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Anniversary : Spiers School Reunion
Posted by Richard on 2007/1/21 16:14:42 (4499 reads) News by the same author

Were you a pupil at Beithís renowned Spierís School? Do you get all misty-eyed when you think back to your school days and friends of yesteryear?

Would you like to journey down memory lane and meet again some of those who were educated at this fondly remembered seat of learning. A reunion for former pupils of Spierís will be held on Saturday May 19 at 12.30 am in the Burnhouse Manor Hotel. Those attending will gather to meet friends old and new for a drink and canapťs before a three course lunch with tea and coffee kicking off at 1.30 pm.

The cost is £20. The event is likely to run until 4.00 pm with speeches and the opportunity to chat with old friends. Interested in attending? Contact Edwin Fisher on 01505-872253 and he will arrange to forward full details to interested parties including hotel accommodation packages.

Beithís renowned Spierís School with none of the distinguishing tree-covered parkland visible in this very early photo.

Spiers School which opened in 1888 and finally closed when the pupils transferred to Garnock Academy in 1973. The foundation stone was laid in September 1887 at a ceremony attended by over 1,000 people who were entertained by Kilbarchan Instrumental Band. A report in the local newspaper added: ďSpierís School is a handsome pile in the style of the 17th century, built from Ballochmyle stone and with its tower, hall, boardroom, 10 classrooms, and schoolhouse designed by a Glasgow Architectural firm, was supposedly reminiscent of the ancient Glasgow University.Ē The school opened on September 22 1888, with 140 pupils, most of them from North Ayrshire, although two had followed Mr R Bruce-Lockhart, the Head Master, from his previous school, Waid Academy.

Probably taken in 1968 at Spiers School fete, readers will immediately identify well known Beithite, the late John Gardiner in the foreground.

The boys were taught apart from the girls until 1893, when the heavy curtains which separated the classrooms were removed. Interestingly, Spierís was the first school in Ayrshire to play rugby and in the early years staff members augment the school XVís. The only Spierian ever capped for Scotland was Alex Frew in season 1901/02, although Garnock Rugby Club which was a continuation through amalgamation of Old Spierians, did have some players who won national honours.

There are many well known former pupils still living in Beith including Tom Hart, Isobel Monahan, R Allan Richardson, Billy Steel and two parliamentarians in Tom Harris MP and Allan Wilson MSP. There must be many others, too, who have over the years, made their special mark in life. Importantly, letís have your special memories of Spierís school to share with readers in the lead up to this timely reunion.

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