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  Our Lady & St. Francis School 

 

Known locally as Charlotte Street School I fondly remember seeing the girls in their all brown uniform going to this school.you know for all the years I lived in Brigton I never knew Charlotte St School's real name!! :D  
 

The old school building in Charlotte Street c2001
 

oslf

....... its a shame when great buildings like schools which hold so many memories get demolished - in the name of progress.
The girls of Charlotte St are well remembered by their chocolate brown uniforms ;D I winched a few ;) ;)

      . 

 

Webmaister
GlescaPals comments from my messageboard & emails ..............
Mar.2007, GlescaPal Agnesb, Cumbria
I was converted in the late fifties and attended St Alphonsus School, and some day's after School would go over to Our Lady and St Frances,like a wee after School thing and they would let us make things like those plaster of paris plaques, brooches, foam slippers,and with plastic doilies we would make them into wee flower pockets for your mammies wall ;D also played netball in the grounds, when time came for Secondary School I went to St Mary's west St but one of ma pals went across to OL&SF,her name was Louise Ambrosia/o hope I spelt this right so maybe some of you pals might know her,her parents were very nice and sometimes would be invited home to her house for tea,they had the wee cafe in Gallowgate near Schipka Pass and under the bridge at Glasgow cross still there yet and Louise may still run it, last time I saw her was a number of years ago, she might still remember me
 
Apr.2007, GlescaPal Beth, Durban, South Africa
I attended from 1963 until 1967. Kathleen Brown, Christine Fisher, Maureen Docherty, Elizabeth Davis. Sr Feicity was headmistress and Miss Kelly PE mistress. Both put the fear of God into us, especially if we did not have the right label on our gym skirt and knickers (they really were knickers with a pocket, for what I don't know) Were we not just the bees knees with our hush Puppy shoes and thick brown tights!!!

We were the berries, especially when we reached fourth year and were allowed to wear tights. Choco;ate drops is what we were known in Easterhouse and by a lot of the boys from St Mungo's acadamy. Lots of them used to come down at lunchtime and we would meet in the cafe just up the road
 
Aug.2007, GlescaPal memaw, Canada
The uniform blazer fur Charlotte St (Our Lady and St Francis) wis broon (used tae be called nigger brown, bit ye canny say that these days) wi blue stripes. The yella striped wans wur fur prefects, generally sixth year students. They widny let ye leave the school premises unless ye wore yer hat or beret.

I remember when the new gym/assembly hall was built. We had to wear white plimsoles, not black, as apparently, black ones marked the new floors. Mind aw that whitening gaun on jist afore gymn? God help anybiddy if Miss Kelly found ye wi yer shoes still damp, though I suppose she didny want white streaks on her nice new flerr. PT skirts hid tae be fae Paisley's, don't know why such conformity wis demanded, as the only team we hid wis the netball team. Mind drapin yer gymn shoes ower yer schoolbag on gymn days, hopin they widy get wet fae the rain.
Nothing left of the auld huts, ah suppose. Jist loved the auld huts, wi their teeny wee playgrun behind them, where we used tae play Chinese ropes.
Did they demolish the really ancient building wi the narrow, windy sterrs?
Mind the language laboratory? Quite an innovation at that time, when tape recorders were just beginning to be popular.

There was only one dance in all my time there, as far as I know, the last year I attended, 1966. There were even boys invited! Miss Kelly was indeed a dragon, but not as bad as Miss Davidson, who scared the bejesus oota us. Stil hiv nightmares aboot her classes. She cooda got a lot further by not flaunting the belt, but I suppose submission was more important than education in those days.
 
Aug.2007, GlescaPal Josie, California, USA
had a brown blazer with school emblem on it ,tie was brown with blue stripes ,shirt was a cream color ,gym was brown, knickers were brown and we did have to show them at gym,i wore a beret brown with school emblem on it,always got told to put it on every time i was leaving , my first year they come out with a new dress you could wear when it was warm very simple , blue with peter pan collar and two pockets ,older girls had different dresses ,i had a great time going there , Mother Phillipa was the headmistress,my worse teacher was Miss Smith who taught French i think she was always on me because i had the same name as her ,lots of nice girls in my class ,still can,t find my best friend from there ...Josie
 
Aug.2007, GlescaPal linanmy, Melbourne, Australia
I remember being called a chocolate baby. 
When I started there I was told a story about a nun who was supposed to haunt the school. I think the story was that part of the school had burnt down and she died in the fire.
 
Oct.2007, GlescaPal lizbet, Glasgow
The story about the school being haunted changed with every passing year.
The most popular 3 were 
A young sister was found dead in a cupboard(dont know what she was doing there) and she haunted the wing that housed the Dinner school.
The other was that a nun had died in David Dale House and could not leave 'her students'
The last was an older nun haunted the original building.
However I agree with memaw the scariest thing for me was Miss Kelly.
 
Oct.2007, GlescaPal memaw, Canada
ah loved classes in the wee huts, wi the ancient widden desks wi inkwells and slots fur the auld slates and a groove fur yer pencil. Two seats joined thegither wi a cast iron frame. Nae chance anybiddy wis gonny fling them aboot, no even the teachers! An the roll-doon maps thit never wance came doon even fur geography (teacher wis too busy collecting fur a trip tae Lourdes, she jist made us read the next two chapters). We used tae play Chinese ropes ootside the wee huts. We sang a wee tune that wisny very nice aboot Wee Katie Bradley. (YOU, the girl in the brown cardigan!) Wish ah cood go back an erase that wee rhyme. Hope she never heard it.
Ye know, when ah think aboot ma school days, ah keep thinkin ah shood spell in English. Bit, naw, ah'm learning tae spell in ma ain language noo. Late developer. Ah that edumacashun doon the drain!
 
Oct.2007, GlescaPal lizbet, Glasgow
enjoyed my 5 years at OLSF and left with a greta education and a while the rules, treatment of pupils and attitide of some techers would not be tolerated today. It held me in good stead for the rest of my life(I think)

Below is the memory I posted on the OLSF site within friends reunited.

Some rules I remember. Keep to the left, wear brown knickers, cream blouse/shirt, PE kit(or no pe), do not pass Glasgow Cross at lunch time,wear a hat at the gate(not always), do not talk to pupils from the primary school across the Street(St Alphonsus)as they were dangerous!!!!! As an ex pupil Miss Kelly took great delight in reminding me of my previous life in the asylum across the road. I often wonder if the 'lady' had softer side, if so, did any pupils see it? Her view of me was tainted by the fact that I lived locally, owned a Paisley's bought uniform and had the audacity to be in a Latin class. She was convinced I cheated at the qualifying exam and then stole the uniform. She firmly believed I was to be a gangster's moll when I left school.  Glad to say she was wrong!
 
Oct.2007, GlescaPal linanmy, Melbourne, Australia
I wonder if Miss Kelly ever realised the impact she had on everybody. I don't think there was anyone at the school who was not afraid of her. I think everyone would have a story to tell about her. When I started there I did 6 months prep we had three classes in the hall one on the stage and two on the floor. One day marching into class Miss Kelly pulled me out of the line and said I believe you are related to ??? When I said I was she was breathing fire, she told me that she would be watching me from now on. My cousin had been in a bit of trouble over the years, my cousin used to swear Miss Kelly hated her. After this I believed her needless to say I did my best to stay out of her way.
I wonder if she is still alive and frightening kids?
 
Oct.2007, GlescaPal memaw, Canada
Och, ah think they jist believed in spsare the rod and spoil the child, especially since maist of them never hid any weans. Used tae be ye hid tae gie up yer joab wance ye merried, hence so many spinsters teaching. Iwindy hiv minded the discipline if it hid been accompanied wi a bit of good guidance, real life information and real planning for the world outside school. Bit generally it wis doled oot due tae the temperament of the teacher, maistly the wans who pit the fear of the belt intae the weans. Strange how they wur the wans who felt they hid tae use it maist. Noo, wee Miss McShane only used the belt wance that ah kin remember an she never hid any kerry on in her class. Canny even mind whit the wan beltin incident wis aboot, or who got it. Ah know she wis rid mortified, so ah wonder if she hid orders fae above tae use it. Think she wrung her hauns the hale 35 minute period eftir that, jist like Lady Macbeth, eh? She wis a good teacher, though, ah kin still remember much of what she taught me. Wish ah'd hid her aw through school.

remember Miss McKerrel? She wis anither wan wi a reputation of a despot, bit ah thote she wis hilarious. Thre were two Irish sisters, canny mind their names they wurny nuns, jist sibling sisters a tall wan an a short, and they never failed tae point oot how low they hid sunk tae hiv tae teach in Glesga, and how everything wis so much merr civilised in Ireland an we coodny even talk right, while they cood. We aw wished they wid go right back an leave us alane. Ah hid the wee wan fur maths, an ah coodny dae anything right fur her, so finally ah gave up tryin. Ye only hid tae take maths up tae second year, anywey, so ah gave it up an took arithemetic insteed, jist tae O level. Wan day ah'll gie maths anither bash jist tae see if ah kin dae it in the right atmosphere. Wan day.

Mind the teeny wee netball court? Never actually saw anybiddy using the rest of the playgrun, though the far end wis level. Mibbe fear we wid break the windaes of the then new building, where we hid dinner school.

Mind the huge iron gates? Don;t know if they wur keepin us in or keepin something oot, bit if yer wur late and the big gates wur shut, ye hid tae run the gauntlet pas Sister Felicitas, stauning it the wee door lookin no very felicitas at aw. Enough tae make ye turn right back roon an go hame,so it wis.
 
Oct.2007, GlescaPal Josie, California, USA
i had Miss Davidson for Latin also she used to come into the classroom as if she was flying with her gown all over the place,she must have been there forever and Miss smith for French, Mother Philipa was headmistress we were all scared of her and Sister Felicita was young then ,they used to come and sell waffles to us from the cooking class ,we went to a bakery round from the school when we had money ,which was usually Friday lunch money for the coming week to buy pies and cakes ,i had a great time at school and lots of terrific girls in my class ,remember getting lots of homework ,does anyone remember the classes at Freelands it was a small building off Cathedral st. ,there were just three classrooms , it was called doing 6 months Prep can,t remember why we went there for that time though ,somehow i keep thinking it was because we were too young to go to the main school......Josie
 
Oct.2007, GlescaPal Maria, Canada
Just fantastic to read all the old familiar teachers names--McShane, nice woman, Latin teacher; Davidson, head Latin teacher? She was a terrifyng person; Miss Kelly should have been committed. She was unfit to teach; St. Felicitas was too strict; the two Irish sisters were the McDermott sisters "Big McDermott" taught science and "wee McDermott" taught mathematics. I think both had spent time in the States as their accents were Irish/American. Wee McDermott was too fond of giving the belt to kids who couldn't understand the lessons. No one mentioned the redoubtable Miss Forbes (mathematics) or Mrs Roddis the history teacher -she was a fantasic teacher. Mrs. Fabrizzio the geography teacher was good, too. Talking about Miss Forbes. I was back in Glasgow after an absence of over 20 years. I went into a clothing shop and the saleswoman was a former OLSF student and mentioned Miss Forbes and how she had terrorized her. It sounds comical, but it isn't and wasn't, as I am sure many girls quit school because of the mental anguish. Such a pity.
By the way, my maiden name was MacDonald and I lived on Bellgrove. I attended Charlotte Street from 59 to 62. If anyone remembers me I would be pleased to hear from them.

Some of the things those teachers did would land them in Court now. I recall getting 6 of the belt from wee McDermott within one class period. Not because I was a troublemaker, because honestly I was scared out of my wits, but I couldn't think of the answers to the questions, and she went around and around the class asking us over and over. It was sheer abuse and cruelty. As for the comment about Miss Kelly checking the labels on the girls' gym knickers. Well, I never experienced that pleasure, and I am wondering if the girls were actually wearing them at the time?? Sounds like a bit of a perversion to me. 
When I was into my thirties I decided to go back to school and surprisingly enough I found that I actually could learn and pass exams with no trouble. But all that early mishandling certainly can leave scars.
 
Oct.2007, GlescaPal linanmy, Melbourne, Australia
Does anyone remember a Mrs Bradley she taught Biology? The only time my mum went up to the school was because of this woman. After she slapped one me across the face, and in those days I wore glasses. The glasses flew off my face and across the room. This was because she thought I had not done my homework, which I had. Just that it was in my new jotter which I had not taken out of my school bag. My mum was furious, she went to Sister Felicitas and then to see Mrs Bradley. Funny enough Biology was my best subject.
My form teacher before we left Glasgow was a Miss Hughes she was a great teacher, should have been more like her.

I completed my schooling in Australia at a non Catholic school and couldn't believe the difference in the teachers. They were actually human,and did not seem to feel the need to frighten students into learning. I don't think it was just the teachers at Charlotte St that were like that. My husband went to a Catholic school here in Melbourne and he tells stories about how the brothers used to beat them.
 
Oct.2007, GlescaPal marymay, NSW, Australia
The same thing happened to me,Linanmy. My mum went up to Mother Phillipa to complain about wee Miss Gallacher(circa 1953/54),for she belted me around the back of my neck with a ruler.So that`s where my brains went!! Mother Phillipa sent for her,and she had to answer to my mum,and she burst in to tears. I was over the moon to think I was the cause of having a teacher in tears,when the majority of them had me in tears at least once a week. I hated that school,and I was really interested in some of my subjects,but the teachers put me off. I walked out of school on my 15th birtday,less than 2 months before the leaving certificate.I always regretted that of course,but a good teacher would have kept me there,but none showed any interest. Someone mentioned Miss Forbes. She had everyone shaking in their shoes,and her brother,Father Forbes was the very same in Sacred Heart parish.Definitely an aggressive gene at work.
 
Oct.2007, GlescaPal Beth, Durban, South Africa
do you really think it was a religious thing? There were not many nuns teaching when i was there, but loads of old spinsters and widows. Think all schools regardless of creed had horror teachers. There were nice teachers too. As for Miss Kelly, well she was just a bitter dried up old woman, and yes I did have my knickers on at the time. Could somebody please tell me why the knickers had a pocket on the inside.But you know what? We all came through the experience, and I am glad. I was taught standards that have stood by me all my life. My son went to Durban Boys High as opposed to one of our local high schools, and you should have seen the discipline there. Sure he complained and at times I was not a happy camper, but when he started travelling and stayed with my sister for a while, she was proud when people commented on his manners. There were horror stories at OLSF but there were also good times and fun.
 
Oct.2007, GlescaPal memaw, Canada
Unfortunately, some of the dragons who taught us might well have been the result of similar or worse treatments themselves. I remember in my last year, our English teacher tried to get us to give our own opinions about articles in the newspapers. (Finally a real newspaper in school!!) However, we were by that time all too submissive an incapable of offering up an idea without being certain that it was the one expected. We were all 17-18 years old and had never learned to debate or even to interact with the teacher as a human being. At that age the classes were small, so pressure of numbers was obviously not the reason for poor communication. We didn't trust them and they didn't trust us. This one teacher was trying to get us to express opinions, but we didn;t know what opinion she wanted us to express, so she got zilch.

Strange how different teachers came over differently to different pupils. I aced maths with Miss Bradley, failed miserably with wee McDermott. My sister who had been one year ahead of me had told me of Miss Bradley's penchant for flinging dusters and chalk, so ah knew tae keep me heed doon. No-one could have prepared me for the sheer nastiness that wee McDermott inflicted upon her captives. She certainly had no talent for teaching any but those who already had a good grasp of th subject. She picked on certain pupils (unfortunately I was one) and made their lives a misery. Hence, bright pupils faltered under her cruelty, believing themselves to be dim. Not a good role model, not surprising that few of us felt the call to teaching at that stage. Hitler would have loved her.

Wee Gallagher wis always nice tae me, never hid a problem wi her. She must hiv learned her lesson well, Marymay. Ah remember her science class, aw thae chemicals in unlocked closets fur any nosy pupil tae mess aroon wi. Jist as well maist of us were too feart tae touch anything. Ah dae remember some lassies playin wi the mercury an even takin some hame fur their younger siblings. wonder how their weans turned oot wi aw that contamination. Imagine whit the health and safety people wid dae noo!

Great role medels, though!!!! Beat the weans silly, make sure any spark of initiative is dowsed for as long as possible an hope ye get tae pension age afore they spill the beans. All backed up by the establishment. Nae wunner ah'm feart of nuns. 

Mind you, if ye went tae a school run by nuns afore Charlotte Street, ye wur well tobered afore ye set fit in the place, so ye knew whit tae expect. 

These rotten excuses fur teachers live in my memory like a cancer. Bit the good wans shine brightly in my mind. The poor devils must've hid a hard time of it among aw the tyrants. Ah always wonder if they treated each other so badly, or wur they aw sweetness an light in the staff room?
 
Oct.2007, GlescaPal Maria, Canada
Re: how the teachers treated each other. I remember a student teacher coming into Miss Kelly's class. She was everything Miss Kelly wasn't. She was a big strong looking young woman with a beautiful fresh complexion, blond curly hair and a big smile. Miss Kelly treated her like dirt in front of us. It was embarrasing. Given that I am talking of 45 years ago you can guess it made a lasting impression on me. I felt so sorry for the student teacher.
 
Jan 2008, GlescaPal nancy, Canada
Was speaking to the priest at St Mary's last year,he was telling me Sister Felicitis is still alive and looking after her sister in England. She must me about 110 by now!
 
Jan 2008, GlescaPal lizbett, Glasgow
Sister Felicitis. She is approx 90 at the moment. Did you know she was one on the youngest headteachers of her time(39) quite an achievment for a woman in those days. 

recall all the stories with the exception of the belt; it was banned by the time I got there (1966). I left better educated than friends at other schools and my 4 years there gave me a good foundation for the following 38 years. Perhaps I was a teachers pet but the only thing that rattled or upset me was Miss Kelly's obsession with smells and brown knickers.
PS the McDermott sisters lived next door to my great gran and they were lovely outside school. They wouldnae help with exams though!!!!
 
Mar 2008, GlescaPal Eileen, Baku, Azerbaijan
I was at Charlotte Street from 63 to 67. In particular I remember my latin teacher, Miss Byrne, also a horrible maths teacher, I think Miss McCafferty, she wore her hair in plaits round her ears. The gym teacher was a nightmare as well, forever sending me off to remove my lipstick, which was my actual lip colour. The school poem thing was I think - Of courtesy, it is much less than courage of heart or holiness, yet in my heart it seems to me, that the grace of God is in courtesy. Is that correct. Does anyone remember that chip shop on the Gallowgate, Cha Papas or something, you could go upstairs and sit with a plate of chips at lunchtime.

I might be getting mixed up with the teachers names. I can remember sneaking out the side door of the old building, we used to get someone to watch out for Sister F and then we would make a run for it, skipping the last period before lunch. And we used to "dog" school, go to the train station in High Street, get changed out of the uniform and throw our bag with everything in it up on top of the waiting room area and head off down to the green for a laugh. I remember getting caught by a couple of prefects and a letter got sent out to my parents. That was it for me. And when I was a prep I can remember the older ones used to pour tea or juice into the brim of our hats and mark the back of our blazers with a big P. It has really taken me back years reading all this stuff. Do you remember the sweetie factory up past the barras. Miss McKerrell, English teacher I think. One year she gave us a project where we had to come up with an advert and one girl in my class came up with a cracker, advertising "McKerrell's Sausages" to the tune of Long Live Love by Sandy Shaw. It was brilliant.
 
Mar.2008, GlescaPal memaw, Canada
ah mind the auld teacher wi the circular pigtails, there wis a name fur that hairstyle, canny midn whit it wis. Never hid her. 
Strange teh wans that stick in yer heed. Davidson, big bully, McKerrel, strict bit a great Egnlish teacher, Wee Shanie, lovely wee wumman, Wee Katie Bradley, wi the great aim, Gallagher, Science and Gallagher, Spanish, nice women, good teachers, McAuley, languages, the McDermott sisters, sarcastic witches wi nae souls. 
We never hid a clue aboot the history of the old buildings in Charlotte Street, David Dale college, jow could they hiv neglected such an important part of Scottish history? 
No much of the auld school left, though the "new" part wis only built in the mid-sixties. Mind the auld spiral staircase and the dungeon that wis oor gymn? Mind the tablet and the crisps wi the wee blue packets of salt ye got at lunchtime? Jist whit ye needed afore a trip tae Glickman's, which is stil there, ah believe, must be over a hundred years by noo. Ah owe a cuppla root canals tae Glickman's and the sweetie factory up the road.
Don't remember them hiving a shcool poem or song in ma time. Jist the motto on the blazer crest "Ex parvo magnus" From a small thing, a great thing" They musta seen how big aw wis gonny get fae the wee skelf ah wis then.
Mind aw the latin masses and novenas up an doon the sterrs at lunchtime. An we aw thote if we made a novena we got a plenary indulgence. Ah've got enuff o them lined up, ah shooda been a shoo-in tae heaven, bit ah'm no gau, they tell me noo. Wastit aw that time when ah cooda been oot smokin wi ma pals!
 
Mar.2008, GlescaPal Rose, Glasgow
Iwas in olsf from 51/54 a bit before you other ladies, but I can see the ways of the school did,nt change much in later times. I can relate to the memories thats been said here, and even the teachers I can recall, they must have been immortal. As far as I can recall they were no spring chickens then, or was it the case that whilst growing into teenage years everyone over 30 looked ancient. ::)  Martins tearoom was where we used to go for hot pies [they were great] it was situated on the london rd. just up from the school. 
In my time netball was played in the TA hall behind the school and it wis dirty young soldiers that gawked at us :D
 
Apr.2008, GlescaPal memaw, Canada
Ah never even knew we wur called chocolate drops. Ah dae mind hivn tae run the gauntlet of prefeects tae get oot the school withoot yer hat or beret, though, an tryin tae get oot afore they got there, fur if ye didny wear yer hat or beret, they held ye back an ye missed yer bus. As if it wisny already obvious whit school we went tae, fae oor uniform.
Ah wonder how many people still hiv their pt skirt, ah think they wur indestructible. 
Ah know OLSF and St Mungo's have amalgamated, bit ah wonder whit colour the uniform is these days.

 
Jul.2008, GlescaPal jamie, Tenerife, Spain
re,the "belt" the belt wasn't banned till 1975! i should know i got hit with it right up until i left! does anyone remember katy webster who was at olsf early 70s' she was my young cousin,and i would make any excuse to go and meet her at the "chocolate"st gates! oh did i enjoy clocking all those pretty girls in their uni's "i was at bernard st at the time"! i lived up at wesleyan st on the gallowgate,so i had to keep an eye out for the young tongs!lol!
 
Aug 2008, GlescaPal lizbett, Glasgow
OLSF Banned the belt well before other schools. I attended from 1966 to 1970 and the belt was banned then. My punishment was lines......plenty of the. In 1st year I had to write the whole of Midsummers Night Dream. My crime was talkng in class. It took me ages. Stopped me talking though!
 
Mar.2009, GlescaPal cookie, New Jersey, USA
I attended from 1960 through 1964 - the teacher with the braids around her ears who taught math was Miss Quail - she never tired of throwing that duster at my head as I was always talking with my pal Anne Shanley in class. I remember Miss Kelly in PE she thought nothing about slapping you on the back HARD! She would be in trouble for that these days. The tablet was great, the sweetie factory and the cafe in the Gallowgate also. Glickmans is still there although the owner has passed on, his daughter is there still, I spoke to her last year.I remember one dance we had and the boys from St. Mungos were invited, I thought I was great with my new "stilleto heels" they were about two and a half inches tall but I felt that I looked great in them. I have a picture on Friends Reunited, check it out and see if you recognize any of the faces. I loved the library and really would love to know what I know now when I attended school back then, I may have understood what they tried to drill into me instead of trying to teach the subjects. Ah well,sadly you can't go back.
 

Mar.2012,  kathleen bradley (nee mcgahan)
e-mail: message:  I wonder if this site is still operating? I started OLASF in

 1935 when I was 4 and a half, I can remember a Mother Perpetua she was lovely! and a Miss Doherty, we didnt wear ties then it was a cream silky bow at the neck. I  was evacuated to INVERKIP at the start of war, I'd love to hear from anyone who can go back this far

 
June 2016,  Jean Hart, Dinnington, England, Age 70
I lived in Sorn Street, Dalmarnock,went to Sacred Heart from 1951 then Our Lady and St.Francis.I left Glasgow to join the R.A.F.I would love to contact the pals I had we used to have great parties and used Ronnies cafe to listen to the juke box. Hope to hear from you, JEAN HART


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