MY SCHOOL: I attended Kelvinside Academy in the West End from 1971 until 1979. Those were turbulent times, what with the three-day week, strikes, power cuts and massive shifts in society and Government, not to mention Scotland’s ill-fated expedition to Argentina for the ’78 World Cup. Kelvinside Academy in those days was an austere place, ruled by a headmaster with a rod of iron, or, in his case a particularly well-honed belt. We sat at desks that had served the school for decades and didn’t enjoy any of the luxuries and technology that today’s kids take for granted. I remember the old Victorian radiators that never really heated the classrooms and the blackboards that always screeched at the mere sight of those old chalks.

FAVOURITE TEACHER: Alan Mabon was my Form Master when I first joined the school. He taught English and loved Arthur Miller as a playwright. The Crucible was a favourite. He did very well to guide me to a good Higher in English.

Glasgow Times:

SCHOOL DINNER, PACKED LUNCH OR HOME: In my early years my parents insisted I had school dinners and as I recall, it was grim. Vesta curries, mince, macaroni or chicken and always a pudding. Although the steamed syrup pudding with custard was awesome. From around third or fourth year onwards, I made my own lunch and brought it in - stuff like tinned ravioli in a food flask or ham and cheese sandwiches. My pals and I would barter over snacks and lunch, sometimes even stealing something particularly tasty from someone’s schoolbag when they weren’t looking.

FAVOURITE SUBJECT: English, because I loved reading, although I really enjoyed Economics. It was always good for an argument.

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LEAST FAVOURITE SUBJECT: Maths. I hated it. I didn’t get it and I failed my Higher in fifth year, again in sixth year and again at night school after I left.

MY BEST FRIEND AT SCHOOL: My best pals through school were Hamish Macfarlane and Gordon Ronald. Hamish and I lived next door to each other in Bearsden and travelled in and out of school on the 118 bus. Gordon was a co-conspirator on many a prank. He has lived in the US for 30 years, but we meet up a couple of times a year and keep in touch regularly.

Glasgow Times:

IF I COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT MY would be the uniform. At the time I resented the strict uniform, as well as the compulsory Cadet Corps, the belt and lots of other things that went with an all boys private school. But long ago I realised just how lucky I was to attend Kelvinside Academy at a time when tradition and discipline meant something. So, no regrets.

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