Bygone times in Garlieston


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Garlieston today

Most years Shirley and I have a week away in our caravan at a small sleepy little Galloway village called Garlieston. Always curious about the history of the places we visit, I picked up this account of a 19th. century private school in Garlieston run by a Mr. Pollock. Pollock was known locally as "Pogue". He was supported chiefly by fees, but they were topped up with gifts of butter, eggs, salmon, ham and oatmeal. Every year at Candlemas he was ceremoniously presented by gifts of money from the children. Each child's name and amount given were shouted out by an appointed older scholar as the children, dressed in their holiday best for the occasion, paraded one by one past the master's desk. The boy and girl who gave the most money were then pronounced Candlemas King and Queen. They headed a procession around the village led by Pogue playing the fiddle. Upon their return to the school, the children were given a very hot, very weak, very sweet form of toddy, and they drank to the schoolmaster's health.

Children had to bring a peat, coal or wood to the school each day. Any who forgot were sent home to fetch their share of the day's fuel. Punishments ranged from the dunce cap for minor offences, and the tawse on the open palm of the hand, to humiliating flogging called "horsing" for more serios offences. "Horsing" meant that the offending boy, with his trousers down, was hoisted on to another boy's back and carried around the school struggling and yelling, while the tawse were vigorously applied to that portion of his framework.

I hope this article brings a smile (or grimace) to your face when you read it and compare life then to our modern nanny state and obsession for human rights. Mabe some of you ex-teachers can see now where you went wrong???