Fiery Reid recognised in dictionary of great lives

FIREBRAND union leader Jimmy Reid is the latest name to make it into the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,

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Jimmy Reid became a national celebrity thanks to his role in the fight to keep shipbuilding on the Clyde
Jimmy Reid became a national celebrity thanks to his role in the fight to keep shipbuilding on the Clyde

FIREBRAND union leader Jimmy Reid is the latest name to make it into the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,

The dictionary details the lives of leading figures who helped shape the UK.

The leader of the famous sit-in at Upper Clyde Shipybuilders is joined in a new volume of the book by a number of notable Scots

They include rugby commentator Bill McLaren, broadcaster Tom Fleming and singer Kenneth McKellar.

In the year when Scotland's independence will be decided, other entries include former SNP chairman and activist Billy Wolfe and Glasgow's first poet laureate Edwin Morgan.

Morgan was the most widely read Scots poet in the late 20th century and early 21st century.

They will be among more than 200 new entries to the dictionary when an updated edition is published later this week.

Jimmy Reid rose to prominence in a bitter struggle during the 70s to save shipbuilding on the Clyde.

He became a national celebrity and was later elected rector of Glasgow University. He also became a familiar figure in Scottish politics and was widely followed when a columnist with our sister paper the Herald.

Proud Scot Kenneth McKellar entertained the nation for 10 years on television's The White Heather Club and was regarded as one of Scotland's best tenors.

Tom Fleming was noted for his sombre television coverage of state occasions and for years provided ­commentary of the Edinburgh military tattoo.

The Oxford DNB is billed as a record of people who shaped national life in Britain from the Romans to the year 2010.

No living person is listed while details of those who die will be added each year to online updates and in the occasional printed supplements.

The latest update will be published on Thursday.

Biography official Dan Parker said: "The latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography adds the life stories of 219 noteworthy Britons who shaped modern United Kingdom and who died in 2010.

"Of these, many played important roles in the recent Scottish past - the rise of the SNP under Billy Wolfe in the 1960s, the protests against industrial change led by Jimmy Reid in the Seventies, or the poetry of Scotland's 'national poet' Edwin Morgan read at the opening of the new parliament building in 2004.

"Other lives reflect diverse aspects of Scottish culture - from Kenneth McKellar's White Heather Club to Bill McLaren's roaring on a Scotland try in rugby, or the designer Alexander McQueen's use of Scottish themes in his fashion shows.

"By leaving their mark on modern Scotland, such figures shaped the daily lives of Scots and people throughout the UK in how we vote, debate, dress, and enjoy ourselves."

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