Headmaster's Logbook, July-August 1941


Headmaster’s Logbook, July-Aug 1941


July 1941

Headmaster – Dr William Barry

July 4th, 1941

‘From today have arranged to curtail periods to 35 minutes until breaking-up.

Had asked the local S.M.C. to allow me to begin next session’s work on Monday, 18th August, but this request was refused on the grounds that the S.M. Committee were adhering to the holiday arrangements already fixed, viz – that this School should close on 15th July and reopen on 18th August 1941.

On 26th June, the letter from the Director of Education contained the following instruction:

“From Monday, 18th August, in the case of St Ninian’s R.C. High School, the School will be open and teachers will be in attendance.

This decision will ensure that all teachers have one month’s continuous holiday during the summer, and also that on the expiry of the month’s vacation the schools will be open under the supervision of the Head Teachers and Staffs to provide some suitable form of recreational education on the basis of half a day per pupil. The Staff can be arranged in rotas as certain members may be required for special services elsewhere than in schools in August prior to the reopening for the next session of all schools in the area in Monday, 1st September.”

Reasons given to S.M.C. for reopening this School on 18th August were:-

1. Most R.C. Schools in this Country will begin the new session on that date: amongst them is Croy School, and from that district over 100 pupils, including evacuees, attend here. For both Schools to reopen concurrently would help considerably from a disciplinary point of view, as otherwise the older pupils become a source of annoyance to the local School.

2. The evacuees, over 300 in number, require all the extra tuition the can obtain to overtake the instruction they have already missed elsewhere. I have found after testing these pupils and consulting with teachers and parents that they are on an average of at least half-a-year behind the normal educationally.

3. We feel that it would be much better for our pupils in future to have all July and part of August for holidays. While this year they have already had a week in March, so that they are not suffering any undue hardship this year. The only alteration entailed in the holidays already fixed for next session would be to give us Monday 3rd Nov. as a mid-term holiday, and close on last Friday in June 1942: these ten days being obtained from 18th to 29th August.

When the S.M.C. on 3rd June reaffirmed its former decision to adhere to closing date (15th July) originally fixed, Headmaster wrote Director:

“I saw Mr Thorburn (Clerk) this afternoon 13th June and asked him whether, in view of the terms of your circular letter, I was still to keep this School in session until 15th July, or close at end of June, as Par. 5 would appear to be contingent on Pars. 1 and 2 being made operative. Later, Mt Thorburn phoned to say I should write to you for definite instructions on this matter, since the Ed. Committee representing the County Council, our employers, had the right to determine when we should stop as well as when we should resume work. I should regret very much to have the teachers here penalised and feel aggrieved because of conflicting instructions. I trust that the Ed. Committee has decided on the prompt enforcement of pars. 1 and 2 of their circular as in respect of par.5 and will instruct the local S.M. Committee accordingly.” ‘ 

‘Four pupils in Secondary and six in Primary Department made perfect attendance.’


July 10th

‘£65 was collected for Hospital [Royal Hospital for Sick Children] in district, Waterside and Twechar and School.

Held sports meeting this afternoon in playing field.’


July 14th

‘Bad attendance today. In Secondary Department, the attendance was 201 out of a roll of 354 or 56.8%. In Primary 454 out of 709 or 64%. Total 655 out of 1063 or 62 per cent.

In the afternoon, assembled all the Primary and Secondary pupils in the Assembly Hall for distribution of Prizes.... In his report the Head master referred to

I.  “King George V” for which £63-12-1½ had been handed in during session, and £63-2-1 expended, making as av. Weekly collection of 32/- and expenditure of 29/-. Since October 1940, there were sent to the ship

(a) 70 parcels of magazines & books (b) 77 pairs of socks (c) 31 scarves     (d) 20 helmets   (e) 20 pairs of mitts (f) 5 pairs of sea-boot stockings         (g) 3 pairs of gloves   (h) 3 pullovers   Total woollen gifts   159

Income, subscribed by Primary Pupils £18, by Staff £5-16/-, by Raffles gathered £24-17-6. Money spent on wool £24-17-6, sent to ship for Library £29-8/-. Postage £5-1-6.

II. War Savings Effort. 250 Certificates were purchased. More than 5,5000 sixpenny stamps were purchased.

III. Dux of Senior Secondary : Charles Trower

Sux of Junior Secondary: Claire M. Potton

IV. Mrs Darroch, who has been on the staff for 38 years presented the Prizes.

Owing to inclement weather Infants were dismissed at mid-day.’


July 15th

‘In all 380 new evacuated pupils were enrolled during session.. Of these there were some from six schools in Dunbarton and some from 27 Glasgow schools.

This school closed today for summer holidays and is due to reopen on Monday 1st September 1941. The Staff are expected to report for duty on Monday, 18th August, 1941.

Prior to closing, the Secondary pupils gave a performance of the “Income” a farcical comedy written by Joe Corsie, and produced by Mr N. MacKinnon, Pr. Teacher of Classics. Those taking part were John Boyle (IV), John McGregor (Ia), Annie Devine (V), Isobel Clifford (V), Sarah Quigley (IIa).

Very Rev. Canon Jansen was present and said a few words to the pupils. He was accompanied by Rev. G. Dunn. A concert was given by pupils in Secondary and Primary Departments arranged by Miss Denny, Music Teacher.

Mr Coleman, Principal Teacher of Art, left school today and is due to report for military service at Leeds on the 16th instant. Mr Jos. Barry has been appointed Fire-Watcher from 9pm to 9am daily from 13th July to 4th August at this School by the School Management Committee.



August 7th

‘Mr Neil MacKinnon was due to report at Edinburgh for military service today.’

August 8th

‘Received today from H.M.S. King George V a 5.25 inch casing from which a shell was fired against Bismarck on 27th May. Along with the shell was a “banger” made of cord by Captain’s Coxswain.’

August 18th

‘Today, in accordance with the Education Committee’s instructions, all teachers reported at the School... as there were no pupils in attendance for recreational education, the Headmaster arranged roster for schooldays up to 1st Sept.’

August 22nd

‘Mr J Stevenson, P.A. Officer, called re “try-out” on 23rd Aug when this school was to be a Rest Centre for “shadow” cases. Accommodation for 800 and sleeping for 200 persons.

August 30th

‘Mrs Crowe, Mrs Brown and Miss Fletcher called and checked up on apparatus re. premises as a Rest Centre. Mr Stevenson also called and remained for some time. ‘W.V.S’ workers were here in canteen and ready to receive evacuees (“shadow”). The visit was in connection with a “try-out” over the West of Scotland, and the ladies, visiting, were satisfied that, in the event of the School being required, everything would be as satisfactory as last March.’