Teaching in Perth and Kinross in 1940s

“I was born in South Africa where my dad worked until I was three years old. Then we lived in Nairn where my Dad had the West End Drapery. I did my teacher training in Aberdeen and then taught at Perth and Kinross for 2 years. My first school was a country school of 30 children with threee classes of all ages. There were only two teachers- the Headteacher and me. I shared digs with the head and paid her about £5 per month out of the £13 a month I eanred. This included ny food. Sometimes I cooked scrambled eggs on the stove in the classroom. I got the bus at 7 a.m. and then walked 1 1/2 miles to school.

Seine net trawler Hopeman 1958 © Copyright Christopher Gillan and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Seine net trawler Hopeman 1958

I really enjoyed teaching country children who were so biddable and there was no rough stuff as a rule but I did once have to shove an elder boy out the door when he continued to misbehave in class. This was while I was standing in for the Head while she was off sick. There is a big change these days and less discipline. After two years I went to teach at Hopeman Secondary School with 40 pupils. When I was looking for digs in HopemanI met my future husband in my free time. I went to lots of dances in the public hall in nairn and also the cinema. I got married to the local butcher in Hopeman in 1951 and carried on teaching until 1955 when my daughter was born. I was asked to fill in at another school and I found a lady to look after our daughter. When I told my daughter she was surprised. In 1958 my son was born then I went back to teaching in the 1960s. Then I did the books for my husband and served in his butchers shop too.”

Jo Sweeney, Royal Voluntary Service Volunteer interviewed this lady in Elgin. 

Additional information

More information about Hopeman village and its origins


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