Centenary celebrations for Pittenweem Primary

Pittenweem Primary 's first head teach Mr Howat and family.
Pittenweem Primary 's first head teach Mr Howat and family.

One hundred years ago, Britain was being confronted with the threat of world war, with conflicts in Europe destined to have major repercussions.

However, for the children of Pittenweem, a new beginning was already taking place in the form of a brand new school building, more advanced than any of them had ever experienced before.

Pittenweem School

Pittenweem School

And this weekend, current Pittenweem Primary staff and pupils will welcome the wider community and a number of former pupils to the school to mark the beginning of a year of centenary celebrations.

A special open day is taking place this Sunday, exactly 100 years since the school first opened to pupils.

Current head teacher Elaine Paterson is hoping the whole community will get involved with the celebrations, which will take place at the school between noon and 4.00 p.m.

While there will be a display of old photos and pupils’ memories inside the school, a fun day will take place outside – weather permitting, of course.

Pittenweem PS Centenary

Pittenweem PS Centenary

“We’re praying for good weather!” said Elaine.

“It will almost be like a street party – there will be a bouncy castle, face painting, ice cream, all things like that, while inside it will be a historical story of the school.”

Visitors can also watch Tina Melville having her head shaved to raise money for the parent council.

The school has had a special centenary flag designed for the occasion, and it will be raised at noon on Sunday by three very special people.

Jessie Gay (93), and her great-granddaughter Hannah Gay (3), the oldest living pupil still residing in the village, and youngest current pupil respectively, will be joined by special guest, 96-year-old Jeanette Shaw (nee Black), who is the oldest living pupil and who is travelling all the way from Australia to do the honours.

Recalling her first day at Pittenweem Primary School in 1922, Mrs Shaw said: “I wasn’t too happy, as I was just getting adjusted to living in Scotland after coming from America and I would tell anybody that I met to ‘talk right’, as I didn’t know what they were saying.

“But I soon realised I couldn’t beat them, so I had to join them.”

Sunday is just the beginning for Pittenweem Primary’s centenary.

A number of events are already being planned to mark the centenary over the next year – including a school mural, time capsule, memory booklet and a special Christmas show.

“This will be the trigger for a whole year of celebrations – everyone is very excited about it,” said Elaine.