The Byre Theatre's 2009 Christmas Pantomime, Mother Goose, had in its cast a Bell Baxter S3 pupil, Andrew Ferguson, who played the part of Old Mother Hubbard. He had competed in a gruelling 6-hour audition to win the part.
Donald Ferguson (mid 1930s) died in October 1998. On leaving school, Donald studied medicine at St Andrews, graduating MB ChB in 1945. He lived latterly in the West of Scotland.
Ian Ferguson (1938) died suddenly but peacefully at home on 16th April 2005. Ian studied at St Andrews University and Dundee on leaving School and qualified as a dentist in 1947. He spent 6 years as a Dental Officer in the Royal Navy, including a tour of duty on HMS Belfast in the Far East. Thereafter his career was spent in dental practice in Leven until retirement in 1988. He was a keen golfer. He was predeceased some years ago by his wife and is survived by his 2 daughters.
John F Ferguson
I joined Bell Baxter in 1951 riding the bus every day from Tayport, joining my school friends from all over Fife. These were happy and exciting times which I seemed to enjoy more as the years went by. Learning was focused and the teachers exercised firm discipline when needed.
Many teachers come to mind. Especially Doc Inglis charging through the corridors with his gown billowing out behind him. There are many stories about Doc.
Dear ‘Grannie King’ saying ‘watch the board while I run through it’. ‘Annie Bash’, Miss Bachelor was really tough. Sandy Ad was loved by all. Kenneth Nicoll and I played some golf at Scotscraig and he did give me good marks in math exams! But I corrected his marking a few times.
My ‘Highers’ led me to Dundee Technical College where I earned a Higher National Diploma in mechanical engineering.
During my last few years at Bell Baxter and college I became involved in amateur golf leading up to representing Scotland prior to winning the British Boys' championship in 1956, and later captained the Scottish Youths' team. Also I was successful in a few other competitions, Fife County, Scottish Midlands and Scotscraig club championships. Probably the high point of my golf activities was qualifying for the Open at Muirfield in 1959.
Another passion was aircraft, making models and flying them. This was a very exciting time in aviation development and design advances, so it was not surprising that I took an engineering job with English Electric Aviation in Warton, Lancashire.
Unfortunately in the early 1960's the government cancelled many military programmes which hit the industry very hard. Many highly qualified people looked for other jobs and even left the country hence the term "the brain drain" and my family and I were in that group.
I had married my sweetheart Anne Young, (a BBFP) also from Tayport and we had two young children, Karen and Iain when we boarded the plane for the USA.
I went to work for the Boeing Airplane company in Seattle as a mechanical systems engineer on the commercial supersonic transport aircraft (SST) and also engineered the engines’ fuel systems with General Electric in Cincinnati, Ohio. When that aircraft was cancelled I was assigned to the exciting big bird, the Boeing 747, which became known as "the Queen of the Skies" recognised as one of the most popular aircraft with passengers and is still being manufactured to-day in an upgraded version.
Throughout my years at Boeing the assignments were always interesting developing and testing the new aircraft designs and systems and travelling to customer airlines worldwide assisting them with aircraft maintenance issues and optional designs for systems and interior configurations. Two years before retiring in early 2002 we moved to Whidbey Island, a twenty minute ferry ride off the mainland. I provided some math coaching for the local Middle School and joined Useless Bay Golf and Country Club where our house is located.
Historically this west coast was extensively explored by Captain George Vancouver in 1792, who named the local bay here "Useless Bay" because it was too shallow to anchor his ship.
Many of the beautiful snow capped volcano mountains in the Cascade range viewable in this were named by Captain Vancouver and his crew for example, Mount Rainier was named after Rear Admiral Peter Rainier and Mount Hood after the British Admiral Samuel Hood. Also Captain Cook explored and charted this part of the north west coast up to Alaska and beyond.
The very sad note in our history was the death of our dear son, Iain in early 2006 due to multiple brain melanoma cancers at the age of 41.
Our only grandchild Kendall is now ten years old and doing very well.
We are currently healthy and very active in the golf club and our church.
Anne and I also like to travel. In addition to Britain we have enjoyed African Safaris in Kenya and Tanzania, Italy, Israel and also visit warmer climes in the USA as a winter break. We appreciate the local wildlife on the island with rabbits, hawks, ospreys, bald eagles, a pair have a nest 50 feet from our house and many finches and other species.
Future plans are not defined but some travel will be on the agenda when conditions permit.
Mrs Mabel Black (née Ferguson)(1933) died on 14th December 1999 in a nursing home in Bridge of Earn. On leaving school Mabel studied Dentistry at St Andrews University and worked as a Dentist until she retired in 1981. She is survived by her husband, who lives in Errol, Perthshire. She was predeceased by one of her brothers, Donald (qv), who died a year before her. Her other brother, Ian (qv), also a dentist, lives in Leven.