Opening of Auchinraith Primary

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auchinraith1900hiresAuchinraith Primary School opened at 3pm on the afternoon of Friday 31st August 1900. (Not 13th August as the late Neil Gordon had stated.) The Glasgow Herald reported the event stating that on the invitation of the Blantyre School Board, a party of some 70 guests, representative of all the local public bodies and neighbouring school boards attended a ceremony.

The school was situated at Auchinraith Road on the site of Anford Place sheltered housing complex at the corner of Craig Street and the old section of Auchinraith Road near Logan Street. Constructed in 1899 and 1900, it was opened formerly by Dr Grant, chairman of the School Board. A brass band celebrated the event and bunting and flags decorated the new building (as pictured).

When the guests arrived, they were served with cake and tea, after which Dr Grant addressed the crowd with an inaugural ceremony concluding by inviting the company to inspect the new premises. Architect Mr A Cullen had designed the school in the similar fashion to the 1875 schools at Stonefield Parish Primary (Ness’s) and the Primary at High Blantyre (Hunthill Road Annexe).

The building cost approximately £7,500 and was one storey in height, able to accommodate 650 primary scholars. There were 10 classrooms each able to accommodate an average of 60 pupils (teachers nowadays must perish the thought!). A large multi function hall stood in the centre of the building for drilling the scholars and later for use as a theatre. The building was finished and furnished in a most modern style of the time and connected to gas heating.

After the inspection, the company sat down in the centre hall at tables and chairs to enjoy and meal and wine banquet. Dr Grant presided, and Messrs Menzies and McQuarrie were croupiers. A number of toasts were made and the pupils were permitted to school the first Monday after.

The first headmaster was Mr. Joseph McNish who died in 1903 and was succeeded by Mr. John Welsh, then later by Mr James Brown, a captain who was called away to serve in the first world war. (where he died in service).

Two new classrooms were added in 1905. The title of Auchinraith Primary transferred to the Calder Street Secondary school when this school closed. Later, after the recent demolition of Calder Street, the name Auchinraith Primary can still be seen today on the modern primary school just built, opposite the Health Centre in Victoria Street.

From my book, “Blantyre Project – A Journey in Time Volume 1” by Paul Veverka

1910s Auchinraith Primary School wm

Previously unseen photo of Auchinraith Primary School in 1910’s taken by my distant relative (c) Paul Veverka 

** This article and my research has been copied in its entirety without permission and pasted into another Blantyre Book by somebody with a complete lack of moral fibre. This footnote has been added upon request by my publisher in readiness for compiling and reporting the extent of his copyright breaches from this site. Want to know more or who it is? Message me


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