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Glentress Forestry School (Peebles) 1952/53
Forestry Memories
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No: 272   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1953
Glentress Forestry School (Peebles) 1952/53

Picture courtesy of Arkle Fraser retired District Manager of Dornoch Forest District.
Staff and students of Gelentress Forestry School in 1952/53 which also shows the accommodation which no doubt was a carry over from the war. Many of the students went on to have long careers in the Forestry Commission but some such as Jimmie Dobbie and Duggie Patterson travelled overseas (Canada and New Zealand respectively)or went into other types of business. Missing from the photograph is Bill Hunter who was not present on the day. Missing first name on large photograph is BOB Kemp.

Please open larger picture to see all the names (apologies for any wrong spelling of names eg McGillivray)and click to enlarge.

List of Names in large photograph of the 1951-53 Class taken in 1953.

1. Fred Cowie (Inverbervie)
2. Fred Crozier (Gorebridge)
3. Ian Fraser (Kildary)
4. John Keenleyside
5. Alfie Weir
6. Mike Hodgson
7. Jimmy Dobbie
8. Arkle Fraser
9. Calum Campbell
10. Brian Phillips
11. Duggie Paterson
12. James Stark
13. Andy Gardener
14. Andy Wood
15. Angus Ross
16. Pete Robinson
17. T A Robbie (Education Officer)
18. Jimmy Ferguson
19. Ben Thomson
20. Jimmy McKellar
21. Ron Smith
22. Charlie Mcgilvray
23. John Middleton
24. Alastair Allan
25. Geoff Reid
26. Alastair Watson
27. Bill Stoddart (Instructor)
28. Ian Garrioch (Instructor)
29. Bob Kemp (Instructor)
30. Willie Bartholomew
31. George Mackenzie
32. George McGregor
33. Jimmy Graham
34. Don Macdougall
Picture added on 22 October 2007
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add commentComments:
I found the photograph very interesting, in that my father Tom Robbie, is shown. The photograph was taken just before the Coronation - note the basic television aerial! I have a feeling that I may have other similar photographs of the students at Glentress somewhere in my father's records!

Added by John Robbie on 27 September 2008.
The buildings in the background were erected in the later 1930s, for the Ministry of Labour Instructional Centre. This was basically a government work camp, for men aged 18-45 who had been out of work for some time. The work camp closed in 1939 on the outbreak of war.

The huts were supplied by the Nissen company to a standard design, and accommodated 200 trainees and around 20 staff. One hut is still there and is being used as the Forest Rangers office. Another was taken off to Eshiels village, where it is now used by the local bowling club.

I would be delighted to hear from anyone who knows anything about the Instructional Centres!

Added by John Field on 07 November 2008.
The buildings in the background particularly attracted my attention. They were originally built for an Instructional Centre, run by the Ministry of Labour for young unemployed men. The trainees mostly came from Lanarkshire and Glasgow, and the huts were supplied by the Nissen company. One hut is still in use as the Ranger's Office, and a second one migrated after the War to Esheils. I'd be very interested in hearing any more about this if anyone has further details.

Added by John Field on 11 November 2008.
As the only daughter/child of Charles McGilvray, who by sheer accident tripped over this site tonight, I would love to hear from anyone who is still alive that knew him. He unfortunately died of a sudden heart attack in February 1990 and so much of his life especially his grim wartime experiences I will never know about.

Added by Maureen Anne McGilvray on 11 February 2014.
Just found this site by accident too, my Dad Brian Phillips, would have loved to see this photograph with names from his time at Glentress.

Added by Julie Wallace on 23 November 2016.
It was good to find this site. I am doing some work on a family tree and my Dad, John(Jack) Roe attended a course here in 1945/46 very soon after being de-mobbed from the army.He subsequently worked for the Forestry Commission based in Newcastleton and then In Polloch by Loch Sheil.

Added by Catherine Hobson on 10 May 2018.
Glad that you found the site useful. If your father had any photographs from his days at Glentress and at Glenhurich (Polloch) I would be very happy to place them on the site

Added by Norman Davidson on 11 May 2018.
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