St Thomas of Aquin's

High School




Patricia Rand (née Tinney)

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Patricia Tinney wrote:


"I was born in 1942 and lived at 46 Lauriston Place.
I was
a pupil of:

St Ignatius school, Glen Street

St Ignatius Annex, Lauriston Place

-  St Thomas of Aquin's, Chalmers Street"

St Thomas of Aquin's

"At St Thomas of Aquin's main entrance on Chalmers Street backed onto Lauriston Gardens.   It was next to the Convent of St Catherine's, girls only.  All were 'day pupils' by that time, 1954."


"I remember:

blue blazers and a berets that you couldn't remove in public.

-  prayers every morning before class

-  church on Friday mornings

great concerts at the Usher Hall  every year

-  learning to swim at Warrender pool which had Turkish baths and masseurs and a 'plunge' pool.

all summer to visit family in Bathgate and Motherwell, and to play rounders at the Meadows."

Friends and Neighbours

"Patricia would like to hear from friends and neighbours who knew her when she lived at 46 Lauriston Place"

Extracts from messages posted in EdinPhoto guest book (together with email address)
by Patricia Rand (née Tinney), Victoria, British Columbia, Canada:  September 20+21, 2009.

Contacting Patricia Tinney

If you remember Patricia, and would like to contact her, please email me then I'll pass on your message to her.

Thank you.    Peter Stubbs:  September 22, 2009

Liz Miller added

Chalmers Street

"I trained as a nurse at Chalmers Hospital, Lauriston Place. One of the Nurses' Homes was No. 22 Chalmers Street, next to the school,  Chalmers also had Nurses' Homes at No. 38 Chalmers Street and 33 Lauriston Place."

Liz Miller, Jersey, Channel Islands, March 25, 2010




Ian Stewart

Morningside, Edinburgh

Thank you to Ian Stewart for providing some brief comments about the history of St Thomas of Aquin's school.

Ian wrote:

Primary School and High School

"St. Tam's is a long-established (since the 1880s) High School.  Until 1939 it also had a Primary department but that was closed by the Edinburgh Education authority at the outbreak of World War 2."

Old Photos

"There were actually many photos of the school, taken at various times in its history lurking somewhere.  When I worked there, I collected many into an archive, but I don't know whether that still exists.

It may not have survived the demolition of the 'old' buildings and the more recent regimes that have been in charge since the 'new' school was built - on the same site."

Ian Stewart, Morningside, Edinburgh:  November 12, 2009

Where are the Old Photos?

If you know where the old photos of St Thomas of Aquin's school might be, please email me.

Thank you.    Peter Stubbs:  November 13, 2009




Elizabeth Livingston

North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Thank you to Elizabeth Livingston for making the suggestion below.

Elizabeth wrote:

Old Photos

"I am a former pupil of St Thomas of Aquin's. The Sisters of Mercy at St Catharine's may have some of the archives as many of them taught at  St Thomas of Aquin's over the years."

Elizabeth Livingston, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada:  November 13, 2009

Where are the Old Photos

I sent a message, today, to the Sisters of Mercy at St Catharine's to see if they have this archive of photos, or if they can suggest where any old photos of the school might be.  If they give me any information, I'll add it to this page on the web site.

Peter Stubbs:  November 17, 2009


I received a prompt reply from the Sisters today. They told me that all their archives are in St Thomas Aquin's school.  So I've now contacted the school and am awaiting a reply.

Peter Stubbs:  November 17, 2009



Dave McKinlay

 and Mary McKinlay (née McGoff)

New Zealand

Thank you to Dave and Mary McKinlay for letting me see a photograph of a group of pupils and teachers from St Thomas of Aquins.

Mary wrote:


"This photo* shows a group of St.Thomas of Aquins' pupils and teachers taken on a visit to Lourdes in 1954.

I only know the front row.  They are, from left:

Ann Pow

Sister. Mary

St. Jerome, Archbishop

Sister. Catherine ? [not sure]

Mary McKinlay (myself)

I hope to hear from other girls that are in the picture.

Dave McKinlay and Mary McKinlay (née McGoff), New Zealand:  November 23, 2009


* Unfortunately, I'm not yet able to add the photo that Mary describes, above, the EdinPhoto web site.  It is by Viron, who I believe is associated with the Sanctuary of Notre-Dame de Lourdes.

I have emailed the Sanctuary, seeking permission to add this photo to the web site and am awaiting a reply.

Peter Stubbs:  November 24, 2009




Agnes Williams (née Rafferty)

Thank you to Agnes Williams who wrote:

School Pals

"I'd like to know if you have any more photos of St Thomas of Aquin's school.  I attended the school from 1954 to 1957.

Some of the girls that I remember are:

-  Jeanette Spence and Mary Kane. (They lived in Burdiehouse.)

Isabel Manley and Irene Penno.

I remember Sister Mary St Jerome and the music teacher in your photo from 1955.

The Music Club that met at St Thomas' School  -  Photo taken 1955 ©

I can't remember her name, but do remember she had a stutter.


I lived at 2 Heriot Mount, then we moved out to Moredun when it was built.  I went to St Pat's with my brother Alan who is 2 yrs older than I am.

I'd like to hear from anyone who has any more information of those great times.

Agnes Williams, Edinburgh:  January 3, 2011

Reply 1 to Agnes

Unfortunately, I don't have any more photos of St Thomas of Aquin's for Agnes to see.   However, if you have any, or would like to contact her, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to her.

Peter Stubbs:  January 4, 2011

Reply 2 to Agnes

Rosemary Craig Shariff wrote:

"Please let Agnes Williams know that Claire Hanovey (spelling?) was the teacher of St Thomas of Aquina's school.  As one of her former pupils, I found her to be a very talented and dedicated teacher."

Rosemary Craig Shariff, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada:  July 11, 2012



Moira Cowan (née Smith)


Moira Cowan (née Smith) wrote

School Photo

"I'd like to know if anyone has a picture of St Thomas Aquins from the early 1960s.  I was there in 1964 and would love to hear from anyone."

Moira Cowan (née Smith), Edinburgh:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book, June 21, 2011



Betty Hepburn (née Boland)

Waikanae, Kapiti Coast, New Zealand

Betty Hepburn (née Boland) replied

School Photo

"Hi Moira - I went St Thomas's 1953-57  I never remember ever having a class photo taken (sad).  It would be nice if someone out there has any at all.  I hope you get lucky."

Betty Hepburn (née Boland), Waikanae, Kapiti Coast, New Zealand
Posted in EdinPhoto guest book, June 21, 2011, in reply to a post from Moira, June 21, 2011.




Margaret Letham (née Strathie)

Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland

Thank you to Margaret Letham who wrote:

Music at School

"I attended St Thomas’s from 1962-1966

Miss Hannavy (I'm not sure about the spelling) was a brilliant teacher.  She taught music classes.  Our class was in he choir.  We sang in Latin at The Sacred Heart Church every Friday morning when the whole school attended Mass

 We also won some cups for singing at the Usher Hall against other schools from all over Scotland.

 Margaret Letham (née Strathie):  January 18, 2012




Rosemary Shariff (née Craig)

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Thank you to Rosemary Shariff who wrote:

Music Teacher

"In Recollections 5 above, Agnes Williams mentions that she cannot remember the name of the music teacher.  It was Miss. Claire Hanovy.

Miss. Hanovy was a very gifted woman, and an inspiration.

Every time I listen to or attend a Symphony concert I think of her.  She made certain that we understood, appreciated and recognized every section of the orchestra.

Rosemary Shariff (née Craig), Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Reply posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, January 22, 2012




Cathie Luppino (née Cormack)

Pennsylvania, USA

Thank you to Cathie Luppino (née Cormack) for posting a message in the EdinPhoto guestbook about her memories of St Thomas of Aquin's School and St Ignatius' School

Cathie wrote:

School Friends

"I lived in the Grassmarket and attended St. Ignatius School and St. Thomas of Aquin's

Someone mentioned:

 the Paxtons

-   the Hanlons, from Lauriston Street.
Tommy was in my class at St. Ignatius.

Does anybody remember:

 the Turnbulls?

 the Moores?
They lived next to Chrissie's the sweetie shop.

Out of School

I frequented:

-   The Palais

-  The Blue Halls

-  Sacred Heart Church Youth and Stella Maris on Sundays.

How about:

-  jumping ropes?

-  peevers?

-  whips and peeries?

-  diabolos?

I have a copy of the photo posted of Miss Hannavy and the choir from St. Thomas' School."

The Music Club that met at St Thomas' School  -  Photo taken 1955 ©

Cathie Luppino, Pennsylvania, USA:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, April 26, 2012

Cathie Luppino also posted her memories of St Ignatius' school.




Cathie Luppino (née Cormack)

Pennsylvania, USA

Thank you to Cathie Luppino (née Cormack) for posting a message in the EdinPhoto Guestbook about this picture of St Thomas of Aquins from Edith Caulfield.

School Class at St Thomas of Aquin's School.  Photo taken 1958 ©

Please click on the thumbnail image above to read Cathie's message.

Cathie Luppino, Pennsylvania, USA:  Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, August 16, 2012




Louise Fleck (née Sutherland)

Newcastle, England

Thank you to Louise Fleck who wrote:

Edinburgh - Canada - Edinburgh - Newcastle

"I was born in Edinburgh (Leith), emigrated to Canada in 1967. We came back home to Edinburgh in 1970 and my father opened an antiques shop in St Mary's street, then in 1971 we moved to Newcastle


"On returning to Edinburgh in 1970, I started at St Thomas' school where I met up again with friends that I had known at St David's in 1967.  As is the case with kids, we just took up where we'd left off.

My biggest memory of St Tams was the French Language Laboratory.  It was so high tech at the time.  It was situated in one of the big adjoining houses in the same street as the main school .

My Family

"All of my Mums family, and 3 generations before her, were from Blackfriars Street.  They all grew up there and most  were baptised, married and dispatched at St Patrick's.

That's my great granny, Catherine McKinley, leaning on her windowsill and looking out of the window in this photo

Blackfriars Street

Photograph taken by Charles W Cushman in 1961 - Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh Old Town

©  Indiana University, Charles W Cushman Collection                Archive ID:  P12326

She was a very prominent personage within the old town. She used to feed all the tramps and was very good friends with Margaret Sinclair who is awaiting Canonisation.

My Mum , Freda Bowman also went to St Thomas of Aquins, (probably around 1951-56) as did her Aunt, Marggie McKinlay (probably in late-1920s or early 1930s).

We'd love to hear from anyone who may remember any of us."

Louise Fleck (née Sutherland), Newcastle, England:  2+5 November 2012




Win Johnston
maiden name

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Win Johnston wrote:

A Friend

"At the age of 14, I was attending St Thomas of Aquin's school.  One of my neighbours was a friend.  He attended Bellevue High School.   Actually, I had a real crush on him, but he barely knew I existed.

However, I remember meeting him on a cold day in January 1956 when I was on my way to my to my grandfather’s house, to say goodbye to him, as my family was catching the train to Southampton that night to sail to Australia.

My friend walked me to the start of McDonald Road.  He gave me a photo of himself by a swimming pool and kissed me on the cheek.  I have never forgotten that moment, and I still have the photo."

Win Johnston:  Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:  July 15, 2013




Win Johnston
maiden name

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Win Johnston wrote:

Hearts Footballer

"One day after school, a group of us saw Willie Bald (Hearts footballer) walking near our school after a visit to Chalmers Hospital having treatment for a football injury.

We asked him for his autograph which he wrote in my school exercise book

I forgot to remove the page from my book, and my English teacher saw it.  She gave me a telling off 'for behavior unbecoming for a girl from St. Thomas’s'."

Win Johnston:  Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:  July 15, 2013




Rose Fotheringham  (née Sands)

Naples, Florida, USA

Rose Fotheringham wrote:


"I passed my 'Qually' at St Francis' Primary School,  then attended St Thomas' (1954-57).  I remember lots of friends from there:

-  Mary Barrett.

-  Joan Kerr.

-  Helen McCabe.

-  Lucille Lyon.

-  Kathleen O'Donnell.

-  Kathleen McPartland.

-  Kathleen Murphy.

-  Catherine Baker."

Rose Fotheringham (née Sands), Naples, Florida, USA


St Ignatius' School Recollections

Edinburgh Recollections