EXCLUSIVE: Mark Knopfler and Darius back campaign to save Bearsden Primary


ROCK legend Mark Knopfler is backing the campaign to save his old school.

The Brothers In Arms guitarist and Dire Straits frontman attended Bearsden Primary in the 1950s - and he said he was horrified to hear that East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC) want to axe it as part of a controversial education review.

Knopfler (63), who attended the school for around two years before his family moved to England, said: “I was dismayed to hear that Bearsden Primary School is under threat of closure. I was very happy there. The school is ideally situated and I used to enjoy walking there and back every day.

“It sits in the heart of the catchment area and there is no doubt that it plays a vital part in community life.”

And he is being backed by another former pupil of the 100-year-old school - Darius Campbell, the platinum-selling singer-songwriter and West End actor.

He Tweeted a message of support to campaigners saying: “Please save Bearsden Primary School - it’s the heart of the community - can’t imagine my childhood without it!”

EDC has infuriated parents and alarmed traders by proposing to shut the school and merge it with Castlehill Primary - a mile-and-a-half from Bearsden Cross.

Wendy McLaren, from the action group Save Bearsden Primary, said the high-profile support shows how well thought of the school is.

She said: ”This is not just about the proposed closure of a school.

“We believe shutting Bearsden Primary, which has been at the heart of our tight-knit community for more than 100 years, will have a negative impact on the whole community.

“We believe that if the school is forced to move out from its current location it will have implications in terms of local businesses, increased traffic congestion and also stop our children from gaining the health and educational benefits of being able to walk to their local school in the heart of their community and catchment.”

The high profile intervention of Knopfler and Campbell comes as EDC faces a mounting revolt from parents across the district.

A whole raft of mergers and closures have been proposed - sparking widespread anger.

Demos were held this week to save St Joseph’s in Milngavie and Westerton in Bearsden.

Parents from Milngavie Primary were holding an emergency meeting as the Herald went to press.

Action groups are also being set up in Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs.

The next stage of the consultation proces will begin on January 7 - and a draft agreement on the way forward will be made in March.

Council Leader Rhondda Geekie said: “Our ambition is to build new schools to support the excellent education delivered in East Dunbartonshire.”