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Former pupils gather to say goodbye to Burntisland Primary School

Pupils with head teacher Julie Anderson and former teacher/supply teacher Alan Easson giving out rowan trees to visitors

Pupils with head teacher Julie Anderson and former teacher/supply teacher Alan Easson giving out rowan trees to visitors

 

Dozens of former pupils of Burntisland Primary School and a few teachers joined current members to say a poignant goodbye to their old school last week.

The first of three open events giving everyone who wanted to the opportunity to have a look around the building in Ferguson Place, before it closes in July and moves into the new school being built on the Toll Park site in time for the new school year, was held last Thursday.

And over 100 people took the opportunity to visit and reminisce about their time spent within its walls and playground.

Among them were three generations of one family, current P4 pupil Kieran Carr (9), his mum Kim (49) and gran June Foreman (72).

All three said they had enjoyed their time at Burntisland Primary, although Mrs Foreman said she was struggling to remember much from so long ago!

Kieran listed his favourite subjects as art and P.E. and said he was really looking forward to moving into the new school because it would be “nice and new, with lots of new equipment.”

Mrs Carr recalled the old Dollar Road school which pupils went to for P1- 3, which was no longer there and was now the site of new houses.

“I had a really good time at primary school and I will be sad to see it go, but the new school looks really good and will have much better facilities.”

Keddie Law and his sister Helen Donnelly made the trip from Montrose and Bridge of Allan respectively to see their old school one last time.

Mr Law, who was there during the 1950s, recalled that teaching was carried out in the Cromwell building while the Ferguson building was used for craft and technical studies until leaving age.

Everyone who passed through the doors on Thursday afternoon was shown around by P6 and P7 pupils and encouraged to look around the various buildings and huts which make up the old school.

On display were old photographs and books of current pupils’ memories of their school which they will take to the new building.

Visitors were also asked to write about what they remembered of the school, which will be collated in a book to be created from the three
events.

Gerald Turpie (82), who lives in Burntisland, started at the school in 1937 and Thursday was the first time he had set foot in the building since he left in 1946.

“There weren’t many lessons I enjoyed at school, and I remember all of the teachers from back then were very strict and the belt was used regularly,” he said.

Mr Turpie went on to work as a crane driver at Burntisland Shipyard then as a gateman at the docks.

“I wanted to come back to see the old place before it closes,” he added.

Senga Edmondson (72), started at the school in 1947.

“I remember gym was one of my favourite lessons and we also got laundry lessons where you learned to wash, dry and iron shirts and blouses!

‘‘One time my friend and I skipped class and went up the Binn Hill, but a teacher came up with a class and we were caught and got lines!”

And Gillian Wilson (52), from Dunfermline was delighted to see her former P7 teacher Miss Brown and have the chance to share some memories with her.

All the visitors to the school were presented with a rowan tree sapling as a memento of their time at Burntisland Primary, and asked to plant it in their gardens at home.

Julie Anderson, head teacher, said: “We thought it would be a nice gesture to give everyone a wee memento of their time here, and the Rowan tree is traditionally linked with remembrance, so it was ideal. One of our parents works at a garden centre in Kirkcaldy and we have taken delivery of 1000 trees which the pupils specially wrapped and attached a message card to, explaining what it was all about.

“Everyone thought it was a really good idea and the visitors on Thursday were all delighted with their gifts.

“It was a really good afternoon and we heard lots of lovely memories of people’s times here at the school, with people coming from all over Fife and further afield, including one man from Montrose who came down specially for a last look around.

“We hope the others will be just as successful.”

The second open event was held yesterday (Wednesday), and the final one will take place on Tuesday, from 4-7.00 p.m.

 

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