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Albert Road Academy

Send me your memories of your days at Albert Road. Good or bad....what incident or event sticks in your mind, and how did it, and the teachers, shape you.

One that comes to mind is how one of the science teachers - Mr Inverarity - used to conduct his lessons with his eyes closed for 90% of the time. It was as if he had memorised the subject and was concentrated on recall. That often led to pupils (yes, not "students"!) being lulled into a false sense of security, to get up to tricks. As soon as that happened though, he emerged from "sleep mode" with a metre stick to hand! That gave us a jolt! He was so different from Mr MacKay ("Wee Wab") who more resembled Charlie Chaplin!
Ian Hannah

I sat next to a lad called Norman McCorkindale and would have said that we were on friendly terms. He went on to become senior lecturer in Dept of Chemistry, at Glasgow University. I became in the fullness of time Superintendent in Engineering (I am an electronics engineer). When I spoke to Norman he had no memory of me whatsoever but came across as a really nice man. I spoke to my life long friend from 1A/B, John Crandle, who was amazed that Norman did not remember me There are no girl friends from this period in my life as I was somewhat slow to mature coupled to the fact that I came from Tradeston and felt a bit out of place at ARA. I should say that at no time was I aware of any problems in this regard nor with the Jewish community who were totally integrated. Another close friend of mine was Peter Harris, Jewish and a gem of a man and a good friend to me. I would love to find Peter and have asked Tom Berman to help in this respect. I remember Berman who was a year behind me but nevertheless has no memory of me. Are you aware of a repository of memorabilia for ARA? The annual magazine would be wonderful to peruse. I should like to run some names past you to see if they mean anything . Some these people will be in the 5th/6th form photo but I can only recognise a few.

Norman McCorkindale, Willie Yuile, John Crandle, Peter Harris,Willie Paterson, Robert Paterson, George Paterson Jack Gillon, Joe McDavid, Hugh Smith,Eric McCready, J.Sinclair McGowan, Andy Cunningham, Albert Shields, Willie Thomson, Jim?Forrester, Monty MacMillan, Jack Gollan, Bill McCandlish, Frieda Henderson, Marion Gray, Ray McLean, Ishbel Graham, Margaret Stewart, Charlotte Noble, Christian Campbell, Jean Carnduff, Gillian Brockway.Hugh Smith and Charlotte Noble were in my primary class at Crookston Street and at ARA. They are married and live in Canada.
Tom Wright

Some recollections of ARA - details may be a little indefinite!

I recall the time when a number of Glasgow schools decided to send their senior students, by train, to Stratford on Avon, to see a production of "As you Like It" Mind you , since most of us fell asleep during the show, I'm not even certain that it was that particular play which we attended!

The journey south was great fun. Imagine a train full of highly excited teenagers, heading into the night, on what was for many of us, a unique experience. Most of us probably thought that a train journey only went as far as the Ayrshire coast.

Confession time - on the journey south, some idiot managed to turn off all the train lights - so we plunged into darkness - amid much squealing and mischief! David Purnell and myself were the culprits. Imagine our surprise, therefore, when on the return journey, Mrs Bain commended David and I for displaying " Responsible and commendable conduct throughout the whole of the trip" mind you, Mrs Bain had a great liking for David - in her eyes he was a genius. He probably was.

When we arrived in Stratford we were allowed to explore the "Olde English thatched roofed cottages" especially Anne Hathaway's cottage.

Most of us then broke up into small groups and wandered off to enjoy ourselves.
Ian Cameron , Betty Dimeo and I decided to hire a paddle boat and go sailing on the River Avon. A ferry sedately crossed the river from time to time - and as Ian and I were very inexperienced, we were having great difficulty getting our boat to go where it was supposed to go! Needless to say, we managed to ram into the sedately moving ferry. The captain was not amused -as he continued to sound his ships horn -and shake his fist. Betty, sitting in the back of the boat, had a look of horror and dismay, which lasted until we finally reached dry land.

As mentioned, the afternoon matinee of the play held our attention for the first act - after that , it was time to relax and get some sleep.

I hope others will be able to contribute their memories of that trip - mine are all a bit blurry with time.
Ken Fyffe


Here's a few idle memories -

First day at school -
Must have been April 1940 (I was just 5). The only time I ever entered through the front doors. The infant classrooms were on the right, just beyond the stairs. My only real memory is the morning break when we had very small bottles of milk with a perforated cardboard top through which we pushed a straw.

Move to Melville Street -
Walking through the Square with the EWS tank in it (wartime emergency water tank for our younger readers).

In an upstairs classroom - teacher Miss McKeith (or was it Miss McCance) following the D-day landings progress in the Bulletin.

In the top primary classroom in Melville Street - teacher Miss Albiges who came from Guernsey and with whom I (and I suspect many others) kept up a correspondence for a number of years after the war.

In the crowded playground being entertained by fireman/comedian Walter Jackson (a distant relative) - an equivalent of today's stand-up comic.

Move back to Albert Drive Senior School

How I hated being forced to play rugby in the cold damp winter at Nether Pollok.

Learning ballroom dancing in the gym and actually dancing with girls.

Watching prefabs being built in Herriot Street with other boys in the lunch break and hearing the bell - Mr. Dorian, on duty that day, gave us all the belt for being late - the later ones (including me) getting three strokes instead of the one at the beginning. How the man's right arm must have hurt.

Going in to see the Head when I reached 16 in 1951 to tell him I was leaving at the end of term - his response not being to advise me to stay as I suspected, but to tell me he was leaving too .....and on his desk was a type of pen that I'd never seen before - which he told me was called a Biro!

Happy days - or were they? Ah well I suppose they were, but I didn't always think so at the time.

David Jackson

The date is 26 Sept.1934. I am in Melville St. aged 9, in Miss MacCallum's class. That afternoon the giant Cunarder, until now known only as No.534, is to be launched from John Brown's Govan yard.Sometime around 3 o'clock the Headmaster enters the room and announces " She's just been launched and is called 'Queen Mary ' - and you can all go home !" Glasgow and the Clyde were back in business !!

Just another reminiscence about Miss MacCallum: Somewhat younger and more glamorous than her female colleagues she was probably regarded as being a little avant-garde professionally One hour in each week was devoted to " silent reading " We were allowed to bring in anything of our own choice for the purpose - weekly magazines e.g Hotspur, Wizard etc,thrillers such as Dixon Hawke, were all acceptable - but we had to read! Personal cleanliness was a "must"- we were lined up from time to time to have our fingernails and ears inspected. Classroom games were invented to improve co-ordination of hand and eye. And most advanced of all she was widely thought to be " going out " with Mr Wyllie, teacher of the Qualifying Class (couples didn't have "relationships" in those far-off days ! ) Autres temps,autres moeurs !

Ian McDowall

I remember an incident . Someone had got hold of an imitation turd (probably from Tam Shepherd's) and this was placed on the floor at the front of the class, in full view, to await the arrival of the teacher . He duly came in --- a fresh faced highlander ---- and was initially flustered . I dont remember what happened next, presumably because there was no great drama . It's just a memory.

Eric Rodger

I remember arriving at ARA in January 1950 excited at finally leaving Mosspark Primary School and getting to 'The Big School'. I was placed in class 'Prep A'. At the end of term, for some reason known only to the teachers, I was awarded '1st prize for general excellence' ( some may say that was the pinnacle of my academic achievement)

My prize was in the form of two books - 'Ivanhoe' by Sir Walter Scott, and 'Ungava' by R.M. Ballantyne. The books were embossed on the front cover with the ARA 'aye ready' crest.

I still have these books to this day and I am certain that if they had not been embossed with the 'Aye Ready ' crest, they would have been thrown out years ago.

Norrie Henderson

THE DAILY DRONE (Produced by Gollan, circa 1948).

The following was sent to me some years ago by my friend, John Crandle. I would dearly love to hear from anyone who remembers the publication, or Gollan, for that matter

Our second English teacher was Connel, another ex-serviceman, and we had him for two years. Together with a love of the subject, (I only recognise this in retrospect), he had a relaxed manner with us, and a pronounced humour. We were doing John Keats one day, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, a strange poem I still think, with its weird imagery. Connel invited Gollan to have a crack at rendering it for our collective enlightenment. He was doing quite well with this not-easy poem until verse five:

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;

It could be that Gollan’s mouth was ahead of his brain in trying to make sense of fragrant zone (to this day, I’m not sure what is meant), and he delivered it, with no ulterior motive, as:

And bracelets for her fragrant zone;

That effectively put paid to Connel. He went behind the mobile blackboard, and for some minutes all that was visible were his legs suggesting a state of convulsion. He re-appeared, wiping his eyes, and asked Gollan to continue. Since Gollan was only half-way through the verse when it was interrupted by Connel’s departure, he could be forgiven for starting the verse afresh and repeating his variation on Keats with the same innocence. Connel returned to the sanctuary of the blackboard. The end-of-period bell gave him merciful release.

Gollan’s father had his own business, importing matchwood, and his son had obviously inherited the entrepreneurial urge. In Year 3 Gollan produced, single-handedly, a newspaper, The Daily Drone. That it consisted only of one side of an A4 sheet should not detract from his achievement. By courtesy of his father’s office, Gollan put the deathless prose to bed by cutting a stencil, (in 1948, Mr Xerox had yet to show his face) for a print-run on the Gestetner. During morning break the following day, Gollan sold his paper at the modest cost of one penny. The content had humour as the intended keynote. In a later period it would have been described as Goon-like, or Monty Pythonesque. Unfortunately, Gollan was ahead of his time with a readership lacking the discernment to recognise talent when they saw it. By consensus, it was adjudged as dreadful stuff --- “Have you read today’s diabolical garbage?” --- but here’s the important point: it was so bad, it was good, and sales mounted in direct proportion with our increasing condemnation.

I can’t remember the life-span of The Daily Drone; it was short rather than long, with demise occuring in its prime. The cause of death was unforgivable. The Headmaster ordered him to stop selling it. I would like to think that Mr Samuel Weir was enough of a democrat not to have instructed Gollan to cease publication, but the result was the same. .

Tom Wright 1945-1949

By chance I bumped into 3 ARA former pupils from my era,Aileen Shaw [no relation],Nan Gunn and Rena Howie.We had a good blether and they told me of the website.It has given me a great deal of pleasure, for which I must thank you.I was a bit miffed when I noticed that a very good friend, Duncan Smith, appeared in 5 photographs so I enclose 4 to redress the balance a bit.Two are of Melville St.,one is of the Young Peoples Musical Association which comprised mainly of ARA pupils and one is of a five a side football team,all ARA ,taken shortly after leaving school.From left to right they are Ian McKendrick,self,Hugh McColl,Billy McIntosh and Duncan Smith[again].The YPMA practised and entertained in Albert Dr.Church of Scotland, putting on pantomimes written and directed by Tom McMillan.Miss Soutar at school never attempted anything like that, but of course music class was compulsory and the boys especially gave Miss Soutar a hard time.

From the five a side picture you can see that the preferred game of many of the boys prevailed elsewhere despite the dictum of the Head that the school be rugby only.

I lived in Pollokshields for 63 years[less evacuation and National Service],opposite the school to start with then near the Burgh Hall where the reunion was held.[I know,I should have been there].When I first went to Melville St my mother made me wear a previous school cap,no doubt not wishing to buy a new one or use up valuable coupons.Unfortunately it had a cross on top shaped like a German Cross and being wartime, from then on I was called names. I remember Mr.Hamilton the qualifying school teacher and a bachelor asking me and David Livingston,another pupil,to visit him in Clarkston where he had a bungalow It was all very innocent but I doubt if teachers would do it nowadays,nor would they cuddle you like Miss Routledge did.On the boys playground side of the 'big school' the area under the school was used as an air raid shelter [the front was bricked up]and we were supposed to go there when the air raid siren went off.Duncan McMillan,who lived in a ground floor next to the janny had a better arrangement.It was a steel table in the lounge and the family sheltered under it.

You tend to remember the laughs and the terrifying moments most of all.Jim[Jasper]Aitken "driving"the bus to Nether Pollok from the front upstairs complete with attendant braking and gear change noises and being made to tackle Bill Yuile,[as solid as they come]around the waist while he ran full pelt towards you with his knees as high as he could get them.Then of course there was Johnny King.

The school was very well located,bang in the middle of the tenemented area of Pollokshields where most pupils came from.Also it was well served by the nos.3 and 12 trams bringing pupils from further afield.Over the years I have passed the school from time to time and it is so small compared with those of the present day.Judging by some of the website entries it nevertheless turned out some pretty clever pupils.Far travelled too.

I see Alan Cameron at Haggs Castle Golf Club where he has been a member since primary school days and of course the aforesaid Duncan Smith.If anyone has a message for them I'll gladly pass it along.Duncan,ever the wit,said on seeing one of the photographs, that Ann Carnduff was thinking of him all the time the photograph was being taken.I hope your still around to say yay or nay to that Ann.

Howard Shaw. My ARA years were 1942-1948

ed: Pics mentioned are on page seventeen. The YPMA pic was not usable.

Here are a few little things that come to mind....

Mr Mackay(Wee Wab) would bring out a pupil who would start writing up the lesson whilst it was being dictated to him by Wee Wab, whilst he (Wab), would be stetched out full length on the shelf, which was about 4 feet off the ground, that surrounded the science room. We often thought he had a drinking problem as we would be forever borrowing methylated spirits from Mr Inverarity across the way.Wee Wab also had a habit of carrying around a stuffed alligator/crocodile about 4feet in length which he would thrust over your shoulder from behind.

I'll always remember Mr Inverarity's green suit.

I'll never forget the time we got some fish remains after they had been filleted and put them in the big fish tank that was upstairs at the Albert Drive side. These fish skeletons with heads were something to behold as they floated amongst the tropical fish.

I always liked Mr Roy the music teacher as he always made it interesting.

My first job was with the delicatessen down from the school, delivering orders on the bike with a big heavy basket in front and it was hard going, as all around Pollokshields were some steep gradients.

Does anyone recall the bald headed teacher with the big moustache?

Billy Kean

As far as I can remember, the ARA Dramatic Club ran from 1947-1949. The productions I remember were, "Quiet Weekend", where I played Rowena, and "Quiet Wedding", and one act of "As You Like It" (see photo, page 17), when I played "Rosalind".

We used to rehearse in a scout hall at the end of Darnley Gardens, near present day "Hutchie".

We performed the plays in the school, I think in the art room.

Great fun was had by all.

Edna Campbell

The bald headed teacher with the big moustache that Billy Kean refers to sounds like Darcy Conyers who taught science. If you were not paying attention or talking in his class he would throw the solid blackboard eraser at your head. He would also demonstrate his prowess with the belt(tawse) to the class by hitting the science bench with it and making a quarter inch dent.

My first job after leaving ARA was also as a message boy with Cochranes the Grocers right across Albert Drive from the school. I also had to struggle up the huge gradients in Pollokshields delivering groceries from a tank of a bike with a big basket in the front in all types of weather. But it was great fun.

Gilbert Wilson

A Tribute - by Neil Campbell

There was a boy, a rather timid boy, who attended Melville Street Primary and Pollokshields Senior Secondary schools. School days were not easy for him as he was not athletic, did not take part in the rough and tumble of playground games and seemed slow to grasp the scholastic side of affairs.

He suffered a certain amount of bullying in the primary years. His classmates at the secondary level recognised his dislike of physical sports and his preference to be left out of such activities. To their credit they also found no reward in teasing him. The same cannot be said of certain of the teaching staff. His slowness to grasp the salient points of a particular subject, where I would add he was not altogether alone, irritated one teacher who, one day, hauled him out in front of the class and verbally abused him at some length. This teacher seemed to think that all boys should be like those in The Boys Own Paper. That is, athletic, bright, ready to die for Queen, country and the Empire, capable of heroic deeds with little regard for his own safety. This was not that boy’s persona.

A number of years later when entering the Glasgow University Mens Union I spotted a vaguely familiar figure leaving the building. I stopped and stood in wonder. Could this possibly be the timid boy of school days? Indeed it was. We exchanged a few words and then parted not to meet again till the funeral of a classmate some forty odd years later. At that time it was revealed that the fellow was fluent in French and acted as a guide for French tourists. “Still I gazed and still my wonder grew”.

I have, on occasion, recalled the first meeting and how I thought it was one of the greatest sights I have ever seen. That this person had overcome his problems and gained entry to the seat of higher learning, thereby eclipsing the academic achievements of his erstwhile classmates, could be considered nothing short of a miracle. Although in fact it wasn’t a miracle but the result of pure determination and hard work. In fact the result of true grit, the very thing needed for a character in The Boys Own Paper.

So stand up Stanley Berman and receive the accolade of your peers.

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