Fàilte! (Welcome!)

Fàilte! (Welcome!)
This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...

©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Harris Schools - A List

Having earlier discovered that the only teacher listed in the 1841 Census return for Harris later became the father-in-law of one of my relatives, I have found myself revisiting the subject of education on the island.
One of the reasons why my earlier piece was presented purely in terms of the number of teachers & scholars was that I could not say with certainty where the teachers were employed. I have found a list of schools, compiled in answer to a Parliamentary question asked in 1960, that shows all the Harris schools that existed in between 1919-1959 and thus may now be able to match the teachers to their schools:

Amhuinnsuidh





Ardvourlie






Bernera






Bunavoneddar






Cliasmol






Drinishader






Eilean Anabuich






Finsbay






Kyles Scalpay






Kyles Stockinish






Leverhulme Memorial






Luskentyre






Manish






Northton






Obbe






Rhenigidale






Rodel






Scalpay






Scarista






Scarp






Shelibost






Tarbert, Sir E. Scott
The answer also gives pupil numbers for various years and it can be read here:
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written_answers/1960/dec/20/schools-isle-of-harris

Where there were 22 schools 90 years ago, today there are merely 5 and if we exclude Berneray then the number of schools has plummeted from 21 to 4 and one of those remaining, Sheilibost, has been named in a recent list of schools set for closure.

Now that I have this list, I think it would be worthwhile attempting to gather as much information as possible about each school including identifying any school buildings that still remain. A big project so if anyone has information (especially photos!) on any Harris schools please do get in contact.

Here's a link to Finsbay - http://theoldschoolhousefinsbay.com/ - which, like several(?) other island schools, has been given a new lease of life as a guest house.

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