Old Deer School

Old Deer: A local scene

Old Deer school was endowed. A George Smith had been a pupil of The Parish School of DEIR in the early 19th Century. He went from this educational background to Chicago, made a fortune (1860's) and left £3,000 and £5,000 to his old school. The interest on this fortune (for that is indeed what the amount was at that time) allowed for prizes and bursaries for all pupils of Old Deer School.

The bursary which I got helped to pay my busfare to Peterhead, and buy my school uniform (compulsory) and the books I needed. My older cousin was also helped to Aberdeen University by the same Smith bursary.

My schooldays were mostly very happy. I was near to my home, and I had company at playtime, though I went home for "dinner". School meals were not started when I went to school, nor was central heating. Each room had a coal fire, and children who came from outwith the village could bring a flask of cocoa and a "piece" (the flask was enamel, with a cork and was put on the hearth to keep warm)

The "lavvies" were outside, in the top corners—and rarely flushed and the "Ash Pits" were at the top of the boys' playground. The bicycle sheds were built when I was in Primary I—that was a great benefit, as pupils came from Stuartfield, Fetterangus and all farms between, some on bicycles—(these were supplied where needed) and a "shed" to keep them dry was such an advantage.

The Roll rose to require a 4th teacher about the time I left for Peterhead Academy. There was a fairly basic population, but some changes at "Term" times—and those going on to full-time secondary education were—after sent to Peterhead to start in Secondary I.

When, as adviser, I was greatly involved in closing my school I had such happy memories of my time there—but the wheel had certainly gone full circle. As a keepsake I was given the mirror from the staffroom, which had been made by my father—its oak frame and small shelf as good as the day it was given--It is in a bedroom in my home.

(Revision date: Tuesday 21st February 2012)