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TITLE
Balmacara Agricultural School - Group of students
EXTERNAL ID
PC_GRIGOR_06
PLACENAME
Balmacara
DISTRICT
South West Ross
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Lochalsh
SOURCE
Beatrice Grigor
ASSET ID
23419
KEYWORDS
schools
farming
agriculture
Balmacara Agricultural School - Group of students

This photograph shows students at Balmacara Agricultural School posing for a class photograph.

Balmacara House School, an agricultural and horticultural college for boys aged 16-18, opened in the early 1950s and operated in that way until the early 1970s. The School comprised the main building, an annex that was added in the 1950s that overlooked Loch Alsh, and some farm steadings adjacent to Balmacara Square. Most of the theory lessons were delivered in the main School whilst practical tuition, such as animal husbandry, tractor driving and ploughing was undertaken around the steadings and in the fields around to the School. Produce from student farming activities was used in the School and sold to the local community.

Pupils were attracted to the School from places such as Orkney, Shetland, the Outer Hebrides, Inverness-shire and Ross-shire. All students were enrolled on a residential basis and, as such, fitted into the local population. Successful students gained City & Guilds awards.

With the students being full-time boarders, it was essential to have weekend and recreational facilities, such as the cinema and youth club, both of which were shared with youngsters from Balmacara village at the Old Mill, at that time the village hall.

The School principal from 1960-1965 was John MacBean, assisted by his wife, Margaret, who acted as Matron. Teaching staff at that time included Angus Maclean, Archie MacLennan, Jim Fraser and Robert Burr. The School gardener was James Michael whose wife, Joyce, was in charge of laundry facilities. The School caretaker/janitor was Finlay Macleod, an invaluable asset to the School since he also drove students to venues around Balmacara and delivered School produce. When John MacBean moved to Lawmuir School, Lanarkshire, in 1965, Ian Ross succeeded him at Balmacara.

Notable graduates from Balmacara House School include Kenneth Mackenzie, for many years auctioneer and now Managing Director at Dingwall Marts and the late Alistair Coutts, former manager at the Crofters' Commission National Bull Stud Farm at Knocknagael, near Inverness.

The School buildings that front on to Loch Alsh have, for several years, been used by the Royal Navy as residential accommodation for sea-based training.

[With thanks to Beatrice Grigor (nee MacBean) for this information]

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Balmacara Agricultural School - Group of students

ROSS: Lochalsh

schools; farming; agriculture

Beatrice Grigor

Balmacara Agricultural School

This photograph shows students at Balmacara Agricultural School posing for a class photograph.<br /> <br /> Balmacara House School, an agricultural and horticultural college for boys aged 16-18, opened in the early 1950s and operated in that way until the early 1970s. The School comprised the main building, an annex that was added in the 1950s that overlooked Loch Alsh, and some farm steadings adjacent to Balmacara Square. Most of the theory lessons were delivered in the main School whilst practical tuition, such as animal husbandry, tractor driving and ploughing was undertaken around the steadings and in the fields around to the School. Produce from student farming activities was used in the School and sold to the local community.<br /> <br /> Pupils were attracted to the School from places such as Orkney, Shetland, the Outer Hebrides, Inverness-shire and Ross-shire. All students were enrolled on a residential basis and, as such, fitted into the local population. Successful students gained City & Guilds awards. <br /> <br /> With the students being full-time boarders, it was essential to have weekend and recreational facilities, such as the cinema and youth club, both of which were shared with youngsters from Balmacara village at the Old Mill, at that time the village hall. <br /> <br /> The School principal from 1960-1965 was John MacBean, assisted by his wife, Margaret, who acted as Matron. Teaching staff at that time included Angus Maclean, Archie MacLennan, Jim Fraser and Robert Burr. The School gardener was James Michael whose wife, Joyce, was in charge of laundry facilities. The School caretaker/janitor was Finlay Macleod, an invaluable asset to the School since he also drove students to venues around Balmacara and delivered School produce. When John MacBean moved to Lawmuir School, Lanarkshire, in 1965, Ian Ross succeeded him at Balmacara.<br /> <br /> Notable graduates from Balmacara House School include Kenneth Mackenzie, for many years auctioneer and now Managing Director at Dingwall Marts and the late Alistair Coutts, former manager at the Crofters' Commission National Bull Stud Farm at Knocknagael, near Inverness. <br /> <br /> The School buildings that front on to Loch Alsh have, for several years, been used by the Royal Navy as residential accommodation for sea-based training.<br /> <br /> [With thanks to Beatrice Grigor (nee MacBean) for this information]