Bell baxter lives section I former Pupils Contents



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Sylvia Chisholm


Mrs Sylvia Brown (1946) died in hospital after a short illness in September 2011. Sylvia trained as an Occupational Therapist at the Astley Ainsley Hospital in Edinburgh. Her first post was in Stratheden Hospital, Springfield - an interesting experience. Quote: ‘Haw, Miss, if ah telt ye ye'd a guid figure, wid ye hold it against me?’ Sylvia married Roy Brown from Leslie, also an FP, and had 3 children. Roy's job as a Civil Engineer took them to Zambia for 3 years and, on their return, Sylvia resumed her career, based in Cupar. She travelled near and far around Fife. Promotion to the post of Senior Occupational Therapist meant a move to Dundee, but she teased Dundonian friends that she could see ‘God's own country – Fife’ from her back window overlooking the Tay. After retirement she became involved in pre-retirement Council-run courses and as a professional lay person in the PPI committee. She was a lady with a great sense of humour. Quote from her funeral :- ‘Trust me, I'm an O.T.’ ‘An O.T.?’ ‘An Occupational Therapist who teaches men what to do with their hands in bed.’ She was predeceased by her husband and is survived by her 3 children, 2 sons and a daughter.

(Contributed by Sylvia's friend from Class lbl days, Alice (Peters) Oliphant)

Sylvia joined the committee of the FP Association when it formed in 1990 and was its Chairman from 1999 to 2002.

Betty Christie


Betty Naysmith (née Christie) (1951) retired in 1994 from teaching, first of all in Chippenham, Wiltshire and latterly as Senior Lecturer at Falkirk College of Technology. She has 2 children and 4 grandchildren.

Effie Christie


Effie entered BBS in 1934. She lived in Edinburgh and died after a short illness on 20th September 2011. She spent almost her entire career (1943-83) as a Secretary in the Scottish Office in Edinburgh. Effie was very involved in her local church. She remained very fit and active until she become ill in June 2011. She was unmarried.

Francis L Christie


left 1903; Retired from Director and Secretary of Dundee Export Merchants in 1956 ; Edenview, Cupar.

Gemma Christie


The annual visit to the First World War Battlefields took place in October 2000. Two girls, Gemma Christie and Madeleine Grimsdall spoke the words of The Exhortation at the Menin Gate on the Monday evening as the pupils took part in the daily tribute to the Fallen.

Lauren Christie


Lauren Christie, guitar, won the Gold Medal in the Fife Festival of Music for the fifth year in succession in 2005. She was also presented with a trophy to mark this achievement.

Thomas L Christie


The 1970 School Magazine contained three profiles of former pupils. These were the result of inteviews conducted by Sally Edmunds and Margaret Wallace.

Mr T Christie is a retired banker presently living in St. Andrews. He was British Consul in what is now North Vietnam and had memories of our school as it was in its early days — he left in 1908.

The Bell-Baxter I knew was the old part of the building. That contained a kindergarten and a mixed school. I left in 1908, and there must have been only 150 pupils then. We were fee-paying, and we got the Fife County Scholarship boys in from the villages. I would put Bell-Baxter rather as an academic nursery than for going out in the world. You had men like Sir Bertie Staig from Auchtermuchty who came first in the Indian Civil Exam after a brilliant University career.

Then in the also-rans were Willie Innes, the father of the present owners of Innes the printers, and myself. We just drifted between the very clever people and the very … ! We led the sporting element. We had a darned good cricket team in those days. Willie used to play for Bell-Baxter in the morning and then for Cupar 1st XI in the afternoon. Sometimes we used to smuggle a few FPs into our school team just to leaven things up a bit! The physical jerks? You had a real Boer War ex-Black Watch sergeant with muscles rippling and you had to do all kinds of stiffening exercises — not loosening P.T.

There was an awfully good spirit in the whole school, principally on account of these masters, — J M Dawson, the Rector, D.H., his brother, Tommy Robertson (classics), Miss Burt (French etc.) and Wallace (maths and science).

I remember Aitken, the road surveyor's son, got a stick of dynamite, which his father used, and, somewhere near the science lab, he shoved it in and blew a hole!

The feeding was very important. — you sustained your brainwork on an Elder's 2d pie — you left the school and walked down to Miss Elders' cafe where you regaled yourself on a pie for 2d. — there were no school lunches, also I remember no uniform and you paid for your own books.

In those days, we never had more than 20 in a class, never above, so that let the specialists like Wallace, etc. concentrate on a class and yet it was very personal, — that's why they did so well. But referring to the good reputation of the school abroad, I would put it in a broader sense, you were incorporated in the good reputation of all Scots boys abroad.



Mr Christie is self-deprecating about himself as a schoolboy, but his adult life was clearly rather different, as he won the Military Cross, presumably in the First World War, and he was appointed OBE, probably in connection with his consular service.

Elizabeth Clark


Mrs Betty MacPherson was a pupil at BBS in the 1930s. After School she attended Dundee College of Education. After that she taught until emigration to Durban, South Africa after the Second World War.

Joyce B Clark


Mrs Joyce Baird entered BBS in 1942. She was the Wages Clerk at Gleneagles Hotel, Audit Clerk at the Savoy Hotel, London as well as the Bahnhof Hotel in both Lucerne and Lausanne, Switzerland. She lived near Cardenden.


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