PART II: 1900 - 1950

Four other factors which helped to inculcate school spirit were a house system, a magazine, a Former Pupils' Association and a school badge. The latter was just one of the historical interests of the Rector, whose researches into earlier days resulted in the registration of a coat of arms for the Burgh and County High School of Peebles. The design of the badge was suggested by the Lord Lyon, King of Arms, and was matriculated in November 1949. Not surprisingly, it incorporated portions of both burgh and county coats of arms plus a torch of learning and a new motto: Mente et Manu which, for the benefit of those who did not qualify for inclusion in Mr Rothnie's two-language course, means 'with mind and hand', thus indicating 'the importance of both the academic and the practical sides of education', to quote the Rector's own explanation.

The resuscitation of the school magazine which embodies esprit de corps was an even greater inspiration in that it helped the formation of a Former Pupils' Association which linked alumni with the post­war generation. The house system (Craigerne, Kingsmeadows, Neidpath and Venlaw) added an extra dimension to work and play: no longer personal but corporate achievements constituting motivation. Periodic reports on the High School issued by the Scottish Education Department via HM Inspectorate are warm in their appreciation of standards attained and constructive in any criticism proferred: the Rector, who deplored such non-academic diversions as potato lifting in school-time was elated when his principal teachers could claim 100 per cent passes in the Scottish Leaving Certificate.

Meanwhile, those same teachers instructed the 'B' course pupils who often earned their own certificates on completion of three years secondary education. Before they left school, they were addressed by Youth Employment Officers and given appropriate advice by Ministry of Labour and National Service careers officials. In all likelihood their history or geography teachers had taken them round the three mills already, ensured that some of them had familiarised themselves with local farms or even explored a coal mine; in addition, they would have been subjected to the blandishments of visiting services or nursing recruiting officers armed with the glamorised films of their respective callings! To inveigle school leavers to work in the mills, one famous firm staged a fashion parade in the Drill Hall where a clever commentator so captivated the teenagers that the girls all decided to become mannequins and the boys to become comperes - presumably to get a closer view of the proceedings!