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The New High School of Stirling at Torbrex in 1962

Good morning Alastair,

A friend arrived yesterday and loaned me a copy of the illustrated historic book ‘From Castle Rock To Torbrex’ (1962) [No Copyright] … which I had last seen when it was issued free to all pupils, …. and staff [including me!] of The New High School of Stirling at Torbrex in 1962.

I have worked almost non-stop on it since receipt, and attach the outcomes...


Digital scanning and optical character recognition by, John Henderson Esq., B.A. (Hons.), D.P.E.

Pupil at The High School of Stirling, Academy Road, Stirling (1951-1957), Teacher of Mathematics and Physical Education at The High School of Stirling, Torbrex, Stirling (1962-1965) son of, James Nicoll Kerr Henderson Esq., M.A. Pupil at The High School of Stirling, Academy Road, Stirling (1924-1925) Headteacher, Primary Department of The High School of Stirling, Academy Road, Stirling (1931-1942)

by J. Geddes, Rector, High School of Stirling, Torbrex, 17th May 1962.

The “raison d’etre” of this small publication, if any explanation of it is required, is just this. On the twenty fifth day of April 1962 there ended an epoch in the history of the High School of Stirling and a new era was begun by the transference of the school from the old building in Spittal Street to the new building at Torbrex. I felt that such a signal event should be marked in a way truly fitting the occasion. Over a hundred fruitful years had been spent in the old building. Two gracious stained-glass memorial windows adorned its stairway and the Book of Remembrance in that simple but dignified alcove bore proud but grave testimony to the sacrifice of young lives that the school had made in two world wars in order that the free peoples of the world might survive.

Not only this, but a history of the school from the twelfth century had been the scholarly and loving work of a former Rector: A. F. Hutchison, M.A., and so well had he done his work that we should be accounted unworthy of his example and unmindful of his memory, if we did not return to his book for new inspiration and bring up to date, however briefly, the record of the last sixty years.

I conceived, therefore, the idea that a fitting tribute to all that the old school had been in the past and some guidance to a new vision of the future might be embodied in a little book which would consist of two essays: the first intended to be an expression of our gratitude to those who in former years taught in the school and to those administrators who made such teaching possible; the second, to facilitate the extension of our affection to our new home by revealing to us how our traditions might be maintained in a new setting worthy of a great Scottish school.

Towards this end I enlisted the willing aid of two of my colleagues whose personal knowledge of the school over many years and of the local history of Stirling enabled them to do justice to such a theme. The two essays, therefore, have the inspiration begotten of a depth of affection, an intensity of interest and a fullness of knowledge which cannot fail to reach the hearts of all who have a genuine love and respect for those things worth retaining, indeed — should I say — which must be retained if our souls are to survive in a sadly materialistic age.

The two colleagues to whom I refer are Miss Jessie M. Thomson, M.A., Principal Teacher of History, and Mr Charles Strachan, M.A., Deputy Rector and Principal Teacher of English, who have devoted to their task many hours of their time in a busy and difficult session. This has been, I know, a labour of love; nevertheless, we are deeply indebted to them.

I should like to express our gratitude to Dr Gilbert F. Cunningham, and to Mr John P. Cunningham of the firm of Robert Cunningham and Sons Ltd., printers, Alva. This firm’s great interest, generosity and fine workmanship have made this little volume worthy of a place in the library of the most fastidious bibliophile. To Mr John P. Cunningham we are also indebted for the attractive cover design.

This booklet is proffered to you out of a reverence and respect for the past and in the hope that others may be inspired to continue where this has left off.


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The Historical and Literary Associations (pdf)


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