Helen (Elliott) HAMILTON passed away
It is with great sadness that the death of Helen HAMILTON (nee ELLIOTT) is announced. Honorary President of the Scottish Table Tennis Association, she passed away on Saturday 12th January 2013, sadly eight days before what would have been her 86th birthda
It is with great sadness that the death of Helen HAMILTON (nee ELLIOTT) is announced. Honorary President of the Scottish Table Tennis Association, she passed away on Saturday 12th January 2013, sadly eight days before what would have been her 86th birthday. She was born in Edinburgh on Thursday 20th January 1927.
Helen did not take up table tennis until she was 16 when she played for Dalry First Aid Post before moving on to Murrayfield. She then had a long association along with Bert KERR at the Gambit Club.
Only three years after taking up the sport, 1946 was the year everything took off when she won her first of 13 consecutive Women’s Singles Titles at the Scottish Open. She also won the Irish Open Women’s Singles Title in 1946. Helen gained her first Scottish cap in 1947 appearing in the World Championships in Paris where to her credit she reached the quarter finals of the women’s singles. In the 1948 World Championships held at Wembley in London, Helen again reached the quarter finals in the women’s singles.
Incredibly, partnered by Dora BEREGI of England, she also reached the final of the women’s doubles only to lose to Mrs V. THOMAS and Miss M. FRANKS of England. In Stockholm, Sweden, in 1949 Helen had a new experienced partner at the 16th World Championships in Gizelle FARKAS of Hungary. Helen became the first Scot to win a world title as she and Gizelle took the World Women’s Doubles Title (W.J. Pope Trophy). Again Helen made it to the quarter finals of the singles.
In 1950 Helen travelled to Budapest, Hungary and played with previous partner Dora BEREGI and retained her World Doubles Title. Helen also reached the quarter finals of the singles for the 4th consecutive year. The World University Games in 1955 took place in Warsaw, Poland where Helen teamed up with another World Champion Angelica ROZEANU to win the Women’s Doubles Title. Both Helen and Angelica contested the Women’s Singles final with 6 times World Champion Angelica coming out as the winner.
Thirteen is said to be unlucky for some but not for Helen in 1958 as she won her 13th consecutive Scottish Open Women’s Singles Title. During her playing career Helen coached at Butlins Holiday Camps during the summer months alongside Johnny LEACH. Skegness, Pithelli, Clacton, Bognor and Ayr were the holiday camps where they unearthed future table tennis talent between 1955 and 1973.
Women’s Doubles – Winner: Stockholm 1949, Budapest 1950 Finalist: Wembley 1948. Semi-final: Bombay 1952 Quarter-final: Utrecht 1955
Women’s Singles: Quarter-final: Paris 1947, Wembley 1948, Stockholm 1949, Budapest 1950, Bombay 1952
Mixed Doubles. Finalist: Utrecht 1955 Semi-final: Stockholm 1957. Quarter-final: Budapest 1950
Consolation Singles: Finalist Stockholm 1957
World University Games
Women’s Doubles: Winner Warsaw 1955 with Angelica Rozeanu
Women’s Singles Finalist Warsaw 1955
Women’s Singles: Quarter-final Budapest 1958
Women’s Doubles: Quarter-final Budapest 1958
Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships (Inaugural Event)
Women’s Doubles: Quarter-final Singapore 1971
Women’s Singles – Winner: Irish Open 1946, Welsh Open 1951, German Open 1955, Belgium Open 1957. Final: Irish Open 1947, Belgian Open 1946. SF: Welsh Open 1947 & 1954, Belgian Open 1958
Women’s Doubles – Winner: Belgian Open 1957 & 1958, Austrian Open 1958. Final: Irish Open 1947, Welsh Open 1947
Mixed Doubles – Winner: German Open 1955. Final: Irish Open 1947, Welsh Open 1947 & 1954, Belgium Open 1957
English Open – At the time was second in importance to the World Championships. The English Open was held at Wembley every year except 1953 and 1956 where they were held in Manchester.
Women’s Singles Women’s Doubles Mixed Doubles Winner 1949, 1950, 1958 1950, 1953 1950 (Victor BARNA), 1955 (Aubrey SIMONS) SF 1953, 1955, 1957 1949 1949, 1953 QF 1956 1957, 1958 1957, 1958 English Open Tournament Titles Event Women’s Singles Women’s Doubles Mixed Doubles Lancashire Open 1946,1949 1946,1949 1946 Empire News 1946 Merseyside Open 1947-1948 1953-1954 1948,1954 1948,1953 1954 Yorkshire Open 1948,1954 1954 1954 Home Counties Open 1953 1953 Birmingham Open 1954 1954,1956 South of England Open 1954,1956 1956 Gwent Open 1954 1955 1954 East Suburban Open 1955 Sussex Open 1955 Kent Open 1956 1956 1956 Midlands Open 1956 North East England Open 1956 1956 1956 East of England Open 1956 1956 North of England Open 1956 1956 1954,1956 Buckinghamshire Open 1956 1956 Essex Open 1957 1957 Scottish Events Open Singles Titles: Midlands Open 1947, EoS Open 1948 , NoS Open Open Doubles Title: EoS Open – 1949 with Bert KERR Women’s Singles Titles: EoS Open 1954, 1971, Lanarkshire Open 1954, WoS Open 1954 Women’s Doubles Titles: West of Scotland Open 1954, Meadowbank Open 1971 (Pat Ker) East of Scotland Open 1971 Mixed Doubles Titles West of Scotland Open 1954, Meadowbank Open 1971 Scottish Open
13 consecutive Women’s Singles Titles – 1945 to 1958
9 Women’s Doubles Titles: 6 with Elizabeth PITHIE, 3 with Helen HOULISTON
6 Mixed Doubles Titles: 5 with Bert KERR, 1 with Johnny MILLER Scottish National Championships (Closed) Women’s Singles Titles 1954 – 1956 – 1957 – 1958 – 1961 Women’s Doubles Titles 1954 – 1956 – 1957 – 1958 – 1961
4 with Helen Houliston – 1 with M. JULINS Mixed Doubles Titles 1954, 1957, 1958, 1961, 3 with Bert KERR – 1 with Ian BARCLAY On many other occasions Helen reached the latter stages of all these events listed and are far too many to record here.
Helen was nominated President of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Federation twice in 1997 and 2008
(courtesy Scottish Table Tennis Association)
Photo: Helen Elliott HAMILTON