Longtower school prepares for centenary

One of Derry’s best known primary schools will celebrate its centenary next year and a range of events are being planned to mark the anniversary.

The boys’ school at Longtower Primary School, Bishop Street, opened in May 1914 and the current school is looking forward to hosting the celebrations next year, school principal, Joyce Logue, has said.

The principal has called on local people, as well as those further afield, to help the school prepare for the celebrations by sharing memories, old photographs and memorabilia.

“Longtower Boys’ school has played a big part in the lives of many Derry people, at home and around the world. With this in mind we would like to mark the occasion of the centenary.

“We invite interested locals to come together to form a committee to organise the centenary celebrations. Longtower Primary School will be delighted to support the committee.

“In addition, we would be very grateful for any memorabilia, such as pictures, photographs, letters and anecdotal stories.

“These will be carefully looked after and returned to their owners,” she said.

Mrs Logue explained that the school has its own archives and historical items from the past, including photographs and roll books dating back to the 1920s.

She also explained the school regularly attracts visitors from across the world, many of whom left Derry decades ago.

“On a regular basis we have people visiting the school and asking to look around, take pictures or just want to go down memory lane for a while.

“Just recently, I met a man Birmingham, with camera in hand, who wanted to take photographs and was full of chat about his memories of the school,” the principal said.

In the past the school was split into two sections for girls and boys before being merged together.

The school’s centenary celebrations will coincide with the opening of Áras Cholmcille, the state of the art heritage and interpretative centre in the grounds of St Columb’s Church, Long Tower, which will tell the story of St Columba bringing Christianity to Derry.

The building was for many years part of Longtower Primary School and housed the girls school, known locally as ‘the wee nuns.’

For further details contact Longtower Primary School on 02871261484, or the principal, Mrs Joyce Logue at jlogue356@c2kni.net