Orkney Image Library

<< back
Papdale Primary School 1959
The Orkney Image Library

Help us get organised! If we haven't correctly identified which area this picture is best listed under, please select it below and click Done!

view a random pic
Papdale Primary School 1959

I can't remember if this was us in Primary 1 or 2. We had peedie Miss Richmond in Primary 1 and Joyce Moore in Primary 2 so which year did Mrs Cursiter teach us? I'll be like Rob and let someone else have a go at naming us.
Large Version View Large Version
Picture added on 04 May 2009
Class sizes! The school was known as Kirkwall Primary School until Glaitness Primary appeared in the seventies.
Added by Marlene Mainland on 08 May 2009
Must be P3 then, P4 was Miss Thomson, P5 Miss Harcus, P6 Mr Walker and P7 Mr Marshall
Added by Jackie Shearer on 08 May 2009
imagine forty pupils in a class now a days
Added by M. Gibson on 10 May 2009
Almost certainly Primary 1 - for me at any rate. I was in hospital in Aberdeen at the time and only joined the class a few weeks after. I still remember Mrs Cursiter sitting me beside her daughter Frances and Alison Miller for my first day. There are 40 kids in the photo. Is it possible that the A and B intakes are both in the photo? I was in the Easter (A) intake.
Added by Rob Miller on 11 May 2009
I'm not sure I agree with you, Marlene. We started at Papdale 'Infant' School(where this photo was taken). We then went to Kirkwall Grammar School (primary class) for one year (I think) before moving to Papdale 'Primary' School (just completed) P5 I think. Teacher was Joey Harcus (Tait) and the B class was under Mrs (Miss)Mainland??
Added by Rob Miller on 11 May 2009
Jackie - according to my report card we had Mrs Burgess in P3 and 4. I think Mrs Cursiter just came in as a relief teacher but I can't remember which year. I agree with you about P5, 6 and 7. Were you in this class in the infant dept? I don't think Miss Thomson ever taught me.
Added by Cathleen Spence on 12 May 2009
I'm sure you're right Rob, but by 1969 the letters 'Kirkwall Primary School' were set in block capitals on the gable end of the primary school building, and had to be changed in the seventies to 'Papdale'.
Added by Marlene Mainland on 13 May 2009
Joey Hercus not Harcus 1958-1975 I think Robert Miller is correct
Added by Joey Tait on 17 May 2009
I've been having another look at my report card and apparently there were 45 pupils on the roll! The next challenge is to name the missing ones - I can think of 6 who were in our class but don't seem to be in the photo.
Added by Cathleen Spence on 18 May 2009
Cathleen. Maybe we should start with the names of the ones who are in the photo. Whilst I had no problem with all of those in the P7 photo I submitted, I am struggling with a few in this photo. Can you name them all?
Added by Rob Miller on 22 June 2009
Ok Rob i'll have a go - though I'm struggling with one or two in this one as well. Thanks to Liz Barclay (rosie) for one or two names!
back row donald glue, elizabeth rosie, rognvald rendall, linda donaldson.
2nd row jennifer harrold, lily kirkness, alastair clunas, janis livingstone, ?, alison richmond, ? (might be marion summers?), brian moonie, elizabeth mair, john smith, carol brodie, frances cursiter.
3rd row george brodie, billy stephen, john mowat, david nicolson, elizabeth harcus, elizabeth newlands, garry finlayson, elizabeth nitkowski, john moar, eoin sutherland, maureen mcbeath.
front row easton harcus, isabel mccutcheon, edmund sutherland, marilyn buchan, robert dunnett, janice walker, rhoda kelday, winnie guthrie, victor mainland, william mackay, cathleen grieve, robert miller, sylvia walker.

Added by Cathleen Spence on 01 July 2009
I started teaching in 1960 in what was the Grammar School. I had a P3 class of 44!! Some of these children were in that class so there must have been a re-arranging and I wonder about the date of this picture. At that time the official name of the school was Kirkwall Grammar School, Primary Department. The Infant School at Papdale had opened in November, 1955 and was Kirkwall Grammar School, Infant Department. There was only the one school - Kirkwall Grammar. It became huge and when the Primary Department was opened at Papdale in 1962 George Marshall was made a sort of "Head" although not officially. Mr McKerron was still Headmaster of the whole school. In 1971 he retired and died suddenly almost immediately. In that year Mr McInnes was appointed Headmaster of the Primary School which now became a separate entity and was called Kirkwall Primary School. By 1978 the roll had risen so much that Glaitness School was built and opened. From then, the school at Papdale could no longer be called "Kirkwall Primary" as there were now two schools, and so Papdale Primary was born. When Mr McInnes retired in 1981, I became Head Teacher and was there till 1995.
Added by Bertha M Fiddler on 06 July 2009
Definately Kirkwall Grammar School Infant Department then. I would say now that the photo was taken in the summer of 1958. I seem to remember the day we moved into the new primary school in 1962 we were all given a few books to carry up the road. I would agree with Bertha that there must have been a bit of re-arranging as I've now thought of 7 others who were in this class at some time - Alison Miller, Margaret Drever, Pamela Lennie, Audrey Marwick, Elspeth Sutherland, John Dowell and John Duncan.
Added by Cathleen Spence on 12 July 2009
I have a copy of this photo too and it says Papdale Infant School 1958. I was part of the Easter intake and moved to Sandwick South PS in November of that year. I am second left in the second row and was then Elizabeth Marwick.
Added by Liz Bell on 27 August 2012
Definately Primary 1 - Mrs Cursiter was our first teacher.
Boy next to Janis was either Thomas or Robert but as for his surname I'm afraid my memory for names is not good. I have a vague notion his folk were from the North Isles originally and that his father worked at one of the farms near Kirkwall but I could be completely wrong.
I agree with Cathleen that it is Marion Summers(Sclater)beside Janis.
I however don't think Joyce Moore was our teacher long term - she was a relief for sickness cover for quite a while 1 year I think and I have very clear memories of her making a good effort to buck-up our standard of mental arithmetic. Thankfully she is still going strong.
I definately disagree with the naming of the place -in our day it was clearly Papdale Infant School (regardless of whether the whole place came under KGS - Margaret Work from Tankerness was the well respected Head Teacher) and there were 1950s quality Metal Name Letters near the entrance used by the teachers. (These were possibly removed once Papdale Primary School was built. I distinctly remember getting a row from Mary Burgess for spending too much time watching Orkney Builders lorries and the old Kirkwall Town Council Ruston Bucyrus crane digging out the foundation of the Primary School when we were in Primary 3. As Cathleen says we then moved to KGS for part of a year - near where Council Chamber is now if I recall. I can remember walking up the Willowburn Road to the new Papdale Primary School as it was called then regardless of what Bertha says (There were big plastic letters that said so on the Walliwall stone clad end facing Garrioch Street. They got broken in later years and the school was possibly renamed Kirkwall Primary School later. Aye always 40+ pupils in the class then and I don't think any of us were the worse for it in fact a darned good start in life when you look at the responsible jobs many of us have or the number of successful business people and farmers in the picture. (I also think Cathleen is near correct with those missing)
We did indeed carry stuff from KGS (tough-times, tough choices but nobody overloaded), I couldn't believe I was trusted with the Globe! Can't imagine that happening in today's politically correct, over-regulated and often needlessly wasteful times.
Added by Willie Mackay on 18 January 2013
It's Papdale Infant School which opened in 1955

The new school opened in 1962 and was called Papdale Primary School.

[Not when I was there (1970-77) it wasn't. Marlene is telling it like it was - Steven]
Added by Kirkwallian on 21 January 2013
Does anyone remember Miss Abercrombie. I think Colin McGillivray fancied her (could be spelt wrong)
Added by Ken Foulis on 23 January 2013
This is our very first school picture ,after we finished infant school we went down to the Grammar for a year as the new primary was being built and was not yet ready for us. Our year was the first one in the new primary.
Added by Eddie Sutherland. on 31 October 2014
I would tend to agree with Bertha's history of the schools at Papdale but I would need to look through the notes on Kirkwall history I made when I was doing the text for Dougie Shearer's photos in "People and Places."
After the infant school opened in 1955 the senior KGS pupils - 4th - 6th Yrs - used the infant hall for badminton. When was home on Xmas Holidays in I think 1959 and doing casual postal work one of the postmen came in and said the foundations for the new primary school had been flooded after heavy rain caused the "Duckie" to revert to its original course. When I did my pre-Moray House three weeks teacher training after my degree I did two weeks secondary in the old KGS and one week in primary at Papdale and that was in August 1962 so the school was up and running and George Marshall was "head" . I think it actually opened earlier in the year. But I'll need to go and research my notes.
Added by David Partner on 10 November 2014
I was in the last year to go through infant and primary school before Glaitness opened (ie 1972-79) and I remember the letters on the stone gable spelling out "Kirkwall Primary School". In fact I remember someone hitting the "I" of either Kirkwall or Primary with a tennis ball, causing the upper bracket to break and the letter to swing down round 180 degrees to hang by the lower bracket. I can also remember being told that the school had previously been called "Papdale Primary" and the sign had said that,though I've no doubt Bertha is right that that was not the official name. Or perhaps you could say that the one was the name of the institution and the other was the name of the building that housed it!
Added by Paul Sutherland on 12 November 2014
Does anyone remember a Miss Maureen Kennedy as a teacher? What years did she teach, and any pictures of
her and her pupils on Orkney Image Library? I've searched but no success. It would be before 1960. Thanks.
Added by Anne on 15 January 2015
Yes I remember teaching at Papdale with Maureen but cannot help any further
Added by Joey Tait on 19 January 2015
Something at the back of my mind says she left at the same time as Colin McGillivray to go to Canada...?? Did they marry??? It's a while ago!
Added by Bertha Fiddler on 22 January 2015
Bertha, I think she left to teach in Africa. When she came back she married A. Hunt. I would love to see a photo of Maureen and her class. I know sooner or later someone will post it on this site!

Added by Anne on 28 January 2015
Phyliss Abercrombie did marry Colin McGillivray and lived next door to us in the Quadrant. They emigrated to Canada with their four children. Lovely family. This photo was Primary 1
Added by Janis Larkin nee Livingston on 30 April 2016
My grandmother Barbara Freda Moffat (1908) as we understand it was at school in Kirkwell Orkney 1913-1922. Her father was Fred Moffat her Mother was Mary Moffat (nee Slater who died at 34 years old in 1918. I believe they resided at 53 Victoria Road Kirkwell Orkney. I was on the phone to someone in Shetland last Night and they suggested the school may have been Papdale. Can someone please advise me if a history has been done on the school, or where is the best place to get a) School Records, b) house records for above address, c) maybe census records d) Kirkwall community newsletters from that period. I am Barbara Freda Coutts (nee Moffat) grand daughter from New Zealand
Added by Barbara Baker on 20 August 2020
<< back


Editors of the Stromnessian 64/65?Stromness Academy perform Merchant of VeniceHamnavoe Care HomeLondon Zoo seal-acquisition project #16London Zoo seal-acquisition project #15William Papley 1920Stromness harbour with herring fleet. ca 1900Stromness from Brinkie's Brae ca 1900Stromness herring workers ca 1900Stromness, tinker encampment