School Class at

Primary School


A class at Sciennes School, probably photographed in 1960.

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Kate Hull, Devon, England                                                                 Photographer not known

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    A class at Sciennes School, probably photographed in 1960.




Kate Hull

Devon, England

Thank you to Kate Hull, Devon, England, for sending me the photograph above together with the comments below and the names of several of the pupils in the photo.

Kate wrote:


"This photograph is of my class in Sciennes School.   I guess  it would have been the last class I was in there, and we would have been aged 10 or 11 when it was taken, possibly some time in 1960."

Entering School

"I remember the orderly way in which we entered the school.  From the separate playgrounds (girls in one, boys in the other, and divided by railings I seem to remember) we had to walk into the school at the beginning of the day and after breaks in twos and in time to music which was played on a gramophone on one of the large landings. 

I remember how we all filed up the open stairway and I used to enjoy that because you could see everyone and I loved the music!"


"We had singing lessons and sang Scottish songs which I still remember.   That was fun, once the initial 'voice testing' was accomplished.   We had to stand in a line with our eyes closed and sing a few notes in turn which was quite scary.


"The swimming lessons were not so pleasant.   There was what seemed to be a large pool and the teacher was frightening!

Once someone learned to swim a few strokes, they then had to jump in at the deep end while the teacher stood on the side with a long pole.  Many children were in tears about this. I remember deciding not to master those few strokes, especially since I was to be leaving shortly!"

Five Schools

"Of the five primary schools I went to in England, Scotland and Wales, Scotland had the strictest discipline.   It was the only school where I was punished (and quite a number of times!) probably for chattering too much and not concentrating!

I'm sure many will remember the leather strap, administered to the hands, and the plastic grin as one returned to the desk, unable to pick up the pencil for a few minutes!

It never did us any harm, anyway.  It was just part of life."


"I remember loving school days at Sciennes.  My best friends were Jo Price and Joyce Bird.  We kept in touch for a few years, but it was a long time ago!"

Acknowledgement:  Kate Hull, Devon, England:  August 24, 2009



Iain Belcher


Thank you to Iain Belcher who wrote:

My Class

"I just came across this photo. It is my class!  I was in the 2nd row, 3rd from the left." 

Iain identified several other pupils in the photo.  I've added their names in green in the table below.  He also mentioned two as being the school  bullies - but I've not added that to the table!

Iain added:

"Sciennes was a terrible school where violence was rife. Beltings were order of the day.  Whole classes were belted by the gym teacher, Mr Mathieson.  I was belted every day.  I never went swimming as there was no room.  Girls got off with far more than we boys!

It was a dark period in my life. I had come from London when I was 7 and nobody could understand me so I made a perfect target for the bullies.  In those days nobody bothered about bullying nor did my parents. I have never kept up any friendships.  I have lived in the Netherlands for the last 50 years and I am a Dutch citizen.

 I hope it is of interest but as we are all around 69 years old  now, I doubt anyone is interested."

Iain Belcher, Netherlands:  14 January 2018



Primary School

Around 1960


1st Row
Back Row

2nd Row

3d Row

4th Row
Front Row

1 ? David Astra Grant Catherine Fox
aka Katie Fox
2 Ian Palmer ? Alexis ?
3 ? Iain Belcher ? Mavis McCaw
4 ? Malcolm Strachan ? ?
5 Archiebald Thornburn A Finish boy Jo Price ?
6 ? ? ? ?
7 Mervyn(?) Tait
Melvin Tait
Ian Bowler Joyce Bird  
8   Alan Scott ?  
9     ?  
10     ?  

-  Names in black provided by Kate Hull, Devon, England:  August 24, 2009

-  Name in red supplied by Ron Dingwall, Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland:  Aug 21, 2011.
Ron wrote "Ian lived in the same stair as my granny and Auntie.  We both went on to Heriot's School."

-  Names in green supplied by Iain Belcher, Netherlands:  14 January 2018.



School Classes

Recollections of Sciennes