Castle Hill

Primary School

Primary 1  -  1949

Castlehill Primary School  - A round 1948 to 1950

© Reproduced with acknowledgement to Jim Cairns, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland                                      Photographer not named




Jim Cairns

Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Jim Cairns for providing the photograph above.

Jim wrote:

Primary 1

"Here is a photograph of my  Primary 1 class at Castle Hill school in 1949. I think my teacher was Miss Mowat. I was only there a year when the school closed, and I then went to South Bridge school.

I can name a few of the pupils:

-  The tallest lad at the back, in the middle, was Billy Goodall.

-   Next to him was a laddie we all called 'Shooie" (Hugh?).

-   Joyce Thomson is in the back row of Girls, far left.

-  Sylvia Cunningham is in the front row of girls second from the right.

-   I'm sitting on the ground at the right.

Can anyone identify others?"

Jim Cairns, Dunfermline, Fife;  September 21 + October 10, 2008




May Moss (née Campbell)


Thank you to May Moss for providing more names of pupils in this photo, and background details about some of them.  Please see the table below for the names.

May wrote:


"I am the girl standing, second on the right in this photo.

I was born at Upper Bow.  I went, first to Castle Hill Primary School, then to South Bridge Primary when Castle Hill Primary closed.

I was only at South Bridge Primary for three months, because our family moved to Tollcross when  I was seven years old, so then I went to Bruntsfield Primary


Castle Hill Primary School, Primary 1 - 1949 ©

"I remember:

-  Enid Collier (the girl standing, second left in the second row) lived in Victoria Street with her mum and Granny. Her dad was an American (soldier, I think) but he died before she was born.

- Helen Docherty (the girl sitting, right) lived in the Grassmarket, in the pend where the Traverse Theatre started. Her father was an engineer at Ferranti and her family had a television before anyone else.

She also went on to Bruntsfield.  I used to go home with her sometimes to see children's TV, when we were P6-P7.

Her brothers were Douglas and Duncan and her sister Doris. Their mother was a swimming teacher and used to take our swimming lessons when our regular teacher Helen King (the Olympic swimmer) was ill.

Dorothy Spalding (the girl sitting 3rd right) with the eye patch, lived in the Lawnmarket, in the close beside Davy the butchers shop.

Irene Butler (the girl sitting, 2nd left) lived in the close at the bottom of the Lawnmarket, south side. She was only at Castlehill for a short time, as she was a Catholic and the priest spoke to her mother and persuaded her to send Irene to the Catholic school.

Joan ... (the girl sitting, 4th left sitting) and the fair girl next to her were from travelling families. They lived down the High Street (possibly Portsburgh Square). They both went on to South Bridge and were in my class.

I remember Jim Cairns and the Goodalls.  My mother was a Lawnie girl, a Drummond from Milnes Court, so she knew their families well. 

I also remember the McGhees, and I see Vi occasionally.  She is a great friend of my Aunty Millie who has been in Canada since 1951, but still comes home  and stays with me most summers."

May Moss (née Campbell), Edinburgh:  June 3+7, 2011



Danny Callaghan

Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Thank you to Danny Callaghan who observed:


Castle Hill Primary School, Primary 1 - 1949 ©

"Looking at the latest school photo of Castlehill school.   I cannot help thinking all the kids of the the normal council schools of that era look the same, no matter the school, with their hand-knitted 'designer' jerseys and the girls with their ribbons."

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  June 7, 2011



May Moss (née Campbell)


Thank you to May Moss for writing again with more memories to follow up those she sent in 'Recollections 2' above.

May wrote:


Castle Hill Primary School, Primary 1 - 1949 ©

"I remember:

- Sylvia Cunningham's dad was a soldier. Her family stayed in the Barrack Houses in Johnston Terrace.  They moved ot Clermiston later.

Dorothy Spalding lived in Oxgangs after she married.

Others I remember others.  None were in my class but all were within a year or two of my age.  They are:

Andrew, Helen(?) and Robert Colthart who were very involved with the Band of Hope at Lauriston.  They lived at 1 Upper Bow, then out to Sighthill, then Ardmillan

Jackie and Billy Anderson who moved near to us at Tollcross

- Sheila Drummond, my cousin from King's Stables Road."


"I don't remember the teacher, Miss Mowat, that Jim mentions above.  I seem to think that our teacher in Primary 1 was Miss Neilson, then possibly Mrs Anderson in Primary 2."

May Moss (née Campbell), Edinburgh:  June 8, 2011


Castlehill School

The pupils in this photo are, left to right:

Castle Hill Primary School, Primary 1 - 1949 ©


Back Row

2nd Row
(next to back)

3rd Row
(next to front)

Front Row


  Joyce Thomson    


  Enid Collier Irene Butler Jim Cairns


Billy Goodall      


Hugh ('Shooie')   Joan  




  May Campbell Dorothy Spalding  


    Sylvia Cunningham  


    Helen Docherty  

Acknowledgement:  Thank you to the following for providing names of the pupils:

-  Jim Cairns: for the names in black

-  May Moss (née Campbell for the names in red


Castle Hill Primary School

Please click on this Castle Hill School Recollections link to see a recent view of the school and to read recollections of the school, including more comments from Jim Cairns who provided the photo above.


Castlehill Recollections Castle Hill School Recollections

School Classes