Sepia Saturday – Dirleton Primary 1940’s

Here’s my Dad’s school class photo from Dirleton Primary School in East Lothian.  I’d guess, 1946 or so (he was born in 1937 so I’m guessing he’s about 9?)  He’s the heavily-Brylcreemed (or spitty-downed hair) young man at the end of the middle row beside the teacher.  Note that my Granny made sure he was wearing a tie for photo day – I think he’s the smartest boy there.  Me?  Biased?  Surely not.

Dirleton Primary School photo from late 1940'sIf you can add names to any of this assorted crew of ragamuffins and cuties, please let me know, or if you would like a high resolution copy, I’d be delighted to supply one.  Judging by the amount of pained squinting going on, the photographer wasn’t expecting any sunshine that afternoon – two of the girls look like they’ve sat on thistles – much like me in my school photos 🙂

See what everyone else is up to on Sepia Saturday

About Jo Graham

Scottish genealogist - this blog is for my own family history and photos
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20 Responses to Sepia Saturday – Dirleton Primary 1940’s

  1. Christine says:

    I love old school photos. Your father is indeed the smartest.

  2. Marilyn says:

    Wonderful photo to have and yes, father is the smartest one in the photo. I love ‘ spitty-downed hair’!

  3. Nancy says:

    School group photographs are so interesting to look at. I notice the boy on the back left is wearing short pants. I wonder if your father also had on short pants. He – your dad – definitely looks like the brightest and most attentive!

  4. Joan says:

    The clothes ,shoes and socks remind me of my own school photos. i too love the ‘spitty down’ hair!

  5. Alan Burnett says:

    What a great photo. I was saying to someone just the other day that such school photographs are almost “nation-less” : those kids could have been anywhere : Britain, France, USA, Canada, New Zealand or wherever. The same faces, the same expressions, the same humour.

  6. urban muser says:

    love this photo! i posted a few class photos of my gram recently. i love their squinty faces and their clothes.

  7. Jo says:

    Thanks for the comments 🙂 I suspect all the boys had shorts on (and scabby knees!) but I feel sorry for them all squinting into the sun and trying to smile for the camera

  8. Looks like my string of school photos. I was born in 1937.Great year.

  9. Muse Swings says:

    Not only is he the smartest boy in the class, he has had the foresight to station himself by the teacher. Or better yet (be still my heart) perhaps the teacher has asked him to stand there! Lovely shot, squints and all!

  10. Tattered and Lost says:

    Love the details in school photos. The pieces are always better than the whole. Lots of stories to be told. Great shot.

  11. Ilene says:

    Jo, your comment on my blog made me laugh!
    I remember those squinty poses. My mom had a box camera and flashbulbs were expensive. So she always stood us outside, facing the bright sun to take our pics. My eyes were always, and still are, sensitive to the sun. I just hated to have my picture taken.

    • Jo says:

      My folks sent me to Canada in the early 1970’s to stay with my Mum’s brother and his family. She lent me her camera for “important photos” – and because I knew how precious “film” was, I came back to Scotland after a fortnight with 7 pictures – a dilemma between spending precious film and recording important moments 🙂 I had no idea that she expected me to fill up 2 or 3 films in 2 weeks. If I had known how extravagant I could have been….

  12. Ilene says:

    Oh, and thanks for the tip on commercial epsom salt. I’ll have to see if that can be purchased here! Hugs!

  13. TICKLEBEAR says:

    now i know why i’m grateful my school pictures were taken inside.
    i say brylcreamed as there seems to have been a bit of a wind…
    and yes, he did look smart!! a future C.E.O.???

  14. Pat says:

    For smiles and careful studies there is nothing better than school photos….wish I had mine!

  15. nean says:

    a chip of the old block or not?? wow, so you do have links to East Lothian

  16. Great Photograph ~ so funny that they are all squinting ~ not the BEST photography technique that!! ;D

  17. Larry says:

    It really is an interesting view of a group of students of that era. The dress, expressions and the general feeling of the students tell a story of their own.

  18. Cheryl Cayemberg says:


    I could probably repair the photo if you emailed it to me. I fixed a few family photos recently and am still honing my skills. I’d love to give it a shot if you wanted to send it!

  19. Jo says:

    Hi Cheryl

    Thanks for your extremely kind offer – I will look out the original scan and email it to you. I have Photoshop 7 but only use it for pretty basic stuff as I haven’t had the time to learn how it works and it seems pretty complex.

    Thank you 🙂


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