Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Robert Newlands, teacher in Tongue

Robert Newlands from the parish of Closeburn and Grace Forbes from the manse at Tongue were married on 5 February 1836; in a petition to the Duke of Sutherland in September 1837 he referred to the time before his marriage when he was first in Tongue as 'finding himself after school hours desperately solitary in a solitary house and place, and so he took to himself a help-meet.' Robert had been baptised 9 March 1805 at Closeburn, Dumfries, son of Robert Newlands and Marrion Carruthers. A brother David was baptised on 7 April 1807. Robert Newlands the teacher died December 1854 in Tongue.

Parish schoolmasters were usually session clerk as well, and almost always precentor. The first minutes of Tongue kirk (church) session to have Robert Newlands' signature were dated 21 January 1836. He remained session clerk up to the last minuted meeting before the Disruption in 1843, when the Free Church separated from the Church of Scotland. I seem to recollect that he was one of the first Trustees of the Free Church congregation at Strathtongue. In the September 1837 petition, he asked the Duke of Sutherland for a small lot of land. He said it was very expensive to buy milk and food in the area, and that he was very poor. He asked for the small lot to keep a cow, which would enable him to take in boarders. Just after the Disruption, on 30 June 1843, the minister of Tongue, Rev Hugh Mackay Mckenzie wrote to the duke to say that having left the parish for the Free Church he had taken a room from the parochial teacher 'which I conceived he might as well let to me as to any other.' He remarked that it was being said that the duke would punish Robert Newlands for letting him the room, but he hoped not (and the duke did not).

On 15 November 1843, Robert Horsburgh the factor wrote to James Loch the duke's Agent telling him of a visit he and the new minister - confusingly also called Hugh Mackenzie - made to the parochial school, where a Sunday School was being held. Newlands as one of the teachers of the Sunday School had been told by the new minister that he was going to visit. This clearly had given the seceders an opportunity to cause trouble. As soon as the new minister had ended the opening prayer, all the older children walked out. Horsburgh deduced that this was the result of a premeditated plan in which Robert Newlands was involved. Horsburgh the factor clearly did not get on with Newlands, at this point at least. He told the duke that if the Free Church was allowed to put up a school at Strathtongue, the parochial school would be emptied, and commented 'this would not trouble Newlands - the fees are a trifle, and he might prefer to draw his pay and do nothing.'

On 14 September 1844, Newlands told Horsburgh that his pupils during July and August were 60 on the roll, with an average attendance of 45. In 1845 both Rev Hugh Mackay McKenzie and his son Rev William McKenzie - now of course Free Church ministers - died in the schoolhouse at Braetongue. Free Church propaganda made out this was a poor hut, when in fact the building was fairly newly built and quite substsantial, with two extra rooms for boarders. The same year, an Act of Parliament introduced a new method of supporting the poor, drawing on an assessment on the duke and the tenants. Parochial boards were to administer the scheme locally, with an Inspector of the Poor acting for them in each parish. In March 1849, Robert Newlands was appointed Inspector of the Poor for Tongue at a salary of £40. He was also for a time Clerk to the Board. In 1854, another statute set in motion the official registration of births, marriages and deaths, with a Registrar in each parish. Robert Newlands was appointed for Tongue. In May 1854, Robert Newlands resigned as Inspector and Clerk to the Parochial Board. The following year his widow Grace took over a tenancy in Modsary, which at that time had been resettled.
information from Margaret McKay

There was a new school proposed with plans drawn up in 1874. You can read a little more about this HERE.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Robert Bruce, schoolmaster in Clyne

Robert Bruce was born in Wick, Caithness, circa 1822. He became a schoolmaster in Clyne.
On the night of Thursday 21st ult some wanton individuals attcked the parochial school house of Clyne occupied by Mr Robert Bruce, parochial teacher and his sister. The micreants drove two large stones through the window of a room on the ground floor, which after smashing three panes of glass, struck and severely wounded Miss Bruce, to the danger of her life, while she was asleep in her bad. The guilty parties have not been detected. A reward of twenty guineas has been offered to anyone who will give such information to their apprehension and conviction”. (Ross-shire Advertiser 18/12/1844)

This young lady (Miss Bruce) still lies in a very dangerous state of health, in consequence of the injuried then sustained – so much so, that her mdeical attendants cannot yet report her out of danger” (John O’Groat’s Journal following week).

In 1850 Robert married Elizabeth Mackay who was born in Kildonan. They had a family.

In 1853 Robert Bruce, schoolmaster, Clyne, at the age of 31, was subject "to a precognition for the crime of breach of trust and embezzlement in 1853" (NAS AD14/35/10). It should be noted that precognition means this case was considered for prosecution - it may or may not have become a court case.

Soon after this Robert and Elizabeth with their children moved south to Lanarkshire. I have yet to find him in the 1861 census but in 1871 Robert, now 48 years old, was a schoolmaster living at Bellshill Road Schoolhouse, Bothwell, Lanarkshire. Elizabeth may have died as she does not appear in this or the following census. In 1881 Robert was shown at the Established Church School in Bothwell. I cannot find him anywhere in Scotland in 1891.

Their youngest daughter Elizabeth Mackay Bruce, known as Eliza, was born in Bothwell in 1860. She returned to Sutherland where she appears to have lived with her uncle Donald Mackay. She died in 1907 at Greenpark, Kildonan where she was a music teacher. She is buried in Helmsdale.

Armadale School, Farr

1835 Strathy and Armadale ledger shows under Annuities and gratuities: John Macdonald schoolmaster for ½ years salary £16 fifteen shillings and seven pence.
Advertising for schoolmaster in Scottish Guardian - 11 shillings
(Sutherland Estate Papers)

Melvich School, Farr

31 October 1831, Melvich School House Repaired
To William Munro carpenter.
For work performed in Melvich schoolhouse. Contract price for repairs £12.
Extras - 1 new door including lock and hinge @ 16 shillings
Small gate and hinge @ seven shillings and sixpence
Room shutters and hangings @ six shillings and sixpence
A chimney frame @ four shillings
1 form for school from Alex Cooper @ four shillings and sixpence
Total £13.18 shillings and sixpence
(Sutherland Estate Papers)

Strathy School, Farr

January 28 1831 - school house repaired
Account for repairing the schoolhouse of Strathy pre order of Mr Horsborough Jan 1831.
To paid:
2 men 2 days cutting rashes @ 1 shilling and sixpence and 6 shillings
1 man with cart to and from Bighouse @ one shilling
3 men 1 day thatching @ four shillings and sixpence
2 men 1 cutting and carrying feal for thatching @ three shillings
heather trimming at six shillings and sixpence
By cash per Mr Leslie £1. 1 shilling.
signed by Alex Fraser

(Sutherland Estate Papers)

Bursary Winners 1898

Glasgow Herald, 2nd August 1898
The Governors of the Trust for Education in the Highland and Islands of Scotland send us the following results of the recent examination for bursaries offered by the governors:

County Sutherland:

George M Mackay, Golspie Public School
Angus Baillie, Clyne Public School
Kenneth Campbell, Lairg Public School
Alexander Sutherland, Clyne Public School
John Maclennan, Rogart Public School
Lizzie G Murray, Dornoch Public School
Mary Sutherland, Dornoch Public School
Alexanderina Mackay, Lairg Public School
Annie V Macdonald, Dornoch Public School
Christina Gow, Clyne Public School

Mr Thomas Fraser, M.A.

There passed away on Thursday last (February 1900) at Fleurs, near Elgin, (Morayshire) on of the most venerable educationists in the north, who, when in his prime was recognised as a most successful and distinguished teacher, and who was an ornament to his profession. We refer to Mr Thomas Fraser, M.A., who was born at Leylands, Auldern, Nairn, in the year 1813 and was consequently in his 87th year.

The late Mr Fraser received his elementary education and also his introduction to the classics at Auldearn Public School and he passed direct from it to Aberdeen University where he graduated with the degree of M.A. in 1834. He was first appointed to Rogart Public School, Sutherland, where he taught for some years with much zeal and gave promise of attaining an eminent place in the profession he had chosen.

When the Disruption came in 1843 great changes took place in the schools throughout the country as well as the churches and Mr Fraser was called upon to join the National Church of Scotland - - - - - but he declined. The Parish School of Golspie becoming vacant at this time the Duke of Sutherland, who had formed a high opinion of the energetic young teacher of Rogart offered to place this more important school at his disposal and the offer was accepted.

At Golspie Mr Fraser - - - - - - brought a large proportion of the pupils to advanced states in Classics and in Mathematics - - - - - -. A visitor said “His Grace had expressed to me his high opinion of Mr Fraser’s merits as a teacher and what I witnessed in the school fully justified the expectations I had been led to entertain. I saw a class of young Highland lads and lasses well drilled in Greek and translating Homer as accurately and with as much good taste as the young men with the highest advantages in the best Edinburgh academies”.

Mr Fraser taught in Golspie for 30 years. He left a family of four daughters and one son.
(Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 7th February 1900)

See also Golspie School 1840/46

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Strath Oykel school, Creich

This is the old school in Strathoykel, Creich, which was affectionately known as the Oykel University. My grandfather Christopher Ross born 1884 and his siblings are supposed to have attended it. They lived at both Salachy in Glenoykel and Caplich.

Andy Ross

Note: Caplich, Glenoykel, etc., was sometimes known as Rosehall, Creich.

Can anyone tell us anything about this little school? There were a considerable number of people living in this area so presumably many kids went through this school.

Any information most welcome.


Armadale, Farr, Class of When??

We need your help here. This school photograph was taken at Armadale school, Farr - we do not know when and also have no names for the pupils.

Thanks to Cathy Wagner for submitting the pic.

If you can help you can find my email address at the foot of all pages on our main site www.countysutherland.co.uk


Armadale, Farr, Class of 1931

We need your help here. This school photograph was taken at Armadale school, Farr in 1931 but we have no names for the pupils.

Thanks to Cathy Wagner for submitting the pic.

If you can help you can find my email address at the foot of all pages on our main site www.countysutherland.co.uk


Armadale, Farr, Class of 1933

This school photograph was taken at Armadale school, Farr in 1933 but we do not have names for all the pupils. If you can add any please get in touch.
By clicking on the pic you will see a larger version of it.

Back row
1. unknown 2.Bill Munro 3. Hugh Cook 4. John Munro 5. unknown 6. unknown 7. Neil Mackay

Front 1. unknown 2. Margaret Sutherland 3.Teacher 4. Ciss Mackay 5. Kitty Mackay (Sisters) 6. Angus Macdonald

Thanks to Cathy Wagner for submitting the pic.

If you can help you can find my email address at the foot of all pages on our main site www.countysutherland.co.uk


Armadale, Farr, Class of 1937

We need your help here. This school photograph was taken at Armadale school, Farr in 1937 but we have no names for the pupils.

Thanks to Cathy Wagner for submitting the pic.

If you can help you can find my email address at the foot of all pages on our main site www.countysutherland.co.uk


Thursday, 20 November 2008

Golspie School 1840 - 1846

17th April 1840
Golspie School – the examination of this excellent seminary took place on the 26th ult., at which the Rev. A Macpherson of this place, and the Rev. J. Campbell of Kildonan were the examiners. In every branch the scholars acquitted themselves in a manner such as reflected great credit on them and their teacher, as well as their parents, a great many of the latter of whom were present. Such was the regularity and accuracy, notwithstanding the smallness of the school that every tongue was loud in praise of the manner in which matters were managed.

23rd April 1841
Examination of the School of Golspie
The annual examination of this school taught by Mr John Thomson took place on the 6th inst., in presence of the Rev. Messrs, Macpherson, Golspie; Mackenzie, Rogart and a number of the parents of the children, as also others interested in the education of youth. The pupils acquitted themselves, as usual, to the admiration of all present; and the Rev. Mr Mackenzie, in addressing them expressed himself highly pleased and gratified with their attainments, which reflected equal credit on themselves and their indefatigable teacher. On the following day, a committee of the parishioners met in the school-house and presented Mr Thomson with a copy of “Henry’s Commentary on the Bible” handsomely bound, and also an elegant Silver watch and appendage, bearing the following inscription – “Presented to Mr John Thomson, Schoolmaster of Golspie, by the Parishioners and others interested in the education of youth, in testimony of their sense of his zeal and efficiency as a teacher”.

27th May 1842
Miss Miller’s school in Golspie was recently examined by appointment of the Presbytery of Dornoch with much attention and the result was very satisfactory. The branches taught by Miss Miller are English reading and grammar, writing, arithmetic, history and geography, French, music, drawing, flowering, coloured work and white seam. Her pupils exhibited very satisfactory and promising specimens of their progress, shewing (sic) on the part of Miss Miller, much attention and industry, united with a very good method.

10th April 1846
The Free Church School of Golspie underwent a searching examination on Tuesday, the 31st ultimo, by the Rev. Messrs Mackenzie, Golspie and Macdonald, Helmsdale. We notice the English reading first, on account of its excellence – both the pronunciation and inflection were very accurate. In geography the scholars displayed not only an intimate acquaintance with the places, but a very extensive knowledge of the historical incidents connected with them. The grammar was admirable; and the arithmetic, if possible better. In arithmetic no slates were used, the classes being examined only on its principles. We could perceive that the scholar of the highest class were a good deal disappointed on being told that want of time prevented their being examined on chemistry, which Mr Thomson has taught them gratuitously for the last six months. On the whole, the children acquitted themselves in a manner highly creditable to themselves and their teacher.

Sourced by Elizabeth Bell from the Inverness Courier and other newspapers of the day.

See also Mr Thomas Fraser, M.A.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Achlyness School, Eddrachillis, Class of 1934

Back row - left to right
Hugh Munro, John Corbett, Norman Macleod, Willie Campbell, George Falconer, Miss Barbara Mackay, teacher in charge of school.

Front row: Vida Campbell, Norah Campbell, Mary Campbell, Effie Campbell, Christina Corbett, Mina Campbell and Joey Falconer.

Willie Campbell is the father of one of our members Marie Hembrow. His sisters Norah and Mary are also in the photograph.

Drumbeg School, Assynt, Sutherland

The Class of 1910/11
This photograph was donated by Sandra Perry.

Head Teacher on left :Mr John Cameron ( came in March 1911 )
Assistant on right : Miss H MacKenzie

Taken in summer - note bare feet

BACK ROW left to right:
Kenny Graham, Duart Nedd; Hugh Ross, Nedd; John Macleod, Drumbeg Missionary; Hughina Macleod, Drumbeg; Williamina Macleod, Culkein Caplach; Jessie Stewart, Nedd; David Macaulay, Oldany; Kenny Matheson, Drumbeg; Hughie Morrison, Culkein

2ND ROW left to right: Dolly Macdonald, Culkein; Hughina Macdonald, Culkein; Sarah Graham, Drumbeg; Cathel Munro, Nedd; ? Colman, Drumbeg at Cavies; Murdo Alick Macleod, Drumbeg; Willie Munro, Drumbeg; Donald MacLeod, Drumbeg Missionary; Neil Matheson, Drumbeg; Murdo Kerr, Nedd; Murdo Macleod, Drumbeg Missionary; Katy Ann Ross, Nedd; Mary Ann Macleod, Culkein; Peggy Munro, Drumbeg; Connie Macrae, Nedd

THIRD ROW; Peggy Macleod, Drumbeg; Katie Munro, Nedd; Hughina Morrison, Culkein; Hughina Stewart, Nedd; Maggie Ross, Nedd; Jessie MacAulay, Oldany; Ian Ross, Nedd; Lexy Macdonald, Culkein; Dolly Macleod, Drumbeg; Babbie Munro, Nedd; Nellie Macleod, Culkein; Katie Graham, --- [ Auchaloisk per original txt file]; Maggie Macleod, Culkein; Katie Ann Morrison, Culkein; Bella Macaulay, Oldany; Annie Munro, Drumbeg; Connie MacKenzie (teacher)

4th ROW'; Katie Ross, Drumbeg; Nina Macdonald, Drumbeg; Alice Graham, Drumbeg; Flora Campbell, Nedd; Jessie Munro, Drumbeg; Cathie Macleod, Duart Nedd; Dolly Graham, Drumbeg; Mary Ann Macleod, Drumbeg Missionary; Annie Macleod, Culkein; Wilhelmina Macleod, Culkein Polcaple

FRONT ROW; Donnie Murdo Macleod, Drumbeg; Rory Macleod, Duart Nedd; Donald Macleod, Drumbeg - Punch; Alick Ross, Drumbeg; Murdo MacLeod. Mudie; John Macdonald, Drumbeg - Hen; Duncan Macleod, Culkein; John Kerr, Nedd

Dux Medalists in East Sutherland Schools

A Dux Medal is awarded in Scotland to the pupil whose academic achievements are the highest in a class, subject or school. Each year each county has a different design and motto.

Some Sutherland winners of the dux gold medal are:

1925 – Miss Eleanor O. Armstrong, Helmsdale H.G. School, Kildonan
1926 – Miss Georgina I. Campbell, Golspie Secondary School
1927 – John M. Morrison, Dornoch Academy
1928 – Margaret C. A. Macdonald, Golspie Secondary School
1929 – Agnes F. Macleod, Helmsdale H.G. School
1930 – Annie S. Fraser, Golspie Scondary School
1931 – Donald A. C. Grant, Dornoch Academy
1932 – Hamish N. Munro, Bonar-Bridge Public School, Creich
1933 – Donald Calder, Dornoch Academy
1934 – Christina A. Simpson, Bonar-Bridge Public School
1935 – Ruby I. Budge, Dornoch Academy
1936 – Margaret O. Will, Dornoch Academy

A happy ceremony was performed in Dornoch Academy gymnasium yesterday, when Miss Margaret O. Will, Bishopfield, (Dornoch) received the gold dux medal of the county from Rev. William Macleod, M.A., vice-chairman of Sutherland Education Committee. There was a large and representative gathering of the general public, in addition to members of the Education Committee, staff and pupils of the Academy.

Miss Will is the fifth Dornoch student of the Academy to receive the medal, and the signal honour gained has not only brought distinction to the recipient, but also to her teachers. Each and all are to be congratulated on their achievement.

Rev. John Macaskill, Kinlochbervie, chairman of the Education Committee, presided at the presentation ceremony, and as Miss Will came forward to accept the medal from Rev. Mr Macleod there was hearty and prolonged applause, smiling faces signifying that Miss Will was a popular and worthy winner.

The Chairman, in calling upon Rev. Macleod to hand over the medal, said that Mr Macleod was well known for his interest in the youth of the community. His contribution to education in the county was inestimable.

In presenting the medal Rev. Mr Macleod said:-
“Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, it is a very great pleasure to me to be asked to present the County medal to a scholar in Dornoch Academy. This ceremony is by no means an unusual one in this school, for, Sir, in the past few years we have met in this school again and again for the presentation of the medal. Last year Miss Ruby Budge of this school, won the medal, in 1934 Mr Donald Calder gained this distinction. Before then, Mr Donald Grant and Mr John Morrison brought this honour to the school. Indeed, ladies and gentlemen, a tradition is well-nigh established that the September meeting of the education Committee for the presentation of the Gold Dux Medal to the Dux of the County is held in Dornoch Academy. And, Sir, that tradition has been maintained right well this year also, for again the medal comes to a pupil of this school.

“Let me at the outset congratulate the Academy on adding another medallist to its roll of distinguished students. Ladies and gentlemen, however talented a scholar may be it requires the most competent instruction to develop the pupil’s ability, and bring out the power that is latent. To change the potential into the kinetic requires careful and skilful handling, especially in the realm of education". “The pupil who is today receiving the blue riband for scholarship in this county has been led to this distinction by her teachers and they share in her honour and success".

“But secondly let me, congratulate Miss Olive Will, the winner of the medal. It is true that recognition is due to the training that leads to distinction, but greater praise is due to the determined submission to the discipline of learning, to the diligence and to the application that pave the way to success. Olive Will has shown those qualities, and though it is dangerous to prophesy anything, I think I can venture to say that Olive’s success holds the promise of a brilliant future. I congratulate her, not only because of her achievement, but also because her success is a challenge and an inspiration to the scholars coming after her. The County medal has an inscription upon it and the motto is really in the nature of a battle-cry, “Leansa dhu ri clin do shinnsir.” You’ve all heard of the standard-bearer of the 10th Legion – how he put his heart into the faltering Romans when trying to land upon our shores, “If you do not want to see your eagle fall follow me.” That is something of the idea of the motto of the medal, and I, to-day, am glad that another pupil has raised the standard in this school to inspire others to more valiant efforts still to burnish the educational lustre of Dornoch Academy.

“And thirdly, and lastly, ladies and gentlemen, I wish to congratulate Olive’s mother, Mrs Will. Skilful instruction and native talent deserve recognition certainly, but we cannot forget that these must be seriously hindered unless scholars have the advantage of a keen home interest in their development. Who can gauge the value of the sympathetic interest of the home on the schooling of the young? Indeed, ladies and gentlemen, the contribution of the home to education is not recognised or utilised as it should be. I hope to see the day when the home and school will come much closer in the interests of education. A share of this honour to-day falls to the home, This will be a proud day in Mrs Will’s life and she deserves our congratulations on her daughter’s success.

“I have now the greatest pleasure in calling on Miss Olive Will, Dornoch, and in presenting her, in the name of the Sutherland Education Committee, the Gold Medal for 1936.”

Adapted from an article in the Northern Times October 1st, 1936.
Many thanks to Isabella Macgregor for the article.

Golspie School - some notes of interest

"In Golspie of 1851 education was neither compulsory nor free, but it was held in high regard. This is reflected in the very high proportion of children described as scholars. There were two schools in Golspie in 1851, one at the School house (head and one assistant) and the other associated with the Free Church (head and one assistant). The occupations listed for the masters of both schools suggest the main emphasis was on English, mathematics and the classics. Of the children between the ages of 5 and 14 in Golspie Town (excluding Fishertown) 56 of the 59 males are scholars as are 42 of the 56 females."

The above from Neil North, Australia, writing on his ancestor John Ross. He added that John Ross and all his siblings attended Golspie School. "We have many examples of his later letters to Newspapers in Australia and his English skill was very high. However his sister Margaret, who also attended school until 15, still signed her marriage certificate with a cross".

Golspie School 1890s

Teacher Miss Sellar.

Golspie School Prizegiving 1854

Golspie Prize List July 28th 1854

Master - Thomas Fraser A.M.
Pupil Teachers - Charles BAILLIE and James MUNRO

Homer - 3 books - George BANTOCK
Odes of Horace - George BANTOCK
Aenid - Alexander PETRIE
Caesar - Roderick MACKENZIE & J. R. MACIVER equal, John GUNN & Wm MACARTHUR equal
Delectus & Rudiments - Angus MACKAY, Duncan D. MACIVER, Alexander SUTHERLAND
Rudiments - William ROSS

French - Agnes A. BROWN, Catherine A. BAILLIE

History - Alex PETRIE, James R. MACIVER – girls Agnes BROWN, Catherine BAILLIE

Euclid & Algebra - George BANTOCK, Donald MACKAY
Arithmetic -2d Class John GUNN, Alex MACARTHUR - 3d Class Don. MACIVER, Magnus SMITH - 4th Class D. D. MACIVER, Alex SUTHERLAND - 5th Class Donald MUNRO

Writing - 2nd Class J. GUNN minor, William ROSS - 3rd Class Rod. LINDSAY, G. CUNNINGHAM - 4th Class Alexander ROSS

Geography -1st Class Alex PETRIE, William ROSS, girls Catherine BAILLIE, Agnes BROWN- 2nd Class Angus MACKAY, James J. HILL, D .D. MACIVER - 3rd Class Donald MUNRO, G. CUNNINGHAM

English -1st Class Catherine BAILLIE, Agnes BROWN, Alex PETRIE, J. R. MACIVER, John GUNN – extra Donald MACIVER, John MACINTOSH - 2nd Class Angus MACKAY, Donald MUNRO, D. D. MACIVER – Helen BURNETT, Christian MUNRO - 3rd Class Robert R. HILL, Jessie SUTHERLAND, Christine SMITH, Jane SUTHERLAND – extra, Bell MACKINTOSH, J. MACDONALD - 4th Class Mary BAILLIE, Sophy MACDONALD, Charles MORRISON, Alex MUNRO.

Initiatory - Ann TAIT, Betsy MACKAY, Amelia HILL, Thomas BARNETT, John MACKAY, William TAIT

Attention and Good Conduct - James MACIVER

This school will OPEN, after the Vacation, on Monday, the 28th day of August current. One or Two additional BOARDERS can still be accommodated.
Golspie August 1 1854.

See also 1855

Golspie School Prizegiving 1853


Greek - Homer & Xenophon - George BANTOCK
Latin - George BANTOCK, Virgil-Charles BAILLIE, Benjamin BANTOCK
Caesar - James MUNRO
French - Margaret BANTOCK
Euclid -six books - B.BANTOCK - two books, C. BAILLIE

Trigonometry & Mensuration - C. BAILLIE & A. ALEXANDER
Arithmetic - 2d Class, James MUNRO, Hugh MACKAY - 3d Class, Hugh WATSON, Margaret BANTOCK

Writing - 2d Class John GUNN, William ROSS ,A. GOODFELLOW - 3d Class Agnes BROWN, Catherine BAILLIE

Religious Knowledge - Alex. ALEXANDER

Geography -1st Class George BANTOCK, Charles BAILLIE - 2nd Class Hugh MACKAY, Margaret BANTOCK - 3rd Class Agnes BROWN, Catherine BAILLIE, A. GOODFELLOW

English - 1st Class - Catherine BAILLIE, Agnes BROWN, Jessie SMITH, John MACKINTOSH, Hugh WATSON, R. MACKENZIE, D. SUTHERLAND - 2nd Class Angus MACKAY, John GOODFELLOW, Alex SUTHERLAND, Betsy ALEXANDER, Barbara BAILLIE, James HILL, Jessie? SUTHERLAND - 3rd Class - Robert HILL, Jane SUTHERLAND - 4th Class Catherine GUNN, James BARNETT Initiatory - Alex. MUNRO

History & Composition - George BANTOCK, Charles BAILLIE

Best Reader -E? BANTOCK
Mental Arithmetic - J.MUNRO

Thomas FRASER, A.M., F.H.I.S., Master of the Golspie School, has excellent accommodation for Boarders, to whose Education the ............ will be paid.
7th April 1853.
CONTINUE to 1854

Golspie School Prizegiving 1855

Golspie School - Master-Thomas Fraser, A.M. Prize List, August 10th, 1855

Greek - Charles BAILLIE & James MUNRO
Latin - Charles BAILLIE & Alexander PETRIE
Aeneid -William MACARTHUR, James MACIVER & Roderick MACKENZIE - equal
Caesar -David R.CLARK
Delectus -Duncan D.MACIVER, Angus MACKAY.
2d Division -Hugh FERGUSON
Rudiments -Robert R. HILL & Alexander ROSS Minor

French -Boys, Alexander PETRIE - Girls, Agnes BROWN - 2d Class -John GUNN

Geography -1st Class -Alex PETRIE, Agnes BROWN - 2d Class, William ROSS, Magnus SMITH, G.CUNNINGHAM - 3d Class-Angus MACKAY, James HILL, Henry BAILLIE - 4th Class,
Robert HILL, Alexander ROSS - 5th Class -Chas. MORRISON, John MUNRO

English Grammar -1st Class - Jas. R. MACIVER, John GUNN - 2nd Class, Eric CLARKE, D.D. MACIVER, Angus MACKAY

Attention and Good Conduct -Donald MACKAY, Margaret FERGUSON

Euclid -Six Books -Charles BAILLIE, David R.CLARKE - Three Books, A.PETRIE, J.MUNRO
Algebra -Quadratics -D.R. CLARKE, D. MACKAY.
Mental Arithmetic-Alex. MACARTHUR, Hugh FERGUSON.
Arithmetic-1st Class, John GUNN - 2nd Class D. MACIVER - 3rd Class Alex SUTHERLAND - 4th Class Donald MUNRO

Writing -1st Class, W. MACARTHUR, A. MACARTHUR - 2nd Class, Jno. GUNN Minor, William ROSS, G. CUNNINGHAM - 3rd Class, Alex SUTHERLAND, Angus MACKAY - 4th Class, Alex ROSS, Robert HILL - Girls, Agnes BROWN, Catherine BAILLIE

English -1st Class, Alex PETRIE - Girls, Catherine BAILLIE - 2d Division -Angus MACKAY, Duncan MACIVER - 2d Class-Helen BURNETT, G.CUNNINGHAM, John MACRAE - 2d Division -Mackay SCOBIE, Rodk. LINDSAY - 3d Class -Mary BAILLIE, Johanna MACDONALD, Ann TAIT, Christina SMITH - Boys, Charles MORRISON, John MUNRO - 4th Class, Jane BAILLIE, William TAIT, Alexr. MUNRO, Thomas BURNETT, Ann MACRAE, Amelia HILL - 5th Class, Helen MUNRO, John MACDONALD - Initiatory Classes, Charles HILL, Jessie KENNEDY.

The School will be opened after the Vacation, on Monday, the 10th September next. There are vacancies for Three Boarders.
Golspie 13th August, 1855.

Hugh Fraser, Headmaster, Scourie School

Hugh MacKay Graham Fraser, Headmaster of Scourie School, Eddrachillis 1905 -1945

Hugh was born at Drumbeg, Assynt, in 1880, son of Robert Fraser and Dolina Graham.

He finished his schooling around 1895 at the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, and had been living with his uncle Jamie Graham who was said to be a piper at Stornoway Castle. In the 1901 census Hugh was living in the schoolhouse at Grimshader in the parish of Lochs, Isle of Lewis. His job was a teacher.

He was appointed Headmaster at Scourie in Sutherland on June 1st 1905. After being in that position for three years he was sent to further teacher training college in Glasgow, from 1908-1909.

He married Christina Morrison at The Castle, Inverness on 18th October 1928. His usual residence was at Scourie and his profession given as a Schoolmaster.

In December 1932 Hugh was appointed as the Registrar at Scourie. He was also a Justice of the Peace.

In 1936 he was awarded the MBE (Medal of the British Empire), the certificate signed by Queen Mary (wife of King George V) and King Edward VIII who abdicated. Photograph shows Hugh on the day of the presentation.

During the Second World War he was also Receiver of Wreck for West Sutherland.

He retired in the October of 1945 and moved from Scourie to Dornoch, buying a property Gleann Gollaidh on Castle Street. When the new school year started in August 1946 he was asked to stand in as Latin teacher until a permanent teacher could be found for that post. He agreed, but this arrangement was short lived due to his untimely death just a month later. He died at Gleann Gollaidh, Castle Street, Dornoch on 26th of September 1946. He is buried at Oldshoremore graveyard at Kinlochbervie, Eddrachillis.

He must have been quite a character at Scourie during his time as anyone I have spoken to who encountered him shudders!!! His sister Elizabeth Fraser who never married was also a teacher at Oldshore. She died in 1984.

Andy Ross, grandson of the above Hugh Fraser.

Fangomore School Class 1912/13

I do have the names of those in this photograph but not the order. Presume it is back row left to right as normal.

Mr Colin Junnor headmaster, Hugh Mackenzie, Mary Macaskill junior, Mary Macleod, Mary Macaskill senior, Dolina Mackenzie, Ina Ross, Donnie Mackay, Donnie Fleming, George Mackay, George Fleming, Donnie Macleod, Alexina Macleod, Hughina Morrison, John Munro, Tommy Fleming, Willie Mackenzie, Bill Munro, Tommy Macleod, Robina Macleod, Carrie Ross, Vandie Macleod, Nathie Ross, Alistair Munro, John George Ross, Alexander Macaskill, Lena Macaskill, Barbara Macaskill, Christina Macleod, Bessie Ross and Meg Mackenzie.

Scourie School Class c1919

The children attending Scourie School taken around 1919.

Back row - left to right:
Lizzie Mackenzie, Bella Mackay, Annie Thomson, Hughina Matheson, Rhoda Matheson, Peggy Matheson, Jessie Mackenzie (Tottie).

Middle row - left to right:
Lilly Thomson, Getta Macleod, Tina Mackay, Florrie Whyte, Carrie Whyte, Maggie Matheson, Nina MacInnes, Dolly Mackay and Murdo Macdonald.

Front row - left to right:
Billy Mackay, John Moffat, Angus Moffat, John Falconer, Andrew Macdonald and John Mackenzie.

By clicking on the photograph you will see a larger image.

Badcall Inchard School, Eddrachillis

It is believed this photograph of the pupils and headmaster of Badcall Inchard school was taken in 1920.

If you click on the picture you will see it full size.

Back row - left to right:
Janet Macintosh, John George Mackay, Dornie White, Neil Morrison, Hugh Macleod, Hector Mackay, George Calder, Kattie Macleod and Alexander Macrae headmaster.

Middle row - left to right:
Agnes Morrison, Annie Macleod, Dolly Macleod, Annabelle Macintosh, Barbara Mackay, Tonsonina Macleod, Williamina Campbell and Georgina Mackay.

Front row - left to right: William Calder, John Macleod, Lachlan Ross and Andrew Mackay.

Fangomore School, Eddrachillis, Sutherland

Sources School Log Books and the Minutes of the Old School Board. Compiled in 1972 on the Centenary of the Scotch Education Act by Catherine Allan.

The site of the first school at Fanagmore which served the Tarbet, Fanagmore and Foindle area, is now known as Blar Tigh’n Scol. When this school fell into disrepair scholars moved to a house near Loch nam Brac. This was destroyed by fire (Tigh Scol Loisge) and another move was made to a room in the White House, at the shore, which had been built for the salmon fishers.

In 1874 Mr George Sutherland was the teacher, appointed and paid by the Ladies’ Highland Association, Edinburgh, who were responsible for Fanagmore School until the new school was built by the Eddrachilles School Board in 1899.

One of the recommendations made by H.M.I. Mr Harper after a visit to the parish of Eddrachilles in 1874 was that an infant and girls’ school should be built on a site mid-way between Tarbet and Foindle but the School Board replied that as there were only 6 families having between them 11 children between the ages of 5 – 13 years, they were unwilling to tax the parish with the expense of school premises and a teacher.

In 1880 Miss Rainy, Secretary of the Ladies Highland Association, requested that Fanagmore be placed under Art.190 of the Scotch Code, which provided “that in a district more than 4 miles from any school and in which less than 15 scholars can be assembled, they may be taught by a teacher approved by the H.M.I. and working under the supervision of the nearest School Board School.” The Board agreed to this and requested Mr Cowie, Scourie, to supervise the school.
From then until 1899 Fanagmore children presented themselves at Scourie School for Inspection by H.M.I., making the journey by sea. The first Inspector’s report in 1880, recorded in Scourie Log Book, reads, “Fanagmore Sub-School made a good appearance”.

Mr Sutherlands resigned in 1881 and was followed by Mr James Macintosh, who left in 1884. Mr Hugh McLellan taught from 1884 – 1890; Mr Roderick Fraser1890 – 1892; Mr Alex MacDonald 1892 – 1895 and Mr Alan MacKillop 1895 – 1897.

Mr Evander MacLeod of Tarbet, (late of Chryston, Lanarkshire) writes – “My first day at school was very austere – no boots, no road and no English – and my only consolation was that the teacher was an excellent Gaelic speaker, Alan MacKillop from the Western Isles.”

Mr MacKillop (who emigrated to Australia) was followed by Mr Willie Morrison, Achrisgill, 1897 – 1900, also a Gaelic speaker (who later became Tramway Superintendent in Glasgow!) In 1899 the parents of Tarbet, Fanagmore and Foindle complained about school accommodation. The School Board sent a Member, Mr Roderick Finlayson (Scourie Hotel) to look in to complaints. He reported that the room was not in fit and proper condition, being too small for the number of pupils, the floor being flagged, the chimney smoking and no proper seats or convenience of any kind for teaching. At this time the house was occupied by Mr Lachlan Ross and his family, and school was held in “the room”.

The original plan by the Board had been to alter the White House (which the proprietor, the Duke of Sutherland, had handed over to the School Board with the necessary ground adjoining on a Feu Charter) to include a classroom for 24, and by the addition of a porch in front with a separate entry for the dwelling house, make it suitable for the teacher to live in, at a cost of £120. In the meantime, however, Mr Maclean, Factor, wrote the Board that “as due notice has not been given to Mr Lachlan Ross, and that as he could find no other house, the Proprietor would not like to turn him out with his large family unless some other place was procured for him.” The Education Department, however, did not approve of the plans and were of the opinion a new school should be built. Fresh plans were drawn up by Mr Bisset, Architect, Golspie, for a new school (for 30 children) beside the dwelling house, which were approved.

In the meantime school was held on alternate weeks in Angus Macleod’s house in Tarbet and in Angus Falconer’s house in Foindle, there being no children of school age in Fanagmore at this time.

In 1899 the new school was built by Mr Peter Whyte, Scourie at a total cost of £214.5/- (including desks) in three months. The house was renovated for use as a school house by Mr H. Aird, Joiner, Scourie, at a cost of £68. Mr Angus Macleod, Tarbet (now of Stornoway) remembers the opening ceremony. “Mr Donald MacKenzie, Tarbet, was working at a boat by the shore, and we called him up to open the school. This he did. He turned the key and opened the door and shouted “Hurrah!” We all followed and shouted, throwing our caps in the air and waving, and so a new era in our education begun.” He continues, “There was no road or even a footpath from Tarbet to Fanagmore in those days and we had to walk through the hill each carrying a peat to keep the school fire burning. In summer we were barefooted and peat bogs we took in our stride. In winter we had to wear boots and keep to the harder ground.

At this time the “floating shops” came from Orkney to Loch Laxford (Fanagmore) and Mr Evander Macleod, Tarbet remembers them well. “We frequented them very often and if we would sing a song they gave us sweets and clay pipes for our fathers.” And of the Coronation of King Edward VII he says “We went to Scourie School for games and each of us got a mug. I made over 3/- that day. Money had value in those days!

A certificated teacher, Miss Jemima Grant, was appointed in 1900. She left in 1903 and was succeeded by Mr Robert Gillies (1903 – 1905) with Mrs Gillies to teach sewing. Mrs Gillies was later appointed assistant teacher to allow Mr Gillies to devote more time to supplementary classes. A very good teacher, the Board resolved to give him a Very Satisfactory Testimonial for his two years service.

The aforementioned Angus Macleod and Donald Macrae went to Sutherland Technical School from Fanagmore during his time (1904). Mr Henry Platt, who succeeded Mr Gillies in 1905, retired in 1910, with a pension of £50 a year from the Board. He had previously been Head Master at Oldshore School. Mr Colin Junnor, M.A., who had been Assistant Teacher at Oldshore, was next appointed and remained until 1919, when he left to attend an Art.55 Class in Glasgow.
County and Parish Bursaries were competed for and the school had a good record of success, many pupils continuing their education at Scourie H.G. School, Golspie High School and Sutherland Technical School.

The Inspector’s report for 1913-14 says “The instruction in this school is excellent in both divisions. It is proposed in consequence to recommend an addition to the normal rate of grant.”
1916 “This school is handled with admirable skill and the condition of the instruction at all points reflects high credit on the teacher.” Miss C. Sutherland followed Mr Junnor from 1919 – 1921. Miss A.C. Ross 1921 – 1922. Mrs Thomas, who was next appointed, left in 1926 to be followed by Mr George H.T. Milne, M.A., who retired in 1932. On his last day at school, 23rd September, 1932, his sixtieth birthday, he notes in the Log Book “Since October, 1926 five pupils of this school have gained bursaries in the County Bursary Competition. In October, 1926 the number on the roll was eight; it is now seven, the maximum enrolment for the same period being twelve.”

Miss Alexina Matheson was appointed in 1932 and when she left in 1940 the school was reduced to the status of a side-school and again came under the supervision of the Scourie Head Teacher. During the war years there was a succession of teachers who stayed for varying periods. Miss Mary Macaskill, a former pupil, was appointed in 1945 and remained until she retired in 1964. The roll which had reached a peak of 32 about 1911, had fallen to 7 in 1932, rose to 13 in the 1950-60 period but was now reduced to 6. Fanagmore School was closed and the pupils transferred to Scourie.

The schoolhouse, which Miss Macaskill did not occupy, having her own house, had been sold some years previously to Mr Alex Macaskill. When school meals were first served on 14th March 1956 Mrs Eva Macaskill was appointed cook and prepared the meals in her own kitchen. This arrangement continued until he school was closed.

The school was bought by the Church of Scotland and services are held on alternate Sunday evenings.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Scourie School Logs Books part two

This is part two - if you missed part one click HERE.

A year after he was appointed, in 1895, Mr Sutherland wrote the School Board requesting that the school buildings be enclosed with a stone wall but his request met with no more success than Mr Cowie’s. “The Board regret that their present financial position is such that the subject can not be considered at present.” The wall was eventually built – in 1906, by Mr John MacDonald, Mason, Badcall, at 2/8 per yard.

With a roll of 50 it was no wonder that in 1898 plans were drawn up for an additional classroom (for 30 children) but it was only after repeated exhortations from the Inspectorate (as in the case of the boundary wall) that a second class room was built in 1906.

In 1900 the first mention of a Christmas Party appears in the Log Book. January 5th “On Friday the school had to be prepared for a Christmas Tree entertainment, and in consequence no school was kept.”

On January 25th, 1901 “the sad intelligence of the death of our beloved Queen” was received, and school was dismissed for the day.

In July, 1901 Mr Sutherland was given leave of absence to attend a Drawing Class at Thurso. Two local Ministers, Rev D.M. Macintyre and the Rev. Dr George Henderson were in charge of the school for the first two weeks, and a holiday was given for the third. When he returned the school was dismissed at 1 o’clock one Friday so that the joiner could fix up the Linoleum for “Free Arm Drawing”.

8th November, 1901 – Began drawing for the first time. Although a cleaner had been employed several years previously she had soon resigned. Unable to find a replacement, Mr Sutherland was obliged to resume cleaning the school, lighting fires and emptying closets, but in November, 1901, a cleaner, Miss Georgina Ross was engaged, (at a salary of £3, later increased to £3.10 out of which kindling had to be provided) and he wrote in the Log Book “I now consider myself relieved of all responsibility in the matter”.

In November 1901 Mrs Sutherland resigned and her daughter was appointed in her place. Mr Sutherland resigned in1902 and went to Halkirk School (Caithness). The Clerk of the School Board wrote to Mr Sutherland of their appreciation of his services during his eight years at Scourie and their satisfaction with the invariably high standard of efficiency which he maintained as evidenced by the very satisfactory reports of H.M.I. Mr Donald MacLeod, M.A. was appointed successor. Miss Betsy MacDonald wrote offering her services as Sewing Mistress and was re-appointed at £10 per annum. Miss Mary Morrison was appointed Temporary Monitor (at a salary of 3/- per week) with a view to becoming a Pupil Teacher after the annual Inspection.

20th June, 1902 was a holiday for King Edward’s Coronation. Tea was served and games were held in the playground. Dr Henderson opened the proceedings and Duncan MacIver supervised the games for which money prizes were given. Mrs MacDonald presented the prizes.

The School Board, in 1904, decided to raise the salary of Mr MacLeod by £3.10/- “in view of increase in the number of scholars and the satisfactory character of his work since his appointment.”

That same year these successes were recorded for the school:
Johan Morrison – First Bursar in the County (Senior)
Donald M. Macrae – First Bursar in the County (Junior)
1905 – Donald M. Macrae – Second Bursar in the County (Senior)
Donald then went to the Sutherland Technical School.

In 1905 Mr MacLeod agreed to go to Oldshore as Head Master, and the Board gave him a testimonial for his services during his time at Scourie. Mr Hugh M.G. Fraser was appointed (photograph above).
That same year plans went ahead “in accordance with recommendations of H.M.I.” to erect a classroom at Scourie capable of accommodating 25 – 30 children and offers were received.
Peter Whyte, Mason, Scourie £ 99.10.-
J. & J. Nicol, Joiners, Golspie £136.10.-
Robert Ross, Plasterer, Ardgay £ 18. -.-
Mr Watson, Painter, Golspie £ 15. -.-
Total £269. -.-

The Board considered the offers too high “and would involve an expenditure which the Board should not incur in the interests of the ratepayers, and they authorised the Clerk to write W. Spiers & Co. to ascertain the cost of a wood and iron building. Spiers offered to do the work for £142.10 (plus £17.5/- for desks). With mason work at £13.6/- the cost was £155.16/-.

The new classroom was built, but the Board would have been well advised to have spent the extra £100, for many a complaint was recorded in the Log Book for more than half a century until it ceased to be used in 1961. It has now been demolished and a new classroom is being built in its place.

There was no Public Hall at this time and functions were held in the school. Now the Board decided “to close the school against Dancing Classes, and when a concert is held, the performance should be over by midnight.”

Miss Mary Morrison’s time as a Pupil Teacher is now up and she left to continue her training having passed her King’s Scholarship Examination. Mr David MacKay, M.A. was appointed. From 1908 – 09 Mr Fraser attended the Normal College in Glasgow and Mr James B. Calder acted as Temporary Head Master.

In 1909 there was a severe influenza epidemic and the school was closed. The Log Book entry of March 8th reads, “Since our last meeting two of our number have succumbed to the virulent epidemic, namely Mary A. MacKenzie, Scourie and Adam Thomson, Badcall, and we as a school herewith record our deep regret for these sad losses.” When Mr MacKay left with a testimonial from the Board in 1909 Miss Elizabeth Fraser was appointed.

Log Book 23rd October, 1914.
There is no C.O. employed by the Board since the present one (Duncan MacKay) left for Huntingdon last August. As he is a Lovat Scout, he will probably not be back before the war is over.” In fact he did not return from the war. Miss Fraser left to go to Oldshore as Infant Mistress in 1915 and Annabella Urquhart was appointed. Children with defective vision went to Golspie in 1912 to have their eyes tested, the parents paying for the glasses and the Board for the transport. The same year children who came from a distance were given cocoa at lunch time and by 1914 soup was given on three days a week during winter and cocoa on two. Meat was supplied when gifts of venison were used up. Miss Urquhart left in 1921.

With a roll approaching 60 Scourie now became a three-teacher school. Miss Isabella Gunn and Miss Mary B. Sutherland (from Brora) joined the staff. Miss Gunn left in 1922 and Miss J.S. Flett was appointed. Miss Betsy MacDonald also resigned that year after almost 40 years’ service. Miss H. MacKay succeeded Miss Flett in 1923. Miss Margaret Ross, M.A. joined when Miss Sutherland left in 1928. A permanent partition was erected in the junior room to make two classrooms in 1923. It was removed after the school reverted to being a two teacher.

During Mr Fraser’s time the school competed very successfully in the Parish Bursary and Intermediate Bursary Competitions, many first places being won. From 1914 candidates were presented individually, and from 1918 whole classes were presented for full Intermediate Certificate and Higher Leaving Certificate.

An Inspector’s report of 1928 reads “It is highly gratifying that a day school of this modest size is able to present at the Leaving Certificate Examination year after year candidates whose proficiency in all subjects is so satisfactory. The headmaster is to be congratulated on his continued success.” And in 1932 – “The old tradition of the Scottish Parish School is admirably maintained here.”

By 1933 the roll had fallen to 35 and Miss Ross was transferred to Bonar Bridge. In 1936 Mr Fraser, in recognition of his services to Education, had the honour of M.B.E. conferred on him by the uncrowned King Edward VIII at an investiture at Buckingham Palace. He retired from Scourie in 1945 having taught there from 1st June, 1905. Mr A. MacLean who was appointed in Mr Fraser’s place, resigned in 1954.

The school was by now reduced to a junior Secondary, with Miss MacKay teaching the Homecraft Course and the Head Teacher being responsible for the rural – technical course. The homecraft room, erected in 1950 under the H.O.R.S.A. scheme was (and still is) used for the preparation and serving of school meals.

When Mr C. MacLeod, M.A., who succeeded Mr MacLean, was appointed Head Teacher to Durness in 1961 the school became a one–teacher school. In 1959 the Education Committee’s scheme for the re-organisation of Junior Secondary Education in West Sutherland had come in to effect and all secondary pupils were transferred to schools in Dornoch or Golspie, where hostel accommodation was provided, and Scourie thus became a Primary School. Miss MacKay was appointed Head Teacher, and retired in 1964 after a long and successful career.

Mrs Helen MacIlroy was next appointed and stayed for two years until 1966. Then followed Mrs J. MacDonald, 1966 – (Dec.) 1967, Miss Ann MacKay (Jan.) 1968 – 69, Mrs P. Sinclair 1969 – 70, Mrs Jean Chalmers 1970 – 71. Mrs Catherine Allan, a former pupil, was appointed in 1971.
This year plans went ahead to modernise the school and schoolhouse. The corrugated iron classroom built in 1906, now unfit for use, was demolished and a new classroom, cloakroom and staff-room are being built.

Gaelic, which Mr Fraser had taught as a subject in his first few years at Scourie to Gaelic-speaking pupils – Miss Mary Morrison the Pupil Teacher took Gaelic as a Leaving Certificate Subject – is once again being taught. In 1971 Mr Donald J.N. MacKay was appointed visiting teacher of Gaelic to schools in the North and West. Mr David Marshall, Balnakiel has now been appointed visiting teacher of art. The roll which had been over 40 in 1942, 33 in 1952 fell to 11 by 1962 but has been increasing and now stands at 19.

The following side-schools have been associated with Scourie School – Achfary, Stack, Altaurynie, Lochmore, Kinloch, Badnabay, Fanagmore, Duartbeg, Kylestrome, Glendhu, and Glencoul.

Subjects mentioned in Log Books and Inspector’s reports from 1874 – Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Dictation, Grammar, Spelling, History, Geography, Latin and Domestic Industry. 1891 Map Drawing, English. 1896 Drill, Singing, Composition, Poetry. 1901 Drawing. 1902 Navigation, Mathematics. (1903, Dumb-bells for Drill.) 1905 French, Gaelic. 1909 Science.

The record of Merit Certificate winners is not complete, but these names are recorded:
1899 – E. MacInnes, J. Macintosh, B. Mackay
1900 – D. MacKay, A.M. Sutherland, Jessie MacLean,
Neilina Matheson, M. Morrison
Successes gained by Scourie pupils in county Bursary Competitions (up to 1924)
1904 – Johan Morrison – First Bursar in County (Senior)
Donald M. Macrae – Second Bursar in County (Junior)
1905 – Donald M. Macrae – Second Bursar in County (Senior)
Success in Parish Bursary Exams – First Bursar of the Parish
1908 – Donald MacKay
1909 – Donald Morrison
1910 – Alexander C. Macrae
1911 – Roberta Morrison
1912 – Norman Morrison
1914 – Norman Morrison – Full Intermediate Certificate gained – First Intermediate Bursar of the Parish
1915 – John Macleod – First Intermediate Bursar of the Parish
Janet M. Macrae - First Bursar of the Parish
1916 – John A. Morrison – First Bursar of the Parish
Angus MacKenzie – First Intermediate Bursar
1918 – John A. Morrison, Margaret MacLeod, Hughina MacKay and Barbara Matheson
All passed full Intermediate Certificate and got bursaries
1920 – Duncan M. MacKenzie & Edith C. Mackenzie - Full Intermediate Certificate
1921 – George MacKay & MacKay MacKay - Full Intermediate Certificate
1921 – Eva MacKay & Dolina Matheson - Full Intermediate Certificate
1922 – Margaret Ross, Chrissie B. Macleod & Maimie Thomson - Full Intermediate Certificate
1923 – Jessie A. Macleod & Annie M. Macdougall - Full Intermediate Certificate
1924 – MacKay MacKay, Dolina Matheson & Jessie A. Macleod - Higher Leaving Certificate
1924 – John Matheson & Annie B. Macintsoh - Full Intermediate Certificate
June 1947 – Last secondary pupil (Alice Thomson) left for Dornoch Academy.

Photograph above was taken at Scourie School in 1933. I do not have names of the pupils.

Scourie School Logs Part One

The photograph on the left shows you Scourie School, Eddrachillis, Sutherland, today. It was not always this large nor this robust.

Following is of great interest not only to those with connections to Scourie school but to general education in the county.

Sources School Log Books and the Minutes of the Old School Board; Compiled in 1972 on the Centenary of the Scotch Education Act by Catherine Allan, Head Teacher Scourie Primary School 1971 – 1988.

The present school at Scourie was built in 1866. Previous Schools were at Cardhu, beside the Free Church, and the building later used as, and still known as The Library, now an annexe to the Public Hall, which continued to be used as a Female (Sewing) School for some years after 1872.

School fees were fixed as follows:
1/- (one shilling) per quarter from the age 5 – 7 years
1/6 (one shilling and sixpence) per quarter from the age 7 – 9 years
2/- (two shillings) per quarter from the age 9 – 11years
2/6 (two shillings and sixpence) per quarter from the age 11 – 13years
3/- (three shillings) per quarter from the age for all above 13 years of age

All fees were to be paid in advance, to be collected by the teachers of each school, who would remit them with an account to the Treasurer. The fees produced from each school to be returned to the Teacher at the terms of Martinmas and Whitsunday, in addition to his salary. (From 1st January, 1875, however, fees were reduced to the uniform sum of 1/- per quarter for all ages, and later (1889) grants were given for the relief of school fees.)

The staff at this time was Alexander Cowie, Master “a man of good Attainments”, Kenneth Mackenzie Pupil Teacher, 3rd Year and Miss Jessie Pope, Sewing Mistress. In 1874 Mr Cowie’s salary was fixed at £90 per annum, plus £1 for cleaning the school, with “one fourth of the amount which he may earn or produce from the government as results”. The government grant for Scourie for that year was £31.18.4. for the Master and £17.18.4. for the P.T. Miss Jessie Pope asked for and received an increase of £1 yearly in her salary (of £5 per annum) and the Board agreed to pay this on the understanding that the Inspector reported favourably on the progress of her pupils.

Attendance was irregular and the School Board appointed Mr Evander MacIver (Chairman) and the Rev. D. Macaulay, Members, to co-operate with and assist the officer, Mr Alexander Mackay, in seeing that the children attended school regularly. They further authorized these gentlemen to go to the school at the stated periods to examine the registers, time tables and Log Books, and make the necessary entries therein.

In 1875 when the fees were reduced the Board provided fifty copy books for each school in the parish and left it to the discretion of the teachers to give them to “such as they are satisfied cannot afford to provide them otherwise”. Miss Jessie Pope resigned as the Sewing Mistress in the 1876 and Miss Betsy MacDonald was appointed. Later, in respect of the excellent report by the Inspector on the Domestic Industry and sewing class, the Board “to mark their approval of the teacher’s exertion, resolve to add £1 stg (Sterling). to Miss Betsy MacDonald’s salary, to commence at Martinmas first.” Not until 1889 was 10/- allowed annually for sewing materials.

A spring holiday was first given in 1876. The School Board “recognising that at this season of the year many parents keep their children at home to assist with field work recommend that there should be a vacation of two weeks, the same to be deducted from the autumn holidays. The school will therefore be closed for a fortnight.” Each child brought a peat to school daily for the fire but the spring and summer of 1877 were exceptionally wet and peats were scarce. In February 1878 when the Rev. D. Macaulay visited the school he found “on this, as on former occasions, the schoolroom very imperfectly heated, a number of the children barefoot and no fire in the room.” In March the School Board ordered coals (£1 per ton).

In 1881 Circular 49 from the Scotch Education Department was considered. An extract from the minutes of this meeting reads, “This Board unanimously are of the opinion that in every parish there should be at least one teacher qualified to give instruction in the Higher Subjects and that in this Parish it should be at Scourie, and the Clerk is instructed to send a copy of this minute to the Secretary of the Education Department.” At a later meeting the clerk was instructed to send a copy of the following minute to the Scotch Education Department: “With reference to the Circular from the Scotch Education Department dated 20th April last relative to the promotion of the Higher Branches of Education in Public and State-aided Schools this Board are of the opinion that in extensive Highland parishes such as Eddrachillis with a scattered population – and such are the majority of the parishes in the County of Sutherland – there is only one mode of accomplishing the object in view, which is the Establishment of one or two High Class Schools in a Central position to which pupils could be sent from various schools throughout the County who were anxious for a higher education than the Public Schools in rural parishes could provide.”

In 1884 the school received graduated writing sheets and a new map of Scotland (£1.5.3) and the Clerk of the Board was instructed to fix the desks and provide pen grooves –
Paid to –
William Macleod, Scourie, for 3 new desks £0. 8.3
John Morrison, Scourie, for 3 new seats £1. 0.4.
James Macintosh, Mason, Badcall, for repairs to school house £0.12.0
Hugh MacKenzie, Scourie, for cleaning and whitewashing school £0. 7.6

That same year Mr Cowie requested an enclosure for the house and school to protect them from horses and cattle (Ten years previously H.M.I. Mr Harper recommended that “the school premises should be enclosed by a stone wall”). The Board agreed to erect a stone wall, in length 136 yards, 4 ft. in height, the cope to be fixed with lime and to be harled inside and out and to have two small iron gates. The Clerk was instructed to receive offers for same. Two years later, the building of the wall (by George Matheson, Stoer, at 2/6 per yard) was postponed owing to additional outlay that year by the Board. Ten years later when Mr Cowie retired there was still no wall!

In 1886 the Board accepted the offer of Mr William Matheson, Road Contractor, to keep in repair the road leading to Scourie School and also the Sewing School at the sum of 15/- for that year and 12/- annually thereafter. Six years later this was raised to £1 annually. He continued this job until the Parish Council took over the upkeep of the roads in 1902. In 1886 a new set of Reading Books was ordered and later a second set – Collins Improved Readers – and also Collins History and Geography Books for all standards. New seats and desks were provided, made by Mr John Morrison, Joiner, to replace the old ones, which, according to H.M.I. were positively the worst in the Country!

Prizes were given for the first time in 1888 to the best scholars and those who had made the best attendance. Two years later the Board decided to allocate a sum of money not exceeding £5 for a school picnic as an inducement to better attendance “and those children only would be permitted to be present whose attendance throughout the year entitled the school to earn a grant on their behalf. The selection of the children to be left to the teachers.”

Irregular attendance was common. In bad weather, children from outlying districts like Badcall where at this time there was no road, could not attend. Help was needed at home with spring and harvest work and at these times attendance always suffered. But not least were epidemics of scarlet fever, ‘flu, mumps, diphtheria and measles. In 1892 “an epidemic of scarlet fever and influenza caused the school to be closed for six weeks, and was only opened with summer weather.” An extract from an Inspector’s report continues – “These facts apart the appearance made by the children was very good. The difficulty of language hardly exists at Scourie and the consequence is a more ready comprehension of the questions put by a stranger than where Gaelic is universally spoken.” Mr Cowie had forbidden pupils to speak Gaelic in the playground and as a result only the older people spoke it.

Three circulars are mentioned in this year. One from the Department as to Leaving Certificates (1892), one from the Trust for Education in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland as to Bursaries, and one about Savings Banks. A communication from the Secretary of the Edinburgh Decimal Coinage Association was laid before the Board and read.

The first evening class, in cookery, was held in the school for four weeks in1893. In 1894, Mr Cowie “in consequence of old age and infirmity, and feeling he was no longer able to do justice to his school” decided to retire. The Board, in view of his long and faithful service agreed to give him a retiring allowance of £60 a year, and to recommend the Department to give him a pension.
The Board agreed to fix the salary of the new teacher at £60 a year (plus £1 for cleaning the school) and to give him the benefit of the whole of the Government Grant that he might earn by results of examination, a house and the option of a lot of land at reasonable terms.

Mr George Sutherland Certificated from Lieurary Public School, Caithness, was appointed. The following year Miss Betsy MacDonald resigned, and Mrs Sutherland became Sewing Mistress in her place. Unfortunately “the garments at which the children had wrought during the year were all removed by the late Sewing Mistress”. Mrs Sutherland’s salary was increased from £7 to £10 per annum.

New Year (old style) was held in the district then and one or two days’ holidays were given for that about the middle of January. This practise continued up until at least 1908. On 1st February the school was closed because of the funeral of Mrs Evander MacIver, Scourie House.

Some extracts from the Log Book:
“19th July, 1895 – No school on Thursday as the scholars attending were entertained to a picnic at Loch Laxford. Attendance on Wednesday 100%.
21st May, 1897 – No school – Master engaged at planting his potatoes.
25th June, 1897 - Thursday was given as a holiday in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Scholars were entertained to a picnic.
22nd December, 1899 – The sewing Mistress was absent today. She has gone to Lairg to say goodbye to her brother, who has been ordered to join his regiment, The Seaforth Highlanders, in the Transvaal.
2nd February, 1900 – Thursday afternoon was observed as a holiday in honour of the relief of Ladysmith.

Continues HERE.