1873-1939

James Hunter Porteous

Text and photograph from University of Glasgow Roll of Honour

James Hunter Porteous was born on 3rd March 1890 in Thornhill, Dumfriesshire. His father, Robert, was an Iron Moulder, and the family lived at 6 Dumbarton Road in Clydebank before moving to 8 Montrose Street in Kilbowie.

James was educated at Clydebank School, where he attained the Junior Student’s Certificate in July 1909. The Junior Student’s course involved a set number of hours of instruction in the art of teaching, and was a standard qualification for entry to teacher training college.

In the autumn of 1909, James enrolled at the Glasgow Provincial Training College (forerunner of Jordanhill College of Education, now the University of Strathclyde) for a three-year course of teacher training offered in conjunction with the University of Glasgow. Students taking this course were required to study concurrently at the University. If successful, they obtained two qualifications: the Teacher’s General Certificate, entitling them to teach in primary schools, and an Arts degree. In his first year he studied Latin and Mathematics, followed in his second with classes in English Literature before taking English Higher and Logic in his final year.

In 1912 James qualified for the Teacher’s General Certificate in the summer of 1912. He became a Teacher at the Dalmuir School under the Old Kilpatrick School Board, and was involved in the St James’ Parish Church Company of the Boys’ Brigade.

James was quick to sign up to join the war effort, and was made a 2nd Lieutenant on the 2nd September 1914, and served with the 6th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Captain James Hunter Porteous was killed in action on the 22nd August 1917, and is buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery. His gravestone reads “A secret thought, a silent tear, keep his memory ever dear”.

Captain Porteous is remembered on the University of Glasgow Roll of Honour, on the Roll of Honour of the Glasgow Provincial Committee for the Training of Teachers, and on the Glasgow Provincial Training College War Memorial, located in the David Stow Building on the former Jordanhill Campus.

Rector 1921-1941 – Dr A C Paterson, JP, MA, BA(Lond.) PhD, FEIS

Dr Andrew Cecil Paterson’s contributions to the school vary. Firstly, he introduced the school colours of gold and chocolate. He was praised by inspectors for his pupil’s work. He saw his school take part in extra curricular activities, such as the girls’ choir on BBC radio in 1931 and in the following year, the Football first XI won the Scottish Secondary Schools’ shield at Hampden.

Dr Paterson’s history at CHS
1900-1906 Master, Pupil Teachers’ Central Classes
1906-1911 Master of Method, Junior Students
1906-1920 Principal Teacher of English and French
1911-1920 Second Master, Higher Grade School
1921-1941 Rector, The High School

Dr Paterson’s book – “The educational history of Clydebank” is available at the research library in Clydebank and a copy is held at the University of Glasgow. You can read more information here.

Rector 1909-1920 – Mr F A Watson

Mr Watson took over a school which was in a “satisfactory” condition, except for overcrowding. This problem was about to get much worse. With the outbreak of WWI in 1914 Clydebank saw a sudden influx of workers for the war industries and the school role suddenly rose to 2800.

The local Drill hall was used to accommodate the extra pupils. To worsen his problems, 14 of his staff went away with the forces! He suddenly died in December 1920, aged 46. His successor said he was “killed by overwork”.

Class 2E – 1930s

This was provided by Sam Gibson. He said: “The only name I have for this is the late Donald Craig, 2nd row 5th left. He was a chemistry teacher at CHS for many years and, mostly in his own time, helped with the golf and football teams. Picture was taken looking on to Kilbowie Road just up from the only building still remaining of the pre-war Kilbowie Road/Miller Street High School complex, the former Old Kilpatrick Parish Council Offices; now a funeral parlour.

Bothy School (1873-1876)

The “Bothy School”, the first home of CHS, opened 11th August 1873

When the Old Kilpatrick School Board was set up in 1873, the only school in the area now known as Clydebank was Mrs Pitblago’s “adventure school” (ie; a school set up as a private venture, for profit) in a room-and-kitchen in Clydebank Terrace. When Mrs Pitblado declined to come under the jurisdiction of the Board, it was forced to lease a bothy at the Clydebank Shipyard and set up a temporary school there.

The bothy was quickly fitted out as a classroom, and bricks were prised from the walls to create windows in the building. The school opened on 11 August 1873 with John Fulton appointed as the teacher. It closed in 1876 when it was replaced by a new purpose-built school on Kilbowie Road.

Text and photograph: West Dunbartonshire Council (https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/leisure-parks-events/museums-and-galleries/collections/buildings/schools-and-colleges/schools-and-colleges-clydebank/bothy-school/)