Fearnan School Log Books

Ian McGregor writes:

The log books of the school, which was closed in March 1968, were thought to have been lost. However, after a search at Kenmore school, they were found at the bottom of a cupboard.

The school room, which is attached to the school house, had originally been built in 1786, but it wasn’t until the Education Act of 1872 that it became necessary for the schoolmistress to keep a log book recording weekly events of importance. We are presently reading these books and scanning pages which are worth retaining.

The following are some pages of the first book:

October 24th 1873 – School opened on Monday morning. Mr A Sinclair visited us on Wednesday. Attendance very low.

July 14th 1876 – Attendance regular this week. Weather very warm. Object lesson, or rather oral lesson, given on Friday on “Winnowing of Corn”.  Children answered fairly well. The chief deficiency is their inability to express their ideas well and easily in English. They can think intelligently but find it difficult to express their thoughts in English. Hence the great need for frequent practice in simple composition.

December 27th 1871 – On Tuesday the Countess of Breadalbane kindly invited the children to Taymouth Castle to a Christmas treat. Consequently the school was not opened in the afternoon.

October 31st 1874 – Attendance fair. This week a letter from the School Board was received intimating a change in the fees charged, as follows:

Infants          1/6 per quarter      Standard 2    2/6 per quarter

Standard 3    3/- per quarter       Standard 4   3/6 per quarter

Standard  5   4/- per quarter

This week we were honoured with a visit from Lady Breadalbane and Mrs Grahame.

August 4th  1885 – School closed for summer holidays             

October 9th 1885 – On Monday the school was opened after the holidays with a fair number. During the week we were visited by the Rev Mr Sinclair and the Rev Mr & Mrs McKenzie. Mrs McKenzie kindly brought a treat of fruit for the children which they enjoyed immensely.

June 24th 1887 – Tuesday was a holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. The children were each presented with a medal from Lady Breadalbane in commemoration of the event.

October 12th 1894 – Attendance fair, rather more than usual after the holidays. Weather beautiful. No rain has fallen to any extent since the middle of August, consequently the Loch is lower than it has been for many years. None in the village remembers it being so low.

October 19th 1894 – Attendance not so good this week. All the villagers have been busy potato lifting. On Monday we put a mark on the west side of the Black Craig to show the lowness of the water. The mark is a groove in the rock about a foot long, but it may be mentioned that last week the water was an inch or so below the marking line.

October 26th 1894 – Attendance higher this week. In the beginning of the week the mark on the Black Craig was rectified and now marks the lowest point the loch has reached in living memory.

February 8th 1895 – Attendance lower this still this week owing to a fresh storm of snow. Wednesday being one of the stormiest days ever experienced by any in this neighbourhood. It was followed by the most intense frost, the thermometer frequently going as low as zero, the ink in the school all frozen and the milk and the water in the houses in the village turned into solid blocks of ice. The children able to come to school are unable to stay from the fire.

February 15th 1895 – Attendance no better this week and the weather of the severest nature. The steamers on Loch Tay were unable to get past Ardeonaig with ice this week. The oldest inhabitant never saw Loch Tay frozen before. In this immediate neighbourhood there is no ice on the loch.

About Fearnan Village Association

Fearnan Village Association was formed in 2007 to provide a means through which those who live in the village can come together to discuss and respond to issues of importance to the village, particularly those that will have an impact on our quality of life. We also organise social events, such as the very popular Pudding Night in February, Strawberry TeaZ in July, and other events and coffee mornings throughout the year.
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2 Responses to Fearnan School Log Books

  1. Diana and Duncan Menzies says:

    How wonderful the “logs” were found. The entries printed were extremely interesting. We would look forward to more! A good evening could be had in the Hall with old photographs AND the log entries!
    Thank you
    Diana and Duncan Menzies

  2. Valerie McDonald says:

    Do you have the names of the schoolmistresses? I am researching a relative with the surname Roberts who was a schoolmistress in Fearnan.

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