This week’s memories are being shared by Paul Maxwell, a former teacher and boarding house master from Daniel Stewart’s College. Paul tells us that when he joined the staff of Daniel Stewart’s College in 1957, all the secondary school teaching took place in the main building except for Art and Technical. Its size, three form entry, was one of its greatest strengths. From the start Paul felt part of a happy community in which education flourished. What follows is Paul’s attempt to recreate for younger readers something of the ethos of the then College. Paul says:
“By the time of my appointment as the first Boarding School Housemaster at Dean Park House in 1963, important changes were taking place. The new Sciences block rose in the SE corner of the site, much to the chagrin of the householders in the adjoining street and a new Art and JS block was built next to DPH. These changes freed up accommodation in the main building for a new staffroom, a staff study area in the old one, a reallocation of staff to the old laboratories and my acquisition of Room 2. Here looking out to the new Library (the ex Art Room), and with the enduring odour of cabbage emanating from the kitchens below my room, I taught History and Modern Studies for the remainder of my time at Stewart’s. School lunches, though cooked beneath my feet, were served in the dining room on the right of the main entrance, supervised by the capable Miss Blackie. I remember many things about Founder’s Day including the supremacy of her Rum Baba, and the subsequent round of golf at Liberton GC for the Founder’s Day Cup. This was the climax of the summer term golf programme organised by one of the staff’s greatest characters, George Blamire.
Classes attended Chapel weekly in what is now the school Library. One of my earliest memories occurred when, no doubt bored by the proceedings, I spotted several pens of the old kind sticking into timbers of the roof whence they had been propelled by equally bored boys! A more serious recollection concerned the appearance of the Headmaster accompanied by a Doctor. The latter bore in a jar part of a cancerous lung about which he discoursed at some length, emphasising the dangers of cigarette smoking. Thereafter, I noticed no difference in the smoking habits either of my colleagues or of my pupils!”