Thursday, September 15, 2022

British Beef Week, Day 7 - Scott of London, aka Tom Nicoll, the Stealth Scotsman

Thomas Nicoll (better known as Tom) was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1932.  Beyond that, 
I was able to find out very little about his early life.  By the late 1950s, however, he had moved
 to London and taken up physique photography using the trade name Scott of London.  Not 
surprisingly, it was quite typical at the time for purveyors of beefcake photos to not use their 
legal name.  In Nicoll's case he used one that was a tip of the hat to his Scottish nationality.  
Here is a 1965 photo with more biography to follow:

I found this on the Tom of Finland website listed as a self-portrait of Tom Nicoll, but to me it looks more like John Tristram, a bodybuilder-model whom Scott of London was known to have photographed.  Two photos of John appear in today's series.  Compare them and see what you think. Like Tristram, Nicoll emigrated to the USA, specifically San Francisco.  Before that, however, he brought Tom of Finland on a 1964 visit to London.  In Tom of Finland's memoire, he describes how he was amazed by Scott's ability to walk through Hyde Park and talk handsome men into posing nude for him.  The Finnish Tom was even considering moving from Helsinki to London to enjoy the more liberal social atmosphere when the other Tom announced his intention to move to America.  That ended the Finn's plan, but only after Scott commissioned a set of drawings.  After arriving in the USA, Tom Nicoll either adopted an entirely new trade name or gave up physique photography because even after exhaustive searches, I haven't been able to find any work by him after 1965.  The Social Security Death Index says he died in 1991.



  1. Tom Nicoll and Scott of London are both new names to me so I'm looking forward to today's post..

    The 'self portrait' looks remarkably like John Tristram to me. If it is Mr. Nicholl then he could very easily have had a career posing for the camera rather than taking the photos.


    1. You'd think the Tom of Finland archive would have gotten that right. I suppose the autograph threw them off, but still . . .

  2. Now, that photograph is the perfect example of less is more with, ahem, knobs on.

  3. John Tristram posed for EVERYBODY = Lon, Kris, Mizer, Guyther, Togof, Warner, Caruso, French.
    -Rj in the IE

    1. Yes, he got around almost as much as Helmut Riedmeyer.

  4. Same guy, right down to the dimpled chin.

  5. That's the ever lovely John Tristram or I'm a straight guy