Ness’s School

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Blantyre, Lanarkshire, ScotlandGlasgow Road South

Ness’s School

Ness's School Side View

Glasgow Road and this photo is after Annfield Terrace was demolished. Looking East along Glasgow Road, we have Stonefield Primary School with Hastie’s Farm on the right.

Sent in by Jack Owens

The windows are boarded up so this is just before the school was demolished in the mid sixties. It was later replaced by the “Broo” and then by Casper’s night club and is now the Public Library. All things considered, I would have preferred that the school remained, as it had so many memories for thousands of people and a place in history with the likes of Major John Ness. This will never be said about Casper’s or the Library.

The building from Harper’s Garage going west on Glasgow Road is the Central Building, also called Hill’s Paun building, which included The Ale House A Public House opposite The Central Bar, which served only Ale, hence its name. Closed in the early 1900s then opened as Hill’s Pawnbrokers, latterly Oreste’s, Dr Gordon’s surgery, Haddows Dentist, Ness’s School, Victoria Street.

Ness's School 1904

Front View of Ness’s School 1904

Monday 26th October 1875 was the opening of Ness’s School, as it was affectionately known, was named after Major John Ness, who was the Headmaster of the Blantyre Works School from June 1st 1856 1874, prior to becoming headmaster of Blantyre Primary School, formerly known as Stonefield Parish School, where he remained for 32 years. The School was demolished in 1978 and became the Labour Exchange, then Casper’s Nightclub and is now the Public Library.

Major John Ness

Major John Ness

It’s a little-known fact that Major Ness was primarily responsible for one of only two visits from Africa to Blantyre by David Livingstone. He wrote to him when he was attending lectures in London asking him if he would give an address at a soiree of the members of the Blantyre Literary and Scientific Institute.

Livingstone originally declined saying that he had to return to his adopted Country, Africa, as his work was by no means finished. He also stated that he could not speak well in English and had no wish to learn again.

Ness did not give up and approached Livingstone’s Mother, who lived at Peacock Cross in Hamilton, for her help. She wrote to her son and so David Livingstone returned to Blantyre and attended the soiree.

Front view of “The Wee School”

The Wee School, as it was affectionately called, was behind the main Ness’s School.

Jack Owens: Classroom on the left was where Miss Brown Knocked the “Left-handed Devil” out of me and left me scarred for life.

 The Wee School
Wee School and Dining Hall Rear of Wee School and Dining Hall

L/h Victoria Place known locally as the Honeymoon, (Annfield Place)

Ness’s and the dining hall were used as tech-drawing and metalwork classes by Calder Street School.

Part of a conversation between Thomas Dunsmuir Hartman in Chicago (known as TDH or Drapadew) and Margaret in Queensland Australia on TalkingScot.

Hello TDH
Just a quick question to you, have you heard of a school referred to as The Ness’s School?

Thank you Rab. and Margaret, I do know Ness’s school very well as I was born 30yds from the school in a miners raws with the very unusual name of THE HONEYMOON. I KID YOU NOT. How it got that name I could never find out, still trying. There is a great photo on the front cover of OLD BLANTYRE showing a policeman, the building directly over his shoulder is Ness’s School.

Hello Drapadew
The reason I asked was that my Grandad John Morton was the school Janitor there for many years till his death. When my brother visited Glasgow and the Masonic Lodge (which my brother and Dad were members, also my Grandad) he was well remembered as Johnny Morton from Nessies school. I am not sure what year he started there but at his death in 1945 age 71 it is recorded that he was a School Janitor so guess he was still putting in a days work in 45.

Love the name of your Row, and I too would be interested in knowing why it was named that.

(Note from Bill: It was nicknamed, “The Honeymoon”, because Victoria Place or Annfield Place was where newly married’s were housed in a single room.)

Your Comments:

Carolyn Patterson: Can anyone remember the markets that used to be held at the front of Hastie’s around 1972/1973 or maybe just a little later ??? they sold everything lol x
Stuart Christie: I attended Ness’s for a time in the early 1950s and I have vivid recollections of a coal fire burning in the classroom; it must have been winter.
Patrick Mcdonagh: I remember years ago coming back from another adventure over in the leafly and rich streets of Bothwell, after a night of being a nuisance to the locals, one of many schemes to make a penny was to go behind the Silvertrees Hotel, and get the empty Babycham bottles, you could get lot up your juke and top bucks for them, off we would go back to Blantyre we would go to the Cosy Corner, we went to cash them in, we were barred from the Village Bar at an early age, after we cashed in, up to Vince’s, we went for a bag of chips and a packet of fags between us, and a bob or two for school in the morning. One night on this bit of wasteland at Hastie’s Farm, we spied a big yellow bulldozer and being foolish boys we started it up. What a fright we got, the noise was deafening, could not turn it off, thankfully it did not move, but you never seen a bunch of boys move so fast in your life ,just another day in the life of a Blantyre boy.
Helen Grieve: Looks like it was taken from my mums back garden. We went to that school, well my big brother and me, wee brother was the first P1 at DLMP.
Richard Rankin: Can mind the market at front of Hastie’s, especially the toffee apples hanging on the top bar of the sweetie stall.
Tracey McDougall: Brilliant Bill never knew that one! B4 my time though.
Julie Anne Lindsay: I work above the library, never knew there was a school there.
Mary Wood: What a great photo… This part of Blantyre pops up in my dreams… Strange …
Tom McGuigan: Was the Broo in that building too or Labour exchange to give it the proper name, Remember going in with my Da on one of the few occasions he had to sign on.
Jim McDougall: Fond Memories my first school 1947. And of my big sister Margaret dragging me to school.
Frances Clelland: It was a pub before it was Caspers, was talking to my brother about this tonight, neither of us can remember the name of the pub can anyone help driving us nuts!!
Carolyn Patterson: I can remember getting off the school bus to go to the markets that were there for some time
Ann Millar: I went tae Nessies School then fae there I wis wan o the 1st tae go tae Ness’s tae. D L M P S.. n that wisnae y/day.

If you have any Photos… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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