Generation game in Milngavie

These cousins are continuing a long family tradition of attendance at Milngavie Primary School.
These cousins are continuing a long family tradition of attendance at Milngavie Primary School.

Seven cousins aged from four to 11 years old are all pupils at Milngavie Primary School - with one in each year of the school.

They continue a family tradition of being educated at this school because their great-great grandparents, John Shearer and Annie (nee Murray) were also pupils there during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Their daughter Mary Shearer, who married a local farmer, Archie Bell, also went to the school when King George V was on the throne.

Later, Archie and Mary’s three children attended the school when Queen Elizabeth was in the early days of her reign and then their grandchildren also went to the school.

Anne O’Hagan, (Mary and Archie’s daughter), said: “It’s quite amazing that now, in the year when Queen Elizabeth becomes the longest serving monarch in the UK, the fifth generation of our family are pupils at Milngavie Primary School.

“I would imagine that this phenomenon is pretty rare these days as not that many families remain in the same town for five generations.”

Many changes have taken place at Milngavie Primary School since John Shearer was a pupil there in 1885.

He took a penny to school to help pay for his education and used slates, chalk, pens and inkwells to record his work.

Today his great-great grandchildren use whiteboards, computers and interactive media to learn and document their work.

The original building dates from 1875 and has changed very little in exterior appearance over the last 140 years.

The single storey building was noted by a school inspector of 1876 as “the most handsome I have yet seen in my district”. It was extended 20 years later to house the growing number of children.

Mary and Archie had two other children Fiona and Allan and they all lived at Keystone Farm, Milngavie.

After they married they all remained in Milngavie and lived in neighbouring houses at Bankell Farm.

Anne added: “We all love Milngavie and as my father was a farmer and such an important part of the community we feel very connected to the area.”