Glass Remembered …. Beldorney School

Huntly Express January 19 1900



Friday last was a gala day at the Beldorney School.  The entertainment was in the hands of Mr Sim, of the Lynbain Mills and an energetic committee, who spared no trouble to make it a success.  At noon the scholars were entertained to tea, cake and sweets etc. the cost of which was defrayed by Mrs Grant of Beldorney and Mr Wood, the shooting tenant of Beldorney, both of whom gave liberally.  The scholars enjoyed the treat heartily, and before dispersing gave three cheers lustily for Mrs Grant, with

And lang land may she live to bless

The scholars that may be;

And lang may love and friendship reign

About Beldorney.


Hearty cheers were also given for the shooting tenant, with “For he’s a jolly good fellow.”  At half-past seven o’clock the scholars again gathered at the School and at 8 o’clock all the youth and beauty of the district had assembled for a concert which was timed for that hour.  The concert was presided over by the genial miller of Lynbain and we never have seen a better chairman.  The performers were Miss Scott, Miss King, Miss Mitchell, Messrs Tocher, Crighton, Robertson and Bain – all from Huntly; with the Glass band consisting of Messrs Grant, Duff and Dyker, all of whom performed their respective parts exceedingly well and received the plaudits of the meeting.  At half-past ten the school was cleared for a dance, which was engaged in with much spirit.  At midnight the whole company partook of tea, cake and other refreshments and not till four o’clock in the morning did the dancers think of home.  Much praise is due to Miss Riach, the school teacher for trying to make everybody comfortable.


Huntly Express June 15 1900



An interesting ceremony took place in the Beldorney School on Friday last.  Miss Riach, the esteemed teacher, is leaving to take charge of a school under the Kintore Board and her scholars showed their regard for her by presenting her with a handsome silver tea and coffee service.  At the request of the scholars Rev Mr Ross acted as spokesman and was accompanied by Mr Sim, Mill Lynbain and in handing over the gifts to Miss Riach, expressed on their behalf and also, he was sure, on behalf of the School Board, their regret at losing her faithful and efficient services.  At the same time they all joined in wishing her much happiness and success in her work where she was now going.  In accepting the gifts Miss Riach very feelingly and suitably replied.  Mr Sim proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Ross, which was loudly applauded.

The service was of the “Queen Anne”  pattern and the teapot bore the inscription – “Presented to Miss Riach by her schools, Beldorney, June 8 1900.”


Huntly Express  July 6 1900



“The school is taught with fidelity and a distinctly good measure of success.  The only conspicuous weakness in the elementary subjects is in the spelling of the Third Standard class and this is compensated for by the neatness of the writing  and the excellence of the arithmetic.  A very good appearance is made by the pupils beyond the Fifth Standard, particularly in arithmetic.  Their composition is full and sensible, but susceptible of improvement in respect of punctuation.  Reading is throughout commendably distinct and fluent.  The junior classes have been making satisfactory progress.

“The work in class subjects is only fairly good in the Third and Fourth Classes, but further up it reaches a distinctly higher level and the intermediate grant is recommended.

“Singing by ear is creditably tuneful, but a piano would be a useful addition to the school equipment.”

Merit Certificates are enclosed for M. Archibald, A. Gartly and B Shand.  Average attendance, 34

Amount of Grant earned, £41.6s.

Dundee Evening Telegraph 5 December 1922.


Dispute between a female teacher in Beldorney School, at Glass Aberdeenshire and the Education Authority has terminated by the eviction of the teacher by the sheriff officer.

Miss McHardy has been 12 years at Beldorney and this trouble originated with an application made by the two ministers in the district to the Aberdeenshire Education Authority for permission to hold services in the school on alternate Sundays.  The application came before the Authority and was granted, but when the ministers went to the school, Miss McHardy refused to hand over the keys to allow them to get access.


Complaint was made to the Authority of Miss McHardy’s attitude and later one of His Majesty’s Inspectors visited the school and in reporting to the Authority he recommended that Miss McHardy should be transferred to another school.  The Authority acted on his recommendation and in all, three other posts were offered by the Authority to Miss McHardy, but she declined to leave Beldorney.

Upon this being reported to them the Authority had no alternative but to intimate that she would be dismissed from their service and another teacher was appointed take charge of Beldorney School.

When the time came for the new teacher to take up her appointment she was unable to do so, as Miss McHardy refused to admit her to the school and she returned to Aberdeen.

An interim teacher was then sent out, but Miss McHardy adopted the same attitude to her and refused to allow her to enter the school.  Since then, for a period of about three months, Mica McHardy has continued to teach at Beldorney, despite the fact that she was no longer on the Authority’s list of teachers.

The Authority reported the case to the Department and left them to take action, but at the last meeting of the Authority it was formally decided that Miss McHardy be removed from Beldorney and the legal proceedings followed.

During the dismissal procedure there was a petition, signed by a number of parents to the district, urging that Miss McHardy be allowed to remain at Beldorney, but the Authority took no notice of this petition.


Attended by three assistants, Mr James Reid, Sheriff Officer, Aberdeen, went to Beldorney School, Glass and acting on the Sheriff’s warrant, carried out the process of eviction, Miss McHardy making no resistance and being quite amenable to the officers of the Court in the execution of their duty (says the Aberdeen Press and Journal.)  The county policeman in the district was also one of the party, but his services were not required.

Mr Reid and his witnesses reached Beldorney about ten o’clock and found Miss McHardy teaching about a dozen pupils in the school.

In order to avoid anything in the nature of a “scene”, Mr Reid advised the teacher to dismiss the pupils for an hour or two and after a few minutes’ discussion of an argumentative nature, Miss McHardy dismissed the pupils for the day.

The Sheriff Officer and his party remained in the schoolhouse out of sight until all the pupils had gone away and without the presence of any inquisitive onlookers to make the proceedings unnecessarily painful to Miss McHardy, the officer and his men quickly carried out the orders of the Court, removing the teacher’s furniture to the lawn in front of the schoolhouse.

After everything belonging to Miss McHardy had been removed the officer completed his work by locking the doors of the school and schoolhouse and taking the keys back with him to Aberdeen.

Miss McHardy went to Huntly to make arrangements to have her furniture conveyed there.


Aberdeen Journal 15 April 1949


Beldorney Residents Win Fight Against Closure

Forty-six people living in the district of Beldorney, eleven miles from Huntly, who petitioned Aberdeenshire Education Committee, have won their fight to save their thirteen-pupil school from being closed.

The school, which has one teacher, has been reprieved for one year although it has already been decided on three separate occasions within the past three months that it should be closed, and the pupils and teacher sent to Glass School, two miles distant.

When the committee met yesterday, so successful was the appeals made on behalf of the school that it was granted by nineteen votes to six.  Last February the primary and secondary schools sub-committee recommended Beldorney’s closure, and fourteen days later the Education Committee upheld this recommendation.

Meanwhile the people of the district had held a protest meeting and forwarded a petition detailing their reasons for keeping the school open.

The Education Committee remitted the petition to the sub-committee, which stood by its former decision and their second recommendation came forward for approval yesterday.

Mr G.W. Mitchell, Huntly, said Beldorney School was in good condition and thought it was a pity to close it in view of strong public feeling against such a measure.  He suggested that the closure should be deferred for twelve months, when the position could be re-considered.

“Happiest People”

“I think the closing of these rural schools is a tragedy”, commented Mrs Manson, Kilblean.

“The happiest people”, she said, “are those from the country and this craze for centralisation is hindering food production.”

She did not think a great deal would be saved by taking the Beldorney pupils to Glass, because arrangements would have to be made to convey pupils and teacher there.

Said Provost Mitchell, Inverurie “The trouble is that a section of this sub-committee do not even know where Beldorney is and cannot possibly understand local conditions.”

The Rev. J.H. Williams, Fraserburgh, said it was obvious the people were determined to fight the closure.  It would not be wise to thrust a decision down people’s throats who were not ready to receive it.

The members who supported the closure maintained that no new information had been produced showing why their previous decisions should be altered.

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