Memories of the Burgh School
My first teacher on arrival at the Burgh School was Mrs Catto. She was
very strict and I don’t really have any fond memories of her. We were a
class of approximately 30 pupils and I have enclosed a photograph of the
next class we moved into. Miss McIntyre was our teacher and I have very
fond memories of her. She was an excellent teacher who encouraged pupils
and in fact I was given my first ever prize for progress under her
tuition. She also encouraged me to enter a national hand writing
competition run by the Weekly News. On the day I received my Progress
prize I was called out again to receive a card with two half crown savings
stamps and a commendation – my prize for writing ‘Black Bob’ .
Miss McIntyre made English lessons so interesting and I still remember the
wonderment of understanding how to use a dictionary under her guidance. To
this day I remember what a Mahout was after she told us to look it up in
the dictionary – an Indian elephant driver. Two of the books she asked us
to home read were The Thirty Nine Steps and Prester John – I didn’t enjoy
When anyone misbehaved in class - mostly boys – they were sent to stand
outside Mr Chalmers, the headmaster’s door. If he opened the door and
found anyone there they were taken in and given the belt on their hands. I
cannot recall what I had done to deserve to be sent along with a boy to
stand outside the door, but as we waited for the dreaded call, my partner
in crime suggested we return to our class, wringing our hands without
waiting for Mr Chalmers to call us in. We must have been good actors as we
got away with it!
There was a building at the back of the school called the Myton ? hut.
This was for pupils not suitable in some ways for main stream schooling
and was unfortunately called the ‘Loony hut’ by some not politically
We were all dreading this exam they called the ‘Quali’ but it was the
easiest test I ever sat and I got into the A stream at Madras College.
At play time we played with skipping ropes or balls and for a while there
was a craze of making pom poms with coloured wool. We also made rats tails
which involved a cotton reel with four nails hammered in the top. Wool was
wound round and a long tail emerged through the bottom of the reel. The
boys would make long slides during the icy weather and we would take turns
to have a go. Fights were common and we would gather round while two boys
would batter one another – my brother was often involved! I can’t remember
any trips while I was at the Burgh school.
At the time we lived at Denhead and came in every day by school bus – a
short journey as we were second last to be picked up. The return journey
was a different story altogether as we were second last to be dropped off
and the bus went all round the countryside first. I felt sick every night
on that long journey home.
Other teachers I remember were Mr Auchterlonie, Miss Gray who terrified
everyone, Mr Croll who taught gym, Mr Steele and the janitor was Mr
Miss McIntyre married quite late in life and became Mrs Jean Fletcher. On
my 60th birthday, 10 years ago she sent me a small gift. She died in
Craigmount nursing home a few years ago.