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SMP News 120 - Scottish Grand National

Scottish Grand National in 1919

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Film of the Scottish Grand National at Bogside (between Irvine and Kilwinning), Ayrshire, won by the "The Turk, II". The film opens with a caption card summarising the event. We then see a variety of shots of spectators arriving at the course. Amongst the high panning shots of the crowd we see a horse being saddled, before the horses and their riders are led off. Footage of the race itself is shown including several jumps. The race over, the crowds are shown leaving the ground on foot and by motorcar.

Questions & Activities


  • Where is Bogside?
  • Where is the Scottish Grand National held now?
  • What is betting?
  • How many different types of people can you sport in the film?
  • What can you tell about the mood of the occasion?
  • Where do you think the horses came from and how far might they have had to travel?
  • Why are jockeys so small?


English / Media Studies: Using the footage, write your own narration explaining your day out at the races, describing what you see. You may want to recut the footage to match your story or use stills.

Geography: What other racecourses can you name and where are they located?

English: Reword the opening title in more modern language.

Modern Studies / Business / Maths: Research - how does betting works and how odds are devised?

Art and Design / Maths: Design your own race course with jumps. Design a jockeys outfit and pick a name for your horse. Consider what mathematical factors you would have to take into account for the spacing of the fences and gradient of the ground.

Modern Studies / Health and Wellbeing: Research how much gambling is done in the UK. Why do some people become addicted to gambling? Discuss what an addiction is and what the different types of addiction are.

English / Media Studies: Record your own racing commentary and add it to this film.

Maths / Business: Analyse the probabilities of different types of sports normally associated with betting, eg. football, greyhounds, horses. What are the risks and rewards? Research the different types of things that people bet on and the size of the industry.

English: Debate: Betting/gambling should be banned.

Art and Design: Pictures are often painted of racing - research famous paintings featuring races/horses and paint your own picture to reflect a day at the races.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-085-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0576
Date 1919
Genre Newsreel
School Subject Art and Design, Mathematics, English, Media Studies, Health and Wellbeing
Subject Matter Business
Who Green's Film Service (production company)
Where Ayrshire, Bogside, Kilwinning, Irvine
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 3:09
Film Length 4:00