Grangemouth Infant School

The Infant School, erected on a site at the corner of Kerse and Abbots Roads for 560 pupils, was formally opened on 1 March 1904.  The building, being an infant school, was only one storey in height, and was designed in the Italian Renaissance style by James Strang of Falkirk.  It was built with brown rock from Dunmore Quarry.  Two entrances led into the hall, the cloakrooms and lavatories being placed off the entrances.  The hall had an open bow roof with Halliwell’s system of glazing to provide natural light.  All of the classrooms and the teachers’ rooms opened off the hall.  The heating was by the low-pressure system, the classroom and cloakrooms being heated by pipes and radiators.  The classrooms and teachers’ rooms also had open fireplaces.  The estimated cost was £6,150, and the following were the contractors: digging and drain work – R Paton, Laurieston; mason work – George Sanderson, Falkirk; joiner work – J & P Dewar, Falkirk; slater work – James Miller, Falkirk; plaster & tile work – James Miller, Falkirk; plumber work – Aitken brothers, Grangemouth; heating – James Combe & Sons, Glasgow; glazier work – D O’May, Falkirk; painter work – O’Brien & Meek, Falkirk; railing & gate – John Mundy, Glasgow; bell – JC Wilson & Sons, Glasgow; clock – James Wilson, Grangemouth.

The façade of the school faced east onto Abbots Road and had slightly advanced gables at either end.  These bays contained three-light windows placed under broken string/eaves courses with a small triangular pediment over the central light.  Spanning the gap in the string course and occupying the gable was a decorative arch of intermittent backset voussoirs.  In the centre of the façade a smaller three-light window was topped by a smaller gablet.  The two entrances were at the re-entrant points.

Children from the new Town began in the Infant School and remained there until they reached the first Standard.  They were then passed on to Dundas School and were taught there until they reached the fourth or fifth Standard.  The children then passed on to Grange School, where their course was completed.  In 1910 Dundas School became a school for boys and Grange School for girls.

Illus 2: 1914/15 Ordnance Survey Map (National Library of Scotland).

The call up of the Territorials at the beginning of the First World War led to a demand for accommodation and late in 1914 the 7th Scottish Rifles, which was billeted in the YMCA hall, decided to requisition the Infant School.  Three classrooms at Grange were then used by the displaced pupils.  Three classes met from 9.30am till 12.30pm, and, these being dismissed, other three classes met from 1pm till 4pm.  These two sets alternated forenoons and afternoons.

The school remained little changed over the following decades.  In 1940 the play sheds were converted into air raid shelters.  After the war temporary classrooms – the Huts – were placed in the playground.  These were heated by coal-burning stoves.

The large-scale school building programme announced in the 1950s resulted in the construction of several primary schools and as a result the Infant School was closed in the early 1960s.  Plans to house the Roman Catholic School there were shelved and the Sacred Heart RC Primary School opened in a new building in 1962.  The Infant School, reconstructed, become Abbot’s Road Primary School in 1967 and continued until 1980.  It was subsequently demolished in the years immediately following.

YEAR ARRIVEDHEADTEACHERYEAR LEFTNo. PUPILS
1904Miss Alison C Young1919
1919Miss Somerville(1926)290
1940Janet Weir
(1968)190

National Grid Reference

Abbots RoadNS 9288 8173

G.B. Bailey, 2023