The Fifties and Sixties

Mr Maurice McLean came to Tealing Primary School in 1952. He recalls "When I first went to Tealing the school and the schoolhouse were or more or less unchanged from the 1930's. The headmaster had always been known as the Dominie and I inherited that title. We had two classrooms, Miss Hendry taught P1, 2, 3 and sometimes 4 and I taught P5, 6, 7 and sometimes 4. A smaller back room was used for dining and a dinner at that time cost 6 old pence, two course lunch, no choice of menu, take it or leave it. Water came from a hillside spring filled tank across the field behind the school. Each room had a coal fire. In snowstorms, meals often couldn't be brought from Forfar. Pupils who could make it each brought a bread and butter sandwich. Each country school had emergency rations some tins of corned beef, cocoa and powdered milk. We boiled water on the classroom fire and made cocoa to drink and corned beef sandwiches to eat.

Each room had a paraffin lamp hanging in the middle of the ceiling. The floor under each lamp had a big oily stain where drips had fallen for years. The toilets were outside. Girls on the west side, boys behind the school where later a nice dining hall was built. In the mid-fifties, when mains water and electricity came to the village we got indoor toilets, electric lights and fan heaters. School-garden education for the boys stopped in 1948 but the boys remembered it and, in my first year, some of them offered to help me plant most of the back garden with potatoes to clean it. When they made beautiful drills for the planting, I was charmed to see, like true farmers, they had made "end-rigs" at the top and bottom of the plot.

At first we had an old battery-set wireless in my room for P4 -7. Later, I got an old mains set from a parent and, from another old set, took the speaker and invented an extension to the infant's room. We had no television in my time at the school. The assistant and I did our own PE in the classroom or outside. We also taught music although the wireless was a great help for teaching songs with professional accompaniment. Each year we had very successful sports and a fund -raising whist drive. As Dominie I was given the job of Superintendent of Tealing Graveyard. Mrs McLean usually took the undertaker's phone calls. After a funeral, he often came to me at the school to settle the account. Most pupils progressed to their first year at the Murroes expect for those who were successful in the "Control Exam". They went on to Forfar Academy. Their future at this time greatly concerned parents and me".

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