Bell baxter lives section I former Pupils Contents

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Lyndsey Russell

Lyndsey Russell (Cupar) was Head Monitor (3rd year) for the Session 1997-8. Lyndsey won Gold in the 75m hurdles and in the 100m at the Scottish Schools' Track and Field Championships in the 1997 Summer Term.

Brian Samson

On 30th July 1996 Brian Samson (1959) was interviewed on BBC Scotland about the setting up of a centre of Sporting Excellence. Brian is Director of Operations with the Scottish Sports Council. Brian was present in 1999 when a "Sports for All" award was made to the East Fife Sports Injury Clinic to establish a new clinic in Cupar. Brian is the Director of Sports Development, Sportscotland.

Charles Samson

Charles Samson (late 1920s) died in November 1997 at Kettle Farm. He was born into a farming family and followed them into the agricultural industry. He started farming at Downfield in the 1930s while attending night classes at Bell Baxter. He was the first part-time student to gain a national diploma in agriculture. He was much involved with Elmwood College from its foundation and was a Board member for 25 years. On moving to Kettle and Balmalcolm farms in the 1940s he started a dairy. He held office in the NFU. His interest in golf led to his helping with the designing and construction of the enlargement of Ladybank Golf Course to 18 holes, as a result of which he was made Honorary President. He was an Elder in Kettle Church and a Justice of the Peace. His wife died some five years after he did, and they are survived by two sons, three granddaughters, a grandson and two great-grandsons.

Sheila Samuels

Sheila Samuels (1969) died in hospital after a short illness in January 2012. On leaving School, Sheila studied at St Andrews University and graduated with First Class Honours in Modern Languages. She did a Masters at Oxford and then taught for a short time. She then decided to study Theology, and was ordained as a Deacon in a Church in Boston. She was among the first group of women to be ordained to the priesthood in the Church of England in 1994. After 7 years as a curate in a charge in Boston, Lincolnshire, her life-long struggle with depression forced her to resign and she returned briefly to teaching, but again she was forced by her health problems to move on. After a short spell with Social Services she trained as a librarian, but in 2009 she had to take early retirement. She moved back to Cupar in May 2010, but just as she seemed to be more settled, physical health problems intervened and she was admitted to Ninewells Hospital on 26th January and died on the 29th. She was predeceased by both her parents and her sister.

T Kenneth Schofield

Ken Schofield (1938) died in September 2000 after a long illness. Ken gained a First Class Certificate in Textile Technology at Dundee College of Technology and the Certificate of City and Guilds of London. He spent his career in the weaving and extrusion of textile products. He lived in Dundee.

William Scobie

Bill Scobie (1949 approx.) died suddenly at home in mid-December 2003. On leaving School, Bill began work with Post Office Telephones. He was then called up for National Service in the RAF, and spent most of his 4 years in Singapore. He married shortly after leaving the forces. He worked at the GCHQ station at Hawklaw until 1984, when he moved to a post as a radio investigator with the Department of Trade and Industry. He retired in 1996. He had many interests outside his work. He was a keen cyclist and bowler and was a founder member of Cupar Model Railway Club. But one of his principal interests was the establishment of the community facility in the buildings of the former Castlehill School. He was instrumental in setting up the Cupar Community Association. He was also a volunteer with the Ranger Service and spent much time at the Eden Estuary Nature Reserve. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, and his sons Ken and Michael.

Eileen W Scotland

Mrs Eileen Adams entered BBS in 1937. She attended Dunfermline College of Hygiene and Physical Education and taught in Perth. She married Jimmie Adams in 1947. They lived in Newburgh and had a son Wilson and daughter Isobel.

Alexander R C Scott


BBS 1943-50

August 1943 - first impressions of Bell Baxter – classmates – overcrowded classrooms – unwanted learning [Latin and Algebra]. Death of Rector Farquharson, arrival of Dr J E Dunlop – return of some staff members from the armed services.class iva 1946-7

Highers – the last ‘group’ award – my Music studies delayed until S6;

Teachers from whom I learnt – Bessie Cape, Alex Johnson, Barclay Sheddon, George Liddle, Willie Lindsay, John [‘Weary Wullie’] Wilson and Rae Livingstone;


Angus Hood [or Gilliesfaulds] and the Edinburgh University Opera Society – our production of Merrie England [my first assignment as a conductor] – selection as one of twelve student conductors with the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra in Leeds [summer, 1952].

Award of the Bucher Travelling Scholarship – it had gone the previous year to another BBHS pupil, Sandy Hood, from Leslie – two-years postgraduate study of conducting in Hamburg.

Cedric Thorpe Davie’s assistant at the EIF Assembly Hall production of The Highland Fair – reworking of a ballad opera of the 1730s – [I directed two performances - my first professional engagement as a conductor].

Award of a Bell Baxter Scholarship which allowed me to attend the International Summer Academy in Salzburg [with classmates Danny Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt and Bryden Thomson].

National Servive at No 3 Army Education Centre, Catterick – my immediate superior was WO1 Jim Allan – another BBHS FP.


1957-9 – joined the first post-war Honours History of Music course at EU and trained as a teacher at Moray House – began work with local Music Societies [Dunfermline Orchestra].

1959-61, taught at Dunfermline High School - 1961-66, PT Music at St Andrew’s RC High, Kirkcaldy – became conductor of Anstruther Philharmonic and two Edinburgh music societies – ’64 was the first of what became 34 years working for SCEEB – began taking WEA classes for EU Dept of Extra-Mural Studies and Fife county.


April, 1966 – lectureship at Moray House – ’67 began PhD studies at EU.

January 1970 was appointed Principal Lecturer in Music at Moray House – began 23 years of work as consultant for the GTC – edited three operas [performed two – the third is Vol LXVII of the Musica Britannica series] – supervised refurbishment of Old Moray House as the college’s music department – ’73-7 conductor of Edinburgh Royal Choral Union – [late ‘80s] became National Development Officer for the Scottish Curriculum Development Service.


1993 – retired from full-time work – became Principal Examiner for the Certificate of Sixth-Year Studies in Music.

Late ‘90s was recalled by the Scottish Office to resume work as NDO – wrote the Higher Still Music syllabus and edited teacher support materials.

For the past eight years I have been concert and opera reviewer for the Edinburgh Evening News.

Sandy rounded off his career in 1997 with a return to Bell Baxter, as he explains:

"With a 65th birthday in May of this year, I fell due to resign from SEB/SQA work Thirty-four years of service made me, so I was led to believe, senior examiner in terms of time - by a fair margin. It seemed a good idea to sign off in the establishment where I had been a pupil; and so, after pulling a string or two, I eventually found myself in Bell Baxter for the first time in about twenty-five years. Having visited quite literally hundreds of schools over many years of teacher training and examining, it felt more or less as the last one had - on the other side of Glasgow or wherever. There was, in other words, nothing familiar around me as I walked through the front door and introduced myself to secretarial staff.

It was when, in a spare moment, I looked out of the window of the examining room over towards St. John's and the Bonnygate churches that I began to feel more at home. Barclay Sheddon, to whose widow I have just written, used to be organist of the latter; and Georgina Gorrie, one of my father's ca. 1920 contemporaries, presided at the former.

He mentioned also that "the new BBHS car park encroaches on a berry field I used to gaffer over as a Gilliesfaulds employee of summer 1958."


Over a long career, my wife taught at Beath HS, Cranley School for Girls and George Heriot’s. She accompanied choral societies for many years in Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy and Anstruther, and she taught piano for Fife’s music diploma class.

Our daughter and her husband are obstetrician-gynaecologists. They work, among other hospitals, at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Our son is a GP. Having completed sixteen years in the RAMC, he works for a practice in Newton Aycliffe.

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