You asked if I could shed some light on my time and experiences at Elmgrove School 1948-1955,well I will try. My earliest recollection that I have was firstly being at Avoniel PS (principal then a Mr.Davidson) transferring to Elmgrove (principal Mr.Clemitson) and having as my first teacher a Miss or Mrs.Smith, milk then cost a halfpenny per half pint later to be reduced to a third of a pint, the gravy in the dining hall or now called assembly smelt lovely but tasted horrible, I can just about recall, that the pupils received a huge red apple once a year which was donated by the people of America, (so we were told) this was a real treat we had never seen apples so big. Moving on from there I was placed into a Mr Fred Fulton's class, who had a fearsome reputation and stood no nonsense, also had tremendous wrist action when administering punishment with the cane, but nevertheless a great teacher who loved music and to whom I owe a lot.
Collecting (cheesers) from a large chestnut tree in front of the school was one of our pastimes,I also recall that we had a gardening period once or twice a week this consisted of being able to grow our own vegetables,this plot of ground was at the rear of the junior side of the school. Moving on I then had a Mr.Campbell (Bunter was his nickname) for a year before progressing to a Mr. Norman Harris or Harrison who had some connection with B.B.C. Radio. Ah! the radio, fond memories here of having to go to another classroom and borrow this huge box or contraption and it took two of us to carry it back to our room then the class would have listened intently for half an hour.
One thing that will remain with every male who attended over this period (1948-1955) was Miss Shannon, she was a stunner and taught maybe into the 80s and still remained Miss. Other names of teachers that come flooding back are Sam Preston (Mr. Muscles) who took art and sport classes and helped to train me at running, I recall area sports day being held at Avoniel and qualifying for the school/sports final which was held at Dunmore Stadium Antrim Rd., that day I finished last and never made it into the record books. I spent a little time in a Mr Bill Cummings class, he to if my memory serves me well was very fond of Miss Shannon.
Finally and sadly I moved into my last year under a Mr.Maurice Scott, a giant of a man that played rugby for Malone always remembered for his bruised and black eyes,his big ginger moustache and his bald head. I can say that probably the final year holds most memories for me,being made a Prefect then gave me a true sense of responsibility.I can recall that basketball was very popular, teamsters who I remember Roy McCord, Jimmy Campbell, Harry Wright, Joe Hagon, Ginger Millar. I also remember that we were taken to Templemore Baths for swimming lessons. Knowing that my own two sons were pupils at the school and how they were both fortunate enough to be chosen for trips to America,things have come a long way from our school trip for a week to Dundrum Castle and five sleepless nights.
I know that I am unsure of a lot of this,but one thing I am sure of I have the LORD JESUS CHRIST as my own and personal Saviour! Born Again 01/01/1984
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