Kilmarnock Academy


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Former Pupils' Notice Board

On this page you can post messages and make contact with old friends and acquaintances with whom you shared the Kilmarnock Academy experience. You should e-mail your messages to:

and we will post them on this page.

The School Notice Board

Leave your messages here, for all to read

About where you are now and what you’ve achieved.

A Little reminder to those you once knew,

In case someone out there might remember you.

Whether you were popular or just a face with no name,

We now share an interest that will remain the same;

The school notice board is where we all reminisce,

About days gone by and the people we miss.

contributed by Lauren Howarth (Lauren Logan)


I am the eldest daughter of an only child, Grace Halbert Patterson (Luce Avenue?, Kilmarnock) - and Roy Charles Randall (Poole near Bournemouth in England)
Mum was born on the 5th of May 1940 and attended Kilmarnock Academy (exact dates unknown)
I believe she had a very strong friendship with a girl called Judy something?
Dad was stationed near Irvine and Troon during his National Service in the late 1950's and that is how he and Mum met. They were married in August 1960 and I was born November 8th 1961.
Unfortunately Mum died in the Spring of 1980 (Aged 39) and having just stumbled on this site I was wondering if anyone remembers Mum or has any information/photos they think will help me.
I was always led to believe that we were descended from the Missionary, David Livingstone via his brothers' line but we seem to have mislaid the paperwork Mum had listing the various Richards' and Janets' or was it Agnes'? I can't quite recall!
If any of this rings a bell with you, or a relative of yours, then please send an email to the KA notice board and I will periodically look at it just in case.
With many thanks from Mrs. Lynn Halbert Riggs                                                                                                                   30..3.2012


Like others I accidentally discovered your website via google.
Lo and behold I find 3 contemporaries in Messrs Hamilton, Crosby, and Highet, all of whom shared my right of passage through KA from 1945 to 1954.
It sparked mostly happy memories of the school and the teaching staff of the period, particularly the latter who to a greater or lesser extent, instilled some values which were useful/essential in later life.
My favourite teachers brought to life their subjects and I have special memories of 'Bert' Findley who transformed Maths for me. Also Joe Syme, 'Sanny' Adamson (English) and J Gibson(chemistry). On the negative side was Davy Gordon, vested with responsibility for assessing 10/11 year old boys for secondary schooling. A stiff collar, tinted glasses, and brown suit (summer), blue suit (winter) represented his classroom uniform. In modern day parlance the nick name 'Psycho'  would have been appropriate as he ruled by fear. The strap was a daily occurrence and as mentioned by others, his aim with a chalk duster was pretty good. As a role model for later life eg.  'how to win friends and influence people', he was a total failure!
 Leaving KA in 1954, I eventually graduated as a mechanical engineer after serving a student /apprenticeship with Glenfield & Kennedy, an institution in Kilmarnock which sadly no longer exists.
I subsequently moved to London in 1963 joining a firm of engineering consultants. In 1966 I joined a well known brewing company(think black stuff) and began a thirty year association which gave me the opportunity to work in Malaysia (10 year) Brazil (2 years) Nigeria (7 years) USA (Kentucky 3 years) and Australia (Sydney 3 years). During this time I met and married Sheila and we raised a family of two girls and a boy.
I retired in 1996 and we now live in Perthshire.
I hope that others locate your site and are able to share some of their life experiences. I certainly will check it from time to time.
With very best wishes,
Gordon Wilson                                                                                                                                                                                           30..3.2012


After seeing the graffiti picture of the ceiling of the tower on your website, I  was quite amazed to see my name and that of Bob Ellis still in evidence. My autograph is perhaps wearing better than I. Bob was the Sports editor and I was the Art editor of the Goldberry. That the Goldberry committee was even in the tower in 1957 was a story in itself. The Janitor of that time, a Mr. Keddie, clearly did not want the committee in the tower and had filled it with desks and chairs. It took a delegation of us to go to Mr. R. McIntyre aka “the beak” to overturn the janitor’s decision. Mr. Keddie was not amused.

Some of the accounts on your website brought back many memories ,  particularly the one mentioning names of former teachers.

Bill Craig comes to mind. He was a holy terror and I recall standing in the prefect’s room ( a Classroom on the third floor} observing clouds of smoke emanating from the boy’s toilets. At that time there was a playground which ran between the Academy building and the Tech. It was split by a wall with the girls on one side and the boys on the other and nary the twain should mix. This particular day large numbers of boys had entered the forbidden territory of the girls’ playground and a game of mixed football was underway.

To our amusement we saw Bill padding along to the top of the steps leading down to the girls’ playground. He took a whistle from his pocket and gave one loud blast. The mixed game froze like a still picture. Mayhem followed as the boys scampered back to their allotted playground. Such was Bill’s influence. He was a renowned belter.

Another Bill Craig story which I recollect was a first year exam which he was invigilating. We sixth year pupils were on study leave and were seated at the back of the room. Bill was invigilating while reading his Glasgow Herald. One wee lad put up his hand and tried to snap his fingers to no avail. We snapped ours to get Bill’s attention. The Herald came down sharply. “Yes?” Bill roared.

The wee lad stammered, “ My pen has run out of ink” No response and up came the Herald again.
“What will I do?” The reply was “Use your blood”

A famous Maths teacher of that era was a Mr. Deans , nicknamed Dixie of course. In fourth year we had the dubious privilege of a double Maths period first thing on a Wednesday. Dixie was, I believe ,a minister’s son and invariably started the Maths class with the Lord’s Prayer. This was recited at breakneck speed in order to get on with the Maths. One classmate, a lad called Boyd, had forgotten his ink exercise and was duly belted. He brought it in the next day and was promptly belted again as there were numerous ink blotches all over it. The next time the class met was the dreaded double period. After the Amen of the prayer Boyd was belted again for having too many mistakes in his inky.

Some more “Dixie” stories are memorable .  When  putting geometric figures on the board he would turn to the class and say ”That squared plus that squared equals?” To which the class roared out “ That squared.”This seemed to satisfy him. On Trig identities he asked what function should be used in a particular problem,  sec, tan or cos. One girl volunteered sec. His reply was” I think we will leave the secs out of it” and then demanded to know why everyone was laughing.                                                                       11..3.2012


Jim Carrick – Head Boy in 1965/66 sent these pictures after the Sir Alexander Fleming/ Lord Boyd Orr
conference. The group photo is of Jim on the left, Jimmy Gibson in the centre and Jack Cooper on the right
– classmates who were meeting for the first time since leaving school. The other photo is of their
autographs in the tower. In these days, the tower was accessible to the Goldberry committee and the
Christmas parcels committee.                                                                     Report by Mrs Hamilton


My nephew sent me an email about the former pupils of the Kilmarnock Academy which I found most
interesting. It was the only school I attended from 1939 to 1951 and I used to walk to school every day
with my friend Sandy Knox whom I still keep in touch with at Xmas. I do remember Mr Gordon His
eyeglasses were a shade of green and we were convinced that he could use them as a mirror to encounter
bad deeds in the classroom when he was writing on the chalkboard,. Another teacher Mr Aitken was
nicknamed soapy Aitken as apparently he came to school one day with soap scum still on his ears.Then
there was Miss White the geography teacher who during the war wore wooden clogs as shoes so was
called cloggy White. Mr. Ironsides was referred to a tinribs. I remember one year when in the school choir
we put on a performace at the Grand Hall where we sang all the songs from Gilbert and Sullivans "Pirates
of Penzance". The literary and debating society had the debates in the lecture room in the Tech School.

I was honoured to be a Prefect in the fifth form and then was given permission to leave school on June 1
1951 to start my career with the Union Bank of  Scotland on Bank Street. I was allowed time off from the
bank to attend the graduation ceremonies which were held in the Plaza Cinema.In September 1952 I had
to do my two years National Service and was in the RAF and after initial training I was posted to
Habbaniya in Iraq and then seven months later was  transferred to Mauripur just outside Karachi in
Pakistan, a wonderful experience and I felt that you learned dicipline and from that self dicipline.

When I got back to UK I felt I wanted to immigrate but my father insisted that I finish my bank exams then
several of the Canadian Banks were advertising for clerks, so I sent them all a resume, I was called to
London for interviews and then finally accepted the offer from the Canadian Bank of Commerce which
offered to pay my passage by ship to Canada. I reported to Toronto and two days layer was on a train to
Vancouver, B.C. I worked in a branch in Vancouver then five months later was transferred to Parksville on
Vancouver Island where I met my bride to be. In those days the bank used to transfer you every eighteen
months, I enjoyed this to start with as it gave me a chance to see the wonderful province but after I got
married my wife and I decided that we didn't want to be moving that often so I left the bank.

I did a variety of things and in 1968 my wife and I bought a Motor Inn in Qualicum Beach which also had a
coffee shop we later extended the eating facility to a licenced dining room and later on extended the
building we operated it for seven years working 16 hours a day  seven days a week closing for three weeks
around Christmas when we went on holiday to either Southern California of Hawaii. When we sold we
moved to the Victoria area on Southern Vancouver Island. I started working for a building supply company
and four years later was promoted to manager and stayed there untill I retired 15 years ago.My wife and I
are both avid gardeners and enjoy our home and I am also a woodworker and enjoy doing wood
turnings and carving signs .


I recently discovered your excellent website but have not seen much correspondence from those of my
era.We were a pre-computer cohort, I suppose.

I was at the Academy 1947-1952 and left after Fifth Year to join the National Bank of Scotland on King
Street Kk.After National Service I was recruited by the Toronto-Dominion Bank and came to Canada in
1960. In 1964 I joined the Business Development Bank and worked with them for 32 years in various parts
of Canada, coast-to-coast, retiring as vice-president in Montreal. After that I was a consultant to the
Dept. of Industry,involved with financing of Native Indian development corporations. A highlight of my
Academy years was the Ayrshire-France Summer School at West Linton and Versailles.Does this initiative
still exist? That experience and the efforts of my French teachers, "Wee Willie" Henry and Mr. Spiller gave
me a good basis on which to develop my French, which is a necessity in this bi-lingual city.

I attach a couple of photos. The one of the cadets was taken at Christmas 1947. The names ( with
apologies to those I do not remember) are:- from the left of each row

N.Orr, ??   ??      W.Armour. I.Love. S.Highet.  W.Kidd.    ??    ??
B.Henderson.  C.Byers    ??     Cpl. Crowder. Sgt. Smith. Cpl Hamilton.  ??     H.Hunter
D. Fraser.   ??    ??     J.Hill.  W. Glover.  E. Young       ??

The class photo was taken the following year ( Second Year 1948-49). The teacher was Mr. McLeod
( known to pupils as Curly) I am afraid I do not recall any of the girls' names

1  N. Gallagher. T. Crichton     ??    R. McAllister  M. Ferguson.   J. Mathie

2  O. Campbell. J. Porter.  H.Hunter.  S. Paton.  P.Kenmure  J. Jardine

3. Mr. McLeod.  P Pierrotti   S. Highet.  J. Gray    ??        W. Armour   G Lightbody  J. McColl   ??

4. A. Meikle.   ( .............. Sorry, Ladies .............. )  C. Byers

Best of luck with your Website, Sandy Highet.



I attended Kilmarnock Academy   from 1941 to 1953, When I started there was an Infant and Primary  as
well as the Secondary. The first few years have left little of a stamp on my memory, all teachers were Miss
........ kindly and thoughtful. Then came the shock in the Qualifying class a male teacher and one with a
stern and strict sense of discipline. Any pupil in his class will remember him, name Davy Gordon. Not for
Davy the Bill of Human rights!!!

You did not talk in class unless in reply to Davy, you sat upright and did not slouch, if you folded your arms
at all it was behind your back to improve posture ... you get the scene? If you infringed the rules the
punishments were many ( some shades of The Spanish Inquisition)... the taws a split and heavy leather
belt given on your crossed bare hands (traditional in these days).He missed his target once and I had long
red weals on my wrist and forearms much to my mother's annoyance, but in these days you did not
complain.Another favourite was the blackboard duster thrown at your head, if duster sounds soft, not so
they were blocks of wood with a felt facing to clear the chalk from the blackboard.He also could wield a
good flat ruler.

And so prepared for life I went on to the Secondary school where our numbers were augmented by lads
and lassies from such foreign parts as "Up the Valley", Kilmaurs etc.

I can recall a few memorable teachers from these days although not necessarily their full names. One
called I think Sandy, an English teacher, whose choices in literature were The Pit and the Pendulum, the
Beast with Five Fingers, Borley Rectory (the most haunted house in England). His classes were
entertaining! Another English teacher I remember with pleasure, a Mr Morrison, reinforced my love of the
English language. There was a French teacher called Mr Aitken whose sense of discipline was so lax that I
learned to play chess in his classes, but very little French. The Rector in all my time there was a striking
authoritarian figure in his billowing gown as he swept majestically from place to place, an admirable man 
Robert McIntyre.  I was only once in front of him and that story will follow.

Some other aspects of life at KA as I knew it and which remain in my memory were the long treks if the
weather was OK to the playing fields beyond the present Rugby Club grounds. Are the playing fields still
there and is there still an emphasis on a fit mind in a fit body? I was in the Army Cadet Corp, the highlight
there was the Saturday morning .22 rifle shooting at targets  from the prone position in the Drill Hall which
was (is?) in John Finnie Street.I was in the Lit (Literary and Debating Society) and I was a member of the
School Choir -- but why oh why did we sing "The Yeomen of England" one year at the school concert?I
played Rugby for the School teams, eventually making the First XV. There was no football team when I
was there, we were a rugby school and proud of it. Some thought playing football was a bit cissy!!!Such
pride when I could then trim my maroon blazer with the school badge with gold braid!!!! Later I was made
a prefect (scourge of the smokers in the boy's  toilets and controller of the lines when we all trooped into
school when the bell rang) that earned me a little lapel badge in metal, (maroon and gold of course) and
with the letter P in the centre.As an aside it would be great if old Goldberry Magazines could be put on

One memorable teacher of history was Miss Cameron a spinster clad as I remember her in a tweed suit who
horror of horrors had taught my mother. She drove to school in a magnificent chariot a 1920s Bullnosed
Morris, complete with brass radiator front and running boards (look it up on Google).Cars were still scarce
on the roads when I was young, so much so that some of my friends used to stand at the side of London
Road with a pencil and notebook, almost unbelievably they were collecting car numbers, just think of
that! It was she who sent me to the Rector's room for punishment. She had given the class an acronym
for Marlborough's battles in the War of the Spanish Succession. This was BROM (Blenheim,Ramillies,
Oudenarde and Malplaquet) I wrote this in my class jotter - we were not high-tech - in large letters and
then embellished these letters with scrolls, whorls and other artistic effects. For some reason which I still
don't understand this enraged Nish (nick name) and she sent me for execution. The Rector was a very
wise man who explained that Miss Cameron was a very experienced and highly thought of teacher and that
perhaps I could return to the class and apologise to her. Perhaps my first  example of good man
management. This I did and it was gratefully received by Nish, who no doubt thought it had been beaten
out of me.

I get the feeling that I should finish here before any further memories return I have been verbose enough.

Jim Crosbie




 I recently found the above copies of the Goldberry magazine in a box 
 along with a few old school photographs (prefects, football team etc) 
 and was wondering if you would be interested in them.They are in quite  good condition considering they are 30 years old - wish I was in such  good condition after 30 years!!

 If you are interested I can post them down to the school.

 Past Pupil, Alistair Millar (1975-81)

 Hi Alistair,

 Thanks for getting in touch. We accept your kind offer of old school  magazines - I'm looking forward to reading them. They will be added to  our archive which, at some point, will be put online as part of the school  website. Thanks again.

 Neil McIlvanney, KA Web                                                        26.1.2011


It is with great sadness that I have to report the sudden and unexpected death of former pupil Jordan Robertson. Jordan, who left school at the end of his fourth year, would have been in sixth year now. In his time at Kilmarnock Academy, Jordan showed that he had genuine ability and considerable potential. It is a real tragedy that his young life has been cut short and that the potential he possessed will never be realised. He will be sadly missed by his friends at the school.

Our thoughts are with his family at this most difficult time.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 N.McI 23.1.2011


My name is Jack Connelly, I have lived in Ontario Canada for the past 45 years. I Googled Kilmarnock Academy and came across your excellent web site.

I attended KA from 1952-1955 as did my wife. Her maiden name is Nan Bryson. We are both retired now and travel is what we like to do.

In May this year (2011) we will be sailing from Fort Lauderdale in Florida on a trans Atlantic cruise. We left Scotland on the Empress of England in 1966 sailing from Greenock and in fact the ship we will sail to the UK on will dock in Greenock as one of our ports, so this has special meaning for both of us since we will be celebrating 50 years of marriage. We have talked about class reunions at KA and thought it would be fantastic if one happened for our time.

Looks like the reunions I see on the web site are for pupils who could be our grand kids. Good on them.

For any of my old class mates or indeed my wife's classmates my e mail is as follows:

Wishing our old school all the best for 2011 and the future.

Jack Connelly                                                                                                                                                                         18.1.2011


We are all getting together for a very special night on Saturday 14th May at the Foxbar Inn, Kilmarnock. The fun begins early at 6pm and will go on right through till 1am! There will be a special website created for the evening where ex-pupils can buy their tickets through paypal - your ticket will then be posted out to you. The ticket charge is to cover the cost of music, buffet, decorations and a few surprises on the night!

There will also be a special tribute to those we have lost along the way. Teachers from our era are welcome to join us on the evening as special guests (no ticket charge!!!lol). Watch this space for website details but in the mean time you can contact organisers by email:

    Nina Anderson: (please spell kangaroo in this way!)   or
    Andi McCann:   or
    Gavin Lindsay:   or
    Steven Corbett: or join the facebook group page.

Rooms at the Foxbar have been block-booked at a discount price so contact organisers if you require a room at the Inn!

Nina xx                                                                                                                                                  N.McI 14.1.2011


I have put 96/97 because some left in 5th year...but I guess officially we are class of 97! (wives, husbands and partners welcome). Nina Anderson, Steven Corbett, Gavin Lindsay and Andi McCann are organising a school reunion for this year. The date has still to be confirmed but should be May/June time.

We are looking for all pupils in our year to get in touch...and also some of our old teachers. We are especially looking for Mr McIlvanney, English teacher and Mr Kerr, PE and Guidance.

We already have a large group of us on fb who are attending - maybe 50 or more - but we don't want to miss anyone! Please email Nina on  (and yes, pls spell kangaroo wrong, it is meant to be like that!!) or Andi on

There will be a small charge for tickets to cover costs and we will also be making a special tribute to those pupils who are sadly no longer with us. Another post will be on here soon when we have confirmed date and venue.

xxxx Nina                                                                                                                                               N.McI 10.1.2011


Kilmarnock Concert Brass was formed, as Kilmarnock Youth Band, by conductor Andrew Keachie in April  1970 and this year band members past and present have been celebrating the 40th anniversary of the  Concert Brass. As the band has included many Kilmarnock Academy pupils throughout the years, we will be  looking out some special old photographs and featuring our own tribute to the band in its fortieth year. In  the meantime, former pupils of a certain age may recognise some of the faces below from 1975 and 1978.  Click on the photos to view bigger versions.                                                                              N.McI


 The annual Kilmarnock Academy Memorial Service took place on the  morning of 11th November, by the War Memorial in the Old Academy  Hall. The short but moving service, which was led by Mrs Ford and Mr  Kerr, was very well attended by senior pupils and staff who listened to  readings by two prefects. The two minute silence at 11 am, which was  strictly observed by all, gave those present the opportunity to reflect  on the sacrifice of those young people who had experienced good  times in that same hall so many years ago, before departing to engage  in the battles that would cut their young lives so tragically short. N.McI

 CAROLANN ENGLISH (CHISHOLM) SAYS 'HI!'                                                                   FRIDAY 22.10.10

"Hi my name is Carolann English - previously known as Chisholm. I attended Kilmarnock Academy from 1974 to 79. Wasn't much of an academic. Only thing I was good at was sport. Won the athletics championships on a few occasions. I went to the Kilmarnock Harriers which I have many good memories of. I still live in kilmarnock. Am divorced and live with my partner Davy. I have 2 boys Jamie coming 25 and Ricky 22yrs. I work for East Ayrshire Council - I am a residential child care worker. I have done this job for 20yrs . Would love to hear from anyone who remembers me.



It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of Gilbert Murphy, former Head Janitor at Kilmarnock Academy, who died on Sunday 24th October. Gibby was a 'well kent face' to many pupils, having worked at the school from 1979 until his retiral in 2001.

Gibby may well have been the last of the pipe and bunnet janitors, which was a Scottish tradition for many years. Kilmarnock Academy was represented at the funeral by staff members - both teaching and non-teaching, past and present - and senior prefects. Our condolences to Gibby's family.

Mr Kerr, DHT                                                                                                           October 2010


 A while back we received a photograph of Class 3B in 1943-44 - sent  in by Rita Haddow. Thanks to Rita for sharing this fascinating glimpse  of life at K.A. in days gone by (click here to see the big picture).

 One current project at KA Web is the scanning and uploading of the  school photographic archive. Although this archive dates back to the  19th century, there are many periods where we have few photos so if  you have any old school photos that you could scan and send to us  we would be grateful. (High res/big file if possible.)


 Our special thanks goes to Dr Dickson who has managed to create some  time in his busy retirement schedule to produce more famous former pupil  profiles for the school website. These include Dundee United's 2010  Scottish Cup hero, Craig Conway, and Sir William Muir (1819-1905)
 Imperial Administrator & Orientalist. To find out about their  achievements  (and, let's be honest, to find out exactly what an Imperial Administrator  & Orientalist
actually is) click here. Thanks again to Dr  Dickson for all his  hard work.


Hi everyone, I came across the website and I think it is fantastic.  I attended KA from 1995-2000.  I can't believe the change in staffing and it would be lovely to see some old faces on the site.  From the age of 14 onwards I would tell my guidance teacher at the time, Mr. Kerr that I wanted to be an air-steward and I did fly for 3 years.  I recently completed my Nursing Degree and I am now working as an Intensive Care Staff Nurse in Coatbridge.  I really love the job and it is very rewarding and pays well too. 
Anyway hi to all of the staff who remember me and to any former pupils who come for a look. 
 Gavin Morrison


90 pupils from the 1980 intake enjoyed the reunion party last night, 7th August. Some travelled from Norway, Iraq, Germany, England, Wales, Falkirk and Irvine!

The organisers would like to thank everyone for making it a great night, for donations of raffle prizes and for buying tickets. £150 was raised and donated to Help 4 Heroes and the Ayrshire Huntington's Disease service.

Thanks to Mr McIlvanney and Mr King at Kilmarnock Academy for their help in making the reunion such a success.

Best wishes, Eileen Meek (Gilmour) .

 I was Eileen Gilmour at school and I am helping to arrange a reunion for  the class of 1980. I wondered if you could put a notice on the school  website before the holidays?
 I've loved the website and found it really useful over the past few  years when my daughter was a pupil. It was the only way I knew what  she was up to!!!
 Class of 1980 Reunion, The Thistle, Hurlford. Saturday 7th August, 8pm  - 1am
 Tickets on sale now! £5 to cover DJ and food. 
        Contact Paula Wilson       07789 718739,
        Caryl McCrindle               07812 936803,
        Morag Clark                    07753 769827        
     or Eileen Gilmour                 07910 639462        
 or leave a message on Facebook page KA 1980 - 30 Year!
 We've managed to find a good number of classmates, but are struggling  with some. Would it be possible to see a copy of the register for our  year?
 I really appreciate any help you can give us, and all your hard work on  the website!

 Best wishes, Eileen Meek.


 I was looking through the web site and found my football team photo .I  had many great times at the school.My friends at school and some now  are the best ever.We were not a great team result-wise but we tried  our hearts out.We have in the photo Willie riddick(chunk),Gary  Logan  (rubble),Gavin diet,wee wuff,Garreth Caldwell(lugs),Blair Stephenson  (dome) and myself Bobby Calder aka (firrit) second from the right. Our  manager was Mr Richardson(wolf man),who was a P.E teacher. I am  just a proud student just letting folk know Kilmarnock Academy is a  great school!  No bad memories from me.

 Cheers, Bobby Calder (Click here or picture on left)


 Congratulations and very well done to former pupil Craig Conway whose  two goals and man-of-the-match performance helped Dundee United  win the Scottish Cup final on Saturday 15th May
at Hampden Park.  Craig put in a fantastic performance throughout the match but it was  towards the end of the game that he really came into his own and  inflicted major damage on opponents Ross County, scoring in the 75th  minute and again in the 86th. It's fair to say that his goal celebrations  suggested that he was quite pleased.

 When the match ended, Craig was the first player from the winning side  to offer his commiserations to the defeated and disappointed Ross  County players - a gentleman as well as a star! Well done Craig - we  are all proud of you and your achievement! (Although we are just a bit  relieved that your Scottish Cup triumph wasn't with your last club.......)


Kilmarnock Academy has a long tradition of sporting achievement, and school sports records go back almost 100 years. Nowadays there are six annual athletics championships for which the pupils can enter, with fine silver trophies as prizes for the winners.

The oldest of these competitions – established in 1918 - is the senior boys’ championships, for which the Copland Cup is awarded. The Turner Cup - the competition for junior boys - followed in 1924, and the Eric Clark Cup for girls began in 1925. It was the 1970s & 80s before the trophies for the other competitions came into being.

What of the benefactors who presented the early trophies to the school? Stephen King, the school Librarian and Archivist, and Lesley Hamilton, a member of the PE department, have been tracking down information. We know that R. D. Copland lived in London Road, Kilmarnock and was a manager in the Royal Steam Packet Company. There are grainy photographs of him, in the sports records, but little other information (to read on and view lists of cup winners click here).

 Report by Stephen King - School Librarian

The 2009 winners of the Eric Clark Cup and Copland Cup – Sophie Mulholland and Ross Menzies.

R.D.A. Willock who won the Turner Cup at Kilmarnock Academy in 1943. Dougie was also in the 1st XV rugby team.

September 2009: R.D.A. Willock reunited with the Turner Cup he won as a school boy at Kilmarnock Academy in 1943.


Hello to whom ever is responsible for running the past pupils of Kilmarnock Academy web site.  My name is Jim Goldie and I was at the school  in the late 50s. I don't seem to have made a magic difference in this world or in business life. Though I am very proud of my family and our family life.

We live in Bolton Lancashire and have a very nice home and enjoy travel. We are both retired . My wife was a teacher and a head of department in a good secondary school in Manchester. I worked as a staff trainer for a large company. My eldest daughter is a lecturer married to a building society manager and my youngest daughter is a solicitor married to another solicitor.  We have three wonderful grandchildren. I am hoping my grandson will play tennis for Great Britain when he gets a bit older..

At this moment I cannot remember any names of boys in my class or even the class that I was in. This is a cause of old age and the lack of being in Kilmarnock for over 40 years.

Now that I have found this web site I hope that I may get back in touch with past pupils who may know me and may be able to fill in some of the blanks.

I went to Hillhead primary school , then had 6 months at James Hamilton  and finally Kilmarnock Academy. I then had an apprenticeship at Glenfield and Kennedy and then spent 1 year at Scottish Aviation at Prestwick airport. Then left to work in Manchester. My wife and I have owned 14 properties and are now settled in a really nice home. 

Thank you for a great site

James Goldie       64 years young


My name is Allan Watt. I attended Kilmarnock Academy from 1954 until 1958.

I came across your website while browsing the internet. I have attached two photos from the 1955-1958 era. One is a class photo from 1958, the other is one taken of the prize winners outside the Grand Hall in the summer of 1956 .In the class photo of year VI taken in 1958, I am immediately to the right of the rector Robert McIntyre.

I would love to hear from any of my classmates from that time. Additionally, although he was a couple of years ahead of me at the Academy, I would love to hear from Willie McIlvanney. We used to meet at the Coffee Club on Bank Street after a hard days teaching, where Willie would have us all in fits with his tales of learning to drive.


Hi everyone my name is Darren Guy and I attended Kilmarnock Academy in the early 90’s straight from my time at Loanhead Primary. I moved to Manchester in 1996 where I began working in Healthcare, I now live in the South of the City with my partner. Despite the fact that I was the most awkward, moody and pretentious  teenager in the world I’ve long since grown up & gone onto be Manager of a Healthcare Company.

The teachers at the Academy were a great bunch and I often think of my time at both Loanhead and Kilmarnock. I remember very well my art teacher Mrs Ford and my fantastic English teacher Ms Fullarton, Biology was Mr Roberts (a real character) oh and who can forget Mr Park and the PE teachers driving past us every Wednesday as we all tried to run to the playing fields some more successfully than others I might add. Mr Oliphant my maths teacher was a great guy and someone who I only really learned to appreciate looking back as an adult.

Upon a recent visit to the area I actually drove to the drive just to see the old place, Loanhead and the Institute. Couldn’t believe the old art & music block was private flats, seems like yesterday I was making clay figures and running up those grand stairs late for Mrs Fords class.

I am extremely proud to have attended Kilmarnock Academy and would stress to everyone, enjoy it and stick in because it’s all over too soon and then the big world of work & life really kicks in and you rarely get the chance to look back.

Great to see the pictures the website is fantastic and really shows the spirit of the place and everyone in it. Well done to everyone involved.

Would be great to see old School Pics from the 70s,80s,& 90s

Darren Guy


 We have received word of a planned KA former pupils' reunion:

 "I was wondering if you could put a message on the website inviting all  pupils who started in 1983 to a school reunion on Friday the 19th of  February 2010, and if they are interested to email myself Julie  Plenderleith at and I'll give them more details.
 Thanks, Julie Plenderleith"

Hi there, I woz a pupil at the academy bout 24 yrs ago i moved 2 North Wales my name is Gillian Baccerini AKA McCrone I woz friends wif a couple of girl Tracy Hill, Rosemary Whiteside, Suzanne MClymount, Elaine McGregor the boys I can remember Scott McCall and David McCall not related I have move back 2 Kilmarnock and wud like 2 track sum peeps who may remember me or the above u can get in touch im also on facebook
Thanks folks - Gilly


Had a look at the web site today, very interesting & great reading. I was a pupil from 1972 till 1978, was in Loudoun House, my first Registration teacher was Mrs Hollywood.I remember a few staff:

PE: Mr Bone, Mr Park, Mrs Miller
Science: Mr Lyndsey, Mr Wells, Mr Watt, Mr Paterson, Mr Sheridan, Mr Robertson, Miss Walker
Home Economics: Mrs Black, Miss Bleese, Mrs I' Anson
Music: Mr Walker, Miss Christie
History: Mr Bunyan (used Izal toilet roll as tracing paper!)
English: Mrs Wells, Mrs Fulton
French: Miss Richmond
German: Mr Milligan (came in one day with one black shoe & one brown shoe! blamed the dark mornings)
Maths: Mr Oliphant, Mr I' Anson
Geography: Mr Herbert, Mr Scouler

There were others that I remember but did not teach me, Miss Carey, Miss Chesney, Mr Proudfoot (kept his belt on his shoulder under his cloak!) I attended a reunion at the school in 1997, 25 years after starting at KA, and it was great to catch up with classmates. I now live in Milan Italy. I am Pupil Welfare Officer (school nurse!) in a private British school. Don't know if school days were the best days of my life!!,have very fond memories but sadly no photographs. Will certainly be a regular reader now of your web site.

All the very best, Carol Wells, nee SLOAN


 Former pupil Claire-Louise Fergus recently made it through to the final  of this year's Miss Scotland contest, staged on the 14th May. Aged  just 17, Claire-Louise was the youngest of the ten finalists. She is  studying childcare at college and hopes to qualify as a nursery nurse  and would also love to become a successful model. At school, Claire  was a perfect pupil and we think she'd have been a worthy winner.

 (And congratulations to Mr Reid who recently won the Coatbridge  heats of the Fray Bentos International Search for a Real Man contest.)

Former Pupils



Hello my name is John Findlay and i finished up as a pupil at Kilmarnock Acadamy in 1988/89 i think? I moved to Australia in 1993 on a working visa and have been here ever since.I am married with two kids and am currently employed as a rigger. I work in Sydney installing high-rise window cleaning machines. I only just came across this web-site thanks to facebook...i've been having a good laugh at some of the pictures and stories, particulary the one about '  KA - THE PEACEFUL PLACE'. I would love to hear if this is a laugh or for real?? Anywho all the best from down under and tell Mr Dixon (if he is still around) that he is to blame for my atrotios spelling and grammer ;-) John Findlay

 How valuable is your website? I have been searching for an ex-army  friend for many, many years.  In fact I lost contact in the early 60's, in  fact I lived in Shortlees, Kilmarnock, with the Stuart family when I was  a Sales Rep.  Any way back to your website, today I searched on  Google for Henry McCulloch, and found him listed for your website.  I  have since contacted him in Ajax in Canada by telephone, fantastic.  Your website is worth its weight in gold after all these years of  searching.

 Kindest Regards, Tony Lord.

COLIN WILSON - GREETINGS FROM GREENOCK                                                                               April 09

I never knew this web site existed until today - fantastic.

I'm now staying in Glasgow, married with children!  After leaving school (1997) I toyed about with a few bands in the Glasgow circuit but chucked in favour of a more steady career.  I am now in charge of waste strategy in Inverclyde Council. Have to say that my fondest memories have to be in the music department - the dungeon was great!  New building was good as well though only had it for part our final year there.  Going by the photos looks like all our old teachers are gone. Anyone know what happened to Mr Muldoon and his crossbow?

Hope all are well. Colin Wilson


 It was a very pleasant surprise to receive an e-mail on Tuesday from  poet, dramatist and former pupil Stewart Conn.  "I've enjoyed looking at  the Academy website, on which it is nice to be among - and a privilege  to rub shoulders with - other former pupils, far more distinguished than  I am." Stewart was kind enough to provide us with some recent news  and some additional information about himself which we have used to  update his page on KA Web. He has also agreed to us including some  brief extracts of his work on KA Web (coming soon).

 To view Stewart Conn's updated page click here.

 THE GOLDBERRY MAGAZINE - CAN YOU HELP?               March 09

 Do any former pupils or staff out there know if the Gold Berry was  published during the following years? 1976/77/78/79, 1985/86/87,  1990/91/92.

 These gaps within the archives have
come to light because of an  enquiry from a lady concerning her son, a former 1st XV Rugby captain.  She was looking for a team photo for part of her son's birthday  celebrations. Unfortunately, there is no Gold Berry in the archives for  the year concerned and we don't actually know if the magazine was  published in the years listed above. If you have any information or,  even better, any actual Goldberry magazines for the years listed then  please get in touch.

Class 1A1
Kilmarnock Academy

 JAMES DEMPSIE BURNIE - PICTURED IN 1923                       March 09

 Back in November, Noreen Burnie Finch sent us a photograph of her  father at Kilmarnock Academy along with an e-mail:

 I thought you might like this for your archives.  I wonder do you keep  an archive, have any old records survived.?  I would be pleased to  hear so I might ensure the orginal picture goes back home to Scotland  from Suffolk.

 The original picture, not surprisingly, had some damage (click here). We  have now done a bit of restoration on the original scan and you can  view the full-size, cleaned-up version by clicking on the picture on the  left. Noreen's  father is in the centre of the third row down.

I only attended Kilmarnock Academy for 2 years as I came from Stewarton and in 1978 Stewarton High School only went up to 4th Year. Any pupils wishing to stay on for 5th and 6th Year Studies had to travel to Kilmarnock Academy. In comparison to Stewarton High School the Academy was HUGE and I thought I would never find my way to the appropriate classes!

My short stay at Kilmarnock Academy was great fun though as I made lots of new friends and the teachers made everything seem so interesting. I had already met Mr I’Anson the Maths Teacher while on a short holiday in Arran a year or two before and he recognised me when I started the Academy – how he remembered my face with so many every day I will never know!

I attended a Parents Night with my sister many many years later and Mr Frank Donnelly, who was still Rector at the Academy, asked for former pupils to put their hands up. Of course I never put my hand up as I thought attending for only 2 years I didn’t really qualify – well Mr Donnelly stared straight at me in the large crowd of parents and my hand shot up! I felt like a pupil all over again!

After over 15 years working as a Legal Secretary in various solicitors offices in Glasgow, I eventually became a Foster Carer and now have my own website which is based in Kilmarnock but seems to be growing every day! I was recently allowed on to the Tower at the Academy to take some pictures and video of Kilmarnock and these are now all on URsTV. Many thanks to Mrs Carole Ford for allowing me access and to Mr Stephen King for a tour of the library.

Kilmarnock Academy’s website is absolutely fantastic – well done to all!

Moira Heron (nee Archibald)


 When he received the Nobel prize for medicine in 1945, with Howard  Florey and Ernest Chain, the scientists who worked on the development  of penicillin as a drug, Fleming told the audience: “The time may come  when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. Then there is  the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and, by  exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug, make them  resistant.” To read Richard Wilson's piece from the Sunday Times on  "Fleming's Legacy at Risk..." click here.


 Given that, for some time now, Hemitage Academy has enjoyed the  reputation of being one of the top schools in Scotland, it's interesting  to note that Alexander Cumming, who was Head Teacher at Hermitage  from 1913 to  1926, moved to become Kilmarnock Academy's Head  Teacher in 1926. To understand the attraction of Kilmarnock Academy  in those days and get an idea of why it has built up such a formidable  reputation over the years click here.

 To check out Hermitage Academy's website click here.


 Good Afternoon, I'm Bill McClung (once known as William), one of the  globe-trotting former pupils you refer to, having left KA in 1965 - I now  reside in Oak Park, IL (Illinois) USA... which is famous for some of it's  (former) sons and residents... namely:

 Frank LLoyd Wright - Architecht
 Ernest Hemingway - Author
 Edgar Rice Burroughs - Author
 Dan Castellaneta -  Actor  (best know as the voice of Homer Simpson of "The Simpsons"

 But few folk in Ayrshire will know Oak Park - so we just say Chicago -  although technically we are outside the city limits and are the first  suburb west of the city. (To read on click here.)
 To see Bill being interviewed at work click here.

 REQUEST FROM FIONA ADDLETON (RIACH)                         March 09

 Hi, I am a former KA pupil, having attended the school from 1968-73.  On leaving, I went to Craigie College, Ayr and did a B.Ed in conjunction  with Strathclyde University. After teaching in the Highlands for five  years, I was lucky enough to get a job teaching in the British School in  Islamabad, Pakistan, where I met my husband who is an American  diplomat working in development with the United States Agency for  Intenational Development. Since then I have only returned to Scotland  on vacation and have lived .... (To read on click here.)



 In the course of researching material for this website, I came across an  interesting line in an obituary for former pupil, Jimmy Knapp, taken from  The Independent newspaper. In the report it states that after  attending "Halford" primary school, Jimmy Knapp went on to have an  undistinguished career "at the then excellent Kilmarnock Academy".

 Mrs Ford, in case you want to defend the honour of 21st century KA  and take the author to task - the piece was written by the then  excellent MP, Tam Dalyell, a man known for his forthright expression of  controversial opinions. (To read Jimmy Knapp's obituary click here.)


 Did you know that Kilmarnock Academy has educated three Church of  Scotland Moderators?

 The election, last November, of the Rev William Hewitt as Moderator  Designate of the General Assembly means that the church’s top job has  gone to a former KA pupil for the third time in less than a decade.

 The Rev John Miller held the post in 2001, the year after the Rev  Andrew McLellan, who went on to become Scotland’s inspector of  prisons. (To read more click here.)


 Former Kilmarnock Academy pupil, Dr Nicol Peacock is to be added to  our Famous Former Pupils section. Dr Peacock, who died July 19th  2008, was born in Darvel on February 7th 1931 where he started his  education before moving up to Kilmarnock Academy and then Glasgow  University, where he graduated in Physics. Dr Peacock was a pioneering  nuclear physicist who spent his life researching nuclear fusion, the  technology that offers the potential for renewable green energy.
 When he died last year, his obituary appeared in The Times, The  Guardian and The Herald.

Adam Ingram     


Did you know that MSPs Adam Ingram and Murray Tosh are both former pupils of Kilmarnock Academy? Find out more about them by clicking here.

If you know of any other famous or successful former pupils of KA who don't feature on our site, then please get in touch and tell us about them.

Murray Tosh


Lieutenant General Bob Menzies was the United Kingdom’s Surgeon  General, the professional head of the Medical Services of the Royal  Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force, based in the Ministry of  Defence in London. General Menzies was born in Glasgow and attended  Kilmarnock Academy from 1956 to 1961.

 In 1987, he was one of two pathologists who undertook the post  mortem examination of Hitler’s Deputy, Rudolph Hess. To find out more  of the fascinating story of his life and career click here.


 I'm in the process of researching my family history and understand that  my grandfather's twin brother JAMES LYLE, 8 Wallace Street,  Kilmarnock was a one time Principal Art teacher at the Academy. He  died on 28th February 1955, so his tenure would be prior to this. James  Lyle was apparently instrumental in the development of Robert  Colquhoun's artistic talents. (I note he is one of your famous former  pupils). Any additional history you may have regarding James Lyle -  even some form of obituary - would be of great interest, and ultimately  any photographs of James Lyle would be the icing on the cake. (click)

 FROM TOM BRUNTON                                                       December 08
To the principal,staff and students of Kilmarnock Academy:

What a delight it was cruising across the internet to come across the website of the Kilmarnock Academy's proud legacy of former students - servicemen and women of WW1 and WW2. It is beautifully done , and most impressive to me. I am originally from Hilton of Cadboll and had four family members lost in the 2 World Wars , 3 MacAngus men and one Tarrel , my mom's cousin , her brother , and the brothers of both my grandmother and grandfather. My grandmothers other brother was a Black  Watch Lt. wounded in action who recovered and became a headmaster at schools in Tarland, Aberdeenshire, and Portmahomack, Fearn, Ross-shire. (To read more, click here)

SIOBHAN BECK - YES WE STILL HAVE THAT PICTURE!                                                              December 08

It was good to hear from former pupil Siobhan Beck who painted the Kilmarnock mural in Mr Dickson's room, way back in 2000. The mural is still adding some colour and style to Mr Dickson's lessons and many pupils still ask about the artist and the contents of the picture. The mural featured in The Scotsman and also made the front page of the more prestigious Kilmarnock Standard click here.

To find out what Siobhan is up to these days click here.


 My father was James Dempsey Burnie, he is in the center of the 3rd  row down. I thought you might like this for your archives. 

 I wonder do you keep an archive, have any old records survived.?  I  would be pleased to hear so I might ensure the orginal picture goes  back home to Scotland from Suffolk. 
 Noreen Burnie Finch

DANIELLE McKENZIE SAYS 'HI!'                                                                                                   October 08

Hi To all,
I dont know if you will remember me but I was flicking through the website and it's looking great - except the picture of me playing my clarinet. I remember that day I was practising for my exam and Mr McIlvanney popped his head round with the camera!
Just thought I would pop by and leave a wee e-mail to say thanks for putting up with me - don't know how you did, lol. I am now working in beechams catering department and loving it. I am starting management training soon and can't wait.
My wee sister is now at kilmarnock academy and she says it's great. All my best memories are there from young life and I would do it again if I could - but actually do the work this time.
Say hi to Mrs Timmons for me - one of the teachers I remember the most - and my computing teacher Miss Wilson but I dont think she is there now.
Thanks for all your support - I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for my techers at Kilmarnock Academy.
Danielle Mackenzie (2000-2004)

WORDS OF WISDOM - HOLLY STRAIN                                                                                        October 08

Alright teachers,
I'm doing my HND Photography & Digital Imaging now at a young seventeen years old. I'm also on chapter thirteen of my own novel, which I hope to have published someday, and in the coming years, after I sit my HND, I'm hoping to move to either Yokohama or Tokyo. I just want to say that I couldn't have gotten where I am today without the help and advice of my teachers. In particular, Mr Rigg, my guidance teacher who seemed to have endless amounts of patience.
I want to mention Mrs Ogg, Mr Reidford, Ms Fullerton and Mrs Lightbown in particular. All of my teachers have helped me throughout the years, but they're the ones who come to mind. I didn't always get on with some of you, but you each inspired me in different ways, and helped push me forward.
It actually saddens me when I see my friends who are still at school always complaining about how much they hate it and want to leave. It didn't take me long to realise that your school days are the best days of your teenage years. I have one friend in particular who has no respect for education, and it's sad to say, but if you don't stick in at school and try your best, you're limiting your chances of being successful in later life. I learnt that the hard way when I got my standard grade results through. While I did mostly well, I realised that there were two subjects in particular I could have tried much harder at. I knuckled down in 5th year, and after an art portfolio course, I got into an HND. I'm doing something I thoroughly enjoy and without education, I wouldn't be where I am.
I don't know what I'm trying to say here. I just want all the pupils who don't take school seriously and think they 'hate' their teachers to listen to me. I see it too often, young kids who go out and get drunk, and don't give a damn about schoolwork. Most of them are setting themselves back for the future. I'm not speaking as someone who used to go on like that, I'm speaking as someone who's had friends like that, and I've watched them fall further and further behind in coursework, and really regret it afterwards.
Education is one of the most imporant things in life. It's all good to say you can go and resit everything at college, but why resit when you could maybe have passed first time? College is fine, but there's something special about your school days that you can only really appreciate when you've left and moved on.
I just hope that some of you will read this and have a think, and then try a little bit harder.

 HI, FROM STUART GALLACHER IN THE USA                     October 08

"Hey, just a quick e-mail to let you know that I am having an awesome  time out here in the U.S.A. The basketball is going well along with my  subjects and I am enjoying the American life style of eating, sleeping  and playing sports.

 Yours faithfully, Stuart Gallacher"

 Stuart, an extremely talented sportsman & a gifted musician, is one of   the good guys and we wish him well!

"A WONDERFUL SCHOOL!" - LILLIAN McGHIE                                                                            October 08

Ah! the wonderful memories of Kilmarnock Academy. Our family did not have much which was the way of many in the early 70's but the camaraderie at Kilmarnock Academy helped diminish any shortcomings we may have had.  I am Lillian McGhie (Doran) and enjoyed my time at the great school with many many friends. Starting out with Mr. James Hyslop and advancing to Mr. Frank Donnelly, with very fond memories of all the teaching staff.

I am now the owner of an environmental air pollution control company based in St. Catharines Ontario Canada and have a wonderfully talented 16 year old daughter.  I did travel to Kilmarnock on a regular basis before the passing of my parents and always made that nostalgic stop at the Old School. Sad to see the apartments as we had so much fun in the Music department down there.  I could go on forever, but to all of the Students today enjoy our wonderful school. It was a pleasure and a wonderful honour to have attended such a grand institution.

Fond memories of Mrs Torrance who forced me to improve those office skills that I still use today in my own business.
Lillian J. McGhie


Click on the maps below to see what Kilmarnock was like in days gone by.


Does any one else remember July 1953, for some of us our last day at the Academy, when we lifted the Tech. Master's Austin Seven on to the half-landing, and quietly dispersed?

As a memento I had just had this photo taken of me on the steps, when someone had the bright idea of lifting the car on to the half-landing just inside the door. There was no shortage of willing helpers, and it only took a couple of minutes.

The master took it in good part. We generously volunteered to lift it back down, and he had us "volunteer" to give it a wash to remove the mass of sticky fingerprints. The photo shows him supervising our efforts.

Jimmy Murray.

Wed, 27th August 2008                            " Hello!"                                    from Gillian Stewart

As a former pupil of the school I was having a look at the website to see what had changed over the last 7 years. One thing I had picked up on was the amount of new staff.

I would like to see a section dedicated to teachers past and present. Im sure it would refresh a few memories and also commemorate those who are sadly no longer with us. Including Mr Allardyce who recently passed away.

The school photo album is a good idea, I would love to see more pictures from the past including ones from the time I was a student.

Kind regards

Gillian Stewart

Mon, 25th August 2008                            " Hello!"                               from Jimmy Murray

Does any one else remember July 1953, for some of us our last day at the Academy, when we lifted the Tech. Master's Austin Seven on to the half-landing, and quietly dispersed?
As a memento I had just had this photo taken of me on the steps, when someone had the bright idea of lifting the car on to the half-landing just inside the door. There was no shortage of willing helpers, and it only took a couple of minutes.
The master took it in good part. We generously volunteered to lift it back down, and he had us "volunteer" to give it a wash to remove the mass of sticky fingerprints. The photo shows him supervising our efforts.

Jimmy Murray.

Sun, 10th August 2008                            " Hello from Ajax, Ontario!"                 from Henry McCulloch

Dear Sir,

My name is Henry McCulloch and I attended the school from 1952 to 1955.I now live in Ajax,Ontario,Canada. Shortly after leaving school I joined the Scots Guards for three years.On leaving the army I became a member of the City of Glasgow Police. I remained there for five years before coming to Toronto where I served a further 30 years in the police dept.I am now enjoying my retirement

I have fond memories of Kilmarnock Academy,one which is quite amusing. Killie Football club was playing Rangers in a replay of a Scottish cup and it happened to be at Ibrox on a wednesday afternoon.Of course I played truant that day as any Killie fan would do.My Mum refused to give me a sick note when I went back on Thursday.

I knew I was in for six of the best from Mr. McIntyre and I wasn't looking forward to that. Imagine my surprise when I was caled to the office Mr McKerchar(our art teacher) was acting rector that day I confessed to Mr.Mckerchar that yes I was guilty of going to support Killie.He gave me a lecture,but asked if was a good game.He then admonished me and told me "if anyone asks I gave you six of the best"

Art teachers were different from all the other academic teachers.It was my lucky day that the rector was away on business and left Mr.McKerchar to deal with me.

I am looking forward to reading former readers letters and I hope that I read about someone from my class. Teachers I remember were English,Mr Brown. Gym,Mr Cochrane.Music,Mr.Cleland.There weren't too many female teachers in those days.

Thank you for your time.

yours truly H.McCulloch


Wed, 6th August 2008                            " Hello!"                                from Ainsley Rae
Hey there Ka!
I just randomly googled Kilmarnock Academy,and well,well,well!
I was a pupil in 1995-2000
It was good to see some of the familiar faces,I'm sad not to see some of my old teachers........:(
Mr Kleboe (Art)
Mrs Sutherland (English)
Mrs Porter (H.e)
Mr Dick (History)
Have they retired,or have they gone to a better place?
By the way! The name is Ainsley Rae
I have found some old school friends on bebo,but if you don't recognize the name, my mug deffinatley will!
Take care


Mon, 14th July 2008                            " Hello from Orkney!"                                    from Lyndsay Jess

Hi Mr McIlvanney,
Like Kirsteen Wright (below) I spent most of my Killie Academy years annoying the hell out of Mr Rigg and Mr Wylie but that was only because the art department was the best ever at providing us budding artists with words of enthusiasm and encouragement…and workshops at the Dick. For the last three years I have been working at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff however, I am about to embark on a new journey as Collections and Exhibitions Assistant at the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney at the end of the month…stopping off at Killie on my way there in order to visit my friends at the Dick, see the sights of Hurlford (family) and, more importantly, do some last minute shopping in Topshop - apparently there are no shops in Orkney, Eek! :-). Please say hi to Mr Rigg from me and send him my very best wishes.
Lyndsay (Jess) (1988-94)

Mon, 28th April 2008                            " Hello from Australia!"                                    from Kris Duthie

Hello my name is Christopher Duthie.

I attended Kilmarnock Academy for the years 2002-2005, and before that was in Loanhead Primary, just down the road. After I left in third year I moved up to Glasgow and spent a year in Linwood High schoo,l near Paisley. After that I moved to Australia, to the suprise of all my friends, as the friends I had down in Kilmarnock have been told for many years that I was moving to Australia (since primary 2 I have said that) and I'm sure they stopped believing it. Well I have been in Australia for 2 years now, and it's a better  lifestyle than the one I had. I'm currently joining the Australian Army and have done all of the testing to get in.

If you do receive this e-mail, I was just wondering if you could do me a small favour: a small shout out in the morning bulletin for the 6th years who were my class mates - just to let them know I'm doing well in Australia and I am joining the army, which is funny as most of them guessed I would be involved in the world of war, due to my personality of always looking for the next challenge.

If you are interested in my favourite teachers, they were Mr. McIlvanney from the English Department (If he doesn't remember me, then tell him to cast his mind back to when I tried to steal his children's toy chute out of his back garden), Mrs Hogg and Mrs Ogg from Biology and Mrs McKenzie from the French Department. They were the teachers who put up with me the most, and the classes I enjoyed the most.

Thanks and just please if you could could give me that mention I would be extremely happy. Also, if Mr McIlvanney agrees to it, could I have e-mail addresses for him and the other teachers I have mentioned, as I would like to stay in contact with them,

yours sincerely

Christopher William Duthie.

G'day Mr McIlvanney,

My name is Christopher Duthie, How I remember your Classes. Standard Grade English at it's best I reckon, I was also in your roll group, If you don't remember me cast your mind back to the day I tried to nick your chute out your backdoor, but how we had a laugh at that when it was over. I used to sit next to Dean Prentice and talk for the entire lesson. Well now I have moved onto Greener pastures like the ones in Australia. I live in Queensland, a place called the sunshine coast, and I am currently joining the Australian Army which won't be a suprise to a few folk back in Killie as my old art teacher used to say that he wouldn't be suprised if I was on the news for some terror scare. Well last night we watched the last game between Celtic and Rangers 3-2 - I was not happy as I'm a Rangers fan. Well your lessons taught me a lot and you were by far one of my favourite teachers thanks a lot.

Yours sincerely

Christopher William Duthie

Mon, 21st April 2008                            " Hello from Germany!"                 from Graham Stuart Brown

Dear Sir, Madam,

I was a pupil in Kilmarnock Acadamy from around 1974 to 1980 before I moved down to the South Coast of England, I have been living in Germany now since 1984 as I came over with the Royal Engineers. I have been living here since 1991 private and  am a Draughtsman for a World Concern. I live in a small village with the name Harsewinkel in the County Gütersloh. I am married and have three children. I speak fluent German, to be honest I now speak better German as English.

In best memories
Graham Stuart Brown

Mon, 7th April 2008                            " Hello from South Africa!"                          from Brother Andrew

Hello I am Jim Colquhoun - now Brother Andrew of the Order of the Holy Cross.  I left KA in 1951 in the middle of my 3rd year when my Mother took me to the US.  It was my first school and I truly missed it. It's great to see the website and to know that the good traditions are continuing. As you see I now live in South Africa where I am a member of a Benedictine community in the Anglican Communion.  My community is very much involved in trying to help the local Xhosa young people get a decent education - a difficult job here in the Eastern Cape. Keep up the good work! Brother Andrew, OHC

Wed, 26th March 2008                               " Hello from Ayr!"                                      from Jim Gilmour

Student at Academy 1936 - 1944, downloading my rugby photos, including one of Kilmarnock team 46-47, I note that I appear in three consecutive pictures. My question is:- is this something unusual? I also have  Cadet photos and wonder if you would like copies. Dr. James Gilmour 29 Doonholm Road, Ayr, KA7 4QU DOB 15/11.1926 I attach the last of my team photos/

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Sun, 20th January 2008                         " Hello from Canada!"                             from Robert Ireland

Hello Neil McIlvanney

I never attended K A alas I know a good few who did. Ricardo Ferguson your goalie in your Photo. Michael Dodds to the left of Ricardo. Front row, I think it's William Law 2nd from the right. We all attended Shortless Primary. Also held a couple of cups in the year 1968, League Cup & Dunlop Trophy.

Most of your football team in the former pupils/could be you/section I recall your & their faces and recall talking to some them & playing against some of you guys also. The guy next to M.Dodds he was a easy going guy. Girl wise I recall only two girls in your photos alas I never knew them anyway. Ricardo still in Killie ?  Two brothers & a sister. Micheal  in Canada ? twin sister Janice in Aus married Graham Andrews? Wullie I just dont know -  brother  Adam?  I'll throw a few names at you see if you can help. Jean Millar / Grace Plenderleaf / Derek Stevenson/ Charles George/ Brain Hill/ Andrew Drew ?/ Gordon Smith/ Ann Howie/ Ella Rankin/ Ann Hunter ?/ David Davidson ?/ Alex Rodgers ??(M) / Bruce King. My nickname was " Irish " or wee man. 1970 Brodie Cup with Shortlees Secondary. Then on to Ayr Technical College at which I had a great time also. Then the world.   I own my own small business here in Canada and do high end decoration. Here's a company that I've done work for in the past they would like myself to go to the middle East. I said no....... if you could fill in the blanks if possible. Some names just maybe not quite right. Plus a few may have gone to James Hamilton. 

P.S. I love what I do, the people I've met & I still have the passion for it just like yourself.  OH yeah ! Have you hung up your boots? Great things in this site. Congratulations to you & all involved.

Robert Ireland "Irish"


Sun, 30th December 2007                   " Hello from Chicago!"                           from Elaine McCulloch

It's been almost a year since I wrote my last blog from the states and so much has happened I felt an update was necessary. I now work with the University of Chicago at the Center for Urban School Improvement. I teach PE and Wellness (Health) to over 320 students. I also moved to a wonderful new home close to downtown Chicago and more importantly close to school! The best part about my new home is the British Bar around the corner owned by a Celtic fan that shows all Scottish games so I can keep up with good old Killie, which is great no matter how bad they play!

Despite two major sports injuries this year (fractured elbow March thru May and fractured ankle August thru November) I have found two great teams to play Volleyball and Football with. So that keeps me out of trouble for the most part. I have also been lucky to be involved with the Olympic Development program for Soccer (Footie) and the University of Illinois for Volleyball development.

So all in all it was an eventful 2007 and I am hopeful 2008 will be the same minus the injuries! :)
All the best for 2008!




Tues, 18th December 2007                   " Hello from Glasgow!"                           from Malcolm Fulton

Just had to say that I think the website is fantastic! I was a pupil mid to late 80's. Flicking through some of the pics was great . I never realised that Andy Taylor could juggle (I always thought he just threw things!). It's frightening how time passes so quickly. Fond memories though!

Kind regards,

Malcolm Fulton.

Good to hear from you Malcolm - I remember you well ...and only for very positive reasons! I noted from the job title on your e-mail that you are doing well and that's good to know. Enjoy your Christmas break and have a good New Year.

Neil McIlvanney

Thurs, 8th November 2007                   " Hello from Tennessee!"              from John Y Pollock (Jack)

I attended K.A. 1947-50-- 4th. 5th. and 6th. years. Went to Glasgow Vet. School, in 1955. Have worked in various locations in the U.K., Canada and U.S. Now located in Tennessee.

I am particularly interested in finding out if anyone has a photograph of the football team which won the Kilmarnock and District Cup (under 15) in 1947 (or was it early 48?)  Yes,there actually was a football team that year, though only that one year as I recollect, rugby and cricket being the 'in' sports then. We beat St. Joseph's and James Hamilton, which in itself was apparently quite an achievement for a gather-up of guys who had never played together. The moving spirits behind the team were Bob (Bunny) Austin and Bob Richardson. The final was played at Rugby Park-- a tremendous thrill for us all, and one of my lasting memories as I played there was looking up into the terracing and seeing Tommy Laing cheering us on!!  Our prize for winning (apart from the Cup), was a Biro ballpoint pen,-- the latest invention, and I think the runners-up got a conventional pen, which I'm sure outlasted the Biro.

Anyway, if anyone still has such a photo, I'd be happy to pay for a copy!

Members of the team: Kerr, Fulton, Pollock, McNeil, Gregg, Lyons, Thom, Hinds, Highet, McFadyen, Scott.

I know I've missed one name-- my apologies. Would be delighted to hear from any of the above.

Great work you're doing-- keep it up.

John Y. Pollock. (Jack).

Further to my communication of yesterday-- a couple of things:  

1.  The name I had forgotten was Gould or possibly Gold.  

2.  The last name on the list was not Scott but Smith.   Wonderful what a good night's sleep can do for your memory!!!

Jack Pollock.

Thanks for e-mailing us, Jack - it's good to hear from a football man. I'll check and see if there are any photos of your cup-winning team in the school archive and if anyone out there who reads this was a member of the team (or even a supporter) then hopefully they'll get in touch.

Neil McIlvanney

Wed, 24th October 2007                       " Hello from Abu Dhabi!"                    from Graeme C Stewart

Goodness me, how far some people have traveled.  I left KA in 1993 with a lot of fond memories.  I studied Mechanical Engineering, graduating with a BSc then BEng(Hons), some of the teachers may need reviving now thinking, “How the heck did he do that”.  Well a lot has happened in my life in the last 14 years, but I'll not whiter on about my personal life.  I've worked for some large consultancies on major buildings throughout the world, although always based at a desk in Edinburgh .  I moved to Edinburgh after graduation and stayed there for a number of years.  Anyway I'm now living in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates , working on the world's first Ferrari Theme Park , nice work, very trying, but hard, 14 hour days fronting up the design being carried out in London .  The life out here is good, it's a work-hard-play-hard attitude and the team out here certainly knows how to do that.

I hope that everyone is well back in Killie, for those who have stayed; pride of place in my wardrobe is a Kilmarnock Football top from last season, just to remind me of home.

Graeme C Stewart

Thanks for e-mailing us, Graeme and my apologies for the delay in posting your message - I've been adding a really big section to the website (click here to check it out).

It's good to hear that these days, as well as working hard, you're managing to find the the time to enjoy yourself. I've never been to Abu Dhabi but, from what I've heard, it seems to be a great place to spend your play time - a lot better than the playground outside the Old Academy.

Neil McIlvanney


Thurs, 27th September 2007                         " Hello from Killie!"                       from Sandra Dowson

This is a really good website.  Thanks for setting it up.

As my subject says Im still living in sunny Killie in my own flat.  Since leaving school I worked in the leisure industry starting off in the Galleon then moving to north ayrshire, then to Fitness First in Killie then moving up the the big smoke of Glasgow.  I have now changed and I have been a Police Officer for a year now working the streets of Govan.  So if anyone is up at the football at Ibrox or Hampden and see me please come over and say hi, I would love to see you. 

My older Brother went to Killie Academy Russell Dowson he is now living in Boston USA with his wife Natalie and 3 children Brionni (7) and 3 year old twin boys Mackinley and Bailey.  Natalie is currently expecting their 4th child due in March 2008 (Aunty Sandra cant wait)

Thanks for all the memories of school.

Sandra D 

Thanks for e-mailing us, Sandra. It's good to hear that you've moved on from the leisure industry (I seem to recall that, in class, leisure was always your thing) and that you're now doing well, upholding the law on the streets of Govan (Neds BEWARE! It doesn't come across in the above e-mail, but Sandra has a fiery side to her character).

Neil McIlvanney

PS I hope you have lost none of your great accent.


Sun, 23rd September 2007                         " Hello from ................? "                from Alan Mathews

Came across your site today and to my horror realized that I actually left KA in 1975.

I have now done many careers including H M Forces and I am now enjoying retirement.

Alan (Broads) Matthews

Thanks for e-mailing us, Alan. It's good to hear that you're enjoying retirement. The fact that you left in 1975 means that you may recognise some of the faces here and here.

Neil McIlvanney

Sat, 22nd September 2007                         " Hello from Hampshire"                   from David Torrance

From another old Academy pupil; David Torrance('Archie' in Academy days)

While messing around on my computer the other day, I came across the web site for Kilmarnock Academy and found it interesting to look back over so many years and to read some of the letters from a variety of old pupils - none of my ilk, unfortunately. One letter was of particular interest in raising my curiosity and that was the fact that the Art teacher at the Academy was, at one stage apparently, a Mr. Torrance. A co-incidence as I was an Art pupil in the '40's' but, as far as I am aware, there is no connection. Other names, which your web site brought back were Mr. Lyle(Art), Miss White(Geog) and, I think Mr.Craig, or was it Mr.Wallace,(Latin). I also recall a Miss Cameron, I think, who drove a bull-nosed Morris/Austin - very old. She used to infuriate the microsoftScience master as the car needed cranking to start and he was regularly roped in for the task. When he had exhausted himself to no avail, Miss Cameron usually pulled out a long attachment on the dashboard, polished it with her hankie and then started the car!

I left The Academy in early 1949 to move to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where I remained for the next 55 years until, for reasons which will be obvious today, my wife and I returned to Britain in 2005. We now live in Hampshire although it is my hope that, in the near future, we will be able to re-visit Scotland, which I have only seen twice in all these years - 1952 and 1998.

Records will probably show that I left school halfway through writing the SLC and thus had no school qualification to my name when I arrived in Rhodesia I knew that my parents were in the process of emigrating as my father had already gone to Australia but I was as surprised as anyone when I was told the big day had arrived and I was leaving for Rhodesia.(The complexities of the Australia/Rhodesia connection are irrelevant). My arrival in Rhodesia without educational qualifications might have presented difficulties in relation to my gaining employment but, fortunately for me, the education authorities in Rhodesia were well aware of the high standards attached to the Scottish education system (the then Secretary for Education and a number of his senior officials were themselves Scots), and my lack of formal qualification was quickly rectified by a letter from them which was accepted and I was, in fact, able to start work in the Department of Education. To cut a long story short, my career around the Public Service proceeded to the point where I became the Chief Public Service Inspector and, later, Under Secretary for Education, from which position I retired in 1982 shortly after the country gained its 'Independence'. I then entered the private sector and, shortly, became Chief Executive of the National Council until 1995, when I retired for the last time. Now that I have found the web site, I intend to read it from time to time.

Finally and on a point of clarification, I was known as 'Archie' (my first name) while at the Academy but, both before and after that time, I have always been known as 'David'. I hope I haven't been too boring

Regards, David Torrance

Mon, 17th September 2007                              " Happy Birthday!"                              

 Former pupil, Andrea Barclay, celebrated her  thirtieth birthday with family and friends at The  Jefferson Restaurant in Kilmarnock on Saturday  night.

 Andrea, an outstanding member of our class of '95,  chose to do the hardest job of all (teaching) when  she moved on from K.A. and now lives and works  through on the East coast. She has been teaching  for the last six years and works at Eyemouth High  School.
(And she really hasn't changed much from  the 1995 yearbook picture on the left.)

Fri, 31st August 2007                              " Hello from Erskine!"                               from Lauren Logan


We recently received the following e-mail from former pupil, Lauren Logan:

Dear All

Just been checking out your website. How wonderful! Brought back some lovely memories.
My fondest memories of Kilmarnock Academy would have to be of good old Mr McIlvanney! Standard grade English was very enlightening and helped me to discover a love of writing and poetry.
Now as a busy Mum of three I don't often find the time to be creative but one day I hope to write a children's book so watch this space!
Thanks for the good times and your dedication to educating the future generations! You will aways have a special place in my heart.

Lauren Logan

Hi Lauren

"Good old Mr McIlvanney" here. In order to avoid the obvious accusations that the above e-mail was actually sent in by my mother, I have included the picture you attached, of you and your husband Michael.

Thanks for getting in touch and for saying such nice things. It's good to hear that you are a busy mum of three and that you're doing well. I hope that you manage to make a start to that children's book some time soon. Keep us posted.

Tues, 3rd July 2007                              " Hello from Tokyo!"                                   from Kirsteen Wright


I'm sitting here at my computer in work in Tokyo just browsing and passing the time. Your website brings back memories. I think I spent most of my Kilmarnock Academy life in the art room which was a great place to be creative and the teachers were great just letting us hang out and do whatever we wanted or need to do (Mr Rigg, Mr Wylie and Mr McGarry). I've been in Tokyo for two years and work as a graphic designer so it all did me well in the end. Coming back to Britain in September and looking forward to it. I'll keep checking back to pass the long working hours away...

Kirsteen Wright (1988-94)

Thanks for e-mailing us, Kirsteen. It's good to hear that the education you gained at K.A. has acted as a passport to exotic places. I've never been to Tokyo but I'm sure it will at least match the Burns Mall for culture and excitement.

Mr Wylie left a few years back to paint full time and he is doing very well - I spoke to him last week at Mr Stewart's retiral celebration and he was looking well and enjoying what he does now(click here). Mr McGarry has retired and is off climbing hills but Mr Rigg is still at K.A. - the same hairstyle... only a little greyer (actually a lot greyer), the same beard.... only a little longer, and the same bit of ham sandwich still stuck in it. However, if you want to see how cool he looks at the weekends, then click here and scroll down till you see Eddie Van Rigg.

Drop in and visit us when you are home in September.

Neil McIlvanney

Thurs, 28th June 2007                              " Hello from Killie!"                                      from Elinor Kerr


Love your idea/web. Found it when looking for something else in killie! was a former pupil. A long time ago.

Elinor Kerr

Thanks for e-mailing us, Elinor. It's always good to get positive feedback on KA Web.

You'll be glad to know that I managed to find a picture of you from the good old days - taken way back when wood panelling was considered to be chic - especially in the Wee Thack. I'm not sure that you were old enough to be in a pub when this picture was taken but I think the Statute of Limitations means that you can no longer be prosecuted for drinking that Barr's shandy.

Neil McIlvanney

Thurs, 28th June 2007                           " Hello from ...the past "                   from Clifford G McMullan

Hi there,

Just browsing the KA web site and found this picture. Back row 3rd from the right is Duncan Mclean (now a solicitor with office in John Finnie street) Front row 2nd from left I am pretty sure is Neil McIlvanney (aka "Muckle"). I think the photo was taken around 1972/73 (3rd/4th year) Most of the faces are familiar however I cannot put names to them. perhaps if I dig out my old yearbook it would help get the old grey cells working again.

Interesting site - brought back memories.


Clifford G McMullan

Thanks for getting in touch, Clifford. Your information regarding the picture is pretty accurate. You'll be excited to find out that there is even a picture of you on our site. The whole picture is here but I have put you on the right, as you were in sixth year at school. As I haven't seen you since, I have used the latest CSI photo-ageing software to predict what you might look like now and have included that picture next to the one of you as a lad.

By the way, do you still have that old, beat-up, orange Mini 1000? - you know, the one that could do reverse......


Clifford as he looked back in the old days

Clifford as he may look some thirty years on.

Fri, 16 March 2007                             " Hello from Oslo, Norway "                                  from Scott Bell

hey guys!

nice to see everyone is still smiling in K.A.! well im now over in oslo dancing on a cruise! workin hard for once ! hope everyone is well!

all the best

Scot Bell xx

Good to hear from you Scot and I'm glad you're doing what you like to do - sounds great. Apologies for the long delay in posting your e-mail but I had misplaced it in the wrong folder.

Neil McIlvanney

Thurs, 8 March 2007              " Hello Gerry Greensmith - from Vichy "                      from Gail Davies

Hi, Gerry,

just got your message and was very pleased to hear from you. My brother Sam is in Liverpool, my brother William in Monaco and my little sister Sandra in Glasgow. My mum and Dad are in Kilmarnock, but my dad is disabled. You can write to me at

Hope to hear from you


Mon, 22nd January 2007                   " Hello from Algarve, Portugal!"                         from Peter Holt


Was just surfing around and came across this site and the various message boards.

My name is Peter Holt, I attended killie academy from 1982 to 1985, I lived in Kilmaurs and remember the sprints down to the bus station and the trip home fondly – a far cry from the lift to school every day kids get now…

I played a lot of rugby whilst at KA with Mr Bone (I believe) enjoying my time there immensely, from memory we had quite a good team only disrupted by coal and teachers strikes so we used to go and train/play for Kilmarnocks youth team. I can also remember jogging down to the playing fields for PE, did I not read somewhere on here they get a bus now! Is that not a contradiction, getting a bus to and from physical education…. I do have some school rugby photos from that era if anyone is interested? Would love to know where people are now and how they are doing.

After leaving the killie area I was dragged around the highlands of Scotland by my folks for a few years, before finding myself in the prosperous south of England and becoming an IT contractor with my own company. Finally decided to leave England and could not persuade my wife to live in Scotland (far to wet) so we left the uk 3 years ago and now live with our 3 children in the Algarve, Portugal where I run another computer company.

Looking back at my time in Killie, I can honestly say I loved every minute of it, its strange whilst at school we could not wait to leave, once you do leave,  you realise that old saying thrown at you as a teenager that you would roll your eyes at, was actually correct “it's the best years of your life”.

Would love to hear from anyone that remembers me, drop me a line at



Mon, 8th January 2007                     " Hello from Brighton!"                      from Gerry Greensmith

In reply to the email from Gail Davies posted Sept 2006:

" Is that the Gail Davies brainy head from Crawfurdland Road ??? If it is, then hello from Gerry Greensmith former schoolmate at both Onthank Primary and KA! Remember your mate Fiona - wonder what ever happened to her? I'm now living in Brighton and have been there for the last 28 years so I'm now more English than Scottish (but my accent's about the same so people still have trouble understanding me). I'm currently one of the few people left in Manufacturing in the UK working as an Engineering Project manager for a Semiconductor equipment manufacturer. Like you I return to Killie (what the hell happened against Morton in the cup?) annually but now in Summer rather than the winter hogmanay expedition. I can never remember other former pupils or teachers (apart from Lochie Mann because he used to give me the strap!) so I'd like to hear from you to jog my memory before the alzheimers sets in. Oh - one other thing - my sisters - who all went to KA - Anne now lives in Ashbourne Derby with her family, Janette lives in Shortlees with her hubbie and Moira lives in Bonnyton with her family.


Gerry Greensmith

Wed, 3rd January 2007                   "Hello again from South Africa!"                   from Janie Henstock

Hey there - it's me again - Janie Henstock (Morris) , In my last mail I said I hadn't been back to Scotland since 1981- well , I DID IT , I came back ! I was there in July ( yep , while the World Cup was on ) and I came back to Kilmarnock . I stayed with my auntie & uncle and my big cuz , Gordon , took me on a trip WAY down memory lane. I lived in Bellfield and I've got a great pic of me outside my old house (who shrunk it ?!!).


Needless to say I took a few pics of The Academy. Hey , when did you sell off the old building at the bottom ? My 1Dundonald D register class was in that building , and so was my biology class ( I remember a whole bunch of us listening to Adam and the Ants/Madness/The Police in there! ). There was also a wee music room in that bldg where my friend Elizabeth and I cried together the day John Lennon was murdered . Music freaks we were , I still am !


I took a long long walk around Killie too - the cross , the station , the Grand Hall , the Dick ....I was SO surprised that after 25 years , I knew my way around . NOW I know what it is like to LEAVE your birthplace , and also what it is like to RETURN - both very very emotionally charged experiences. I got a wee bit of myself back again . THANKS KILLIE ! Cheerio JANIE

Mon, 6th November 2006                      " Hello from Derby!"                              from Billy Lennon

Hello Killie

Just sitting mucking about on the computer and put Kilmarnock Academy into google just to be nosey! My names Billy Lennon and I left back in 95 or there abouts. I now live in Derby where I have done for the past seven years with my Fiancée and 5 year old son Liam, who's a little belter. I've worked on the railway for ten years, working my way up to site manager position, so life's pretty good. Just wanted to say hello and that im impressed with the website. Noticed my wee cousin Steven has left a message, so if you see this get in touch. That goes for anyone else who wants to e-mail me! See ya Billy

Thurs, 26th October 2006                      " Hello from Canada!"                              from Daryn Bolland

Hello there my name is daryn bolland and i am sending this message to a mr Fyffe of the science department.if you can give him this message:hey there how you doin.if u dont remember me then i am the kid who moved to canada.hope you still remember me and if u could say a big hiya to all of my friends that were in my class.thank you and keep teaching well mr "james bond" haha. from Daryn bolland

Mon, 23rd October 2006                    " Hello from Kentucky!"             from Linda Sewell (nee Fisher)

hi there, i am a former pupil of ka, linda sewell nee fisher. left ka after my fifth year to go to edinburgh university, along with anne sime. now living in kentucky in the us for the last 30 years, working as a nurse practitioner in a rural health clinic, with master's and bachelor's degrees in nursing/science, a long way from my original interest in english and scottish literature and history! some of my co inmates from the day include elizabeth monroe, billy kay, bill campbell, frances abercromby, colin black. would love to hear from any/all of the above. i do visit family in the area about every year, will be in town first week of november. would love to know if there are any other sites or organizations, virtual or real, that re connect former pupils since i have has difficulty keeping up with most of my friends from the middle of the nowhere in the us! keep up the good work, i have tried to remember names of my former teachers and headmaster, but what comes to mind for the most part are the oftimes somewhat less than flattering nicknames! can you jog my memory...oh yeah, hislop aka the  "beak", there is a good start

Mon, 23rd October 2006                    " Hello from Weston, Florida!"                     from Jamie Ross

Neil: this is Jamie Ross now living in Weston, Florida, a western suburb of Fort Lauderdale - almost in the Everglades. I think it was 1972 that I left KA and went over to the Dick Institute for a while. Then I ended up on Arran for a few years where I met a man from Tennessee who helped me locate my mother in the USA who emigrated there in the fifties. I played some fitba with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, but that was short lived - I was on the KA team for a while too!

Since then I went back to college and graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1984 with degrees in Biology & Chemistry. I taught chemistry for a while but for the last twenty years I have been working in the personal care industry where I have held various senior technical positions. I have lived in Chattanooga and Memphis both in Tennessee, Woodstock in Connecticut and currently I am Vice President of Technical services with Solar Cosmetic Labs., Inc in Miami where we make sunscreens and creams and lotions for worldwide distribution. In fact Wal-Mart the worlds largest retailer is our number one customer. You can find products I formulated in your local ASDA store these days under the NO-AD brand of sunscreens. I hold a number of patents in this industry and often speak at conventions and shows. I am a single parent with an 18 year old daughter Heather was has just started college at Penn State in Pennsylvania.

My time at KA was not that fruitful academically, but I am rather sentimental and have recently hooked up via e-mail with two of my former classmates, Dougie Robb & John "Jock" Robertson, both still in Killie. Dougie and I were terrors at KA, he works for HP and Jock has a ophthalmologist business close to John Finney Street (sic)

However, there are a number of folks I wish I knew what happened to them, such as Jock Sim, Roy Gardener, Craig Kilpatrick, John Metcalf, Susan Templeton, Carol Moody and many others but most of all David Stewart who lived in Fenwick - and I lived in Stewarton. David's father ran a small tool & die shop either in Fenwick or Killie I can't remember which and he was rather well off - with a yacht moored at Fairlie that we used to take over to Milport or Cumbrae. David spent some time in Spain, but I think he wanted to head for the USA and particularly NY but I have not been in touch with him since I left Stewarton in the mid 1970's.

During my tenure I remember the HM as Mr. Hislop and a Mr. Ragg was his assistant I believe. Mr. Torrance was the Art Teacher and Mr. Beattie taught french(?). Other faces I can see but the names are gone - for now. 

There is a picture of the KA football team in the "It could be you" section of which I have an almost identical version taken probably one year later with me in the line up. I recognize the faces and I know some of the first names but other than that I'm foggy.

Would love to hear from some of the folks from my era - in fact the name Neil McIllvaney is rather familiar? Did you attend KA and if so when?

All the best,

Jamie S. Ross

Fri, 13th October 2006                            " Hello from Hamilton!"                           from David McGaw

hey all u guys in killie am know living in hamilton scotland and have been for over a year know and can u let all the staff know that i have stopped smoking hoping to start a new job soon bye for know


Mon, 2 October 2006                                " Hello from Killie!"                           from Kara Lou Ross

Sir Just a wee message to let you know that your website and time is appreciated although by the sounds of your memo on the site you are not being appreciated enough for your time effort. I first visited the website a few years ago and there were still pictures of pupils in the year above me on it! So no-one seemed to be taking any interest in it. My second visit to the website was through total boredom and I was very surprised to find it up to date and interesting. I have now visited it a few times just to take a nosey and see what's happening at my old school. So I felt quite annoyed to see that all your OWN time and effort had been taken for granted by some people at the school! I hope that any former pupils, teachers or nosey people like me will follow me and leave a message to let Mr McIlvanney know that his time, effort and commitment to the website is appreciated by many! Cheers Sir Your old cheeky pupil Kara Ross! Hope the spelling, punctuation and grammar are ok if not please let me know haha!! Once again cheers sir!

Sun, 24 September 2006                                " Hello from Killie!"                           from Julie Clemmy

Hi, just came across your website. Excellent. I attended KA from 1979-1984. First reg teacher was Mrs Millar, PE,though she was a miss at that point and i can't remember her maiden name. Was in Craigie which was notoriously bad in sport much to my disgust as i was a keen netball, volleyball player and sprinter. Can remember the "2 Suzannes"" ( Powell and Patterson) although they were the year above me and i wonder if the Craig Hanlon, who was the first to write to you, was the same boy i went to the Kilmarnock Harriers with? Can remember Miss Carey, the French teacher, who was terrifying, and Mrs Krestoff for history, who missed our ears by millimetres with the chalk duster if we didn't pay attention in class! Also memories of Mr McDonald, Crooks, Dick and Dickson and Miss McCollum, Mrs Patterson (fabulous teacher) and a crazy music teacher called Mr Walker ( i think). Dr Hamilton for science, strange fella, and a pink and black outfitted PE teacher either Bone or Park?  We had a wild "educational" history trip to France and Belgium in '81 or '82 and i recall Mr Dick being really exasparated with us on a daily basis! Not good for his BP and neither was his heavy smoking!  I am still living in Killie and working as a staff nurse tho' i trained in Paisley and lived there for about 6 years.  Ah, the heady heights! I have 2 children, 18 and 14 years. My daughter still attends the school. Would love to see some photos of that time as long as i'm not in them!  I thoroughly enjoyed my time at KA although i understand the "sheds" and the "dungeon" are no longer in existence, thank God, and i hope the discos are better!

Sun, 10 September 2006                                " Hello from Killie? "                              from Pamela Low

Hey guys,

Yea u better read it over twice because i know u wont believe its me. Pamela Lowe the trouble maker. Ha. Well since i left school in 2003 i have been working like a slave in all sorts of jobs, trying 2make up my mind what i actually want 2do. None really worth writing home about. Finally started new job doing home care which i am loving every minute of. I know u cant believe it me a caring person. Well just proves how much i have changed.

I want 2apologise 2 all the teachers lives i made a living hell through the yrs, Mr Murdoch, Mr Ramsay, Mr Howie, Mr Partridge, Mr Cowan, Mr Ferguson, Mr Reid, Mrs Auld(English) etc..... Too many 2mention. Ha. Guys i really am sorry. Just didnt know wen 2keep my mouth shut, did i? Think i should have received an award 4the most conduct card trips. Do u still do the conduct card thing or has it changed?

I actually did enjoy school hard 2belive i know bt u had nothing 2worry about. Then u leave and your left on your own in the big bad wrld. Seems so much longer than 3yrs ago i left school. Cant believe how fast time is going. Maybe am just getting old. Ha. Anyway, hope everyones well and my sincere apologies 2 every1 4my attitude.

Pamela Lowe 

Sat, 9 September 2006                                " Hello from Vichy "                              from Gail Davies

fell upon your website ... thought I'd get in touch My maiden name is Gail Davies and I was at Kilmarnock Academy in the 1960's, a long time ago ....

I am now teaching English in a catering college in France, near Vichy. Would be glad to get in touch with anybody who knows me, or any of your present teachers who would like to establish contact with our pupils. I come back to Kilmarnock regularly.

hope to hear from you

Gail Davies (now Constentias)

Sat, 19 August 2006                                " Hello from Govan "                              from Steven Lennon


Just bored on comp lookin at old school stuff! u must remember me STEVEN LENNON! how are things at the school? hope u av a good football team n hopefully got new strips rather than the old maroon things i had 2 play in lol! oh yea and could u tell Mrs Thompson thanx 4 everything in english bcoz neva got chance 2 say bye b4 i left! ok thanx!!!!


Steven Lennon

Fri, 18 August 2006                          " Hello from ....somewhere "                          from Karen Wilson


my name is Karen Wilson, I hope someone remembers me??!! I attended Killie from 1995-2000, I was a little horror at school but I can say there were a lot worse than me!! I wouldnt change a thing about going to the Killie Academy, best years of my young life!

Hope all the teachers I annoyed the hell out of are doin good!!


Mon, 14 August 2006                    " Hello from London, Ontario"                      from Winifred Holland

I just found this very interesting website and it seemed a good opportunity to reconnect with old friends.  I was at the Academy from 1956-1959. At the time Wm McIntyre was the Rector and some of the teachers I recall are Sheila Coull (French), Mrs Lambie (Science) Miss Bell (Geography), Mr Monnickendam and "Buster McCormack (both Math) and Lodwick (Music).    Thoroughly enjoyed my time there. It was a wonderful school and produced many  excellent scholars...and athletes.   

I am now a Professor in the Law Faculty at U.W.O. ("Western") which is located in London, Ontario.  Prior to coming here in 1974 I was a lecturer in the Faculty of Laws, University College, London, England.   I've written quite a bit in the Family Law and Criminal Law areas but, after 41 years of teaching, am going to "pack it in" and retire next year.   Would love to hear from anyone who was at the Academy in the late fifties - and I'd also like to see some photos from that era (unfortunately I have mislaid my old copies of the "Goldberry").  

Winnie Holland (formerly Hamilton).

Thanks for contacting us Winnie. It's good to hear that you remember so much about your time at Kilmarnock Academy and that you have had an enjoyable and successful career. I have to say that, after 41 years of teaching you deserve a rest (and perhaps a medal).

I will check the archive for late fifties photos and if I find any I'll post them on the site.

Neil McIlvanney

Mon, 14 August 2006                             " Hello from New York "                             from Alistair Fraser

I just came across the Kilmarnock Academy web page.

My name is Alistair Fraser, a former pupil of KA, 1978-1984.

After graduating Paisley Technical College with a degree in Mechanical Engineering I emigrated to the USA in 1990. I live in New York (90 minutes north of The City), with my wife and two kids.

Thanks for e-mailing us, Alistair. It's good to hear that you are settled and enjoying life in New York State.

Neil McIlvanney

Wed, 19 July 2006       " Hello from Ocean County New Jersey "      from Heather Farrell Andolsen

Hi Everyone-

What a great site! I was an exchange student at Kilmarnock Academy in the fall 1990, I lived with the McCrae's on Kay Park Crescent. I loved my time in Scotland and hope to bring my family there someday. I still have my Kilmarnock sweatshirt! High school in Scotland is very different than in the States!

I still live in New Jersey very close to the beach. I live about an hour south of New York. I have been married for ten years, and I have a daughter Brooke and a new baby boy Jack! I have a Master's degree in Library Science and manage a library in Ocean County. I would love to hear from you or come visit me at the beach!

Heather Farrell Andolsen

Thanks for getting in touch, Heather. It's good to hear that you still have fond memories of your time at Kilmarnock Academy. I think I remember your time with us but I can't quite picture you - it's been a while. Send us a photo.
If you have any suggestions or tips for Dr Neilson, our librarian, then send them our way.

Neil McIlvanney

Sat, 8 July 2006                                      "Hi from Cape Cod MA "                      from Laura Hastings


I left school in 1999, 7 years ago - wow time has flown by.  After leaving school I went to Auchincruive and got 2.1 Hons in countryside management.  I have now moved to Cape Cod in MA, USA and work at a YMCA Outdoor Education/Summer Camp.  It really is the best job in the world. 

I love the new website - far better than any we attempted to make when I was at school.  I have really random memories of school, the most embarrassing of all time was probably the Boyzone poem which you posted on your wall...  I can't say school was the best time off my life but I have an amazing friend from school who I will know for the rest of my life, and some really funny times to look back on, so it wasn't all bad. 

I really hope everything is going well for Kilmarnock Academy and if your ever passing the Cape feel free to stop by!


It's really good to hear from you Laura and that you have ended up doing something you really enjoy. By the way, I'm sure I still have that Boyzone poem somewhere on file. Now, if you were to ask me really really nicely, I'm sure I could dig it out and post it on the front page of our website along with an old picture of you. What do you think?

Neil McIlvanney

Wed, 5 July 2006                        "Request for info on Elias Cuthbert "                 from Patricia King

I am trying to gain information on one of your former pupils and am wondering if you have records going back to the 1920's. The person's name was Elias Cuthbert of Kelwinning, born 17th April 1912, who attended the Academy from 19/4/24 to 20/6 (I believe 1927) but the copy I have is indistinct.  The family emigrated to New Zealand and I am trying to trace any surviving members of the family, as Elias gave something to my brother when he was serving with Bomber Command in East Anglia during WW2, and we would now like to return this object to Elias's family.  We believe he had two younger brothers, but are having trouble tracing them in NZ and wonder if you have anything in your archives which might help. I realise that this is all a long time ago, but would be grateful for anything you may be able to find.


Patricia M. King

I don't know if we'll be able to help, Patricia, but we'll certainly try. I have forwarded your e-mail to Dr Neilson our school librarian who will check our records to see if there is any information on Elias Cuthbert.

Neil McIlvanney

Mon, 3 July 2006                                      "Hi from Boston MA "                      from Russell Dowson

My name is Russell Dowson and I attended Kilmarnock Academy between 1988 and 1993 – Since then I have gotten my BA in Hospitality Management and am now a Director with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide based in Boston , MA – USA .  I married my wife Natalie who attended the Grange Academy – we now have 3 children Brionni (6) and twin boys Mackinley and Bailey (2). 

Great to see you have a new website – I'll check back and hopefully will see some old friends…


Thanks for contacting us Russell. It's good to hear that you are doing well in your career as well as in your family life (two-year-old twins must be a right handful).
I remember your sister Sandra Dowson (nice accent - more than a hint of Irish) really well and I think that, at one point, your mum worked in
the garage opposite the Academy playing fields. Am I thinking of the right family?

Neil McIlvanney

Sat, 24 June 2006                                      "Hi from London "                      from Alison Macmillan

Well hello,

I cant believe that Kilmarnock Academy has finally gotten a cool website, well done. I finished school at Kilmarnock Academy just a few short years ago, 2003. Im sure a few of you will probably remember me, unfortunately im sure, Alison Macmillan? The one that always got in detention or that had an amazing talent for getting conduct cards?

I left Kilmarnock academy and just 2 months later arrived in London, where i still live. I have just graduated from London College of Fashion where i have a BA Hons in specialist make-up for the performing arts. Basically im a make-up artist that does the things like Lord of the rings stuff or star wars, bit weird but i love it. I now work around London, BBC, ITV etc.....

I also own my own production company, im putting on a show in London next year but im coming home. I wanted to bring my work back to Kilmarnock, so i will keep you updated and tell you when we will be at the Palace theatre. It would be great if my old school could come and watch a former pupil's play. I cant believe it has only been three years since i left school, its seems so much longer. I adored going to Kilmarnock Academy, it was fun all year round, mainly because i never really paid attention in class but nether the less i loved it. I was always the girl who wanted to go to music and art and NEVER went to maths or english.

But it paid off having good teachers in my fav subjects because im now as happy as ever because of them. I wish all my old teachers, especially Mr Ramsay all the best in the world. Im coming home so i will hopefully all see you at the theatre.

Yours always

Alison Macmillan (1999 - 2003)

Hi Alison,

Thanks for the compliment about the website. I remember you well and it's really good to hear that you are keeping yourself busy in the glamorous world of television and theatre. We look forward to hearing more about your plans to bring culture home, where it belongs, to the heart of East Ayrshire.

Now you may think I am biased because I am an English teacher and my class was one of those that you seldom attended but, if you had gone to English when you were at school, you would have had so much fun learning about stuff like drama, conflict, dialogue, imagery ..... apostrophes.... capital letters....

Neil McIlvanney

Mon, 12 June 2006                  "Gidday from Auckland, New Zealand "                      from Janet Smith

I was browsing through Google Images, putting in names of folk I used to know. I plugged in Stewart Conn and up came Kilmarnock Academy!! How interesting! Then I checked out former pupils in New Zealand...not a skerrit. So please pop me in. Janet Smith (currently Williamson) Joined in 1948 2nd Year and left 1952 6th year went on to Glasgow School of Art and eventually became a Theatre Designer. Wish I could have told Johnny Lyle, my art teacher, of my eventual sucess as a University Lecturer in Art & Design. He would have been surprised. Happy to chat to anyone who remembers this ancient time at the Academy, and how has life treated you??

Cheers Janet

Thanks for e-mailing us from the other side of the world. It was good to hear about your successful career after leaving these shores. As an Art & Design lecturer, you should find our K.A. Gallery interesting. Also, let us know if you have any comments, ideas or suggestions for our website.

Neil McIlvanney

Mon, 24 April 2006                            "Hello from Oakville, Ontario "                       from Gordon Mutch

Dear Sir/Madam:

I was interested to find your very impressive Kilmarnock Academy website by accident and wish to register as a former pupil:

Name: Dr Gordon F Mutch
Kilmarnock Academy: 1957-1963
Profile: see below

"I left Kilmarnock Academy shortly after taking the Highers in my 6th Year and went to Norway to cut down trees for a spell before going to College. I loved the outdoor life but decided against Forestry as a career.

After graduating from Paisley Tech. (HND in Mech/Prod Eng) in 1967 and UMIST (M.Sc.) in 1970, I have been living mostly in Canada since 1971 although I also worked in the US and France for a period of six years.

Since graduating from McMaster University (Ph.D.) in Hamilton, Ontario in 1975 I have been working as a consulting engineer throughout the world and am still very active.

I am currently Vice President, Business Development, Engineering and Transportation for Bodycote Materials Testing Americas located in Mississauga, Ontario. I am beginning to think about retirement but have too much fun at work to actually do it.

Happily married for 34 years to Magda, who I met in Manchester while studying at UMIST , we have two grown up "kids", David (30) and Julie (26) and live in Oakville, Ontario. Magda who has a Maitrise es Lettres from the Sorbonne is currently Manager of Corporate Communications at Nestle in Toronto. While working (not coincidentally) for Nestle in Switzerland David recently got his Ph.D. from the University of Lausanne for a thesis on nutrigenomics and is moving to France to continue his post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Hotel Dieu in Paris. Julie is currently taking a post graduate course on Orthotics and Prosthetics at Sunnyside Hospital in Toronto and will commence her Orthotics internship in Calgary, Alberta, this summer.

Besides my family and my work, my passions in life are rugby, gardening, classical music (especially opera), good food and wine with a newly developed interest in cooking in preparation for my eventual retirement."

I look forward to keeping in touch with the "Old School" in the future via this website.

Sincerely Gordon Mutch

Thanks for contacting us, Gordon. It was good of you to tell us a bit about your studies, work and travels since leaving Kilmarnock Academy. To be happy and successful is what we all strive for and it's good to hear from someone who has achieved that balance.

Incidentally, as you are now looking to develop your skills in the kitchen you should visit the Food & Diet page in the Community section of our website. There you will find many useful tips and recipes from a range of celebrity chefs.

Neil McIlvanney

  KA Worldwide - Ontario, Canada

Mon, 03 April 2006                                "Hello from Arkansas "                                     from Ed Wilson

I see you are inviting former pupils to make their presence known in various locations. Here are mine:

Name: Edgar D Wilson

Years 1948-1953

Staff : Mr. (Major) Ironside Math;Mr. San Aitken French; Col Farra r History; Mr. Adams, English, Miss White, Geography; Dr. Klavein, German, Mr Wm (Big Bill) Craig, Latin;

Played Rugby, Cricket for school teams at home and away.

member Kilmarnock Academy Cadet Corps. (Is this disbanded now?)

Drummer in pipe band.

After leaving school in 1948 I joined the Staff of the North of Scotland Bank Ltd. serving at The Cross, Kilmarnock and branches in Glasgow, Cumnock and Auchinleck before transferring to the Prestwick Airport Branch.

Eventually I was recruited by The Royal Bank of Canada and served with them in Western Canada and in the West Indies.

Entered the United States in 1957 and was employed by banks in Philadelphia, Boston and Detroit returning to manage the London Branch of City National Bank of Detroit from 1973 - 77. Returning to the USA I moved to Texas in 1980 and saw service with First International Bank, Capital Bank, which became MBank. I then was recruited by Banco di Roma but found my last position before retiring as VP and Representative of The Royal Bank of Scotland for the 12 Southern US States.

Now retired and living in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. Still in good health (for the shape I'm in) and desiring to be in touch with former pupils of my vintage, if there are any left.

I consider that I received an educational experience second to none whole I was a boy at the Academy. I considered it a privilege to attend the school, earning my place there through achievments at Kilmarnock Grammar School.

I appreciate your web page and thank you.

Ed Wilson

Thanks for getting in touch, Ed. It was really good to hear a bit about your school days at K.A. and your travels during a very successful career - from Kilmarnock Cross and Auchinleck to the West Indies and Texas is a journey that certainly encompasses a variety of climates and cultures. Hopefully our site - and this page in particular - will be noticed by some of your contemporaries and you will get to hear from them. I'll have a look through our archives to see if there are any pictures from 1948-1953 and if I find any I'll post them on our website.

My apologies for the delay in posting your message - I was on holiday for a week and just got back today (8th April 2006).

Neil McIlvanney

        KA Worldwide - Arkansas, USA

Thurs, 30 March 2006                             "Hello from Glasgow "                 from Lesley Anne Campbell

Hi there!

I enjoyed looking at all the photos and info of what my old school's been up to! I miss being at school!!! And can I just say to today's pupils DON'T GIVE MR ROBERTSON A HARD TIME!!! He was my favourite teacher! I had him for music the whole way through secondary and he's actually a really nice guy (and can be quite a good laugh!) I thought he was really cool but don't tell him I said that! Alao, I'm glad to see Mr Ramsey hasn't let the hair-do slide! Are Mr Reid and Mr McIlvanney still trying to beat each other to the staff room????   

Well, I'm currently studying Law at college in Glasgow. Only another 6 years to go! Good fun though! Great fun being a skint student! I have to say it's a good course to do and college is so much different from school. I would never have got where I am now if it wasn't for all those wonderful teachers!!! So, thank you all.   

Anyways, got an exam to study for so better go. Just had to say hello and thanks to all my former teachers. Hope everyone's well and happy. Take Care,

Lots of love,

Lesley Anne Campbell xxx

Thurs, 16 March 2006                                "Hello from Killie! "                                       from Iain Brown

Hi everyone,

I have been looking at this web site for a couple of months now and what I have noticed that there are a few messages from former pupils from Johannesburg and Paris etc. I thought to myself why has no one been in touch from good old Killie so I thought that I would be the first to get in touch.

I happen to know the web master of this web site - who I know to be some what of an insomniac - as I usually have conversations with him at strange hours of the morning - 2.30 am is not an unusual time. I also know of the amount of time and effort that he puts into this web site providing all of us who have a connection with Kilmarnock Academy with valuable information and hopefully fond memories.

I attended KA from 1982-1987 and was in Craigie. My registration teacher was Mr Park and I can remember him doubling up as our P.E teacher namely because he always wore  a lovely pair of pink track suit bottoms and whereas all pupils had to jog, run or generally saunter to the training fields you would always see the P.E teachers drive majestically by you in one of their cars.

Hope some of this has been useful. Looking forward to more old photos, especially of the old swimming pool as the only time I saw it had been used as a dumping ground for old desks and chairs. Also a photo from the top of the Old Academy and in particular from the tower which I managed to get into one Sunday afternoon but I better not say too much about that. Anyway look forward to visiting this site again.  

Iain Brown.

Sun, 26 Feb 2006                             "Hello from Johannesburg "   from Jane Henstock (nee Morris)

Hello to my favourite school !

My name is Janie Henstock ( nee Morris ) . I live in Johannesburg , South Africa and run my own bookkeeping business . I married to a South African and we have two sons ( aged 10 & 8 ) . My family  emigrated to SA in mid-1981 . I was so amazed while "surfing the web" to find your web-site - then I saw my old English teacher , Mr Dickson's picture - I was taken back 25 years to when I was in my first year at "The Academy" .  

I have no hesitation in saying my time at The Academy was my favourite school year . My big cousin , Gordon Ghee , was already there as a prefect when I started my first year in 1980 . He teased me no end about what was going to happen on my first day !

Back then I was totally consumed by my music - I played violin ( still do occassionally ) . That year , The Academy school orchestra won at the Ayrshire Music Festival for best school orchestra  . We were quite a team - we practiced and practiced - we were playing music that WE loved , not the serious classical music that we all had been trained on . The teacher who led us was full of enthusiasm and that filtered straight through to the kids . We had an absolute ball !  I remember Susan White - who had been my best friend since I was 4 , Elizabeth Mc ....... who played the flute , Ian Massey who was first violinist , Irvine McLevy who sat next to Ian , and also a very cute boy who played the clarinet - cant remember his name though ! . Susan , Irvine and I also belonged to the Kilwinning Youth Orchestra - the bus would come and fetch us from the Bellfield roundabout on a Sunday .  I was also in the choir - I remember auditioning in the old music room in the old building - I had to sing a full scale in front of hundreds of kids ! At Christmas , we sang carols in the main street of Kilmarnock , and we visited some old folks as well .

Other wee things I remember - those AWFUL maroon gym nickers - I was a bit chubby so getting into those things was terribly embarassing ! 

I was "good" at school .......... - I got eight "A's" , and three "B's" that year . This report , as well as my primary school record , helped me get into one of the best schools in South Africa - Pretoria High School for Girls . 

I've STILL got my school magazine from 1981 - I'm far too sentimental !

Anyway , must get back to work ..................

Bye for now


 KA Worldwide - South Africa

Wed, 15 Feb 2006                             "Hello from the Big Apple "                             from Angela Brown

Hey people...

I'm Angela Brown AKA Big Burd (haha). I was in Kilmarnock Academy from '92' till '96'. I ran around  with people like Nancy-Lee Wright, Donna Seton, Vicki Caldwell, MaryEllen Austin, Stacey Austin etc i cant think of everyone, its been so long. Well after i left Killie Academy i came to the States for 10 weeks in July to stay with some people i used to baby sit for called the Santana's, they lived in Shortlees. Then after that i went back and fourth from the States to Killie, i would stay in New York for 6 months then go back to Killie for 3 weeks or sometimes less then go back to New York, i did that for 3 yrs. Then i met a guy from Glasgow and i got engaged and had a wee boy his name is Gary after his dad.....he is going to be 6 in March. I was with him for 4 yrs then we decided to come back to New York and live for good.......well i'm still here but he's not......i kicked him out of my life, but it's all for the better.

So now i'm still living it up in New York, Long Island, Lynbrook with my wee boy. I have an Apartment with my sister Catherine...well she's not my blood sister but we have known each other forever....i used to babysit her haha. I'm a Nurse here in the States and i'm also a Office Manager for my family's company so i'm doing pretty good for myself, i love it here. I haven't been back in Killie since i came here in Feb 2002, but i'm going back soon for a holiday to see all my family, my mum and dad and my brother and sisters still all live in will probably know my wee sis Janette Brown if you know me....she a year younger than me. Well i hope everyone is doing good....god i miss the auld school days, wow we had so much fun, well when i was there HaHa. I  was one of these pupils that never went to school, always getting into trouble, but i had fun. (hehe). Anyone that remembers me you can email me . Mon the Teddy Bears!!! RFC


Follow-up e-mail 15.02.06
I was wondering if u are putting up pictures of the school yrs....I would love to see my school picture. . I already posted my long message on the board. Do u know how long it takes to actually go on it? thank u

Thanks for getting in touch, Angela. As you can see, messages usually are put up on the board as soon as we receive them ( I check the mail two or three times a day).

I will be posting more pictures from various eras under the It could be you section. I will look and see if there are any of Big Burd but, as you were "one of these pupils that never went to school, always getting into trouble", there's a good chance that you were absent or in the Behaviour Unit when the class pictures were taken. I'll see what I can do.

Neil McIlvanney

Tues, 14 Feb 2006                                    "Greetings from Chicago!"                 from Elaine McCulloch

I must echo the congratulations on the new website, it is fantastic! Hopefully we will be able to build up the former pupil info, I will send it to all I know. I particularly enjoyed the old haunts, a million memories came flooding back with just a few pictures, so fun! Days spent in the PE area playing hockey, volleyball or whatever sport it happened to be at that time, or having our packed lunches in Mr McIlvanney's English classroom and then braving the dangerous academy stairs to go "down the street"!! Doing pottery in the dungeon of the old tech and fighting to keep the old tech open, I still have my "Save KA" badge somewhere!. Aah the good old days!

As for me, My name is Elaine McCulloch (KA 1991-1997) and I now live in Chicago, Illinois. I moved to London to go to Uni (De Montfort University - Bedford) where I got my degree in Secondary Education - Physical Education and Mathematics. There is no coincidence that those were my chosen specialties as the most influential teachers in my career at KA came from those classes; Mr Taylor, Mr Ferguson, Mr Nisbet, Mrs Bailey (Math) Mrs Miller, Mr Howie, Mr Kerr, Mr Richardson and Mrs Hamilton (PE). So I give them credit for my choice of career although I am sure some of my students would like to blame them for it!!

Straight from University (2001) I moved stateside, having been recruited by Major League Soccer to work in their youth development program. I spent 4 years working primarily with the Chicago Fire but had brief spells with the Los Angeles Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes and the New England Revolution. So I have been privileged to travel and enjoy many of the states of America, last count was 20 states! I am now in my second year with the Wellness (PE) Department at the Illinois Math and Science Academy. It is a residential school for gifted kids in the areas of Math, Science and Technology and I love the school. Mostly I love that I get to coach Volleyball all year round! It was also a gateway into two major professional achievements: becoming a part-time lecturer at Aurora University for their School of Physical Education and Health and becoming a volleyball coach at the University of Illinois.

Both my brother Iain (KA 1993) and Alan ( KA 2000) both now live with their their respective girlfriends in Glasgow (Iain) and Kilmarnock (Alan). Alan's girlfriend is actually a former KA survivor, Angela Brett (1998). To be honest we all feel like we've never left because every time we talk to our mum (Helen McCulloch, DMR Clerical Assistant, KA) we get all the school news! I must take this opportunity to thank all of my teachers, particularly Mrs Kulma (for making history exciting!) Mr Sheridan (for letting us to do fun experiments in Chemistry!) Mr Herbert (who knew Geography could be that fun?!?) Mr McMeekin ( for his expert German advice and his guidance and the hours spent talking footie!) Mr McDonald (If I become half the teacher he was, I'll count myself very lucky!) Mr Wylie (amazing how we passed computing studies when mostly all we did was make fun of Ayr United!!) and finally Mr Donnelly (you scared us to death but we respected you for what it taught us!) Truly, to you and my fellow pupils at KA, thanks for the memories, good and bad, they made me who I am today!

Finally, I leave you with my most favorite memory at KA. June 1997, when the then chairman of Kilmarnock Football Club came to school and brought with him the recently won Tennets Scottish Cup. The school was a sea of blue and white, the noise level was unbelievable ( even the teachers were getting involved) such a show of unity within the school is something I had rarely seen during my six years at KA and being a die hard Killie fan is something I will never forget! Come on the Killie!!


        KA Worldwide - Illinois, USA

Sun, 5 Feb 2006                                    "Hello from Atlanta..."                           from Roy McClymont  

Hello, Kilmarnock Academy. Firstly, I would like to commend whoever is responsible for putting together this website, it certainly was overdue. It is great to see so much of the school's history and future on the web, especially for us who live so far away and miss many traits of "The Academy" (there really is only one school in Kilmarnock!).

My name is Roy McClymont, I was a pupil here from 1990-1995. I left KA for the sunny shores of South Sheilds, Tyne and Wear where I was enrolled in an HND program as an Engineering Officer Cadet for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. I served Her Majesty (no, I don't know her personally but that was what I was told to call her) for 5 years in which I sailed the greater part of the world. This for me was my dream job, ever since sitting in Mr. Scollay's lofty Geography classroom in the Old Academy commanding views over the world, I dreamed of seeing many worldly sites, this career provided visiting them in the flesh.

From the RFA, I moved into the Cruise Industry of the Merchant Navy sector with an American Company called Windstar Cruises. Turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made as I fell in love with a passenger in only my second week, 3 1/2 years later we would marry. I lasted 2 trips (about 1 year) with Windstar Cruises before I realized life at sea was not conducive for a relationship and the subsequent aching heart. Jenna and I moved to Glasgow together in the summer of 2001 before I waved my hand goodbye to my homeland. Due to work commitments, immigration and the complexities involved with these processes, Jenna and I lived in Auckland, New Zealand and London before having met the necessary requirements for living together in 2003 for residence in the United States. We now live in Atlanta, GA, Jenna's home city and state, with our two pugs Bacon and Sydney. Jenna is enrolled at Emory University working diligently to complete her doctorate in Clinical Psychology. I have completely changed career tracks. I am currently back at University (Kennesaw State University) where I am working towards a double major degree in History and Geography. My areas of study at the moment are: Water Resource Management (particularly the degradation of the Aral Sea in Central Asia) and The Logistics of the Holocaust. Finally, I also work for the University's Dept of History and hope to perhaps be part of the faculty one day when I complete my Masters Degree. Here is an abstract version of where I have been and what I have done since my days spent on Elmbank Drive. I hope this website can continue to catch former pupils like myself who long to be back in contact with the school that set them up for life.

Kind regards, Roy McClymont

P.S My brother, Taylor McClymont (1980-1984 I believe) now lives in Adelaide, Australia. I shall try to persuade him (and others I know) to get in contact with this message board.

Thanks for getting in touch with us, Roy. It's really good to hear that you are doing well. The more former pupils who contact us, then the more interesting this section will be. We look forward to hearing from your brother Taylor (as well as the other former pupils you know).

Neil McIlvanney

        KA Worldwide - Georgia, USA

Sun, 8 Jan 2006                           "Where's the former pupil info?"                      from Craig Hanlon  


I recently visited the KA website and found it impossible to locate any info in the former pupil page of the website. All I could get was an altas of each country. Can you please advise info to get to the list and details of former pupils. Thanks.

For info I am a pupil from 1980-86. Formerly Deputy Head Boy and House Captain of Dean. Currently living in Paris, France but soon to move back to Oslo, Norway after having lived in London, Aberdeen and Oslo engaged in the Oil and Gas Construction Industry. Completed honours degree in Civil Engineering at Strathclyde 1990 and been on the road ever since. Would appreciate to catch up with some former pupils.


Craig Hanlon.

Thanks for contacting us, Craig, and congratulations on being the first former pupil to e-mail this new section of our website. This whole area of KA Web is new and the site hasn't even been launched or publicised yet.

Obviously, the only way we have of providing information on the whereabouts and activities of our former pupils is if they do exactly what you have done: e-mail us with some details about when you attended KA and what you have been up to since, as well as info about where you are now and what you are doing. It will take some time to build up information on our former pupils but we will post it here as soon as we receive it.

Once our website is officially launched we hope to get former pupils to contribute to this page and to the KA Worldwide section - telling us a bit about countries they have lived in or have visited. Check out the page for France (click the link below) and you'll see how it will work. If you want to tell us a bit about your life in France or Norway then please do and we'll add it to the appropriate page.

Neil McIlvanney

        KA Worldwide - France