Norton Park

Secondary School




Irene Day (née Sharrock)

Wigan, Lancashire, England

Thank you to Irene Day (née Sharrock) who sent me the following message.

Irene wrote:

School Reunions

"I have organised two school reunions over the last couple of years.  These were for pupils:

-  who left Leith Walk Primary School in 1957 and

-  who left Norton Park Secondary School in 1960.

This year was the 50th anniversary of us leaving Leith Walk Primary.  We had a brilliant turn-out.  I wrote to Leith Walk school and organised, through the headmaster, a tour of the school which was a brilliant event and was enjoyed by all."

Irene Day, Wigan, Lancashire:  October 1 + 2, 2007


If you left these Leith Walk Primary in 1957 or Norton Park Secondary in 1960 and would like more details of future get-togethers, please e-mail me and I'll pass on your message to Irene.

Thank you .    -  Peter Stubbs, October 3, 2007




Irene Day (née Sharrock)

Wigan, Lancashire, England

Thank you to Irene Day (née Sharrock) who added:

School Reunions

"As you know, I have done a couple of school reunions over the last few years for Leith Walk Primary School and Norton Park Secondary school.

We now have a good group of people who meet up twice a year, at least.   I wonder if you will give a mention to try and find more of our old Norton Park school friends.

The girls that I am looking for were in class 3A1 and all left Norton Park school in 1960.

They are:

 Margaret Crighton, who lived in Easter Road. 

-  Lynda Phillips, who lived at Loganlea Road, Craigentinny

Margaret Ormiston, who lived in Bothwell Street.


Margaret Stewart

-  Maureen Black

Elizabeth Wood

Eileen Lumsden, who all lived in the Abbeyhill area

It would be really good to find any of the above girls who may wish to join us."

Irene Day, Wigan, Lancashire:  November 26, 2009

Reply to Irene?

If you'd like to contact Irene, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to her.  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, November 26, 2009



Sandy Gordon


Thank you to Sandy Gordon who wrote:

School Reunions

"I was a pupil at Norton Park school from 1960-1963.

The teaching staff included people such as:

-  Mr Millar, the Music teacher, who could really wield the belt.

Mr Easton, another Music teacher.

Mr Smart, a Geography teacher.

Mr Anderson who taught Technical Drawing.

George Ross who taught Woodwork.

Mr Muir or 'Docky' Muir who taught Science.

Mr Wood, the P.T. teacher.

Ms Wotherspoon, the English teacher.

Sigurd Kawerau who taught German.

Mr Johnston who taught Metalwork.

Raymond Townsend who taught Art, a great teacher!

Ms 'Titsy' Taylor who also taught Art.

Charlie' Mac' MacIntosh who taught Mechanics.

Mr MacLean was the School Headmaster.

My schoolmates included:

Colin Gaylor.

David Dodds.

Kenny Moyes.

Neil Richardson.

Alastair Innes.

Alan Young.

Derek Jackson.

-  Ian Farrell.

George Hall.

I remember walking along the road from the main building to Strang's Annex. I enjoyed my time there, apart from the belt!."

Sandy Gordon, Edinburgh:  November 26, 2009



Alex Holmes

Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland

Thank you to Alex Holmes who wrote:


"I was at Norton Park school in the 1950s.

Mr Dod Catanach was my Register Teacher  and Mr Bell taught maths in the big corridor room along from the Headmaster' Office.

One of the pupils I remember was Norrie Ross.  He was a good footballer.  We went to the bakers opposite, which was owned by a Hibs director.

When I first married I had a flat in Bothwell Street,  just over the bridge.

Remember Me?

"If anybody remembers me, please  get in touch"


Alex Holmes, Glenrothes, Fife:  March 4, 2010

Reply to Alex?

If you'd like to send a reply to Alex, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him.

Thank you.    - Peter Stubbs, March 4, 2010





Pamela Thomson

After reading Alex Homes' Recollections 4 above,  Pamela Thomson wrote:

Death of King George VI

"My mum remembers going to that bakers on the day that King George VI died.  Then she came back to the school and told her Home Economics Teacher.

-  Mum's English teacher was Miss Miller.

Mum's Maths Teacher was Miss Sim."

Pamela Thomson:  8 January 2016



Peter Gardiner

Adelaide, South Australia

Thank you to Peter Gordon for sending the message below.

Peter wrote the following, addressed to Sandy Gordon (3 above):

Move from Australia

"I also attended Norton Park School, and I often wonder where all the former pupils went in life. 

After a very different childhood in Australia, I ended up there just in time for secondary schooling, after an initial shock at Granton Primary for a year."

The Surroundings

"The place conveys a number of emotions for me.  For boys, it was quite a tough school, designed to get its pupils into industry as quick as possible

The single iron bridge into Bothwell Street and Easter Road is vivid, as were the huge walls of the football ground."


"The teachers were a mixed bunch, but well-meaning.

Mr Bell, very stern, did maths, as did Miss Smith.

Dr Ritchie, famous for the ''Singing Streets', did science, and a poor older lady, at the mercy of a very rough class, did English.

-  Mr Kawerau did German, and drove one of the few VW beetles at the time.

- The very military Mr Grant did technical drawing in the Lochend Road Annexe.  He and the gym teacher would not hesitate to belt a whole class for a misdemeanor.

I think the music teacher was a Mr Miller.  I remember him fondly showing 'The General'*** on leaving week in 1965.  He died not long after.

The head, I think, was a McLean."

***  See also 'Recollections 7' below.


"As I was streamed in the top of the three class groups, I did at least learn something.

The pupils i remember were:

-  Anita Fairley.

-  Sandy Pirie.

-  Willie McDonald.

-  Jim Henderson, a friend, and a popular guy, who was killed in a parachute drop.

-  others, whose names are now fading."


"Industry dominated the area thenRedpath Brown, Millers foundry and Edinburgh Crystal were all very big."

Return to Edinburgh

"I went back to Scotland some weeks ago, but like all nostalgia, it lives in the mind, and reality is a little sad.  The Regent is a hole in the ground now, and traffic reigns supreme."

Peter Gardiner, Adelaide, South Australia:  August 24, 2010



Alexander Gordon

Thank you to Alexander Gordon for replying to Peter Gardiner's comments above.

Alexander wrote:

The Belt

"I remember some of the teachers that Peter Gardiner mentioned (above).  I saw Mr Grant giving an entire class the belt in the annexe.

There were three teachers that it was advisable not to run foul of because they could really wield the belt!  Namely Mr Grant, Mr Millar and, for obvious reasons, Mr Wood the gym teacher."

Good Teachers

"I agree with Peter when he said the teachers were a mixed bunch.  Some were actually quite good teachers.  I thought that Raymond Townsend, the Art teacher was excellent. In fact, I wondered what on earth he was doing teaching at Norton Park!"


"Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed my three years at Norton ParkI've never laughed so much in my life!  In fact, I once got the belt for laughing from Mr Easton the music teacher.

The song book I was singing from had an author named Percy C. Buck. Someone had rubbed away part of the B in Buck so that it looked like an F!. Mr Easton demanded to know what I was laughing at, obviously I couldn't tell him and so I got the belt."

After Leaving School

"After leaving Norton Park, I was in and out of a lot of jobs, I couldn't seem to settle in any of them. I began to attend evening classes and picked up enough Highers to read History at Edinburgh University."


"It was sad to read of the death of one of Peter's friends in a parachute accident. I've actually made a parachute jump at Strathallan air strip.  As I exited the plane my scream could be heard over several shires."

Edina Street

"It would be interesting to know when Peter was a pupil at Norton Park.  I used to live at Edina Street.  I occasionally take a nostalgia trip back. Things have certainly changed over the years.  Funny thing nostalgia  -  a rosy- tinged sadness."

Alexander Gordon:  September 1, 2010




Peter Gardiner

Adelaide, South Australia

Thank you to Peter Gardiner who wrote again.

I asked Peter what was meant by his reference to 'The General' in his 'Recollectons 5' above.  He explained:

'The General'

"The teacher was a Mr Millar, and the treat in question, 'The General' was a famous 1926 picture (silent) with a music soundtrack, starring Buster Keaton. It was later made into another picture by Disney in 1956 called 'The Great Locomotive Chase.'

Seeing the picture remains a fond memory, as it was one of my final, fondest memories of the school before leaving, At that time, it was a rare example of a teacher thinking 'out of the square'."

Peter Gardiner, Adelaide, South Australia:  August 24, 2010




Alex Jackson

Mortonhall, Edinburgh

Thank you to Alex Jackson for sending me a copy of this photo of his Class 3B1 at Norton Park School, taken in 1960:

Norton Park School, Class 3B1 - 1960 ©

Please click on the thumbnail image above to read the names of some of the pupils in the photo.

Alex added:


"I lived in Rossie Place.  I went to Abbeyhill Primary School, then Norton Park Secondary School.

The Photo

"This photo was taken in the school gym, home to  'Woody' (Mr Wood, the PE teacher who was fairly liberal with the use of the belt.

The gym is no longer standing.  It was between the main school and the back of what was them the old main stand at Hibs' ground at Easter Road Stadium.

The new West stand was built in 2001, and where the gym was is now a car park between the stand and the main school building.

I recall many of the teachers that Sandy and Peter (3 + 5 above) speak of.  What would the modern generation school kids think of the belt?"

Alex Jackson, Mortonhall, Edinburgh:  September 7, 2010




Joyce Gardner (née Ward)



Thank you to Joyce Garden (née Ward) for sending me these two photos.  Both were taken at Norton Park School between 1956 and 1959.

Please click on the thumbnail images below to enlarge them and to read more about them:


    Joyce Garden (nee Ward) at her desk at Norton Park School,1956-59 ©

Group of Girls

    Group of Girls at Norton Park School, 1956-59 ©

Acknowledgement:  Joyce Gardner (née Ward):  November 2, 2010

Easter Road

Please click on the this link to read some of Joyce's recollections of growing up in Easter Road




Irene Day (née Sharrock)

Wigan, Lancashire, England

Thank you to Irene Day for responding to Joyce Gardner's comments above.  Irene wrote:

School Reunions

"I was at Norton Park school, and in the A1 classes, from 1957 to 1960:

The Headmaster, when I started Norton Park, was Mr Tannahill, then it was Mr Maclean.

The music teacher was Mr Miller.

Mr McConochy, that Joyce mentions, was the swimming instructor at Abbey Hill Baths.

As I've mentioned on the site before, I have sorted out a couple of school reunions.  There is now a good crowd of us.  We meet up in Edinburgh a couple of times a year."

Irene Day (née Sharrock)  Wigan, Lancs:  November 10, 2010




Julia Bishop

Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Thank you to Julia Bishop who wrote:


"I am a researcher at the University of Aberdeen (though I live in Sheffield!) writing a book about the science teacher and collector of children's games at Norton Park school - Dr ('Docky') James."

Film - 'The Singing Children'

"I'm writing to let you know that there will be a screening of the film The Singing Street at Edinburgh International Film Festival at The Filmhouse, Lothian Road, Edinburgh. on June 18 at 1.10pm

The film features Norton Park pupils playing and was made by Jim Ritchie, Nigel McIsaac and Raymond Townsend (all teachers at the school) in 1951.

I would very much appreciate your help in spreading the word about this event in the hope that it can be a kind of mini-reunion for Norton Park pupils.

In particular, I would love to hear from ex-pupils who took part in the film and to have help identifying them.

Julia Bishop, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England:  June 9, 2011




Shona Thomson


Thank you, also, to Shona Thomson for telling me about the screening of the film, 'The Singing Street'.

Shona wrote:

Film  -  'The Singing Street'

"I am organising a special live film screening at the Filmhouse Cinema in Edinburgh on Saturday 18 June at 1.10pm called:

"A Kind of Seeing: Memories and Myths".  

The event is a screening of films from the Scottish Screen Archive and as part of the programme, there will be a screening of "The Singing Street" - a film made in 1951 by three of the teachers at Norton Park (James 'Docky' Ritchie, Raymond Townsend, and Nigel McIsaac) about their pupils' games and songs.

It's a beautiful film and will be screening alongside films narrated by Stanley Baxter and others of Edinburgh from the 1930s to 1950s."

Shona Thomson, Edinburgh:  June 10, 2011




Ian Hastie

Coventry, Warwickshire, England

Thank you to Ian Hastie for sending me this photograph of Norton Park school, taken around 1970.  (Please click on this thumbnail image to enlarge it.)

 Photo of the School

    Norton Park School - 1970 ©

Ian added:

Sports Lessons

"My memories of Norton Park are vague, but I can remember that our sport lessons were in fields at the back of  Smiths bakery in Lochend Road. "

Ian Hastie, Coventry, Warwickshire, England:  July 12, 2011



Derick Spalding

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Thank you to Derek Spalding who wrote:



"I attended Norton Park School from 1957 to 1960.  Is there anyone out there who remembers me?

I recognize one name Margaret Ormiston, who lived in Bothwell Street.  I also lived there.

Other names I recall that were in my class are:

 Shirley Thompson

-   Dale Trainor

 James Watson"

Derick Spalding, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada:  March 14, 2012


Irene Day, who wrote 'Recollections 1 and 2' above read 'Recollections 14' then emailed me, saying:

"Derick Spalding is one of the guys that I had been looking for, but had drawn a line under him as nobody seemed to come up with any answers as to where he was."

So I've now passed on Derick's email address to Irene.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  March 23, 2012


One of the pupils that Derek Spalding remembered (above) was Dale Traynor.   Sadly, Helen Liddel tells me:

"Dale Traynor moved to Australia in 1970 and tragically died following an accident in October 1972."

So I've now passed on Derick's email address to Irene.

Helen Liddel



Tam McLuskey

Shannon Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to Tam McLuskey for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guest book

Tam wrote:


"There is going to be a re-union of pupils who attended Leith Walk Primary School and Norton Park Secondary School.

It will be on the 24th April 2012, commencing at 12 o' clock at the Ellwyn Hotel, 37-39 Moira Terrace, Portobello Road, Piershill, Edinburgh.

Fortunately, I will be in Edinburgh on that date - so see you there, I hope."

Tam McLuskey, Shannon Lake, British Columbia, Canada:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  April 10, 2012




Irene Day (née Sharrock)

Wigan, Lancashire, England

Thank you to Irene Day (née Sharrock) for writing again with more news about the Norton Park School reunions.

Irene wrote:

School Reunions

"Norton Park school friends get-togethers are still going strong. This year we found another person who has been sought after through the EdinPhoto web site, which is brilliant.

There are still a few more people out there who we are looking for and who left Norton Park in 1960 and were in 3A1 X and Y class.

Here are a few names.

-  Elizabeth Wood.

Jeanette Hunter.

Maureen Black.

Eileen Lumsden.

-  Margaret Crighton."

Irene Day, Wigan, Lancashire:  November 26, 2009

Reply to Irene?

Do you know where any of the people that Irene asks about are now?  If so, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to Irene.

.  Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, January 10, 2013




Duncan Ramsay

North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Duncan Ramsay who wrote:


"I went to Norton Park School, 1952-55.

My Register Teacher was Dr Ritchie.  He was a lovely chap.  We'd go in to class, first thing, and he’d be sitting with his feet up on the desk, eating an apple and reading 'The Scotsman' paper.  That's a memory I’ll never forget.

My favourite Teacher was Ronald Stevenson (Music). He went on to greater things - Johannesburg University  and The Juliard School of Music.

I married a girl from Aberdeen who taught at Norton Park in the 1980s.  By that time, it had gone comprehensive the name had been changed to Leith Academy.

Class Mates

"I often wonder what happened to my class mates:

 - John Baxter

-  Robert Archibald

William Wallace (He was a Liverpudlian)

The Borthwick twins

Bennie Todd

Wee Billy  (I can’t remember his surname)

John Todd

John Liddell.

Duncan Ramsay, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland + Murcia, Spain:  4 December 2015

Reply to Duncan?

Do you remember Duncan?  Maybe you were one of the Norton Park pupils or teachers named above. 

If you remember him and would like to send a message to him, please email me to let me know, then Ill pass on his email address to you so that you can try to contact him.

    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  6 December 2015




Duncan Ramsay

North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland

Thank you to Duncan Ramsay for writing again.

Duncan wrote:

Scottish National Film Archive

"I found in the Scottish National Film Archive two films made in Norton Park by Mr Townsend (art Teacher) and Dr Ritchie.

“The Weekend” and  "The Singing Street”

Duncan Ramsay, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland + Murcia, Spain:  6 December 2015




Kathleen Knox

 (née Kinghorn)

Juniper Green, Edinburgh

Thank you to Kathleen Knox (née Kinghorn) who wrote:

Scottish National Film Archive

"I found in the Scottish National Film Archive two films made in Norton Park by Mr Townsend (art Teacher) and Dr Ritchie.

“The Weekend” and  "The Singing Street”

Kathleen Knox (née Kinghorn), Juniper Green, Edinburgh.


Recollections  -  More Pages