PL Log Blog: In the beginning…..

This session, Preston Lodge High School is very proud to celebrate its 85th birthday as a school and the 40th birthday of the new building at Park View.  We aim to mark these events in many different ways throughout the session.  One way is to look back to the first log book from 1924.  It’s a fascinating insight into what education was like back then.  We are very lucky to have the log book.  It is locally rumoured that Mr J Sykes M A, headmaster from 1957 to 1970, crawled into the original building while it was still on fire, risking his life and wooden leg, to retrieve the log book.  And here are some of its entries.  See if you can spot an ancestor or two and see how things have changed.  And thank you Mr Sykes.  We are indebted to you.

The first rector was Dr J S W Boyle, M A, B Sc 1924-1928

26th September 1924

Preston Lodge School was opened at 10am on Tuesday 23rd September by Dr D R Macdonald, Dunbar, Chairman of East Lothian Education Authority; Dr J Logan Ayre, Prestonpans, and Mr R D Robertson, Executive Officer were also present.   As the new buildings are not yet completed, the school began work in the U F Church, and Parish Church Halls, Prestonpans, together with a hut which had been erected in the playing-field East of the Parish Church Hall.  The following teachers were present at the opening:  John S W Boyle M A B Sc Ph D – Rector; Peter Gray M A – Principal English Master; R G Leishman M A B Sc – Principal Science Master; Miss J Smith M A – Modern Language Mistress; Wm Reid M A – Classical Master and Assistant in English; Miss M A Mitchell M A B Sc – Assistant in Mathematics and Science (Temporary Teacher appointed owing to inability of Miss Porteous to report for duty before 6th October.  The number of pupils enrolled to date is 151.

Number of pupils on roll to date is 188.

27th September 1924

At a meeting of staff held today, it was decided that teachers would wear academic gowns.

1st October 1924

The regular time-table was put into operation on Monday except for handwork and music, English or Mathematics being substituted.  As regards written home work, the rule is now laid down that in English and Mathematics, exercises are to be given for handing in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, in other subjects on Tuesday and Thursday.

2nd October 1924

Mr Stewart H M I called this afternoon to discuss the question of ‘Preliminary Training’ for pupils intending to enter the teaching profession.  It was decided that it would be advisable not to make Preston Lodge a centre for this Preliminary Training until next session.

3rd October 1924

Mr Trewin H M Inspector called at the school to see the laboratory accommodation and the proposed Science Time-table.

6th October 1924

Miss Annie Porteous M A B Sc joined the staff today as Assistant Teacher of Mathematics and Science.

13th October 1924

The number of pupils on the register of the school is now 159.  Six pupils have this week transferred to Class I Secondary.  This will necessitate the splitting of Class I Secondary into two classes.

17th October 1924

Wood-work benches were received last night; from today the Primary School science laboratory will be available for Preston Lodge School on Friday 9am – 3.45pm.

21st October 1924

Dr Jamieson, Chief Inspector of Schools called this morning with his assistant, Mr Thomson.  They were greatly surprised at the size of the school, and insisted that no time should be lost in splitting Class I Secondary into two classes.  The purpose of Dr Jamieson’s visit was to see the school as a request had reached him for recognition as a Secondary School.

22nd October 1924

Miss Crawford H M I visited the school today to enquire about the instruction in needlework, cookery se.   She expressed the hope that it would be found possible to continue sewing throughout the first three years of the secondary course.

27th October 1924

Miss Dorothy Forsyth M A joined the staff today as an interim assistant in English and French, as Miss Elizabeth Guild M A who has been appointed assistant in English and French will be unable to come here for several weeks.

Attendance last week 95%

Mr A Prentice is appointed Art and Woodwork teacher at £160 per annum duties commencing from today.

31st October 1924

The new time-tables, rendered necessary by the splitting of Class I Secondary into two sections IA and IB, came into operation yesterday.

3rd November 1924

A bus service to convey pupils to Preston Lodge from Winton, Pencaitland and Ormiston began today.

7th November 1924

Twenty new pupils have enrolled at the school during the past week.  The number of pupils on the admission register is now 179.  Attention of teachers had to be drawn to the fact that sufficient care was not being exercised in the transferrring entries from First Instance Records to Registers of Daily Attendance.

11th November 1924

All pupils and members of staff attended a Memorial Service at the War Memorial at 11am today.  Rev Dr J Logan Ayre, Parish Minister, Prestonpans gave a short address “In grateful rememberance from Preston Lodge School.”   All Boy Scouts and Girl Guides attended in uniform.  A collection taken from the school on behalf of Earl Haig’s Fund realised £1:9:6 1/2.

13th November 1924

As there are now 34 pupils travelling daily from Ormiston and Pentcaitland district, the contractor is running two buses one from Ormiston and the other from Winton and Pencaitland.

19th November 1924

John W Johnston, 214 Sunnybank, Prestonpans took over the duties of Janitor from today.

More from the PL Log book in another post soon.

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