This week’s picture story by Ursula Hinds

A group of schoolchildren pictured at at a grotto at Stalney's Walk in the 1950s. (2202MM10)

A group of schoolchildren pictured at at a grotto at Stalney's Walk in the 1950s. (2202MM10)

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It shows a group of schoolchildren from the Lone Moor Road area of the city at a grotto that was built at the top of Stanley’s Road in the 1950s.

Mrs Ursula Hinds (nee Noble) said she came across the photograph a number of years ago and it brought back a lot of memories.

She is among the girls wearing First Communion dresses posing for the camera in front of the grotto. She said she can identify some of those in the picture but is keen to find out the names of the rest.

“As far as I remember it was taken in the mid 1950s, possibly 1954 or 1955 and all the children from the Lone Moor Road area and Stanley’s Walk were in it.

“A grotto had been built at the top of Stanley’s Walk on a patch of ground that we called ‘the triangle,’ at the junction of the Moor, Stanley’s Walk and Elmwood Street. I remember that all the children, including myself, collected green branches to decorate the roof of the grotto and statues were put in it. I can identify some of the people in the photograph and I have showed it to all of my old neighbours from the Lone Moor Road and they have helped me identify some of those pictured but not everyone. It would be nice to have all the names. By this stage some of them some of them will have moved to other places and a number have passed away but I’m sure others are still about, “ she said.

In years gone by religious grottos were a familiar site in Derry and were often erected by local people to commemorate feast days of saints. 1954 was designated as a Marian year by Pope Pius XII and grottos featuring statues of Our Lady, such as the one pictured above, were built across Ireland to mark the occasion.

If you can identify anyone contact editorial@derryjournal.com