Events from 1981 in Scotland


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


  • 1 February â€" Decriminalisation of homosexual activity between men over 21 years of age through the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980, section 80, which enters into force on this day.
  • 5 March â€" The ZX81, a pioneering British home computer manufactured by Timex in Dundee, is launched by Sinclair Research, going on to sell over 1.5 million units worldwide.
  • May â€" Peugeot closes the Talbot car plant at Linwood, Renfrewshire, which was opened by the Rootes Group 18 years ago as Scotland's only car factory.
  • 23 May â€" Scotland beat England 1-0 at Wembley.
  • Undated â€" Last manufacture of coal gas in the U.K., at Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.


  • 16 February â€" Alison Rowatt, field hockey midfielder
  • 19 February â€" Mark Boyle, snooker player
  • 28 February â€" Mark Brown, footballer
  • 25 March â€" Emily Smith, folk singer
  • 11 June â€" Alistair McGregor, field hockey goalkeeper
  • 14 June â€" Alastair Kellock, rugby union player
  • 16 September â€" David Mitchell, field hockey defender
  • Catriona Shearer, television news presenter


  • 6 January â€" A. J. Cronin, novelist (born 1896)
  • 23 February â€" Nan Shepherd, novelist and poet (born 1893)
  • June â€" Wendy Wood, nationalist campaigner (born 1892 in England)
  • 22 August â€" Mairi Chisholm, nurse and ambulance driver in World War I, one of "The Madonnas of Pervyse" (born 1896)
  • 8 September â€" Bill Shankly, football manager (born 1913)
  • 19 October â€" Johnny Doyle, footballer (born 1951)

The Arts

  • 30 March â€" Release of historical drama film Chariots of Fire that tells the story of devout Christian Eric Liddell competing in the 1924 Olympics.
  • 23 April â€" Release of romantic comedy film Gregory's Girl.
  • Alasdair Gray's first novel Lanark: A Life in Four Books is published in Edinburgh.
  • Perrier Comedy Awards first presented to the best shows on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
  • First Fèis Bharraigh.

See also

  • 1981 in the United Kingdom


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