Monday, February 08, 2010

History of the Seccessional and Links School

Information presented to those attended the meeting this evening:

The building opened in August 1836 establishing a school in the Fisher Town area of Nairn for the benefit of its seafaring classes and residents. The Cost, including the school room and teachers house was £216.13.8d.

It was financed by subscription, the money coming from as far afield as India. The ground had been bought for £45 from Mr. Robert Cameron, a local shoemaker and Town Councillor.

As far as possible, it was to provide free or low cost education for very poor children within Nairn’s fishing community. Additionally; it would also serve as a Sabbath School, free to all.

A third of the schools Directors would be representative of the Nairn Kirk Session, with Rev.James Grant as Chairman. Other Directors were chosen from the subscribers.

In its first month, the school’s headmaster, Mr Donald Sinclair, registered 118 children with 101 attending regularly after 3 months. Over a third of these pupils came from the fishing community.

The school continued until the introduction of the Education (Scotland) Act in 1872 when it became compulsory for all children to be educated. The school was then transferred to the town and run by the Burgh School Board. The name was changed to The Links School.

During the Second World War, the building was requisitioned by the army and pupils were taught at the Seamen’s Hall. It remained as a school until the late 1960’s.

Since its closure as a school, it has serve a myriad of users and uses including adult education; the most recent is as an anti-natal clinic and for support groups hosted by the NHS. Local Quakers meet there on Sundays.

There is no doubt this unique building has served the community well over the past 174 years and has become very much part of the heritage of Fishertown. What now?

1 comment:

Hamish said...

During the depression of the
1930's and throughoutthe winter months a room in the school was used as a soup kitchen. In the main, children whose homes were outside the town e.g. Delnies, Auldearn, Cawdor and such like were provided with a bowl of hot soup and a thick slice of bread at dinner time.
The soup was cooked in a large wash tub by two ladies, Mrs.Mirzan was one of the ladies and whilst I have a clear mental picture of the other lady her name escapes me at the moment.
A child could be like Oliver Twist and ask for more and not be ridiculed