Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Happy Birthday Hyndland After School Club

25 years of Hyndland After School Club


My oldest child finished school this week. He finished his last exam yesterday and had a well deserved lie in this morning. It is hard to imagine the wee child that we used to have living with us, now that we have this gangling teenager towering over us. When my children were too young to look after themselves once school was finished, we relied on after school clubs and family members to pick them up at 3 o'clock to allow us carry on working full time. 

Hyndland After School Building, White Street, Glasgow

We were lucky enough to be able to afford childcare and carry on working, unlike many people nowadays. Continuously for the past 11 years at least one of my children has been going to Hyndland After School Club, and this year they are having a party to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Set up in 1992 by a voluntary committee of parents, it became a not-for-profit charity a few years later, and now organises after school childcare at several local schools in the west end of Glasgow. A big part of their success has been the management and staff, who have navigated their way through all the appropriate regulations on the sector to provide a safe and enjoyable space where children can play, chill, get muddy, build dens, make friends and have fun. 


For the 25th anniversary of the Hyndland After School Club (or Afty) they are inviting all former staff, pupils, board members, teachers, parents and carers to come to their birthday party at the end of the current school term. On Saturday 24th June from 1-4pm they will have stalls, face painting, burgers, music and more to help them celebrate. 

Housed in a curious old drill hall at the end of White Street, I have tried to find out what this hall was used for before the Afty took up residence. If anyone has any memories or ideas about previous tenants please get in touch to let me know. As I grasp any excuse to have a day guddling about among old records in the Mitchell Library, I tried to see what I could find there.

Hyndland Primary School and the (white coloured) Hyndland After School Club building today
Hamilton Crescent Junior Secondary School opened in the late 1880s. The building was designed by William Landless for the Govan Parish School Board in 1887, and was originally a secondary school for up to 1,000 pupils.


The photo above shows Hamilton Crescent Junior Secondary School, on the right hand side of what is now called Fortrose Street, in Partick (called Hamilton Crescent at that time), overlooking West of Scotland Cricket Ground. This picture is about 100 years old. Two villas lie just north of the school in this photo, where the gym hall and the school football pitch are now. Hamilton Crescent was renamed Fortrose Street in 1931.


This 1911 map showing the school building and two villas north of it on Hamilton Crescent which have since been demolishedIn 1912 many of the staff and pupil from the school moved to Hyndland School and their old school became Hamilton Crescent Supplementary School. In 1927 it became Hamilton Crescent Advanced Central Public School and in 1940 Hamilton Crescent Junior Secondary. The junior secondary closed in 1972, when Hyndland Primary School in Clarence Drive (now the Hyndland Secondary school building) was relocated to this building on Fortrose Street.

In 1913 alterations were made to the school building. The villa beside the school at 40-42 Fortrose Street was altered and became an annex to the school. The current school gymnasium was built, extra rooms were added to the school building and new playground toilets were built behind the school. 

The school footprint expands in 1913, with the neighbouring villa soon to be altered
1913 plans to build a gym hall and alter the villa beside the school
New gym hall to be added to the school in 1913
In 1932 architects at the Corporation of Glasgow Education Department, drew up plans to build a new “Drill Hall” on the school site. This was built behind the former villa/annex building which was still standing in what is nowadays a playground of the school. A new entrance to the school from White Street was constructed. This building, now 85 years old, is what Hyndland After School Club has called home for the past 25 years now. Sadly the plans are badly water damaged, but the new building can still be made out, below, on one page which is just about legible.

1932 plans for the new drill hall at Hamilton Crescent School (now the Afty building at Hyndland Primary School)
Hyndland Primary School 1970s
In 1975 new plans were drawn up. The annex to the school was to be altered to provide additional classrooms (in the playground in which the bike shed now sits). A proposed new “recreation area” was also created, where the red blaise football pitch is now. This involved the demolition of the next villa up the street to make space. On these plans the “drill hall” was at that time being used as the school dining hall, with a “servery” located where the Afty kitchen is now.

Plans showing the dining hall in 1975 (now the AFty building)

1975 architect's plans for a new path behind the dining hall (Afty building)
The “annex building” was still shown on the 1975 plans, but is now a playground, it is not clear when this building was demolished. In about 2005 due to lack of space, a new school annex was created in the space behind the school, which houses the current dining hall, four classrooms and a connecting corridor to the gymnasium.

Since 1992 Hyndland After School Club have used the old drill hall. As it was built by the education department of Glasgow Corporation, it may just have been intended to be used to drill the school children, but if anyone can remember using the hall for some other purpose, I would be delighted to hear how it was used over the past 85 years since it was built. 

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