For several years after the model village at Westquarter had been started the children living there had to attend school at either Laurieston or Redding. The school was one of the last elements of the model village to be executed. Construction work was underway when the war began in 1939. This slowed down the work and just as it was nearing completion the building was requisitioned by the RAF as a billet for airmen serving at Grangemouth. When it was finally released, late in 1943, it was in a poor condition and some floors had to be replaced. School equipment was hard to come by and the county had to be combed for surplus desks and equipment. It officially opened to pupils on 19 April 1944.
Westquarter School was built to accommodate around 650 children at a cost of £50,000. It was designed by John A W Grant, architect, as was most of the model village in which it was set. The style is said to be free Neo-Georgian and it has the clean cut lines of the 1930s with ample windows. A feature of the symmetrical front facade is the use of two large single-storey semicircular bay windows set against the white rendered two storey building. The entrance is recessed between two blocks and topped by a small ogee-domed copper-clad cupola sporting a clock. The white bulk of the walls is contrasted by the use of stone trimmings and red tiled pavilion roofs. It was designed with 16 classrooms for 640 pupils, an assembly hall, gymnasium and the usual staff and cloakrooms. Carhowden House was erected for the headmaster.
The school changed little over the years and most changes were internal. The dining room started as an infant classroom then became a library. What used to be the dining room was converted into a nursery, and for a while the room was a sewing room, and then a storeroom.
A vivid picture of school days in the 1950s and 60s is painted in chapter 4 of “Westquarter Memories.” It provides class photographs as well as describing the teachers and the games played.
The clock stopped working and was restored in 2006 with donations from the Barleystone Nursing Home and the people of Westquarter.
|YEAR ARRIVED||HEADTEACHER||YEAR LEFT||No. PUPILS|
|1944||George G Watt||1950|
|1954||David P Johnston||1961|
Sites and Monuments Record
|Westquarter Avenue||SMR 1215||NS 9145 7896|