Letters to the Editor

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Nostalgia – Memories of the Burgh School

Sir, – Following on from Alan Mason’s article in latest issue about Dalkeith Burgh school.

I attended ‘The Burgh’ School 1950 - ‘57. I also remember Miss Clapperton in P1. I was in P7B with Mrs Davis, (absolutely lovely - some of us even had lunch in her home in Edinburgh, when we ‘graduated’ P7). Mr Shiells, who was mentioned, had the ‘clever’ kidz in P7A class. He was a fiercesome teacher. I had the belt from him at least once.

Along with one or two pals I went to school early each morning and helped the Janny distribute crates of milk to every classroom. For this he paid us 6d, which we ‘blew’ in the wee shop by the Bridge (Snowball and Highland Toffee).

We all lived in fear of the Heidie Mr Thomson. He threatened to have me repeat P7, if I didn’t buck up my ideas. (I was rubbish at arithmetic). I managed to avoid that ignominy.

I left school in 1961 at the end of 4th year, with no paper qualifications whatsoever – none to be had at that time (a year before ‘O’ Grades). I was two years at Kippielaw and then the new school. It was either Croft Street or Kippielaw. A shocking system, creating great stigmas and division. I’m still recovering.

After school: office boy in Edinburgh; Civil Service - London; Police Service - Musselburgh & Gorebridge; Bible College, Glasgow (‘68 - ‘70); Missionary service in Taiwan (‘71 - ‘77); Edinburgh University (Chinese Language & History [‘77 - ‘79]); 20 years teaching RE in four secondary schools; Ordained Minister 1999 - present (latterly 10 years in Portobello); Presently: Locum Minister - Newbattle Parish.

Ah, well Mrs Davis must have taught me something after all. – Yours, etc.,

Rev Ralph A Dunn

BA, Dip Th

Thorny Crook Gardens


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