The first “Riever”

Galashiels Academy Magazine


The magazine was published in July 1943. There were only 24 magazines produced due to the limits of wartime paper rationing. A compulsory raffle was held and every pupil had to buy 2 tickets each costing 1d (one old penny) each. The original owner Jim Kyle (who was not particularly interested) won 2 out of the 24 produced. Jim was immediately approached by Miss Leslie the maths teacher with an offer he could not refuse, one copy gone. Shortly after another teacher made a good offer; fortunately Jim refused and it was eventually donated to the Old Gala Club.

Some snippets from the first brave issue.

Editors Mr W Forbes Headmaster and A S Peden Senior Pupil

Art Work Mr Henderson

Pupils’ Committee:

Classes V and VII: E Brown, S McIver, E Wilkie, G Sunderland.

Class IV: J Lillico, R Roddick, A Armstrong, H Blackadder

Class III: C Douglas, I Donaldson, H Quinn

Class II: J Sutherland, M Stewart, M Forbes

Class I: W Boyd, J Kelly, E McGee

There are notes from various clubs.

The Literary and Debating Society "The first term was really very successful but as we go on, we may also include in our syllabus lectures from people outside the school. We may include lantern slideshow and possibly film shows. It is strange how timid and quite some persons can become at the meetings. Fortunately this tendency never to utter a word was gradually disappearing at the end of our first term”. J.S. Lillico, Hon. Secy.

The Music Club. “This Society has been a conspicuous success. The meetings of the Club normally consisted of programmes of gramophone records supplied by members of the Club. Those programme included features such as Jazz Corner, the Lives of Great Composers etc. At Christmas an enjoyable concert was held; members of the Club practised and contrived to sing, play the piano, the fiddle, recite, etc”. Orpheus.

Sport pages.

Rugby notes. “After a very shaky start to the rugby season when we drew and lost our first two matches respectively, we settled down to a very successful season. We had cemented our position as the winners of the Borders’ Schools Trophy. It is very difficult to single out any player for special mention as everybody pulled their weight, but in Jimmy Orrett and Phil Curran we had two match winning forwards and Smith playing at full back retrieved many dangerous situations. I should also like to wish the best of luck to all players who have left us for either civil or military service”. J M Mitchell, Rugby Captain.

Cricket Notes. “After the likely team members had shown their paces at the nets, the Committee managed to select a presentable eleven. The trouble with the team however is that it is rather too formed of keeping down the runs. The attack has been entrusted to entirely new bowlers this season. The fast bowlers are L Allan and A Rayner who are closely rivalled by J Mitchell, J Leitch and A Cockburn”. A photo of the cricket team also appeared in Border Telegraph in July 1943. J Leitch, Vice Captain.

Hockey Notes. “ Last hockey season was the worst spell of bad luck an Academy First XI has experienced for some years. Out of some 15 matches only one was won by the Team. The one redeeming feature about the past seasons First XI in the inexhaustive wealth of high spirits and good sportsmanship both before and after their matches no matter how sound a beating they received”. Sheila MacIvor, Hockey Captain

Tennis Notes. “Owing to a delay in the opening of the tennis courts and the difficulties which other schools appear to have encountered in raising a tennis team, the Academy team have not, as yet, won or lost any matches against a girls’ team this season. A friendly game was played against a team of Academy boys who slashed their way to victory. A tournament was held lately between the schools of St Trinneans, St Orans and Galashiels Academy. The winners of various girls’ contests showed the Academy could well take its place alongside other schools”. S MacIvor, Tennis Captain. (St Trinneans, an Edinburgh Girls’ School evacuated to Old Gala House. St Orans were evacuated to Lauder).

Other Items.

Cookie Notes. “The Tuck Shop, The Grubby, The Canteen, some of the various names given by the pupils of other schools to their own particular building in which their lunches are served. The name used by the Academy pupils ever since the school’s early days has been The Cookie. The war seemingly has affected only very slightly the fare served in The Cookie and the pupils apparently seem as satisfied with this face as they were in pre-war days!!! One thing however the war has put to an end is the serving of jeely pieces, (Mrs Fairbairn has brought everlasting fame on herself for making these) owing, I suppose, to the rationing of jam. Between 12 and 12.15 pm, 3 days in every week, there can be heard omitting from the interior of The Cookie, strange sounds reminiscent to these who are familiar with farm life, of the noises heard in a piggery. Alarm however is unnecessary as pupils are only enjoying their soup”. W.I.R.

School Library. “ Progress is being made in compiling suitable books and suggestions will be welcome from any member of the school. The library is of course controlled by the committee and the rector”. M.S.R.

Girl Guide notes of 2nd Gala Company. (This page contains a potted history of the company). “ It is now 24 years old being formed in 1928. There is still attached to the Company, we are profoundly thankful to say, a most faithful and efficient link between the present and the recent past in the term of the First Lieutenant Mrs Tulley who joined the Company when she was a pupil in the Academy and has remained loyally in it ever since. For us it would not be quite the same company without her. The Academy company also rejoices in the possession of what must be a rather rare relative for a Guide Company namely a “Company Godmother” Miss Bruce of Easter Langlee, who has been a very good friend of the company for many years”.

Savings Group: “During this session the group have saved nearly £900. This total is not merely a measure of the determination to save, but also indicates that the pupils must have a very liberal allowance of cash from their parents. They also tied up with” Wings for Victory” week”. A Special Correspondent.

The following have passed their Higher Leaving Certificate: Elizabeth B Anderson, Catherine C Beveridge, Elspeth J M Brown, Gilbert F Burns, Philip Curran, William A B Forbes, Magaret T Gibb, Adam J Hossack, Marjory Huckle, Robert Jamieson, Alexander B Lawrie, John W Noble, James H L Orrett, Alexander S C Peden, Helen D Shillinglaw, Janet Shortreed, Thomas Simpson, James Smith, Goldyn Sunderland, Ronald I Watson, Eleanor Wilkie.

A Poem

Galashiels Academy

We belong to a school, a fine old school,

We declare it is one of the best,

And to keep it on top where it surely must be

We never must slack in our rest.

Both in sports field and in class we must ever surpass,

As we have done, and shall do, and now do.

We upheld tradition, live up to our name,

And ever gain honours new.

And when we are on the field we never shall yield,

We’ll fight and victorious be.

We are they ‘who with wings shall like eagles arise’.

The Academy, Gala Academy.


There are 72 pages in all with many short stories and poems.

One comment from Editors: If you like our magazine, so much the better. If you do not, at least you can derive much pleasure from it by thinking how much better you could have done it yourself. So you gain either way.