Learning influenced by the Huguenots
ALTHOUGH private Individuals - especially church leaders-had carried on
some form of education the first serious attempts at organised learning
were probably due to the influence of the Huguenot community During the
18th Century two gentlemen with unmistakable French names -Goyer and
Duhourdieu - conducted schools in Bow Street where children of the more
well to-do received instruction. The "Young Roscius," William, Henry West
Betty (1791-1874) availed himself of these services.
|WITH nearly 6,400 pupils in full - time
attendance at a schools within the Borough, it can be said that
Lisburn is well served when it comes to education.
|Mr. Alex. Martin, B.A., a teacher at Wallace High
School, is one who is in close contact With local learning, and in
this specially compiled article on education in Lisburn also
reveals an undoubted ability as a writer and historian..
Later, in Castle Street, Benjamin Neely ran a similar type of school
and it was here that John Nicholson (1821-57) attended in his early
childhood. Other prominent educationalists were Miss Jane Rea, Messrs.
Shiels, Thompson and Black. Early in the present century a private school
for junior children was kept by the Misses Powell in Railway Street. A
kindergarten was conducted by Miss Wilson in Conway Street until a few
The first great advance in popular education came about by the
exertions of Mr. John Crossley and the Rev. Cupples, rector of the
Cathedral. Determined to give the benefits of a sound secular and
religious education to the poor, they established in 1805 the Male Free
School-first of its kind-on the Dublin Road. A female school (1821) and an
infant school (1833), situated beside each other at the junction of
Seymour Street and the Belfast Road were erected by a generous public.
They were under the care of the rector of the Cathedral as was also an
infant school on Longstone Street (1847). These church schools continued
to give service until after the first world war.
In the latter half of the last century nearly every church had a school
directly or indirectly under its control. Most of these were later
transferred to the National Board of Education under the Dublin Castle
Regime and, when the Education Act of 1925 was passed in Northern Ireland,
were assigned to the Belfast and Lisburn District Education Committee.
Prominent among this group were Market Square and Nicholson Memorial
Schools. The former was opened in 1860 by the congregation of First
Lisburn under the National Board of Education as a nonvested school. Its
last principal was Mr. John Fletcher, B.A. Nicholson Memorial first opened
in 1890, although the premises had been erected in 1864 for use as Christ
Church parochial hall by Mrs. Clare Nicholson in memory of her children.
Mr. Joseph Smyth, B.A., the last principal, retired in 1934 when the
pupils of both schools were transferred to the Central.
With the Education Act of 1947 control of schools in Lisburn passed to
the Antrim County Education Committee A few, how ever, still retain much
of their early independence and to-day are classified as voluntary
By the same act secondary education was brought within the reach of
everyone. Whether this is followed at one of the three voluntary Grammar
Schools or at one of the new Intermediate Schools (built to meet the
requirements of the act) depends on an examination taken at the age of
In schools within the Borough there are nearly 6,400 pupils in full
time attendance. Free milk is supplied, a mid-day meal available at small
cost and there is an adequate book allowance.
Below is a short historical account-for which, in the main,
indebtedness is due to the respective headmaster or mistress-of each of
these schools. In addition we have in Lisburn a Nursery School in Railway
Street and a Special Care School on the Longstone. Truly, as the poet
Crabbe has put it:
"To every class we have a school assigned, Rules for all ranks and food
for every mind."
LARGYMORE PRIMARY SCHOOL
THE first school at Largymore was in 1842, when the late Captain Bolton
ohtained a plot of ground on the Hillhall Road from the Marquis of
Hertford on which be erected a building known locally as Bolton's Schol.
All expenses connected with the furniture and equipment were defrayed
by the captain, who also appointed and paid the teachers. Principal
teachers during Bolton's lifetime were George Jefferson, George Jack, J.
Currie, J. Harrison and R. Henry.
When the captain died the estate office took over the building and
placed it under the National Board of Education in 1870. Shortly
afterwards Mr, J. Higginson succeeded to the principalship and because of
increased attendances larger premises became a necessity. In 1874 Sir
Richard Wallace took the matter in hand and added about 20 feet to the
length of the building. Even that was not sufficient and in 1881 a further
extension took place.
Mr. Higginson resigned in 1890 and was succeeded by Mr. W. J. Whiteside
who taught till 1904 when Mr. Mitchell took charge.
In 1901 the school teacher's residence and grounds were given over by the
representatives of Sir Richard Wallace to the Cathedral and the following
trustees were appointed:-The Rev. G. R. Bell, Messrs. G. St. George, G. B.
Wilkins and T. J. English.
The school by this time had fallen into a state of great dilapidation
so the trustees decided to build a new school at a cost of about £1,900.
The new premises, designed by Mr. G, Sands, architect, and built by Mr.
John Vernon, a local contractor, were opened on April 4, 1906.
Through the generosity of Mr. J. Milne Barbour, a modern laboratory was
set up and furnished with a complete set of apparatus.
A major reconstruction scheme completed about six years ago has made
the school one of the most modern in the Province. It now has ten
classrooms, an assembly hall, two staff rooms and a office as well as a
One of the most novel and up-to-date features is an internal garden
right in the centre of the building. It is open to the sky and surrounded
by the windowed passages of the school.
blended new and old...
A modern piece of art at the main entrance which attracts much interest is
a mural by Mr. Colin Middleton, the well-known local artist, depicting
Pegasus, the winged horse.
There are on the school roll 290 boys and girls taught by Mr. Ernest
Shaw, principal, and eight teachers.
BROWNLEE MEMORIAL PRIMARY SCHOOL
IN 1869, the Rev. D. J. Clarke, minister of Railway Street Presbyterian
Church, founded the Railway Street National Schools. These were situated
at the rear of the church. The first principal was a Mr. Hill. After him,
in succession, came Messrs. Andrew Gillespie, John Mathers, W. J, Thompson
and John McCullough.
In June 1902 Mr. James T. Lamont was appointed to the principalship.
One of his assistants was Mr. Robert J. Todd, a brother of the Todds who
owned a large shop in Market Square. Mr. Todd had taught in the school
since its foundation and as Mr. Lamont is still active in his retirement
at Millisle and remembers him clearly, there is here a direct link with
the first days of the school.
Former pupils will remember the staff in the years immediately
preceding World War I, Mr. Lamont was principal of the Boys' School, and
Miss Martha McKittrick of the Girls' School. Mrs. Margaret Lamont and Miss
Eva McClelland were assistants. The Railway Street premises were now seen
to be less than adequate. Numbers had risen considerably, and the need for
separate rooms for the various classes was obvious. New premises were
essential, and these were to be provided through the generosity of Miss
The Brownlees were a prosperous family who owned a grain mill at the
foot of Bridge Street, They had been connected with Railway Street Church
since its foundation, Hugh Brownlee being a member of its first Committee.
By the first decade of this century, Miss Isabella Brownlee, living at
Apha Lodge on the Hillsborough Road, was the last of the name. She was
deeply interested in the well-being of the Church and in her lifetime had
gone the length of buying a site in Wallace Avenue for a teacher's
residence. Miss Brownlee died in 1909, and by her will she left the
residue of her estate to her trustees-James Edgar Sloan, church secretary,
and the Rev. R. W. Hamilton, M.A., minister-on trust for charitable
With this money and the assistance of the National Board the site of
the schol was purchased, the school built and equipped, and later a
residence provided, at a cost of about £7,000. The architect was Mr. James
Hunter, B.A., who lived at Beechwood on the way to Ballinderry. The
residence was built by Mr. R. Pinkerton, of Bachelor's Walk,
Dr. Lamont was recognised as principal of the combined school, and Miss
McKittrick was privileged assistant. Dr. Lamont went as principal to
Ulsterville School, Belfast, in 1919, and was succeeded by Mr. James Boyd,
M.A., whose wife was also appointed, taking charge of the girls'
department from Mrs. Lamont.
In 1931, Brownlee School and residence were transferred from the direct
control of Railway Street Church to the Education Authority. However, the
church is still represented on the School Management Committee and has
certain rights over the classrooms when not in school use.
Mr. Andrew M, Thompson, M.A., succeeded Mr. Boyd in October, 1940.
Under his care the school continued to prosper and the numbers to
increase. Once again the accommodation was seen to be inadequate and an
extensive scheme of modernisation and extension was commenced in 1958 and
completed in 1960. The architect. Mr. Logan, skilfully blended the new
addition to harmonise with the old.
The present principal, Mr. Robert Stevenson, B.A., B.Sc.
(Econ.) was appointed in 1959. Mr. L. N. Boyd, B.A., the viceprincipal,
has taught in the school since 1931.
... interested in sport
LISBURN CENTRAL COUNTY PRIMARY SCHOOL
LISBURN Central, standing on an elevated site off the Hillsborough Road,
was opened in November, 1934, by the late Miss Laura Pim. Two older
schools in the town, Market Square and Nicholson Memorial, bad been closed
and their pupils and staffs transferred to this spacious and substantial
new building with its 13 classrooms, art room, science room, assembly
hall, three cloakrooms with washing facilities, staff rooms, principal's
|A photograph of the staff
of the Central School, Lisburn, taken in 1963.
The school stands in approximately 3½ acres of ground with hard and
grass surfaces for outdoor activities and has its own football pitch.
The first principal was the late Mr. John Fletcher, B.A„ a man of
strong purpose and great energy who, during his seven years' service,
placed the school on firm educational foundations. On his retirement he
was succeeded by Mr. G. B. Leonard, B.A., whose term of office lasted
until December 31, 1948, which included that strenuous and testing
period during the war years when the school population was swollen almost
to suffocation by evacuees and refugees from the bombing raids on Belfast
Upon Mr. Leonard joining the inspectorate Mr. M. Shields became
principal and held office from 1949 to 1963. It was while Mr. Shields was
principal that educational reorganisation took place in the town resulting
in the opening of first Lisnagarvey Boys' Secondary Intermediate School,
and, a year later, Fort Hill Girls' Secondary Intermediate, and the
transfer to these schools of all boys and girls over eleven years of age.
Lisburn Central is now, therefore, a County Primary School providing
for the education of children in the "four to 11" age group. The present
staff of 14 teachers is headed by the principal, Mr. D. W. Thompson, M.A.,
The pupils have always been keenly interested in sport, particularly
football. Over the years numerous cups and trophies have been won. In 1952
the school was joint holders of the Northern Ireland Junior Cup.
Incidentally, a Member of the side which achieved this distinction was
Alex. Elder, now a famous Irish International.
Two distinguished visitors to the school in comparatively recent years
were the then Home Secretary, Mr. Chuter Ede (September 15, 1947) and the
former Minister of Education, the late Mr. Harry Midgley (March 9, 1953).
Perhaps it will be sufficient to leave the last word to them.
Mr. Ede recorded: "The brightness of the pupils and their spontaneous
responses are very gratifying signs of the efficiency and humanity of the
teaching." Mr. Midgley wrote his impression of the school in the simple
words "A Happy Event."
WHEN John Barbour established his mill at the Plantation in 1784 be also
established a dual-purpose school for the training of operatives and the
teaching of the three R's. His son William adopted the same idea when he
took over the Huguenot settlement at Hilden in 1829.
William's school at Hilden was completely undenominational and proved a
model for the former National Board of Education's "combined literary and
moral and separate religious instruction" policy. In 1858 the Hilden
School was placed under the auspices of the Board of Education, Dublin,
but the firm still retained the controlling interest.
In 1913 the present school was opened and was one of the first in
Ireland to embody the newer architectural ideas for school buildings. It
still retains its - undenominational character and is a voluntary school
operated by The Linen Thread Co., Ltd. as managers with Mr. E. C. B.
Gilman, O.B.E., B.A. (Oxon), manufacturing director, in direct charge of
... less pupils in winter
TONAGH PRIMARY SCHOOL
THIS is the story of a school that has changed its name on three
occasions. Originally known as the Lisburn Free National School it was
established in 1870 on Longstone Street by the munificence of Messrs, J.
J, and J. N. Richardson and a few friends. In 1921, when taken over by the
N.I. Ministry of Education, it was renamed the Lisburn Free Public
Elementary School. The name was later changed to Tonagh Primary School in
The original building, old and inadequate, was closed in 1958. It is
now used as a Special Care Centre for handicapped children under the
auspices of the Hospitals' Authority.
The school of the present day is situated at the end of Tonagh Avenue
in three acres of ground. The building was completed and occupied in
October, 1960. The official opening, performed by Mr. R, W, B. McConnell,
M.P., took place on February 10, 1961.
The premises contain six classrooms, assembly hall, staff room, medical
room and adequate cloakrooms. Oil fired central heating is installed A
modern kitchen. is being added.
There are 225 pupils on the rolls. The Principal, Mr. F. Moore, B.Sc.,
has under him a staff of six teachers. Former principals include Miss
Menown (around 1905), Miss M. Nixon (retired 1944), Mr, E. Mayne
(1944-52), The present chairman of the Management Committee is Mr Millar
Allen, B.A., LL.B.
WILLIAM FOOTE MEMORIAL PRIMARY SCHOOL
|Mr. Wells (centre) was principal of William
Foote Primary School when this photograph was taken.
THIS school began its existence in the 1880's as Seymour Street National
School under Mr. (later Dr.) Henry, being housed in what is now the
Lecture Hail of Lisburn Methodist Church.
In 1907-8 during the principalship of Mr. A, S. Mayes the present
building was erected as the result of a donation by Mrs. McAfee to the
Methodist Church to provide a school in memory of her brother, Mr William
Foote, a well-known merchant in the town.
Succeeding principals were Mr. Francis O'Kane, Mr. James Wells and the
present principal, Mr. David G, Leinster. There are eight other members of
Past pupils of the school have entered the professions of the Church,
Medicine, Law and Teaching.
With the implementation of the 1947 Education Act the school became a
Primary School for pupils under the age of "Eleven Plus."
Since. the end of the 1939-45 war the school population of the district
has increased to such an extent that additional rented accommodation has
had to be acquired. At present a new school to replace the existing one is
being built in the grounds of Fort Hill Girls' County intermediate School
and it is expected that this building will com into occupation during the
school year 1964-65.
LISBURN BOYS' (Voluntary) PRIMARY SCHOOL
LISBURN Boys' School was opened in 1861 under the management of Rev. E.
Kelly, then Parish Priest of Lisburn, and with Mr. I. Walsh as Headmaster.
In those days of juvenile labour and "half timers," the number of
pupils was small compared with to-day's figures, and showed great seasonal
fluctuations. In the summer months the number of pupils was around 85, but
in winter these figures fell unaccountably to around 55.
Mr. Walsh was succeeded in 1866 by Mr. D. Burns who remained one year
only, to be followed by Mr. M. Brown, who after another year gave way to
Mr. T. O'Hagan. Mr, O'Hagan remained till 1872, being succeeded by Mr
James McDonald, who held office till March, 1891. Next in line was Mr. M.
Hussey, a young Irish speaker from the Kingdom of Kerry.
From its opening in 1861 until May 15, 1889, the Boys' School shared
old rather dilapidated premises with the Girls' School on the site of the
present St. Joseph's Hall. Fr. Kelly had for a long time been alive to the
great necessity for new parochial buildings and work on the magnificent
building which stands to this day was begun in May, 1889. The schools were
evacuated, during building operations, to an even more dilapidated shack
rejoicing in the grandiose name of "Sudburne Hall," situated in an entry
in Castle Street opposite the site now occupied by the Convent.
On February 17, 1890, when the present building was completed, both
schools returned to Chapel Hill, The boys were accommodated in the upper
portion and the girls in the lower portion, now occupied by the Infant
The Sisters of the S.H.M., who had arrived in Lisburn some time before,
opened the Convent National School for Girls in 1902 and all the school
buildings in Chapel Hill were given over to the Boys' School. Two
additional classrooms were subsequently built at the south end of the
building, burnt down by accident in 1929 and re-built as three classrooms
Mr. Hussey died in 1904, He was succeeded by Mr. John Fitzpatrick who
had himself been a pupil and monitor in the school and who was destined to
be its head for almost 37 years. Under Mr. Fitzpatrick the number of
pupils continued to rise and in 1912, it topped the 200 mark where it
remained till the troubles of 1920. In the autumn of that year only 120
pupils were in attendance.
As conditions gradually improved numbers began to rise again and by the
outbreak of World War 11 had reached 180, looked after by four teachers.
Mr. Fitzpatrick retired in 1940, He was followed by Mr. P, J.
Fitzsimons who in turn was succeeded, in 1951, by the present principal,
Mr. Fitzpatrick's son, Mr. J. Brendan Fitzpatrick.
eighteen new rooms...
Since the war numbers have steadily risen and now stand at well over
300, with a teaching staff of 10. The building of the new Intermediate
School, due to be completed next year and the.. transfer of all 11 plus
children will reduce the enrolment to around 200 with a staff of six.
New premises which, it is hoped, will be ready by 1966 are planned for
erection beside the new Intermediate School on the Ballinderry Road.
Teams from Lisburn Boys P.S. have figured prominently in the
competitions of the Lisburn and District Schools' F.A. Five players have
been honoured by being selected to play for the Irish Schoolboys
International team, They are as follows: J. McClinton (1939), G. Murray
(1950), M. Magee (1952), T. Donnelly (1954) and E. Lavery (1955).
FRIENDS' School began in 1774 with John Gough as its first headmaster. He
was a well-known Quaker who wrote an arithmetic text book which was used
in schools for many years. When he died in 1791 no successor was appointed
until In 1794 the school reopened under the care of a committee of the
Society of Friends in Ulster.
There were 25 girls and 25 boys, all resident boarders, all Quakers,
all recommended to use plain language and all saying 'thee' and 'thou' and
avoiding Mr., Mrs. and Miss even to teachers. The pupils rose at 6 am. in
summer and 7 a.m. in winter. They went to bed at 9 p.m. in winter and 9
p.m. in summer. For almost a hundred years there was little change in the
school's way of life. But in 1874 Joseph Radley was appointed Headmaster.
He held this position for nearly 30 years, began regular science classes
and broadened the school community by increasing its numbers and bringing
it into touch with local Lisburn life.
In the time of John M. and Norah Douglas the school again increased its
numbers, and it should be recorded that early in the war it was evacuated
at 24 hours notice. Ivan Gray, who succeeded John M. Douglas, was well
known in local musical circles. To-day, under Neville Newhouse, M.A., the
school has risen to 800 pupils. Six hundred of these are in the Grammar
School (100 of them boarders) and 200 in the Junior Department at Prospect
At the moment when Lisburn is achieving Borough status, the school is
undergoing very great building development. Eighteen new teaching rooms
(including science laboratories and a hall and a gym) will be opened in
1965, by which time it is expected that the school will also have two hard
hockey fields and a heated swimming pool.
LISBURN CONVENT SCHOOLS PRIMARY AND GRAMMAR (Voluntary)
LISBURN Convent was founded in 1870, when a small band of nuns from
Beziers, France, on the invitation of the Parish Priest, Rev. Edward
Kelly, took up residence in a house in Castle Street, This property, with
its 10¼ square perches of land had
been purchased by Most Reverend Dr. Dorian, Very Reverend Dr, Marner and
Father Kelly from the Marquis of Hertford in 1864. Around this nucleus has
grown the fine group of buildings which comprise the Convent to-day.
In February, 1871, the first group of pupils was enrolled in the
school. Gradually the numbers increased so that further accommodation had
to be sought and in 1886 some land and house property were purchased.
The first major project, however, was the building of the boarding
school in 1897. This comprised four classrooms, music rooms, staff room,
dining hall and two dormitories.
The sisters from their earliest years in Lisburn, in addition to their
work in the boarding school, had taught in a few classrooms allocated them
in the Boys' Primary School, Chapel Hill. Now, in 1900, a new Girls'
Primary School was erected in their own grounds.
The boarding school continued to flourish and a further addition was
deemed necessary in 1953. This included a classroom, recreation hall,
dormitory and infirmary. In the same year, adjacent house property was
purchased which, when reconditioned, some years later, provided additional
classrooms, dining room and cloakrooms.
In 1958 the playing fields were reorganised and three tennis courts
constructed. Four years later a hockey pitch and a further tennis court
By 1960 the Primary School was no longer adequate for the large numbers
attending it, so in 1963 the building of a new school began, This is
scheduled to open in September, 1964. At the same time, the community
garden was levelled and the site prepared for the new Chapel which, it is
hoped, will be completed by 1965.
... Sir Richard's benevolence
THE WALLACE HIGH SCHOOL
The foundation of the Wallace High School dates from a period when education was undergoing changes not unlike those which are familiar to-day.
In 1864 the Government in London became very concerned at the lack of
provision for secondary education in England and Wales. The line they took
was the one which British Governments have usually followed when raced
with a thorny problem-they set up a Royal Commission to talk about it.
After four years of talking the Commission was ready to present to
Parliament a report which had a good deal to say, about what and how
schools should teach, but said nothing about how schools were to be
provided or financed. Details of at nature were left to the benevolence of
wealthy patrons or of charitable organisations.
Parliament was still wrangling about the question in 1873 when Sir
officially succeeded to the Lisburn estates of the fourth Marquess of
Hertford and became Liberal Member of Parliament for the borough. It is a
measure of Sir Richard's benevolence that he took it upon himself to
provide for the town the same kind of facilities which were being
developed in England. In 1880 he built a three-classroom school and
master's house on a half acre plot on the Antrim Road. But there his
benevolence ceased. The school which he called "The Lisburn Intermediate
and University School" was "farmed out" to successive headmasters who
obtained all their income from the fees paid by their pupils and had to
meet out of this all expenses, including heating, lighting, repairs and
the salaries of the teachers. The number of parents willing to pay the
fees demanded was never very great, and, since there were no additional
endowments, the school was mot prosperous. For the first 40 years of its
existence there were never more than fifty names on the rolls and there
were times when the number of pupils scarcerly exceeded a dozen.
Between the date of its foundation and the year 1900 there were five
headmasters in succession, A. C. Baker, Samuel Browns, J. Irwin Brown, W.
P. Steen and R. H. Ashmore. During the term of office of Ashmore both Sir
Richard and Lady Wallace died, and their Irish estates passed to Sir John
Murray Scott. He would have nothing to do with the school and control
passed into the hands of a Board of Trustees. The names of the seven
original members of the Board will be familiar to older residents of
today. They were Milne Barbour, Rev. Dr. Hamilton, Theodore Richardson,
Hugh Graham Larmour, Frederic Duncan, Rev. J. J. Peacock and Rev. J. A.
In 1901 the Board appointed a new headmaster, Hugh Maybin, who was
destined to hold the office for thirty-six years. At that time the
"farming out" system was still in operation and Mr. Maybin paid to the
Trustees £25 per annum for the use of the school. An upsurge of interest
in Science education created a need for the provision of a laboratory, so
in 1905 the Trustees organised a fete in the Castle Gardens which raised a
sum of £400.
Numbers of pupils rose slowly until 1923 when the new Northern Ireland
Government introduced its first Education Act and accepted responsibility
for much of the financial burden of Secondary education. This created an
increased enrolment and from 1926 until 1936, when Hugh Maybin died, the
Trustees added seven more classrooms and a playing field.
The next headmaster was T. H. Nunan who had the onerous task of taking the
school through the difficult years of the Second World War. How well he
succeeded can be measured from the fact that, at his untimely death in
1948, the number of pupils had risen to 300.
His successor, Mr. T. C. C. Adam, M.B.E., M.Sc., the present headmaster,
arrived at a time when the Education Act of .1947 was beginning to take
effect and make ever increasing demands upon staff and accommodation. From
300 pupils in 1948 the school has now to provide for 690. The need for
additional accommodation has had constantly to be met and has as
constantly been recurring, not only in classroom space but also in playing
fields. During the past
fifteen years 17 acres have been added to the playing fields and the
number of classrooms has been more than doubled. The new, conception of
welfare in education has also been recognised by the provision of a Dining
Hall and a gymnasium-assembly hall.
With the changing picture of State responsibility there was a danger that
the benevolent origins of the school might be forgot. ten, so in August
1942 the Trustees commemorated the founder by changing the name to "The
Wallace High School".
Continuity of Trusteeship has been notable in the history of the school.
Sir Milne Barbour was a member of the Board from 1901 until his death in
1951, the Rev. Dr. Hamilton was secretary to the Board for thirty-six
years, two of the present members have acted continuously for more than
thirty years and a third for over twenty. It is in keeping with this
spirit of continuity that, although major developments have been made
within the school grounds, the present front elevation of the school. is
largely as it was when Sir Richard built it eighty-four years ago.
LISNAGARVEY BOYS` COUNTY SECONDARY INTERMEDIATE
TWO major changes took place is Lisburn's education facilities In
1957-the closing of Sloan Street Senior Primary School and the opening of
Lisnagarvey Boys' County Secondary Intermediate School.
The Sloan Street School building was originally Sloan Street Church. When
the present church was built in 1899 the old church was opened in 1901 as
a day school under control of Sloan Street Church until it was transferred
to the Lisburn and Belfast Regional Education Committee. Under this
authority Sloan Street became a senior school and Largymore a junior
In 1957 Lisnagarvey Boys' School was built. It obtained its pupils
from thirty-seven contributory schools As these pupils were of the "eleven
plus" age group it was necessary to close Sloan Street School whose pupils
were in this range.
At first Lisnagarvey was known only as Warren Gardens Intermediate School
from the road on which it was built. The Management Committee, however,
decided to adopt the present appellation.
The school is now almost seven years in existence. As well as providing
instruction in a wide range of subjects there are many notable out of
school activities. In the academic field pupils have been entered with
outstanding success in the Grammar School Junior Certificate. Out of
school interests include a canoe club which has to travel all the way to
Strangford to launch its craft, all of which are built in the school.
The school choir has won cups at all the major musical festivals in the
Province and from time to time has led the praise service in focal
churches. Each year it entertains at the Thompson Memorial Home. There is
also a silver band and a photographic club.
Mr. W. J. Morrison, J.P., headmaster, believes in stimulating the
different interests of the boys by arranging visits to factories, foreign
countries, and places of educational interest. In addition conferences of
various kinds 'arc attended. In this way it is found that pupils are more
ready to learn away from classroom restrictions and the routine of "chalk
Mr. Morrison feels that such an education as afforded by his school
will ensure that our young people, in their turn,. will carry on the work
of maintaining a Borough of which all will feel justly proud.
Golden Jubilee Year
FORT HILL COUNTY SECONDARY INTERMEDIATE
|Miss M. J. Gray, headmistress of
Fort Hill Girls' Secondary School, accompanies Her Excellency
Lady Wakehurst during the school's official opening on May 12,
Situated on an elevated and well wooded site of 15 acres with 10 acres of
playing fields, Fort Hill Girls' County Secondary Intermediate School was
built by Antrim County Education Committee at a cost of £200,000 with
accommodation. for 700 pupils It was first operated as a school on the 2nd
September, 1958, but was officially opened by Her Excellency Lady Wake.
burst on May 12, 1959.
The school, with a staff of 30, consists of. four forms, grouped
according to age from 11-15 years and 23 'streams' graded according to
ability. In addition to general subjects, courses are presented in
commerce, nursing, handicrafts and rural science. For those who are
academically suited preparation is made for public examinations such as
the Junior Certificate, Northern Ireland General Certificate of Education
and the Royal Society of Arts. A competent careers advisory service is in
The life of the school is mirrored in the extent of its extra mural
activities which include a very active Nursery Cadet Division of the St.
John Ambulance Brigade, a Young Farmers' Club, a Scripture Union and Young
Sowers League. Under the baton of Mrs. McKinney, constant care is given to
the musical education of the pupils while dramatic productions, with Miss
Irene Irvine in charge, have become an accepted part of the life of the
Miss Wadsworth, head of the art department, had the gratification of
seeing two specimens of pottery, the work of pupils, exhibited at the
World Education Conference at Geneva, last July.
Attention has always been paid to the safety training of the pupils and
the school has participated in the Cycling Proficiency Scheme since its
To promote further recreational amenities two "all-weather" hockey
pitches, five tennis courts and a hand-ball wall are to be added in 1965.
A summary of the aims of the headmistress, Miss M. J. Gray, B.A., and
her staff is to teach the children under their care to become worthy
members of the community. That the new Borough of Lisburn will have reason
to be proud of Fort Hill goes without saying for already they are the
first girls' school in Northern Ireland to obtain awards under the Duke of
Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Chairman of the Management Committee is Alderman Mrs. S. Crothers,
M.B.E., J.P. Vice-chairman is the Very Rev. Dr. Adams, Dean of Connor.
LISBURN TECHNICAL COLLEGE
AT a monthly meeting of the Lisburn Urban District Council in October,
1913, Mr. T. Sinclair gave notice that at the next meeting he would move that the Council proceed to adopt the
provisions of the Technical Instruction Act. He stated that a large number
of Lisburn boys and girls attending the Belfast School had to pay four
times as much for fees as Belfast students and, in addition, their railway
fares. These, be claimed, were good reasons for something to be done at
Mr. James A. Hanna, supporting, said it was unfortunate that the scheme
had been shelved when he raised it some years before, as a whole
generation had been sacrificed. On being reminded by the chairman, Mr.
Joseph Lockhart, that the rate was 9s 0d in the £ Mr. Hanna retorted that
when the matter had first been raised by him the rate was only 6s 0d in
|Staff and pupils of Lisburn Technical College.
This photograph was taken nearly 30 years ago.
In consequence Technical Education in Lisburn started on an organised
basis in 1914 when the former mansion of Sir Richard Wallace was purchased
by the Council. On November 7 it was opened as a Municipal Technical
Institute by J. Milne Barbour, M.A.. D.L. Messrs. Thomas Sinclair, J.P.
and James A. Hanna, who had campaigned so strongly for this new College,
acted on the Management Committee, the former in the capacity of chairman.
The first principal was Mr. Cecil Webb who throughout his 27 years in
office showed great ability as an organiser. As a result of his remarkable
foresight strong and lasting foundations were laid upon which Technical
Education in Lisburn has grown rapidly.
In his first report, at end of 1914-15 session when there were 614
part-time students, Mr. Webb spoke, of the possibility of curtailing some
sections of school work because of lack of funds.
The full-time Day Commercial School was established in 1916 with an
enrolment of just under 40. The Technical High School for boys, giving a
full-time secondary education, opened in 1927. Forty boys enrolled. By
1931 the total of full-time pupils had grown to 110 and the staff had
increased in numbers to 14.
Progress continued and the need for furl they accommodation was
allow for this the local Education Authority purchased property adjoining
Castle House in 1939, but the outbreak of war prevented any permanent
During the war years (1940-45) the engineering workshops were turned
over to the production of munitions.
The years since 1945 have been marked by an unprecedented expansion of
technical education throughout the United Kingdom. Lisburn has followed
the national trend and some years ago the school was designated a
In 1955 the first stage of a massive building extension programme
commenced and when the final phase is completed in 1964 the Technical
College will cover the entire site from Castle Street to Wallace Avenue.
The accommodation will consist of 58 classrooms, laboratories and
workshops in addition to a new dining hall, a gymnasium, library
projection theatre, students' common room, staff rooms and assembly hall,
but already a future shortage of accommodation can be foreseen.
There is a teaching staff of 91 of which 45 are full-time permanent
Apart from Mr. Webb, Mr. R. C. Fox, Ph.D., B.Sc. (1941-45) and Mr. W.
J. Waring, B.Sc. (1945-60), have held the principalship. The present
principal, Mr. David Wright, H.N.C., is in charge of an institution which
has upwards of 2,600 registered students, 700 of which attend full-time
In his speech at the opening ceremony almost 50 years ago, Mr. T. P.
Gill (Secretary of Department of Technical Instruction for Ireland) said:
"The idea which is at the inner core of Technical Education is the
bringing out and training of the faculties of the youth of a country.
Education should always take note of the career in life for which the
pupil is naturally destined or which of his own choice he may wish to
follow, and should, whatever else it may do for him, consciously set
itself to prepare him for that career". Mr. Gill went on to express
the hope that as the school grew it would develop relations with primary
education, secondary education and higher education as well as with the
industry and the social life around it.
In this, its golden jubilee year, the Technical College, having built
up a high reputation of scholastic achievement can proudly look back in
the knowledge that these ideals have been largely fulfilled.