The image is from Wikipedia Commons
|The Greenock Academy|
The Greenock Academy Building as 'Waterloo Road' in 2012
|Type||Secondary School (1855–2011)
Secondary and Primary School (1855–1976)
|Motto||'Hinc Vera Virtus'
('From This Place Comes True Worth')
as Greenock Academy 2015
(Waterloo Road Demolishment Building)
|Headteacher||Moira McColl (2001-2011)|
|Age||11 to 18|
|Colour(s)||Maroon / white
(Greenock Academy Colours)
Maroon And Yellow (Waterloo Road)
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. Between 2012 and 2014 the school became the home of BBC One school drama Waterloo Road.
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.
On 4 April 2015, 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 Glenpark Early Learning Centre was constructed at the top of the site and completed in 2018.
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 close 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. Filming concluded on the set in August 2014.
Rectors of the Greenock Academy
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.
|Rector||Start of office||End of office||Duration (years)||Comments|
|Robert Buchanan||1855||1860||5||First rector of Greenock Academy. Resigned from office in 1860.|
|Archibald Montgomerie||1860||1872||12||Originally a Mathematics Scholar.|
|Edward L. Neilson||1872||1893||21||First Classics Scholar to take up the post.|
|Alexander Gemmell||1893||1930||37||Appointed at the age of 28, he was the longest serving Rector of the Academy, serving for 37 years, and was largely responsible for the beginning of formal 'Games' at the Greenock Academy.|
|William Baird Taylor||1930||1941||11||Previously the principal teacher of English at the academy and rector of Johnstone High School.|
|William Dewar||1941||1947||6||Resigned from the academy in 1947 to become rector of George Heriot's School in Edinburgh.|
|James W. Chadwin||1947||1967||20||Rector during the transfer of campuses of the academy.|
|Robert K. Campbell||1967||1990||23||At the forefront of banning corporal punishment in schools, he abolished the belt in the academy two years before it was officially banned at the national level. Campbell died in 2008.|
|Alan McDougall||1991||1999||9||The last male rector of Greenock Academy, he retired from the post in December 1999. His deputy rector, Patrick Innes, became the acting principal of the Academy until a permanent successor had been decided.|
|Moira A. McColl||2000||2011||11||The last rector of Greenock Academy and the only female rector in its history, she was still in office when the school closed in June 2011.|
- 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.
- William McLachlan Dewar CBE FRSE, headmaster in the 1930s
- 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
- Mudhook Yacht Club
- "Waterloo Road building to be knocked down following show cancellation". Digital Spy. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
- "Vision of future for schools", Russell Steele, Greenock Telegraph, 4 March 2008
- "Clydeview Academy Update". Gourock High School. Archived from the original on 16 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
- "School Report - School Reporters at the new Waterloo Road set". BBC. 14 March 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- Killkelly, Daniel (21 August 2014). "Waterloo Road to film final scenes today after ten series". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Greenock Academy & associated Primary Schools" Archived 8 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine, AchieversUK.com
- "The race to be Scots Tory leader", BBC News, 1 November 2005
- Richard Wilson's Beacon Theatre hopes dated 27 Mar 2015 in Greenock Telegraph
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