Events from 1959 in Scotland


  • Monarch â€" Elizabeth II (since 6 February 1952)


  • 9 January â€" Clyde-built fisheries protection vessel Freya founders off Caithness with the loss of 3 of her crew of 20.
  • 28 January â€" A Glasgow Corporation Tramways tramcar collides with a lorry and catches fire in Shettleston Road with 3 killed.
  • 2 May â€" The Chapelcross nuclear power station opens.
  • 18 September â€" Auchengeich mining disaster: 47 miners die as the result of an underground fire at Auchengeich Colliery, Lanarkshire.
  • 8 October â€" United Kingdom general election results in a record third successive Conservative victory. Harold Macmillan increases the Conservative majority to 100 seats across the UK but the Unionist Party in Scotland loses 4 seats.
  • 14 November â€" The nuclear Dounreay Fast Reactor achieves criticality.
  • 17 November â€" Prestwick and Renfrew Airports become the first in the U.K. with duty-free shops.
  • 6 December â€" Aberdeen trawler George Robb runs aground at Duncansby Head in a severe gale with the loss of all 12 crew.
  • 7 December â€" Leith coaster Servus runs aground below Dunbeath Castle; her crew are rescued by life-boat.
  • 8 December â€" Broughty Ferry life-boat Mona capsizes on service to North Carr Lightship with the loss of all 8 of the life-boat crew.
  • William Theodore Heard is elevated to Cardinal, the first Scot to hold such an office since the Reformation.
  • St. Cuthbert's Co-operative Society opens Scotland's first supermarket in Edinburgh.
  • North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board's Sloy-Awe Hydro-Electric Power Scheme becomes fully operational.
  • The fossil ichthyosaur Dearcmhara is first discovered by Brian Shawcross on the Trotternish peninsula of Skye.


  • 16 April â€" Alison Ramsay, field hockey player
  • 27 April â€" Sheena Easton, singer
  • 16 July â€" James MacMillan, composer
  • 28 July â€" Lorraine Fullbrook, Scottish politician
  • 31 July â€" Andrew Marr, print and television journalist
  • 7 September â€" Rona Munro, dramatist and screenwriter
  • 8 September â€" Judy Murray, tennis player and coach
  • 25 November â€" Charles Kennedy, leader of the U.K. Liberal Democrats (died 2015)
  • 30 November â€" Lorraine Kelly, television presenter
  • date unknown
    • Robert Crawford, poet and literary scholar
    • Alexander Stoddart, sculptor


1959 in Scotland
  • 2 July â€" William Weir, 1st Viscount Weir, industrialist and politician (born 1877)
  • 15 November â€" Charles Thomson Rees Wilson, physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (born 1869)

The Arts

  • Jane Duncan's first novel My Friends the Miss Boyds is published by Macmillan.

See also

  • 1959 in the United Kingdom


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