Pupils old and new gather to celebrate Baltasound Junior High School’s 50th anniversary

A major milestone for Unst has been celebrated – the 50th birthday of Baltasound Junior High School’s secondary department.

Officially opened by Lord Birsay on the 7th June 1967, it allowed local pupils to use dedicated classrooms for all of the secondary subjects studied. The pupil and parent councils were busy in the lead-up to the celebration and had invited former pupils, staff members and councillors to the anniversary.

The school had collected in photos and memorabilia from yesteryear and displayed class photos through the years alongside photos of the department being built in 1965 and formally opened in 1967.



Former teacher Leslie Smith also contributed his own photo collection with great images of the pupils, classrooms and resources used between 1964 and 1987. Many of these images were already captioned with the remainder added to by those who came along on the day.

One of the most enjoyable aspects was the opportunity to hear stories and anecdotes from former pupils and it was a chance to have a look around the school as it is now, seeing the changes and similarities over the years.

Former pupil Laurence Jamieson (pictured) was one of the first to use the new technical room and he highlighted the fact that the original lathe from 1967 (on which he proudly made a rolling pin) was still going strong!

Also having a birthday was local accordionist Hunter Nisbet who was celebrating his 80th. With him were Heather and Davy Gordon who chose to attend Baltasound JHS’s 50th birthday party, as opposed to watching their son Craig Gordon take on England at Hampden Park – a tough decision to make.

Head teacher Paul Thomson said: “The large turnout ensured the event raised over £670 for school funds which is a fantastic achievement.

“The pupils, parents and staff would like to thank all who organised the event and those who helped us celebrate.”


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