L Block

The original L block was destroyed by an arson attack during the school holidays in 1994. L block was a rectangular doughnut shape single storey building housing Business studies, Office studies and information processing, Religious education, history, science laboratories, textiles, child care and home economics. An ambitious blend of seemingly unconnected subjects, with 19 classrooms as the main teaching block it was also joined to F block by a rickety partitioned staircase.

View from A block window from the film Clockwise

A choice of three flights of stairs could be accessed up to the building. L block always reminded me on the outside of a custard crème biscuit with the interior very suggestive of a hospital corridor; its pale green partitioned walls and long hallways separated by double doors. The home economics department had its own well equipped flat near to the F block staircase. This area was always rich with baking smells.

Textiles was a another practical subject. I attempted knitting and made some tie- dye effort that was quickly thrown away.

The classrooms in L block were always greenhouse hot, especially during the summer term in the history rooms.  “A Gallen of Waters makes Andrews”- who could forget that pneumonic to remember the history boys. LOL

Mr Forbath (R.E) had a collection of materials built up over a long career. His lessons would appear synonymous with the curious sound of humming- who knows where it started from but it lasted. I always thought it would have been funny if he had had his revenge during exam invigilation duties, but he was too much of a gentleman for that.

A curious addition was a walled circular garden feature at the centre of the building, never apparently used for anything.

The article below concerns the fire. In truth this single act of vandalism was the beginning of the end for the school, and it never truly recovered. Over £1.3 million damage was caused with some teachers loosing nearly all of their notes and career materials , as well as pupil’s course work.

Another “L block” rose from the ashes nearer to the school track, with the remainder site being turned into a playground , also uprooting the “Robinson’s Copse” named after the quickly forgotten it would seem deputy head Mr Robinson who had taught at the Grammar school and then Menzies for over 40 years! But the replacement temporary classrooms for some reason never left the site until its final demise. They looked ghastly and were out of place with the rest of the school, and perhaps just used politically to make it appear like the whole site needed rebuilding.

Hopefully karma has found the scumbag that started this fire- may they burn in hell for eternity.