North Walls and Brims

Schools and schoolmasters

The current school at North Walls is the latest of three in the same area but there was certainly a school or schools in “the Northside” before 1867. Additional information is welcome; this is very much a work in progress.

Photograph showing North Ness, schools, former UF Church, wartime remains including oil tank at Lyness, Hoy, Orkney. Taken by Trish Avis, September 2020.
North Ness, schools, former UF Church, wartime remains including oil tank at Lyness, Hoy, Orkney. Photograph: Trish Avis, September 2020.

North Walls Schools

The General Assembly (GA) School – opened in summer 1867, partly funded by the Church of Scotland, hence the name, and partly by local funding raising. It was only transferred to the School Board in 1891, almost 20 years after the Education (Scotland) Act, 1872, which regularised and extended the provision of schools and established elected boards in each area. Known as North Walls Public School from that time.

It was very overcrowded by the time it was replaced in 1932. My late father recalled the two teachers standing back to back in the middle of the single room teaching their classes at each end. Accessing a cupboard meant shifting desks and was quite a palaver.

North Walls Public School – opened on 25 August 1932 with space for 60 pupils. Additional classroom space, a dining room and kitchen were added and in use shortly after the start of the 1948-49 session. Read more… Now home to the Gable End Theatre.

North Walls Community School – opened in (tbc), complete with swimming pool and healthy living centre. Link to the school website

Brims School

Opened in 1877; closed in summer 1968.1Walls & Flotta School Board. Brims School Logbook. 8 June 1877. GB 241. CO5/90/1. Orkney Archive, Kirkwall, Orkney.

Schoolmasters and teachers

I’ve started a list of for the North Walls and Brims schools. Names and dates to add would be welcome.