Delving back in time

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Thursday, 24th February 1966 : Angus Education Committee has approved a £1,820,000 school building programme, including a new Brechin High School estimated to cost £600,000

The main projects are Arbroath-primary school in the Newbigging area (£200,000); Brechin-new secondary school (£600,000); Carnoustie-new high school (£500,000); Carnoustie school erection of temporary classrooms (£20,000); Montrose Academy-extension and replacement (£250,000); Webster’s Seminary, Kirriemuir-extension and replacement (£250,000).

Estimated starting and completion dates are: Arbroath Primary school (March 1967- August 1968); Brechin High (August 1967 – August 1969); Carnoustie classrooms (May 1966- August 1966); Carnoustie secondary school (August 1968 – August 1970); Montrose Academy (April 1969 – August 1970); Webster’s seminary (April 1969 – August 1970).

The programme was submitted by the chairman’s sub-committee on condition the new Brechin High School was not prejudiced by introducing a new primary school in the new Newbigging area of Arbroath and that the program should be submitted for the approval of the Scottish Education Department as soon as possible.

Mr I. A. Macnkight, country clerk, intimated he had received a letter from the Scottish Education Department about the schools’ building programme for 1965-68, pointing out since the authority had not submitted for their school building proposals for 1965-68 as requested, the department had undertaken a review of the authority’s additional requirements. The review suggested the essential projects should be started 1966-67.

Those were alterations to the old Forfar Academy (Chapelpark Primary School) £119,300; kitchen and dining room at Forfar West Primary School, £29,300; Arbroath, Newbigging new two-stream primary school, £180,000; Carnoustie Secondary School proposed temporary class-room accommodation, £20,000 a total of £348,600.

The letter pointed out that the authority’s investment allocation of £100,000 for 1965-66 had not been touched. To that could be added the present allocation of £100,000 for 1966-67. In addition, the department were prepared to allow a further £150,000 for the present year to make a total capital allocation of £350,000 for 1966-67.

The committee were asked whether they agreed that the allocation which would not be increased could best be used by undertaking the above projects.

The letter stressed the exceptionally high level of investment in 1966-67 should in no way be regarded as a precedent.

Although there is no allocation for the new Brechin High School in the letter, work on it would proceed at the same time as work on the Arbroath Primary School, Mr Macknight said. The department’s suggested the programme coincided with the education committee’s own programme for these years. Mr J. G. Findlay, Newtyle, chairman of the property sub-committee said: “Members from the Brechin area are terrified the new High School will be postponed. The starting date remains August, 1967.”

Mrs I. M. McLellan, Friockheim, exprdessed concerns about the future of rural schools such as Friockheim.

Lt. Col. W. Scott, chairman said, “That is a matter which the property sub-committee will deal with.”

It was agreed to appoint a seven-man sub-committee to consider a report by the country architect on heating systems and toilet facilities in schools.

Thursday, February 26, 1998: Brechin community councillor Audrey Mitchell said she was glad her town has been cleared of anti-English racism allegations.

And while she welcomed the decision by BBC bosses to uphold the community council’s complaint against the controversial “Frontline Scotland” programme aired in October, she would still like to see an apology from the series editor.

“I feel they are duty bound to write us a letter of apology. They do not understand the grief they have caused with that programme.

I do not know if it was intentional to paint Brechin in a bad light but I am glad for the town that this complaint has been upheld,” she said.