2015 (Waterloo Road Demolishment Building)|
Secondary School (1855–2011)
Secondary and Primary School (1855–1976)
Moira McColl (2001-2011)
'Hinc Vera Virtus'; ('From This Place Comes True Worth')
The Greenock Academy was a mixed non-denominational school in the west end of Greenock, Scotland, founded in 1855, originally independent, later a grammar school with a primary department, and finally a Comprehensive school only for ages eleven to eighteen. On 24 June 2011, Greenock Academy closed after a history spanning 156 years. In 2012 the school became the former home of BBC One school drama Waterloo Road.
Greenock Academy Wikipedia
The Greenock Academy was opened as a fee paying secondary and primary establishment in September 1855 in Nelson Street, Greenock. The school lay at this central Greenock location for almost a century of its lifetime before the building was demolished and moved to a modern building in Madeira Street of Greenock's west end, on the site of the old Balclutha mansion. The Nelson Street site is now occupied by the Finnart Campus of James Watt College.
The new Academy featured both a secondary and primary school with the later named 'south wing' area being the primary school. On 29 December 1968 BBC Scotland's version of Songs of Praise came from the school; the rest of the UK saw it from Holy Trinity Platt Church in Rusholme, Manchester.
The school had a yacht club, and competed in the Clark Cup of Mudhook Yacht Club at Helensburgh. Another similar school with a yacht club was Rothesay Academy on the Isle of Bute.
The primary department was abolished in 1976 and the lower door handles and alphabet tiles still remained into the years as a secondary school.
The Madeira Street campus remained open through into the new millennium as Greenock Academy clocked up its 150th year in 2005. Three years later, the school was named as the best non-denominational school in Scotland and still remained within the top 10% of Scottish secondary schools long after the announcement. The disrepair of the ageing building overthrew the academic performance of the academy and in 2011 the school prepared to shut its doors after 156 years in service.
The Greenock Academy and Gourock High School merged into a new school in the Bayhill area of Gourock. The new school, on the site previously occupied by St Columba's High School, Gourock, is known as Clydeview Academy and opened in 2011.
On 27 October 2011, the BBC announced that they had selected the Madeira Street building of Greenock Academy to film a new series of the TV drama Waterloo Road, following the production's move up north to nearby Glasgow. The site was leased from Inverclyde Council
On 2 April 2014, it was announced that Waterloo Road was to be cancelled to "make room for new dramas" Filming concluded on the set in August 2014.
On 4 April 2014, the final stage in the school's history was brought forth as the demolition of the Madeira Street building was announced as being scheduled in September 2015, at an estimated cost of £164,000, following the end of filming use in the then anticipated date of May 2014. Plans for demolition appeared to be brought forward, however, as work began on flattening the former school in February 2015. Future potential use of the Greenock Academy site is currently unknown, but it will be sold off by the council for redevelopment.
The principals of the Greenock Academy always had the title of 'Rector'. As of 2008, Alan McDougall and Moira McColl are the only two surviving individuals to have held the post. Upon the merger of Greenock Academy and Gourock High School, a new principal was appointed, Mr William Todd, who remains the incumbent Rector of Clydeview Academy.Colin Campbell, SNP MSP for West of Scotland (taught from 1967–73)
Daniel Turner Holmes
William King Gillies
James Brunton Stephens, poet
Alexander Graham Bell taught in the school for a year.
Gordon Wyllie, DA, RSW, artist, teacher and principal examiner in art and design for the Scottish Examination Board (1980 to 1984)
William McLachlan Dewar CBE FRSE, headmaster in the 1930s
Nicholas Irvine, RBS
Helen Doherty, TV producer of Balamory and Me Too!
Scottie McClue (Colin Lamont), radio presenter and broadcaster
Sir Dugald Baird, Regius Professor of Midwifery in the University of Aberdeen
George Blake, author
Walter Clarke Buchanan, politician
Edward Caird, Master of Balliol College, Oxford, from 1893 to 1907
John Caird, theologian
Alexander Carmichael, writer
Ross Finnie, MSP from 1999–2011 for West of Scotland
Right Rev. Archibald Fleming, first Bishop of The Arctic
Annabel Goldie, Conservative MSP since 1999 for West Scotland, and former Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party
Colin Lamont, actor, writer, teacher
Allan Macartney, MEP from 1994 to 1998 for North East Scotland
Very Rev. John McIndoe, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for 1996–1997
Air Marshal Sir Harold Whittingham CBE, pathologist, Director-General of RAF Medical Services and Director of Medical Services of BOAC
Richard Wilson (born 1936), actor
David Wright Young, Labour MP for Bolton South East and later for Bolton East