Forrest Link with Dr Livingstone

1890 barnhill schoolhouse

1890 Barnhill Schoolhouse ruins highlighted in green

On Saturday 17th December 1921, the death took place of Mr Forrest, one of Blantyre’s oldest natives in the Barnill district. He was born in Blantyre seventynine years earlier in 1842. He had been extremely happy in relating the early life in Blantyre, and often recalled his experiences at a ” gie wee schule ” in the Barnhill district, the teacher being an old woman, and the scholars paying Id per week.

Mr Forrest could recall the visit of Dr David Livingstone to the old Low Blantyre Village School on 31st December, 1856.

I know exactly that guid wee school he’s referring to. The school used to site where now the Hoolet’s Carpark is, in a former small stone building. That old woman he refers to as the teacher was Mrs Lyon.

When Elizabeth Lyon died on 14th August 1855, the twenty or so children who attended the little school, were relocated to the Kirkton Hall School, which was located in School Lane.  This is all at a time before Auchinraith , Calder Street, Stonefield or High Blantyre Primary Schools were built. It is safe to say the little Barnhill school then fell into ruin. By the time of the 1890 photo above, trees were growing out the ruin and by the time of Mr Forrest’s passing, the little ruin would have been demolished entirely.

Partly from “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2019

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