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.

Headteacher 2000-2015 – Mr S Young

Mr Young joined CHS in August 1997 as Depute Rector, replacing Mr J McGhie. With the departure of Mr O’Brien in December 1999, he was promoted to lead the school through many changes. These included two of the biggest challenges a school community could face: amalgamation and change of premises.

The amalgamation of Braidfield High School with CHS took the school roll to almost 1,500 pupils. The construction of a new Clydebank High has resulted in a modern school building which is “fit for the 21st century”.

Mr Young retired from teaching in 2015. You can read about this in the Clydebank Post by clicking here.

Rector 1984-2000 – Mr C M O’Brien

Mr O’Brien joined CHS in 1984 and faced both problems and opportunities resulting from the continual change in education in the 1980s and ’90s. He also faced the transition for the exam systems, from “ordinary” grades to “standard” grades etc. He announced his retirement from the school just before the Christmas break in 1999 to take up a new position as a Councillor in Stirling.

Rector 1968-1984 – Mr J T Robertson

1968 saw the arrival of Mr Robertson as Rector of Clydebank High School. He oversaw major changes in the education system, most of all comprehensivisation in 1972 when CHS became one of four comprehensives in the area. He also oversaw the building of the school extensions, most notably, the “tower block” as it was known.

Mr Robertson came to CHS with the reputation of an impresario. This reputation grew with plays like “Everybody out!” and “The Wizard of Awe”. His shows ensured that all pupils were able to contribute whether they were musical or not. Another claim to fame was that he wrote “The Bash Street Kids”, and this was the talk of the school during the seventies.

Mr Robertson died in 2007, his obituary can be found here.

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.