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PL Log Books: June & July 1925

PLHS Logbook CollageThe serialisation of our historical Log Book concludes, with the entries from June and July of 1925.


4th June

School was open to-day from 9-1.15 a double attendance being registered.  This was necessitated by the Prestonpans Lads’ meeting holding their Annual pic-nic to-day.

Quarterly examinations started to-day. In the case of Classes 3 & 4 the ordinary time-table was altered to admit examinations of 1½ or 2 hours duration.  In the case of Classes 2 & 1 the examinations are being held during the usual class period.  A time-table was drawn up so as to avoid these latter examinations being held on two consecutive periods in two different subjects.  No class had more than two examinations on one day.

9th June

Mrs _______, cleaner, suspended from duty at 4pm for arriving in intoxicated condition.

Miss McIntyre not at school to-day owing to indisposition.

10th June

Rev Dr. J. Logan Ayre, Chairman of the School Management Committee, visited the school to-day to inspect the registers.  They were examined and found correct.

12th June

Miss Mitchell left school sick at 11am.

Mrs _______, cleaner recommenced duty at 4 o’clock to-day, pending instructions from the Authority.

15th June

Miss Mitchell at duty to-day.

13th June

A bursary control examination for pupils from P’pans P.S., Cockenzie P.S.,  Tranent R.C. & P.S. & Macmerry P.S. was held here today.  Thirty candidates presented themselves for examination.

22nd June

Mr Allatt not at Preston Lodge to-day. Leave of absence granted.

Mr Leishman left school at mid-day to-day – leave of absence granted on urgent family business.

24th June

Casual holiday on account of Prestonpans Sunday School pic-nic.

25th June

Mr Leishamn returned to duty to-day.  The school was closed at 1.10 to-day, a double attendance being counted.  This was done because 43 pupils were absent owing to pic-nics from Cockenzie and the general holiday in Cockenzie and Prestonpans.

26th June

Mr Clark and Mr Moore inspected the school to-day.  Mr More inspected classes 1A, 1B, 2 Sec, 3 & 4 in English, 3 & 4 in Latin, and 1, 2 & 3 in Geography.


3rd July

Notice received that the Authority had allowed £5-10/- for Prizes for the school.  The estimated of A. H. Baird Edinburgh of £40.13.5 was accepted for science apparatus.

9th July

The prizes were presented by Rev. Dr. J Logan Ayre, chairman of the Prestonpans School Management Committee.  As the main building had not been officially opened, this ceremony was held in the gymnasium privately; with the exception of Dr. Ayre, no one except the pupils and staff of Preston Lodge School, was present.  The prize list as follows:- [below]

Previous to closing to-day Mr Prentice was presented with a clock as a wedding gift from the staff & pupils of the school.

10th July

The school closed for Summer vacation at mid-day to-day.  No attendance marked in the register to-day.


Which concludes the series of log book entries of Preston Lodge High School in 1925.

PL Log Book March 1925

PLHS Logbook CollageThe serialisation of our historical Log Book continues

2nd March 1925

Quarterly examinations began this week.  In Classes 1, 2, & 3 the examinations are being held in the periods usually devoted to instruction in the various subjects – no alteration has been made in the time-table of those classes.  In class 4 examinations have been of 1½ hours duration, 9-10.30am & daily.  The usual time-table has been set aside during these hours, Monday to Thursday inclusive.

4th March 1925

12 chairs received from Messrs. J. D. Bennet Ltd, Glasgow

13th March 1925

Suggested Curricula for the various Courses given in Preston Lodge were to-day sent to the Executive Officer to be forwarded to the Scottish Education Dept.  In connection with the proposal to close Preston Lodge School for the Summer. Vacation before the completion of 400 openings, the following letter was received from the Scottish Education Department.

“Adverting to your letter of 23rd alto, I am directed to state that, in all the circumstances, the Department would not raise objection to the closing of the above-named school for the Summer Vacation on 10th July next”

Mr Martin’s services terminated at 3.45 today.

20th March 1925

Mr James Alexander Reid M.A. (33107) joined the staff on Monday 16th March as temporary assistant teacher of classics and English.

23rd March 1925

Classes 1C, 1D, and 1A & 1B were combined for Singing from To-day.  From to-day inclusive Mr Allat will attend Preston Lodge Monday 9-11am & Wednesday 1.30 – 3.45 – 4¼ hours weekly.

25th March 1925

Miss McIntyre took up duty as Gymnastic mistress from to-day.  She is to attend at Preston Lodge two days per week viz Tuesday & Wednesday.

26th March 1925

Mr Lambie H.M.I. visited this school today to examine the Candidates for the Day School Certificate (Higher) in Science and Art.  He examined the whole of class 3 in Science, and inspected the drawings of the Art Classes and the finished models of the Handwork classes.

February 1925 – what was happening at PL?

We continue with extracts from our historical Log Book

6th February

Mr William Reid, assistant in English and Classics left Preston Lodge to-day, having been appointed Classical Master at Royal Academy, Tain. The following entry in Fly-leaf No 2 to form 69T in respect of Mr Reid was today sent to Mr D E Philip H.M. Chief Inspector;

“Mr Reid has had complete charge of the Latin class of 2nd 3rd & 4th years of the secondary course, has commenced the study of Greek with one pupil in the fourth year and has assisted in the teaching of English & History to the first and second years. His work has been characterised by thoroughness, sound method and careful preparation. He has at all times maintained excellent discipline and his classes have made good progress under unusually difficult conditions.”

Mr Reid had rendered invaluable service to the school by supervising the boys’ rugby club.

13th February

During the past week Miss Ritchie had been doing the formerly carried out by Mr Reid, viz. teaching Latin & English.

16th February

This morning the whole of the Technical Block was occupied by the classes of the school. Our occupation of the U.F. Hall ceased completely on Friday evening, and now all classes are being held in the Technical Block of Preston Lodge with the following exception:-

Handwork – for boys in the Army Hut in Kirk Street, for girls in the Cookery Room at Prestonpans P.S.

Music and Singing – in Parish Church Hall

Science – in the Science Laboratory, Prestonpans P.S. whenever it is not required for the pupils of that school. All the science work of classes 3 & 4 is carried out in this laboratory, and the work of class 2 is done partly in this laboratory, and partly in the room in the Technical Block which is being used as a science room, but small methylated spirit burners are proving a very good substitute for Bunsen burners.

23rd February

Form E14 for Day School Certificate Highers was sent to Executive Officer Mr A.J. Martin M.A. B.Sc took up duty as assistant teacher of Classics and English in succession to Mr William Reid. In the interval between Mr Reid’s departure and Mr Martin’s arrival, Miss Ritchie has been teaching Latin and History. Miss Ritchie has now assumed duty as assistant Mathematics and English, taking the place that will be occupied by Mr A. Ross who is being transferred from Prestonpans Public School to Preston Lodge at an early date.

At the beginning of this week all sewing classes were transferred from the Public School to Preston Lodge. The only classes now held in the Cookery Room at P.pans Public School are Cookery & Dressmaking classes.

25th February

Science apparatus to the value of £19.6/- was to-day received from Baird & Tatlock. Mr Martin was absent from duty to-day, as he had to proceed to Glasgow for an interview by the Argyllshire Education Authority.

Happy New Year 1925

The latest extracts from the Preston Lodge Log Book are taken from January 1925 – the first New Year for the School.

6 January

The school reopened today at 9.00am. A new class was enrolled; this class consisted of pupils from Tranent, Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Pencaitland Public Schools, where they had “qualified” as from 1st January 1928.

8th January

Miss Porteous absent from school to-day through illness.

9th January

Miss Porteous returned to duty this morning.

15th January

The following letter was received from the Scottish Education Department.  “Adverting to your letter of 14th Nov. last, I am directed to return the enclosed form S12 for reconsideration in light of the following observations:-

“Attention is called to the terms of Art 2 of the Secondary Schools (Scotland) Regulations 1923, and it is pointed out that the provision for Music does not satisfy the requirements thereof.

The time devoted to physical instruction after the first year of the course should be increased.  The proposal to discontinue Art after the first year of the Classical Course and after the second year in Modern Language Course, and Geography after the second year in both courses should be reconsidered.

It is also suggested that, in view of the small allowance of time for English & History during the first three years of the course, the dropping of one period of English in the second year by candidates following the Classical course is to be deprecated.

With regard to the above observations, I am to call attention to the exacting nature of each of the courses proposed  and to request that further proposals may be submitted making suitable provision for such courses as may be followed successfully by normal pupils of average intelligence regard being had to the necessity of devoting adequate time and attention to the study of English & History, and of meeting the requirements of Section 4 of Circular 62 in regard to Geography, Art, Physical Education, and Music.  A separate form should be used for each course.”

These suggestions will be met when we move up to the new school by having 8 periods daily as follows:-

9-9.30; 9.30-10.15; 10.15-11; 11.5-11.50; 11.50-12.35. 1.30-2.15; 2.15-3; 3.-.45.

21 January

Miss Ann Milne Andrews Maver M.A. commenced duty to-day as assistant teacher of English and Geography.

27 January

Yesterday afternoon the desks were removed from U.F. Church Hall to the Technical Block at Preston Lodge.  From to-day classes are being held partly in the five rooms of the Technical Block and partly in the Parish Church Hall, Hut, Science Laboratory and Cookery room of the Public School in Kirk Street.  There are still two rooms of the Technical Block to be completed.

29 January

Miss M. A. Mitchell M.A. B.Sc, who had previously been on the staff here, resumed duty as a temporary assistant teacher of Science and Mathematics.

The Spirit of Christmas Past

Christmas from the PL Log Book

In this, Preston Lodge High School’s 85th session, we look back over the first log book (1924-1953) to see how pupils and staff spent December many years ago.

22nd December 1924

A school party was held for classes II, III and IV in Parish Church Hall today from 3.30 to 7pm.   The arrangements were carried through under the supervision of Miss Smith.   About 80 pupils were present.

24th December 1924

The school closed at 1.45pm today for the Christmas vacation.

21st December 1925

Owing to a heavy fall of snow the county roads are blocked and the attendance has fallen to 169.  The Ormiston bus brought in 15 pupils, but the Pentcaitland bus had to return empty as the road was completely blocked to traffic.

24th December 1925

Closed for holiday today.

24th December 1926

School closed for Xmas vacation at 1.15pm today.  A double attendance was registered, the interval having been cancelled.

23rd December 1927

School closed to day at 1.15pm – the mid-day interval was cut out and a double attendance worked.

21st December 1928

School closed today at 1.15pm.  Double attendance marked.  Prayers were held in the Gymnasium at 1.15pm.

20th December 1929

Staff Whist Drive Dance

21st December 1929

Senior pupils’ dance.  Accident to school bus at Tranent.

24th December 1929

School closed for Xmas vacation at 1.15pm.  Double attendance marked.

24th December 1930

School closed for Xmas vacation at 1.15pm a double attendance being marked.  Staff Dance held on Friday 19th Dec.  Senior Pupils’ on Saturday 20th December and 3rd year on Monday 22nd December.

1st December 1933

Performance of The Merchant of Venice given in Gym by the Osiris Players.  All pupils assembled in Gym at 1.30 and performance lasted till 4pm – a most successful experiment.

21st December 1938

1930s Christmas

Owing to severe snowstorm school closed at 1pm double attendance marked.

22nd December 1938

Same arrangements as yesterday.

23rd December 1938

School closed at 1pm for Xmas vacation.  Double attendance marked.

23rd December 1940

School closed for Xmas vacation.  The day was Monday – attendance poor.  Double attendance.

21st December 1942

Senior school party was held in evening.

22nd December 1942

Third year party was held in the evening.

23rd December 1942

School closes at 1.0pm.  Double attendance.  Christmas Holidays commenced.

7th December 1943

The school suffered a very great bereavement this day, as the Rector, A H Miller, Esq, MA, BSc, died at 6.15am (aged 46 years, at Preston Park).

The school closed at 1.0pm as a mark of respect.

8th December 1943

A short service was held in the Hall in memory of the late Rector.

17th December 1943

At a meeting of the staff it was decided to institute a fund as a memorial to the late Rector, Mr Miller, to establish prizes to be called Andrew H Miller Prize.

20th December 1943

Classes IV, V and VI held their annual party in the Gymnasium from 5.30pm to 10pm.

21st December 1943

Class III held its annual party in the Gymnasium from 5.0pm to 9.30pm.

27th December 1944

A Former Pupils’ Dance was held in the school at which were present several FPs on leave from HM Forces.

17th December 1946

The Literary and Debating Society presented two plays in two performances: 1. to school in afternoon and 2. to parents in the evening.

12th December 1947

Film “Modern Rugger” shown to the boys.

20th December 1948

Senior Christmas Party held in the Gymnasium in the evening about 120 teachers and pupils being present.

21st December 1948

Third Year Party (III A B C) in the evening, 100 present.

22nd December 1948

Third Year Party (III C, T H) 90 present.

23rd December 1948

School closed for Christmas vacation at 3.15pm. Mrs Hattan and Miss Fisher ceased duty, having resigned, Mrs Hattan for domestic reasons, Miss Fisher as she is soon to be married.

20th December 1950

The school attended divine service (Carol Singling) in Preston Parish Church.  Service was conducted by Rev. W Smith and Rev. Lawson.

21st December 1950

School closed for Christmas vacation.

15th December 1952

School attended divine service in Preston Parish Church.  Service took the form of “Nine Carols and Nine Lessons” read by pupils.  Rev Brownlee, Cockenzie, officiated owing to the unavoidable absence of Rev W C Smith.

This post comes to you from the letter P, the letter L, the number 4 and the number 0!

2009 sees the 40th anniversary of two great educational institutions:

Preston Lodge High School’s new building and Sesame Street!

Sadly, the original Preston Lodge School situated on Preston Road (the site of the current Prestonpans Primary School) burnt down in January 1967.  A new school was built at Park View and formerly opened on 14th November 1969 by the late John P  Macintosh MA,  D.Litt., MP.

The school is marking the 40th birthday of this building in a variety of different ways.  There will be special house assemblies in the week beginning Monday 9th November with a performance of The Archies’ 1969 hit, “Sugar Sugar – You Are My Candy Girl” by Advanced Higher music pupils.   A display of photos accompanied by music from the year will be broadcast by PLTV around the school.  A special birthday cake is also in the making but is sure to have a short life span.

Some members of staff were here when the new building opened and are still here!  They are Mrs MacKenzie, English dept, who is currently helping us out doing supply work and Mr Frost, Senior Science Technician who was a pupil at the time.  Congratulations and thanks to them both for their service to Preston Lodge.

Where you here in 1969 when the “new” building opened?  If so, it’d be great to here from you.
Leave us a comment.

Here’s to another 40 years of excellence in educating the pupils of Prestonpans, Cockenzie, Port Seton and Longniddry.  Well done PL!

PS. Sesame Street has had a fire too! Sadly it did NOT burn down!

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.