The Parliament in Edinburgh passed Acts in 1633 and 1696
which obliged every Burgh Council to provide funding for free
education within their area and this led to the establishment
of Burgh Schools. Views were expressed in Gala that education
for those who worked in the mills was a waste of time. The
Reverend Paterson even said "there can be no training of the
volatile minds of youth equal to that which is maintained
at the factories". The Burgh School was built in 1874 and
extended in 1895, at which time the school roll was in the
order of 920 pupils. Most of the children were from the newly
erected housing in the area from Gala Park to Scott Street.
Turn left down Bank Street Brae, known locally as Round Tree
Brae. Near here there was once a tree, which local legend
claims was the haunt of fairies or "little people" and also
of a "ghostly white lady". This street slopes down to Bank
Street and is essentially a bridge over part of the lade system
which powered many of the mills in Gala. At the junction with
Bank Street is a pair of red sandstone lamp pillars with the
Burgh Crest carved on them. The right hand one also has a
carved inscription but the crests on the pillars are unfortunately
losing their detail due to weathering.
On the left is the site of Waulkmillhead Mill, a small building
compared to the giants of later years. The last owner, Dr
Oliver, set up a trust for the benefit of students at the
Scottish Woollen Technical College, the forerunner of the
Scottish College of Textiles. The trust sold the building
to the Council in 1947. The Town Council demolished the mill
in 1949 and, in accordance with the trust's conditions that
the area should not be built upon, the ground was incorporated
into Bank Street Gardens in the early 1950s.
Turn right into Bank Street, Gala's second shopping street.
Next: Bank Street Gardens