It really goes back to a little school in Alloa called "Riverview" which was begun in the "thirties" by Mr. & Mrs. Grieve. The initial roll was three pupils - the children of a local headmaster. I taught there myself when the roll had grown somewhat - quite a lot actually - I remember having twenty-eight little ones in the Nursery Class - this was because the town, or rather the "boat-yard" in Alloa was very busy. They made "invasion" barges there and employed many mothers whose children had to be cared for in their working hours - no Government had ever given thought to 'pre-school' children as now.

As the roll increased further, Mrs. Grieve expressed a wish to have a school with boarders, Many large houses were looked at locally but none quite suitable. Then I chanced to see in the "Scotsman" that an estate called "Naemoor" was advertised for sale and as it included many acres of land, it sounded admirable.

Therefore Mr. Grieve was sent thither to bid for Naemoor - it was offered to sale in the Hall at Crook of Devon. I think the ultimate figure reached was ?10,000 - that included the house, sundry outbuildings, oddly enough practically all of the village of Crook of Devon, various farms, the 'Home' Farm etc. Parents of the Riverview children and anyone interested in such a venture were asked to contribute and by some way or other the required sum was reached - sometimes even by folks who did not know where the place was ! I myself was not involved in the move to Naemoor because my husband had just died suddenly (still in his thirties) and so, for various reasons, I sought to find employment locally.

But the Riverview children were dispatched daily - by mini-bus, my own small daughter among them.

I ought to have told you that the young children at Riverview were taught by the "Montessori" methods and although it was difficult to buy the necessary equipment for same, we substituted by making it ourselves.

In 1952 I was invited to join the staff at Naemoor and for some years I lived there, occupying a room on the top floor. However as cars became more obtainable I acquired one and travelled daily from Clackmannan and did so for many years. Incidentally I can only remember one day when I had to turn back - due to snow - I became very familiar with the 'Snow line' which lies just above the village of Blairingone !

Discipline at Naemoor was very strict due to the very strict code of rules which had to be obeyed by everyone. Ex-colleagues used to ask me if "I was still at that school where the kids did what they liked" and I was forced to reply that after having served in many schools previously, Naemoor was the one where one could never do that because the dreaded 'School Committee' would call one to order - that was something they were very good at! It was something like the House of Commons but rather quieter than the current house.

The children came from rather 'well-heeled' backgrounds - farmers, professional people etc - lots of 'farm' children. I remember one girl who must have come from a very well-to-do background. Also she must have had lots of relatives - when they came visiting here they arrived not in one Rolls Ryce but in two! We also had pupils from far-away places - Canada, Malaysia etc ! Those were the days!

Mrs. Grieve had many forward-looking ideas. She had been recognised for this while serving in Regent Road School (Primary) in Edinburgh. Well it certainly was different. Miscreants were 'punished' by e.g. doing a bit of housework for a certain period. I remember two girls who had to scrub the kitchen corridor every day for a week! Nowadays that would be called Community Service I suppose. Never was that corridor so clean. However a crisis arose in, I think, 1954. We found we were running out of (a) pupils and (b) staff. This caused a lot of worry but fortuitously the government mainly thanks to Mr. Arthur Woodburn who had always been an interested friend - and he was currently the Scottish Secretary of State - stepped in with the famous scheme for the so-called 'maladjusted' children.

Originally these had to be (1) children of high intelligence (I.Q.s were still the 'in' thing) and (2) were not making progress at whatever school they attended. Another stipulation was they must never have been through the juvenile courts. Later on this last seemed to have been forgotten about and I often doubted the bit about the "high intelligence" requirement. Indeed many became those who had been a bother to the teachers in class and then to the headmaster and lastly to the psychiatrist who examined them, In the case of the many pupils from Edinburgh, they were usually referred by Dr. Methuen.

Referring again to Mr. Woodburn, he was very helpful in getting us lots of 'improvements', e.g. tables, chairs and other necessary equipment. Also there were difficulties in obtaining domestic helpers and we had many 'au pair' ladies, mainly from the Scandinavian countries and I spent lots of spare time, when available, in learning bits of the Norwegian language or Danish or Swedish! It became very confusing.

Still we went on - producing plays in the summer term and the famous Nativity play at Xmas (this latter was written entirely by the Riverview children, average age 8-10), After some time it was decided to change the name of the school, Objections were made by the 'Naemoor' pupils to their school being used by so-called 'difficult' pupils. None-the-less some of these latter were very nice when one began to understand their many problems.

I still hear from some of them !

We had exactly one night to choose a new name for the school and I well remember Mrs. Grieve asking me about the names of various hills in the Ochil Range. Examining a local map, I discovered that one of the peaks, quite near, was called "Lendrick". In the previous days we had had two school "houses" -- "Devons" and. "Muirs, so we thought up "Lendrick Muir", and now I hear even that is to be no more, I wonder what can become of the place - I could think of a "Leisure Complex" (with that big gym hall etc.), and "Homes for the Elderly" springs to mind - it's fast becoming difficult to place we "oldies"

I don't think I could stay there myself - too many ghosts!

I have lots of funny anecdotes of the place, e.g. in 1953, year of the Coronation, we did all the Kings and Queens back to Kenneth McAlpine on stage (oh yes ! we were actually given a stage, made to measure - it fitted on to the two pillars at the foot of the front stair. I wonder what happened to it?)

I regretted that one boy was allowed to smash up what we called "The Chuckie House" which was built away along the farm road, it really was quite a nice feature - in Ye Older Days, the ladies of the Mowbray family, rested there on their' afternoon walk and a little maid wheeled along a tea trolley bearing afternoon tea for them!!

The house was finished in 1874 so it is not really an old building, although a 'listed' building;. I have lots of information about that era because children used to write to the last member of the Mowbray family (Major Mowbray who on leaving hired a train from Rumbling Bridge Station and on it were loaded his family, his famous herd of Shorthorn Cattle and everything else and they all moved to a place called "Brooklands" near Kelso. Doubtless some of the Mowbrays still live there although the one I speak of died back in the sixties.

He gave us lots of information about the house which was built by his great-grand father. Originally it was to be built down below the main road and was to be called "The Muirs" The main road came up what is now the drive and went out at a gate just past the bungalows built there. The Mowbrays were members of the Alloa Coal Company (together with Col. Mitchell of Tulliallan - the latter's castle is now the Police College).

We used to keep hens where the classroom block now stands - the poultry had a Committee all to themselves ! On the days of our simulation of the Queen's Coronation, I met in the Kitchen corridor, a boy attired in a velvet cloak, a crown on his head, etc, and I had laboured overnight to make all this regal grandeur. He was to be George VI think but in each hand he was carrying a bucket of hen's food and when I asked where he was going, he said "I'm going to feed the hens".


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