chops

Clifton Hall School, Private Primary and Secondary, Edinburgh Clifton Hall conjures up memories for everyone who visits. As former pupils we have especially vivid imprints of "the good old days" at CHS - it's these memories we would like you to share. Please feel free to read the entries other old-pupils have left. If you haven't already, we would love to read what you remember best about your time here; please click here to leave your message.

Next >>

David Kerr (1953 - 1957)

I remember... I was reminded by Kenneth Barr’s entry of Mr & Mrs Killick, who were excellent role models, not to forget their dogs, dachshunds I think. They were often visited by Miss Martin, who was the Headmistress of Buckingham Terrace Nursery School in Edinburgh (which I had also attended), who also had the same breed of dogs. I always wondered how they knew which ones belonged to whom.
Like Kenneth Barr, I also remembered the underground huts dug out of the bank, which towards the end my time at Clifton Hall were demolished as I think there had been a scare when there was a cave-in. He also reminded me of the puppet theatre, supervised by Mr Mitchell (Mitch), entered through a small door in the corner of the yard under Mitch’s flat and the Green Room. Mitch also taught me the rules of croquet on the headmaster’s lawn where he remembers playing it.
I wasn’t at Clifton Hall when Kenneth Barr was there but I’m sure that I must have been there with one of the three of his sons who also went to Clifton Hall. I was one of three boys who were left-handed: Bruce, Barr and Kerr (me). We had a class called arts & crafts run by Mrs Carfry or McCrafry, or something similar, who took it upon herself to convert Bruce, Barr & Kerr to write with their right hands and all she achieved was that all three boys developed serious stutters which in my case took ages to sort out.
In addition to Killick and Mitchel there was a very strange Maths teacher called Javis, who suddenly disappeared and was quickly replaced by a short Welshman called Hughes. Christopher Taylor’s entry has jogged my memory to remember the name of Mr Harkness who was a quiet and nice guy. I have a vague memory of the Geography teacher who Christopher named as Mr Newton, but I do remember that it was in the small classroom at the end of the row. Like Christopher Taylor I sang Xmas carols in Kirkliston parish church. I was’t keen on singing but I knew that the “Ladies of Kirkliston” provided those that sung with a feast of cakes. Christopher Taylor recalls being read John Buchan's "Prester John" by Mr Mathewson, the Headmaster in his study during Sunday summer evenings. I also recall these Sunday readings but in my case it was ‘The Thirty-nine Steps’ and the Headmaster was Mr Killick.
Yes, Michael Fraser, I remember when you arrived at Clifton Hall, in 1955, together with your motorbike. I distinctly remember my eyebrows being raised by the arrival of this person who wore sandals instead of shoes. I also remember the noise that they made as you walked through the senior dormitory to the room at the end up the stairs from the yard. That’s where Roderick Paton said he later stayed when he was at Clifton Hall some 10 years later.
I was interested to note that you had accompanied Mitch on one of his summer holiday trips to Belgium, Germany and Denmark with 3 boys in his car. I was one of the 3 boys that he took on an earlier summer trip and we went to Belgium, Austria and Germany.
Like you, I remember Mitch with great fondness as he made great efforts to get me to learn spelling and to get me through my General Entrance Exam to enable me to be accepted by Trinity College, Glenalmond. Without his encouragement and support I would not have made it and wouldn’t be who I am today. His early death was a great sadness.
Well Michael, between 1996 and 2002, while working in Templecombe, I lived during the week in Sherborne, where you are living now, so we may have passed by on a number of occasions without knowing it.
May I thank all of those whose entries have enabled me to recall the above memories of my happy time at Clifton Hall.

I am currently... After leaving Clifton Hall I went to Trinity College Glenalmond, Perthshire. Shortly after leaving school I completed a three year Short Service Commission in the army (Royal Artillery). My career was made up of 35 years in Personnel Management within UK Electronic Companies and the UK Defence Industry, with the last 15 years at Human Resources Director level; located in St.Albans, Hertfordshire, then based in St. Albans but working in various UK locations, then from 2002 based in Cannes, France.
Throughout all my working life I assumed that on retirement I would return to my hometown, Edinburgh. Not for one moment did I think that when I retired in 2005 that I would be working near Cannes, France and living in a lovely apartment overlooking the town with a superb sea view and that I would settle down and retire permanently on the Cote d’Azur.

Fiona Morton (1999 - 2002)

I remember... All the amazing teachers and friends I made there. Clifton will always hold a special place in my heart and I wish I had been able to stay for my senior education but that wasn't yet an option. Clifton is an amazing school, I will treasure the memories I made there and the values and skills I learnt.

I am currently... Working in an outdoor nursery in Glasgow

Cameron Stewart (2010 - 2012)

I remember... having so much fun playing football in the sun, meeting some good people, and learning lots in and outside of the classroom. Also, I remember the warm atmosphere, which meant I looked forward to going school - a rarity for most boys my age...

I am currently... studying at Fettes College

Stephen Mears (2012 - 1993)

I remember... my first time coming to CHS as a nine year old full time boarder from Dubai. Freezing my skinny little socks off, as being a junior I was required to wear shorts (bbrrr!!). The long foot bath in the boys showers. Being a dorm captain and having to go fetch the matron in the middle of the night walking down from the dorms in the dark into the main lobby down the corridor towards the library down the steps to the classrooms (for some reason the locked classrooms and drying room were very daunting at night) out across the court yard and up to Mrs Browns flat. What a relief when she opened the door :). Lots of interesting memories from a unique school.

I am currently... I currently own and run a IT Company providing IT support for small and medium business across the UK. www.meartechnology.co.uk

David Sandison (1970 - 1976)

I remember... I spent a wonderful couple of hours at the school today and was made so welcome despite my impromptu arrival. This was my first visit to the school since I left it 36 years ago! Memories came flooding back nearly all of them great, other than those prompted by the sight of the Headmasters door - the two door system designed to heighten the sense of terror has been done away with happily! No, CHS was a happy place even in the dark days of the early 1970's and I certainly got the impression that unique environment with the woods and playing fields and amazing old buildings are still working their magic.
So much has changed of course, but so much hasn't! The copper pipes in the drying room at the bottom of the stairs are still there. The red leather seat in the Killick Room. The fine upholstered chairs in the front hall. The hedge to the left of the Headmasters Drawing Room where Mr Mathewson's hapless cat was caught in a snare intended to trap a rabbit. The brick wall next to the second XI cricket pitch which I smacked a ball into for 6 when making my highest ever score of 48. Not bitter about that! The games hall where we had Scottish country dancing lessons. Oh I don't know. I could go on for ever. The point is, if you haven't been back you should go. It is the most reassuring thing in demonstrating the power of an environment to shape attitudes and character.

I am currently... Living near Newmarket, married with 4 children who sadly for them have gone to school in England!

Emily Wishart (2000 - 2011)

I remember... My first day at nursery when I met my old best friend, Melissa. I had so many amazing teachers who you wanted to know you and who were always happy to help you when you needed them. If you were upset or struggling they were always there to help. I loved Clifton Hall and still do. Everyone - pupils and teachers were friendly. I did have a little trouble with my behaviour in my last year at Clifton but Miss shields, the music teacher, my old form teacher and Mr Grant, the headmaster, were always there to help even when most head teachers and teachers would have given up. They didn't and helped me change for the better. So I thank them for that. I also remember J7 when my house (Bruce) won and when I won the hockey award. The school make you feel special - like an individual instead of just another person in a school.

I am currently... At Edinbrugh Academy. I have always loved Clifton but when I decided to leave, it affected me in so many ways. I do still wish I was at Clifton sometimes.

David Sproule (1963 - 1968)

I remember... I have had all the memories flood back by those contributing and from my era. I can remember most of you. No one has mentioned the endless trains of British Leyland cars that used to trundle past. I seemed to do anything but class work. Mr. Edwards, Eddy, even told us "how to boil cabbage" ,the importance of "cleaning a spade" before putting it away and rice was not worth having unless made into a pudding! He also knew that tanks were called tanks to fool the Germans when they (the tanks) were being tested in Wales. I think there was maths in there somewhere.
For a short while I remember taking orders and supplying all those interested with hand tied fishing flies.
I think gardening was the only prize I ever received; jointly with J.A.L.S. (Jez). What happened to the huge salmon fly I painted. I was encouraged by Mrs. Williamson but Matthy had it framed and put up on the wall?

I am currently... I ended up graduating from Aberdeen University and then spent three years in Norway. I was employed but also spent time fact finding about the newly emerging salmon farming. At the end of the 70s I started in fish farming and was with a salmon farming business until 2002.
I currently work for the University of Aberdeen at their oceanographic department and deal mainly with environmental projects and subsea technology arising from industry or defence.
I have been fortunate enough to expand the gardening and do small scale production from a croft at the weekends.
I think Clifton Hall gave me a work / fun combination which has been with me since and which I have been lucky enough to keep.
Smile, those who may remember me.

Jamie Sandison (1972 - 1977)

I remember... Wow, enjoyed reading everyone's messages and brings a lot flooding back. Happy times and the school made a big and positive impression on me. In addition to George Mathewson, Teddy Edwards ("Sandison, you left-handed Philistine!"), Jim Newton, Snotty Watty et al, I remember great breakfasts, odd-ish rituals like having to show your hanky to get into the junior dining hall (I am never without one now...sad!), changing into red socks for 12.15, running round the trees at half time...also climbing trees, various crazes (kites, subuteo, collecting banda'd football team autographs), film nights (Zulu etc)and lots more. Glad CHS is still going strong.

I am currently... Living in Darien, CT and working in investment in NY. Married with 3 boys (2 now at Glenalmond and the youngest still at the local school in Darien).

Iain Morrison (1982 - 1986)

I remember... Very fond memories of my time at Clifton Hall. A great Headmaster in George Mathewson, with memorable teachers such as Messrs Newton, Watson and Rowlands. Remember lumpy porridge, black pudding and kidneys. Reading after lights out in the summer, hitting numerous golf balls into the trees and canal, rugby in all weather, canoeing on the canal - and going "down dell" on a Sunday. Looking up at the planes flying by whilst playing cricket - and now I look down from those planes on Clifton Hall and many memories

I am currently... Living in Bahrain working for a bank

Stephen Andrews (1969 - 1973)

I remember... Being number 101
Being outside Mr Mathewson's study on a regular if not daily basis.
The Ghost[s] of dorm 7.
Having a complete and not so wonderful introduction to Scottish cuisine after living years in Italy, never mind the damn weather....
Fond memories.

I am currently... Technical Manager in renewable energy

Next >>