Euston Street School
||'While I breathe I learn'|
The first school in the street was actually known as Brown Memorial School but this became a part of Euston Street Public Elementary School when the newly erected building was opened in 1926. The building was designed by W.G. Davies on the 'double quad' pattern, initially pioneered by R.S. Wilshere.
The laying of the foundation stone, by the Lady Mayoress, Lady Turner, took place on the 21 January 1925, while the official opening ceremony was performed by the Minister of Education, Viscount Charlemont, on Friday, 2 July, 1926 (see Newspapers for details).
The first principal, Mr W. A. Loughlin Boyd, presided over 1,000 pupils, aged from 5 to 12, for the princely sum of 9 pounds a week. He was assisted by Mr Kirkpatrick, Miss Florence Millar (VP), Miss Emily Foster, Miss Sarah Foley, Miss Mary Foley, Miss Jane Foley, Miss Mary Holden, Miss Harriet Collins, Miss Milly Todd, Miss Edith McKegney, Miss May Nixon, Vera Empey, Eveline Gransden and Miss Margaret Allen. The average salary for a teacher then was around £6 a week.
Among the earliest pupils, one, John Ritchie, later became famous as a Belfast Celtic footballer. Other famous footballers included Jackie Patterson, who played for Linfield, and John Anderson, who played for Glentoran.
During the war, despite being close to the famous Harland & Wolff shipyard, Euston Street School escaped major bomb damage, although it 'lost' almost 200 students due to evacuation, relocation or to the workforce. Six teachers disappeared from the books as well.
Things quickly returned to normal after the war and, apart from changes in staff (Cecil Bell was appointed headmaster in 1946), things continued as normal until the 1954. Shortages of other premises - and a local demand - lead the Belfast Education and Library Board to set up a part-time library service on the school premises. This proved very popular with local adults and children alike - so much so, that when it was threatened with closure, local residents sent in a petition of protest! [see Libraries for details] The library service survived until the early 1990s.
In 1978 a local housewife asked Lord Melchett, the Minister of Education, why there was no provision for nursery education in the area. He investigated, and wrote to tell her that plans were afoot. Shortly afterwards a nursery school was opened on school premises.