Parson's Green



Before the Fire

Parson's Green School  -  Before the 1958 Fire

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Raymond Moonie                                                                                  Photographer not known



After the Fire

Parson's Green School  -  Some time after the fire in 1958

©    Reproduced with acknowledgement to Winnie Lisowski



Winnie Lisowski

Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Winnie Lisowski for allowing me to reproduce Photo 2 above

Parson's Green School  -  Some time after the fire in 1958 ©

NOTE:  It seemed logical to me to include these photos in chronological order (i.e.  Photo 1 = Before the Fire.  Photo 2 = After the Fire) even though the 'After the Fire photo was sent to me first.

Winnie wrote:

After the Fire

"My father took this photo. It looks as though it was taken after the fire, as the roof is missing.  The fire was in 1958.

I attended this school.  My teachers were Mrs Kairus and Miss Robb.  I'm afraid this is the only recollection that I have of the school."

Acknowledgement:   Winnie Lisowski, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland:  February 3+4, 2012



Raymond Mooney

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Thank you to Raymond Mooneye, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada for sending Photo 1 above to me.

Parson's Green School  -  Before the 1958 Fire ©

Raymond wrote:

Before the Fire

"I attended this school.  Miss Chisum was my teacher.  This is the only photo that I've seen of the school before its fire. The school burnt down in the 1950s.

The photo was produced as a Christmas Card that was sold to pupils at Christmas."

Raymond Mooney, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada:  May 27 + Jun 10, 2014




Winnie Lisowski

Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Winnie Lisowski who replied after seeing Photo 1 above, added to the web site earlier today..

Winnie wrote:

Before the Fire

"I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the photo that Raymond posted  of ‘Before the Fire’.

Parson's Green School  -  Before the 1958 Fire ©

It brings back a whole lot of memories, especially seeing the janitor's house in the grounds as I was friendly with his daughter, Christine and went there for tea often.

I have gazed at this photo for a long time which has made me very happy, Thank you Raymond!"

Acknowledgement:   Winnie Lisowski, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland:  July 11, 2014




Laurie Thompson

Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England

Thank you to Laurie Thompson who wrote:

The Night of the School Fire

Fires on Arthur's Seat

"I was interested to see the before-and-after-the-fire pictures of Parsons Green School (above). Living in a top-floor flat in Marionville Road, with an uninterrupted view of Arthurs Seat from our back windows, it was not unusual for us to see fires on the hill, usually during dry periods in summer, when the whins were tinder-dry."

Winter's Night

"However, on this particular winter's night, I remember that we were sitting watching an episode of Highway Patrol (starring Broderick Crawford) on TV, when my dad - a fireman - noticed that there was a fire on the lower slopes of the hill."

School on Fire

"My dad knew, at once, that it was unlikely to be a grass fire at that time of year, so we clustered in the kitchen to watch what was happening.

As the flames grew, they silhouetted the bell tower on top of the school, which told us immediately that it was the school itself that was burning.

My most vivid recollection was seeing the bell tower tilt and collapse into the burning roof of the building, sending a firework-like shower of sparks and burning embers into the dark sky.

Eventually, the fire brigade (presumably the night shift from my dad's station at London Road) got things under control."

Date of te Fire

"This all made me wonder about the exact date of the fire, and via the Google News Archive, I discovered from the 22nd December 1958 edition of the Glasgow Herald (no Edinburgh paper in the News Archive!) that the fire was on Saturday 20th December 1958.

Highway Patrol

The same paper's edition of 20th December contained the TV listings for that night, and sure enough, Highway Patrol was scheduled for 9.20pm to 9.50pm on STV. (What would I do without Google, I ask myself!)

Looking to round out the memory, I then found and watched (via YouTube) a random episode of Highway Patrol.  All I can say about it is that we were obviously easily pleased in 1958!"

Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England:  June 26, 20145,




Elizabeth Bell (née Gall)

Murray Bridge, South Australia, Australia

Elizabeth Bell wrote from South Australia:

School Fire

"It was great to see photos of the now demolished Parsons Green Primary. I lived in Meadowbank Crescent and attended that school from 1938 until going to the original Broughton Senior Secondary in 1945.

We emigrated to Adelaide, South Australia in 1958.  Not long after arriving  in Australia, I was devastated to learn of the fire at the school.  My Mother sent me a newspaper cutting of fireman on the roof near the golden weather cock, which was boldly positioned there."

Classes during World War II

"With the advent of WWII, the school was closed for some time and I went for half-days to houses in the area, and also to the hall of the little Congregational church that was then opposite Meadowbank Park."


"Eventually, retired teachers returned, and the school opened with the pupils being divided into either morning or afternoon classes for some time.  When more teachers became available, the school opened full-time.

I had the teacher, Miss Sinclair, who is shown in this photo:

School Class


Parsons Green School Class - 1948-49 ©

 My younger twin brothers, James and William Gall, are in this photo. I also had:

Miss Brown who was a friend of the headmaster of the time

-  Mr Bey, who had also been called out of retirement. He used to walk up the same hill to school as I did, adjoining the park, and spoke to me sometimes. He was found dead at his desk one morning.  I had walked up the hill with him that day and he had seemed fine then

I also remember:

Mr. Davidson.

Miss Cooke, sewing teacher.

Miss White.

-  Mrs. Royal, who took our qualifying class.

Mr. Macdonald, a Headmaster who retired about 1948.

-  Other relief teachers appeared from time to time."

Other Pupils

"I have not long found out that I had uncles who also attended 'Pigs' Greasy Sausages' .  I'd better not confess to the mischief I and classmates got up to!"

Elizabeth Bell (née Gall), Murray Bridge, South Australia, Australia:  October 14, 2014


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