Andrew James (Jimmie) Guthrie

1897 - 1937

Motorcycle racer. Born in Hawick in the Scottish Borders, he left school to become an apprentice engineer. He served in France as a motorcycle dispatch rider during the First World War and then returned to Hawick where he ran a garage on the High Street with his brother and joined the local motorcycle club. From these beginnings he went on to compete in the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) race of 1923, but won his first notable race at Chevington Sands in Northumberland in 1926. He went on to win six events at the TT between 1930 and 1937, broke several world speed records and recorded a twenty motorcycle Grand Prix victories before his death while leading the field in the German Grand Prix of 1937. His trophy for winning the Grand Prix of Europe in 1936 was presented by the Chancellor of the Germany, Adolf Hitler, and is now held by the Hawick Museum. The German government laid on a special train with a military escort to take Guthrie's body on the first stage of its journey home. His funeral was a major event in Hawick, where he lies buried in Wellogate Cemetery.

There are memorials to Guthrie on two racing tracks: the Isle of Man TT circuit and the German Sachsenring that claimed his life. There is a statue in Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick, while there are displays relating to his life in Hawick Museum. Guthrie was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

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