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> Old School: St Mungo's Academy, I attended in the 1960's
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*Guest BigArturo **
post 14th May 2007, 12:00pm
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My old school was St Mungo's Academy which I attended in the 1960's. The school had four annexes all in the Townhead area, at Duke Street, Kennedy Street, Barony Street and Parson Street. My first memories at Kennedy Street were quite traumatic as at out first Maths class, the teacher, wee George Savage decided to check everyone's pencil to see how sharp the point was. He announced if the point of the pencil did not draw blood when it pricked his thumb, we would receive 3 of the belt ! The whole class was duly belted, quite a stressful experience bearing in mind we were all just out of primary school with an average age of 12 years. Even now over 40 years later, it still seems like quite a sadistic act to inflict on 12 year olds.

Some of the teachers at Kennedy Street - "Chips" Rafferty was the headmaster, Mr Benson taught French, Mr Bowman - "Twang" - taught English, Mr Pacitti taught Geography. We had a P.T. teacher called Mr Brickley who fancied himself as a hard man and used to invite pupils to punch him in the stomach so he would not flinch and show how fit he was. I remember he was intensely disliked as he favoured the rugby fraternity while we were all football fanatics.

For 3rd and 4th year we moved to Barony Street which was the personal fiefdom of Farmer Kelly, the eccentric headmaster. The time was the mid 60's and we were all growing our hair longer to copy our favourite rock bands, The Beatles and The Stones. The Farmer did his daily round of the playground at morning assembly and picked out any pupil with hair growing over his shirt collar. He was given 3 days to get a hair cut or action would be taken. We had heard stories of some pupils being held down by one teacher while Farmer went to work with scissors to shorten the pupil's hair !

We were caught by The Farmer a few times hiding in the playground toilets as we "dogged" the first Friday mass. We were allowed out of the toilet cubicle, dispensed 4 of the belt and sent across Parson Street to join the rest of the pupils for the service. Some of the other Barony Street teachers - Jimmy Byrne taught French and was a tough no nonsense type who announced early on that he would still receive his salary every month irrespective of whether we passed our exams or not. It made some of us think enough to get the heads down and study. I remember one day someone set off a stink bomb just as Mr Byrne arrived for his class. He walked in the class, smelled the air and walked back out and locked us all in class to breathe in the pong for the next half hour. Needless to say no more bombs were let off. Hugh Innes - "Big Shug" taught English and had an affection for the more developed, muscular boys !

For 5th and 6th year we moved to Parson Street, which resembled one of those American prisons. You entered through a tunnel from the main street into the enclosed playground where every morning, the headmaster wee joe Barry was waiting with his book, The Tardy Host, to enter all latecomers and dispense 3 of the belt for being late. No excuses were entertained, genuine or otherwise. Wee Joe was a bit sadistic and was just too free when dishing out six of the belt for minor offences. Other teachers in Parson Street - "Spud" Murphy who taught Music and was a bit of an eccentric. It wasn't easy getting us Beatle fans to listen to Gilbert & Sullivan, Segovia and Bach but Spud persisted and we all broadened our musical horizons. "Bunny" McFarlane, a gentle man which many of us took for weakness, but who persisted in his own quiet way to introduce us to T.S.Elliot and even appreciate the dreaded Shakespeare, which we has been force fed up until then without any real explanation of what the plays were about. I remember Dr McLeod teaching Chemistry, Mr Reid teaching Árt and Con McGinlay teaching Economics.

Overall I enjoyed my time at "The Mungo" which despite being run by a religious order - The Marist Brothers - I can't remember any indoctrination that went on. It may have been a sign of the times with revolution in the air in the late 60's but most teachers were fair and quite a few were enlightened in their teaching methods. There were always the sadists which every school had, who enjoyed dishing out six of the belt for trivial reasons and enjoying it.

Hope this stirs a few memories for some former pupils who will no doubt have their own take on different teachers and how they were treated.
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Dexter St. Clair
post 14th May 2007, 07:01pm
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You missed the annexe at Rigby Street, Carntyne which was later used by St. Gregory's Secondary.

you've got some memory.

there's a few photos here.

Friends reunited SMA
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*Eddie Clarke*
post 8th Jul 2007, 12:20pm
Post #3






A great memory indeed - I feel you must have trodden the same path and even the same teachers as me (though I remember wee George Savage as a History teacher, not maths - "Savage by name, savage by nature" he used to quote, but bark very much more than bite as I remember). Thanks for the memories
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Mahegradon
post 24th Jul 2007, 04:46am
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I remember all of the teachers that you mentioned, but I could never have recalled what most of them actually did for a living. (Subject wise)
I do remember "Cecil", Mr Strachan. I believe he taught English.
I had to leave after 4th year. It was either that or get a haircut.
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BigArturo1
post 1st Aug 2007, 08:24pm
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I remember Mr Strachan or Cecil as he was nicknamed. He was in charge of the library in Parson Street when I was there. He wore thick glasses and was quite "intense", todayspeak for a "nervous wreck"!

I also remember our trips out to the playing fields at Loretto, just past Bishopbriggs. I particularly remember taking part in a cross-country run in which my group quickly lost interest and decided to go off route across a field, only to be chased by the farmer who fired a shotgun over our heads. We got the message and got the hell off his land and finished the run in record time I seem to remember !

We had a Physics teacher, Mr Meechan, who announced on his first day in class that he was from Anderston - "a hard area and I won't be taking any snash from you lot !" He had one of the thickest belts in Barony street and used it quite liberally.

I remember the playground toilet in Parson Street which was choc-a-block with smokers every playtime and lunchtime. Wee Brother Adrian was fond of throwing blocks of ice through the open toilet windows in winter and "bombing" the smokers who would all rush out to sort out the culprits, only to be confronted by the Brother laughing his head off.

I remember one of our class set off a smoke bomb outside the teachers staffroom window in Parson Street one playtime which forced every teacher to evacuate into the playground, which all the pupils thought was hilarious.

Chemistry classes were an exercise in survival technique. When you see the protection equipment today's pupils have on - gloves, goggles etc..- we only had old cloths to mop up any acid spills which happened regularly as we were often left alone in the lab without supervision due to staff shortage and we conducted our own "experiments", usually involving Sulphuric or Nitric acid, seeing how they reacted with other substances. How anyone was not seriously hurt amazes me looking back.
The playground at Kennedy Street sticks in my mind as it resembled a prison camp with high wire all around and the area hemmed in surrounded by tenements. The ball was regularly kicked over the fence into the back courts and into the middens of what were slums in those days. The pain of the first whack of a Mouldmaster ball on your leg when wearing shorts in winter will never be forgotten. The red mark it left on your leg seemed to last for weeks. Happy Days !
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Mahegradon
post 25th Nov 2007, 10:22am
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St Mungo's Academy Reunion.
150th Anniversery

To be held in April 2008 - Details from Brian O'Neil on
Friends Reunited: St. Mungo's Academy reunion page.
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*Leslie Thorpe*
post 27th Apr 2008, 05:55pm
Post #7






Thank you all for taking the trouble to record your memories. Your comments revived some latent memories of my own.

But I am surprised to learn (only recently) that the old school (Parson Street) closed in 1974 and that a new school was openned circa 1988 .... a co-educational institution I believe. And the Marist Brothers have "moved on". To what ???
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*eddiebhoy67*
post 1st May 2008, 08:36am
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Memories play tricks on us all. Savage by name and Savage by nature was his motto and dishing out punishment with a belt he made you measure the thickness of on your first day was his stock in trade. Tommy Farr taught French at Kennedy St. I learned nothing. And it was set amongst the worst slums in Europe. Wee Paddy was our PE teacher and was OK. So was Briclay. He actually danced in the White Heather Club. He was the blond in the kilt.
We had three classrooms there. It was a Protestant school and they took great pleasure in winding us up. During our exams in 1960 they organised their brass band reherseals next door. What a racket. Savage almost had an apopelectic fit. There was a creature called Jake, who was the leader of the pack. He wore a studded, leather jacket and skin tight jeans. He always had a face covered in stubble and had a fag permanently hanging out the side of his mouth. He wanted to beat up one of our first year boys who climbed up the wire fence in the playground and clung to the top with Jake waiting at the bottom. He was saved by the bell and the arrival of the teachers.
No one seems to remember the " stinky ocean." An industrial waste site just past the school with piles of black ashh, a dreadful smell and incongruous goal posts in the middle.
Friday was a nightmare as we had Savage nearly all day. Double English then double Latin to finish it off. He stood in the gloom at the front of the class, writing your Latin declension on the board. I remember stumbling over Miles, tables, puellae, tavernae portant ( portaverant ?) Still stumbling as you can see. All the heads in front of me suddenly went down and the wooden board duster was two inches from my head when I ducked too. It hit the wall with a thud and I had to pick it up and return it to Savage. My Mum used to wonder why I always felt sick on Friday mornings. Happy Days, ( ? ) rolleyes.gif
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BigArturo1
post 13th May 2008, 03:29pm
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EddieBhoy,

I agree with your memories of wee George Savage. A previous posting had suggested his bark was worse than his bite but I don't remember it that way. He quite enjoyed exercising his power - another wee guy with the power syndrome like wee Joe Barry in Parson Street - and I remember severe beltings being meted out and dusters being flung at pupils. Fortunately times have moved on and hopefully today's pupils won't face the same abuse.

Regarding the Stinky Ocean, there are various postings on the Guide under Pinkston, Garngad etc.. including a few from myself as we played there as children.

I remember the Kennedy Street Annexe was split into Catholic / Protestant sections as half of the school was an annexe of the City Public whose pupils used a different entrance and had different play times when I was there to avoid any friction. I attended in the early 60's and St Mungo's had the majority of the school then. I hated first, second and third years and only began to enjoy 5th and 6th years in Parson Street.
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*CRETESCOT*
post 18th May 2008, 12:45pm
Post #10






Hi, any idea what happened to BARONY STREET? Was it renamed or 'demolished'?
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Dexter St. Clair
post 18th May 2008, 02:40pm
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It went back to being called The Martyrs School and is looked after by the Museums Service.

Of course if you went to St. Mungo's you would know how to search.
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Melody
post 18th May 2008, 03:23pm
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Thanks Dexter. laugh.gif Indeed your right.
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Mike Docherty
post 25th May 2008, 07:38am
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Man, did BigArturo 's reminiscences jangle a few bells?!! I was a fellow inmate at St. Kent's beginning in 1967 in Tommy Farr's class ( -"That's vulgar, boy -I won't have vulgarity in my class ") with a colorful array of both pupils and teachers. That first day saw us up in the rafters of the building for art class which was being taught by a nutjob teacher whose name escapes me at the moment - we had all heard rumors of this teacher's ' unorthodox ' methods and encountered them first-hand when he stormed into the room, bellowing at us, informing us of our first great transgression of the school term ( some of us had sat down without permission ) so yours truly plus about ten other unfortunates spent the rest of that double period standing on top of our desks as punishment, gawking out the window at the traffic on Duke Street and breathing in the less-than-fragrant reek from the nearby Molli as it trickled past the school, separated by a woefully inadequate fence - the same fence that kids would breach then accidentally stumble and 'fall' into those fetid waters in a feeble attempt to dog the rest of the day's classes. English, geography and a host of other subjects being taught to us by the lofty Mr. Burke or "Sylvester" as he was known to us - he of the un-forgeable signature who would regale the class with stories of his exploits in Burma during WWII, going into great detail about bayoneting "..those horrible little buck-toothed Japs..." . French classes taught by the aforementioned Tommy Far and Big Sam McManus who always carried that white leather belt of his over his shoulder and under his jacket until someone swiped it and threw it into the foundations of a new motorway overpass up near Barony Street during the city's blitzkrieg redevelopment of Townhead... Latin classes taught by Mr. McConville who bore a striking resemblance to Josef Goebbels - He was feared among the poor buggers who did not match up to his standards - ( I seemed to have a flair for languages so I rarely showed up on his radar ) but I do recall him backhanding a kid across the face for being what he considered too lazy and then grabbing the same kid by his hair and yanking him to his feet where he was to stand for the rest of the period... The other Latin teacher I recall was a Mr. Shields who made an unforgettable first impression on us due mainly to the fact that he looked like something Howard Carter may have pulled out of an Egyptian tomb in the Valley of The Kings in 1926 - A near-skeletal face on a huge lightbulb-shaped head guaranteed to scare the Bejazus out of all who beheld it for the first time... Math was courtesy of Brother Alan, a Montgomery Clift lookalike with the bristling black hair and those dazzling teeth gleaming from a permanently tanned face, who always had that annoying habit of clacking his teeth together when he was concentrating on something - the faster the ' clack ' the tougher the problem... The other Math teacher I had was the notorious Mr. O' Hanlon or as he was universally known by friend and foe alike as " Eddie Onion " , St. Kent's own Nosferatu the Vampire who would storm through the halls of the school, black cape flapping out behind him - even kids who did not have him as their math teacher would flee at his approach - I had Eddie for what was probably the longest 6 months of my life but only was subjected to his torture and derision on one occasion when he asked his daily question, inquiring as to which particular ' Little Ba-Ba Buntys ' had forgotten their text book - My hand went up and after his usual overly-theatric swoop of the arms which served to swing his cape around him so only his bald, pointy head was visible - then out came one claw-like hand, making a ' C'mere you' gesture. Up I went, expecting nothing less than a horrible death but Eddie must've been in a good mood that day as he was willing to settle for a mere 6 strokes of the belt, after which he loaned me one of his own textbooks. Imagine my horror when, barely back in my seat he asked if anyone had forgotten their jotters.... Same theatrics, same everything, 6 more strokes... After that I did my level best to be conveniently absent on the days we had math ( - no easy task ) but I suspected there could be no escape from the man - I knew for a fact he threw no shadow, he would have no reflection in a mirror and if anyone ever shaved off the sparse tuft of hair that was left on his gleaming multi-scarred melon it would reveal '666' tattooed there - I would pray for him to fall over a balcony or walk in front of a bus before the inevitable happened and he would materialize in my room in the middle of the night and rip my throat out. Strangely enough at the end of the school year he showed up with a huge tray of ice-cream wafers and cones to be distributed among his many victims, shocking many of us to find they contained no rat poison. Over the years I have often wondered what ever became of him, eventually consoling myself with the knowledge that he probably spends his time in a place far hotter than most of us will ever see. So went my first year in The Mungo, a veritable baptism of fire but secure in the knowledge that Second year could only be better... Foolish Boy, Foolish Boy.....
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Isobel
post 25th May 2008, 05:40pm
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As an ex pupil of Charlotte St who knew many young lads who attended St Mungo's you have given me lots of laughs. Can you just imagine all of this taking place today, no way. It was the same in Charlotte St. Big long straps hidden in the pockets of the gowns. Pointers that were on occasions used as weapons.Don't speak unless you are spoken to. Those were the days.
We were taught the meaning of respect. Don't want to go back to such tough days ,however it has gone too much the other way. Get respect back in the classroom and let the teachers do their work with less interference from parents.


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From Glasgow now in Canada
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Mike Docherty
post 27th May 2008, 06:15am
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There was a place called ' Papa's ' - a little diner-type joint on High Street, just south of it's intersection with Duke Street where some of us would go to torture our tastebuds at lunchtime, the usual bill of fare consisting of a pie 'n' peas or a pie 'n' beans for the more flatulent ones among us plus a few other totally forgettable culinary masterpieces but the place was situated next door to a little hole-in-the-wall record store and the reason I so vividly remember the place was because it was the only music store I ever saw that displayed the covers to Blind Faith's album with the topless and dangerously underaged ( I assume ) red-headed nymphette gawking brainlessly at the camera - the other album cover being Hendrix's ' Electric Ladyland with it's plethora of nubile, nekkid women sprawled across both sides of the fold-out record sleeve. Needless to say this daily gawkers'-fest increased in volume every day but what surprised me most was the growing number of girls from Charlotte St. who were there staring side-by-side with us Mungo Boys... I decided there and then these young Charlotte St. ladies needed to be watched very closely... I think someone else must've been paying attention to the swelling ranks of teenaged schoolkids blocking the sidewalk in front of that record store also because those album covers suddenly vanished without warning and it wasn't long before the store itself closed down much to the chagrin of many hormonally ravaged first & second-year youngsters who really knew the value of a cheap thrill... Ah, happy days...
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