Two of Scotland’s best known 2012 Olympic Gold medal stars, cycling’s Chris Hoy and tennis’s Andy Murray, were individually honoured in their home places yesterday, Sunday 16th September.
Chris Hoy was given the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh and Andy Murray was given the freedom to be the hero of Dunblane in perpetuity.
Each was paraded in an open topped bus for their special occasion. This is where Argyll comes in and where brothers Ian and Colin Craig come in – along with the buses involved in these massive celebrations.
Both are from the original Campbeltown family business, Craig of Campbeltown, trading as West Coast Motors from around 1921. The forerunner of Craig of Campbeltown was Craig Brothers Motor Engineers in Longrow, whose shop front then is pictured below. These guys have been around a long time.
Ian, the elder of the current Craig brothers, is Managing Director of the east coast’s Lothian Buses Plc in Edinburgh.
Colin, the younger, is Managing Director of West Coast Motors and the other transport companies in the Craig of Campbeltown portfolio – including City Sightseeing Glasgow.
At this stage you’ll have guessed that we’re talking open topped buses for Scottish Olympian and Paralympian athletes in yesterday’s ceremonies, one supplied from each of the bus companies managed by the two Campbeltown brothers.
Lothian Buses supplied the golden open topped bus that conveyed Chris Hoy and his fellow Scottish Olympians and Paralympians through the streets of Edinburgh in the official welcome home to the capital city, following Saturday’s national celebration in Glasgow.
Hoy then changed out of his track suit and made tracks to the Assembly Rooms in a kilt, where he was presented with the Freedom of the City by Provost Donald Wilson.
In Dunblane, City Sightseeing Glasgow supplied the open topper for Andy Murray’s mobbing in his home town, requiring him to make a long walkabout where he signed every autograph he was asked for. The firm’s Glasgow depot supervisor, Kenny Brown, was the driver.
While Lothian Buses saw its open topper’s normal branding vanish under a coat of gold paint, City Sightseeing Glasgow saw the Dunblane organisers cover all their logos, so both buses went out on ceremonial duty in mufti.
But now you know that Argyll – and Campbeltown – played its part in Scotland’s welcome home to its starring sons and daughters in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.