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Greenock Academy

The Greenock Academy was a non-denominational, mixed (11 to 18) comprehensive school in the west end of Greenock, Scotland.

On 24 June 2011, Greenock Academy closed its doors for the last time to pupils after a history spanning 156 years.

Contents


History

The Greenock Academy was opened as a fee paying secondary and primary establishment in September 1855 in Nelson Street, Greenock. The school lay at this central Greenock location for almost a century of its lifetime before the building was demolished and moved to a modern building in Madeira Street of Greenock's west end, on the site of the old Balclutha mansion. The Nelson Street site is now occupied by the Finnart Campus of James Watt College.

The new Academy featured both a secondary and primary school with the later named 'south wing' area being the primary school. On 29 December 1968 BBC Scotland's version of Songs of Praise came from the school; the rest of the UK saw it from Holy Trinity Platt Church in Rusholme, Manchester.

The school had a yacht club, and competed in the Clark Cup of Mudhook Yacht Club at Helensburgh.[1] Another similar school with a yacht club was Rothesay Academy on the Isle of Bute.

Comprehensive

View from Newark Street, looking up Madeira Street to the entrance. The primary department was abolished in 1976 and the lower door handles and alphabet tiles still remained into the years as a secondary school.

The Madeira Street campus remained open through into the new millennium as Greenock Academy clocked up its 150th year in 2005. Three years later, the school was named as the best non-denominational school in Scotland and still remained within the top 10% of Scottish Secondary Schools long after the announcement. The disrepair of the ageing building overthrew the academic performance of the academy and in 2011 the school prepared to shut its doors after 156 in service.

The Greenock Academy and Gourock High School merged into a new school in the Bayhill area of Gourock. The new school, on the site previously occupied by St Columba's High School, Gourock,[2] is known as Clydeview Academy and opened in 2011.[3]

On 27 October 2011, the BBC announced that they had selected the Madeira Street building of Greenock Academy to film the new series' of TV Drama Waterloo Road, after the production company made the move up north to nearby Glasgow. The company bought the site lease from Inverclyde Council and filming is underway until 2014.[4]

Former teachers

  • Colin Campbell, SNP MSP for West of Scotland (taught from 1967-73)
  • Daniel Turner Holmes
  • James Brunton Stephens, poet

Rectors of The Greenock Academy

Rector Start of office End of office Duration (years) Comments
Robert Buchanan 1855 1860 5 First rector of Greenock Academy. Resigned from office in 1860.
Archibald Montgomerie 1860 1872 12 Originally a Mathematics Scholar.
Edward L. Neilson 1872 1893 21 First Classics Scholar to take up the post.
Alexander Gemmell 1893 1930 37 Appointed at the age of 28 and was the longest serving rector of the academy, serving for 37 years. Largely responsible for the beginning of formal 'Games' at The Greenock Academy.
William Baird Taylor 1930 1941 11 Previously the principal teacher of English at the academy and rector of Johnstone High School.
William Dewar 1941 1947 6 Resigned from the academy in 1947 to become rector of George Heriot's School in Edinburgh.
James W. Chadwin 1947 1967 20 Rector during the transfer of campuses of the academy.
Robert K. Campbell 1967 1990 23 At the forefront of banning corporal punishment in schools, abolishing the belt in the academy two years before it was officially banned. Campbell died in 2008.
Alan McDougall 1990 2000 10 Final male rector of Greenock Academy. Retired from the post in March 2000.
Moira A. McColl 2000 2011 11 Final rector of Greenock Academy and the only female rector in the school's history. In office at the close of the school in June 2011.

Notable alumni

  • Helen Doherty, TV producer[5] of Balamory and Me Too!
  • Scottie McClue (Colin Lamont), radio presenter and broadcaster

Grammar school

  • Sir Dugald Baird, Regius Professor of Midwifery in the University of Aberdeen from 1937-65
  • George Blake, author
  • Walter Clarke Buchanan, Politician[6]
  • Edward Caird, Master of Balliol College, Oxford from 1893-1907
  • John Caird, theologian
  • Alexander Carmichael, writer
  • Ross Finnie, Lib Dem MSP from 1999-2011 for West of Scotland
  • Rt Rev Archibald Fleming, first Bishop of The Arctic from 1933-49
  • Annabel Goldie, Conservative MSP since 1999 for West Scotland, and Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party[7]
  • Dr Allan Macartney, SNP MEP from 1994-8 for North East Scotland
  • Very Rev John McIndoe, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from 1996-7
  • Air Marshal Sir Harold Whittingham CBE, Director-General from 1941-6 of RAF Medical Services, and Director of Medical Services from 1948-56 of BOAC, and former pathologist
  • David Wright Young, Labour MP from 1983-97 for Bolton South East, and from 1974-83 for Bolton East

References

External links

News items






Source: Wikipedia | The above article is available under the GNU FDL. | Edit this article



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