Bell baxter lives section I former Pupils Contents

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Joan Barrie Lawrence


There are a considerable number of distinguished golfers among our FPs. One of those - and one who could with justification talk of what might have been had she been born 20 or 30 years later - is a lady golfer of considerable distinction.

Joan was born in Cupar in 1930 and was educated at Castlehill and Bell Baxter. Living as she did on the edge of the golf-course, it was not too surprising that she began to play early, at the age of 9.

Her first major success was in 1949, when she was selected for the Scottish Girls’ International Team being also in the same year Semi-finalist in the British Girls’ Championship.

In three consecutive years - 1962, 63 and 64, - she was the Scottish Ladies' Champion.

From that time, her position as a leading figure in Ladies' Golf was established, honours coming thick and fast.

1964 - Curtis Cup Team, 1970 - Vice Captain of the Curtis Cup Team.

1971 - Captain of the Commonwealth Team. Joan has been Fife County Champion 15 times. In 1989 she was Chairman of the L.G.U.

She was a British Selector for eight years and Chairman of the Selectors from 1986-88, in which time the Curtis Cup was won twice.

Retirement in 1990 from work with Fife Regional Council, where she was Principal Officer for Domiciliary Care, leaves plenty of time for the game which she has played with such distinction. With her handicap of 2, she is still winning prizes locally. She is currently Captain of Dunfermline Ladies’ Section and of Fife County Ladies.

From FPA Newsletter Issue 18:

Joan Lawrence is the first ever woman Captain of the 102-year old Canmore Golf Club in Dunfermline. Her connection with the Club goes back to 1952, when her father moved from Cupar Golf Club to become the green-keeper at the Dunfermline Club. In September she completed a 2-year spell as Captain of Aberdour, the first time that a woman had ever captained a golf club in Scotland. Recently Joan attended a reception in Buckingham Palace to be appointed MBE for promoting youth golf.

William Aitchison Lawrie

William Lawrie, husband of the late Mary Jack, died on 1st January 1994. He is survived by 3 sons and a daughter.

Craig Lawson


BBHS 1999-2003

Craig Lawson died on 31st January 2005 as the result of a road accident. Craig was an apprentice plumber. He was a keen sportsman, and golf was his special love. He had been Junior Boys' Captain at Ladybank Golf Club.

Sarah Lawson

Extracted from FPA Newsletter, December 2012:

Two FPs (around 1996 in S1), school friends with an interest in vintage and quirky clothing, decided to make their own instead of buying from shops. This led to the label Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Laurie Macmillan from Freuchie works full-time as a chef at Balbirnie Hotel. Sarah Lawson from Springfield is a support worker in Motherwell. They specialise in reincarnating old patterns and recycling fabrics from days gone by. They then make one-off garments for customers. They are now intending to move back to Fife with their original vintage ‘pop-up’ markets, Gin in Teacups. This idea began in the Greenside Hotel, Leslie, and provided a platform for other artists, traders and designers. Such was the success that they moved the markets to Glasgow and Edinburgh where they are organised on a monthly basis. The markets returned to Fife on 19th August in Dunfermline. On September 30th they were to be in the original venue in Leslie, and in Dundee on October 21st at the Queen's Hotel.

Comment by Newsletter Editor: It is good to know that the spirit of individual enterprise and imagination is alive and well!

Douglas Leighton

Douglas Leighton (1946) died very suddenly while playing golf on 17th December 2004. On leaving School, Douglas joined the RAF, where he spent his entire career. He was in the Physical Education Branch and remained there until he retired with the rank of squadron leader in 1992. His great passion was the outdoors, and he qualified as a Mountaineering Instructor, spending many happy years when he was posted at Fort George. After he retired he played golf 3 times a week - and was known, his son tells us, as a ‘bandit’. He travelled a lot and particularly enjoyed teaching his grandchildren to ski and play golf, the latter at La Manga in Spain. He is survived by his wife, 1 son and 2 daughters.

Kirsty Leighton

From the Fife Herald September 2010:

A KETTLEBRIDGE teenager will be banishing stereotypes when she takes part in a beauty pageant with a difference this weekend.

Kirsty Leighton (18) has reached the final of Miss Earth Scotland, an eco-pageant that places an emphasis on contestants' green credentials.

The final takes place in Blackpool tomorrow (Saturday), and Kirsty will be judged in categories such as designing a tee-shirt with an environmental message.

The former Bell Baxter High School pupil, who will study animal biology at Napier University after taking a gap year, booked her place in the final by winning Miss Earth Fife in June.

As part of the contest, a public vote will be held with the winner receiving a donation to a charity of their choice - in Kirsty's case the Teenage Cancer Trust.

More information can be found online at

Ben Leitch

BBHS 2004-10

Ben Leitch (S5) took his place in the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland in 2009. Ben auditioned in January, playing contrasting pieces by Schubert and Sitt. He began rehearsing for the concerts at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, The Sage in Gateshead, a tour to Krakow and Wroclaw in Poland and Apeldoorn in Holland. Ben even began Polish lessons.

Ben wrote and directed the music for the School’s December 2009 production of Pinocchio.

In April 2010 Ben won the prestigious Centenary Music Competition. The annual competition between Bell Baxter, Waid Academy and Madras College requires each school to enter a maximum of three competitors to represent their school. Ben played viola to secure a Bell Baxter victory. Ben played the concerto 'Fantasie' by Hummel and Rebecca Clarke's 'Morpheus', both of which greatly impressed and engaged the audience. The adjudicator, Walter Blair, who was associate director of music at the RSAMD and is chief moderator for the new grade exams in traditional music, commented that he was looking for a performer who could involve the audience directly and did more than just play their piece, and that Ben managed to capture the audience’s attention and imagination brilliantly. Ben spoke to the Rotary Club of the Howe of Fife about his musical experiences at one of their meetings in June 2010.

Ben was chosen in 2009 to represent the UK on the UK-German Youth Council. The Council is made up of 10 representatives from each country. The main aim is to strengthen the cultural link between the UK and Germany and, of course, for members it is a good opportunity to improve language skills. As part of his job, Ben will be working with primary schools in the area promoting the importance of learning a new language and he will also do some teaching of German. The first conference was at the end of October 2009.

We learned recently (Feb 2012) from Ben’s facebook that he is to undertake the next part of his studies in Santiago, Chile.

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