Bell baxter lives section I former Pupils Contents

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Ranald Brook

Ranald entered BBS in 1934. After leaving School he took an apprenticeship in Pharmacy. Following Naval Service in the Second World War, he studied for an MA at St Andrews. He then went into teaching, becoming Head Teacher at Kennoway Primary School. He lived in Leven.

Colin Brough

Colin Brough entered BBS in 1945. He graduated MB ChB from the University of Edinburgh in 1956 and retired on 31st August 1988 from the post of Chief Administrative Medical Officer, Lothian Health Board. He lived in Gullane.

Alasdair Brown

Alasdair Brown, who was a pupil from 1946 onwards, died in September 1992 while on holiday. He was a journalist with the Daily Record, having served earlier on the staff of D C Thomson.

Alistair Brown

Dr Alistair Brown (1960s) became a journalist with The Scotsman after leaving school. After 3 years working in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, he began his studies for the ministry. In 2000, as General Director of the Baptist Missionary Society, he was a guest preacher in Cupar Baptist Church. He later hosted an evening at which he spoke about his work.

Duncan Brown

From Issue 3 of the FPA Newsletter:

Duncan Brown is digging wells in Tanzania with "Health Projects Abroad". Duncan's mother is Sylvia Brown (née Chisholm).

Edward J Brown

Eddie Brown entered BBS in 1944. He was a member of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force before attending the Royal College of Music, London, graduating GRSM ARCM in 1957. He taught Music at Cranleigh School and emigrated to Canada in 1967. He taught in Kingston High Schools and became Assistant Organist at St Mary's Cathedral. He is also a Composer and Accompanist and has composed music to over twenty of Burns' poems. He lived in Kingston, Ontario, where he died in January 2012.

The following obituary notice appeared in Issue 42 of the FPA Newsletter:

Towards the end of World War II the guid folk of Kettle ran a Welcome Home Fund forreturning servicemen. The programme of events included a dance in the village hall,forwhich a band from Auchtermuchty called The Rhythmaires was engaged. I did not know Ed at the time, but I recognized him from Bell Baxter as pianist of the outfit. Thatmarked the beginning of our longstanding friendship.

He was 'Broon' to fellow-pupils and staff alike. Playing for local dances on a regular

basis enabled him to earn well, and his keyboard facility developed by leaps and bounds,but his general progress at school suffered accordingly. When National Service caughtup with him, he left in 1948 to join the RAF. Having learnt to play bass trombone as a'Muchty teenager, he was snapped up by the RAF Central Band and signed on as a'regular' for five years, exposing him to the high musical standards which weremaintained in a regular routine of public performances, recordings and broadcasts.

After leaving the RAF Ed signed on at London's Royal College of Music as a first-

subject pianist. He graduated with Honours, taught in the Home Counties and eventuallyjoined the staff of Cranleigh School.

Wanderlust took hold of him after a while, and he emigrated to Canada with his family in1967. He worked in Kingston, Ontario, as a teacher and organist. Scottish roots remainedstrong throughout his life. As a composer, he set a number of poems by Burns under thetitle Immortal Charms. His affection for BBS was always strong. He flew over to attenda reunion during the early 1990s. On his last UK visit he asked me to drive him a coupleof times round the block so that he could recognize features of the school buildings andreminisce about years gone by.

Ed lost a bravely fought battle against cancer near the start of 2012. All FPs who
knew him will, I am sure, join in sending the assurance of our sympathy to his family
and partner Mary.

(Contributed by Sandy Scott, qv)

Irene Hall Brown

Mrs Irene McKenzie entered BBS in 1947. She lived in Ayton Smithy, Newburgh, and reported (for the FP Chronicle, 1989) that her life had been ‘uninteresting but happy.’ She had been an office worker, shop assistant and had sepent 34 years to date as a Domestic Manager (unpaid).

John Ebenezer Brown


The Reverend John Brown (1926) died in December 1998. He was born at Peattieshill Farm, and after completing his secondary education at Bell Baxter, went to St Andrews University where he graduated MA in 1935 and then studied Divinity, graduating in 1938. His career in the Church of Scotland Ministry began in St Cuthbert’s, Dunoon, from where he moved to St Mary’s, Govan. In 1954 he became Minister of St Brycedale Church in Kirkcaldy and in 1967 he was called to St John's Church, Hamilton, where he remained until he retired in 1980. In 1979 the University of St. Andrews conferred on him the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity. After his retirement he moved north to Insch and was a regular relief minister in Aberdeenshire. One of his sons, Gordon, was Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time of his death.

Judith A Brown


(BBHS 1954-60)

Mrs Judith Fairley (née Brown) (1954) died on 5th April 2011 after a short illness. Judith was born 15 December 1942, and was the oldest of five children in the Brown family. After her father came back from war service, the family moved to Meadowfield in Falkland, where she attended primary school, and she maintained strong ties with the village all her life.

She attended Bell-Baxter High School from 1954-1960, becoming a Prefect in the Fifth Year, and Head Girl in the Sixth. She also represented the school as Captain of the hockey team, and in many other activities.

Judith attended the University of St Andrews, having won a McDougall Trust Bursary, where she took an MA in Modern Languages. Upon graduation, she did a secretarial course in Glasgow, and went to work for the World Council of Churches in Geneva for a couple of years.

On her return to Scotland, she worked on the editorial team of the Edinburgh publishing firm Oliver and Boyd. It was during this time that she met and married Charles Fairley. They subsequently lived near Reading for several years, later moving to Alton, Hampshire. The growing family later moved to Stonehaven, and then Dunblane in Perthshire, where the children went to school. Judith took an active part in village and community activities. Over the years, wherever she was, Judith contributed to her local church and charities, devoting considerable energy and much time to this work. Among other things she was on the School Board for Dunblane Primary School, volunteered in the local museum and ran the Sunday School for her church, St Blanes. She also greatly enjoyed several years of bell-ringing in the town's lovely cathedral.

She had four children, Kate, Sarah, Jane and Charlie. After her divorce, Judith moved to Stirling, where she was the manager for the National Trust for the Bannockburn Battlefield site until her retirement. Judith was an avid reader, with a great knowledge and love for Scottish History, and, prior to her time at Bannockburn, had spent several years working in an antiquarian bookshop in Stirling.

Her siblings were now scattered, so she moved to Letham to be close to her now elderly parents for whom she continued to care.

In the summer months she was much in demand as a tourist guide and working in the shop at Falkland Palace, a job she truly enjoyed. Living in Letham, she was able to get together with old friends through joining Bell Baxter FP Association, in which she was very active. She also became very involved in village affairs, especially those of the church and the Village Hall. Latterly, she was church elder at the local Kirk, Monimail.

Her daughter Kate lives in Malawi, where she is now on the staff of the University of Malawi. Judith visited her several times, and found a whole new interest in the African way of life that she found there. Recently, she was happy to support Kate's doctoral studies by having Robert live with her when Kate needed to be in London - or other times when she was working. On one memorable visit to Malawi, she babysat Robert, her grandson, as a toddler when all three of them travelled the length of rural Malawi as Kate was carrying out research fieldwork.

In Malawi she gamely visited and stayed in some pretty basic accommodation, never blanched at the local cuisine and mixed with everyone in such a friendly manner. Everyone in Zomba, Kate's home town, knew her as 'Mum' or, latterly, 'Granny'. For anyone not brought up in Africa, that's quite an achievement.

Again, she put time and energy into community work. She was on the Mamie Martin Fund committee as Treasurer for several years and, more recently, worked with Child Survival in Malawi. She was also a Trustee of the Claremont Trust, which funds small, innovate development projects, both in Scotland and overseas.

Her other children were by now working or studying in various places in Scotland, and Judith enjoyed nothing more than having them visit her, or visiting them.

Judith's last illness came as a shock to everyone who knew her, and its swift progress was even sadder for those who loved her. She had made many friends, both locally and around the world, and her loss is keenly felt by all of us.

Ccmtributed by Marjorie Dean (née Urquhart).

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