We continue with extracts from our historical Log Book
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.
During the past week Miss Ritchie had been doing the formerly carried out by Mr Reid, viz. teaching Latin & English.
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.
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.
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.
The latest extracts from the Preston Lodge Log Book are taken from January 1925 – the first New Year for the School.
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.
Miss Porteous absent from school to-day through illness.
Miss Porteous returned to duty this morning.
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:-
Miss Ann Milne Andrews Maver M.A. commenced duty to-day as assistant teacher of English and Geography.
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.
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.
Should conditions deteriorate overnight to the extent that this plan needs to be revised then announcements will be made on Radio Forth and BBC Radio Scotland – please be alive to these announcements.
Further – as a precaution – all pupils should be aware of where they would go – i.e. neighbour/friend/relative should it be necessary to close the school again during the continued wintery conditions which are forecast for the next week or so.
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
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.