The Old School Board

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In the 1860's and 1870's education in Scotland improved considerably and School Boards, which included distinguished members of the local community, were created to discuss school improvements, teachers salaries, courses and curriculum, buildings, holiday periods and rules and regulations.

In this section I have included a selection of press reports that relate to Banchory-Devenick School Board that illustrate, that in those early years, there were many squabbles and disputes between board members. In this instance the main protagonists were Reverend Dr. William Paul, minister of the parish of Banchory Devenick and Reverend William Bruce, minister of the quoad sacra parish of Portlethen. We can see that although these two men shared a religious belief they most certainly didn't share the same views of education in the area.

What I like about these stories are the occasional clashes between two of my favourite characters of old - Reverend Bruce and George J. Walker - these articulate fellows had a way with words and language that you just don't hear any more.

Unfortunately some of the copies of these press reports are of poor quality and the writing is small and difficult to read however it's still possible to get the gist of the story. I may also have these reports slightly out of sequence but hopefully that will not detract too much.


Reverend Bruce favours Portlethen over Findon.

A summary of the situation.

Reverend Bruce writes a "rollicking" letter.

Dr Paul has his say.

Dr Paul's resignation and reinstatement.

Rev Bruce and Mr Walker go head to head.

Dr Paul is back onboard.

A new female school - fact or red herring?

How many schools do they actually want?

Coal, Officers Reports, Singing Classes and School Visits.

A meeting and a grievance.