BASH STREET'S SCHOOL
by Jeremy Briggs
The Bash Street Kids are some of the best known and beloved Beano characters. Their first appearance was in the issue of the comic dated 13 February 1954 when their strip was initially called 'When The Bell Rings' and was drawn by their artistic creator Leo Baxendale. Their popularity continues today, almost sixty years later, with their adventures now being drawn by David Sutherland.
It is said that the then Beano editor George Moonie got the original idea of the Bash Street Kids from the children in the school playground that he could see and hear from the window of the Beano's office in Dundee. In the Bash Street Kids section of the History Of The Beano, published jointly by DC Thomson and Waverley Books in 2008, the book states that George Moonie “was able to draw never-ending inspiration from the view outside his office window. The view of the pupils cavorting in the neighbouring High School Of Dundee playground was invaluable to this extremely talented Editor and script writer.”
High School of Dundee is still there today right beside DC Thomson's Courier Building headquarters in Dundee’s Albert Square and is a private school that takes pupils of both primary and secondary age. The imposing school building was opened on 1 October 1834 although the school can trace its roots back as far as a charter issued by the Bishop of Brechin in the 1220s to begin schooling in the local area, a charter that was confirmed by a Papal Bull from Pope Gregory IX dated 14 February 1239. Recent former pupils of the school include BBC journalist and broadcaster Andrew Marr, author A. L. Kennedy and the singer-songwriter KT Tunstall.
(With thanks to DC Thomson Archivist Morris Heggie, who was a little bemused that I wanted to take a photograph of his office window.)