Thank you to Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh for telling me about TV
Excursion Trains, and about this photograph in particular. Kim is
one of the pupils in this queue.
Leith Walk Primary School
TV Excursion Trains
"Hereís an unusual event.
It looks like an evacuation, but in fact it was an
educational experiment known as the TV Excursion Train.
Classes were taken round Central Scotland for a day, observing the
countryís geography from the train window and learning
industries we passed.
The Headmaster and selected pupils
broadcast from the on-board TV studio to each carriage, conducting lessons
on everything from 'The Fife Coalfield' to Dundee's 'Jute, Journalism and
Marmalade' and 'Shipping on the Clyde'.
It was a bit of a gimmick and didnít catch on; but it must have had some
educational value. It was on that train
that I first learned about gradients and I've
understood them clearly to this day.
"This photograph appeared in
the Edinburgh Evening News. It was taken at
the brae outside Abbeyhill Station at about 8 am.
The event was a whole-day train excursion through
Central Scotland for Leith Walk Primary pupils in 1961."
"It might not be obvious but
the pupils are lined up in pairs. The boys in
the queue are (left to right, in each row):
Billy Gracie, Hillside
- Ian Irvine, Easter Road
He joined us in P7.]
- David Sinclair, Buchanan
Sellars, Albert Street
Billy Wright, Crichton
The teacher holding the handbag and shopping bag is
Miss Witherspoon. The boy leaning out,
nearest her, is Raymond Grant, East Thomas
The female teacher with the black handbag further from
the camera is the Music teacher, Miss Burnett.
The route was:
across the Forth Bridge
up the east coast of Fife
across the Tay Bridge to Dundee
then via Perth and Stirling
to Glasgow and the Clyde.
There was a 1-hour stop at
Lanark on the way home to
Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:
September 1 + 5, 2009