Younsters set sail for a voyage of discovery

Children enjoying the history experience.
Children enjoying the history experience.

Youngsters from Craigton Primary School have been finding out more about an inspirational and colourful former pupil.

As a child George Wyllie, one of Scotland’s most popular and prolific artists, attended Craigton Public School (as it was then known) near Govan. 

Recently current pupils aged between 5–12 years old learnt more from George’s daughter, Louise, and arts journalist Jan Patience.  

The pair have written a book about George and shared something of his life and work with the children.  

Pupils also got the chance to make paper boats in keeping with one of the artist’s most famous works, the ‘Paper Boat’ he launched in Glasgow in 1989 and sailed to New York in homage to Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry. 

They heard too about what school was like for George as a boy, including excerpts from his teacher’s report in which he is described as “a boy of excellent character and outstanding ability”.

Jan and Louise gifted a signed copy of their book, ‘Arrivals and Sailings: The Making of George Wyllie,’ to the school’s library.

Louise Wyllie said: “In the last years of his life, there was nothing my father liked better than taking a run up to Glasgow from Greenock to Craigton Primary School, where he would sit outside in the car and reminisce.

He would have been tickled pink that we are giving a talk to Craigton pupils some ninety years after he started in the infant class. He and his little brother, Banks, used to run across the road from their house opposite the school.”

Deputy headteacher, Mary Clare Boyce, said: “For our children to hear of the creativity and successes achieved by George, who was taught in the same classrooms as them is incredibly inspiring.”