1830-1873

Burnbrae dye worksThe pamphlet produced by the committee to gain subscriptions for this venture explains its aims :‘The chief objects are early religious instruction and moral training…These duties are too often neglected by parents in the present circumstances of the operative classes - who, while employed at Factories or other Public Works, have their children little under their immediate superintendence; and who, under the difficulties they frequently experience in providing for their numerous families, are glad to take advantage of that demand for the labour of children, which has of late years arisen in manufacturing districts.’

Regulations were laid down about the running of the school, which were based on the rules and regulations of the Glasgow Model Infant School. The school was to open and close with prayer and the daily management of the school was to be such that would ­‘bring Scripture truth and sound principles to bear upon the minds and consciences of the little children.’

On a more practical note the school was to be swept daily, the floors to be washed once a week but ,‘the gallery and seats only on Saturdays, so as to be perfectly dry before Monday.'sampler from 1800's

At the outset the fees were three-halfpence a week where only one child from a family attended the school, and in other cases one penny a week. Parents were asked to

­‘send their children with hands, face and neck, clean washed,their hair combed, and their clothes as clean and decent aspossible.’

A study of the Minutes recorded by the Committee show some of the problems faced by a school dependent upon public subscriptions. Whenever repairs or improvements were needed a new subscription sheet was made up as in December 1847 when it was decided that a stove was needed for the schoolroom. By March 8th 1848 the sheet amounted to £3 45. 6d. the above stove account was for £3 Os. Od. with 1/- for carriage; included with these accounts was 1/- for tins for ink stands , so a balance of 2/6 remained.

Lighting was being discussed in 1850 when it was agreed to devote, ‘ one pound of school funds to the installation of gas’ but it was decided, ‘ that whatever the fittings cost above that sum must be raised’ with the precaution that the money should be obtained before the fittings were installed.

The post of teacher was usually advertised ‘in the Herald and Free Press and likewise intimation made in Messrs. Ogle and McTates Stationers’. Candidates being considered were asked to bring their certificates to a meeting of the Subscribers. There they were examined, orally, by the local ministers in the different branches of learning required. Following this a vote was usually taken. The teacher appointed was expected to teach an evening class for eight months of the year. In January 1860 new arrangements for the provision of the teacher's salary were made. It seems that shortly after this the school was transferred to the Cheapside Hall ­‘a room somewhat larger than the Bridge School but low in the roof and imperfectly lighted’.It also seems that responsibility for the school rested increasingly on Mr. Black for in a letter to the Board of Education for Scotland :June 1873) the newly constituted New Kilpatrick Schoo; Bocrd described the school, saying it was held in a hall ­‘rented for the purpose by 'Messrs. John Black and Co., Allander Printworks, Milngavie, for the use not on!y of their workmen's children but of the village in general’

oldest house in MilngavieAfter its transference to Cheapside Hall it was known as the Hall School. At the time of the 1872 Education Act there was also the Hillhead or Infant School in Milngavie which was taught by a succession of devoted ladies, the first of whom was a Miss Logan and the last a Miss Gregorsen. It was sited on the ground floor of a two storey building, but the number on the roll was three times greater than the school should have accommodated.­

Mary Tidwell

 

Isabella Hosie came to Milngavie in 1867 at the age of 21, from the village of Elliot near Dundee. As school mistress at the Hillhead School she lived in the flat above the school. Miss Hosie married the local grocer, Walter Weir, and for 40 years served Milngavie as its postmistress. She also managed to produce 13 children in her spare time, seven of whom survived to grow up. She died in 1921 at the age of 75. Many of her descendents still live in Milngavie and have attended the School.

Contributed by Mrs. B. Douglas (nee McGuiness), grand-daughter of Mrs. Weir.