Bell baxter lives section I former Pupils Contents

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Isobel MacKenzie


Isobel MacKenzie was in third year in 1968. She had spent three years in a school in Singapore where her father worked in the radio station. Jennifer Tresize, Mary Eagles and Fiona Ewen asked her to talk about the effects of being educated outside Great Britain for the 1968 School Magazine.

You enjoy your first year out there, but the last six months, it’s terrible. All you can think is 'Oh, we are going home soon.' I mean, you keep remembering things that you should buy, and people you've to buy things for.

And when I left, oh, it was chaos - on the bus and everyone saying 'cheerio, well, we'll not be seeing you - oh, you'll have to write to me' - and giving you addresses - you get so many addresses - and you can't write to them all. And then some of them come down to the airport - and you think 'Oh, I'm going home' and then you've got something to look forward to: but when you're really just leaving, it's pretty awful. I was crying: I could hardly see my way onto the plane.

Your life is very sort of unsettled at school there, because all the time there's people coming and going. One of my best pals went home about six months after we'd been there, and we still had goodness knows how many years to do and we went down to the ship and I was dead upset - you see the ships there and you'd wish that you were going home and you had the smell of the dock - oil and everything like that - and you'd wish you were home. It's the same here - you go past a garage and there's fumes and you wish you were back on the ship.

But moving around benefitted me an awful lot - I don't know how in different ways - oh, in Geography definitely: 'cos when we came into Cape Town and you saw Table Mountain there, and it really was flat I mean, I do Geography quite

well - like about America just now - I suppose I must know it in a funny sort of way - but I can't fathom out how I do, until I've been there.

Janet M P MacKenzie

Janet (Jenny) Durie (née MacKenzie) died on 29th December 1996. Jenny lived in Hill Crescent, Cupar until shortly before she died. She had been ill for about a year. She was in her mid 80s. She started at BBS in the 1920s and became a legal secretary after leaving School.

Moira McKenzie

BBHS 1953-59

In 2003 Mrs Moira Clacher (née McKenzie) (1953), had one of her poems, entitled ‘Cats’, published in the Scottish edition of Rhyme and Reason from United Press Ltd. In issue 20 of the Newsletter we included a piece about the village of Pitscottie and its surroundings, which was part of a series of articles, poems and drawings forming a kind of modern version of the Edwardian Lady's Country Diary.

Moira provides an excellent proof of the cliché that ‘it is never too late.’ When she left School she worked in the British Linen Bank from 1959-1969. She married James in 1969 and had two sons, Iain and Kevin. Years of family life and home responsibilities were followed by more than a decade of employment within Halls of Residence, University of St Andrews. She began studying also with the University on a part time basis and graduated with a Master of Arts Degree in 2009 - 50 years after leaving School.

As a writer she has had several small books published in her own name by United Press, London.

Travel during schooldays was by bus from Auchtermuchty to Cupar in an era when there was always a driver and a conductor or conductress on the buses. Pupils from Strathmiglo would travel on the same bus as pupils from Auchtermuchty. Fellow passengers would include John Galloway, the Hutton family, Ian Forgan, Allan Muir, Rose Rodgers, Harry Smith and Blyth Stenhouse.

For many years Moira enjoyed cycling and cycled on occasion to Bell Baxter and also to work at Andrew Melville Hall, St Andrews. In all fairness, she writes, it has to be recognized that there was less traffic on the roads then. One longer sporting outing was to visit the Horticultural Show at Kingsbarns when she cycled via St Andrews and Largoward from Pitscottie. She was somewhat saddlesore after 35 miles. In more recent years she visited Langholm, Dumfries and Kelso and the Robert Burns Tourist trail. She later became a Friend of Ellisland, Dumfries and also became a Friend of The University of St Andrews Library. She now has grandchildren, Rhiannon and Lucy. Her son, Ian, graduated from Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, in 1992.

Robert McKenzie

The School Vice-Captain for Session 2000-1 was Robert McKenzie (Cupar).

James McKeown

EAST Fife Sports Council has recognised the achievements of sportspeople in the community at its annual awards ceremony. The prestigious event was held in Elmwood College on Thursday, May 5, with more than 130 guests attending.

The Junior Award was won by James McKeown of Bell Baxter High School, who had won the Gold medal in Scottish Kayaking at 500m, 1000m, 10km and Marathon. He also holds the British Kayak 900m bronze and 1000m silver.

Elspeth McKerrell

Mrs Elspeth Hall (née McKerrell), resident in Edinburgh, remembered the gym displays. Although she attended Bell Baxter for 2 years only, she wrote (in connection with a reunion of the Class of ’47 held on 23 August 1997) of her memories of Miss Batchelor (or "Annie Bash") who started off Elspeth's love affair with France. I suspect that Miss Batchelor was more realistic about her relationships with her pupils than we realised, and she would probably be as astonished as anyone to hear that. But she would also, while covering her embarrassment with a dismissive and probably biting comment, have been privately thrilled.

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