A former top pupil at an iconic Govan school has responded to our appeal for schooldays memories.
We asked our community to share memories of the Hills Trust School which is to become new offices for the Association.
Eighty two new homes are also to be built next door in the major development near Govan Cross. Now former pupils have been responding to the appeal including a 67 year old grandfather who was the school’s top pupil in 1964.
Alex Simpson was that year’s “Dux Medallist” and still has the impressive ornate silver medal presented to him as a youngster. It is engraved with the date on the back and his initials in a copper or brass inlay on the front.
Now a retired grandad, the medal has been carefully kept all these years and looks just as good as it did when he was presented with it as a schoolboy. Alex said: “I was very pleased to get the Dux medal – I didn’t know such a thing existed until I was given it. I have kept it all these years as a happy reminder of my days at Hills Trust.”
A Dux Medal is a traditional academic award given to a pupil whose achievements are the highest in a class, subject or school.
Only some schools continue with the tradition which usually also features a pupil’s name inscribed on a varnished wooden board in gold lettering and displayed prominently in the school along with names of previous winners. “Dux” is a Latin term which can trace its history back to Roman times and was given by Julius Caesar to military chiefs commanding troops in frontier provinces such as Britannia as Britain was then known.
Thousands of Govan youngsters were educated at Hills Trust School since the “B” Listed building with a distinctive bell tower opened its doors in 1876.
The school was bequeathed to the community by Abraham Hill – Govan-born merchant who made his fortune in Wolverhampton. In 1757 he bequeathed £200 for the purchase of land around Govan parish. This land gradually accumulated in value and in 1875 the trustees commissioned architects to design Abraham Hill’s Trust School, which was managed by the Govan School Board.
Elderpark Chief Executive Gary Dalziel said: “It’s been fascinating so far finding out more about the history of the Hills Trust School. Hearing the memories first hand from Alex about his time attending the primary school reminds us the importance of the Hills Trust building within the area for our tenants, the community and its former pupils. As we turn the school into new offices and begin the building of these new homes, it is important we know as much as we can about its history”.