The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
Education Chryston. The first school, a thatched-roof cottage, was erected in 1770. It was in use for nine years, being demolished when the Chapel of Ease was built. A new school was then built, standing across the west side of the Chapel. Its cost including erection and equipment was £27 12s. (£27.60). This building was slate-roofed, and was enlarged to provide teachers' accommodation. It became known as the "Old Parish School". Prior to the provision of the accommodation, the schoolmaster was allowed to go about with the scholars and lodge free with their parents, especially during the winter months. In the other seasons a farmer's barn usually provided the necessary cover. The first schootmaster was Mr Tennant. There was no salary to the appointment as his wages were obtained from a charge made of 1s. 6d. (7½p) per quarter per pupil. There was an average of 30 scholars in a winter half-year and 20 through the summer months. The school was capable of holding 70 scholars. It can be seen that the schoolmaster must have had a struggle to make ends meet. The reduced number of scholars in the summer months was due to the work which the children could obtain herding and at other jobs around the farms to argment the family income. Some of the weavers' children who could not earn 6s. (30p) were put very early to drawing and even weaving on the family looms. It says much for the standard of education that when a library was opened in the vllage, in 1831, it is recorded that there were few persons who could not read. A quaint and original custom was followed during Mr Tennant's term of office. On each Candlemas Day the scholars brought a sum of money which was given to the schoolmaster. Oranges were then distributed according to how much money had been handed in. The honour of getting the most oranges was greatly coveted, so when they had all been distributed there was generally a surplus of money which fell to the schoolmaster - who no doubt knew how to use it! Mr Tennant was succeeded in 1858 by Mr George H. M. McIsaac. Following the passing of the Scottish Education Act of 1872, making education compulsory for children up to 13 years of age and authorising the Parochial School Boards, all the schools in the village became obsolete. These included the Parish School; the School for Young Ladies, opened in 1837 at the west end of the village, supported by subscriptions and under the control of the minister of the Established Church; and the Free Church School, opened in 1848 adjoining the church, encouraged by the minister, Mr Burnett, and with Mr Yuille, a local gentleman, appointed as schoolmaster. Of these three only the building used for the ladies' school still stands, namely "Bowstead". The Parish School was demolished together with the Chapel of Ease in the 1870s to make way for the present Parish Church, and the Free Church school in the 1950s to allow reconstruction of the church to a hall. The datestone of the latter can now be seen built into the front of the present small hall. Mr Thomas Craig Christie of Bedlay House laid the Memorial Stone of Chryston Public School on 26th June 1875. The school was opened in 1878. It had nine classrooms and a staffroom, and adjoining it on the west side was a schoolhouse (head teacher's residence). The first Head Teacher was Mr McIsaac, who remained in post until 1900 and who was held in high esteem in the area. The bell "to call in the lines" was that formerly used for the Chapel of Ease and was given to the school in appreciation of the use by the church of accommodation for services while the new church was being built. In 1898 running water was led into the school and three years later water toilets were built for use by the pupils adjacent to the playground. In severe winters these usually froze and were of no value. In the same year water was also led into the headmaster's house. The school uniform in the 1920s was brown with a badge interwoven with the initials CPS, for use on jackets and caps. Classes were taught up to Qualifying stage. In 1908 the "New School" was built to the north of the Junior School, providing education to Third Year Standard, after which pupils wishing to advance to higher education had to go to Coatbridge or Glasgow schools. It had seven classrooms, and included facilities for science, domestic science and art classes. There was an assembly hall which also served as a gymnasium, a headmaster's room and a staffroom. In the late 1920s two further classrooms were erected, on the west side of the school, and a staffroom. By then the school was generally known as Chryston Higher Grade School and had adopted for its badge that of the Christie Arms with the added motto "Sic Viresco", loosely translated "Thus I grow green". The Christie Arms is displayed on the gable of the lodge house. Around the same time captains' badges for the school girls' and boys' elected captains were presented to the school by Mr and Mrs Robert Hamilton, residents of Station Road, and handed over with ceremony each year. Early in the 1960s it was decided, because of the deterioration of the structure of the Primary and Junior School, that new premises should be built. It was also decided to provide a new High School to meet the rising size of the community. Both these buildings were built, adacent to each other on a greenfield site, immediately behind the old Higher Grade School. On 25th August 1966 the new Primary School was opened, and on 16th January of the following year the Junior High School held its first assembly. The official opening and dedication took place on 6th March. On 25th August 1969 the Primary School ceased to be under the control of the High School and became a separate entity. Miss Margaret Anderson was appointed as its first Head Teacher. On the same date the Junior High School was renamed Chryston Secondary School, with Mr Andrew B. L. Marshall as its Head Teacher. Three years later the school name changed again to Chryston High School, when studies continued to Fourth Year Standard. Pupils studying to 5th and 6th year grades were directed to Coatbridge High School. This however changed in 1976 when the decision was taken to upgrade the Chryston School to Sixth Year Standard, and to build an extension to the school. While this was being constructed the old Higher Grade School was refurbished and temporary class huts provided for the extra accommodation required. The new extension was officially opened and dedicated on 6th November 1981, increasing the provision for pupils from 450 to 1,000 places. The feeder Primary schools were Chryston, Glenmanor, Stepps and Gartcosh. The old Primary and Junior School was demolished in December 1975, but the old church bell was not recovered. The old Higher Grade School, seriously damaged by fire on 8th October 1988 following wilful arson, was demolished the following year. The site of the former was used for the erection of the Chilterns Home and the latter for the new library and business units. BRIDGEND AND GLENMANOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS . To meet the requirements of the growth of Bridgend, following the establishment of Auchengeich Colliery and the building of the miners' houses, a school was built about 200 yards east of the village. It was opened in August 1911 at a cost of £4,600. It consisted of six classrooms, cloakrooms, staffrooms and a large hall, and could accommodate 300 pupils. The first headmaster was Mr James Anderson who held the position until 1937 when he transferred to Rutherglen. The school theme song was "Cherryripe". Being an annexe of Chryston Public School, pupils after completing their years at Bridgend continued at Chryston. Following the closure of the colliery in 1959 and the eventual demolition of the houses as the miners moved into new houses in Moodiesburn or elsewhere, the number of pupils decreased and the remaining children were directed to Chryston. Prior to Bridgend School's demolition in 1969 it was used for a short time by St Michael's R.C. Primary School. With the growth of Gartferry and Moodiesburn it became obvious that a new school was required in the area to replace Bridgend School. Glenmanor Primary was opened on 1st February 1965 and seven teachers and their classes were transferred from Chryston to the new school, making eight classes in all - 306 pupils. It ceased to be an annexe of Chryston School and was officially opened on 25th April 1966. On 20th August 1973 pupils from the school began transferring to Chryston High School for their further education. ST MICHAEL'S R. C. PRIMARY SCHOOL . This school opened classes on 4th October 1965 in Bridgend School, and following the demolition of this school moved into part of Glenmanor School. The new St Michael's school in Burnbrae Avenue, Moodiesburn, was officially opened on 9th December 1969 by Councillor Charles Gray. It has 14 classrooms and an assembly hall which serves also as a gymnasium. Presently there are about 400 pupils in the school who after completing their education there continue for higher classes at Cumbernauld - either at St Maurice's High School or Our Lady's High. ST BARBARA'S R. C. PRIMARY SCHOOL . The school situated in Elmira Road, Muirhead, was opened in 1933. It was initially named St Joseph's, the area at the time being in that parish. The earlier school at Cardowan closed and all pupils attended at Muirhead. In 1947 the Parish of St Barbara was established and the school then adopted the new parish name. A short time afterwards St Joseph's School at Cardowan reopened to serve children in that area and in recent years has been replaced by a modern building. In January 1962 an extension to the school at Muirhead was opened to provide additional facilties. When the school opened in 1933 there were 426 pupils in attendance, but this number has declined in recent years and in 1990 the figure was 172. Part of the school is now used for other purposes. After tuition at the school ptqrils are directed to Cumbernauld for further studies.
The Story of Chryston
by Neil Kidd