Please click on one of the links below, or scroll down this
Recollections of the 1930s
'Wardie School Anniversary Booklet
Pupils who attended the school in the 1930s remember:
- Horses pulling delivery wagons were still common,
- Sea planes visited Granton Harbour.
- Sir Alan Cobham's Flying Circus offered rides at Silverknowes.
Some of the first pupils at Wardie school in 1931 recall being proud of
their new brightly coloured tie and badge. There were three
different styles of hat for the girls:
- black felt for winter
- 'pork pie' for spring
- panama for summer
A floral Pageant was held at Wardie School in 1935 to
commemorate the Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary.
A wireless was installed in the school in the school in 1935
and used for weekly 'speech training' lectures. In 1936, the whole
school assembled in the Hall to hear the broadcast of King Edward's
In summer 1938, pupils from the school lined Granton Road,
cheering and waving flags as King George VI drove past.
In 1938 the ARP (Air Raid Patrol) were making plans to occupy
the school. Fire drills were held 'without warning'. On one occasion
all classes were clear of the school in 48 seconds.
In September 1939, Wardie School was taken over by the ARP, and
403 children were evacuated to Fife. They were looked after in
groups of ten by parents and others who travelled with them.
The children assembled in the school playground where they were
told of their destinations, then they set off by train, carrying gas masks
with labels tied to their blazers.
231 children remained in the district. They were
dispersed to houses and taught in small groups for an average of about
five hours a week for the remainder of 1939. Some were taught in the
basement of the Bank Manager's house in Granton Square.
Most of the evacuated children returned during the early months
of 1940. Some were taught in the mornings, others in the afternoons.
[Anniversary Booklet -
Wardie School 1931-1981]
Thank you to Edward Thomson for
sending me this photograph:
"Mr Downie was the first
Headmaster at Wardie School. Here is a
photograph of Mr Downie, twenty-eight years before Wardie School
opened, when he was then teacher of Class 6 at
Torphichen Street School.
Headmaster at Wardie
Mr Downie's last appointment.
He retired before
World War II broke out and he was succeeded by Mr Vickers.
Ed Thomson, Glamis Castle, Angus Scotland,
November 20, 2006
"This was the
uniform worn on sports days. This photo is of
myself, aged eight in 1936. I was Captain of Bangholm
Ed Thomson - 1936
There is a downside to this.
On my way back from Wardie that
day, I was attacked by three "yobs" from the Granton area who
resented my blazer and ripped it up.
They also got my trousers messed
with tar in Boswall Green which had just had the road resurfaced."
Ed Thomson, Glamis Castle, Angus Scotland,
April 12, 2006
Kathleen Wheeler (née
Thank you to Kathleen Wheeler (née Christie) for sending me the
Message from USA
"I came to the U.S. in 1961 and enjoyed
my new life with my new husband. I worked and kept busy, travelled
quite a bit, complements of
Uncle Sam, and never really got homesick.
But now I have become terribly homesick.
I found your web site and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have 'clicked on
everything' and saw all the old places I knew, all the old memories came
flooding back .
I have tried to find names of people I knew,
but the only one I have recognized so far, is Mr. Downie, Headmaster of
"I think that the next headmaster at Wardie
School was Mr. Vickers, and that all of our teachers were spinsters! I
was terrified of all of my teachers and most of our class was too."
"I remember a POW camp, down from Wardie
School. You'd see the prisoners out, sometimes working. I remember
the air raids and bombings very well and also the evacuations.
If I remember correctly, if you had relatives
or friends who lived in the country, you went to stay with them but if
not, you went to the camps in various places. I went to an aunt and uncle
who lived in Innerleithen and stayed with them."
"I also remember the city taking down all of
our metal fences around our gardens, to be used for the war effort. They
left the main vertical supports for the rails which had holes in them to
place the horizontal rails.
All of us kids used to put our mouths
over the holes and blow to make some strange sounds. It ended up with
everyone on my street getting impetigo around their mouths from blowing on
Ah - these were the good old days."
"Bruce Peebles' factory was just up the street
from where I lived in Crewe Grove and many of the neighbourhood men worked
Also, Ferranti's was at Crewe Toll. I
worked there for several years with the Air Ministry."
Kathleen Wheeler (née Christie), Crossville, Tennessee,
USA: May 4, 2007
Do you remember Kathleen Christie?
If you remember Kathleen Christie and would like to contact her,
please e-mail me and I'll pass on your message to her.
- Peter Stubbs: May 12, 2007
Iain C Purves
Thank you to C
Purves who wrote:
"I was born in Links
Place in 1934, but my father found employment with Morrison and
Gibbs, the printers at Canonmills, and
somehow we were able to rent a Gumley and
Davidson house a house in Crewe Grove (Number 20).
When I was
five years old,
a Miss Smith came to the house and after an interview I was enrolled
in Wardie School (in 1939).
that the playground and the covered area
were taken over by ambulances etc. for the duration of the war.
we were aware of the Royal Navy at the foot of our playing fields
used to hear the Naval announcements on our way to the school
dinners in the large wooden building just next to the wall of the
left Wardie School after the 'Qually'
and went to
Trinity Academy, attending school there with the sons and daughters of
many of Newhaven's community."
Iain C Purves, Waterdown, Ontario, Canada: October 3, 2011