Schools in Coalburn

Coalburn Primary School 2014

New Coalburn Primary School. March 2014

A definitive account, A History of Coalburn School, has been written and published by Peter McLeish [1]. The purpose of this page is not to compete with that publication but to provide a short account of the buildings used and to provide an update on the new school now in use since 2014. Lastly, a list of other sources of information on the internet is given.

Bellfield School

Bellfield School

Bellfield School in Bellfield Road near Bellfield Colliery

Bellfield School, opened in 1876, was the first public school in the area.[2]

With increased numbers of workers coming to the area, the capacity of the school was insufficient and expansion was considered, but protests from parents about the distance their children would have to travel, led to a demand for a more centrally placed school. A new school was built near the railway station.

Coalburn School opened in 1908. The two schools continued until the population reduced as a result of the decline in mining operations in the area. Bellfield School closed in 1958 and was later demolished.

2016 location of Bellfield School

Photo of same area on 10th Mar 2016. The school was approximately where the post box is now.

Coalburn School

Coalburn School 1912

Coalburn School c 1912

Coalburn School near the railway station opened its doors to pupils on the 1st September 1908.

The school celebrated its centenary in 2008 and the Jim Hamilton Heritage Society of Coalburn played an active role in the celebrations [3]

This school closed in June 2012 to be replaced by a new school.[4]

I do not have photos of my own of the old school, but fortunately Google has not updated its Streetview of Coalburn Road since July 2011. The following screenshots show the School in that year.

Coalburn Primary School 2011

Coalburn Primary School 2011

Coalburn Primary School 2011

Coalburn Primary School in July 2011. Screenshots from Google Streetview.

Rebuilding of Coalburn School

In 2004, South Lanarkshire Council began an ambitious School Modernisation Programme to modernise or replace all primary and secondary schools in its area. In Lesmahagow, Lesmahagow High School and Woodpark and Milton Primary Schools were all replaced with new buildings [5,6,7]. The last school to be rebuilt in the area was Coalburn Primary School and the transition was enabled by the now vacant old Woodpark Primary School.

The old Woodpark Primary School

The old Woodpark Primary School, temporary home for Coalburn Primary pupils from 2012-2013. This photo was taken on the 9th March 2014, before it was demolished. The dark building in the distance is the new Woodpark Primary School.

The old Coalburn school was demolished and, while the new school was constructed on the same site, pupils were bussed to Woodpark Primary School in Lesmahagow.

Coalburn Primary School 2013

The new School nearing completion in November 2013.

Coalburn Primary School 2014

New Coalburn Primary School. March 2014

The new school was opened to pupils in January 2014, but was only officially opened on the 19th November 2015 by Councillor George Greenshields.[8] At the ceremony, the pupils of the school put on an excellent performance in song, music and words to illustrate the work of the school.

Coalburn Primary School - Official Opening on 19th November 2015

Councillor George Greenshields with School Captains, Mason Shankley and Rachel Struthers, after cutting the ribbon

In July 2018, William Scott retired as head teacher after 18 years service at Coalburn[9]. The present head teacher (2020) is Lorna Hyslop.[10]

Other sources of information

  1. A History of Coalburn School, Peter McLeish. It is available at the Heritage Centre on Tuesdays or by contacting Peter directly through the contact page on this website.

Prepared: 10 February 2020 DJH.