Watsonians Linked

WatsoniansLinked - Memory Lane


Room 22 in the early daysRoom 22 was my favourite room at school in George Square. It had loads of happy memories for me. It was up the stone staircase from the tiled hall, where the Master Time-Table was displayed. You went through the rectangular archway. The geography room was on the left. That was Dowdy Frowdie’s domain (Miss Froud). Then there was the narrow winding staircase which only teachers were allowed to use, to go up to rooms 19 and 19A.

At the foot of the stairs was the small music room (Daddy Langdon’s). Some of us sat in there one day when the end of the world was predicted. Part of me was scared and part of me was sceptical! It didn’t happen.

I remember too, a small room with about five desks, under or behind the stair, where ‘mamselle’ took us for French conversation, five at a time. I often found them difficult to understand, and each one only stayed a year. I hated it when my turn came around. I remember asking one to spell a word, and her way of saying the letters was different to ours. She was exasperated, and wrote it on the blackboard with squeaky chalk!

Room 22 was as big as two classrooms, and had windows down both sides. Most of the time it was filled with forms (benches with backs). Furthest from the door was the stage with velvet curtains. Lots of things happened in Room 22 – singing lessons with Mrs Easton or Mr Langdon at the grand piano. 

Two shows come to mind: Hansel and Gretel, and The Merry Reapers. I wanted to be the witch in Hansel and Gretel, but I was too nervous. Instead, I had to pass the gingerbread through the oven door! For The Reapers, I was asked by Pat Michie to audition to play my violin in a small orchestra. Even though she was in my year, my hands and knees shook, and I could hardly play for nerves.

Best of all, I liked singing in Room 22 - class lessons, junior choir, middle school choir and senior choir. I had to sing something as a baptism (Uncle Duddles called it) to get into the choir, and that wasn’t too bad! I enjoyed sight reading, and singing alto parts. In the junior choir I remember singing: Down the dusty road together homeward pass the hurrying sheep… (Elgar) and an arrangement of Full Fathom Five Thy Father Lies… the words of which I couldn’t quite understand. In the senior school, we sang parts of Hiawatha and The Revenge. The House Choirs Competition and the Singing Competition were also held there.

Scripture Union was held in Room 22 on Thursday mornings at 8.30. I adored the older girls who led it - Marion Robertson, Alison Malloch and Christine Lucas. I was so proud because I persuaded my dad to buy us a set of Golden Bells hymnbooks.

It was also the place where films and slides were shown. We were the very first year to see films about “Periods” and “Where Do Babies Come From”, all discussed in hushed tones of course.  We could only go to the talks if our parents gave their consent.

Then there was the Nature Club, when we had outside speakers like Zoo Man (Tom Gillespie). He gave a talk on chimpanzees and one girl asked him if they ever got drunk. He corrected her and said, "You mean inebriated?".

My final memories are not so pleasant! The room was cleared every March and filled with desks for the Higher and Lower examinations. Horror of horrors - when the French Aural Comprehension passage was due to be read by Miss Doull, the dust cart came up the back lane under the windows and made such a clatter! I think the janitor was dispatched to beg them to move on quickly!

Hilary Rae

Class of 1960