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!
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
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.
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
When we arrived in Stratford we were allowed to explore the "Olde
English thatched roofed cottages" especially Anne Hathaway's
Most of us then broke up into small groups and wandered off to enjoy
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
I hope others will be able to contribute their memories of that trip
- mine are all a bit blurry with time.
Here's a few idle
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.
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 !
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.
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'
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.
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
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
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. email@example.com My ARA years were
ed: Pics mentioned are on page seventeen. The YPMA pic was not
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
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?
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.
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
A Tribute - by Neil
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