3 Day Quote #2: Proverbs

Jordanhill Cartouche
Jordanhill Cartouche

Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

It’s day 2 of my 3 Day Quote Challenge, for which I thank La Sabrosona.

For two decades, I looked at this quote almost every day of my working life. The pictured cartouche adorned the gallery of Jordanhill Library where I worked – it wasn’t original to Jordanhill, but came from one of its precursors as a teacher education institution.

Why have I chosen it for this challenge? Three years ago, Jordanhill closed and its courses moved to the main campus of the University of Strathclyde. The university has now announced that the site is ready for sale and will probably be developed for housing. The three red sandstone buildings from the first half of the 20th century will be converted to apartments, and the less attractive 60s and 70s buildings demolished. In the early Spring, I took a walk around to see it as it was for the last time. Except, of course, it wasn’t as it was.

I entered by the front gate where the Principal’s house still peeps through the trees. Less welcoming was the gate across the drive and the overflowing, smelly bin – the campus is obviously still attractive to dog walkers. Eurgh!

The original teaching building, named after 19th century educationalist David Stow, is still beautiful from any angle.

The Henry Wood Building, which housed the library, isn’t – and never was!

The student residences will certainly scrub up well, and they have a beautiful outlook.

The Crawfurd Building looks not too bad from a distance, but its sunken garden is sadly overgrown.

Worst of all is the Smith Building at the back gate – but look! There are still bulbs coming through.

In the old days, the campus would have been a sea of colour with well-tended flower beds, but it’s still pleasantly green and I hope you can see what a lovely place it was to work. But my message is – never go back. The important things carry on – generations of teachers learned to train up a child in the way s/he should go, and they are still learning that today. In the end, that matters far more than the place.


  1. When was the principals house built? I was trying to find out details, it looks like it won a design competition in 1997 but that’s as much as I’ve found.


    • I can’t remember exactly – before Jordanhill became part of Strathclyde University in 1993 the Principal had an apartment on the main campus. The house was built to replace this after the merger so mid-90s.


  2. Oh wow! Thanks for sharing these photos. It’s so strange seeing the place looking so bare and empty considering how busy it always seemed to be. My world revolved around this place for four years.

    The David Stow building was part of the reason why I chose to go to University there. It reminded me of Hogwarts, hehe. And the grounds just looked lovely in the spring, I could imagine myself sitting out on the grass studying.

    And there’s my old Halls of Residence as well (though my view was less striking, looking back across the car park and towards the music rooms).


  3. It’s always melancholy returning to an old place that has changed, especially in this case when it’s all abandoned. I like the message that we shouldn’t go back but instead look forward. So very true!


  4. I love that quote and it really speaks to me today. I had a mother call me in frustration about her 24 yr old son. He lives at home, they paid for everything. He has a full time job yet went to payday loans and owes them and now can’t pay his car insurance. He was in my office back in May and before that 2 yrs ago with his mom. He has learned that if he doesn’t pay, he will always be bailed out by his parents. He has never had to support himself and has been given every opportunity but it was not truthfully an opportunity but more of an enabling. They taught him to be irresponsible, dependent and manipulative. What a shame actually. I love that quote because I think it says more today than ever before and not for the good. It is not good to go back. I did that with the home I grew up in and all I see are ghosts


    • It sounds as though he needs tough love – they shouldn’t bail him out again – but I wonder if they’ll be strong enough to do that?

      Yes, going back can raise ghosts. In this case, we felt as if we were living in a ghost town already for the last few years of the campus, as things gradually closed around us. Still, upwards and onwards – i don’t regret the decision I made to leave and I’m very happy with the way my life is now.


  5. I’m always impressed by the ability of flowers and bulbs to survive long after other things have become overgrown. It shouldn’t be, but I always find it surprising to come across lilacs or daffodils in the seeming middle of nowhere, all that remains of a place someone once loved and called home.


  6. I have the same thoughts about returning to a place, especially one which holds special memories. Never go back. Which is probably why I rarely return to the same place on holiday!


    • A group of ex-staff have plans to go back to inspect the show house when it’s built, but maybe we’ll chicken out! I do have special places that I readily go back to, but I think when you know things have changed in a way that you won’t like it’s probably a bad idea.

      Liked by 1 person

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