Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Time travelling today ...

Today I'm going to visit the school this grinning child attended: Hillhead Primary School in Glasgow. (And if you follow me on Twitter you'll recognise the young Mrs Blethers - the photo was taken when I was about six, I think, or maybe seven. My pigtails vanished when I was ten.) At the time, the uniform was strictly adhered to; the school was one of Glasgow Corporation's grant-aided selective schools for which an entrance exam had to be sat, a consequence of which being that you could be asked to leave it you were deemed unsuitable in any way. So there I was, in my navy gym-slip with the box pleats and the badge; the cream blouse (never, ever white for the girls); the navy tie with the gold and brown narrow stripes. My hair ribbons were navy blue and my knee-high socks an unpleasant brown.

But I loved school; I loved it wholeheartedly and was as sad to leave at 18 as any heroine of a girls' school story. I never even noticed that the outdoors toilets were a barbaric and chilly idea - and they froze solid in a cold winter and we were all sent home - nor cared that the arrangement of stairs in the Primary School was such that some classrooms could only be reached from the left-hand stair. (I did, however, quail at the idea of asking the fierce teachers in the middle landing for passage through their classrooms if I got it wrong - I preferred to sprint downstairs and start again.) We played all the traditional games in their proper seasons - skipping, ball-games against the wall, scrap-swapping (a winter pursuit, carried out in the shed) - and wildly dangerous ones, like first dreeping off a ten-foot wall and then learning to jump off it without breaking anything. I still remember the concussion of landing on the concrete - and I was a skinny wee thing.

I shall doubtless return to this topic after this evening. The school is to be moved to another site, amalgamating with two others, and I have yet to discover the future of the building in Cecil Street. I shall take my camera, and there is a chance that the visit might destroy some memories. But I doubt it.


  1. What's with the new layout? It takes ages to scroll up & down. Does it come with inbuilt arthritis?

  2. Been encouraged to update for ease of reading, especially for the elderly ... my last post but one made quite daunting reading in the old-fashioned template. Blogs seem to have larger print these days!

  3. Watch it! Just because I have taken another step towards oblivion this very day, it does not mean that 'my eyes are dim, I cannot see; I have not brought my specs with me!!'