Wednesday, October 28, 2009

West End History - Hawkhill School Fire - 1945

Earlier this week, I received the following e-mail from a gentleman in Mississauga, Canada :

"I’m an ex-pat from Dundee. I went to Fintry primary and Liff Road primary. My grandfather was janitor at Hawkhill and Butterburn schools. Can you tell me when and the circumstances around the fire at Hawkhill Primary School?

I (am) asking on behalf of my Uncle Sandy, who now lives in Gibsons, B.C. He lived on Pennycook Lane as a boy and remembered looking out of his house to see the fire."


I took up the question with Iain Flett, the City Council's ever-efficient and helpful archivist and he has sent the gentleman in Canada and myself this :

From Dundee Corporation minutes:

"Works sub-committee of the Education Committee, 11 December 1945.

art.11 HAWKHILL SCHOOL - DAMAGE BY FIRE

It was reported that a fire had taken place at Hawkhill (North) School on 7th December 1945.

The City Chamberlain intimated that the buildings were adequately covered by insurance and that a claim had been lodged with Insurance Company in respect of the damage.

The question of the reconstruction of the school was deferred meantime.

The Director of Education reported that accommodation had been found for some of the classes in Hawkhill (South) School and that accommodation had also been secured for one of the classes in St Peter's Church Hall.

The Sub-Committee approved, and the Town Clerk was instructed to adjust with the Kirk Session of the church the question of the sum to be paid for the cleaning, lighting and heating of the church hall..."

From the Photopolis site - (a major photographic resource undertaken by Dundee City Council with funding from the Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network) - 'Hawkhill Public School' from an earlier time (see below).

Reproduced with the permission of the Leisure & Communities Department, Dundee City Council