St. Cuthbert's hockey team of 1936, with teacher Mrs Molly
Milligan. Back row (from left) - Frances Keenan, Margaret McKay, Annie
Corbett, Mima McGovern, Margaret Steward, Rita Donnelly, and Rose McGovern.
Front - Ena Clark, Peggy Meek, Cathy Scobie and Sophia Corbett.
WE have been loaned a picture of the hockey eleven
fielded by St Cuthbert's School in Maybole in 1936. The shot looks to have
been taken outside the church in Dailly Road, which had a schoolroom in
those days. The present St Cuthbert's building in Kirkland Street didn't
open till 1939. Some of the girls in the picture look older than primary
age, so the school must have catered for all ages in those days. Times
were tough in the 1930s - for adults and children alike - but these girls
look happy and healthy.
Maybe some of them were `Ovaltineys' - youngsters who enjoyed the
famous hot milky, bedtime drink! But the harsh reality of the 1930s was
years of depression in the aftermath of 1929's devastating Wall Street
Crash. There was mass unemployment, and the drumbeats of war were heard
when Hitler and his Nazi regime took a grip on Germany. The year 1936 saw
Fascist Italy subjugate Abyssinia, and Spanish Fascists spark a civil war.
Even in Britain, Sir Oswald Mosley's blackshirts were on the march, but
thousands resisted and thronged to barricades in London's East End. A
peaceful protest illustrating how hard life was in 1936 was the Jarrow
Crusade, when 200 jobless men from Tyneside marched to London. And
Britain's new King, Edward VIII, made his famous `something must be done'
remark on a visit to unemployment-hit South Wales. But he was a king who
was never crowned, as his wish to marry twice-divorced American Wallis
Simpson forced his abdication.
The year 1936 turned out to be one when Britain had three kings -
George V died in January to be succeeded by Edward VIII, who renounced the
throne in December in favour of his brother George VI. Other news of the
year included the maiden voyage of Clyde-built liner Queen Mary, and the
British launch of the latest US craze - a board game called Monopoly. A
black American athlete called Jesse Owens showed up the Nazi dogma of
Aryan supremacy by taking four gold medals in the Berlin Olympics. Wonder
what the girls of St Cuthbert's School made of these momentous events of
65 years ago? We're told that some of these lasses are still living
happily and healthily in Maybole. That Ovaltine must be good stuff!