Memories of Fearnan

Although we know that our little web site is picked up and read by non-residents, there is always a sense of excitement when someone with a past connection to Fearnan, gets in touch.

The most recent correspondence came from Kirstyn in Germany, and was prompted by the article about the discovery of the Fearnan School Records.  Kirstyn attended Fearnan Village School in the 1950’s.  She lived at Lawers Schoolhouse and attended primary school with her sister and 2 cousins.

Kirstyn recalls some of the characters and personalities in the village at that time, including a fearsome teacher whose iron rule caused sleepless nights for some village children!  Happier memories were of the Misses Parker-Ness who stayed at Letterellan and staged garden parties for the schoolchildren in the summer.

Kirstyn also reminds us of some of our more famous former residents, including Major Clifford Hugh Douglas, the economist and Social Credit pioneer, who lived at Corriegorm.

Major Clifford Hugh Douglas

Major Clifford Hugh Douglas

He was also a brilliant engineer, who was entrusted with important projects including the construction of the London Post Office Tube Railway.  Also known as Mail Rail, it was a narrow guage driverless, private underground railway in London to move mail between sorting offices.  It was in operation from 1927 to 2003. There is more information about Major Douglas at

Fearnan was also home to Captain Hamish Pelham-Burn (1917 – 2011). An expert in explosives and demolitions, he joined the elite members of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), formed in 1940 by Winston Churchill to conduct warfare by means other than direct engagement.

Captain Hamish Pelham-Burn

Captain Hamish Pelham-Burn

He was described in his obituary in the Daily Telegraph as one of the Second World War’s Renaissance men who displayed his lethal talents variously as a soldier, fighter pilot and behind-the-lines saboteur with SOE. So sensitive was Captain Pelham-Burn’s SOE career, that his story remains largely untold. His official SOE war record (1939-46) is stored in the National Archives at Kew where it has been sealed and protected for 72 years. Under the Official Secrets Act, it cannot be made available for public scrutiny until January 1, 2019!

More information about him that is in the public domain can be read at:

Does anyone else share Kirstyn’s memories of Fearnan in the 1950’s? If so, please get in touch by using the ‘Comments’ link below this article. We’d love to hear from you.

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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1 Response to Memories of Fearnan

  1. I think I went to school at the same time as Kyrsten and her sister. I also remember the teacher that she was referring to. I remember getting strapped a few times.

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