Lendrick Muir School web site - www.lendrick-muir-school.co.uk

David Hope was at Lendrick between 1959 and 1965.

2005-05-12, Thursday 12th May, 2005
David wrote:

It's 7.30 in the morning in downtown Adelaide, South Australia and I am just checking my email and suddenly I am transported back to the prep room at Lendrick Muir by an almighty stoush between the boys and I have 14 emails to read in quick succession, including one about the UNHCR.

Actually, some of the sentiments expressed about the UNHCR have validity - but they still do good work! I spent some time over the last two years in Afghanistan, doing some consulting for the World Bank. The Afghans are a lovely people (OK, there are a few bad apples as there are everywhere, but I never met any.) All the aid agencies have large white Toyota 4x4s and the drivers tend to treat other road users with contempt, pushing their way through the traffic. Mind you, the road rules in Kabul are well ignored by everyone as the attached photo demonstrates. The downside of having large white vehicles emblazoned with the logo of the agency is that they are very obvious targets and I was quite happy to have a local driver with his own vehicle which provided a good degree of anonymity and allowed me to travel anywhere in Kabul without feeling unsafe.

Anyway, back to the stoush. I hope we can keep this site a friendly one, especially as I have just discovered it. It means a great deal to me to have memories of my school days come back and to talk (electronically and, later, hopefully face-to-face) with schoolboy friends and acquaintances.

After all, I left the school in January 1965 and left the UK in June 1965 and apart from a few letters in the very early years after leaving I have had no contact at all, although I visited the old place in March 2000. I am sure we all offended one another on enough occasions at Lendrick Muir without doing it now we are adults and all better people! I know I caused enough offence as a very young pupil and a very naughty boy as I remember getting the whole school gated to the sports field for the rest of the term on one occasion when three of us - myself, Jack Emptage and another boy (I think Dennis Farquharson - apologies if it was not you Dennis!) went to a farmers hayloft in Crook of Devon and pushed all the hay bales that he had carefully stored at the top of his barn down through the centre to the ground. I would have been 11 at the time, but I doubt that I was in anyone's good books - we were gated for the rest of the school year and as it happened in Term 1 that was a long time!

What I am trying to say is that we should try and remember the happy times, rather than the stoushes. I freely admit to being an obnoxious little s**t when I was first at the school and probably for the first two or three years, but I did leave the place a fairly rounded citizen and I hope that I am an even better person now. I might have even considered it a badge of honour to have been expelled, although the only expulsions I remember were for sexual indiscretions. I don't really care what people post - I use the delete button every day to get rid of spam and potential viruses. If you all like jokes I have got lots of them I can share...

2005-05-09, Monday 9th May, 2005
David wrote:

I am hooked on this site now! And I have started reading what others have written!

Jessie Gilchrist writes "Two small boys always seemed to be in trouble. Their punishment was scrubbing the kitchen corridor and it was not covered then, just the bare stone."

Well, I was one of those two boys and I think the other was Michael Cousins (apologies to Michael if I am wrong!). We were being paid one shilling an hour (jointly) to scrub the floors. Why were we doing this? Well, Michael and I had acquired a small glass bottle from somewhere. I don't remember where from or what it had contained, but I do know we should not have had it. So we tried to smash it by throwing it into a toilet bowl in one of the school toilets - the toilets at the end of the corridor past the conservatory and Room 5 which was also the school library at the time. You can guess what broke first and it was not the bottle! So we had to work to pay for the repair to the toilet bowl. It took a very long time to pay off that toilet bowl.

Of course, those toilets had another, innocent, use. School rules were that pupils could not have radios, as Ronald Gordon mentions in his reminisces. However, there were a few of us who had radios and one of the favourite radio shows was 'The Top Ten Show' (or some such name) - I think on the BBC. From 4pm on a Sunday evening they counted down the top ten records, playing number 1 just before 5pm, and we used to listen to it in those toilets. Unfortunately, the evening meal started at 5pm and I think we were meant to be lined up at the dining room by 4.50 pm so we were always in trouble for being late.

Another 'trick' we used to pull, using my radio, was that those of us in the senior dorm, who had lights out at 10pm, used to play the Big Ben chimes in the corridor where our dorm was, very loud, at 10 pm, then scuttle back into the dorm and hide the radio behind the partition which walled off an old fireplace. We did it too many times and a more thorough search discovered the radio and it was confiscated until the end of term, with dire predictions of what would happen if it resurfaced the following term!

2005-05-07, Saturday 7th May, 2005
David wrote:

I am going to be in the UK from August 25 to September 4 - part work, part holiday and I would love to get in touch with any of you. Also, if any of you know where David Angus or James Alexander are, I would like to catch up with them.

Wow! The internet is a wonderful thing. There I was, checking out some national survey maps of Scotland through the National Library of Scotland's website and I stumbled across one with the name Lendrick Muir School on the map. Now I know it is no longer a school - in fact the last time I was in Scotland (2000) I visited the dear old place and it was a holiday camp for Scripture Union - so I was a bit surprised, but it was also an old map! One thing led to another, and I am looking at a website of Lendrick Muir School and seeing names that I have occasionally thought of in the last forty years, and others that I have not thought of, and it immediately brought memories rushing back.

My name is David Hope, more often called Thomas, my middle name, as we had seven David's at the school one year that I was there.

I was at Naemoor and Lendrick Muir from September 1959 to January 1965. I then went to Boroughmuir Senior Secondary in Edinburgh until I sat my 'A' levels in April 1965. It was there that I found out how bad Papa Morrice was as a maths teacher because the maths teacher I had at Boroughmuir was astonished at how little I knew of the 'A' level curriculum. However, as I was the only student doing 'A' level maths at Lendrick Muir, perhaps Papa can be forgiven - especially as it was unlikely I was one of his favourite students! Something to do with turning on the taps in the maths lab and being unable to turn them off again and flooding out his schoolroom on one occasion. Of course, the favourite trick we played on Papa was icing the little hill up to his maths lab during winter and watching him slip and slide his way to his backside. Anyway, I wish I could remember the name of the maths teacher at Boroughmuir as she gave me extra coaching two nights a week after school and I ended up with a 'B', most of the credit to her. I don't remember Papa too fondly, even though he did give me 100% for arithmetic five times in the first three years I was at Lendrick Muir.

I have much fonder memories of Sammy Sims, the French teacher, who was a wonderful person and an excellent teacher. Our favourite ploy to distract Sammy was to try to get him to tell 'war stories' - as we were told he was a spy for Britain during the war. He tried many different methods to get us to learn French and the one I liked best was cricket. He would split the class into two - batters and fielders. The batters read the French text aloud and the bowlers tried to correct the pronunciation. It was fun, but it was also educational.

Another fond memory is Maurice Bridgeland, who taught English and History (Miss Urquhart taught English Literature to the best of my recollection - I remember her taking us to Perth Theatre on a school excursion to see Macbeth). Maurice had a hockey blue from Cambridge, I believe, so we all loved him for that alone. Two things stick in my mind about Maurice. He wanted to know why I was not doing history and I told him I was hopeless at it as my last exam in third year - the first exam I ever studied for in my life - yielded 14%! He told me he was going to be teaching Australian and New Zealand history and that he thought I would enjoy it and encouraged me to join his class. He was right! Another memory is of a summer holiday where I cycled from my home in Edinburgh to Powmill, where Maurice was living with his family. He put me up for the night and he awoke to sound of classical music being played on his gramophone system - old 78's being played with a high fidelity needle! We went to Culross, which I thoroughly enjoyed. And I have a vague memory that his wife, Ruth, had to sew the seat of my pants as I had worn them through.

James Haig was the science teacher, taking over from Mr Grieve (who once drove me in his Jaguar home to Edinburgh when I had jaundice and what a consternation that caused on the council street where I lived!) I think that Lendrick Muir was James Haig's first teaching appointment. He was young and some of us were well versed in shenanigans. I remember one hot summer night, 1964 I think, when we got up after lights out - 10.00pm for senior boys - and got a trolley from the kitchen and were 'surfing' down the hill from the maths/science labs. That was not enough! We then got the school Landrover, which was always parked beside the coke bunkers to one side of the back door, and started doing the same thing - pushing it up the hill then jumping in and freewheeling down. We must have been making too much noise as we saw James's light go on. So we parked the Landrover at the steps to the back door, put the trolley on the tyre on the bonnet and fled into the night! He was a good teacher, all the same, but I am sure we tried his patience.

I remember Mrs. McGlennan well. She was the geography teacher and when I was in Fourth form I was doing geography with two Fifth formers, Kenneth Dick and, I think, John Sturgeon. I was 14 in fourth form and the two fifth formers were 17, so they were quite happy to bully me - not seriously, but some days were worse than others. Anyway, we were in Mrs. McGlennan's class one day and I was sitting in the middle. Kenneth and John had hold of one arm or hand each and were giving me a bit of punishment to the extent that I cried out loud! Mrs. McGlennan kicked us out and told us she was never going to teach us again - which sounded OK to me at first, but eventually we had to make abject apologies or there would be no sitting your 'O' levels.

Mr Kerr was another favourite - although I doubt if I impressed him in woodwork. However, his great claim to fame was cricket and he introduced the six-a-side cricket competition we played on the long summer evenings in 1962. We played for the Kerr cup and I played in the winning team in 1962 and 1964. The 1964 team was with Kippy (Christopher) Munro and we had a great time. Sadly, over time and many moves, I have lost the two medallions I received for the victories. Mr Kerr used to take the second eleven cricket team away and acted as one of the umpires. I remember one match well. I was captain of the second eleven and I did not use a box when batting as I found them too uncomfortable. Of course, the inevitable happened and I received a blow in the mid-riff, whereupon Mr Kerr called out - "Count ten and hang on to them!"

When I was in fifth form - 1963/64 - there were four boys, myself, David Angus, Barrie Webb and Ross James Murray Cowan. There were also two(?) girls, but as they were two years older than me and I had a crush on Maxine Lightfoot in fourth form I do not recall there names. I do remember Maxine and I getting into trouble for cuddling in the stables area, but with others in the room. It was all very innocent, but unfortunately not viewed as such. During the 1964 summer holidays we went out for a while. Maxine was from Kirkcaldy - I visited her there and she visited my home in Edinburgh. However, Maxine had left school at the end of summer term as had Ross James Murray Cowan, who was also from Kirkcaldy, and they took up with one another so I lost my first real girlfriend! We four fifth formers shared a dorm with Billy Young, who was a fourth former. Billy had the key to the sports room, which we had to convince him quite strongly to use at times, because it opened other rooms which had things we wanted to use. Nothing terribly bad! However, I do remember that fifth form had the last lesson on Fridays in the science lab and it was our duty to lock up - but we usually left a window open. Our favourite trick was to make our own fireworks from the appropriate ingredients. We used to take the long tubes that the physics thermometers came in and pack them with our homemade gunpowder. I remember us sneaking out one night along the path that went north east from the back door to the summerhouse and lighting these fireworks. David Angus went to kick one out of Barrie Webb's hand and only succeeded in kicking into his face and burning one of his eyelashes. We had a lot of explaining to do to Matron over that!

All in all, I had a great time at Naemoor/Lendrick Muir and I developed from a very naughty boy to become a better citizen.

In June 1965 I left Scotland with my family and emigrated to Australia, where I now live. I currently live in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia and have spent most of my time in Australia in Adelaide. I have lived in Loxton, Mildura, Alice Springs, Melbourne, Canberra, Darwin and Brisbane. I worked in the Commonwealth public service, the South Australian public service, the Northern Territory public service and in local government. In 1994 I became a consultant to the public sector, in my own business and I continue in that line of work. I also do some consulting work for the World Bank and other countries having recently returned from Mongolia where I have been assisting the government of Mongolia to implement accrual accounting. Later this year I will be spending a month at Lampung University in Sumatra assisting them to review and improve their accounting course. As well as being a consultant I am an adjunct lecture at Flinders University in Adelaide where I hope to start my Ph. D. later this year. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Accountancy from Canberra University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Adelaide.

I live in Adelaide with four wonderful women. My partner is Jennifer Remete. Jennifer's heritage is from the border country in Scotland, but she was born in Australia. She has three daughters, Emeshe - 19 and twins - Ari and Noni - 18, all of whom are in first year university. We live in a house filled with love and laughter, and now, often filled with teenage boys! I have a son, Cameron - 30 and a daughter, Bronwyn - 29 from my first marriage. They both live in Brisbane at the moment. My son works for the Australian Tax Office and is studying a Bachelor of Taxation part-time at university. He is married to Jodie, who also works in the Tax Office and is a qualified accountant. They have four cats - no children, which is a big disappointment to my ex-wife! My daughter is currently studying a Bachelor of Applied Science in Natural Resource Management full time after a few years part-time study. Her partner is a helicopter pilot in Port Hedland, Western Australia, where he flies the marine pilots on and off the ships that collect iron ore and salt!

Some final words (for the time being) on Lendrick Muir. The photo of the first eleven hockey team is not from 1962, it is from 1963. Michael got his spot in goal from me when I had a summer accident in 1963 and returned to school late. By then Michael had established himself in goal - he was a very good keeper - and I had to re-establish myself at right back. But that was OK as it was good to get out of the goal and I had a lot of fun being an attacking right back and feeding the ball to the forwards, especially Neil Walker. It was sad to read his obituary on the web-site - Nelly was a very gentle person whom we ragged mercilessly because of his hearing disability. I'll email this to Michael and we can argue for many years on who has the better recollection!

Ronald Gordon - you tried to teach me piano, but I was more interested in soccer. I did get offered a contract with a South Australian side in 1965, but the money was poor and I had just started work, so I never followed through on my soccer talents at a high level, but had a lot of fun playing for a few years.

Ronald McGill - I remember your poetry and visiting you outside of school on one or two occasions. I remember those body warming aertex shirts and Sandy Wilson lending me his track suit top for the second half when we played Dundee High on a winters day down by the Tay and I suffered hypothermia. I'd love to 'test' your autobiographical novel if you want to send it!

Michael Riddle - the man who stole my place in the school first eleven goal - thank God! I enjoyed it much more out on the field! I played a bit in Australia, but never had as much fun as I did for Lendrick Muir.

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