Jim Cochrane shared this incredible photo, which according to the files I have, looks likely to be the oldest known School photo for any Blantyre pupils at any Blantyre school
Jim told me, “My Great Grannie Janet Edmiston Baird 2nd from right Back Row. Date will be the 1890’s but what would the school be then in High Blantyre or maybe its Auchintibber ?”
Knowing Janet was born in 1886, this looks likely to be taken in 1892 or so, as Janet appears to be about six.
In this photo there are no giveaway outdoor sheds or buildings, and with windows looking similar in both Auchentibber and High Blantyre Schools, I can see why Jim would ask which school it is. Janet being an Auchentibber child, you would have thought would attend the school there.
However, there is an easy answer to the question due to the era of this photograph. Up until the late 1890’s, and certainly confirmed in the 1895 valuation roll, Auchentibber School was a school for Roman Catholic pupils, being owned by the Roman Catholic Congregation having being founded earlier by Father Frawley in 1880. Following a brief closure and adoption by the Blantyre Parish Council, the Auchentibber school re-openend on 24th April 1903, after which both Catholic and Protestant pupils attended.
The answer therefore is if Janet was Roman Catholic, this is probably Auchentibber School. If she was protestant, as I believe she was, then this is High Blantyre Primary. In 1892, at High Blantyre Primary the headmistress was Miss Aitken. In either instance, the photo is remarkable at an incredible 124 years old!
Partly from “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016
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