Coll The Coll Magazine

Article by John Wheeler-James (2000)

20 Years of Travelling Scholars
20 Years of Travelling Scholars

Travelling Scholars since 1980 

Date         WEST END                                                                                       EAST END
1980        Neil Paterson, Breachacha 
              Kirsteen Wilson, Kilbride
1982        Kirsteen Wilson, Kilbride 
              lan Anderson, Totronald                                                     Honey Smalley, Clabach
1983                                                                                            Ruaridh Waugh, Gallanach
1984       Jessica Bell, Acha Farmhouse
1985       Jenny & Alison Lunghi, Uig
1986       Heather & Kenneth Macintyre, Arileod
1987                                                                                             John-Allan MacRae, Cornaigmore
                                                                                                    Emily Taylor, Gallanach 
                                                                                                    Phillippa Greaves, Totamore
                                                                                                    Rachel Greaves, Totamore
1989        Robin Lunghi, Uig                                                               Ian Fraser, Totamore,
1990        Julia Payne, Breachacha                                                      Andrew Fraser, Bousd
              Robbie Payne, Breachacha
1991       Joanna Taylor, Lonban Catriona Biel, Gliac
1992       Amy Mitchell, Broadhills ,
1993                                                                                              Helena Porrelli, Ceann a Bhaigh
1994                                                                                              Lawrie-Neil Porrelli, Cann a Bhaigh
1998                                                                                              Finlay Porrelli, Ceann a Bhaigh
1999        Calum MacKay, Breachacha New Castle                                  Rhona Smith, Gallanach 
              Kenneth MacKay, Breachacha New Castle                               Douglas Wainwright, Cliad
              Sophie Buchan, Totronald Bheag
              Sam Rutherford, Totronald Bheag

School run

I started the school run in August 1972 by picking up Val Conway at Ballyhough. Then, shortly afterwards the Johnstons came to Gallanach and their daughter Mhairi joined Val in the school car. Then there were the Woodward children Joanna, Rebecca and Sarah from Toraston for some time.

Juliet Conway then started school, sometimes very reluctantly, sometimes I had to get out of the car and prise her hands off the gate and put her in the car. And on these occasions she could bellow like a bull. When driving the school car it was amazing what you heard from the children. One day Miss Kennedy asked Val what she did at home after school and Val told her she just "buggered about in the byre."

The next ones to start school in 77 were Angus John from Clabbach and Marion at Cliad, followed by Brian alias Barney - he was like the cows tail in the mornings, at least 50 yards behind Marion. Isla Colman from Achamore also appeared on the scene for a short time. Honey Smalley was the next one to start school, nicknamed Nora Batty because she always had problems keeping her tights up.

Emily Taylor from Gallanach was the next one to join the sometimes very crowded school car. Then we had to go further east to pick up John Allan at Cornaigmore.

The mileage then increased by going to Totamore to pick up Ian Fraser. The boys were a tough lot sometimes, full of mischief as you can imagine. But when things looked as if they were getting out of hand little Emily could always be relied on to keep them in order.

In those days we had to open and close four gates every morning and afternoon. Honey saw an opportunity for making some money here; she would open and shut the gates for the price of 10 pence per gate. Negotiations went on for several weeks, eventually a price was agreed. It was a great help to Margaret and I, and Honey only got to do the gates when the weather was suitable, (and God help me if I forgot to pay her at the end of the week).

By this time the Frasers had moved to Bousd and Andrew joined Ian at school. Andrew didn't like the mornings very much and was best left alone until fully awake.

Good luck to them all in the future. They were a great bunch of children to see every school day.

John Wheeler James
Images associated with this article:-

The road to Clabbach and Ballyhough
Coll Magazine - Article by John Wheeler-James

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