Sunday, 23 August 2009

Campbell College: Ormiston 1973

This photograph is dated 1973 and it shows the new boys who are about to begin their very first term at Campbell College. The first port-o'-call for new boys was Ormiston House, literally across the Hawthornden Road from Campbell's Hawthornden gate lodge.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

The Hawthornden Road was much narrower then, with a lot less traffic than today's dual carriageway. We could cross the road between Ormiston and the main school relatively easily. When the Hawthornden Road was widened, a section of Campbell's grounds had to be acquired and the boundary wall was re-built.

Back to the picture: it shows us all in 1973 outside Ormiston. I have most of the names; do you recognize anyone? Perhaps yourself! Young Timothy William (Viscount Sydenham!) is standing on several heads at the very top row, third from the left; and Charlie Lawson is in the row below. The masters include Chris Gailey, Mickey Caves and Mr Bushell.

Perusing the Wikipedia entry for Charlie Lawson, his date of birth is given as the 27th September, 1953: how, on earth, can this be correct given that most of were born circa 1960? I welcome and encourage a debate about this.

Campbell sold Ormiston in about 1974 or thereabouts. It had been a residence of the Belfast shipyard magnate, Lord Pirrie - or, to give him his full title, the Right Honourable William James Viscount Pirrie, KP, PC.

It may be of some interest to note that Lord Pirrie's London home in the early 1900s was Downshire House in Belgrave Square. It would not be unreasonable to presume that Pirrie either bought or leased Downshire House from the Downshire family, whose London home it once was. Perhaps a member of the Downshire family would know a bit more about this?

Here is a small article by the UAHS about Ormiston House.

What is probably the smallest road in Belfast borrows Lord Pirrie's title: Pirrie Road runs from 263, Belmont Road - where Ormiston's Belmont gate lodge still is - to Kinedar Crescent.

Addendum: I edited Wikipedia myself with Charlie's true age!


Peregrine's Bird Blog said...

Chris Gailey what relationship to Andrew Gailey

Timothy Belmont said...

Wasn't he a house-master at Eton - perhaps still is? I've a feeling that A. Gailey is an Old Brackenbrian; unsure whether they're related or not...

Timothy Belmont said...

I'll ask Jay Piggott. Jay is headmaster of Campbell and prior to that he was a house-master at Eton. I'm sure he'd know about Andrew Gailey. Jay was a year below me at Brackenber.

I'd see him occasionally when I'm up for a swim.

Tonymac said...

Don't think there is a relationship here but it might be of interest to VS that Andrew Gailey became Housemaster to their Royal Highnesses, Princes William and Harry at Eton. .

Timothy Belmont said...

Indeed. Actually I recall my first house-master, Chris Gailey, well. Like many masters, he was captain and then promoted to major in the CCF, I think (Denis Grant was his military boss!).

I knew about A Gailey being TRH's house-master; still, I'll mention it all to Jay next time we meet.


Peregrine's Bird Blog said...

I would know Andrew Gailey and he is still a Housemaster at Eton. For his sins when my folks die he will be one of my trustees!!

Timothy Belmont said...

He sounds a thoroughly good egg to me; then again I'm biased - he was at Brackenber! :-)

Anonymous said...

I note that another old Brackenbrian, Peter McKee, is a house-master at Eton - I think he left BHS in 76.


Timothy Belmont said...

Eton has consummate good taste!

Timothy Belmont said...

Andrew Gailey and Chris Gailey are cousins.

Andrew Gailey is now Vice-Provost of Eton College.


William Scott 4419 said...

Just as an aside to the Chris Gaily articles, he was my Dorm Prefect when I was at Cabin Hill Prep School, always a fair prefect and much admired by the youngsters.I had the pleasure of meeting him at Campbell College on one occasion before he became hosemaster of Ormiston and I was shown into the masters Common Room, the "Inner Sanctum", for a cup of coffee, I considered it a privilege at the time and I have never forgotten his hospitality.
W. N. Scott 4419