Charles Riddell entered BBS in 1935. On leaving School he started with the Union Bank of Scotland in Cupar in October 1939. He served with the 1st Fife and Forfar Yeomanry from 1941-46 and was back with the Union Bank from 1946-55, the Bank of Scotland 1955-82. He was appointed Manager of the Bank of Scotland in Alva 1966, Sighthill & Currie 1969 and Manager Bank of Scotland Chambers Street and University, Edinburgh from 1979-82. Charles retired to Kilconquhar.
Barry Riley died on 9th January, 1996 after a short illness.
Manson Riddell (1945) died peacefully in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on 23rd October 2008. On leaving School, he enrolled at Dundee College of Art to study Architecture, but family circumstances forced him to leave without completing the course. He was called up for National Service and served with the Royal Engineers, part of the time in Germany. On leaving the Army, he began work with the Glenrothes Development Corporation and took up his study of Architecture again in his spare time. He was rewarded with the RIBA qualification. He moved to Kirkcaldy District Council as Chief Architect, completing his career in that post. He was a keen golfer and enjoyed DIY and gardening. He greatly valued the opportunity to meet up with old friends at the School Centenary reunions and at the later Class Reunion, although he was unable to attend the most recent one. He is survived by his wife and a son and a daughter.
The schooldays friendship of Alex Rintoul (now of St Andrews) and Sir Bob Reid. who were pupils in the early 50s, was put to good use recently. Alex is a motor-cycle enthusiast and was fortunate enough to become the custodian of a rare 1920 Scott motor cycle owned by the Vintage Motor Cycle Club. Alex is an award-winning restorer and rider of his own vintage motor cycles, but it seems that St Andrews is regarded as remote by some of those who live in the deep South, and they were afraid that the cycle would not be seen at any of the main events. However, a letter from Bob was sufficient to reassure the Club that Alex is a reliable chap and that if he said he would take the machine on tour to show it to as many enthusiasts as possible, he would do just that. The outcome was a happy one for all concerned.
Alex won the top trophy in the regularity run at the Manx TT event and rode the Reed Scott at the 2000 Banbury Run, which is the main event for vintage motor cyclists.
Alex Rintoul (1947) is the proprietor of the firm Rintoul Lifters and he saw the possibility recently of helping the police dog-handling service. He donated a hydraulic grooming table to Fife Constabulary. It can be adapted to the needs of any dog and dog-handler, so we can look forward to seeing a string of extremely well groomed Police dogs in the area.
Alex donated the Rintoul Shield to the School, whichwas first presented in 1987 for the winners of the Boys' House Hockey competition.
Mary Rintoul (1937) on 23rd February, suddenly, in hospital. Mary's life revolved round the farm at Pratis and all things associated with agriculture. She took over the management of the farm after the death of her father and continued to breed pedigree Suffolk sheep. She was active in the Bell Baxter Agricultural Association and in Largo Parish Church. She was also a driver for the blind. When the farm was sold after the death of her sister, Sybelle, Mary and her mother moved to Lundin Links.
The 1970 School Magazine contained three profiles of former pupils. These were the result of inteviews conducted by Sally Edmunds and Margaret Wallace.
Miss Rintoul attended Bell-Baxter a few years ago, and must have been popular with the teachers at least, as she was made a prefect. She recalled her school days for our interviewer:
The uniform was black woollen stockings, square necked blouses and gym tunics, until the innovation of the skirt for school wear — this of course was terrific. Nearly all the girls had pigtails or plaits. I remember Miss Livingstone had lovely raven black hair which she wore in large earphones. We were all jealous of her.
There was a great school spirit among both staff and pupils. The Good Fellowship Prize was awarded by the pupils to the most popular person in school. The House System fostered tremendous enthusiasm, we were all mad about our houses and wore coloured sashes to show which house we belonged to.
The Staff were sterner in class than now, but terrific fun off duty, especially in the Staff Matches when they were great fun and dressed up and really let their hair down to entertain us.
I think pupils of today are similar, but much more independent, they buy their own clothes. We never took a job. I've no idea what impression my teahcers had of me. Goodness knows. Probably a helpful type.
I've seen very few improvements in the school. Sports facilities etc., of course, but I've seen no better results educationally from the new palatial building.
I’d like prefects to do more, and form teachers to have more time with their pupils so that they can get to know them a bit better. I'd like also to see a sabbatical year for teachers.
I think we're failing in the ad vitam paror a bit now. We did it better ten years ago than now. We were limited. Life then was so much easier, there were so fewer temptations. Our social code of behaviour was much more rigid, whereas now life seems more difficult for pupils, with more distractions and temptations. Money was a limiting factor in all activities. It was up to you to get going. If you drank a pint of beer you were labelled ‘a fast type’.
On the whole, education was stricter, with far better training in memory and discipline, and much more being accomplished in primary school. Nowadays the First Year are shatteringly short of information.
And this tribute came from the 1980 Magazine:
Occasionally, in any organisation, you realise suddenly that an era has come to an end. Usually this realisation comes when you part company, for one reason or another, with someone who has been associated with the organisation for a very long time.
On 10th March 1980, with the death of Miss Sybelle Rintoul, we parted company with someone who, as pupil and teacher, had been identified with Bell Baxter for close on half a century. The identification was not simply that of someone who came to the school every day to work; it went much deeper than that. Miss Rintoul was concerned about the school and for the school - for its reputation, for the standards it represented, for its welfare and for the welfare of the generations of pupils she had taught and influenced since she returned as a member of staff on the completion of her studies in 1943.
Miss Rintoul enteredwhole-heartedly into every aspect of school life, although obviously her particular interest was the Biology Department, in which she taught and of which she was for a number of years Principal Teacher before being appointed Assistant Rector. Her success there resulted not only from her skill as a teacher, but from her deep love of her subject in all its aspects. This she knew how to communicate to all her pupils, gifted and not-so-gifted.
Most of all, though, she loved people, with all their myriad characteristics, qualities, faults and weaknesses. Her interest in people was unquenchable, even when she was desperately ill. This interest was given practical expression in her great kindness and generosity, which remained undiminished throughout the years of failing health. Her illness she faced to the end with a courage, cheerfulness and patience which it was a privilege and an inspiration to observe.
Bell Baxter High School is much the richer for Miss Rintoul’s years of service, much the poorer for her passing.