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Kirkwall Grammar School 1946
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Kirkwall Grammar School 1946

Sorry about the poor quality of the picture but this was a photocopy. Still I thought it was too good to leave out.
Picture added on 18 April 2007
My name was Valerie Swanson and I am fourth from the left on the second row. My parents came back to Kirkwall for a second time in 1945 from Ardgay, Ross & Cromarty and had a bungalow built in Wellington Street, now renamed 'Rothsay' and next door to Mr. & Mrs. Cairns and family. My father had accepted the position of Insurance Agent for the Co-operative Society and covered all the Mainland Orkney. In June, 1946, my sister June was born in Balfour Hospital. I remember walking to school with Elizabeth and Wilma Sandison, Ann Flett, June Cairns and Kathleen Thomson each morning. My first morning at school was quite short! My mother took me to the school and at the first morning break, when we were allowed out into the playground, I thought school was finished for the day, so I walked home alone and surprised my mother who was busy in the kitchen. Not bad for someone who was not yet 5 years old. She immediately walked me back to the school. I vividly remember being terribly shocked when two of my young classmates received the strap for being late. If I am correct with the names, they were Harry Rorie and Eddie Borwick?? Poor little lads - they were only little and it was such harsh treatment. I also remember suffering with toothache one afternoon and after school, took myself to the dentist's surgery which was located near the Bishop's Palace.

My mother, Chris Swanson, played badminton for the Ferryloopers and I have a photo of the team at that time. She also played tennis in the courts at the Bishop's Palace in the afternoons.

On my parents first stay in Kirkwall (1939-40), my father was involved in 'Royal Oak' disaster and along with many others, helped to recover bodies from the area. Such a tragic event.

Sadly, in 1949 we left Kirkwall to search for a hotel/guest house business and eventually settled in Essex. In 2004, I returned with my husband to visit Kirkwall for the first time since 1949. I am pleased to say that I remembered the surroundings very well and even managed to trace my old schoolfriends, Wilma and Kathleen for an update. I was sorry to see that our old school had been demolished - it was quite a handsome building.

If any of my old classmates or friends from 1946-49 wish to contact me, I would be delighted.

Added by Valerie Gore (nee Swanson) on 13 January 2008
If anyone has the time, I would greatly appreciate the names of my old classmates and, if possible, where they are now and what they did in life. When I left school, I worked for a local Oil Wharfingers in the Personnel Department, and after leaving to have two daughers, I later returned to work for Mobil Oil at their Coryton Refinery in Essex as a Manager's Secretary. I am now, of course, retired. How the years have flown!!
Added by Valerie Gore (nee Swanson) on 13 January 2008
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