STRAYING away from sport this week, we are looking at Glenbuck Public School which opened in 1876.

It was located in the appropriately named School Row and had 106 pupils.

Within four years, the school roll had risen to 180 pupils, with further increases until it reached 280 by 1889 with five teachers on duty.

By the end of the century, sliding partitions were installed to create five classrooms to teach the 300 pupils.

A mining strike in 1902 affected the area’s population but work on a nearby railway line brought more families to Glenbuck.

Then the closure of the Galawhistle and Davie Pits meant another drop of more than 60 pupils.

In common with other buildings, Glenbuck School closed for four weeks due to a flu epidemic which led to a number of deaths.

In the Muirkirk area alone, 37 people died of the disease during the month of October.

Ironically, the re-opening date for the school, November 11, was when the news of the Armistice came, and the day was promptly declared a holiday.

Another strike in 1921 caused serious hardship and there were frequent absences because parents could not afford clothes and footwear.

Headmaster, John Rodger, retired in 1927 after almost 39 years of service with James Kirkwood taking over.

Mr Kirkwood remained in the post until 1943, when his sudden death shocked the community.

By then the number of pupils, which had steadily declined for various reasons, had plummeted to 36 pupils.

It was almost inevitable that the school would close and it was no surprise when it happened in August 1951.

After the closure pupils were transferred to Muirkirk Secondary School.