School Lane Parish (Parochial) School, Kirkton

1935 School Lane

1935 School Lane

Just over the School Lane stone wall, from my own home at Croftfoot, High Blantyre was the School Lane Parish School. Located 50 yards or so up from the School Lane Hall School, the Parish or Parochial school is the main school, featured on maps of the 1890s onwards.

Mr Money, pronounced Moonie, was headmaster and for a long time lived in a house upstairs from the school.  After he died, he was later replaced by Mr Dunlop on 29th May 1873. As would be expected,  a friendly rivalry existed between the schools, and Mr James Brownlie tells us in the 1930’s of a battle cry employed by the children of the Hall class as they barged passed the other scholars. Remembering back to the late 1850s, “Moonie’s dugs keep up yer lugs, and let the Hall yins by ye.

The School Lane Parish or Parochial School was funded but it’s almost certain pupils also had to pay a fee. It was inspected by the local ministers. To trace the initial date of construction, we might be able to trace Mr Money’s beginnings at this school by an advert for a teacher in March 1844, which states that “He must be qualified to teach (wait for it)  Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, English Grammar, Geography, Latin, Greek, and French, Theoretical and Practical Mathematics, and Algebra. The salary on offer was £25 13/- 3d (13/- 3d = 66½p).” This came with a ‘Good’ House and Garden, presumably nearby in the emerging School Lane. Certainly, by 1848 meetings were being held there by the Parish School Board.

Candidates for the teaching position had to lodge character references and qualifications with Rev. Paterson, and the master would be elected on the 10th April, so we must assume that was John Money’s starting point in Blantyre education. He died in 1873 aged 72, prompting a replacement in David Dunlop. John Money was also the Registrar of Blantyre for a while, and his son wanted to carry this on after his father died but there were objections and he didn’t get the post. Mr Money’s youngest daughter Marion, got married in the above mentioned house in 1859 to Mr Adam Lothian from Gilbertfield, Rev Paterson doing the officiating.

After the new school, more commonly known as High Blantyre Primary School (known initially as High Blantyre Public School) was built on Hunthill Road in 1875, the old Parochial School in the lane closed in October 1875.

Following that date, it was used by various groups. For instance the Baptist Church which had its beginnings there with 14 members in 1896. The pastor, Walter Wilson, worked full time in Glasgow, but he was also involved with the Lanarkshire Christian Union, which met in the old Parish School, and he was a member also of another Bible based society which met on another evening there, thus the old School became known locally as the Christian Institute. The Boys Brigade used it in the late 1940s and early 1950s under the guidance of Captains Reid and McNaughton, and they would produce a wee programme and invite family and friends to watch a display at the end of their season, to show off their gymnastic skills.” The school was demolished shortly after and is now the site of a modern housing estate near Park Crescent and not far from the entrance to Kirkton Park.

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