Pining for the West

Glasgow Scotland Street School | October 24, 2009

We managed to fit in a visit to Glasgow just at the end of the school holidays here. My husband is a teacher so he will be back at the chalk face on Monday.

We drove over The Squinty Bridge for the first time. I really like it, I think it’s quite elegant. They’ve been doing some radical road tweaking recently (as usual) so it was all a bit confusing.

Day 330/366 - The Squinty Bridge

Eventually we got to our destination which was the Scotland Street School. Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1905 and used as a primary school until 1979, it has now become a museum of education. The building is really stylish and very different from the very plain Victorian school which I went to.

It must have been nice to have some lovely coloured tiles and windows instead of the very utilitarian design of most schools.

They still had the belt (tawse) for punishment just like the rest of us, until it was banned in 1982 or thereabouts. They have one on show but I have one hanging up in my dining-room. It is quite a talking point as younger folk can’t believe that you could get ‘six of the best’ from such a heavy, thick strap of leather until fairly recently.

I can hardly believe it myself really, although I witnessed it plenty of times. I always managed to avoid it but lived in fear of it. Sometimes if a teacher couldn’t get someone to own up to a misdemeanour – the whole class ended up getting it.

Teachers must have had plenty of stamina then, anyway I digress.

If you are into Rennie Mackintosh architecture and design you will enjoy a visit to this school.

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