The History of Dalbeattie Primary School Project Group and The Children’s After School History Club are delighted to announce that all their research, resulting from a project which has now spanned two years, has now been published. All of the groups’ findings have been brought together in an 80 page hardback book, with accompanying DVD.
The idea for the project came about because Dalbeattie Primary School will be moving to a new building in 2017, to be co-located with Dalbeattie High School on land adjacent to the existing secondary school on Haugh Road. It was felt that the current school site’s history should be researched and documented for future generations, before the Primary leaves it current site on Southwick Road. (It is interesting to note that when the current granite primary school opened in May 1876, it was actually a school for both primary and secondary pupils until the High school opened in 1958. In 2017, primary and secondary pupils will come together once more)
During the scope of the project, there have been large community events to encourage the local community to engage with the research. An ‘all day coffee morning’ in January 2015 saw a huge turnout of people coming along to Dalbeattie town hall to look through and help to name and date hundreds of old school photographs provided by Dalbeattie Museum. Then, in September 2015, the school itself held an ‘Open Doors’ event where the local community were invited to come along to reminisce during tours of the buildings and to consult old plans to advise on how they remembered different rooms being used over the school’s life since 1876 and until the present day. On both these occasions, the parent Council provided refreshments.
Throughout the length of the project, the After school club has also been busy interviewing people about their memories of being former pupils, teachers and head teachers. The children were particularly interested to find out from former teacher, Mrs Pettigrew, that she had once taught current head teacher, Mrs Duncan in her Primary 6 class at Dalbeattie Primary! The children also enjoyed a visit to the Archive Centre at the Ewart Library in Dumfries to consult the old school log books.The book has also been the result of much support from many other organisations and contributors, who are detailed in the book. Much work has also gone into the accompanying DVD which contains a great number of old class photographs from the early the 1900s until the 1990s. This involved many hours of scanning by Dalbeattie Museum volunteers. We are very grateful to Angus Leigh, previous school photographer for his support in this.
The distribution of the research will begin very soon. Current staff and parents of pupils are being invited to request a copy. Thereafter, the local community will have the opportunity to obtain a copy at Dalbeattie Museum, starting from Friday 25th March (Good Friday) when it opens for its 2016 season. Although the book is being given away free, we do ask that people fill in a request form so that the project group can keep a record of where all 3,000 copies end up going. The book is free of charge, thanks to funding of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery’s ‘Sharing Heritage Fund’ and £650 from the William Heughan Associated Special Trust. These funds have covered expenses involved in researching the school’s history, events, transport and the publication of the research. The project group is very grateful for this support.
If folks don’t get the chance to obtain a copy at the Museum, they will get another chance to pick up a copy at an event which will celebrate the publication of the research at another major date in the school’s calendar in May 2016. On 5th May, the school will celebrate its 140 year anniversary. This will be marked in school, on the day, with the pupils. However, on Saturday 7th May, we shall be having a major community event- a Victorian Afternoon Tea. Information and more details of what will be happening on the day will follow nearer the time, but in the meantime, do keep the date! What better way to celebrate the publication of the school’s history than on its 140th Anniversary!
Open Day Events in school and at Dalbeattie Town Hall.
The Completed History Book.