth.

4 October 2006

Pupils from a Glasgow school, All Saints Secondary School, handed in the 1,000th petition to the Scottish Parliament. The pupils called for an inquiry into the public health impact of cheap alcohol.

In a surprise move Colin Boyd QC, Lord Boyd of Duncansby, resigned as Lord Advocate. He denied that his decision was because of the Crown Office problems over the Shirley McKie fingerprint case.

5 October 2006 Following the resignation of Colin Boyd QC, Lord Boyd of Duncansby, the Scottish Parliament approved the appointment of Eilish Angiolini as Scotland’s first woman Lord Advocate. In 2001 she was the first woman and non-advocate to be appointed as Scotland’s Solicitor-General.
7 October 2006 Businessman and philanthropist Sir Tom Farmer announced that he would donate £100,000 to the Scottish National Party.

Scotland stunned World Cup runners-up France with a surprise 1-0 victory at Hampden in a Euro 2006 qualifying game. Scotland’s goal scorer was Gary Caldwell.

11 October 2006

St Andrews, Fife, was the venue for talks between political parties from the north of Ireland to try and find a route to power-sharing and restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The three-day meeting, attended by Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, resulted in The St Andrews Agreement which led to a successful power-sharing agreement in 2007.

In the first-ever football international against Ukraine, Scotland suffered a 2-0 away defeat in Kiev and a set-back in their bid to qualify for Euro 2008.

14 October 2006 Bert Gilroy (born Antonio Rea), the former Scottish middleweight and light-heavyweight champion, was posthumously inducted to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in Los Angeles. In a remarkable 18 year ring career, marred by boxing politics and the 2nd World War, Gilroy fought 238 times, losing just 29 of his fights. He joined Ken Buchanan as the only Scots inducted to the Hall of Fame.
18 October 2006 Teenager Lisa Norris died at home in Girvan, Ayrshire, following the return of a brain tumour. During earlier treatment she had received 17 radioactive overdoses at the Beatson Oncology Centre in Glasgow.

19 October 2006

The Scottish Premier League announced a new £8 million sponsorship deal with the Clydesdale Bank. The four- year agreement commenced from season 2006/07 and replaced the nine-year association with Halifax Bank of Scotland.

Rangers became the first Scottish club side to win in Italy with a 3-2 victory over Livorno in the UEFA Cup.

20 October 2006 The most prestigious prize at the Royal National Mod in Dundee, the Lovat and Tullibardine Shield, was won by the Inverness Gaelic Choir for the second year in succession. They won the competition by nine points ahead of their nearest rivals, the Glasgow Gaelic Choir. The Glasgow choir were runners-up for an incredible sixth year in a row.
24 October 2006 The Church of Scotland agreed an out-of-court settlement with Helen Percy, a former assistant minister in Perthshire, who had been suspended from the Church in 1997 following a ‘sexual encounter’ with Sandy Nicoll, a married elder. The agreement came on the eve of an employment tribunal in Dundee which would have heard a sex discrimination claim against the Church.
26 October 2006 Eric Joyce, Labour MP for Falkirk, was named as the highest expenses-claiming Westminster MP. His claim amounted to £174,811.
27 October 2006 Marc Warren was named as the European Tour’s Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year. The Cambuslang-born golfer won the Scandinavian Masters in August 2006 and was the 11th Scot to receive the accolade.

Lord Maxton, former Labour MP for Glasgow Cathcart, was revealed as the costliest peer in the House of Lords with more than £58,000 expenses. He was closely followed by the Earl of Caithness, Conservative hereditary peer, with more than £57,000.

4 November 2006 Glasgow’s Willie Limond became the first Scot to win the Commonwealth lightweight title when he out-pointed Kpakpo Allotey, Ghana, over 12 rounds for the vacant title at the Kelvin Hall, Glasgow. In the top of the bill Edinburgh’s Alex Arthur made a successful third defence of his European super-featherweight title with a fifth round stoppage of Sergio Palmo, Spain.
5 November 2006 Death of Bobby Shearer, Hamilton-born outstanding Ranger’s captain and full-back. He played four times for Scotland and with rangers won six League titles, three Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups.
8 November 2006 Faisal Mushtaq, Zeesnan Shalid and Imran Shalid were sentenced to life imprisonment for the racially-motivated murder of Kriss Donald. The Glasgow teenager was stabbed 13 times before being set on fire in 2004.
10 November 2006 A twinning agreement between the Great Wall of China and Glamis Castle in Angus was reached after Angus Council spent two years forging links with China. The Great Wall was previously only linked with one other tourist attraction – The Pyramids.

11 November 2006

Twenty-three year old James Hamilton became the 1,00th rugby player to be capped for Scotland when he came on as a substitute during an international with Romania at Murrayfield. Scotland won 48-6 including tries from debutants Johnnie Beattie and Rob Dewey.
12 November 2006 Ross County won their first domestic cup competition since joining the Scottish Football League in 1994. The former Highland League side from Dingwall won the Challenge Cup in a thrilling penalty shoot-out 5-4 against Clyde at McDairmid Park, Perth.  The crowd of 4,062 was the lowest ever attendance at a Challenge Cup final.
13 November 2006 Scotland and Ireland signed a pact promising to work together in the fields of science, education and culture. The joint declaration was signed in Dublin by Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and First Minister of Scotland Jack McConnell.

Scottish WBO featherweight champion Scott Harrison was freed from a Spanish prison after being detained on 6 October 2007 following an alleged assault. After a medical, his scheduled world title defence against England’s Nicky Cook on 9 December 2007, got the go ahead.

14 November 2006 Labour MSP Peter Peacock resigned as education minister, citing health reasons. He was succeeded by deputy justice minister Hugh Henry. 

16 November 2006

The Scottish National Party MP Angus MacNeill won the award for Best Scot at Westminster, for instigating a police inquiry into possible abuse of the honours system, at the annual Scottish Politician of the Year Awards. It was his second award of the day as ‘The Spectator’ named him ‘Inquisitor of the Year’. Labour’s Andy Kerr, the health minister, was named Scottish Politician of the Year for his work in bringing in the smoking ban in public places. The Labour MSP was the eighth winner of the prize following in the footsteps of Donald Dewar, Jim Wallace, Jack McConnell, Malcolm Chisolm, Margaret Curan and George Reid, who had won the honour twice.

Buckhaven welterweight Kevin Anderson’s bout with Young Muttley was named as Contest of the Year at the British Boxing Board of Control’s awards night in Picadilly, London. In the come-back of the year Kevin Anderson overcame a second round knock-down and fourth round cut to force a stoppage in the tenth round to win the British welterweight title and successfully defend his Commonwealth crown.

20 November 2006

The Isle of Man coroner, Michael Moyle, criticised the refusal of Richard Gidney to attend an inquiry into the Solway harvester tragedy in January 2000. The planned five-day inquest was postponed because of the unavailability of Gidney, the Scottish scallop dredger’s owner.

21 November 2006 A stunning goal from Japanese player Shunsuke Nakamura ensured that Celtic reached the last sixteen of the Champion’s League for the first time. In front of a crowd of 60,632 at Parkhead his 80th minute 28 yard free kick saw off England’s Manchester United 1-0.
23 November 2006 Rangers won through to the knock-out stages of the UEFA Cup following a battling away 2-2 draw with Auxerre in France.
25 November 2006 Scotland’s oldest peal of bells rang out for the first-time in more than a century, following the completion of a £160,000 restoration project at St Andrew’s and St George’s Church in George Street, Edinburgh. The bells which date from 1788, had their clappers removed in 1903 because they were judged unsafe.
27 November 2006 Death of Scotland’s oldest person, suffragette and Scottish Nationalist Annie Knight, at the Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen, at the age of 111. Born in Glasgow (1895) she moved to Aberdeen as a young girl and qualified as a piano teacher. She married William Knight, a policeman, in 1918 and had two sons, Bill and Harold, who both served in the Second World War. A long-standing member of the Scottish National Party she allowed Radio Free Scotland (set up by David R Rollo) to broadcast from her house in 1962. She put her longevity down to the fact that she never smoked or drank but liked porridge.
28 November 2006 Football manager Walter Smith. who had led the Scotland national team out of the doldrums including a win against World Cup losing finalists France, was voted the country’s Top Scot. He carried off the trophy at the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards at the Prestonfield House hotel, Edinburgh.

Veronica Wilson made a further appeal for help in finding her husband’s killer on the second anniversary of his murder. Alistair Wilson was shot on his doorstep of his Nairn home in 2004.

2 December 2006

Popular BBC Radio Scotland presenter Robbie Shepherd was awarded the Hamish Henderson Services to Traditional Music Award at the 4th Traditional Music awards held at the Nevis Centre, Fort William.

The first professional boxing show was held in Clydebank since 1949. A capacity crowd of 1,000 in the Play Drome Leisure Centre saw local lightweight Gary McArthur outpoint Frenchman Frederick Gosset over 6 rounds. Guest of honour at the event was Richard ‘Skeets’ Gallacher, 81, who boxed at flyweight on the 1949 bill.

6 December 2006

The 42-year-old concrete stand at Gala Fairydean FC’s Netherdale ground in Galashiels was given B-listed building status by Historic Scotland. It was described as a ‘unique building’ and was designed by architect Peter Womersley. The stand, which cost £27,000 and seats 500, was officially opened in 1964 with a game against SFL club East Fife.

Three days before his scheduled WBO featherweight title defence against England’s Nicky Cook, trouble Scottish boxer Scott Harrison pulled out of the fight, citing weight problems, and relinquished his world title. Drink and drugs problems had involved him in trouble with the police in both Scotland and at his training camp in Spain.

7 December 2006 Labour narrowly clung on in the last local government by-election in Scotland held under the first-past-the-post system to retain control of Renfrewshire. Their majority fell from 654 to 65 to edge out the Scottish National Party. From May 2007 a new system of proportional representation was introduced for local government elections.
8 December 2006 Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm, Leith, Scottish Communities Minister, voiced his opposition over Westminster’s plans to keep Britain’s nuclear deterrent, and the proposed update of the Clyde-based Trident system at a cost of £25 billion.
14 December 2006 A sculpture by Shauna McMullen, entitled ‘Travelling the Distance’, celebrating the impact of Scots women – past, present and future – on the Nation’s life, was unveiled at the Scottish Parliament.

Flash floods caused chaos in Scotland with Milnathort, Kinross and Kingussie among the towns that were worst affected.

Scots-born Westminster premier Tony Blair became the first-ever serving Prime Minister to be questioned by the police in the corruption inquiry over loans for peerages. The questioning was not under caution. Scotland Yard took up the inquiry following a letter from Scottish National Party MP Angus MacNeil.

15 December 2006 Further flash floods in Scotland prompted the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to issue 53 flood alerts. Milnathort, where a newly completed £500,000 flood protection barrier failed, was badly hit again with both Glasgow and Aberfeldy also enduring a downpour.
21 December 2006 Communities minister Malcolm Chisholm, Labour MSP for Leith, resigned from the Scottish Executive after voting with the Scottish National Party in a key debate on nuclear weapons and against replacement of Trident in the Scottish Parliament.
26 December 2006 After ten years, four investigations and two trials, Shirley McKie and her family dropped their campaign for a public inquiry into why the former policewoman was wrongly accused of leaving her fingerprint at a murder scene (Kilmarnock home of murder victim Marion Ross in January 1997). Earlier in the year Ms McKie was paid £750,000 in compensation.
28 December 2006 Highland Spring mineral waters announced a record sponsorship deal (£1 million plus) with 19-year-old tennis player Andrew Murray. The Dunblane teenager was ranked 19th in the world tennis rankings.
30 December 2006 71-year-old Leeds-born Tony Bowman became the oldest-ever winner of the New Year Sprint at Musselburgh racecourse in the 138th running of the famous Powderhall Sprint. He won the £4,000 first prize, 16 months after suffering a serious heart attack which required major surgery. He took the 110 metres handicap by a metre from second placed 67-year-old Walter Hunter of Falkirk, with 44-year-old Wendy Nicol, Dunfermline, in third place. Wendy Nicol and her daughter Gemma Nicol became the first mother and daughter to make the New Year Sprint final.
31 December 2006 Storms blasted Scotland with winds of 70 mph and driving rain leading to the cancellation of Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling. Some 26,000 homes were without electricity.
2 January 2007 Scotland’s political party leaders united in an appeal to the public to use their votes in the forthcoming May elections.
3 January 2007 Christine Toner, 76, from Dundee was among three killed when a London-to-Aberdeen National Express coach overturned as it left London. The coach driver Philip Rooney, 48, from Lanarkshire was charged with causing death by dangerous driving.
4 January 2007 After a disappointing domestic season, Frenchman Paul Le Guen resigned as manager of Rangers after only 198 days in charge at Ibrox.
6 January 2007 World ranked 16 Andrew Murray lost the final of the Qatar Open in Doha in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 to world number 5 Ivan Ljubicic, Croatia.
9 January 2007 First Minister Jack McConnell replaced Labour rebel MSP Malcolm Chisolm as communities minister with former minister Rhona Brankin. Another former Labour minister Sarah Boyack replaced her as deputy environment minister.
10 January 2007 Walter Smith resigned as Scotland’s manager and was immediately appointed as Ranger’s replacement for Paul Le Guen. Rangers agreed a reported £400,000 compensation payment to the Scottish Football Association.
11 January 2007 It was announced that 650 jobs were to be axed at the NCR cash-machine factory in Dundee. The jobs blow was revealed to workers by a video message recorded at the company’s base in Dayton, Ohio, USA. The jobs were to be transferred to a NCR plant in Hungary, leaving only 700 employees at the 60-year-old Dundee plant which at one time employed 6,500 men and women.
12 January 2007 In spite of heavy rain and high winds the 2007 Highland Year of Culture commenced with an outdoor festivities in Inverness.
20 January 2007 Motherwell’s Barry Morrison became the first Scot to win the British light-welterweight title when he gained a split-decision over twelve rounds against defending champion Lenny Daws, England, at the Alexandra Palace, Wood Green, London.

23 January 2007

Following the death of a second son, Denis, in December 2006, veteran Independent MSP Denis Canavan announced that he would stand down at the next Scottish Parliament elections.

Aberdeen’s Ritchie Ramsay was officially confirmed as the world’s number one unpaid golfer when the Amateur Golf Rankings, developed by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, appeared on line for the first time. The 26-year-old won the US Amateur Championship in 2006.

24 January 2007

The Court of Session ruled that stopping prisoners from voting was a breach of their human rights. The case had been brought by 55-year-old William Smith a convicted heroin dealer.

25 January 2007 Robert Burns’ birth and marriage certificates were placed online by the General Register Office for Scotland.
26 January 2007 Edinburgh’s 17-year-old Graeme Dott and his Finnish partner Harri Helviovaara won the Australian Open Boy’s doubles final 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 over Australia’s Stephen Donald and Rupesh Roy. The unseeded duo overcame their eighth-ranked opponents in two hours and 13 minutes.
29 January 2007 Alex McLeish was announced as the new Scotland manager in succession to Walter Smith. The 48-year-old had won the European Cup Winner’s Cup with Aberdeen in 1983, played 77 internationals for Scotland, and had previous managerial experience with Motherwell, Hibernian and Rangers. He signed a contract until 2010.
1 February 2007 Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust with support from the Scottish Arts Council distributed 35,000 free copies of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped’ to libraries, schools and other organisations throughout Edinburgh to motivate people across the city to rediscover the joy of reading.
4 February 2007 There were calls for a ban on mobile phones in schools after a 15-year-old boy in Hawick allegedly attacked his headmaster, Alan Williamson, 37, in an incident which was recorded on a mobile by a fellow Hawick High School pupil.
8 February 2007 A move in the Scottish Parliament by the Scottish National Party to abolish tolls on the Forth and Tay road bridges was narrowly defeated. Five Fife Labour MSPs voted with the Nationalists who lost by 65 votes to 58. Scott Barrie, Dunfermline West MSP, resigned as Labour Chief Whip to speak out against keeping the tolls.
10 February 2007 Irish president Mary McAleese was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Law, at a graduation ceremony held by Edinburgh University to mark the 300th anniversary of the University’s first chair in law.
13 February 2007 In the lead-up to the 2007 local government elections, Tom McCabe Labour public service minister, revealed that more than a third of Scotland’s councillors had accepted severance payments of up to £20,000 from the Scottish Executive. The 434 councillors, the majority from the Labour Party, would receive an average tax-free lump sum of about £16,500.
14 February 2007 The Scottish executive gave the go-ahead for a new Forth crossing, but didn’t specify the location or whether it would be a tunnel or a bridge.
15 February 2007 The UK Atomic Energy Authority was fined £140,000 for dumping radioactive material in Caithness between 1963 and 1984.
18 February 2007 Andrew Murray successfully defended his SAD Open Title in San Jose, California, defeating Ivo Kariovic, Croatia, in the final. His elder brother James Murray and his American partner Eric Butoroc won the doubles final, The Murrays became the first brothers to win the singles and doubles titles at the same event since Emilio and Javier Sanchez at Kitzbuhel in 1989.
20 February 2007 The RNLI announced that lifeboat crews in Scotland had launched their boats a record 1,049 times in 2006. Broughty Ferry was the busiest Scottish station, with its two lifeboats launching 79 times and helping rescue 25 people, the runner up was Kinghorn with 54 launches and 28 people rescued. A fifth of all call-outs involved sailing boats and 17 per cent related to people in the sea.
21 February 2007 Presiding Officer George Reid reported that the final cost of the Scottish Parliament building was £414.4 million, slightly under the final estimate of £430 million. Parliamentary authorities were still pursuing legal action over the main chamber roof strut which became detached in 2006, forcing MSPs to relocate.
23 February 2007 Margaret Masson, 84, from Glasgow was killed when the London to Glasgow express train came off the rails near Kendal, Cumbria. Faulty points were to blame for the crash in which many of the 180 passengers and the driver Ian Black, Dumbarton, were injured. The driver was praised for remaining at the controls of the train when it left the tracks, thus avoiding a more disastrous situation.
26 February 2007 Colin Ferguson and Brian French were killed at the open-cast site Pennyvenie in East Ayrshire when their 4x4 was in an accident with a large tipper vehicle.
1 March 2007 The Royal Bank of Scotland announced record profits of £9.2 billion (a new record for a Scottish company) – a 14% rise in profits – and increased its dividend to shareholders by 25 per cent.
7 March 2007 A strike by rail signal operators caused travel chaos in Scotland. The 48-hour strike was over changes to their working week.
8 March 2007 A 48-hour strike by rail signal operators continued with no trains north of Stirling. Commuters in Edinburgh found even more delays after a crane gouged a three metre hole in a No 12 bus on Princes Street, injuring three people, and causing a massive traffic jam.
9 March 2007 Rail signal staff returned to work bringing an end to their 48-hour strike over changes to their working week. Further negotiations removed the threat of a possible 4-day follow-up strike.
14 March 2007 The House of Commons voted to renew the UK’s nuclear weapon system, but a majority of Scottish Westminster MPs voted against the motion.

15 March 2007

The Scottish Parliament welcomed its one-millionth visitor: Eilidh Willis, 11, from Lismore.

16 March 2007

Top Scottish businessman and banker Sir George Mathewson attacked the Labour Party and backed the Scottish National Party’s case for Independence.

17 March 2007

Stagecoach-founder Brian Soutar donated £500,000 to the Scottish National Party in the run-up to the 2007 Scottish Parliament Election.

19 March 2007

St Mark’s Primary School (264 pupils), in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, was officially named as Scotland’s best school after it received 11 ‘excellent’ classifications, over 15 categories, in a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education.

22 March 2007

After five years Craig Wright stood down as captain after the Scottish cricket team suffered a dismal defeat against The Netherlands as the national team’s World Cup campaign ended in St Kitts. Scotland lost by eight wickets, which followed defeats to Australia and South Africa.
24 March 2007 A last-gasp goal in the 88th minute from Craig Beattie gave Alex McLeish a winning start as Scotland’s manager. Kris Boyd scored the other counter as Scotland defeated Georgia 2-1 in a Euro 2008 Qualifying game at Hampden Park, Glasgow.
28 March 2007 In his last major pronouncement as Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament George Reid called for a ‘radical’ overhaul of MSPs’ expenses, claiming the current system could tarnish the public’s perception of the parliament.

29 March 2007

The second session of the Scottish Parliament ended with MSPs heading off on the campaign trail. Among those not seeking re-election were Presiding Officer George Reid, former Depute First Minister Jim Wallace, Independent member Dennis Canavan. Conservative Lord James Douglas-Hamilton and Labour’s Susan Deacon.

“Go forth now from this place and into the election battle. Return to your regions and constituencies and prepare the next chapter in Scotland’s story. I now close the second session of the Scottish Parliament.”

      -  George Reid, Presiding Officer

30 March 2007 The City of Edinburgh swimmer Kirsty Balfour won the silver medal in the World Championship 200m breaststroke in Melbourne, Australia.
2 April 2007 Richard Horton, the editor of the ‘Lancet’, was presented with the Edinburgh Medal at the start of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
4 April 2007 Fifteen Royal Navy sailors and marines, including Marine Danny Masterton from Muirkirk, were released by the Iranian Government after 13 days in captivity. They were seized on the grounds that their boat had entered Iranian waters.
10 April 2007 St Andrews University was awarded £449,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a new museum.
11 April 2007 A dedication service was held at the Eastern necropolis in Glasgow to honour Paisley-born Sergeant James McKechnie, one of the first men to be awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery in the 1854 Battle of Alma during the Crimean War. He died in 1886 and was buried in an unmarked grave. A headstone donated by Edinburgh-based firm Abercorn Memorials was placed on his grave a week before the service.
12 April 2007 The Bourbon Dolphin, an oil rig tug, capsized off the coast of Shetland. Three bodies were recovered including Norwegian Captain Odne Remoy and his 15-year-old son David, and five crewmen were missing. A rescue operation failed to find the missing crewmen.
14 April 2007 The outgoing Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament George Reid was Grand Marshall of the National Tartan Day parade in New York. He marched with 2,000 pipers and drummers along 6th Avenue. It was the culmination of a fortnight of meetings undertaken by George Reid on behalf of the Scottish Parliament, including a visit to Quebec, Canada.
16 April 2007 19-year-old Andrew Murray, Dunblane, was ranked at number ten in the world tennis rankings. It was the first that he had broken into the world top ten.
19 April 2007 Outgoing Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer George Reid received the Freedom of his home county Clackmannanshire, ‘The Wee County’, at a ceremony in Alloa Town Hall.
22 April 2007 It was revealed that there had been an environmental disaster in the Forth, as enough effluent to fill 169 Olympic swimming pools poured into the firth. The leak at a Leith-plant run by Thames Water was caused by a faulty pump.
26 April 2007 Official figures showed that Scotland’s population increased for the fourth year in succession, rising to 5,116,900 in 2006. An influx of job hunters from Eastern Europe had helped boost the figures but long-term trends still pointed to a population decline.
28 April 2007 In their last game of the season a last-minute goal from James Grady gained Gretna FC promotion to the Scottish Premier League in a 3-2 away win over Ross County. The Border’s club, financed by English tycoon Brooks Mileson, created a record three back-to-back league championships in a row. Over three years they won the Third, Second and  First Divisions in succession to reach the highest league in Scotland.
3 May 2007 For the first time in 50 years Labour failed to be the largest party in Scotland as the Scottish National Party took pole position in the Scottish parliament with 47 seats (20 gains). In the Scottish Parliament Election, Labour dropped to 46 (4 losses), Conservative 17 (1 loss), Liberal democrat 16 (1 loss), Green Party 2 (5 losses), Independent 1. Under leader Alex Salmond the Scottish national party went on to form a minority government. The Scottish National Party also became the largest party in local government by winning 324 seats under the new single transferable vote system – Labour 279, Liberal Democrat 140, Conservative 130, Scottish socialist party 1, Others 191.
4 May 2007 Peter Tobin, 60, was found guilty of the rape and murder of Polish student Angelika Kluk, 23, at St Patrick’s Church in the Anderston area of Glasgow. Lord Menzies described him as ‘inhuman’ and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
6 May 2007 John Higgins, Wishaw, won the World Snooker Championship for the second time, defeating Englishman Mark Selby 18-13 at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, England.
8 May 2007 Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the Most Rev Idris Jones and the Tr Rev Alan McDonald gathered at St Giles in Edinburgh to ‘kirk’ the new Scottish Parliament.
9 May 2007 Glasgow formally submitted its bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

11 May 2007

The two Scottish Green MSPs agreed to back the Scottish National Party nominee for the position of First Minister of Scotland.

13 May 2007 Death of Joan MacKenzie, noted Gaelic singer, in Edinburgh. She was a Mod Gold medal winner at the 1955 National Mod in Aberdeen and contributed much to the School of Scottish Studies.
15 May 2007 Celtic paid a record sum of £4.5 million between Scottish football clubs to secure the services of 21-year-old international midfielder Scott Brown from Hibernian.

16 May 2007

Scottish National Party Leader Alex Salmond was elected as First Minister of Scotland by 49 votes to 46 – Conservatives and Liberal Democrats abstained. The Scottish National Party formed the first-ever minority government in the fledgling Scottish Parliament.

Spanish club Sevilla retained the Euefa Cup in front of 50,670 at Hampden Park. In a thrilling contest they held their nerve to win a penalty shoot-out 3-1 over Spanish rivals Espanyol after the clubs were tied 2-2 after 120 minutes.

18 May 2007

The Electoral Reform Society hailed the single transferable system used in Scotland’s council elections but criticized the Scottish parliament voting set-up.

20 May 2007 The four 30ft landmark cooling towers at Chapelcross nuclear power station were demolished by controlled explosion. Their demolition was part of the decommissioning process at the plant near Annan, Dumfriesshire, which had dominated the skyline since 1959.
23 May 2007 First Minister retained the services of Elish Angiolini as Lord Advocate, although she would no longer be a member of the cabinet. In a break with tradition the appointment of Frank Mulholland as Soliciter General meant that both senior posts were filled by solicitors, breaking the historic grip of the Faculty of Advocates in the posts.
24 May 2007 Athif Sarwar, 28, son of millionaire businessman and Labour MP Mohammed Sarwar, was found guilty at Glasgow High Court of a £850,000 money laundering scam. Sentence was deferred to June.
24 May 2007 Queen Elizabeth held an audience for the first time with new First minister of Scotland Alex Salmond and gave him his Royal Warrant of appointment at the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh.
26 May 2007 Steven Pressley became the first player to win the Scottish Cup with three different clubs as Celtic defeated Dunfermline 1-0 at Hampden Park. He had been in the successful Rangers team in 1993 and captain of Hearts in a penalty shoot-out victory over Gretna in 2006. It was the last Scottish Cup sponsored by brewers Tennent’s – after 18 years Tennent’s switched their sponsorship to Scotland’s national team in a £8m sponsorship deal to 2010.

27 May 2007

Scotland striker Garry O’Connor scored the only goal as Lokomotive Moscow won the Russian Cup against city rivals FC Moscow at the colossal Luzhniki Stadium.

Bathgate racing driver Dario Franchitti won the Indianapolis 500, America’s most famous race which was inaugurated in 1911. The 34-year-old who had raced in the US for ten years was the second Scot to win the Indy 500. Racing legend Jim Clark was in 1965 and became the only driver to win both the Formula 1 Drivers World Championship and the Indy 500 in the same season.

30 May 2007

The Duke of Rothesay and Queen Sonja of Norway officially opened the new Shetland Museum and Archives at hay’s Dock on Lerwick’s waterfront. The three-year project cost £11.6 million.

The police confirmed that the skull of abducted accountant Andrew Ramsay had been found in the Firth of Clyde. He had been abducted on 22 February 2006 by two men posing as police-officers in Glasgow. The off-shore boat The Pride of Wales had netted the skull on 2 April off the island of Little Cumbrae. 

3 June 2007 First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond presented the Scottish Junior Cup to his home-town team Linlithgow Rose after a 1-0 victory over Kelty Hearts at East end park, Dunfermline.
4 June 2007 Death of Wallace McIntosh, the RAF’s most decorated air gunner of World War Two, aged 87, at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.  Flying Officer McIntosh was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross twice - the RAF’s highest honour for bravery – for bombing raids between 1943 and 1944.  He was believed to hold the record for downing the most enemy planes from a bomber, with eight confirmed kills and one ‘possible’. 
6 June 2007 Edinburgh University’s Senate agreed to strip Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe of his honorary degree, because of his brutal regime. This followed years of campaigning by politicians and students.

7 June 2007

Alex Salmond demanded clarification from the Westminster government over the fate of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi. The First Minister of Scotland was responding to a memorandum signed by the UK and Libya over prisoner transfers and expressed ‘concern’ to Prime Minister Tony Blair.

8 June 2007 Two Scottish boxers defended British titles for the first time - at Motherwell, Barry Morrison unanimously lost the British light-welterweight title over 12 rounds to England’s Colin Lynes whilst John Simpson retained his featherweight belt with a 5th round KO over English challenger Ryan Barrett at the Millenium Hotel in London’s Mayfair.

11 June 2007

The Scottish Government announced a cash grant of £200,000 to the National Theatre of Scotland to fund a tour in the USA of two award winning plays – ‘Black Watch’ and ‘Two Wolves in the Wall’.
12 June 2007

Stagecoach founder and tycoon Ann Gloag won a landmark legal ruling to ban ramblers from entering the grounds of her historic home at Kirkfauns Castle in Perthshire. The ruling at Perth Sheriff Court meant she was the first private individual in Scotland to except her land from the right-to-roam legislation.

14 June 2007 War veterans in Scotland laid a wreath at the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh and attended a special service at St Giles to mark the 25th anniversary of the end of the Falklands Conflict. Arbroath-based 45 Commando and 2nd Battalion of the Scots Guards were heavily involved in the war, losing 15 service personnel.
18 June 2007 First Minister Alex Salmond addressed the Northern Ireland Assembly in Belfast and the Scottish and Irish administrations signed a statement of support to work together to try and secure better deals from Westminster on tourism, higher education, transport and a cut in corporation tax.
22 June 2007 Legendary New York-based photographer Harry Benson returned to his hometown of Glasgow to receive an honorary degree from Glasgow School of Art.
27 June 2007 A selection of the John Murray Archives went on public display for the first time at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh. The exhibition included letters from Dr David Livingstone and Lord Byron and was opened by writer and broadcaster Michael Palin.
28 June 2007 After a three year investigation the Scottish Criminal Review Commission granted Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi leave to appeal his conviction for the Lockerbie Bombing for a second time. The Commission said that there were no fewer than six grounds on which he may have suffered a miscarriage of justice.

29 June 2007

More than 20,000 postal workers across Scotland took part in a day of strike action for the first time in a decade. The strike was a protest over pay levels and restructuring plans.
30 June 2007 Two men were arrested following a suspected terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport. They had crashed a burning Jeep Cherokee into the front glass doors of Terminal T’s check-in area – the driver, in flames, wrestled with police and was restrained. The passenger tried to run into the terminal with canisters of petrol but was overpowered. The A & E unit of the Royal Alexandra Hospital was later evacuated after staff and police discovered what they believed to be an ‘improvised explosive device’ on the badly burnt driver.
30 June 2007

Among the special guests at the Royal opening of the third session of the Scottish Parliament was Bill Jamieson, 87, a jeweller who had polished the Honours of Scotland since 1954.

1 July 2007 Police arrested two men in Paisley in connection with the suspected terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport.

8 July 2007

Colin Montgomery pulled off his first tour victory in 19 months in winning the European Open by one stroke at the K Club, Dublin.

Jamie Murray and Jelena Jankevic won the mixed doubles final at Wimbleton with a 6-4, 3-6. 6-1 win over Jonas Bjorkman and Alicia Molik. Murray was the first Scottish winner at Wimbleton since Edinburgh-born Harold Mahoney (usually referred to as Irish) was singles champion in 1896.

10 July 2007

Police confirmed that more than a thousand antique coins, dating back to 1136 and worth around £500,000, had been stolen from the home of Lord and Lady Stewarthy at Broughton near Peebles.

16 July 2007

First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister Gordon Brown met in person for the first time since they both took on their new roles at a meeting of the British-Irish Council (with the leaders of Northern Ireland, Wales, Ireland, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey) in Belfast. They shook hands and promised that they would work together for Scotland’s prosperity.
17 July 2007

Scotland’s first billionaire Sir Tom Hunter announced that he was to give away £1 billion to worthy causes. He said that the great philanthropist Andrew Carnegie was his inspiration.

20 July 2007

A £3 million plus deal over three seasons between Irn-Bru and the Scottish Football League was announced. The SFL had gone a season without a sponsor since Bell’s ended their backing in 2005/06.

The English Crown Prosecution Service decided that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against any individual in the ‘Cash for Honours’ investigation. Scotland Yard had spent 16 months investing the matter after in was raised by Scottish National Party MP Angus MacNeil.

21 July 2007 Edinburgh’s Alex Arthur won the interim WBO super-featherweight title with a stunning victory over USA-based Georgian Kobo Gogoladze in Cardiff. The referee stopped the 12 round contest in the 10th round to save Gogoladze further punishment.

23 July 2007

First Minister Alex Salmond officially unveiled a memorial statue to those affected by the Highland Clearances in Helmsdale on the Sutherland coast. The 10 ft high bronze ‘Exiles’ statue which commemorates the people who were cleared from the area and left to begin new lives overseas was sculpted by Black Isle sculptor Gavin Laing, stands at the mouth of the Strath of Kildonan.
24 July 2007

Bill Young, the last Scottish veteran of the First World War, died at the age of 107 at his home, since 1945, in Perth, Australia. Born in Carluke in 1900, the eldest of six children, he enlisted on his 18th birthday in the Royal Flying Corps.

25 July 2007 Alex Salmond was sworn in as a Privy Councillor and became the first First Minister of Scotland to speak in the House of Commons.

26 July 2007

Highland Council granted a dangerous wild animal license to Alladale Estate, Sutherland, to allow the estate to a maximum of 50 wild boar. The intention of the owner Paul Lister was to eventually also re-introduce wolves, bears and lynx to Scotland.
28 July 2007 Heart of Midlothian attracted their biggest-ever crowd for a home game – 57,857 – a friendly against Barcelona played at Murrayfield. The Catalan visitors, who had spent a training week at St Andrews, recorded their second win (3-1) in three days against Scottish opponents. Two days previously they had defeated Dundee United 1-0.
28 July 2007 The European Pipe Band Championship, the biggest next to the World Championships, was held in Inverness for the first time. The contest was staged in the Bucht Stadium as part of the Year of Highland Culture 2007 and featured 4,500 pipers and drummers. In pouring rain Irish band Field Marshall Montgomery won the Grade One competition and European title.
31 July 2007 Scotland retained the Celtic Cup at Grangemouth, with 37 points to Ireland’s 30 and Wales’ 17. Team captain Lee McConnell led by example in winning the 200 metres.

1 August 2007

After winning three APT double titles with American Eric Butorac, Jamie Murray announced his intention to split the partnership following the US Open at flushing Meadows, New York.
2 August 2007

A badly burned man detained after the suspected terror attack at Glasgow Airport died in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Kafeel Ahmed, 27, from Bangalore, India, was one of two men held at the airport after a Jeep struck the terminal and burst into flames. The second man Iraqi doctor Bilal Tahal Samad Abdullah had been charged with conspiracy to cause explosions.

5 August 2007 Mark Beamont, 25, from Newburgh, Fife, left Paris on an attempt to cycle round the world. He arrived back in the French capital on 15 February 2008 breaking the previous record by three months.
6 August 2007 Residents of the coastal village of Pennan, Aberdeenshire, were forced to flee their homes after torrential rain caused severe mudslides from nearby cliffs. A total of 34 residents from 15 houses were evacuated.
7 August 2007 Twenty men and women were honoured at a special reception hosted by First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond in recognition of their role in foiling the alleged terrorist attack at Glasgow Airport. He praised the united public response to the attack.
8 August 2007 First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond announced a new commission on Scottish broadcasting, television and radio, under the chairmanship of Blair Jenkins, former BBC Scotland news chief. The central focus of the commission was whether broadcasting, a reserved matter to Westminster, should be devolved to Holyrood. The First Minister accused both the BBC and ITV of neglecting Scotland.
12 August 2007 Catriona Matthew hit a final-round 68 to win the Scandinavian TPC tournament in Sweden by three strokes. The 37-year-old finished on nine under par at the Barseback Golf and Country Club to land her fifth career win.
14 August 2007 Alex Salmond set out the Scottish Government’s plans for a referendum on Scottish Independence, despite opposition from the other main political parties in the Scottish Parliament. The First Minister launched a ‘national conversation’ on Scotland’s future stating that no change was no longer an option.

15 August 2007

Jack McConnell, the former First Minister of Scotland, resigned as the leader of the Scottish Labour MSPs. He continued as MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw but announced plans to take up a new position as British High Commissioner for Malawi in 2011.

Angela Kelly, East Kilbride, received a cheque for £35,400,000 after winning the Euro Millions Lottery, making her Scotland’s biggest-ever lottery jackpot winner.

16 August 2007 Electoral history was made when voting took place in Scotland’s first council by-election under a proportional representation system in Aberdeen’s Midstocket-Rosemount ward following the death of Conservative councillor John Porter. The by-election was won by Scottish National Party candidate John Corall.
21 August 2007 Wendy Alexander was the sole-nominee to replace Jack McConnell as the leader of the Scottish Labour MSPs.

Electoral Commission statistics for donations received by political parties between April and June 2007 revealed that Scottish Labour received more than £300,000 from the Muslim Friends of Labour in three donations (on 26 March, 11 April and 8 May [An investigation by the London Times revealed that 96% of the money had been channelled through the Muslim Friends of Labour, a lobby group, by one individual Imran Khand, a 43-year-old computer entrepreneur]. Labour also received £15,000 from the Chairman of Celtic FC and £10,000 from the Daily record and Sunday Mail newspaper group. Sir Sean Connery donated £30,000 to the Scottish National Party and Stagecoach tycoon Brian Souter £325,000 after pledging £500,000 earlier in the 2007 Scottish Parliament Election campaign.

22 August 2007

After being closed for almost a year St Patrick’s Church in Glasgow’s Anderston district reopened to parishioners for a prayer service to remember members of the congregation who had died. These included the Polish student Angelika Kluk, whose rape and murder had led to the closure. Church handyman Peter Tobin had raped and murdered the 23-year-old and hidden her body under the floorboards of the church.
24 August 2007 An 18th century hip flask which once belonged to Robert Burns was sold for £7,200 at auction in Edinburgh.
28 August 2007 ICL Plastics and ICL Tech were fined a total of £400,000 after pleading guilty to four charges relating to the 2004 Stockline factory explosion at the High Court in Glasgow. Nine people died in the explosion at the factory in Glasgow’s Maryhill.
29 August 2007 Third Division leaders East Fife defeated Premier League St Mirren 1-0 in the second round of the Scottish League Cup at Love Street, Paisley. A wonder strike from youngster Craig O’Reilly ensured victory for the Fife club. East Fife won the team of the round trophy for the second round in succession. The Fife lost out 4-0 to eventual League Cup winners Rangers in the third round.

3 September 2007

Edinburgh City Council dropped proposals to close 22 schools and nurseries after Scottish National Party councillors said they wouldn’t back their Liberal Democrat coalition partners if the plan went ahead.
4 September 2007

Death of Walter Scott, 9th Duke of Buccleuch, aged 83, at Bowhill near Selkirk, following a short illness. He was Britain’s biggest landowner and with an estimated fortune of £85 million Scotland’s 51st richest person. He served as Conservative MP for Edinburgh North before succeeding his father to the dukedom. He fractured his spine in 1972 as the result of a hunting accident.

5 September 2007 The first-ever Scottish National Party Scottish Government legislative programme was outlined to the Scottish Parliament by First Minister Alex Salmond. The Government proposed introducing 11 bills including legislation to reform the law on rape and abolishing tolls on the Forth and Tay Road Bridges.

The Scottish Daily Newspaper Society announced the appointment of former Presiding Officer of the Scottish parliament George Reid as the new chairman of judges of the Scottish Press Awards. He succeeded Charles Wilson who had served as chairman for seven years.

9 September 2007 A motorcyclist was killed after colliding with another vehicle on the A708, Selkirk to Moffat road, in the Borders while taking part with several hundred bikers in a memorial run for Scottish biking legend Steve Hislop. The Hawick-born super-bike rider died in a helicopter crash in 2003.

11 September 2007

Death of former Aberdeen FC manager Ian Porterfield, aged 61, after a battle against cancer in a hospital in Surrey, England. He gained fame as a player when he scored the winning goal for Sunderland, then in the English Second Division, to defeat Leeds in the English FA Cup in 1973. He succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson as Aberdeen FC manager in November 1986, however his time at Pittodrie was not a success and he left the Dons by the end of the next season. He went on to manage several English clubs and a string of international sides, including Amenia at the time of his death.

More than 2,500 people attended the funeral of Walter Scott, 9th Duke of Buccleugh, at Melrose Abbey. The former Conservative MP and Britain’s largest landowner with more than 270,000 acres, mostly in the Borders, was laid to rest beside his father.

12 September 2007 A superb strike from James McFadden gave Scotland a historic victory when they beat France 1-0 in Paris in a Euro 2008 qualifier. Scotland had already defeated France by a similar score at Hampden.

13 September 2007

Former Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace was appointed to the House of Lords as Lord Wallace of Tankerness. He served as MP for Orkney & Shetland from 1983 and as MSP for Orkney from 1999 until he stood down in 2007.
14 September 2007 Wendy Alexander officially succeeded Jack McConnell as leader of the Scottish Labour MSPs, after being the sole nominee.
15 September 2007 Colin McRae, 39, rally driver and first Scot to win the World Rally Championship Drivers’ title in 1995, and his five-tear-old son Johnny were killed in a helicopter crash one mile north of Lanark, near their home at Jeviswood House, along with Ben Porcelli, six, and 47-year-old Graene Duncan.
18 September 2007 Two hundred mourners attended the funeral of Emma Caldwell, more than two years after her body was found in South Lanarkshire. The 27-year-old had been working as a prostitute in Glasgow when she went missing in April 2005. Her body was found six weeks later in woods near Roberton. Four men were charged with her murder.
19 September 2007 Scotland’s Euro 2008 qualifying victories over Lithuania and France saw the international team rise nine places to 14th in the Fifa world rankings.
20 September 2007 Prime Minister Gordon Brown officially opened the new £180 million BBC headquarters at Pacific Quay, Glasgow.

21 September 2007

A team of top advisers set up by First Minister Alex Salmond to help boost the Scottish economy met for the first time in Edinburgh. The eleven-strong Council of Economic Advisers was chaired by Sir George Mathewson, former head of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
22 September 2007 Fort William won the 100th Camanachd Cup Final, defeating Inveraray 3-1 at Bucht Park, Inverness, in front of 4,000 shinty fans.
28 September 2007 A 157 year-old bottle of whisky set a new world record with an auction price of £29,400. The Bowmore single malt, bottled in 1850, was sold in Glasgow.

30 September 2007

A crowd of some 15,000 turned out in Lanark to pay their respects to world rally driver Colin McRae and his son Johnny, who had died in a helicopter tragedy earlier in the month. A memorial service at St Nicholas Church was relayed on big screens to the crowd.

1 October 2007

Faslane 365, a year long anti-Trident protest, ended with the arrest of 73 men and 98 women by Strathclyde Police at the Royal Navy Base, overlooking the Gareloch. Over the year 1,100 people were arrested and the cost of policing the protest was £5 million.

3 October 2007 Detectives investigating the disappearance of 15-year-old Falkirk schoolgirl Vicky Hamilton, who went missing in 1991, searched a house in Southsea, Hampshire, England.

4 October 2007

The missing Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece ‘Madonna of the Yarnwinder’, stolen in 2003 from Drumlanrig Castle, was following a raid in Glasgow. Four men were arrested in connection with the theft of the £37 million painting.
6 October 2007

Demonstrations took place in Edinburgh and Glasgow in support of the protesting monks in Burma. The cities joined 700 others around the world in the Amnesty International’s Global Day of Action.

11 October 2007 Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi’s second appeal for his conviction for the Lockerbie bombing began in the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh when his lawyers requested documents from the Crown which they believed would help prove al-Megrahi’s innocence.
14 October 2007 In Berwickshire, bronze statutes were unveiled in Burnmouth, Eyemouth and St Eyes to commemorate Black Friday – 14 October 1881 – when 189 fishermen died in a storm in Scotland’s worst fishing disaster.

15 October 2007

East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell resigned as Liberal Democrat leader amid speculation at 66 he was too old to take the party into the next general election. A contributory factor was the decision of Prime Minister Gordon Brown not to hold a snap autumn election.

16 October 2007

Death of Helensburgh-born actress Deborah Kerr at the age of 86 in Suffolk, England. A Hollywood star she was awarded a honorary Oscar in 1994.

17 October 2007 Scotland’s hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008 were dented in a 2-0 away defeat to Georgia, leaving the Scots with the task of defeating Italy for the first time in 42 years to qualify.
19 October 2007 After finishing six-years-in-a-row in second place, the Glasgow Gaelic Choir won the coveted Lovat and Tullibardine Shield at the National Mod in Fort William.
23 October 2007 Ron Gould, the independent expert called in to investigate the number of spoilt ballot papers in May 2007’s Scottish Parliament elections, called for the local authority and parliament votes to be held on separate days, although he didn’t single out any individual for criticism. The report was accepted in full by First Minister Alex Salmond and forced an apology from Westminster MP Douglas Alexander who had been in charge of the Holyrood election and pushed through the key problem of two ballot papers on the one sheet.
24 October 2007

Richard Lochhead, Scottish Government environment secretary, announced a £25 million compensation package for Scottish farmers in respect of losses caused by a foot-and-mouth outbreak in England, which he claimed was worsened by an ‘unsympathetic’ attitude at Westminster.

25 October 2007

The annual expenses of Westminster MPs were published showing that the highest claim by a Scottish MP was £171,836 by Labour member for Aberdeen North Frank Doran.

27 October 2007

Scotland’s Julie Fleeting scored her 100th international goal (in 99 games) in a 3-0 victory against Slovakia in a European Championship qualifier.
28 October 2007 Dunblane’s Andrew Murray won his third ATP title with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Fernando Verdasco, Spain, in the St Petersburg Open.
29 October 2007 First Minister Alex Salmond unveiled a ‘bonfire of the quangos’ with a plan to reduce the number of Scotland’s 200 public bodies by 50.
31 October 2007 Stuart Gair, who spent 12 years in prison for a murder he did not commit and was eventually freed by the Scottish appeal court (2006), was revealed to have died of a heart attack just one month before he had been due to receive £1 million in compensation. He died in Edinburgh on 26 October 2007.
6 November 2007 The Scottish Parliament’s petition committee heard calls for the survivors of the sinking of the Lancastria in 1940 to be given a commemorative medal. The committee agreed to write to the Ministry of Defence and the Scottish Government after hearing the plea. The Clyde-built Lancastria, converted to a troop-ship, was sunk by a German Junkers JU88 on 17 June 1940.
7 November 2007 Selena Lynch, deputy assistant coroner for Oxfordshire, said that it was probable that the British army’s failure to fit bomb disability devices to its vehicles cost the life of 19-year-old Gordon Gentle, a Pollok-born Royal Highland Fusilier, killed in Iraqi in 2004. The verdict was a vindication for hiss mother Rose Gentle who had campaigned to discover the truth behind her son’s death and for the British troops to leave Iraqi from which she regarded as an illegal war.
9 November 2007 Glasgow was chosen to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014, by 42 votes to 24 over Abuja, Nigeria. The vote in Sri Lanka was attended by First Minister Alex Salmond who promised to make the 2014 Games the greatest sporting event Scotland had ever seen. The Games were estimated to cost £288m to stage.
11 November 2007 First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond took part in a special service in Sri Lanka to mark Remembrance Sunday at the Commonwealth Graves Commission in Colombo. He laid a wreath, provided by the Lady Haig Poppy Fund in Edinburgh, at the memorial in Sri Lanka to the war dead. A wreath was also laid by the Lord Provost of Glasgow Robert Winter.
14 November 2007 Finance Secretary John Swinney delivered the first Scottish National Party Budget to Parliament. He confirmed plans for a council tax freeze and cuts in business rates for small businesses.
15 November 2007 First Minister Alex Salmond was named Scottish politician of the Year and Prime Minister Gordon Brown as Best Scot at Westminster at the annual political awards ceremony in the Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh. Alex Salmond was also named Parliamentarian of the Year at ‘The Spectator’ political awards in London.
17 November 2007 World Champions Italy defeated Scotland 2-1 in front of a full-house at Hampden, ending Scotland’s hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008. Scotland finished in third place in their qualifying section behind Italy and France.
21 November 2007 A wide-ranging legal review following the collapse of the World’s End murder trial was announced. The Scottish Law Commission would consider recommending the ban on suspects being tried twice for the same crime being lifted. Earlier in 2007, the judge Lord Clarke dismissed the case against convicted killer and rapist Angus Sinclair, who was accused of murdering two teenage girls 30 years ago, citing insufficient evidence.

25 November 2007

Morag Pirie made history as the first woman official at a major Scottish football final when she ran the line at the St Johnstone v Dunfermline Athletic Challenge Cup Final. St Johnstone achieved their first ever national cup competition success with a 3-2 victory over the Fife team in front of a crowd of 6,446 at Dens Park, Dundee.
27 November 2007 Alex McLeish resigned as Scotland’s manager. Next day he was appointed as manager of English Premier League club Birmingham.

29 November 2007

Labour MSP for Glasgow Cathcart Charlie Gordon resigned as his party’s spokesman on transport when role in an illegal donation to Wendy Alexander’s Labour MSP leadership campaign came to light. He had approached Jersey-based businessman Paul Green for the donation of £950 which was illegal as Mr Green was not a UK registered voter.

US tycoon Donald Trump’s plan to create a massive £1 bn golf resort was rejected by Aberdeenshire councillors on the council’s infrastructure services committee meeting in Aberdeen. After a 7-7 tied vote, Councillor Martin Ford ( liberal Democrat) used his casting vote to reject the proposal.

30 November 2007 Labour MSP leader Wendy Alexander faced a police inquiry into her leadership campaign finances after it emerged that she had written a personal thank-you letter to a Jersey-based businessman Paul Green for an illegal donation to her campaign funds.

4 December 2007

The Scottish Government called in Donald Trump’s planning application for a £1 bn golf resort at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, after it had been rejected by an Aberdeenshire Council committee.

In spite of a 1-0 away defeat to AC Milan at San Siro, Celtic reached the last 16 in the Champion’s League for the second successive season.

5 December 2007 Isle of Man Transport Minister David Anderson reported that £57,000 had been spent on ensuring the rusting hulk of the Kirkcudbright-registered scallop dredger Solway Harvester remained watertight pending the conclusion of the island’s inquest into the death of the seven-strong crew in January 2000.
7 December 2007 Glasgow Airport worker John Smeaton, who helped to thwart an alleged terrorist attack on the airport in the summer, received a bravery award at a ceremony in New York. The TV news channel CNN honoured the Scot at a tribute gala.
11 December 2007 British Energy announced that the working life of the Ayrshire Hunterston B reactor would be extended by five years to 2016.

12 December 2007

A special full meeting of Aberdeenshire Council backed US businessman Donald Trump’s plan for a £1 billion golf resort at Balmedie and sacked Liberal democrat Martin Ford as chairman of the council’s infrastructure services committee. He had used his casting vote to reject the proposal.

A memorial service was held at St Giles, Edinburgh, for Walter Scott, 9th Duke of Buccleuch, largest landowner in Britain, who died in September. He left the bulk of his £320 million personal wealth to his oldest son Richard, 10th Duke of Buccleuch.

Among the 600 guests were Lord Mackay of Clashfern, former Lord Chancellor, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, former general secretary of Nato, Lord Steele, former Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer, and Michael Ancrum MP.

14 December 2007 It was revealed that anti-terror police had carried out more than 14,000 random stop and searches in Scotland in the wake of the Glasgow Airport terror attack in June.

19 December 2007

The Scottish Government announced that a new road bridge would be built across the Forth costing up to £4.2 billion.

Only one crew member, Brian Aitchison, 37, survived after the tug Flying Phantom capsized in heavy fog on the River Clyde. He was rescued from the water by Keith Russell, the operations manager of Offshore Workboats. The other crew members – skipper Stephen Humphreys, 33, engineer Robert Cameron, 65, and crewman Eric Blackley, 50 - were all missing feared dead.

Giving the annual Sabhal Mor Ostaig lecture, First Minister Alex Salmond pledged to build a strong future for the Gaelic language. He announced an extra £7.5 million funding for the language.

20 December 2007 A day after Hibernian opened a new £4.9 million training centre in East Lothian, John Collins unexpectedly resigned as manager after only 14 months. The resignation arose from a lack of money for new players. During his period at the Edinburgh club a total of £8.95 million had been received for transfers and only £360,000 spent.
23 December 2007 The body of the skipper of the Flying Phantom tug Stephen Humphreys was found by police divers searching the capsized vessel. He was the last of the three dead crew members to be recovered from the tug which sunk in the Clyde on 19 December. 
29 December 2007 Motherwell captain 35-year-old Phil O’Donnell collapsed in the 78th minute of a game against Dundee United at Fir Park He was treated for five minutes on the park before being taken to nearby Wishaw General Hospital were he was pronounced dead at 5.18 pm. His nephew, David Clarkson, who also played for Motherwell, had to be substituted as he was so upset by his uncle’s collapse. The tragedy cast a shadow over Motherwell’s 5-3 victory.

31 December 2007

Angus Robertson MP, Scottish National Party business convener, announced a11% rise in party membership over the past year. The party had 13,944 members compared to 12,571 on 31 December 2006. Over a four year period Scottish National Party membership had risen by 50%.

1 January 2008

A £1.3 million firework display brought in the New Year in Edinburgh as 100,000 revellers celebrated the city’s world famous Hogmanay Party.

The Scottish Ambulance Service received a record 2,288 calls over a 12-hour period, including the height of the New Year celebrations. The figures represented a 22% rise in 999 calls compared with the same night a year earlier.

2 January 2008 Novelist AL Kennedy added the Costa Book Award for best novel to the Saltire Society’s Scottish Book of the Year award for her book ‘Day’.

4 January 2008

550 mourners attended the funeral of 35-year-old Motherwell captain Phil O’Donnell at St Mary’s Church, Hamilton. The Scottish foot-balling world gathered at the church to remember a man described by Father O’Brien as ‘a sportsman of great integrity’. He had collapsed during a home game versus Dundee United and a post-mortem revealed that he had died from heart failure.
5 January 2008 Andrew Murray won the fourth title of his tennis career with a 6-4 4-6 6-2 victory over Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka in the final of the Quatar Open in Doha.
7 January 2008 A large boring machine, called ‘Eliza Jane’, completed its five-mile tunnel at Glendoe, near Loch Ness, as Scotland’s largest hydro-electric scheme in 50 years took a major step towards completion. The £140 million project was commenced in February 2006.
10 January 2008 The Westminster Government announced plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations but the Scottish Government said that Scotland’s energy means could be met from renewable sources, and that no new nuclear facilities would be build in Scotland.

11 January 2008

First Minister Alex Salmond officially opened Scotland’s first purpose-built Gaelic school. The £4 million Bun-sgoil Ghaidlig Inbhir Nis in Inverness had 101 primary and 50 nursery pupils and also included a mini venue for Gaelic cultural events and a recording studio.
12 January 2008 Culture Minister Linda Fabiani led a procession of fire performers and musicians in Inverness to mark the grand finale of the Year of Highland Culture. Some 20,000 watched the torchlight procession and the £300,000 firework display on the Kessoch Bridge. With a budget of £14.3 million the Year saw some 600 events staged from Argyll to Shetland.
14 January 2008 One of the largest and most powerful computers in Europe was unveiled in Edinburgh. ‘Hector’, a super computer capable of making 63 trillion calculations a second, was designed to help researchers in a variety of fields, such as developing life-saving drugs and forecasting the impact of climate change.
15 January 2008 Scottish and British champion cyclist Jason MacIntyre, 34, died after a road accident near his Fort William home while out training. He was hit by a van on the A82. In 2006 he broke fellow Scot Graeme Obree’s ten-mile time-record, covering the distance in 18 minutes 47 seconds.

17 January 2008

An alliance of Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrat and Green MSPs won a vote in the Scottish parliament not to build new nuclear power stations in Scotland by 63 votes to 58.

Karen Aim, 26, from Orkney, was found with serious head injuries in the early hours of the morning in Tampa, on New Zealand’s North Island. The back-packer died later in hospital and the police said that they were treating her death as murder.

19 January 2008 Arbroath’s refurbished Webster Theatre reopened with a gala performance by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The Webster closed in May 2006 for the £4 million refurbishment which took 22 months to complete and was financed by Angus Council with the help of the Arbroath Common Good Fund.
20 January 2008 More than 100 accordionists took part in a concert to mark the centenary year of outstanding band leader and composer Sir Jimmy Shand (born 28 January 1908). Each musician, in turn, played a tune at the event held at Windygates, Fife, which ran for more than four hours. East Wemyss-born Sir Jimmy Shand, who died in December 2000, was widely regarded as one of Scotland’s most talented musicians.

Michaela Tabb of Dunfermline became the first female referee in a major snooker final at the Masters held at Wembley Arena, London. Leicester’s Mark Selby, became the first debutant winner since Scotland’s Stephen Hendry in 1989, with a 10-3 victory over fellow Englishman Stephen Lea from Wiltshire.

23 January 2008

The first budget proposals brought forward by the minority Scottish National Party administration were passed in the Scottish Parliament by 2 votes. In the crucial vote the Conservatives and Independent MSP Margo MacDonald backed the Government; Labour and the Liberal Democrats voted against and the Greens abstained.

Fireman John Noble, Alloa, 46, was killed when the engine on which was travelling in response to a false alarm at a primary school in Dollar. The engine hit a tree on the A91 near Tilliecoultry and three of his colleagues from the fire-and-rescue station in Alloa were injured.

27 January 2008

Scotland’s Alex Marshall retained the World Indoor Bowls title by overwhelming number 10 seed Englishman Ian Bond 10-2, 11-5 at the Porters Leisure Resort, Great Yarmouth, England. He won the title for a record fifth time to claim the £30,000 winner’s cheque. He first won the title in 1999.
30 January 2008 Rangers and Scotland right-back 22-year-old Alan Hutton was transferred to English Premier League club Tottenham for a deal worth £10 million to the Glasgow side.

1 February 2008

Rescuers battled high seas to winch fourteen Spanish seamen to safety from a trawler stranded on rocks off St Kilda.

Controversial proposals for ship-to-ship transfers in the Firth of Forth were rejected by Forth Ports, following public outcry against the move. The proposals would have seen almost eight million tonnes of Russian crude oil pumped between tankers each year, which raised fears of an environmental disaster.

4 February 2008

Greenock-born Lawrence Tynes became the first Scot to win the Super Bowl by kicking the NY Giants to a historic 17-14 win over the New England Patriots in Arizona. 

           “I’m proud to say I’m the first Scot to win the Super Bowl.”

5 February 2008 The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association announced that the World Pipe Band Championship would continue to be held in Glasgow until 2012 following the first formal bidding process in the history of the event. Glasgow City Council successfully put together a bid package after officials in Belfast expressed interest in taking the event to Northern Ireland from 2010 to 2012.
7 February 2008 The Electoral Commission ruled that labour MSP leader Wendy Alexander would not be reported to prosecutors over an illegal donation to her leadership campaign, saying that there was insufficient evidence to prove an offence.
10 February 2008 Tolls on the Forth and Tay road bridges ended about 11.20pm – 40 minutes earlier than scheduled, making all bridges in Scotland toll-free, in line with the minority Scottish National Party Scottish Government’s pre-election pledge. Lorraine Kelly, 45, from Inverkeithing, Fife, was the first driver to cross the toll-free Forth Road Bridge as she drove home from work at Tesco, South Queensferry.

15 February 2008

Cyclist Mark Beaumont from Newburgh, Fife, arrived in Paris to complete the fastest ever trip around the world by bicycle. The 25-year-old shattered the world record for cycling round the globe by three months – he took only 195 days to cycle 18,000 miles to claim a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The previous record stood at 276 days.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh granted a petition by Isle of Man Coroner Michael Moyle to obtain evidence from Solway Harvester owner Richard Gibney at an inquest on the island. All seven crew members died when the scallop dredger sunk in heavy seas off the Isle of Man in January 2000.

17 February 2008 Andrew Murray returned to the top ten in the world tennis rankings after defeating Croatian Mario Ancic 6-3, 6-4 in the Open 13 final in Marseille. The Dunblane player took only 104 minutes to win his second ATP title of 2008 and his fifth overall.

21 February 2008

The Scottish National Party held the Highland ward on Perth and Kinross Council following the by-election caused by the date of popular councillor Eleanor Howie who had held the seat since 1995. Her sister Kate Howie polled 1,891 votes to successfully hold the seat.

A 1-1 away draw in Greece against Panathinaikos enabled Rangers to reach the last 16 of the Uefa Cup. Ranger’s captain Barry Ferguson equalled Dave Narey’s (Dundee United) record of 76 European appearances for a Scottish club.

22 February 2008 At Edinburgh Sheriff Court Thames Water Services were fined £13,500 after allowing 120 million litres of raw sewage to be pumped into the Firth of Forth in 2007. A fault had taken place at a pumping station in Edinburgh and it took 64 hours before the problem was fixed.
26 February 2008 Following a transatlantic contest Alan Herriot, of Penicuik, was chosen to sculpt a £125,000 statue in Aberdeen to honour Robert I, King of Scots. He won a public vote organised by Aberdeen City Council for a monument which recognised King Robert’s part in laying the foundation of the city’s lucrative Common Good Fund.

29 February 2008

The Royal Bank of Scotland, Scotland’s biggest company, unveiled new record profits of £10.3 billion despite the credit crunch, 9% higher than the previous year.

Death of Baron Alastair Livingstone of Bachuil, chief of Clan MacLea, at home on the Isle of Lismore. He was Chairman of The 1745 association (1981-1990) and joint editor of ‘The Muster Roll of Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s Army’, first published by Aberdeen University Press in 1984.

Death of Stephen Fullarton, the last surviving Scot to have fought in the Spanish Civil War, in Edinburgh. Born in Glasgow, he was only 18 when he joined the International Brigade to fight Franco’ fascists in Spain.

4 March 2008 Baggage handler John Smeaton received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal at Buckingham Palace, London, England, for his part in tackling terrorist suspects who emerged from a burning Jeep that had crashed into the terminal at Glasgow Airport in June 2007.
6 March 2008 Gretna FC recorded the lowest-ever attendance at a Scottish Premier League game when only 501 spectators watched the Border team lose 3-0 to visitors Dundee United at Fir Park, Motherwell, (their home ground, Raydale Park, was not up to SPL standards).
8 March 2008 Scotland won the Culcutta Cup with a 15-9 victory over England at Murrayfield – the Scots only victory in the Six Nations.
10 March 2008 Gretna FC filed for administration at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, after it was confirmed that English owner Brooks Mileson was no longer, through illness, in a position to bankroll its running costs. Administration was granted two days later and a resultant 10 point deduction by the Scottish Premier League ensured the certain relegation of the Border team.
14 March 2008 The Scottish Government announced that the public inquiry into the Shirley McKie fingerprint affair would be chaired by Northern Irish judge, Lord Justice Campbell.
15 March 2008 The first league title of the season was achieved by East Fife as they became Third Division Champions following a 3-0 victory away to East Stirlingshire. The Fife, under team captain Steven Tweed, went on to finish the season with a Third Division record of  being 23 points ahead of the second placed team (Stranraer) and equalling Livingston’s record of only conceding 24 goals in winning the title.
19 March 2008 First Minister Alex Salmond officially opened a £90 million biomass power station near Lockerbie. The largest-such plant in Scotland, Steven’s Croft, owned and operated by E.ON UK, converted wood industry waste into power to supply 70,000 homes.
21 March 2008 Doctors at Gartnavel General Hospital in Glasgow confirmed that they were treating the UK’s first diagnosed case of the drug-resistance XDR tuberculosis strain. The sufferer was reported to have come to the UK from Somalia.
23 March 2008 Scottish golfer Alastair Forsyth defeated South African Hennie Otto in a sudden-death play-off to win the Madeira Islands Open title and collect the first prize of £90,000. It was his first victory on the European Tour since his triumph in the 2002 Malaysian Open.
30 March 2008 Popular Scottish racing driver turned broadcaster, Annan-born David Leslie, 54, died in a plane crash in Farnborough, Kent, England, In total five died when the executive jet crashed into an unoccupied house.

1 April 2008

Two schoolgirls playing on Arbroath beach found a black plastic bag containing a head. After the discovery of further body parts, the remains were identified as 35-year-old Lithuanian Jolanta Bledalti who was working in near-by Brechin.

The cost of NHS prescriptions in Scotland were cut from £6.85 per item to £5, in the first of a series of price reductions instituted by the Scottish Government  designed to bringing in free prescriptions for all by 2011.

3 April 2008 Edinburgh swimmer Gregor Tait set a new British and Commonwealth record of 1 minute 56.67 seconds when he won the Men’s 200m Backstroke title at the British Championships in Sheffield, England.
5 April 2008 First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond took part in the annual New York Tartan day Parade alongside Greenock-born Lawrence Tynes, kicker for the Super Bowl-winning New York Giants, and John Smeaton, the baggage-handler who helped foil the 2007 terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport.
9 April 2008 A spirited display earned Gretna their first Premier League point since going into administration with a 0-0 home draw with St Mirren. The game set a new record for the lowest attendance in the Premier League of only 751.

10 April 2008

Rangers, with a 2-0 away win over Sporting Lisbon, reached the semi-finals of the Euefa Cup, following a 0-0 draw at Ibrox.
11 April 2008

First Minister Alex Salmond opened a £7.6 million cultural centre at Scotland’s only Gaelic college. The Fas Centre on the campus of Sabhal Mor Ostaig on the Island of Skye was planned to attract and support cultural enterprises, including media, publicity and Gaelic projects, with £200,000 funding from the Scottish Government to support the centre’s work and sustain 70 jobs on the island.

16 April 2008 The new Culloden Battlefield Visitor and Exhibition Centre, built at a cost of £9 million by the National Trust for Scotland, officially opened, on the 262nd anniversary of the battle. The ribbon cutting ceremony was carried out by Scott Hay, aged 11, Kincraig, and six-year-old Philip Nicol, Inverness, whose ancestors fought in the battle.
18 April 2008 First Minister Alex Salmond officially reopened the restored Alloway Auld Kirk and graveyard in South Ayrshire. Made famous by Robert Burns’ ‘Tam o’ Shanter’ and the resting place of the poet’s father, William Burnes, the restoration and repair work cost £244,000.
22 April 2008 Alex Salmon became the first Scottish National Party First Minister to address the Scottish Trades Union Congress. He received a warm welcome from the normally staunchly Labour-supporting STUC meeting in Inverness.
28 April 2008 Outstanding big band leader Tommy Sampson celebrated his 90th birthday with a special ‘Birthday Concert’ in his home city Edinburgh (Queen’s Hall). He honed his skills as a bandleader in Germany in a Second World War POW Camp in Germany and went on to form one of Britain’s greatest big bands.
1 May 2008 A dramatic 4-2 penalty win took Rangers into their first European final for 36 years, following an away 0-0 draw with Florintina in the Euefa Cup.
2 May 2008 Inverness Caledonian Thistle recorded their highest ever Scottish Premier League score-line with a 6-1 thrashing of doomed Gretna.


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