Fond memories of school days

Two of our eldest Old Girls Shirley McCormick (nee Allen) and Jean Galloway (nee Eder) fondly remember their time at QMC. Shirley attended QMC from 1931–1942, from Primary  to 6th Form (Year 12). Jean attended from 1941–1946 (Year 7–13). Both women were in Lochleven. The pair remember their school days very well, despite it being decades since they attended the College. “I loved it at QMC. I remember sitting on the floor of the Old Hall for assemblies. We used to sit cross-legged up the spiral staircase,” Shirley says.

“I remember saying QMC was a very strange College after my first day. Girls would often climb through the window to get to and from class,” Jean adds. “We had singing with Mrs Hurst. I had her for Primary and Secondary singing and we had some wonderful piano players too,” Shirley remembers. “The Junior School was over the road at 54 Hobson Street. In Standard 5 (Year 7) we moved over to the new block.”

One of the pair’s most lasting memories was of then Principal Irene Wilson. “We used to call her “the Bish” because she was rather small and when she wore her hood up she looked like a Bishop,” Shirley says. “Mrs Wilson only had to come in to the room and you could hear a pin drop. She never said anything, she just stood there and the whole school fell silent. She was a remarkable woman,” Jean adds. Despite being in Lochleven, Shirley ended her time at QMC as the Berwick House Prefect. “I was in Lochleven for 11 years and then I was moved to Berwick to be their Prefect. I didn’t really mind because Mary Wall was older than me so she was always going to end up as the Lochleven Prefect,” she says.

After leaving school Shirley worked in Wallaceville during World War II. “I had to get up early to take the train. I used to wave to Mary Hopkirk as our trains passed each other. She was another Prefect with me at school,” Shirley says. Jean’s two daughters Ann and Prudence Galloway later attended QMC. Shirley had seven sons. “I always wanted a daughter I could send to QMC,” Shirley says.

Nathan Collier