Greenock Academy

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The Greenock Academy
Greenock-Academy-2012-05-20-east.jpg
The Greenock Academy Building as 'Waterloo Road' in 2012
Motto 'Hinc Vera Virtus'
('From This Place Comes True Worth')
Established 1855
Closed 2011
Type Secondary School (1855–2011)
Secondary and Primary School (1855–1976)
Rector Moira McColl (2000–2011)
Location Madeira Street
Greenock West
Renfrewshire
PA16 7XE
Scotland Coordinates: 55°57′22″N 4°46′44″W / 55.956°N 4.779°W / 55.956; -4.779
Local authority Inverclyde
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Colours Maroon / white         
Website greenockacademy.inverclyde.sch.uk

The Greenock Academy was a non-denominational, mixed (11 to 18) comprehensive school in the west end of Greenock, Scotland. On 24 June 2011, Greenock Academy closed after a history spanning 156 years.

History[edit]

The Greenock Academy was opened as a fee paying secondary and primary establishment in September 1855 in Nelson Street, Greenock. The school lay at this central Greenock location for almost a century of its lifetime before the building was demolished and moved to a modern building in Madeira Street of Greenock's west end, on the site of the old Balclutha mansion. The Nelson Street site is now occupied by the Finnart Campus of James Watt College.

The new Academy featured both a secondary and primary school with the later named 'south wing' area being the primary school. On 29 December 1968 BBC Scotland's version of Songs of Praise came from the school; the rest of the UK saw it from Holy Trinity Platt Church in Rusholme, Manchester.

The school had a yacht club, and competed in the Clark Cup of Mudhook Yacht Club at Helensburgh.[1] Another similar school with a yacht club was Rothesay Academy on the Isle of Bute.

Comprehensive[edit]

View from Newark Street, looking up Madeira Street to the entrance.

The primary department was abolished in 1976 and the lower door handles and alphabet tiles still remained into the years as a secondary school.

The Madeira Street campus remained open through into the new millennium as Greenock Academy clocked up its 150th year in 2005. Three years later, the school was named as the best non-denominational school in Scotland and still remained within the top 10% of Scottish secondary schools long after the announcement. The disrepair of the ageing building overthrew the academic performance of the academy and in 2011 the school prepared to shut its doors after 156 years in service.

The Greenock Academy and Gourock High School merged into a new school in the Bayhill area of Gourock. The new school, on the site previously occupied by St Columba's High School, Gourock,[2] is known as Clydeview Academy and opened in 2011.[3]

Waterloo Road[edit]

On 27 October 2011, the BBC announced that they had selected the Madeira Street building of Greenock Academy to film a new series of the TV drama Waterloo Road, following the production's move up north to nearby Glasgow. The site was leased from Inverclyde Council and filming is underway until 2015.[4]

On 4 April 2014, the final stage in the school's history was brought forth as the demolition of the Madeira Street building was announced as being scheduled in September 2015, at an estimated cost of £164,000, following the end of filming use in May 2014.[5] Future potential use of the Greenock Academy site is currently unknown, but it will be sold off by the council for redevelopment.

Rectors of The Greenock Academy[edit]

The head teachers of The Greenock Academy have traditionally been referred to as 'Rectors'. As of 2008, Alan McDougall and Moira McColl remain the only two living individuals to have held the post. Upon the merger of Greenock Academy and Gourock High School, a new head teacher was appointed, Mr William Todd, who remains the incumbent rector of Clydeview Academy.

Rector Start of office End of office Duration (years) Comments
Robert Buchanan 1855 1860 5 First rector of Greenock Academy. Resigned from office in 1860.
Archibald Montgomerie 1860 1872 12 Originally a Mathematics Scholar.
Edward L. Neilson 1872 1893 21 First Classics Scholar to take up the post.
Alexander Gemmell 1893 1930 37 Appointed at the age of 28 and was the longest serving rector of the academy, serving for 37 years. Largely responsible for the beginning of formal 'Games' at The Greenock Academy.
William Baird Taylor 1930 1941 11 Previously the principal teacher of English at the academy and rector of Johnstone High School.
William Dewar 1941 1947 6 Resigned from the academy in 1947 to become rector of George Heriot's School in Edinburgh.
James W. Chadwin 1947 1967 20 Rector during the transfer of campuses of the academy.
Robert K. Campbell 1967 1990 23 At the forefront of banning corporal punishment in schools, abolishing the belt in the academy two years before it was officially banned. Campbell died in 2008.
Alan McDougall 1991 1999 9 Final male rector of Greenock Academy. Retired from the post in December 1999. Depute Head Teacher Mr. Patrick Innes became acting head teacher before his successor was decided.
Moira A. McColl 2000 2011 11 Final rector of Greenock Academy and the only female rector in the school's history. In office at the close of the school in June 2011.

Notable teachers[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Grammar school[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mudhook Yacht Club
  2. ^ "Vision of future for schools", Russell Steele, Greenock Telegraph, 4 March 2008
  3. ^ "Clydeview Academy Update". Gourock High School. Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "School Report - School Reporters at the new Waterloo Road set". BBC. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Waterloo Road building to be knocked down following show cancellation". Digital Spy. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Helen Doherty
  7. ^ "Greenock Academy & associated Primary Schools", AchieversUK.com
  8. ^ "The race to be Scots Tory leader", BBC News, 1 November 2005

External links[edit]

News items[edit]