About Donald Kay

The name DONALD KAY is synonymous with engraving and crystal. Donald Kay served his apprenticeship as a glass cutter for Edinburgh Crystal back in 1972. After completing eight years, he decided to branch out on his own. He spent several years furthering his own experience and teaching others the art of engraving. In 1987 he founded Burn’s Crystal and then Claddagh Glass in 1997. He has an impressive customer list, including the Queen at Balmoral, for which he has received letters complimenting him on his work and service. Other customers include the QE2 and many other super liners as well as British Airways, United Distillers, Irish Distillers, the Sheriff of Dublin, and many golf Open Championships, including the 2002 at Muirfield. Tam O'Shanter Crystal were commissioned by A.O.L to supply the Awards for the top event at the Gleneagles Equestrian Centre. Over the last 6 years Donald Kay has also supplied giftware for the largest Burns Supper in the world - the "West Sound Burns Supper"






Donald didn’t start out to race side cars, he stood in for his brother. After the first race he was hooked.



He has raced all over Britain from Knockhill to Brands Hatch and Ireland to the Isle of Man. He raced against Jock Taylor, then the World Champion, and finished second at Knockhill in 1983. At the Isle of Man TT he had finishing positions of 21 and 23 out of a grid of over 90. He eventually gave up racing in 1987 following a fatal accident at Knockhill when his driver was killed and he was seriously injured, not for the first time. Just 4 months before he had come out of hospital after a bad accident at Oulton Park, having finished 3rd in the first race, they were lying second in the next race, set the fastest lap in the wet – which has still to be broken and then at 500 yards before the finish, outbreaked Des Founds and passenger to take the lead but in doing so the throttle stuck open, they aquaplaned on water and went straight into the crash barrier. At this point he was pronounced dead at the side of the track. Thankfully the track marshals brought him back to life After 4 months physio and intensive training he went back to race in the Isle of Man finishing 21st out of 90 . In 1984 he was racing with Jack Gordon of Eclipse M/ C when they were involved in a Fatal accident in which Jack died and Donald fractured his leg in 3 places .After this he retired and eventually set up Burns Crystal.


Where it all began for Donald....
Donald helping out at a whisky tasting at the inaugural "Burns an a' that" festival in Culzean Castle









Sidecar racing’s loss was Scottish crystal engraving’s gain as it was while lying in his hospital bed following the second accident that he made the life changing decision to give up racing and redirect his energies into setting up his own crystal engraving business.


And in 2007 Donald & Jack Muldoon were invited back to take part in the isle of Man Centenary lap , only 28 sidecars from all those years of racing and they were the 28th sidecar











Donald is the proud father of two grown up children, Stevie and Jeni, and lives in Ayr.