Ancestry UK

Ayr Industrial School for Girls, Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland

Prior to 1899, the Ayr Industrial School for Girls had been located at Carrick Street. The increasing unsuitability of the old premises led to a new building being constructed in 1898 at Belmont Avenue, Ayr, close to the Boys' Industrial School on St Leonard's Road. It was formally certified for use as an Industrial School on 14 January 1899, with accommodation for 55 girls aged from 8 to 12 years at their date of admission.

The school site is shown on the 1908 map below.

Ayr Industrial School for Girls site, Ayr, c.1908.

The architects of the building Messrs Morris and Hunter. Their design is illustrated below.

Ayr Industrial School for Girls, architect's design, 1896.

Ayr Industrial School for Girls, architect's design, 1896.

Ayr Industrial School for Girls, architect's design, 1896.

The new school began with a complete change of staff and now comprised: superintendent, Miss Lindsay; teacher, Miss Thomson; sewing matron, Miss M Lindsay; and laundry matron, Miss Rutherford. The 1899 inspection noted that a few private families patronised the school's laundry which was managed by one of the senior girls. The younger girls had begun having some Swedish drill exercises.

An inspection in 1903 noted that sewing and knitting received careful attention. Some of the older girls had cut out and made up their own dresses. The girls had had a series of cookery lessons from a qualified teacher, and similar lessons had been given in the theory of laundry work. Musical drill was carried out for half an hour each day, with the older girls using bar-bells. Coloured ribbons were awarded for good conduct. On 19 June 1903, the school's capacity was formally raised to 60 places.

Miss Lindsay departed in November 1904 and was succeeded as superintendent by Miss B.T. Falconer. She was replaced by Miss Janet L. Burnett in May 1907.

Following a steady decline in the number of girls being placed at the school, it was closed as of 11 December 1923.

The old building no longer survives and the site is now occupied by the Southcraig Campus, a special school for pupils with additional support needs.


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