Actor Elaine Mackenzie Ellis talks about the best days of her life at primary school in Sighthill. 

My school:

I attended the brand new Sighthill Primary, on the brand new Sighthill estate, from 1971 to 1978. It was a small, white building, with hallways covered in friezes made from tissue paper, or leaves, or handprints. It smelled of sponge pudding.

It was very lovely, warm and friendly, with a village school feel to it. Our headmistress was Henrietta H Haggerty – no-one ever found out what the H stood for. She was old-school, ran a tight ship and brooked no nonsense. She gave her all for the kids in her care.

Favourite teacher?

I liked them all and two are now family friends (Miss Woods and Mrs Slimmons).

My favourite was Miss Brough, my primary five teacher. It was 1975, the year of the Glasgow 800 celebrations and we did a variety show based on all things Glasgow...lots of Matt McGinn songs and a wee play/sketch called ‘Doon the Watter’ in which I played a granny who ended up with a faceful of soot from the Waverley’s funnel. Always the glamorous roles for me…She read us The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which started my lifelong love of the works of CS Lewis.

School dinner, packed lunch or home?

I always went home – the dinner hall was too loud for me, with too many big boys (aged 11) shouting and carrying on. Plus, there was usually a hamster to be played with for 10 minutes at home.

Favourite subject:

Reading – I loved the Scholastic book club, which we ordered from once a month.

I still get excited by piles of books held together with rubber bands. I remember going on loads of trips – once we saw Ruby Wax as the Snake Queen in a panto at the Old Athenaeum; we had great relationships with community groups and held teas and gave out harvest parcels. We were also taught a lot of respect for nature and living things – we used to visit Powys Mains farm in Stirlingshire and one day the farmer brought lambs into the class and we got to feed them... best day ever.

Evening Times:

Least favourite subject:

Hated, hated, hated mental arithmetic. We used to have to stand up and sit down when it got to the number of sums we’d got right. I used to crawl under the desk to hide.

My best friend:

No-one particular best friend, but I have many lifelong friends from those days.

We still meet up a several times a year and are in constant touch on social media. When we do meet up it’s like the intervening years haven’t happened.

If I could change one thing about my schooldays it would be… nothing. I would certainly like to revisit lots of moments though. It’s funny how songs, like pop hits or the hymns we sang at our services, take you right back to your schooldays.

 

Each week in Times Past, we will be sharing the memories and photos of anyone who attended a city school over the decades. If you would like to take part in Best Days of Our Lives, write to Ann Fotheringham, Features Desk, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB or email ann.fotheringham@ heraldandtimes.co.uk with your schoolday memories, pictures and old class photos. If you are a teacher, we would love to hear from you too and if you are planning a reunion of former classmates, let us know and we can help you track them down.