Our Memories of the Old School

Reminiscences

In July 2023 we posted on the local Strathblanefield FACEBOOK group asking people to share their memories of the old school. Here are some of the responses:

It’s so nice to create a bit of history about the old school. I was only there my first two years of school then sent to St Machans in Lennoxtown. I remember my first day at school and the lesson being. The cat sat on the mat! I also remember  one boy crying for his mummy the whole morning but won’t mention his name. We were sat in straight rows in classes of around 40 children. At that time  1959/60 a lot of children in the school lived in Milndavie Crescent ….a brand new housing scheme with young families. A great exciting time for us all. We walked up the track and down towards the Co op at station road in all weathers. Most of us walked back home for lunch and back to school in the afternoon, then home again. The belt was a common occurrence for the simplest of reasons. Changed days. I don’t remember much about the teachers. I was one of four Warner children. I had twin brothers 11 months older than me and a younger sister and we all went to Blanefield primary in our early years. My youngest brother went to school in the new Strathblane Primary School.

J…… C……. do you remember in P2 before I was bussed off to Lennoxtown? We sat on the big radiator to heat up and we got the belt. My god I had never felt pain like it. You told me to heat my hands up on the heater and it wouldn’t be sore.

Patricia Madill – (via FACEBOOK)

I was at this school, I think it was 1964 when I started, was there till we went to the new school. We all marched all the way down the pipe track to it. I was in P2 then. The old school was great, out side toilets at the end of the playground, the girls were down the stairs at their playground. Great days. We all walked to school in all weather not like now where they all get dropped off in a car we were harder in those days. I got the belt every school day.

Johnny britton – (via FACEBOOK)

I was a pupil from 1957 to 1959 and then again from 1962 to 1964. I lived in Station Road, so at that time I was probably the nearest to the school apart from the Headmaster’s sons. I remember skipping rope games in the lower playground, having to go to the girl’s outside toilet block in all weathers, the frozen milk being thawed out by the radiators in winter, the whole of P7 getting the belt for some misdemeanour, although I can’t remember what. No school uniform in those days, we just wore ordinary clothes.
My mother was a pupil in the early 1930’s and I have a class photo from that time.
Mr Shackleton, the lollipop man, lived in Ballewan Crescent and had made his lawn into a putting green, and I spent many an afternoon after school playing on it.

Sarah Beck – (via FACEBOOK)

I had my arm broken behind that door! Was being chased by Baldy’s son and he pinned me behind the door and squeezed a bit too hard, remember this old school well, in P1 I started off picking up my pencil in my left hand, had this knocked out of me with the sharp end of a ruler every time I picked it up. Lots of fun in that playground, “statues”, “what’s the time Mr Wolf”, conkers.

stuart mckellar – (via FACEBOOK)

We lived in Strathblane and walked to school in all weathers, trudging through snow in wellie boots . ‘Lollypop man ‘ was a Mr Shackleton, I think .

Next door to the dinners was primaries 3 and 4 with lovely Mrs Mathie . She lived on Old Mugdock Road just before the Swanies Pond. Had currant bushes we used to go pick them for her.
Memories indeed !

Margaret has also sent us this poem in which she remembers the school:

The Valley of The Blane!

My soul misses you with your beauty so plain
My heart it is aching with a terrible pain
Dumgoyne sits proudly against the skyline
Jenny has smoke but not when the winds fine
Gowk Stane has stories abundant to tell
The Dookie to paddle when the sun spins its spell
Sheep in the fold as we dance through the fields
On our way to Abbies for the fun that it yields
The two ‘Bobbies’ keeping an eye on us
Carefully watching but never a fuss
Mrs Jollys’ cottage at the foot of the glen
Best ‘goosegogs’ I’ve tasted since I don’t know when
An occasional view of the Northern Lights
A privilege to behold such a wonderful sight
The school was in Blanefield, a wee walk away
Was ok when the farmers were baling the hay
The cold winters day with hail, rain and snow
Our socks held with garters, some pain don’t you know
Wellies to keep our small feet from the wet
Caused chaffing on legs so cold, don’t you fret
We walked round the football field then up the track
Having waved to the train as we turned to look back
To Annie Bones’ wee shop we often went
A nice sweetie shop where our money was spent
A beautiful world such a long time ago
Such privilege in beautiful surroundings to grow
I ache for the place I once called home
It holds you and keeps you, had I only known
The place of my birth it calls even now
So loose tre en vi, ges with the campsi o plough
Are now tangled together with a proudly strong might
Strathblane and Blanefield my heart is with you
The place of my birth granted only a few!

margaret holland – (via FACEBOOK)

I went to the school. Can’t say I’ve got many happy memories. Baldy Allan was a horror. Mrs Dawson from Milngavie was a lovely teacher. My grandmother was Mrs Love the dinner lady. Was in Wood Place till we all moved to “new houses” in Milndavie Crescent.

ann grimm – (via FACEBOOK)

Went there P1 Mrs Reid before going to the new school, where I also got the belt from Baldy in P2, as did half the school for going to the bridge, at lunch time, being built over the burn at Kirkburn Road and bringing back load of mud to school.
Remember conker trees in the play ground and spliting my head open on a giant metal radiator in the class room. The canteen was a separate building above the playground. The lollipop man was Mr Shackleton. Followed by Butch Hockswall. Walked all the way to school from Strathblane. No getting dropped off/picked by car up in those days.

cam gibson -(via FACEBOOK)

To be honest I don’t really have many memories of the old school, other than developing a life long fear of dentists! Even hypnotherapy at the Dental Hospital couldn’t resolve the issue! It didn’t help that the Parish Minister was on his regular visits the day I suffered most and my mother was horrified when I was sick everywhere and only just missed the minister!

Ian Wright

The school was named Strathblane Public School which annoyed me greatly as I was born in Station Road “Blanefield”. I was to find out later the reason being we were in the Parish of Strathblane. The headmaster was Mr McAllister followed by Mr Allen.

  When they had to leave the class, the fun would begin, and I was chased by the boys with an adder which  was kept in a glass jar in a preserving liquid. It had been found in the field behind the canteen. These incidents have left me with a phobia about snakes. I can’t even look at them on television. The biggest culprit was Murray O’Donnel, when he decided to grace us with his presence.

Gym was held  in the canteen which was at the very top, where lunch was served by Granny Love.
We had a seperate playground and toilets for boys and girls, where we would swing on the rafters,
play “What’s the time Mr Wolf.” and collect conkers (chestnuts) in the Autumn, which we put on a piece of string and banged our opponents’ until they were smashed and we had won. 

The boys played football at playtime, one called Peter brought a tin of condensed milk, with a tin opener and a teaspoon which he left on a ledge. He never caught me, he must have thought he had eaten more than he had.

The Co-op was where Chillies is, and the Co-op hall was behind it.
Willie Linning was the manager, he would allow us to have a penny’s worth of broken biscuit (when we had one.) I am sure he looked the other way when I slipped a chocolate one into the paper bag.

We had a lollipop man from Ballewan Crescent in later years.
 
The teachers were lovely, we had a very happy childhood with lots of fond memories of Blanefield School.

margaret mcintyre
Wiillie Wallace & Sandra McIntyre on the way to their first day at school in 1952.

This is me with Sandra McIntyre in 1952. I think we were walking up Station Road to begin our first day at school. My family lived in Burnside Row [a three-storey tenement in Station Road, now demolished] and the McIntyres lived in the attic. I remember I wasn’t very keen on the idea of school and it didn’t grow on me!

WILLIE WALLACE

My mother Muriel Mathie was a teacher there for a few years and my younger sister Helen was there too. It was in the late fifties. Our family came to live in Strathblane in 1956 from a suburb of London and a small rural school like Blanefield was a very different experience for them both. My mother had done her teacher training in England and her qualifications were not fully recognised in Scotland so her salary was affected accordingly. I remember the trouble she took over the preparation of lessons and marking the children’s books in the evenings. She enjoyed teaching, and took a real interest in the children as individuals

Sylvia Armstrong

Did you go to school here in the old school at the top of Station Road? If so we’d love to hear your memories and stories to add to our website. What games did you play in the playground? What did you wear? How did you get to school? What is your best memory……or your worst memory?
Do you have any photographs?

If you would like to add your own memories to the website please contact us here:

Contact Us

You can read about the history of the old school here: School (1716 – 1966)

You can see class pictures from the old school here : Our Class Photos from the Old School and here School – Class Photos

More

Our Class Photos from the Old School

Here are some wonderful class photographs sent to us for the website, with the contributor's comments below each. We won't be posting full lists of the pupils with each each picture, but some comments identify the contributor's family members in the older photos. Do...

Growing up in Strathblane in the 1950s & 60s by Donald Macintyre

Early Days I was not born in the village but in Salisbury House, Campsie Glen. My dad was a native of Strathblane, being born in Milndavie House. My mum was born at Little Gala near Biggar but came to Ballagan Farm when her father took over the tenancy there in about...

Ladies Scottish Climbing Club

The Ladies Scottish Climbing Club was founded in 1908, by these three women, at a boulder near the Lix Toll in Perthshire. https://www.ladiesscottishclimbingclub.org/history/ At our vintage film night in January 2023 we showed a film made in 1958 to commemorate the...

This Is Our Parish 1957 -1958 by Harry & Helen Arnold

This Is Our Parish 1957 -1958 is based on footage taken by Harry and Helen Arnold during this period. It is three parts. The first is a comprehensive view of life in the Parish focussing on all aspects, from the road sweepers to the trades people and the doctor, the...

The Campsies and the Land of Lennox by Iain C Lees

Extracts from The Campsies and the Land of Lennox by Iain C Lees, describing walks around Strathblane. (Blackie & Sons, Glasgow, 1933) Secrets of the Campsie Fells The rich valley of the Blane, which can be traced to its junction with Strathendrick, is the finest...

Strathblane Between the Wars by Helen Lillie

Extract from A New Kind of Life by Helen Lillie (Argyll Publishing, 1999) When they were first married, my parents lived on Cecil Street in the West End of Glasgow which I know my mother hated. I remember nothing of that period because as soon as she could, she...

Local Hero: Private James Norval Paul MM & Bar

On 2 May 1919 the people of Strathblane gathered to honour a local hero. They presented an inscribed gold watch to local gamekeeper James Norval Paul “in recognition of his gallantry”.  Around 115,000 non-commissioned men who fought in the First World War were...

Missing Men

For various reasons, a number of men from the parish fell in the First World War yet are not commemorated on the War Memorial. These men are also therefore only briefly mentioned in "A Village Remembers", a book about the men commemorated on Strathblane War Memorial...

A Village Remembers: Strathblane First World War Project

Families of some of the men on the memorial A Village Remembers (pdf)Download Contents Foreword by the Wright family Introduction by Anne Balfour (nee Johnstone) Jack Barr, inventor’s son Robert Blair, gardener James Cartwright, joiner William Cartwright, storeman...

Rambles Round Glasgow by Hugh MacDonald (1854)

Hugh MacDonald was a Scottish journalist, poet and author from Glasgow. He wrote for the newspaper the Glasgow Citizen for many years under the pen name 'Caleb'. He is best known for his book Rambles Round Glasgow, published in 1854 by Thomas Murray and Son....