The first (30 page) version of this History was abstracted from a variety of sources including some personal accounts of the experience of some retired members of the profession, which I had collected for the Information Committee of the Association of Clinical Biochemists (ACB) when I was Secretary/Treasurer of the Scottish Region. It was circulated to various members and friends at Christmas 1986 and many of them in turn have provided information that was incorporated into a revision that was circulated the following year. This has led to a cycle of revisions and limited circulations since and my thanks go to the many, many people who have contributed to this effort.

This is an on-going project. Where the important work of well-known people has been omitted, this reflects the incomplete nature of my sources and it is hoped that you will be able to help make good some of these deficiencies. All corrections, comments and contributions will be gratefully received, plagiarised and otherwise incorporated into further revisions.

In my introduction to the 1986 version, I compared this History to the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (D Adams, London: Pan, 1979). The Guide, which replaced the Encyclopaedia Galactica as the "standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom" was described as having "many omissions and containing much which is apocryphal, or least wildly inaccurate". It is my hope that, as the work gets bigger, it will have fewer omissions. It is my fear that, at the same time, it will contain more and more that is inaccurate, etc.

An abstract of this work was published in the Bulletin of the Royal College of Pathologists (number 59: June 1987; 4-7) under the title Clinical Biochemistry in Scotland - the early years. A short series of five articles was published in the News Sheet of the A.C.B. during the winter of 1987/88. An edited version was published with the title People who made Scottish Clinical Biochemistry, with the help of Boehringer Mannheim, in time for the ACB National Meeting FOCUS 95

In July 2002 this version was put on the internet and it has been revised at irregular intervals ever since. In April 2005, I added some photographs and in August 2005 the section about some of the ACB National Meetings held in Scotland.

I would be happy to hear from anyone with an interest in this topic. If you have any comments, corrections, etc please contact me by e-mail at elliottsimpson@hotmail.com

Elliott Simpson

February 2020

The early years of the Scotland and Northern Ireland Region and Some National Meetings held in Scotland

Index of Photographs

Notes about methods and equipment

The descriptions of the laboratories are grouped under the following headings:-


Aberdeen University Clinical Biochemistry Dept.

The Rowett Research Institute

Clinical Biochemistry at Woolmanhill and Foresterhill

Aberdeen City Hospital

Argyll & Clyde

Royal Alexandra Infirmary and Hawkhead Hospital, Paisley

Gateside Hospital, Greenock and Inverclyde Royal Hospital

Vale of Leven Hospital, Alexandria, Thornhill Maternity Hospital, Johnstone and BRidge of Weir Sanatorium

Ayrshire and Arran

Ayrshire Area Laboratory

Borders Area

Peel Hospital & Borders General Hospital

Dumfries & Galloway

Crichton Royal - pre 1930s

Crichton Royal - 1930s and 40s

Crichton Royal - 1940s to the present

Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary


Dundee General Hospitals

Maryfield Hospital

Maryfield Hospital - PHOTOS

Maryfield Hospital - equipment, etc

Maryfield Hospital - Associated Laboratories and Research Interests

Maryfield Hospital - Combined Department

Maryfield Hospital - Combined Department

Dundee Royal Infirmary (D.R.I.) 1940s and 50s

Dundee Royal Infirmary Surgery Department 1960 - 67

Dundee Royal Infirmary (D.R.I.) 1960s and 70s

Dundee Ninewells Hospital

Stracathro Hospital

Bridge of Earn Hospital & Perth Infirmary


Edinburgh Royal College of Physicians Laboratory

Edinburgh University

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in the 1920s

Accommodation and Methods in the 1920s and 1930s

Photographs from the 1920s and 1930s

RIE in the 1930s and 1940s

RIE in the 1950s

RIE Methods in the 1950s

RIE - 1960s to the present

RIE - Toxicology Laboratory

RIE - Endocrinology Research Unit

Royal Hospital for Sick Children - Edinburgh

Edinburgh Northern Hospital Group

Bangour and Livingston Hospitals


Fife Area Laboratories


Glasgow - University

Glasgow - Royal Hospital for Sick Children

Glasgow - Royal Infirmary - 1920s to mid 1960s

Glasgow - Royal Infirmary - mid 1960s to present

Glasgow Royal Infirmary - Endocrine Unit

Glasgow - Belvedere, Duke Street, Royal Mat., etc

Glasgow - Southern General Hospital / Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

Glasgow - Stobhill General Hospital

Glasgow - Victoria Infirmary

Glasgow - Western Infirmary & Gartnavel General Hospital

Glasgow Biochemists' Club

The John King Award

Photos from Gemmell Morgan's Retiral Meeting

Other Glasgow Photographs


Raigmore Hospital


Lanarkshire - The First Laboratories

Lanarkshire - Law and Wishaw General Hospitals

Lanarkshire - Hairmyres Hospital

Lanarkshire - Monklands General Hospital

Lanarkshire - Other Hospital Laboratories

Stirling & Falkirk

Stirling and Falkirk Hospital Laboratories