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Recalling burgh childhood

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I recently came across the Helensburgh Heritage Trust website and I enjoyed browsing through the many photos, especially those of Hermitage School.

I lived in Helensburgh from the age of three and I attended Hermitage primary and then senior school from 1949 till 1958.

In a photo of Hermitage staff (in the Education album in the Photo Gallery on this website) I recognized several of my old teachers and a relative, one of whom was unidentified. The teacher's name is Mrs. Purdy, and she was my teacher in Primary 6 at Hermitage Primary.

I remember her as a very special teacher and have lots of happy memories of being a student in her class.

Also in the picture of Hermitage staff is a Mrs Spy (Elizabeth known as Betty) She was my aunt. I believe that she was the Headmaster's secretary. I also found myself on a picture take at St Michael and all Angels Sunday School picnic — what a surprise!

I left Helensburgh in 1958 and did not return for many years. With my family I moved to America in 1980. I had not realised that the old Hermitage School had been demolished and was saddened to see it gone What a shame to rid the town of such a beautiful building.

Helensburgh is still a special place and I have visited often. It remains very much the same as I remember growing up, sitting at my bedroom window, watching the big liners sail from Greenock to Canada, the navy ships, and the large liners sailing up to Faslane to the breakers yard.

I have visited Urie's china and glass shop on West Clyde Street where my mother shopped and found it still as I remember. Apart from small changes I find myself stepping back into the past — a good thing in these days of so much change — each time I visit.

I wish much success to this website.

Kind regards,

Rosemary Edmeads (nee Rae)
Southern California

Last Updated ( Sunday, 27 February 2011 17:01 )  

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Final Open Meeting

John Hume-wThe final Open Meeting of the season will be on Wednesday March 29 at 7.30pm at the Civic Centre, East Clyde Street, Helensburgh. Professor John Hume willl speak on the history of some West Dunbartonshire churches.

Winter Talks 2016-17

  • Wednesday September 28 2016 — Ewan Kennedy: The Leiper Legacy
  • Wednesday October 26 — The Rev David Clark: Helensburgh Boys Brigade Centenary
  • Wednesday November 30 — Ian MacEachern: The Luss Slate Quarries

  • Wednesday January 25 2017 — Bill Anderson: The Anderson (Local Collection) Trust
  • Wednesday February 22 — Dr Andrew Bicker: Recent Archaelogical Discoveries on the West Coast of Scotland
  • Wednesday March 29 — Professor John Hume: West Dunbartonshire Churches and their history

Meetings in Helensburgh Civic Centre, East Clyde Street, at 7.30pm prompt.

Charity Number

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation