Buckhaven and Kirkland memorial: the end of an era

Buckhaven High pupils
Buckhaven High pupils

It’s the end of an era ... and the start of a new chapter for Kirkland and Buckhaven High School pupils.

The doors are closing to two great schools which have served the community for generations.

Article from the Fife Free Press in 1957 on the opening of Buckhaven High School

Article from the Fife Free Press in 1957 on the opening of Buckhaven High School

And next term pupils will begin their education at the new Levenmouth Academy.

It’s a milestone - and one the East Fife Mail is celebrating today (Wednesday).

This week’s paper is devoted almost entirely to YOUR memories of life at BHS and Kirkland.

Our thanks to everyone who contacted us with anecdotes and tributes and provided old pictures.

Buckhaven High School. Pic: Scott Geissler

Buckhaven High School. Pic: Scott Geissler

So let’s start at the very beginning ...

A short article in the Fife Free Press heralded the opening of the doors of the new Buckhaven High School in 1957.

Having moved from its original home on College Street, the new facility opened to great interest from the local community, with a line noting that ‘crowded was the operative word’ for a special open evening following the official opening ceremony by the Rt Honourable Thomas Johnson.

Less than 10 years later and news that another new high school for Levenmouth, Kirkland High, was throwing open the doors garnered a little bit more space in the Press, with a full page report on the official opening by the general secretary of the STUC Mr James Jack.

Buckhaven High School badge

Buckhaven High School badge

Commenting, he told the reporter: “We must realise quickly that education is for life, for life in the fullest and happiest sense; for life in a world which must become less of a jungle of tension and competition and more of a garden of tranquility and co-operation among young people and nations...”

And we’re sure that was the last time anyone ever referred to Kirkland as a garden of tranquility...

Into the 70s and Buckhaven was given a brand new extension to deal with the demands of a growing Levenmouth population, with a new classroom block, laboratories and sports facilities.

Now, over 60 years of history is due to come to a close as Buckhaven and Kirkland High Schools bid farewell to their pupils and staff for the final time.

Kirkland High School badge

Kirkland High School badge

In six short weeks, no longer will the buses and cars be headed in different directions; Methilhaven Road and the new Levenmouth Academy will be the only place to be.

And what a place: the second largest secondary school in Scotland, with shiny new facilities for art, sport and science, it will offer state of the art education to Levenmouth’s youngsters for the first time in 50 years.

Opening of Kirkland High School - article in Fife Free Press in May 1965

Opening of Kirkland High School - article in Fife Free Press in May 1965

Kirkland High pupils

Kirkland High pupils