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Past Times

The days of our lives: Are you in these old school photos from Menzieshill High School?

These striking old photos span the decades — from the 1970s until the 2000s — and they are sure to stir some fond memories for former pupils of Menzieshill High School. reports.
Graeme Strachan
Can you spot yourself in our school scrapbook gallery? Image: DC Thomson.
Can you spot yourself in our school scrapbook gallery? Image: DC Thomson.

Some say our school days are the best of our lives.

When we are studying, most of us hate the very mention of school but, once we leave, you can’t help but feel nostalgic and rekindle special memories.

We have been searching high and low in the DC Thomson archives to find old school photos of classes, school trips and sports teams from Menzieshill High School.

These striking pictures span the decades — from the 1970s until the 2000s — and they are sure to stir some fond memories for former pupils.

So let’s go back to school for a trip down memory lane!


1970s

Pupils using the path which leads on to Tweed Crescent. Image: DC Thomson.
Pupils using the path which leads on to Tweed Crescent. Image: DC Thomson.

Opened in 1971, Menzieshill High was one of Dundee’s first comprehensive schools, accepting pupils from all backgrounds and regardless of their academic abilities.

Located in the city’s Yarrow Terrace, it would provide a secondary education to more than 90,000 youngsters from the surrounding area over the next 45 years.

A teacher and some pupils in a Technical class at Menzieshill High in 1971. Image: DC Thomson.
Technical class at Menzieshill High in 1971. Image: DC Thomson.

Aprons and overalls in our next image from the technical class in November 1971 and it looks like the girls have been practising with the bandsaw.

They don’t seem totally delighted with the whole project!

Peter Doig visit in 1973. Image: DC Thomson.
Peter Doig visit in 1973. Image: DC Thomson.

Dundee West MP Peter Doig visited the school in April 1973.

The Labour politician looked impressed in the woodwork class as he examined some of the handiwork from pupils Ross Hood, Arthur Brand and Alan Matthews.

Menzieshill High School under-15 football team. Image: DC Thomson.
Menzieshill High School under-15 football team. Image: DC Thomson.

Menzieshill High School under-15 football team were presented with the Dundee United FC Trophy which they won in 1976.

The under-15 team also won the league championship and reached the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup, where they were beaten after extra-time.

The swim team who broke the world record by swimming 100 miles in 23 hours in 1977. Image: DC Thomson.
The swim team who broke the world record by swimming 100 miles in 23 hours in 1977. Image: DC Thomson.

It was in the swimming pool that the school really excelled.

In December 1973, they set a world record for the 20 swimmers 24-hour 100-mile relay and they repeated the same feat in 1977, when this picture was taken.

1980s

Spectators cram the sides of the Menzieshill High School pool in February 1980 as the 20-strong swimming team regain the world record for the 100-mile relay.
Were you there when the record was broken in 1980? Image: DC Thomson.

Spectators cram the sides of the Menzieshill High School pool in February 1980 as the 20-strong swimming team regained the world record for the 100-mile relay.

Their time of 22 hours and eight minutes was 20 minutes better than that of an Australian team in 1978, meaning a third world record since 1973 for the school.

Menzieshill High School basketball team in 1982. Image: DC Thomson.
Menzieshill High School basketball team in 1982. Image: DC Thomson.

The basketball team reached the finals of the Scottish Schools Cup in 1982.

Do you recognise any of the lads in this line-up?

Menzieshill Girls Water Polo Team. Image: DC Thomson.
Menzieshill Girls Water Polo Team. Image: DC Thomson.

These pupils look pleased with themselves and rightly so!

The Courier was poolside to photograph seven of the eight girls of Menzieshill High School Water Polo Team who were called up by Scotland to play Ireland in 1982.

Catering demonstration at Duncan of Jordanstone College. Image: DC Thomson.
Catering demonstration at Duncan of Jordanstone College. Image: DC Thomson.

Duncan of Jordanstone student Karen Fraser explains hotel and catering management – a course being offered at DOJ at the time – to a group of fourth year Menzieshill High pupils in March 1984.

The lads also brushed up on their knowledge of fine plonk while attending the School of Home Economics, Catering and Institutional Management’s open day.

Menzieshill High School pupils. Image: DC Thomson.
Menzieshill High School pupils. Image: DC Thomson.

Michelle Curran, Brian Castle, Gail Irons and Scott Walker were celebrating after Menzieshill High won the Dundee heat of the Young Consumers of the Year in 1985.

The national competition tested their knowledge of trading standards legislation and 1985 was the first time that schools from Scotland had taken part in the event.

1990s

The teachers along with the winners of the "dress as you please day". Image: DC Thomson.
The teachers along with the winners of the “dress as you please day”. Image: DC Thomson.

Welcome to 1990!

A “dress as you please day” was being held by staff and pupils who took up the challenge to raise money for elderly people in the Menzieshill area.

Three pupils take part in Menzieshill High School Book Fair. Image: DC Thomson.
Menzieshill High School Book Fair. Image: DC Thomson.

Dressing up for a school book fair in 1992.

These pupils were telling some of the stories set in the Scottish Hebridean Islands including the fictional adventures of the much-loved Katie Morag.

Menzieshill School Orchestra perform. Image: DC Thomson.
Menzieshill School Orchestra. Image: DC Thomson.

Menzieshill High School orchestra and recorder group were playing Christmas music in the foyer of Ninewells Hospital in December 1992.

We are sure they went down a storm!

Menzieshill netball champions. Image: DC Thomson.
Menzieshill netball champions. Image: DC Thomson.

All smiles from the school netball champions in 1994.

Were you one of these sharp-shooters photographed celebrating the triumph?

Some of the former pupils who attended Menzieshill High School's 25th anniversary got together in the Queen's Hotel in September 1996.
Menzieshill High 25th anniversary. Image: DC Thomson.

Some of the former pupils who attended Menzieshill High School’s 25th anniversary got together in the Queen’s Hotel in September 1996.

Can you spot anyone you used to go to school with?

2000s

Pupils being given a tour of the parliament building. Image: Supplied.
Pupils being given a tour of the building. Image: Supplied.

Thirty S3 pupils were given a tour of the Scottish Parliament and met their local SNP MSP Joe FitzPatrick in 2013.

Joe led a discussion on the work of the parliament, the independence referendum and the new bill which would allow every 16 and 17-year-old the right to vote on indy.

The sixth-year formal dance. Image: DC Thomson.
The sixth-year formal dance. Image: DC Thomson.

School’s officially out and it was time to party!

Our picture finds these senior pupils enjoying the Sixth Year Dance at Forbes of Kingennie after leaving school for the very last time in 2012.

Pupils and staff from Menzieshill High School on a five-day trip to Belgium and France in 2012.
Pupils and staff from Menzieshill High School. Image: DC Thomson.

These pupils were on a five-day trip to Belgium and France in 2012.

They walked in the footsteps of Black Watch soldiers and visited the sites of some of the bloodiest battles of the First World War, including Passchendaele and Loos.

Menzieshill High School held its final school prizegiving in the Caird Hall in 2016. Image: DC Thomson.

The clock was ticking when Dundee City Council proposed to transfer Menzieshill High pupils to the new Harris Academy building on Perth Road in 2014.

The school’s fate was sealed in June 2015 when councillors voted to press ahead with the move and the final prizegiving event took place at the Caird Hall in 2016.

Elsie Hill and Meg Ogston (formerly Mackie) were among those past pupils who said goodbye. Image: DC Thomson.
Elsie Hill and Meg Ogston (formerly Mackie) were among those who said goodbye. Image: DC Thomson.

Pupils past and present met for one final time in June 2016 to say goodbye to their beloved school after it was consigned to the history books.

Ex-pupils were shown round their former school by current pupils and staff as part of a celebratory event commemorating the school.

Three tours of the school were attended by dozens of misty-eyed Dundonians.

Gone but certainly not forgotten.

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