Bill McKechin was a lecturer at what is now Paisley University and a prominent member of Strathclyde education committee.
Paisley faced even greater educational challenges than most communities before state intervention because of its rapid industrialisation, expanding fifteenfoldbetween 1739 and 1851.
There were schools in plenty, most of them private enterprises. But the penetration of education, and its quality, worried leaders civic and religious. Their concerns and initiatives are the stuff of McKechin's local history, which adds another dimension to our understanding of what was described in the 1830s as a half-educated nation.