Leith Academy




GM Rigg


GM Rigg wrote:

To 1968

"I attended Leith Academy Senior Secondary School, leaving in 1968. All the teachers wore mortar boards & gowns then. Our Headmaster was Mr Drummond.  Due to his appearance he was known to us as Bulldog Drummond. He looked stern. I was never called to his office, so only had hearsay to rely on that he was scary."

GM Rigg, Edinburgh:  message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  September 14, 2009



Bob Sinclair

Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Bob Sinclair who wrote:

Coronation Tree

"Here is a photo wife standing beside the tree she planted at Leith LInks to celebrate the Queen's Coronation in 1953.

 ©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Bob Sinclair

She is facing towards Leith Academy.  The Academy teachers had to choose one pupil from each class to plant a tree to celebrate the occasion.

She has no idea why she was picked unless it was to have somebody representing the Dock area.  It looks sunny but note the coat!"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  January 16+19, 2010



Alan Sinclair

Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to Alan Sinclair Sinclair who wrote:


"On looking back to my school days in the 1930s, I think that children must have had  marvellous immune systems.  The only drinking tap in the playground at Leith Academy had a metal cup attached to a chain.  This was used by all .If you were fussy, you could give the cup a wipe with your sleeve.


"I also remember that fishmongers would open their shop windows, and display the fish, open to the elements."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  January 16+19, 2010




Pamela Thompson

Buderim, Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Pamela Thompson for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Pamela wrote:

Leith Links

Tree Planting

"I went to Leith Academy Primary School in 1952**, I planted a tree in Leith Links with a classmate called Alan Naylor, to commemorate the accession of the Queen.

I visited Leith Links in 1978 and the tree was still there then.  My teacher at the time was a Mr Mackay and he said that when I was an old lady I'd probably come and put a plaque on it.  I'd better not leave it much longer!!

We had a class photo taken that year - I wonder if anyone has a copy?   I'd love one."

Pamela Thompson, Buderim. Queensland, Australia
 Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, April 2, 2013

**  See also 'Recollections 5' below.


Reply to



Peter Stubbs



Pamela  -  You might be interested to see this photo of a tree planted at Leith Links by one of the Leith Academy pupils in 1953.

Class Photo

Pamela  -  Here is a Leith Academy Class photo taken in 1953, but I expect it was probably not your class.  I don't see your signature around the border of the photo.

This photo is of Leith Academy Class 3C2.

A Leith Academy Class  -  1928-29  -  A photograph by J R Coltart ©

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  April 2013




Pamela Thompson

Buderim, Queensland, Australia

Pamela Thompson added a reply to the message that she posted in the EdinPhoto guest book on April 2.   (See 'Recollections 4' above.)

Pamela wrote:

Tree Planting

"Thank you, Peter, for posting my comments from the guestbook onto the web site (above).   I realise now that the tree was planted in 1953 to commemorate the Coronation.  The class photo was probably also taken that year  -  I think I was in 'Year 5'.

Although I left that year, I was invited back the following year to attend the Qualifying Dance - 'the qually'.  I remember that we learned umpteen sets of the Lancers for the occasion, and I wore a yellow dress made by my mother!"

Pamela Thompson, Buderim. Queensland, Australia
 Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, April 3, 2013




John Fraser

Inch, Edinburgh

Thank you to John Fraser for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

John wrote:

My Classes

"I went to Leith Academy 1948-51.  I was in Classes 1B3 - 3B3.

I was in the first intake that did not pay fees.

My pal was Alec (Titch) Forrest.

Others in my class were:

-  Eileen Twatt from Dryden Street, Pilrig.

-  Margaret Grassick.

-  Shirley Moricoand

Ernie Ross. Ernie's dad was a bookie and Ernie used to take halfpenny bets."

My Teachers

"The gym teacher was a Mr Bahaman.  He was a complete tyrant.  He was on gate duty and he would stand at the gate and watch you running along Duke Street. You would run across the road and he would close the gate in your face before the bell rang.

After the class queues went in, he would open the gate, tell you that you were late, then take you in to the Entrance Hall

He gave me nine of the belt for being late, and the same to the others. He would also give you five if you forgot your gym gear.

 Forget your homework and it meant a trip to the rector. More belt."

John Fraser, Inch, Edinburgh:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, April 20, 2013




Tony (Scotty) Henderson


Thank you to Tony Henderson for posting a reply to John Fraser's message in 'Recollections 6' above.

Tony wrote:

Mr Bingham

"I remember Mr Bingham.  I agree he was a tyrant, but in my time he was only the Gym Teacher."

No Fees

"John thought he was the first intake not to pay fees.  In fact, I was at Leith Academy from 1945 to 1948 and did not pay any fees.

I beleive that the Labour Government decided to abolish the 'Fees System' just as I started in Leith Academy."

Tony (Scotty) Henderson, Canada:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, April 20, 2013




Jim Gibson (a.k.a. Gibby)

Thank you to Jim Gibson (a.k.a. Gibby) for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook.

Jim wrote in response to John Fraser's Recollections 6 above

Mr Bingham

"I also went to Leith Academy and left in 1949.  On our last day at school our first period in the afternoon was Gym with Mr Bingham.  He started out calling the Register by switching every one's initials around:

My friend Eddy Trotter became Teddy Rotter

Roy Christie became Coy Risttie,

 Hamish Neil became Namish Heil


When he came to my name, I was Games Jibson.  So, being smart, I replied: 'Present Mr Bigham'.'  Needless to say, my hands and wrist were smarting as I got '10 of his very best'."

Jim Gibson (a.k.a. Gibby):  Reply posted in the EdinPhoto guestbook on May 12, 2013,
in response to a message posted in the guestbook by John Fraser, Inch, Edinburgh on April 20, 2013.




Janette McDonough (née Allan)

Thank you to Janette McDonough (née Allan) who wrote:

1956 -59

"I went to Leith Academy Secondary from 1956 to 1959 and enjoyed the wonderful education allowed by the 'no fees' system."


"I have great memories of:

 Harry Milne, our Latin teacher.  He was a great example of intellect and humanity for me to take through life.

Douglas Hislop.  He was my favourite teacher and I suspect I might have been his favourite pupil as I surpassed all my classmates at 15 and he used to give me Higher Papers to do. I left school at 15."

Alan Naylor

"I noted that Pamela Thomson, in her Recollections 4 above,  refers to Alan Naylor. He used to travel on the No. 12 bus with us from Craigentinny Avenue. I knew of him but didn't really know him.

My Class

"The people in my class (1A from 1956) that I can recall are:

Louise Robson

Moira Blair

Rita Gordon

Donnie Cattanach

Ronald Addison

Alasdair Mcivor

George Jamieson."


"My best friend was Alice Caseby.  She now lives in Toronto, Canada.  I'd love to know how she is now.

I now live in Melbourne Australia with my husband who was a pupil of Boroughmuir High School.  We have two daughters, one is a lawyer and the other is a nurse.  We have five grandchildren.

I have very happy memories of school - even Miss Moffat."

Janette McDonough, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:  January 19, 2014



Carol Bradley (née Kay)

Taupo, New Zealand

Carol Bradley wrote:

Leith Acdemy - 1956

“It was interesting to read Recollections 9 from Janette Allen.  She was in class 1A at Leith Academy in 1956"

Where is Alice Caseby

"I was in class 1B1 and would be interested to hear from anyone who knows the whereabouts of Alice Caseby.  She was my best friend and lived opposite me in Loganlea Loan.

We lost touch when she married and went to Canada."

Carol Bradley (née Kay), Taupo, New Zealand:  February 23, 2014

Reply to Carol Bradley

If you think you might be able to help Carol to get in touch with Alice, please email me, then I'll pass on Carol's email address to you, so that you can contact her.

Peter Stubbs,  Edinburgh:  February 23, 2014




Eileen Sinclair


Thank you to Eileen Sinclair who wrote:

Leith Acdemy


“I attended Leith Academy Primary and Secondary Schools from 1953 until 1964.  I see that there are comments on this page  that the schools  were not fee paying in the early years, but in my experience that is not the case

As a youngster, I remember being sent with my £2.00 'Term and Fee Note.  Certainly, this did not continue for too long, as the Labour Government intervened".

Eileen Sinclair, Edinburgh:  10 January, 2016




Eileen Sinclair


Eileen Sinclair added:

School Fees

My recollections of paying my school fees are clear as my mother used to put the fear of death in me until she got the receipt to say I had delivered the £2.00 fee correctly."

Eileen Sinclair, Edinburgh:  11 January, 2016




Rita Gent (née Gordon)


Thank you to Rita Gent (née Gordon) who wrote:

Class Mates

“I was browsing, as you do, and noticed that I was mentioned in Recollections 9 by Janette McDonough (née Allan) as being a classmate that she remembered.  I remember her too, and all the others that she mention.

School Holidays

"I also knew Alice Caseby, not only from school but from when she was younger and used to spend time at a caravan in Bilston during school holidays with a Mrs Widdifield (I think).  My family were there for all of the school holidays.

I am still in Edinburgh but have friends in Australia.  I'd love to get in touch with Janette McDonough, now living in Victoria, Australia,who wrote Recollections 9  above."


"Mr Milne was my favourite teacher at Leith Academy.  He was our Register Teacher.  He also taught Latin and, for me, Russian at a later date.

Rita Gent  (née Gordon), Edinburgh:  11 January, 2016

Janette McDonough

I sent an email to Rita Gent, today, passing on to her the latest email address that I have for Janette McDonough.

I hope that Janette is still using the same email address now, and that Rita will be able to get in touch with her.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  22 January 2016


Recollections  -  Leith

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