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

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