New additions to our collection – Buchanan and Drymen school records

Our document of the month for January focuses on a small collection of records which became part of our holdings just before Christmas. These were particularly welcomed as they bolstered the existing records that we house here in relation to this subject area. Gifted to us by Drymen primary school, they consist of log books and admission and withdrawal registers from both Drymen and Buchanan schools, along with photographs and a public notice.

The log books give an interesting insight into daily life at the schools and include additional information such as H.M. Inspector reports, closure for important historical events as happened for V.E. day celebrations in 1945, and occurrences of illness or school outings. The admission and withdrawal registers likewise provide detailed information about each pupil joining and leaving, including dates of birth, addresses, details of parents and accurate withdrawal information and the reason for this.

These volumes are a good example of being able to identify societal changes too. For example, in the earlier registers the reason given for leaving was often “gone to work” when children became part of the workforce at any early age, whereas the more recent records show pupils continuing their education in secondary school, or leaving to attend college. Many can also be seen to have either left the district and so moved to another school or even country, and in some very sad cases, the child is recorded as having died.

These photographs were both taken in 1938 and show images of the same location – a building sitting at the bend in a road; one with a group of young children walking in front of it and one with a woman and little girl at the roadside wall. The white building is the original Buchanan school and those familiar with the area will know that it survives today, now functioning as luxury holiday accommodation. The current Buchanan primary school is situated right next to this building, as the road continues round the bend that is just out of shot in these images, but was temporarily closed a year ago as the last pupils on the small school roll transferred to nearby Drymen primary school.

This public notice (ED/BUI/9/1) enthusiastically invites “parents, ratepayers and all interested in Education” to celebrate the formal opening of new school buildings at Buchanan school on 27 April 1912 by Lady Helen Graham. These types of occasions were an opportunity for the whole community to come together and celebrate and the notice advises of medals that will be awarded to pupils on the day for achievements in essay writing and religious knowledge. There is a substantial article regarding the events of the day found in the Stirling Observer for 4th May 1912, some of which can be seen above (PD72/97). The Observer notes that it was indeed “something of an occasion” and that that there was a “large gathering of those interested, and friends from a distance” present for the festivities.

We always welcome new additions to our records and appreciate the trust put in us to act as custodians to ensure the longevity of our collection. If you would like to see these, or any of our other education records, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. It is important to be aware however of restrictions on access to some of our records which may require additional permissions due to data protection legislation.