Memories from one of Viewforth High School’s pupils

Betsy's daughter Grace, who also went to Viewforth was Dux in 1961
Betsy's daughter Grace, who also went to Viewforth was Dux in 1961

When Betsy McCrae went to Viewforth at the age of 12 things were a little different to what they are now.

For the sprightly 96-year-old joined as a pupil in 1931, just 12 years after the school was built, and she has fond memories.

Mrs McCrae at Viewforth

Mrs McCrae at Viewforth

“It looked a lot different from what it does now, and I remember we did gym in the big assembly hall – mainly just gymnastics and fitness. I remember climbing the wall bars.

“The teachers were all quite strict, and you could get the belt for misbehaving. It didn’t do us any harm and we respected them,” she said.

Mrs McCrae, one of the oldest surviving former pupils, was a special guest at the final prizegiving in the current building on Friday.

“It was good to look around, again although it is very different. I could remember which classes I had in some of the rooms.

“The pupils were very polite and looked after us, and I am looking forward to seeing around the new school when it opens.”

Betsy was taught commercial classes which involved shorthand and typing as well as French lessons, and her teacher was Mr McGeachie.

“Every morning the headmaster Mr McKay would come in and test our spelling,” she said. They were really big classes of around 40 pupils, and I had lots of friends from Dysart where we lived. We all went home for our lunch because there was no canteen then.

“I had to leave at 14 because I was needed to work to bring in money, but I really enjoyed the school and I will be sad to see it go.”