1696-1830

tawseSchools have existed in Milngavie for at least the past 200 years, but it is difficult to be certain which was the first. In 1696 the Act for the Settling of Schools decreed there should be a school for every parish and that the schoolmaster's salary should not be above £ 11 2s. 2d. per annum. Records tell us that in New Kilpatrick the schoolmaster appointed in 1696 was a John Graham.

The Old Statistical Account for New Kilpatrick indicates that in 1790 there were four schools in the parish, including one at Milngavie "where 40 scholars attended at the north end of the Parish.'

 By the 1830's there were several schools of various kinds in the village.The old school, which bore the date 1788 stood alongside the entrance to Rockbank, off Mugdock Road. Writing in the Milngavie Herald in June 1910 an old scholar of the school reminisced:

'When I first knew it the floor was the mother earth, with holes here and there covered with bits of old flooring. . . . . . . there was no ceiling. The roof was slated. ... there were numerous holes through which the water dropped on rainy days.'

He went on to recall one of the schoolmasters:The teacher was Mr. Alexander Graham, a very decent and worthy man. Unfortunately for himself he was minus a leg, the place of which was supplied by the usual contrivance. If the surroundings were uncomfortable for the pupils the reading material hardly seemed to compensate ­

"...The first book in the curriculum was 'the wee spell' which

was about the size of a ha'penny pass book, the first reading sentence in it being 'God is by me all the day' ."

Milngavie Infant SchoolMeanwhile as a result of the inspiration and hard work of the Reverend Alexander McNaughton, minister of Cairns Church of Scotland, the Milngavie Infants School was established, also known as the Bridge School on account of its location to the west of the old bridge that crossed the Allander.

Mary Tidwell