I first attended Dunblane High School in August 1979 I think. It was a fairly new school, built in 1973 mebbes. My eldest brother used to go the McLaren High in Callander- catch the bus each morning (or accidently miss it, oh dear). Weird to think Dunblane with no high school eh.
I would walk from Murdoch Terrace up the steps, along the newly built Wallace Road, past the building site that is now Buchan Drive. Stopped to pee in a half built hoose haha.
It was a new school, it was a huge school. Well it was for a very small 11 year old anyway. All thae corridors, a technical block, games hall, home economics block, a library !
It was a revelation, especially the carpets. Let me explain: if you rubbed your shoes (new shoes obv) on them quickly, this enabled you to give the guy in front of you an electric shock. It could give quite a sair jolt likes, I mind o someone ripping their fingernail off.
And teachers, hunners o’ teachers. History, geography, physics, maths, PE, french, german, chemistry oooft. For weeks it was “aye I’ve got Mr whatshisface for physics, y’ken..the boring guy”.
My card was marked fae Day One. Let’s just say my elder siblings had gained a reputation so when each teacher heard my name it was ‘aw naw, no another Campbell’. Said with dark sarcasm as referred to by Pink Floyd in late 1979 (Another Brick in the Wall). That was a challenge to me : ‘I’ll show youse’. Also, what nobody knows to this day (they will now) is that my mum threatened to send me to Dollar Academy if I didn’t ‘stick in’. I was mortified. Posh kids go to Dollar ffs. So I had two motivations to do well at school.
French was great. My big brother had a foreign exchange with a french guy from La Rochelle the year before so I had picked up some words from him: mostly merde, merde and merde admittedly. So I had a head start there. Though the teacher was hard, her favourite phrase ‘I’ll have your guts for garters’.
Home economics was a shock. Cooking and baking stuff ! The highlight, the fabled lesson everyone wanted was the one where we made tablet. Yaaas!
And then there was PE. Great, we’ll get fitba’ am thinking. Eh naw ! We got rugby and hockey mainly, some basketball but nae football. Football was even banned at lunchtime. It was a shite state of affairs. Fair play the school produced some notable rugby players but I never understood why football was shunned.Still rankles (We did enter a football tournament in 3rd year maybe – got to the final too so we had a potentially good side but it was our first and last competition).
A final tale, not from ’79 but years later when the school was about to be demolished. On the gable of the games hall someone had written in huge letters “R….. is a fat bastard”. Those who were there in ’79 will understand.