Douglas Hay sent in a message (a while back!) saying, “I would be grateful for any information about the school or the book. I found a book (Poems Of Tenyson) in a cupboard and on the front it says – Blantyre Parish School Board, Low Blantyre Public School, Special Prize Presented To Marion Forrest on Completion of Eight Years Perfect Attendance at this School 16th June 1911. I’m not sure if it was presented to my Great Grandmother or her daughter.”
I was able to reply with, “Hi Douglas. Alfred Tennyson was British poet who passed away in 1892. He was a popular Victorian poet and books continued to be published well after his death, as they still are today. This would have been a nice gift for Marion, who did so well attending school all those years. That reflects highly too on her parents who would have helped enforce that.
You didn’t send me a photo, but I’ve found this photo online which suitably illustrates todays article. Lack of attendance ran high in the 1900’s and 1910s, so Marion did very well and the timing reflects a presentation not just at the end of the school term, but nearing the end of her time at that school. She would have been used to a new sight of Blantyre trams trundling past the school at that busy area of Blantyre.
The School referred to in the book is Low Blantyre School, of Stonefield Parish School, sometimes nicknamed as “Ness’s School”. It was one of two schools which opened on the same day in 1875 and was located on the corner of Glasgow Road and Victoria Street in Blantyre. It’s now the site of the Blantyre Library and Asda’s Warehouse and no longer there.
Marion Cooper Forrest was born in Blantyre in 1897. The book being presented in 1911, meant she was approximately 14 years old.