Scotland’s oldest skier dies aged 102

FROM JOHN JEFFAY AT CASCADE NEWS LTD    0161 660 8087 /  07771 957773  john@cascadenews.co.uk / www.cascadenews.co.uk

Syndicated for Sunday Post 

undated pic  Hilda Jamieson 
Britains oldest skier, has died at the age of 102.
Hilda Jamieson only recently hung up her poles after 80 years on the slopes 
following a degenerative eye condition.
She excelled at skiing, becoming the Dundee ladies champion, the Scottish ladies champion and a stalwart member of the Dundee Tennant Trophy Team.

FROM JOHN JEFFAY AT CASCADE NEWS LTD 0161 660 8087 / 07771 957773 john@cascadenews.co.uk / www.cascadenews.co.uk Syndicated for Sunday Post undated pic Hilda Jamieson Britains oldest skier, has died at the age of 102. Hilda Jamieson only recently hung up her poles after 80 years on the slopes following a degenerative eye condition. She excelled at skiing, becoming the Dundee ladies champion, the Scottish ladies champion and a stalwart member of the Dundee Tennant Trophy Team.

0
Have your say

A woman hailed as Scotland’s oldest skier has died aged 102 - just weeks after she revealed she had been forced to give up the sport.

Hilda Jamieson, who was still taking to the slopes as late as this year, passed away at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee earlier this month.

Paying tribute, her family described her as a “loving mother and much loved granny and great-granny”.

Only in April had she revealed a degenerative eye condition had put paid to her career on the slopes.

In recent months the great-grandmother, from Newtyle, had only been able to ski by using one of her daughters as a “beacon” to help her navigate the pistes.

Speaking of her retirement from the sport in April, Hilda said: “I love it so much but I’ve had a good innings.”

Mrs Jamieson is survived by daughters Valery, Sheila and Helen, her 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

She was laid to rest at Newtyle Cemetery following a funeral service at Newtyle Parish Church earlier this week.

Hilda, who learned to ski on homemade wooden skis in the 1930s, and husband David - who died in 2002 - were pioneers of the sport in Scotland.

They would head out into the wilds at weekends, trudging for hours up steep mountain passes – all for the two-minute thrill of hurtling back down again with huge, cumbersome skis attached to their leather ski boots.

She recalled: “It was about two minutes’ skiing and then you had to climb and climb up to an hour again but it was worth it.

“It was just a group of friends having a great weekend together.

“Nowadays nobody walks, they just take a ski lift – and I doubt they could walk up those slopes.

“There were no edges on the skis and we only had leather boots, which I had to clean and dry five pairs of every weekend.”

The difficulty getting to the slopes spurred David to build, virtually from scratch, the Glenshee Ski Centre to make their passion accessible to everyone.

Today it has 27 ski lifts, 36 runs and is billed as one of the best winter sports resorts in the UK.

Hilda added: “He didn’t want it to be just for rich and privileged people – he never took any money from it.”

The couple’s infectious love for the sport was passed down to their three daughters as soon as their feet could fit onto a pair of skis, bribing them with sweets to ski farther and farther.

Daughter Helen, 69, who went on to compete in the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble credits her parents for pushing her to make the team.

She said: “I didn’t have a choice.

“We were put in the back of the car and mum would drag us up the hill while dad carried the skis.

“We grew up in the ski club and everyone was your family.

“When you are developing into an Olympic skier as a child have need to have a strong backing to keep you going because it is a very lonely lifestyle.

“That starts with your family, mum and dad were always here supporting me and pushing me to train and be better.

“Skiing is born in you and it will always be in you. I couldn’t live without it.”

Hilda has 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren, more than a half dozen of whom have won national championships or represented Scotland.

Hilda added: “All of them ski except two who aren’t quite old enough yet but they will as soon as we can fit skis on their feet.”

“The joke was that you couldn’t be part of the Jamieson family unless you could ski.”