Portglenone Primary School, on the Townhill Road, is where I spent the first years of my education. This would have been between the late 1960s and June 1976.
It was very handy, because mum was a nurse in the clinic next door.
Each year, a photographer would visit the school. He would take individual photos of each student. The parents could then choose to buy a copy or not. I’ll maybe publish a few of mine in the future (ok, maybe not).
It’s odd, the only group picture I ever recall being taken is the one above. Summer had almost arrived, the school year was close to an end, the weather was good. The long summer holidays were almost upon us. The various classrooms were emptied and we were all marshalled outside to the playground. In order to get everyone into the photo frame, the cameraman climbed up on the flat-roof beside the main building.
The brain is strange. I can recall such vivid memories from my early childhood, but more recent memories scarily don’t record and are non-existent. Don’t ask what I had for my breakfast this morning, or where I went yesterday. I would’t have the slightest notion. I think that that fear, of memory fading, and of the recollections/stories that needed telling, is part of what prompted me to start this website.
Anyways, back to the issue at hand. At the back of the main school building, out in the field, there were three portable huts. Miss Kerr, who taught P3, taught in the far hut. By the early 1970s, Miss Chesney, and her sister (a temp?), taught in the other two huts (P4 and P5/6). I hope that I have got that right. Please help me out, if you have a more precise recollection.
In the photo above, the teachers are along the back and right hand side. They are, from left to right: Mr Coulter (headmaster, P7), Miss Kerr (P3), Miss Chesney (P5/6), Miss Hill (P1), Mrs Adams (P2), Miss McClure (unsure).
Names of the Pupils
Two cousins (Roderick and Ruth Mulholland) and myself were in the picture that early summer day.
It’s impossible to identify the location of everyone in the photograph. But here’s an alphabetical list of most of those featured in this image.
Lesley Bell (now Barr)
Ruth Mulholland (now Rankine)
Fiona Wilkinson (now Tweed)
My other cousin, Dermot Mulholland, would have left the school a year or two earlier. Andrew Topping, I imagine, would also have left the previous year.
I was in P7, i.e. the final year. Along with me, in P7, would have been Alastair Gordon, Karen Smyth, Lorna Shannon, George Surgenor, Roderick Mulholland, Trevor Shiels, Derek Ritchie, Pauline McFetridge, and Cecil Bowl. The other names escape me.
These were awful times in Northern Ireland. The mid-1970s saw terrible sectarian conflict. But the years spent at Portglenone Primary School hold many wonderful memories for me.