Carrick schools make history at museum

Shirin Murphy, Collections Access Officer at Carrickfergus Museum and Sarah McMurran look at a collection of old Carrick school registers.. Included are Gareth Hamilton, outgoing principal of Sunnylands Primary and Bobby Todd.
Shirin Murphy, Collections Access Officer at Carrickfergus Museum and Sarah McMurran look at a collection of old Carrick school registers.. Included are Gareth Hamilton, outgoing principal of Sunnylands Primary and Bobby Todd.

A Carrick primary school has made a very special donation to the town’s museum recalling bygone days in the town’s classrooms.

Roll books charting the attendance records, reports and exam results of generations of pupils have been donated to Carrickfergus Museum.

Gareth Hamilton, outgoing principal of Sunnylands Primary, met with Collections Access Officer Shirin Murphy from Carrickfergus Museum to hand over 14 registers from Carrickfergus, Joymount and Barn Mills National schools which had been in the care of Sunnylands Primary for more than 60 years.

Dating from the early 20th century, the books are full of fascinating information, not only listing names, addresses and dates of local pupils, but also reports and examination results.

Shirin described the collection as “a real must-see for those interested in family history research”.

Also present for the handover was 97-year-old Jeannie McMurran, who was enrolled at Joymount School in 1926.

Finding her name in one of the register books was a special moment and Mrs McMurran recalled with clarity the names and addresses of her former classmates.

There were 15 Carrick schools listed in the Belfast and Ulster Towns Directory in 1910.

Sunnylands Primary School opened on Monday 24 August 1953 with an enrolment of 365 pupils and a staff of eight teachers, following the re-organisation of primary schools in Carrickfergus.

The material will be made available for members of the public to view at the museum.

It is also hoped the records can be transcribed to be made available online in due course.

For further information, contact Carrickfergus Museum on T: 028 9335 8241 or E: carrickfergusmuseums@midandeastantrim.gov.uk