Do you have a child due to start P1 in September 2024?
On the occasion of our 100th Anniversary, we received a number of letters from ex-pupils and staff. Some of these are included below.
To the Principal and Staff,
Many congratulations to the school on its 100th anniversary. My Dad, John Snowden (b. Dec 1924) was a pupil there in the 1920s/1930s along with his sisters Grace, Evelyn and May, and brothers Bobby and George. The family originally lived in Perry Street, but moved to Earl Haig Park, when it was built, and lived there until my Aunt Grace passed away in November 2008.
They all spoke very highly of the school and the wonderful times that they all had there as children. It is great to see that the school is still around today and educating and caring for new generations of children. These days it seems that older schools and churches are "passe" and I am very gratified that Harding Memorial is still around today. What memories there must have been of the school and I'm sure that if the old saying "if walls could talk" was true, what stories they could tell of days gone by!
God bless and best wishes to all of the staff and pupils of the school as you enter your second century.
As an ex-pupil of Harding Memorial in the 1940's, I was interested to read about the school today. So different than when I was there and I am sure they are much happier.
I remember going with others up the rocky road at the top of Cregagh Road to where there was a USA military cemetary. There was a service there as they were repatriating the bodies from it and we took flowers to put on the graves.
I think we were the first school to go on a trip after the war, which was to the Mourne Mountains with a Mr Hammond and a Mr Hawthorne. We stayed at Shimna House outside Newcastle. As you can imagine there were only heavy school shoes and gaberdine rain coats, no climbing boots and proper clothing, yet we followed the water mains from the Silent Valley some way over the mountains, to let us see and teach us where our water came from. Certainly no health and safety to worry about.
Yours, Jean Williamson (nee Cunning)
One of the highlights of my Harding Memorial school days more than 50 years ago was the occasion when I was a member of the choir formed to sing at the official opening of the then new Central Hall. I can't now recall who performed the opening ceremony but what I do remember was our rendering of Land of Hope and Glory. Under our conductor, Mr Dick Taylor, then a teacher and of course later for many years Principal, we were word perfect if not musically perfect on the great day. Still today the singing of this well known piece brings back memories of that great day all those years ago.