End of Auchinraith School


1910s Auchinraith Primary School wm

Blantyre organisations were shocked in the first week of November 1979, to learn that the derelict building formerly the Auchinraith Primary School at the corner of Craig Street and Auchinraith Road, would NOT be turned into a community centre.

Springwells Tenants Association and the Boys Brigade had been especially interested in using the school, so it was a blow to learn that the Government had turned down an appeal for cash and decided there was no future for the building.

Despite some sentiment, which still exists even today for the old building, it was the right decision in this instance. Many years of neglect had committed the building into a state beyond dereliction, vandalised beyond all description. However, it was the independent survey of the fabric of the building itself that ultimately sealed its fate.

The report in November 1979, recommended that the Auchinraith School was beyond saving and recommended it should be demolished. Severe subsidence caused by the immediate proximity to the former Auchinraith Colliery had put almost the stonework of the windows and doors out of alignment, with severe cracks to the walls. The report went on to say there was a strong possibility of the roof collapsing, the complete lack of wiring and plumbing, no heating and dangerous lead pipework throughout the building.

Local Councillor Malcolm Waugh, wasn’t surprised having made all the points before. He had been instrumental in getting the building closed as a school in the first place due to its dangerous condition. One of the groups hit hardest was the “Blantyre We Care Group” consisting of mothers of handicapped children who had been hoping to move there and had hoped renovation would allow it to be used as a creche.

The fate of Auchinraith School had been sealed by December 1979 and was subsequently demolished in 1980.

Pictured, in my previously unseen photo and put up online for the first time today, is a photograph taken by a distant relative of mine, of Auchinraith School in the 1910s, clearly in its prime.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Blantyre Project This photo of Auchinraith School is in a collection given to me recently. Its previously unseen online and shows the former school in its prime. More excellent brand ew photos of this school and other public buildings coming soon.
Kenny Thomson Blantyre Project the old school wall runs along the length of my house and garden, separating the property from the houses in Anford Gardens. Was this picture taken looking down what is now Anford Place? If so, you can very faintly see the gable end of my house in the distance!

Orlando Ancilotti This is looking at the school from near the bottom of Anford Place so, yes, the wall at the right hand side of the picture separates the playground from the three houses that made up Anford Place (what used to be a part of Auchinraith Road). I grew up in 2 Anford Place (118 Auchinraith Road), the house at the top of Logan Street, and went to this school.

Davy Thomson My old school,, had a secret garden at the heart of it, we used to go out into it when the weather was nice,, Mrs Fairley was the headmistress at the time
Blantyre Project where was the garden Davy? I cant remember seeing that although i was only in Auchinraith School a couple of times ever in my life.

Davy Thomson You accessed it through a panel on the wall, was in the middle of the school, I was only 7-8,so, memories might be a bit sketchy, maybe one of the older pupils can confirm it

Ann Donald I remember the secret panel, the teachers had to duck down to go though it. Absolutely loved it! It was at the start of a corridor from the school hall.
Margaret Douglas Davy Thomson Miss Fairley retired and I gave her a carriage clock and a wee girl whose name I don’t know, gave her bouquet of flowers. Need to look out the picture sometime
Davy Thomson I hated auld Easton the janny,, he was a torn faced auld man, stayed next to me in croftpark crescent too
Wendy Garvie Margaret Douglas oooh miss Fairley…she was very strict. Remember we had to stand up when she came into the classroom and the boys had to salute her saying gooood morning miss Fairley 🤣
Wendy Garvie Davie Robson miss Fairley always drove automatic Vauxhall Vivas. I remember that because my dad always admired her car when he drove us to school in the winter
Davie Robson Wendy Garvie she was a proper miss Jean Brodie type, I remember the janny coming out with the bell and we tried to get a wee shot of running round the playground ringing the bell, oh what fun 😂😂
Wendy Garvie Davie Robson ahh the simple things in life Davy. Hope you’re all well xx

Margaret Douglas Wendy Garvie you’s have a good memory. I’m murder! lol memory is bad 😓 canny remember that far back 😐

Wendy Garvie Margaret Douglas hahaha dont ask me what I did yesterday !! 😂 Xxx

Marion Anderson Attended there in the late 1950’s I still remember my first day at school.

Blantyre Project ah, but do you remember your teacher?!

Marion Anderson Blantyre Project no.sadly

Marion Anderson after reading Henry Hambley’s post Miss McGreavie and Mr Dunlop🤔

Henry Hambley Happy memories of Auchinraith P School which I attended from 1954 until 1961. Mr Dunlop was the headmaster. Other teacher included Miss Grieve, Mr Burt, Miss Blair, Miss McGreavie, Miss Francis, Miss Allen, Miss Hamilton, Miss Forest and Mrs MccMinn.

Blantyre Project Did Mrs McMinn ever leave to go to High Blantyre Primary. Thats a name i think i remember in the Annexe at Hunthill road in the 70s.

Henry Hambley I don’t know. Her husband was minister of the Congregational Church in Craig Street, I think.

Moyra Lindsay I started in 51 many teachers were the same. In fact some of them taught my mum!
Elizabeth Weaver Yes, our Mum said the same, Moyra. I’m pretty sure Miss Grieve and Miss Francis taught her – and apparently they were just as grumpy when they were young 😉 .
Isabella Mcginty My old school iv got plenty of happy memories x
Linda Scott Isabella Mcginty i remember your poem won a Scottish competition and it was read out on the radio !

Isabella Mcginty That was my sister Margaret who won it.

Blantyre Project Anybody else go to this school? What’s your memories of it? Was it cold and really as damp as people say? Was it structurally not fit, as I believe subsidence from the collieries affected it badly. Would love to hear first hand from people who schooledSee more

Davy Thomson Blantyre Project the subsidence was pretty bad, at one of the kerbed entrances you couldn’t see the end of the kerb it was sunken so much

Orlando Ancilotti I went there from 65 to 72. I don’t remember any subsidence damage, but then I wasn’t looking for it!

Irene Dickman I started Auchinraith p school in 1955. I’m sure my primary one teacher was Miss Sheena Hamilton. Lived at the corner of small crescent. I lived in Morris Crescent.

Valerie Krawczyk Lots of memories from Auchinraith. My dad Willie Pate went there, he was born in 1908 and when he went to Auchinraith the janitor used to get him to light the gas lamps. My dad stayed in 1 Hardie Street so he was nice and handy for the school. Henry and I were in the same class at school so I can remember all the teachers he mentioned. Worst memories were of the outside toilets and the school meals, fortunately I seldom had them.
Henry Hambley I remember Valerie very well. Willie Pate ran the newsagents in Glasgow Road beside the chemist. He was a very affable man and always had a cheery word for my mother and me. I think I got the Hotspur weekly !

Margo Lee Gibson I was there for a short time in the early seventies. I just remember it being a really old school.

Garry Crowley It had a secret garden rite in the middle of the building! It wisny a secret but we called it that!!
Fred Crainer There’s not much left in Blanter to demolish. Maybe the Apollo pub is next to go.

Martin Smith Two flats and two retail units. Dont know when!!!

Isabella Johnston McShane There was a corridor right throught the so called garden that took us to the last two class rooms for p6 p7…i loved my time at auchinraith…i remember having to go upstairs to my desk in the class rm and looking down on the teacher.. then returning for a new term and them all being flattened down and new flat desks…liked the old way better….and having yr turn at running round the school with the big bell to let others know dinner/playtime was up ..1964 to 70
Isabella Johnston McShane A show we put on last yr of primary …


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Orlando Ancilotti I see you, and Linda Young, Catherine Brown, Margaret Gallagher. Shug Waugh at the back (it’s Roland here).
Blantyre Project what year was that Isabella?

Blantyre Project 1970?

Orlando Ancilotti I think it was 68, or thereabouts

Isabella Johnston McShane Im positive its 71 ..will try find out for sure

Isabella Johnston McShane Were u in my yr Orlando Ancilotti…name not ringing any bells ?

Hugh Waugh Hells Bells Isabella lol a think its 69 70 no later

Orlando Ancilotti Roland Northfield, Isabella. Im sure its 68 Shug, the class after Miss Clelland (Miss Rennie, but she got married and her name changed)

Orlando Ancilotti Mrs Stewart? The one before Mrs Urquhart.

Isabella Johnston McShane Youse have better memoiries than me…i can only remember mrs hamilton n mrs thomson

Jiae Jiae I was born just across the road and my Grannie was a cleaner there!

Kenneth Downie Me… High Blantyre first and the hairdressers was a wee shop

Richard Lees I remember running round the school ringing the bell.
I also remember an Ostrich egg sitting in the top classroom window.
Happy days.

Cecil Willis Ma first day at school a beat ma mam doon the road a wis sittin in the close waitin on her
Grace Yull I remember that school my brother and two sisters went to the school until it closed

Margo Clayton David Ritchie did the joinery work in it when it was built.

Sadie Dolan My Mum and her bros sisters attended this School we just stayed 2mins from it.

Kenneth Downie OUTSIDE TOILET 😁

Moyra Lindsay With no roof!
Kenneth Downie And they think school is hard these days 😁
Elizabeth Weaver Not to mention non-flushing toilets, and no doors on cubicles, so you had to get a pal to stand in front of you if you wanted privacy. And the stink! 🤢😂
Kenneth Downie I was never in the lassies but the boys was a trough 😁
Elizabeth Weaver Kenneth Downie the girls was no better 😉

Kenneth Downie Elizabeth Weaver….. Memories 😁and running up the pile of coal when it got delivered

Elizabeth Knowles I attended Auchinraith 1944 till 1951, returning to Blantyre a some years ago I was sad to see the old building gone but it is always inspiring to see the wee shopy and the old school sign, hope they never take it down. Those toilets were cold in winter.
Lyn Lappin Miss fairley was headmistress and auld mr easton the janny when a was there.
Ian Lappin Lyn Lappin Miss Sinclair in this one. Miss Rose and Miss Drennan were another two.


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Marié Rodwell I’m sure I’m 4th from the right at the bottom

Laurie Allan Crothers I was at Auchinraith from 1964-1971. Loved that school. The secret garden was down the corridor going towards P4/P5. Mr Dunlop was the head when I first started then Miss Fairlie. You had to stand when she entered your classroom and say ‘good morning Miss Fairlie’, then she would tell everyone to ‘sit’. Does anyone remember Miss Thompson in P6 ( my sister Mhairi and Miss Thompson had a mutual dislike of each other) and Mr McGilvary in P7 (wee bud)?

Linda Scott Laurie Allan Crothers hello I stayed in Small Crescent!
Laurie Allan Crothers Hi Linda. How are you?
Jackie MacDonald Laurie Allan Crothers Miss Thompson with her French pleated hair & twinsets. Used to see her with her twin in Hamilton.
Loved Mr. MULHOLLAND. Mrs Nicholson Mr. McGilvarey & Miss Green.
What was that auld battleaxe called that used to teach there too? Name slips my mind.
Great memories.

Laurie Allan Crothers Canny remember. What was the music teacher’s name?

Peter Murray Laurie Allan Crothers her name was miss bright 🤣🤣

Laurie Allan Crothers Peter Murray , you’re right. Miss Bright. She was very posh.

Peter Murray Yes laurie she was and so were we 🤣🤣

Helen Lawson Taylor I went to Auchinraith in1950 and still remember my first day, the teacher Miss Grieve had a stuffed cat on top of the cupboard .

Orlando Ancilotti There were some happy days, Iain, but I hated the place… 🙂

Orlando Ancilotti Actually, that’s not true. There were other things going on.

Iain Freeman Orlando Ancilotti, it was more the photo

Orlando Ancilotti I remember trying to pee over the toilet wall

Janet Saunders Walked past here many a times, going to ma gran & grandaddy house in Springwell😁 my mum & dad went to this school xx

Linda O’Donnell Loved that wee school,not the railings though,broke my nose on the railing playing ropes

Linda Gilmour Roberts I don’t remember that Linda.
Linda O’Donnell I had black eyes and left with a bump on my nose
Mary Ingram went here in 1969 loved it
Linda O’Donnell was a great school Mary they should have kept it,same with Calder St one too

Linda Scott Miss Fairlie. A force of nature….hmmm. And Mr Easton the janny bandaged my wrist when I broke it playing elastic ropes…😀😀

Andy Paterson Went there from 1967 to 1971, Miss Fairley was the headmistress and Mrs McLoud was my first teacher, she emigrated to Australia.
Marié Rodwell I used to go round ringing the bell for break time

Marié Rodwell And on windy days we lift our coats over our heads till the wind caught it and lifted us off our feet lol and came crashing to the ground

Helen McKean My wee school.
Marie Kelly Davie Kelly went in 1 gate saying by to his Mum then RUN right oot the other to the bing then after 6month he finally got caught 😂🤣

Patrick Mckeane I remember it

Elizabeth Weaver I started after Christmas in 1952 – there were two intakes per year back then. Miss Neilson was the infant mistress, who took P1 and supervised the other infant classes. We had to sit in rows at our desks, arms folded, and listen – no talking, no interSee more
Brian Weaver I think there were three intakes in 1955… Christmas, Easter and Summer. How did Miss Neilson handle that? There were 53 of us. And we used the slates occasionally too. God, how I hated school. 🤣
Wendy Garvie I remember the wee heaters that were on the outside walls at the dining hall – we used to melt our empty crisp bags on them…no health n safety back then 🤣 The outside toilets were disgusting too. Mrs Atwell was my favourite teacher. Miss Rose , Mrs Deans & Miss Drennan were great teachers too
Davie Robson Wendy Garvie I remember the outside toilets, 😱😱👹

Wendy Garvie Davie Robson they were just so disgusting 🤢 That wouldn’t be allowed now.

Davie Robson Went there 69-76, Miss Fairley head teacher.
Phil Watson Went there 67- 72 love it, even the outside toilet!!! Happy days

John Queen happy day

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