Memories of Langholm infant school's class of 1962

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AS THE class of 1962 celebrate their 60th birthdays this year, one of their number shares her memories of Langholm infant school.

The class of 1962 at Langholm infant school are turning 60 this year. They are, back row, from left, Miss Gray, Andy Bell, Donald Waldie, David Pool, Stephen Wood, Michael Henderson, Scott Reid, Ronald Crawford, William Calvert, Donald Cowan, Donald Ritchie. Second row David Irving, Paul Ernst, David Grieve, Ross Haldane, Robert Bell, Gavin ?, Robert Hotson, Ian Donaldson. Third row Kenneth Hill, Jacqueline Fletcher, Sheila Laidlaw, Linda Ritchie, May Musialowski, Jacqueline ?, Yvonne Armstrong, Douglas Patterson. Front row Kathleen Fenton, Mairi Telford, Susan McKone, Gail Dickson, Anne Wood, Isobel Roebuck, Roxella Scott, Karen Scott
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The class of 1962 at Langholm infant school are turning 60 this year. They are, back row, from left, Miss Gray, Andy Bell, Donald Waldie, David Pool, Stephen Wood, Michael Henderson, Scott Reid, Ronald Crawford, William Calvert, Donald Cowan, Donald Ritchie. Second row David Irving, Paul Ernst, David Grieve, Ross Haldane, Robert Bell, Gavin ?, Robert Hotson, Ian Donaldson. Third row Kenneth Hill, Jacqueline Fletcher, Sheila Laidlaw, Linda Ritchie, May Musialowski, Jacqueline ?, Yvonne Armstrong, Douglas Patterson. Front row Kathleen Fenton, Mairi Telford, Susan McKone, Gail Dickson, Anne Wood, Isobel Roebuck, Roxella Scott, Karen Scott

The school was where Langholm day centre is now and there were two classrooms for P1 and P2. These have recently been converted into one room as part of the centre’s expansion. The toilets were at the back and were open air and cold.

Mairi Telford Jammeh, who lives on the waterside in Langholm, said: "Our first teacher was Miss Gray who I remember as being very kindly but others might have other memories which are different to mine.

"I do remember that one lad was threatened with having his mouth washed out with carbolic soap if he swore and the memory of the smell of that soap. Very scary to me aged four.

"My memory of my first day at school was that Kathleen Fenton (Richardson) had the same Gabardine coat as me and that I sat beside Kenneth Hill. Other than that I don’t remember much at all. They are odd things to remember but such is the nature of childhood memories.

"There are a surprising number of us still in and around Langholm and, sadly, some who have not made it but are still remembered.

"Andy Bell was one of the latter and many folk who worked at EWM or frequented the Buck will remember him fondly. He lived near me when we were in P1 and we often walked home at dinnertime together.

"Later, when we were both in Edinburgh at different universities we often used to bump into each other in various pubs where we were studying life.

"What a range of places life has taken us all; some folk never moved away whil others left and return to Langholm only for the Common Riding or not at all.

"Some stayed but moved away later and others left and came back after many years – I for one – to bring up our own children here.

"Across the road from our infant school were two Langholm landmarks: the Picter Hoose (cinema); and Clints, the sweetie shop which had ha’penny and penny trays, from which you could pick something, usually after we’d come back from ‘oor denner’.

"A lot of us probably had regular visits to Mr Spiers’ dental surgery in the town hall later as a result of those purchases. I had many fillings prepared with his agonisingly slow drill in what felt like a torture chamber.

"I was together in the same class with some of the people in the picture for 13 years and we were practically family by the end of that. To those of you who have already turned 60 and those still to do so, many happy returns."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 11:05AM
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