A PLACE IS ITS PEOPLE

There must be only a few people who have spent any time at Lendrick Muir and have not been deeply affected by the experience; they are, I would guess probably not the sort of person who should have been working then in that case. I suppose, looking back, that more than most it has had a profound impact on my life. I met and married Karen there; we held our wedding reception in the school; my children were brought home - all at Lendrick Muir.

It has often been said that when Lendrick Muir was going well it was the greatest place in the world, and when it was going badly it was the worst! That was inevitable given the intensity of life there. Thankfully, the happy memories prevail. For me, some of the best were those parts of school life I was most involved in: the Christmas Parties, Concerts, Burns Suppers, and the special "Lendrick Events". These were the times when we all pulled together to make them a terrific success and it never ceases to amaze me just how much talent there was, in staff and pupils alike, at every "do" throughout the years. And then there were all tile various sports - football, tennis, golf, cricket, running - that rest of us tried with somewhat limited proficiency but plenty of enthusiasm.

Of course, we all have hundreds of anecdotes we could relate. Briefly, here are two from many that seem to sum up Lendrick Muir for me. Socialising amongst staff could provide the material for several volumes  of quite sensational stuff, but the atmosphere was best captured by an outsider's observation. One night. a candidate for a job at the school came out with about eight of us for what we thought was a fairly quiet  night out. Later, when we were all well established at Brookside, he disappeared, and was eventually tracked down to the toilet, where  he was found staring down the loo as if the answer to the meaning of life was written indelibly at the bottom. When he was quietly carted off he was heard to splutter ".... you do this every Wednesday night?"

No less sensational would be the tomes devoted to stories about the boys. One concerned my trip to Perth Hospital one night to collect a boy who had been admitted the day before, suffering from a head injury. Unknown to me, the lad been taken to hospital in his pyjamas and could not be released without proper clothes. Rather than drive all the way back to school, the awful truth dawned on me, the patient and the boys with me, that there was only one terrible solution. So there I was, sitting in the minibus in the hospital car park, wearing little more than a nervous smile, wondering if the boys might just be tempted to do a bunk. and trying to work out what the hell I would say to anyone who came across me! It could only have happened at Lendrick.

Two stories then and there are hundreds more about every man, woman and child that passed through these gates. For no matter how much I loved the school, the area, and the special memories they hold for me, a place is its people, and as we all disperse and so what we knew as Lendrick Muir disappears. Some of you will remain life-long friends; the rest, I will always remember each and every one of you through that special bond our shared memories have formed. As one of "Lendrick's people", I would be very happy to think that in some small way parts of your memories will include Karen, our two wee boys, and even me and some of the things I got up to. Most of the time it was fun, eh?

KENNY SPEIRS

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