Mrs. Hay’s School

Malcolm McLaren taught at the Earl of Zetland’s School from 1823 until his death in 1850.  Latterly he was quite fragile and this resulting in the setting up in competition of two adventure schools.  One of these was run by Mrs Hay in a small house in Canal Street.  As well as teaching sewing to girls she and her aunt taught reading, writing and arithmetic.  In 1850 they had 50 pupils but this had risen to 120 at the time that the Grangemouth School Board was formed.  The relationship between that Board and Mrs Hay seems to have been antagonistic, though the Hays were able to hold their own.  On several occasions the Board reported the adventure school to the Parochial Council for its overcrowded and unhealthy condition, but nothing seem to have come of it.  According to the Department of Education’s rules the superficial measurement of the premises in Canal Street meant that it should only accommodate 37 children and the low height of the ceilings meant that this ought to be reduced further to, say, 23.  However, as the school did not receive a government grant such rules did not apply.

Mrs Hay’s aunt died in 1877 but the school carried on until 1883 when Mrs Hay’s bad health forced her to give it up.  The pupils were transferred to Zetland School.

National Grid Reference

Canal StreetUncertain but nearNS 920 822

G.B. Bailey, 2023