MY SCHOOL: I went to Hillhead High School in Glasgow in the late 40s and early 50s. It was renowned for its academic side, particularly in terms of those who wanted careers in law and medicine, but it also put many in the arts world over the years - Gordon Jackson, Stanley Baxter, James Wight (aka James Herriot), Alistair MacClean, Jonathan Watson and the poet Robert Service are all former pupils. And me, as I was semi- professional actor for 25 years. It was on a shoot for a TV series - Lorna Doone in 1990 - that I met up with my old and now retired Hillhead art teacher, who was in the film as an extra. I was playing an Admiral of the Fleet.


I loved modern history – particularly the Industrial Revolution to 1950. (Of course 1950 plus is now history, which is very worrying!) I also enjoyed English, especially Shakespeare and essay writing. I enjoyed my art classes too and I always managed to miss maths because ‘I was wanted down in the hall to paint scenery for the school show, sir…..”

Glasgow Times:


Maths. Arithmetic was fine, but algebra and geometry? Ugh! But isn’t it interesting how you can be proved wrong in life? Much later, I designed some stage sets for an East Kilbride Repertory Theatre performance and needed geometry for all the sight angles and scale set drawings. Somehow, I managed to drag them up from the depths of my memory. Thank you, Hillhead…

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SCHOOL DINNER, PACKED LUNCH OR HOME? At primary school we all sat in the dining hall together, but at secondary there were so many of us we all had to take turns about weekly between the dining hall and what was known as the ‘Bun Room’. The latter had an array of filled rolls and ‘sticky buns’ and instead of a hall ticket to be punched, we bought individual tickets to be handed over in exchange for our choice of rolls and buns.

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There were four of us who hung about together, including my friend Douglas Bell, who went to London to become a stock broker. He was my best man at my wedding. After Hillhead, I moved down south for a while and attended High Storrs Grammar School in Sheffield. There, my best friend was David Hallatt. We caught up recently and I said I was coming down to Sheffield on business, and could we meet up? He laughed and said I’d have to travel a bit further, as he was living in South Carolina. I visited him later that summer and had a great time.

Glasgow Times:


I wouldn’t change anything – I liked school. In fact, when I was forced into early retirement due to ill- health, I ended returning to my local primary school in East Kilbride to become a classroom assistant. I took some pupils for drama lessons, and they put on a play all about the Home Front in World War II. After ten years there, I decided to retire – again. I think that’s it, this time.